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Help please! Advice needed how to stop kitten jumping on bannister!

25 replies

soozejukes · 14/12/2013 09:55

7 month old kitten has just started jumping onto the landing bannister and I am terrified he is going to slip and fall to the bottom of the stairs and injure himself! How can I stop him from doing it? I've tried leaning a board up against it to block it off but he's still doing it and my nerves are shot? Told him no and tried water spray but it doesn't bother him. Please help

OP posts:
LEMisafucker · 14/12/2013 09:58

aww, is he your PFB kitten? Cats have amazing balance - have you not seen them walk along the garden fence? Honestly, don't worry he'll be fine. I have to say i did laugh at you telling him no! Telling a cat no!!! Grin

cozietoesie · 14/12/2013 10:03

I recall having a play with Darling Oneago which involved throwing his teddy, I threw wrong and, in hot pursuit, he went straight through the top bannisters and landed halfway down the stairs. He'd have been about the same age.

If it's not the bannisters, it will be the curtains or something else. Even Seniorboy, that venerable gentleman, managed to get himself on top of an open door a couple of years back - ie the 2 inches wide bit. That was a flurry and a half for me.

I'd try distraction via some games which are more ground level. What do you play with him?

RandomMess · 14/12/2013 10:05

Any risk of slipping and he'll anchor his claws in, he'll be fine and the bannisters never the same again...

Even our boy cat that has a rubbish sense of balance and distance and regularly misses landings and falls of things (like the bed!) has never injured himself - he just has no dignity left Grin

cozietoesie · 14/12/2013 10:10

PS - has he been neutered yet, sooze? Just checking because it sounds as if he's feeling his oats a little and may therefore be a little rumbunctious with being in during the winter.

(LEM - I say NO. It works as well. Nearly all the time.)


Madratlady · 14/12/2013 10:15

Hmm good luck with that! Kittens definitely strengthen your nerves. Although Boycat fel out of the tree in our garden this summer and he's not a kitten any more. Thankfully he caught hold of every branch on the way down which slowed him enough for me to run out and catch him.

Fluffycloudland77 · 14/12/2013 11:38

As long as you have carpet it's ok. He'll dig his claws in to stop the fall.

CatOfTheDay · 14/12/2013 11:59

Ours take great pride in slinking up and down the bannister, we just trust their balance and leave them to it! Grin

The kitten is the only one who fits through the railings and she uses it as a shortcut, usually landing halfway down the stairs and carrying on her merry way. She can't do it at the moment though as she has a cone on her head.

RandomMess · 14/12/2013 12:06

Actually when we first got our pair the female (they were just 2) used to drop from the top of the stairs to the ground floor - open plan stair case so no sides IYSWIM.

Actually she also used to drop out of the 1st floor windows provided there was something to land on underneath like the lidded sandpit - yep it's heart in mouth for you but every day stuff for them.

soozejukes · 14/12/2013 12:07

Yes he's been neutered along with his brother.

I know they are supposed to be good at balancing and I may be being unreasonable to be panicking so much but given that his even dafter brother managed to fall out of our first floor window and injured both knees I'm thinking I'm allowed to!

Pet insurance has covered the cost of the first operation but will not cover all of the cost of the second so his brother is the most expensive cat going at the moment so I really can't afford any more vet bills.

He does understand no but it isn't enough to stop him jumping up there and given its a solid painted rail only a couple of inches wide I really do have visions of him over doing it had falling to the bottom of the stairs! The vets think his brother's injuries may have aggravated a cogenital knee condition so I'm worried that any fall could mean he's more susceptible to damaging himself in this way too, especially landing onto stairs rather than a flat surface.

Anyone got any ideas to stop him as I'm not sure my nerves can take it?

OP posts:
soozejukes · 14/12/2013 12:09

Just to be clear he's not jumping through the bannister as its not open - he's jumping on top of it so it's a long way down!

OP posts:
RandomMess · 14/12/2013 12:25

Yes I realise but believe me 1st floor window to lid of the sandpit is much further...

