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More CHers Learn To Conquer Stairs

February 8, 2013
Harvey 2

Harvey at the bottom of his stairs.

I love to hear stories about all of your CHers, and recently two of you shared success stories about your CH kitties who have learned to conquer stairs. I wanted to share these stories with you, as I find them inspiring and encouraging – two things I think we can all appreciate.

The first is Miss Mimosa. The other day Lauren commented that she and her husband just moved into a new town home that has not one, not two, but three separate flights of stairs for Mimosa to navigate.

Fortunately, they are all carpeted and Mimosa has some experience with stairs, but they’re exercising some precautions.

“Needless to say we have lots of baby/pet gates in our place!” Lauren says. “We gate her in at night and during the day on one floor while we are out so she doesn’t attempt the steps during those times. She was a little wary at first but she seems to be getting used to it.”

Lauren says she thinks Mimosa does like the stairs now. While she was initially wary of them back when she was first introduced to the concept, she seemed to accept the challenge.


Lauren’s Mimosa

“After a while I caught her going up and down them just for fun,” Lauren says. “I think she felt proud that she could dominate them… with a few slips and falls. When she is in a hurry, I’m not sure she likes them as much because she ends up tumbling down them. Now that she is used to them, I think she’s a bit more indifferent.”

As for pet gates, Lauren says they’ve found the perfect solution that works for them.

“We actually just buy the $10 adjustable baby gates from Target and just lay them against the wall instead of attaching them. That way they are easy to move around and don’t destroy the walls. Our in-laws did buy us a great Adjustable Pet Gate. We love it, but our hallways are a bit narrow, so I wouldn’t recommend it unless you have space for it.”

Mister Harvey, Carmen’s moderate CH cat, has also taken the initiative to learn stairs:

“We’ve been moved in for a little over a month now, and Harvey is doing great! I have a baby gate that blocks the stairs that go downstairs to our garage and just about a week ago – Harvey learned how to climb UP the stairs (going to the rooms)! I was pretty excited and I was so proud of him because he struggled, and now he just moves right up them. I am still trying to figure out how to avoid him rolling down the stairs, but I am hoping that with time, he’ll learn how to do that too.”

Carmen says that she and her roommate lived in their townhouse exactly one month before Harvey started learning how to navigate the stairs.

Harvey 3“The bottom three stairs are wider and overall bigger, so for the first few weeks of living here, he tested the water on those stairs. It was still a struggle for him to stay on those stairs, and would often times fall backward,” Carmen says.

“One day I was in my room and I heard his infamous “squeak” and about had a heart attack when I saw him on the second to last stair. I immediately ran and grabbed him and started brainstorming ideas how to keep him from accessing the stairs.”

Carmen ultimately decided to put up a second baby gate to cut off all access to the stairs, but before she was able to get to the store, she says Harvey was booking it up the stairs at full speed!

While Harvey is becoming a pro at going up the stairs, it’s more of a challenge for him to come down. Carmen is working with him in hopes that he’ll get it on his own one day.

“As of right now, he waits at the top landing and makes plenty of noise when he’s ready to come down. He never fails to amaze me!” Carmen says.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 8, 2013 10:35 am

    Yay, what happy stories! I’m so impressed that Harvey knows it isn’t safe for him to go down the stairs on his own, and asks for help! But then Siamese are never shy about asking for ANYTHING! He’s soooo beautiful!! All cats are amazing, but I have a soft spot for Siamiese kitties.

  2. Rich B permalink
    February 11, 2013 8:17 am

    Great stories! Our three CH cats all learned to climb the stairs in different ways. Miss Kitty, our first, takes them slowly whether going up or down, one step at a time. Sometimes she would trip up on the last 2-3 steps, so we put a big soft pillow at the bottom of the stairs that remains there to this day. Then my cat Half and Half tried the stairs but she jumps up two at a time, sounds like a large dog bounding up the stairs! Going down she’s more cautious, one step at a time, holding on with her front claws if she slips sideways.

    Our newest CH cat Jingles was the most shaky on her feet and was not very active when we got her. But I would carry her downstairs so she could hang out with us and the other cats, and she would eventually go up the stairs climbing slowly in her own way. She seemed content to live upstairs, but after a couple weeks she copied the other cats and wanted to come down and beg for food in the kitchen with her mates! So we let her try the stairs and she took them slowly in her own style, very cautiously, hanging on with her long nails when she slipped a little sideways, and she never fell.

    We keep our CH cats’ nails medium length, never clipped short, so they can grip the carpeted stairs and cat furniture I made for them.

    • February 12, 2013 7:47 am

      What great stories! I think it’s so fun to watch how our different cats learn how to do things their own ways. I’d love to hear more about your three – perhaps you’d be interested in having them profiled on the site? You can find more information here:

  3. AuntThelma permalink
    March 5, 2013 10:16 am

    We weren’t sure if Bunny could do stairs or not. we started them (her sister, Bonnie, is either very mild or no CH at all) in an upstairs bedroom.

    Bonnie was downstairs hanging around and exploring within a week, but Bunny wasn’t. We finally spotted her downstairs one night when she thought everyone was asleep and she sure managed to get up them in a hurry.

    Since then, I’ve watched her go down. She takes them one at a time and is pretty careful.

    We are currently getting a quote on carpeting the stairs. I think she’ll like them a lot more when she can hold on.

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