As A Professional Pet Sitter What Should You Do If A Client’s Cat Gets Stuck In A Tree
Obviously, notifying the cats owner is an important first step. Sean and Tom advised that after a cat has been stuck for more than 24 hours, calling outside help is necessaryfor strictly indoor cats, you may need call for rescue help sooner.
While some local fire departments may still be willing to help rescue cats in trees, this is not a service typically offered by fire departments any longer. So, who should you call? An arborist.
An arborist will have the necessary equipment and tools to reach stuck cats, even at great heights in large trees.
Please note: Your local tree service may not be like Canopy Cat RescueSean and Tom offer the service for free because EVERY cat deserves the chance to be rescue. So, inquire about the fees associated with the rescue.
When you contact your local arborist or tree service, youll need to provide a variety of information including the type and height of tree, type of cat and also whose property the tree is on. The tree service would need permission from the property owner to come on the property and climb the tree to rescue the cat.
Sean and Tom shared that the time of day may also impact the rescue. At Canopy Cat Rescue, they will do rescues at night for friendlier cats, but may opt to wait until daytime for cats that are more skittish.
To learn more about Sean and Tom at Canopy Cat Rescue, visit their website, like them on and follow them on .
What To Do If Your Cat Is Stuck In A Tree
Do NOT just leave your cat in the tree indefinitely and wait for them to come down. They might, but some will just get so weak and dehydrated that they will eventually fall out of the tree. Also, do NOT put food or litter out at the bottom of the tree. This is more likely to attract other cats or predators that will KEEP your cat hiding up in the tree.
Your cat may just be frightened and scared to come down. Try standing at the bottom of the tree and talking to your cat. Also try tapping on the tree trunk to get their attention. If your cat does not come down, you could try waiting a little while, but you definitely want to seek assistance if your cat has been in the tree for 24 hours or overnight or if they are potentially injured or in bad weather.
For more information on what to do and when to contact a professional, visit these sites:
Do Cats Get Stuck In Trees
There are a number of movies and cartoons that humorously have a hero saving the day by rescuing a cat from a tree . There are a TON of these kinds of scenes documented here at tvtropes.
Do cats really get stuck in trees often enough for it to be used so much in movies?
- 1A think this leads to a follow on question: Do cats get stuck in trees and can’t get down without human help? I can recall quite a few occasions with the neighborhood gathering to rescue a treed cat to no avail. But it always turned out that once everyone left, particularly if it was overnight, the cat always found its own way down. I’ve even seen this happen with a cat stuck on a 3 story house roof. Nobody could figure out how to get it down, but an hour later it figured it out all on its own once the people disappeared.May 1 ’12 at 22:05
- 2@Dunk – Indeed, watching one of my cats get down from a high place is interesting. It will size up every parameter, and if there’s even the slightest chance something is in the way of a sucessful jump the cat will wait it out almost indefinately until it is sure it can make the jump without hurting itself. Cats are pompus arseholes, but they’re smart 🙂 JamiecMay 2 ’12 at 7:13
- My guess is it’s just humans that consider them stranded after a certain duration of meowing. Eventually they’ll face their fear and jump out of the tree. Cecil does suggest cats have a non terminal falling velocity straightdope.com/columns/read/1143/
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Do Cats Always Land On Their Feet
Cats have a reputation for always landing on their feet when falling. This adds to the mystery of feline falls, making it appear that cats never hurt themselves.
All cats have a righting reflex, and most perfect this artform as kittens. When falling, the vestibular apparatus in a cats ear instinctively enables the cat to balance itself.
Nature published the first study into the righting reflex of cats in 1894. Experimental Physiology followed this up with a diagram that explained how cats retain such amazing balance. The process is as follows:
The cat will do this as many times as necessary to ensure that it lands on its feet. This may not be enough to prevent injury, though. It all depends on how far the cat fell and its physical condition at the time of the fall.
Falling Off Tables, Closets, And Home Appliances
Cats fall from a height in the home near-constantly, whether by accident or design. However, the height of a closet, kitchen cupboard, or refrigerator is rarely enough to hurt a cat. It can happen, but its unlikely.
Falls from a Second-Floor Balcony
Falls from High-Rise Apartments
Feline Terminal Velocity
Falls from Trees
Reasons Why Your Cat Is Up In A Tree
These are some possible reasons your cat is up a tree:
Unfortunately, cats are not designed for climbing down. They must climb with their head up to avoid falling, and they cannot climb down headfirst . This proves to be a great challenge for cats, especially for inexperienced indoor cats that are not used to climbing trees.
You need to get help as soon as possible if:
- It is a kitten that is trapped upon a tree.
- It is an indoor cat that has no climbing skills.
- Your trapped cat is declawed.
- Your cat is up a tree for more than two days and she is already dehydrated and weak.
- The weather is wet, cold, or windy.
- Your cat is injured.
- Your cats situation is causing stress in the household.
- Wild animals may attack.
- Her meows and vocalizations are starting to annoy the neighbors.
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Cutting The Carpeting To Size
The next thing that you now need to do is to cut the carpet down to size. This is probably the hardest part of this whole project. Depending on the type, size, and complexity of cat tree you have, this can be quite a task. At the very least, you will have the base, a couple of platforms, and a pillar or two that will need to be fitted with carpet.
Therefore, it is time to bust out your measuring tape and carpet knife. Remember to always measure twice and cut once, plus also leave an inch or two extra in terms of length and width. You can always cut more carpet off if the pieces are too large, but you definitely cannot repair it if you happen to cut it too small.
Before you begin attaching it, make sure that it is the right size. You dont want to start gluing, nailing, or stapling the carpet onto the cat tree frame before you have double-checked the size of the pieces and the cat tree.
