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Pet stairs & ramps: This document describes and includes photographs of stairs provided for pets such as dogs & cats inside or outside of buildings. Old or disabled dogs, cats, and even birds, snakes, rabbits and gerbils are sometimes treated by their owners to a personal step or stair to ease their passage in or out of bed or in and out of a building. Here we provide some examples of creative building access provided for pets, including a remarkable second story catwalk that was actually constructed for cats.
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Tips for Choosing a Pet Stair or Ramp - Specifications for a Catwalk
A Real Catwalk for Cats
Below our photographs show a catwalk that was actually built for cats. Our client occupied the second floor of a home converted from an antique barn to living space. She needed to let her cats have regular access to outdoors without bothering the downstairs tenant with whom she shared a common entry door.
As we describe in detail at HANDRAILS & HANDRAILINGS, a good handrail is important at every stairway.
But what about railings on pet stairs and catwalks? It may be that cats, even elderly cats, rarely fall off of a stair nor off of a narrow catwalk.
However, as our photos show just above, the owner borrowed a design detail from ramps commonly used for chickens and other poultry: she nailed cleats along the cat walk at regular intervals to give better purchase to the cat feet which traversed this high catwalk from a building window to an outdoor fire stair.
Watch out: This catwalk design is not suitable for human use, even in an emergency, which raised a question about indoor access to the second story fire-stair.
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