Engineering the perfect spiral staircase for a cat


In a world of high sided fences and the ever shrinking home, the modern cat is often left to fend for themselves. Enter MonkeeTree. Whether you have an apartment three stories up, or simply want an alternative means for your cat to exercise, MonkeeTree provides the solution. This spiral staircase for cats is modular in design, allowing cats and their owners more flexibility in access to and from the home.

Globex was approached to work with the Client to develop their concept design and engineer the product to a strict set of requirements. Key amongst these was outdoor use, modularity, scalability, and guaranteed performance in a wide range of climates. Globex was required to address such factors as UV exposure, long-term strength, and thermal cycling. In addition, for reasons of safety, it was necessary to design the steps to intentionally fail non-destructively should anything heavier than a cat try to use them. We were able to achieve these requirements with the help of both FEA simulation, and real-world testing. In addition, a key consideration throughout this process was the final assembly process. It was critical that this be easy and intuitive for all of customers to follow.

Globex excels at working with their clients from the early concept stages all the way through to design for manufacture. MonkeeTree is an excellent example of this in action. From development of the initial design concept, to full scale prototypes for cat usability and acceptance testing, Globex works with their clients to ensure the progress is mutual and transparent. When it came time for production imlementation, Globex worked closely with the tooling vendor on the technical aspects of the project to ensure the final parts met the specification and cosmetic requirements. Countless cats are now enjoying their own private staircases throughout New Zealand and the world.


Project details

Size: 980 hours
Time frame:  Ten months
Markets: Worldwide

Main challenges

    Modular design that is easy to assemble by everyone
    Long term UV exposure and thermal cycle survivability
    Structural requirements, allowing up to three stories in build height
    Making the steps safe for cats to climb but not humans

    Processes used/run

    Working prototypes/mock-ups
    FEA Interpretation
    Silicone tooling
    Plastics tooling
    Technical drawings
    Design validation

    Return to Case Studies gallery