Do Fire Departments Actually Rescue Cats From Trees
Is it necessary for the fire department to rescue a cat that’s stuck in a tree? I mean, c’mon, they got up there. Can’t they get down on their own?
Big Dave, Austin, Texas
This was the occasion of another argument between me and my assistant Una. I reasoned along the same lines as you, Dave cats have been climbing trees and presumably getting down from them for millions of years without the intervention of fire departments. What seems more likely is that we now have neurotic cat owners who see their pets climbing trees, leap to the assumption that the cat cant get down, and figure the answer to all of lifes problems is to call the fire department.
Una didnt see it that way. She observed that cats have curved claws and strong back legs that facilitate climbing upwards but are less useful when its time to return to earth. Indeed, cats must often back their way down or jump from the lowest branch, which Una knows from personal observation is both ungainly and hazardous. We had the following exchange:
Una: Im not saying all cats get stuck in trees. On the contrary, there are more than 80 million domestic cats in the United States, the overwhelming majority of whom get into and out of trees without assistance. However, some cats clearly do get stuck in trees, including some nondomesticated ones, as demonstrated by this YouTube video showing a tiger stuck in a tree at a zoo.
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Going Up Is Easy Coming Down Is Not
But what goes up doesnt necessarily come down easily. Going up is a breeze for cats coming down can best be described as a series of awkward falls, hopefully none very far or very hard. Because the descent can be so scary, cats do get themselves stuck up high pretty regularly. Most come down on their own without anyone realizing they were ever up there. Others will cry and get everyone worked up and then come down on their own.
And what about the rest the cats who wind up legitimately stuck in a tree? The days when the fire department would send out a truck to help are long behind us in most cities and towns. The most clever take on this particular slice of Americana, by the way, would have to be credited to Steven Martin in the movie Roxanne: The small town’s volunteer fire department responds with ladders to a cat in a tree, but Martin, playing the fire chief, gets the cat down using a can opener to open a can of tuna. Oh, and he gets the girl too.
Coaxing A Cat Down From A Tree
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Protect Yourself When Getting A Cat Out Of A Tree
Protective items such as goggles, helmets, thick gloves that run up to the elbow, and padded clothing can all come in handy for protecting your skin during a rescue. Once you grab hold of your cat, he may dissolve into a hysterical frenzy and begin clawing you to pieces. This can present a real problem while you are also trying to balance on a ladder. For this reason alone, retrieving your cat by hand is a daring and dangerous option.
How To Get A Cat Down From A Tree
Cats are natural climbers, and many love to survey their territory from a height. A tall vantage point provides privacy and allows a cat to observe the world around it. Some cats climb trees in the heat of the moment, excited by pursuing a bird or escaping a larger animal. Unfortunately, it may be reluctant to come back down.
The cat may not be stuck up a tree, but it will be nervous and fearful about coming down. So, give the cat some space, providing a soft landing before tempting it down with flavorful food and enticing it with interesting toys. If the cats within reach, offer it access to an open pet carrier with a comfy blanket.
Dont call the fire department, as these emergency service workers will not rescue a cat from a tree. Also, dont force a cat to get down or scare it down. Instead, let the cat come down under its own volition.
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Will A Cat Come Down From A Tree On Its Own
This is one of the most important things to remember when it comes to getting cats out of trees. A lot of the time, your cat will stay up a tree because they feel safe at that moment. There are many reasons why cats will stay up a tree. For example:
- they arent in any rush because they have just eaten and a perfectly comfortable right now
- they havent yet figured out the best way down
- they are concerned about a threat at the bottom of the tree
- they havent yet been given a good enough incentive to come back down
Eventually, when your cat decides that it is hungry and wants to come inside, it will probably make more of an effort to find a way down. You might then realize that they werent stuck up there at all. Others may not do so until they are sure there is no threat. Perhaps they were chased up there by a wild animal or feral cat? Some reassurance and guidance can help.
However, there will be times when cats arent comfortable enough to attempt the backward descent down the tree. They may also have gone too high to jump down or to jump to another structure or branch. This is when you will need to intervene and help them out.
Why Dont They Just Climb Down
Cats naturally climb up, but usually jump down from furniture, trees, or other objects that they climb. If they get stuck, it probably means they are too scared to climb or jump down from where they are currently situated. Also, cats have curved claws that are purrfectly designed to climb up, but are then curved the wrong way to proficiently climb downward.
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My Cat Is Stuck In A Tree
Cats love to climb trees, but they dont always enjoy the descent. A cat may be drawn to climb a tree by prey. However, when the thrill of the chase wears off, the cat finds itself stuck up a tree. Cats find it easier to climb up a tree than back down. They gain traction using their sharp claws and use their strong leg muscles to propel forward.
Getting down again presents a much greater challenge due to gravity. Its more difficult to retain balance when moving in a downward direction at great speed. The shape of a cats claws is designed for upward movement, and climbing down a tree involves moving backward.
The cat will also be feeling nervous as it becomes aware of how high up it is. Cats may be brave, but they rarely take foolish risks. The cat will likely remain in place until it feels it is safe to climb or jump down.
How High Can Cats Fall
This is a common concern for any cat owner whose pet cant climb back down the tree. Cats that try and fail may fall or try and jump to a play of safety and miss. This leads to the potential for injuries. Cats may have that clever ability to land on their feet, but there is a risk of injury from a high height. While there are tales of cats falling 32 stories and surviving, a bad landing could lead to broken bones and internal injuries. Cats can usually jump/fall roughly 8 feet without the risk of getting injured.
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