Was just trying to demonstrate how far cats will choose to jump in complete safety.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine · 14/12/2013 12:29

Can you put something on the piece of floor he has to stand on to jump from? A sheet of lightly scrunched tinfoil, or lots of double sided sticky tape?

soozejukes · 14/12/2013 19:29

He's not scared of foil so dont think that would work and the landing is only narrow so can't really put anything down as we'd be walking on it too.

My nerves are shot with his brother's antics without him now joining in!

OP posts:
cozietoesie · 14/12/2013 19:34

He should calm down a bit with a few months on him (that's not a guarantee by the way, just a fond hope) so maybe, as I said above, try to distract him with more ground level games and food foraging (if you feed him kibble.) Those will be good for him whatever the reason for them.

VenusDeWillendorf · 16/12/2013 01:19

Stick a bit of fabric or a sheet of paper on top of the bannister. If he jumps up he can dig his claws in, but if it's looking a bit uneven and wafty looking, he may not jump up. We stuck paper on top of the counters and that works as a deterrent also: we had it stick out like a ledge.

Fwiw my cat jumped up on top of the banisters, walked along them for a bit and then lost her footing, fell right down the stairwell, landed on her little paws. I flew down the stairs and scooped her up, I think she was in shock, but she was fine. Maybe she was embarrassed!

She never walked along the banisters again - used to jump through them alright, to get to a landing quicker, but never walked along the top of them again as they are too slippery.

caines1 · 06/10/2016 15:03

I realise this is an old thread now but wondered if your cat ever grew out of this stressful habit?

One of our 5 month old kittens insists on jumping onto our banister (3 sided so about 8m of banister in total) with void at bottom. We've tried pulling her off but she then started taking running jumps round corners to get back on)...then tried just leaving her but she always slips, usually when turning around (eek) or cutting the corner so I scoop her up then as I cant bear it. It means I lock them in kitchen when we are out for a long time.

Apart from the void below its hitting herself on the 8inch wide stair nosing which is all the way round that petrifies me, along with if she fell from the 1m bit which is over the stairs. I never thought a cat would do this - her brother looks at her like shes insane.

RubbishMantra · 06/10/2016 18:11

Are your stairs carpeted? And is your house more than 2 stories?

I nearly pooed my pants the first time little M did this, sitting on the upstairs post, calm as you like. No harm came to him. He actually uses it to roll down the stairs, digging his claws into the stair carpet as he goes.

If it's making you stressed, you could always fix some carpet off-cuts to the newel post and railing.

RubbishMantra · 06/10/2016 18:20

Or position something soft at the bottom of the void, like a large cushion-ey type thing?

boobah23 · 28/01/2021 12:49

I'm just restarting this thread again at we've just got two nearly 5 month old kittens who we need to release from their room soon. Just outside the bedroom they're in is the banister and a sheer drop to the stairs below. There's also a bookcase which will mean they could get even higher if they tried! One especially is pretty adventurous. Are they likely to cope? (Will I??). :o

boobah23 · 28/01/2021 12:51

That was meant to be a shocked emoji, rather than a manically grinning one.

Fluffycloudland77 · 28/01/2021 15:05

They’ll cope better than you. I blame all my greys on my departed Bengal.

boobah23 · 28/01/2021 17:22

Ooh thanks, I hope so! One of them is really tiny, and still a bit nervous. I've already got quite a lot of greys, I think I'll be grey all over by the end of the week! ShockHmm


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boobah23 · 28/01/2021 17:22

Sorry to hear about your Bengal. :(

Fluffycloudland77 · 28/01/2021 17:50

Thanks, it’s ok it was a while ago.

Enjoy them while their kittens. There’s a Bengal on insta called barbe Bengal, she has a huge role she climbs along, it looks a lot of fun.

Oldraver · 28/01/2021 20:30

Ours is a bugger for it, I'm sure he fell down onto the floor downstairs a week or so ago as we heard the scrabbling up the board then a thump.
He doesnt seem any worse for it but it does frighten me

Though he was sat in a bird nest in a tree today and he swings through the branches like a monkey

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