Why do cats get stuck in the trees and what you can do when it happens?
Cat - the natural climber
Cats are naturally great climbers. They love to climb trees or tall posts to escape danger or to gain a great view or just for fun. When a cat senses danger, it inclines towards running straight to something high and climb up for safety without realizing its aftermath.
Cats are a species that are known for their agility, grace, and athleticism. It is quite easy for the cats to climb trees because of their cat claws. The claws are a propelling tool for them to move upwards, but once they are up in the tree and have what they want, they realize what they have gotten.
The poor cat is shocked, and it becomes quite a trauma for the cat who is a free roamer to be trapped in a tree. For cats, the climbing experience is exhilarating, but at the same time, coming down from the same tree or a post is a huge trouble.
Why can't the cats climb down the trees themselves?
For cats to climb down is one physical feat that they struggle to perform.
There is a scientific angle to the whole situation. A cat has retractable curved claws. Their hind legs are strong compared to their front legs, making them agile climbers and can quickly go up. However, cats cannot come down with their headfirst. They must step backward, just like humans who climb down the ladders with a backward movement. Unfortunately, stepping back is harder for them as they have a fear of falling. Thus, the poor Kitty is stuck!
Every cat has an instinct to go ahead in life that is to go forward. They always know what lies ahead of them. But for a cat, it is a natural inclination not to turn around or turn backward.
For a cat, it takes a bit of time to understand the situation that it is into while it is stuck in the tree. It has to gather the courage to come back down the tree, but by that time, the cat is so traumatized that it stays up the tree, waiting for the world to turn upside down so that it could come out of the tree.
Cats tend to jump from higher places rather than climbing down. You must have seen your cats jump from your sofas or chairs or tables. Have you ever seen your cat climbing down the couch or a chair question? No, because they don't know how to climb down. Even the most experienced of the cat is quite reluctant to give it a try to come down.
How to bring the cat down from the tree?
Standing under the tree, looking at the cat, and sobbing your heart out isn't going to help the cat to come down. Instead, one should stay calm and think of ways to bring down the poor Kitty. Stay relaxed so that your Kitty will also remain calm and won't be agitated.
So, let's launch a mission to rescue our cats from the trees. Here are the five strategies in which you can bring your cat out of a tree –
1) Cajole the cat
The cat isn't going to come down on its own. It means you must cajole your cat into making it come down from its perch.
You can lure the cat with her favorite food by warming it up a bit and stand under the tree with the food in your hands. The aroma will reach the cat and can coax it to come down. Another way is the spread a sheet or an old mattress under the tree and catcall your pet in soothing and loving sounds. It will entice the Kitty to try jumping down into the sheet or the bed that is spread for it. In this way, the poor thing won't even get hurt.
If this doesn't work, then you can bring the cat's favorite food (Tuna fish preferably) in a bowl and place the container on the mattress or the sheet that you have spread under the tree. Move away from that place and hide nearby to observe the cat. The sight of the food and the aroma may tempt the cat, gather some courage to climb down or jump on the sheet. Food works better with cats and makes the whole process easier and faster.
2) Be a climber yourself
Your cat is stuck in the tree, and you want to rescue your cat, so why not try climbing the tree yourself? In this situation, a stranger may scare the cat if it doesn't trust strangers.
You can use a sturdy ladder for help. Also, have another person ready for help in case you fall. Ensure that you're wearing gloves or long sleeves because your cat may get aggressive in this traumatic situation and tend to scratch you. The gloves will not only help you to grip the tree but also the animal itself. Possible try to place a pet carrier and ask your pet to jump into it and then lower it to your partner, who is standing under the tree to rescue both of you. This arrangement will make it more accessible as well as safer even for you to climb down.
3) Create a Ramp
Try making a ramp from the tree to the ground depending upon the type of tree and how high the cat has climbed stop. You can use a sturdy wooden board as a ramp so that your cat can easily climb down using it. This method is less risky both for you as well as the cat. As you won't have to climb up behind the cat, and the cat can easily climb down.
4) Call for a professional help
In case if your cat is too agitated or has climbed up too high for you to reach or there is no way that you can rescue her yourself, then it is best to call for professional help. Call your local animal rescue center and explain the case to them. They probably have a piece of advice or resources to solve your problem.
5) Help out the Kitty by being her guide
If your cat continues to stay up in the tree, you can try to be a little more interactive or proactive by helping it climb down the tree. You can use a laser pointer to trace a path on the tree for the cat to see and follow it to climb down. Alternatively, you can also use a ladder and lean it against a tree's big branch and position it securely so that the cat can come down to the ladder.
Another effort towards rescue can be to hoist up a pet carrier or a laundry basket on a rope in case if the cat has not climbed up much higher. Try putting some treats or food inside it to tempt the cat to jump into the pet carrier or the laundry basket. And then you can lower the same to the ground. These are some ways to provide the necessary assistance to the cat for enabling it to come down the tree.
Hopefully, these strategies may have helped you out in bringing your cat down. Just in case, if you have other ideas and do share them with us, we can share it with the world. Meow! I love you, Kitty!