I created little steps out of the flat cardboard scratching posts she absolutely loves. I sawed those suckers in half to make them shorter, and then attached them together with the help of some duct tape (I happened to have white tape handy) to make a set of really gradual steps. Then I put some boxes and other things under the steps to give it support. I know that she can get on top of the scratching post easily as she has one down in the room that she still loves to get on, and even scratch!! She wobbles a bit but she can do it. Scratching that post was one of her favorite things to do and I was a little concerned she wouldn't be able to any more. In the few days after her surgery she was scratching it out of what seemed like frustration or aggitation, it was so odd! I am glad she is back to scratching it out of happiness.
The steps they sell in stores for pets (mainly for dogs) are not tall enough. They stop at about half of the height of the bed. Plus the steps seem a bit steep for her, for now. Which is why I made my own for temporary assistance. I'll take a picture at some point, and then people can see my rigged up steps.
So far she hasn't had any interest in the steps yet. Which in a way is good because I'm concerned about her tipping over and falling off of them, while she's still getting the hang of centering her balance. Each 'step' is maybe an inch or so above the previous one, so it is very gradual (which also makes it a very 'long' staircase which basically runs the entire length of the bed. It makes it kind of difficult for me to get around as our room is too small for our King size bed, but if it helps her out I'm all for it. I don't think she has really recognized what they are. I also had them positioned so the 'top step' is at the foot of the bed - where the blanket is more likely to be smoothed out and flat - no pillows to contend with. But in order to use the steps she would have to walk all the way down to the head of the bed, and then somehow turn around in the small space and start to make her way up. I will flip them around the other direction this afternoon, so she can just walk up them from the foot of the bed if she chooses (I'll have to make sure the blankets are all flat at the head of the bed and pillows out of the way if she starts to use them. Tabby had also stopped sleeping on that side of the room which she'd done in the few days after surgery, so that's another reason she may not have 'noticed'.
She had been using a little ramp that I fashioned out of two of her cardboard wedge posts (I think you're starting to see a theme here... but she really does love those posts!) after her biopsy. It was painful for her to jump up so I attached two of the wedges together, but even then she would kind of slip/slide as she walked down from lack of traction. I am not too sure how she would do with that, I want to wait until her balance is a lot better. I can imagine the slipping would occur more with only one leg. I really don't want her to tip over on the ramp, and I can't think of a way to put rails that would actually have any support.
Some commercial stairs are better than others, but you're right--some are quite inadequate. We got a set from Freecycle that need to be weighted before my wobble baby could use them. http://www.handicappedpets.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=Homemade_quad_cart_for_a_severely_disabled_cat
It feels so good to know she can have a little more freedom and control in her life, having the option to get on/off the bed whenever she wants.
I enticed her to use the steps by placing some treats up every few steps which she happily traversed in order to get the treats. After she relaxed on the bed for an hour or so, she took the steps back down without any encouragement from me! Actually she was really quick about it once she stood up and decided she wanted down. I didn't have time to urge her to use them before she was already on her way.
I (finally) got some pictures up on a googe pages webpage. A few are pre-surgery, but most of them are from a couple days after and up through her using the steps. If you scroll down to the very bottom of the page you will see a couple photos with the stairs I made.
I did a pretty good job with being brief on the page (unlike my long posts here ), until I got to the part where I explained what I did to make the steps.