Friday, June 4, 2010
Cats In Trees, What Goes Up Sometimes Doesn't Easily Come Down
The reason cats climb is so that they can look down on almost every other animal - it's also the reason they hate birds. ~K.C. Buffington
The other day while watching the local news I heard a disturbing story of a cat that was approx. 6 mos. old that had climbed to the upper limbs of a majestic tree and remained there for approx. 5 days/nights. The owners were beside themselves because the local fire/police departments refused to help get the cat out of the tree (which I have a hard time wrapping my head around). Finally a local news station aired the story and a kind hearted arborist service came to the rescue of the poor "Scaredy Cat". Thankfully without food and water for such a long period of time the cat was rescued virtually unscathed. Turns out she ran up the tree because she was in heat. Probably a group of toms were on her tail. I heard the owners are having her "fixed" this weekend so hopefully any tree calamities at least for this hot cat will be avoided in the future.
Cats climb trees out of curiosity and well frankly, because they CAN. (sorry but that is true!) Their claws are constructed in such a way that they are curved for climbing UPWARDS but not for going DOWN unless they go backwards. Kittens or younger cats are usually the prime candidates for being stuck in the upper tree limbs because they tend to try to descend the tree by going down head first and quickly learn this doesn't work. They have not yet learned that they need to go down the tree BACKWARDS.
How To Get A Cat Out Of A Tree:
Obviously don't call your local fire/police department. They will not help, they will help dogs stuck in ditches and a variety of other bizarre places but when it comes to cats, "fuuuhgetaboutit". When the police have down time they are more concerned about scarfing down donuts and slurping java at their local coffee shop or in the case of the fire department creating recipes to be featured in the next "Fire House Chili Cookoff" on "The Rachael Ray Show". "Cat stuck in a tree with no food or water in 80 degree+ temps? Sorry...too busy...now how much hot red pepper flakes should I put in that chili?"
You could try putting an open can of the cat's favorite food at the bottom of the tree and calling it's name in a soft reassuring voice.
Lean a wooden ladder (if it is tall enough) next to the tree. Leave it there at least 15 minutes and hopefully the cat will realize it is the path to safety.
There are other methods for attempting to rescue the cat yourself but in my opinion the safest would be to call your local animal shelter, humane society or your friendly neighborhood arborist because THEY CARE.
Have an interesting story about a cat being stuck in a tree? I would love to hear about them and share them with other cat lovers. Please reply directly through the COMMENT area of this blog and you may see your comment featured in a follow-up blog on this topic. Keep the comments nice or they may "magically" disappear.
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