Sassy cats — Stairs

Here are Gus, Sasha and Morgan. They are making sure the bed doesn’t move!

It’s the peep today. Gracie is at the casino and you can see what the others are up.

This week it’s about stairs. I adopted all the current cats as adults. They came from  rescues, shelters or foster homes. In each case they were confined to a cage, cat room or room in a house but not given access to an entire house. Each one has a different background but they all had one issue in common. They weren’t familiar with stairs.

That’s not to say they didn’t know how to climb. They all had access to cat trees or furniture to climb but that’s not the same as a staircase.

Gracie came from a hoarding situation. My best story about her is that she would go in the garbage to fish out food. I remember her running around with a pork chop bone that was almost bigger than she was. She only did that the first week until she realized that food would be put out just for her. That’s when she realized she could be picky and she is. The cat who ate table scraps from the trash now will only eat one brand and one flavor and not always that. They learn fast but I’m digressing.

She hadn’t done stairs before. She didn’t know if she preferred the carpet part or the tiny section on the end that isn’t carpeted. She would go down the stairs with her back end running faster than her front end so at the bottom she was always facing up. It was funny to watch. She doesn’t do that anymore now preferring to lay on the step so she is in the way (like a proper cat).

Morgan took to them fast. She scaled any childproof gate I set up to isolate her. She wanted to meet the rest of the crew pronto. Her first journey down the steps was normal except she didn’t know if she wanted to go down right side, left side (moving her legs on the same side at the same time) or front and back (looks more like a prancing pace).

Sasha is a front back cat when it comes to stairs with her little big rump flopping up and down in rhythm.

Gus was three when adopted and had spent his three years in a cat room. He took the longest to adjust to stairs. At the beginning he sat at the top of the stairs and looked down. It took Gracie to coax him. Now he can’t be stopped. He is a large and long cat so he takes the steps like a basketball player skipping some that he feels are unnecessary..

Cats are not all the same. Not even in small things like how to manage stairs. They drink water differently too. Gracie prefers to dig in her water bowl first (to create a mess) and Gus paws up some water and licks it off his paw (also creating a mess). Sometimes I wonder if there really are “normal” cats. Certainly not in my house.

We all wish you a great weekend and if you are in the US, a great holiday weekend.

46 thoughts on “Sassy cats — Stairs

      • My neighbor’s dog with its separation anxiety whining does get to me when it starts five minutes after she leaves. My cat friend Carol describes her cat as “bellowing” and “yowling” when it is hungry, usually done by waking her up and standing on the bed jumping on hr feet. 🙂

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  1. I think I just assumed cats could navigate stairs perfectly! I didn’t differentiate between stairs and a cat’s innate ability to climb. Along with the extra emotional attention that comes with taking in rescues, you also get a lot of hilarity!

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  2. Cats are all such individuals. The description of Gus’ technique was my favorite.
    Molly has been hinting she wants a pet…a cat friend. Just not quite up to welcoming a newcomer yet, but if one shows up, I doubt it would be turned away…(I didn’t say that too loud did I? Oh, my…)

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  3. My poor Ted has a time with stairs…..it was obvious when we brought him home from the shelter he had no idea what stairs were (and in our 3 story house there are plenty of stairs!) but at that time he was not HUGE like he is now. He figured it out fairly quickly. The uncarpeted stairs to the basement are particularly tough. He’s very slow and very awkward on them. We’re going to carpet them just for him. A 24 lb. cat and uncarpeted stairs are a BAD match! Hope you and your crew have a QUIET 4th!

    Hugs, Pam

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    • I was surprised when Gus went down the uncarpeted part at first. He has his nails so I assumed he’d feel safe on the carpet where he could get traction. (Never assume with cats!) Now he goes up and down at mach 1 speed.

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  4. It is sad to think of cats being that confined, although we did have to teach the dog to use stairs when she was a tiny puppy. She was so little that she could only jump on one step at a time. We do not have steps now except to the attic. I’ve not paid any attention to the cats, but they must not have any trouble as they try to run up there any time the door is opened.

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    • I know! I don’t know why people think all cats are alike. They are not. Sasha would not have done well as an only cat. She is very social and especially with cats. Gus too. He was raised in a cat room at a rescue with 18 other cats. He’d be lonely as an only one.

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  5. When I transitioned my cat from my one-floor condo to our two-story home, I didn’t think to pay any attention to how she did. I guess okay since I never found her in a puddle at the bottom. I cat-sat a kitty once who ONLY drank running water from the sink or the shower. I had never seen that before.

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    • I have been trying to get cats to drink from running fountains for at least 20 years. No takers or not enough frequent flyers to make cleaning it worthwhile. I never had one who gravitated to the sink but then again I never encouraged it either. If you cat had trouble you would have known it.

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  6. All of the cats are fine with our stairs. But when we first adopted our dog (nearly 20 years ago now), he was afraid of the stairs. We weren’t sure if he had never seen any before or had a bad experience with them. But he eventually got used to them.

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  7. Gotta love their individuality. The stairs at the hospital have flummoxed Norman since I don’t have any at home but he’s nothing if not a trooper putting up with weird things he encounters. Course, at 85+ pounds, he can easily just sit his largess down and refuse to move until it suits his agenda.

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  8. Cats negotiating stairs is more fun to watch than I ever thought possible. Our Z Cat was a hoot to watch! Her technique was between Gus’s and Sasha’s. She always liked to cut in front of me near the bottom because she had to make a hard right… carrying a clothes basket was hazardous for the humans. Her precious berber was there and so was some awesome traction. Hope Gracie is having a lucky day at the casino.

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    • Gracie will be back in a catnip stupor. Gus is the one who cuts in front on me when I’m walking, mostly with the cat food. One day it’s going to land on his head and he’ll have to figure out a way to eat it from there.

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        • I had to give him ear drops a while back. At first I would catch him as he came out for breakfast. He’s big, strong and quick. It didn’t take him long to get the concept. One day I was so agitated I locked him down right on his food dish. He had wet cat food all over his belly. After that I chose another time of day. No point in upsetting him at mealtime. Mostly he’s a mild mannered cat but not a fan of ear or eye drops.

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  9. Lovely post Kate! Barney was used to stairs and his bed was always at the bottom. He never made any effort to go upstairs unless it was to show my Mum to her room when we moved to the semi, then he’d come straight back down again. Confused the hell out him when we moved to a bungalow.

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  10. My apartment cats were thrilled when I moved into Andy’s townhouse. It not only had exciting stairs, but the stairs were carpeted and modern/ open–so the cats could climb the underside of staircase, hanging upside-down. Both cats were black. They looked like something out of The Exorcist.

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  11. Guess I need to start training my fosters on stairs before they go home!! And the funniest think I’ve seen about water is a cat client who has a fountain where the water is coming down from a small height. She sticks her entire head under the stream coming down so her head gets soaked while she has a drink. It was just too funny to watch!

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