How to build a cat ramp

Updated February 21, 2017

According to Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine, a combination of factors such as improved veterinary care, better nutrition and indoor living, the lifespan of domesticated cats has increased considerably. Cats were once considered seniors at approximately eight years of age; now, cats are thought of as elderly between the ages of 12 and 14, and can live into their 20s. However, when your much-loved feline begins to age, arthritis and other joint problems can make it difficult for him to climb stairs, jump onto windowsills and reach his favourite sofa cushion. A good way to help your pet move around comfortably is to build a cat ramp with solid footing.

Measure the distance of the ramp from its starting position on the floor to the desired nesting area (e.g., couch, windowsill, bed, etc.). When measuring, keep in mind that the ramp should not be overly steep. Areas that are high above the floor, such as windowsills, may require longer ramps.

Cut the board according to the measurements you took. Because the board will not be nailed down, the positioning of the ramp will be flexible; don't worry if your measurements are not exact.

Cut out a rectangle of carpet scrap using the scissors or a box cutter. The carpet scrap should be the approximate length and width of the board.

Glue the carpet scrap to the board, then staple the corners into place using the staple gun. Let dry.

Lean the ramp against the couch, bed or windowsill so your cat will have easy access to these areas. Remove the ramp whenever necessary.


Make an extra long cat ramp over the length of your stairs. Position the ramp flush against the wall on one side of your stairs so it stays out of the way of human traffic. Wedge a rubber doorstop at the bottom end of the board to keep it from sliding.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Wood board
  • Saw
  • Heavy-duty scissors or box cutter
  • Carpet scrap
  • Wood glue
  • Staple gun
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