Buildings in Switzerland Have Cat Ladders to Help Felines Survey Their Kingdom Below

Swiss Cat Ladders by Brigitte Schuster

Anyone with a cat knows how they love to climb to high perches and survey their kingdom below. But felines often need some help from us, and we happily oblige. Switzerland-based designer and writer Brigitte Schuster documented the ways in which we aid our furry friends in their quest for climbing. Her new book called Swiss Cat Ladders focuses on outdoor cat stairways in the city of Bern. It highlights the different approaches people take to create complex scaffolding networks so that the creatures can traverse from the ground to stories-high windows.

Homemade cat ladders, as Schuster has found, can take many forms. Sometimes, a vertical pathway is made from a preexisting architectural element like treads attached to a drain pipe. In other instances, the ladders are affixed long after the buildings were constructed. They are slats zig-zagged along an exterior wall; or, in more precarious forms, the ladders are a thin walkway between a tree and a balcony. No matter how they are built, each offers a way for a feline to exercise its love of climbing.

In addition to photos of cat ladders, Schuster’s book includes diagrams as well as an essay exploring “sociological, architectural and aesthetic perspectives” of the structures. Swiss Cat Ladders is now available for pre-order through Schuster’s website. (Make sure you scroll all the way down to fill out the order form.)

Designer and writer Brigitte Schuster documents different cat ladders in the city of Bern, Switzerland.


Swiss Cat Ladders by Brigitte Schuster Swiss Cat Ladders by Brigitte Schuster

The photos are part of her new book called Swiss Cat Ladders.

Swiss Cat Ladders by Brigitte Schuster Swiss Cat Ladders by Brigitte Schuster Swiss Cat Ladders by Brigitte Schuster Swiss Cat Ladders by Brigitte Schuster Cat Ladder Photographs Cat Ladder Photographs Cat Ladder Photographs Cat Ladder Photographs

Brigitte Schuster: Website 

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Brigitte Schuster.

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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