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Unread 08-11-2015   #1 (permalink)
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Default Kitty Proofing Stair Bannisters

Hi there.
My fiance and I have two cats that we love to death. Recently, we bought a house and are very excited about this new chapter, and the fact that the cats will have much more room to run and play.

But I'm starting to get really nervous about it now due to the stairs. It is a two story, and in the loft area there is a stair wall that separates the stairs from the loft


They could easily jump onto that, but I'm worried about them accidentally falling of the other side onto the stairs, which is probably a ten foot drop to the bottom, and they aren't carpeted.



It would basically be from the top of the wall to the bottom of the stairs.
This terrifies me, especially since one of the cats, Walowitz, loves to play and explore and jump everywhere. He's a very athletic, agile boy but he's also a small cat. I couldn't bear it if one of them were seriously hurt.

Does anyone have experience with a house like this and cats? I would hope that if either of them did jump on the banister they'd be afraid of the night and avoid it but that seems unlikely. Does anyone have any ideas on how i could kitty proof that area?

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Unread 08-12-2015   #2 (permalink)
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Cats aren't afraid of heights, they love heights.

I have a half wall around my stairway and the cats perch on it all the time, but I understand your concern. My youngest has actually over shot and crashed to the bottom of the stairs twice. The first time she hurt her back (she was just a baby then) the second time was last year when she was four and she simply picked herself back up and went on her way.

However your drop does sound higher than mine is. The only way to really prevent them from perching on the railing (if it is wide enough for them, mine is) is to wall it in, or maybe a screen from floor to ceiling, even behind the wall, so they can still perch and look down but the screen will keep them from jumping or falling,
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Unread 01-18-2016   #3 (permalink)
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I also buy a kitten a little older than that fall from a similar situation. She was fine, but she didn't land on her feet. She's clever and agile, but they sometimes just don't pay attention. An inexpensive solution might be cardboard taped/tacked/tied/fastened on the outside of the railings to about 3/4 of the way up. Some kittens climb cardboard, but most don't, and you should be OK. You should be able to take it down in about 6 months or so, when they're less likely to tear wildly around. It might also be a good idea to hold a kitten firmly and see if you can show him that the height is high and scary. _Don't_ drop something to demonstrate - the chase urge is very powerful in kittens!
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