Your Questions: How can I stop my cat climbing trees?
Cahal Milmo is the chief reporter of The Independent and has been with the paper since 2000. He was born in London and previously worked at the Press Association news agency. He has reported on assignment at home and abroad, including Rwanda, Sudan and Burkina Faso, the phone hacking scandal and the London Olympics. In his spare time he is a keen runner and cyclist, and keeps an allotment.
Saturday 02 May 2009
Q. My cat has taken to climbing up the tree. But when he gets up there he doesn't seem to be able to get down. He starts crying and I have to rescue him. Why does he do it and how can I stop him? Lisa, Greenwich
A. There was a time when cats were always being pulled out of trees by firemen, it seems. But with urbanisation, more cats have been kept indoors for fear of them being run over, so a cat stuck up a tree is a less common sight these days. The easiest way to stop it is to keep your cat indoors, but if he is used to going outside it seems a shame.
There are a few reasons why cats do this and it can be difficult to stop because it's second nature to them. I feel that your moggy is doing it for attention. He goes up – you come and rescue him. You have got to take more of a relaxed attitude. When he goes up the tree, leave him up there; he will come down in his own time. If it starts to get dark, that's when you should take action.
Is there something in the garden that is worrying him? Felines will climb trees to get away from predators. There may be another cat on the block that is terrorising him. He might even be trying to catch a tasty treat. The problem with this is that birds and squirrels occupy higher branches and cats are good going up, but not so good going down.
There are three methods to deter your cat from going up the tree. Place chicken wire like a fan about six feet up the tree, so he cannot get over it or jump past it; you could also try wrapping tin foil or clingfilm about the same height. Cats don't like walking on it and it's difficult for them to get a grip. In this case you would have to replace the foil/clingfilm because it will get damaged. Good luck!
Remember that if an animal shows signs of distress or discomfort an early visit to the vet is always recommended
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