How Long Can A Cat Stay In A Tree?

How Long Can A Cat Stay In A Tree

Cats are natural climbers and they love high spaces but it is another thing when they cannot figure a way to come down unscathed.

How long can a cat stay in a tree?

A cat can stay in a tree for at least a week and survive but she should not be left in the tree for more than 24 hours. If within 24 hours she is still in the tree, you should consider climbing up to get her or seek help from a local pet rescue organization. 

A cat may face the following if she stays or gets stuck in a tree:

  • dehydration 
  • starvation 
  • being injured from a fall

The possible reasons why a cat ends up on top of a tree may include the following:

  • your cat wanted some privacy because your home may be busy or noisy
  • your cat may have found a bird’s nest or chased a bird 
  • your cat was chased by a dog or anther animal  

What to do if your cat is stuck in a tree?

Here are the things that you can do should your cat gets stuck up a tree:

1. Entice your cat to come down the tree. 

A cat will usually climb down the tree on her own if there are no distractions or threats nearby such as another cat or animal. Call her name in a soothing voice and persuade her with treats. You may also leave her a bowl of food but keep your distance. Cat food with tuna flavor is a good option because of its strong odor and if your cat is hungry enough it might be all that is needed for her to come down. 

Try to place an old mattress beneath the tree to encourage your cat to climb down. However, some cats tend to climb higher if they sense some tension or if people start to gather around so make sure not to attract attention while you are coaxing your cat to come down. Also, be sure to keep track of how long your cat has been stuck up the tree. 

2. Try to assist your cat to find it easier to come down.

If you notice that your cat has no immediate plan to come down, you may have to be proactive and assist her in climbing down the tree. You can do this by guiding her with the use of a laser pointer.  Aim the laser light at a spot on the tree and move the point down a trunk that is safe to land on. 

You may place a ladder or big branch against the tree to act as a bridge or a ramp. You may also try hoisting a pet carrier or laundry basket up the tree and place food or treats on it to encourage your cat to climb aboard. 

3. Consider climbing up to get your cat.

If after trying the above methods your cat won’t still budge, you may have to consider going up the tree to get her. You may need a sturdy ladder but if you are a good tree climber it should be an easy task. Ask assistance from a family member to hold the ladder and provide support.

Be sure to wear gloves and long sleeves as your cat may become aggressive once you get hold of her. It may be convenient to place your cat in a pet carrier so the other person can hoist it down and it will make it easier for you to come down. 

4. If all else fails, call for help. 

If the above methods are ineffective and your cat is still up the tree, you should consider calling professional help. Do not wait for long especially if it is cold or windy as it will further endanger your cat. Contact your nearest pet rescue center or you may also call your local tree trimming company as they will gladly assist for a small fee. Your vet or local animal shelter may also provide recommendations. 

Why do cats get stuck on a tree?

Cats get stuck on a tree because they have trouble when it comes to hind and front feet coordination as they attempt to come down since it is not a normal movement for them to do. While cats are good jumpers and climbers with the help of their claws, they usually find it hard to get down as opposed to getting up high places like trees. Cats tend to jump down but they find it hard to maneuver if they are from up a tree as it is often too high to jump down. 

Also, declawed cats have a higher tendency to get stuck in a tree since they may be able to climb up but won’t be able to come down the tree. 

Final thoughts 

Finding your cat up a tree and not capable of going down can be a scary experience for a concerned pet owner.  A cat can stay in a tree for up to a week and still survive but she should be retrieved within 24 hours. Coax her to come down, provide assistance and try to retrieve her yourself.  If all else fails, call for some professional help to get your kitty back to the ground safely. 

Image: / blue_sky95