Cat Ladders Are a Thing That Exist—And They’re Coming to a Coffee Table Book Near You

updated May 3, 2019
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Most of the time, we have no actual clue what cats really think of people, but this latest feline-friendly gesture should earn humans a few cool points with the four-legged creatures. Honestly we’re not expecting any cat-issued ego stroking anytime soon, but these snapshots of cat ladders all over Bern, Switzerland, are pretty purrfect.

Photographer and writer Brigitte Schuster captured the strategically placed structures that people in the Swiss town have affixed to the sides of their houses to help the animals move around with more ease.

From zig-zagged staircases to ladders made from foldable plastic and others adjoined to cat shelters, the eye-catching structures are not only designed with their feline users in mind, but they also intentionally blend in with the homes to which they’re attached.

If you’ve ever seen a cat effortlessly climb or scale a steep surface, then you already know they don’t exactly require ladders to get them to seemingly unreachable heights. But the obvious thoughtfulness that went into these ladders is simply too palpable to dismiss.

“I started taking photos of cat ladders with the background to show the photos to others and share with others, which is possible with a book. My intention is to give importance to this ephemeral subject. A cat ladder is a transient object. It is constantly changing. New cat ladders are added. Old cat ladders are taken off. This mix of continuity and change is characteristic for the culture of the Swiss capital. The cultural heritage of the cat ladder will be preserved and communicated to future generations,” Schuster told Bored Panda of her cat-centric photography project.

And as Schuster notes, the cat ladder phenomenon goes beyond human thoughtfulness. “A closer look at the cat ladders reveals sociological, architectural, and aesthetic perspectives,” Schuster says. Her upcoming book “Swiss Cat Ladders” is a compilation of various cat ladders, complete with diagrams, essays, and of course, photographs. It’s set to be released this fall.