Just as cats are born to meow, purr and melt your hearts, they are also designed to climb trees and other high places. Cats are natural-born climbers and they are physically wired for it.
How to keep a cat from climbing a tree?
Here are surefire ways to keep a cat from climbing a tree:
1. Keep your cat inside the house.
To ensure that your cat is protected and away from harm because of her penchant for climbing, keep her indoors at all times. It will also keep her safe from predators and speeding cars. However, this may not sit well with cats that are used to going outdoors or if you adopted a stray cat.
2. Provide alternative climbing activities.
Cats have a natural urge to climb so provide safe climbing activities for your cat inside your home. It could be a window perch or a cat-friendly climbing tree. This allows her to have access to higher areas where she can retreat, relax or simply hang out. It also helps maintain harmony if you have two or more cats in your home. A window perch allows your cat to watch birds and other wildlife and keeps her amused and preoccupied for hours. It is also a perfect spot for a nap.
3. Provide stimulating play and activities.
A cat may get bored especially if left alone in the house for hours. It is essential to provide her with stimulating activities to keep her active and to avoid boredom. Provide her with interactive toys and puzzle feeders to keep her busy and mentally stimulated.
4. Place deterrents around trees on your property.
If your cat has access to your garden or wooded yard, she likely has her favorite trees she loves to climb. To avoid any harm to your cat, place chicken wire around the trunks for about five to six feet up from the ground. Position it so that one end is tightly wrapped around the trees and the other end extending to at least a few feet from the tree.
Make sure to secure the wire with zip ties so your cat won’t be able to climb or jump over it. You may also wrap aluminum foil around the trees since cats do not like the texture and it is difficult for them to get a grip.
Why do cats climb trees?
These are the reasons why cats climb trees:
Cats are predators by nature but they are prey to larger animals like coyotes and stray dogs. High areas and trees offer solace and safety for them to escape their enemies. Similarly, domesticated cats have this instinct to stay or sleep in a high area since they feel safer and more secure there.
To hunt for prey
The urge to hunt is instinctive among cats. Small prey such as birds are tempting for cats and they will pursue them even if it means climbing a tree since cats find their chirping and sudden movements very appealing.
Just for fun
Cats are adventurous and inquisitive which is why climbing trees suits them well. Aside from being instinctive, climbing for cats is a fun and playful way to explore nature. Being atop a tree is also a good vantage point to scan their surroundings and to check if there are any threats enemies nearby.
What to do if your cat gets stuck in a tree?
Cats are natural climbers and they have extendable claws that allow them to grip tree trunks with ease while their rear legs push them upwards. However, there are instances when they become stuck in a tree because it may become too high for them to jump down. A cat’s claws are perfect for climbing trees since it curves towards the back but provide no grip if they are climbing down since the claws point upwards. As a result, cats retreat to higher branches or stay where they are.
Here are some things that you can do if your cat gets stuck in a tree:
- catch her attention with food or treats
- secure a ladder and climb after your cat
- position a long wooden board as a ramp
- if your cat is still stuck despite the above measures, call for help from your local animal rescue center
Climbing trees and high places come as second nature for cats because it is instinctive and they are natural-born climbers. However, for your cat’s safety, you should keep her inside the house and provide safe climbing alternatives such as cat trees. It is also ideal to give your cat interactive toys that are mentally stimulating so she will not get bored and won’t be inclined to seek high places like trees to climb on.
Image: istockphoto.com / Viktoria Hrekova