How to Build a Ramp for a Cat From a Tall Wall

Written by elizabeth ireland
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How to Build a Ramp for a Cat From a Tall Wall
Cats won't use a ramp if the ramp doesn't feel sturdy. (cat on the wall image by apeschi from Fotolia.com)

A cat ramp does not need to be strong, but it must feel sturdy under a cat's paws. Your feline needs to know the ramp won't give way under its weight. Also, your kitty won't use a ramp that feels slippery, so you must make your cat ramp slip-free. Some wood, carpet remnants, staples, screws and tools are all that are needed to build a solid, inviting cat ramp.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Wood plank, 1x12 -- length determined by height of wall
  • Measuring tape
  • Calculator or pencil and paper
  • Circular saw
  • Carpet remnants
  • Utility knife
  • 2 boards, 2x4 -- length determined by height of wall
  • Staples, ¾ inch
  • Staple gun
  • Screws

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Figure out the length of ramp with a calculator or paper and pencil, using the Pythagorean theorem (c = the square root of a2 + b2). For instance, if your wall is 6 feet high and you want the ramp to extend 10 feet from the wall, for a good angle, multiply 6 times 6 and add to the sum of 10 times 10, giving you 136 feet. Then find the square root of 136, giving you the length of your board: 11.66 feet.

  2. 2

    Measure the 1-by-12-inch board with a tape measure to the length you determined with the Pythagorean theorem.

  3. 3

    Mark the board, using the pencil, at the length you determined with the tape measure.

  4. 4

    Cut the board using a circular saw.

  1. 1

    Measure sections of carpet remnants, with the measuring tape, to make them large enough to cover the top of the ramp. For aesthetics you can proceed with these steps to cover the entire board with carpet remnants.

  2. 2

    Cut the carpet remnants with a utility knife to the sizes you determined.

  3. 3

    Staple the carpet to the board, using the staple gun.

  4. 4

    Trim any extra carpet, using the utility knife or scissors.

  1. 1

    Measure the two-by-fours using the measuring tape, making the boards the same length as the ramp.

  2. 2

    Align the short side of a two-by-four along the top of the ramp, parallel with one of the sides, to create side rails. The side rails also ensure that the ramp doesn't sag or warp.

  3. 3

    Secure the ramp to the two-by-four, using the screws and screwdriver. Screw through the bottom of the ramp into the short edge of the two-by-four in several places.

  4. 4

    Repeat the previous steps for the second two-by-four.

  1. 1

    Position the ramp on the wall where you would like it to be, making sure it sits level.

  2. 2

    Screw down through the top of the ramp into the top of the wall, securing it to the wall.

  3. 3

    Sink the heads of the screws into the carpet so the cat does not get injured by stepping on them.

    How to Build a Ramp for a Cat From a Tall Wall
    The pads on a cat's feet are tender and could be injured on sharp screw heads. (cats paw image by Ekaterina Shvigert from Fotolia.com)
  4. 4

    Repeat this process to connect the ramp to the floor

  1. 1

    Introduce your cat to the ramp by letting it sniff it first.

  2. 2

    Place your cat on the ramp at different places along its length.

  3. 3

    Put your cat on the wall at the top of the ramp and allow it to figure out how to use it.

  4. 4

    Sprinkle catnip along the length of the ramp to attract your cat to it.

Tips and warnings

  • The ramp can serve double duty as a scratching post. Cats like the feel for carpet under their feet.
  • Do not leave stray carpet fibres hanging from the ramp. Cats have been known to play with and swallow carpet strings.

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