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My Cat Loves Climbing Trees, How Do I Help Them Get Down?


Last Updated on: June 12, 2023 by Crystal Uys

Cat parents know that their felines are adventurous and always willing to get up to shenanigans at all times. Sometimes kitties get in silly, ridiculous situations that make us laugh. But other times, they get themselves stuck in a precarious situation that can be alarming for everyone involved.

Climbing things is a cat favorite, but if your cat loves climbing trees, you’ve probably noticed that they often have trouble getting down again. Why is that? And how can you help your pet get down from a tree safely? You’ll find these answers, the six safe ways to get your cat out of a tree, and more below!

Why Do Cats Love Climbing Trees?

Cats have a tendency to climb trees (and other tall things) for a few reasons. The first is because the cat is chasing something up there, such as a squirrel or bird. Kitty might not even realize it’s up a tree until it loses track of its prey, and then it doesn’t know how to get down again.

But our feline friends also climb trees to escape danger. Cats feel safer in places where they can see but not be seen, and trees offer them this vantage point. So, if a kitty is running from a dog or other perceived danger, it could run up a tree in a flash to escape.

Finally, cats just like climbing. It’s fun, and they’re capable of it, so why not do it?

tabby cat on top of a tree
Image Credit: AdinaVoicu, Pixabay

But Why Do Cats Get Stuck?

As easy as it is for a feline to run up a tree (after all, their claws are perfect for getting them up there), they have difficulty getting back down again. But why is that?

It’s most likely because the movement required to get down again just isn’t one that cats often make, so they have trouble doing it. Think about when your cat climbs up high somewhere in your home, like the top of the cat tree—does the kitty climb down again, or does it jump off? In most instances, you’ll find felines jumping from high places instead of climbing down. But trees are too tall to jump down from safely—hence, why they get stuck.

Of course, a cat up a tree might also be too scared to try getting down from it. Especially if the kitty is running from something and feels unsafe, it won’t be inclined to try to get out of the tree.

So, what can you do to help?

How to Help a Cat Get Down from a Tree

If your cat is stuck in a tree, first of all, don’t panic! You should be able to safely get the kitty down again with the tips below (and your cat isn’t going anywhere, so even if it takes a bit of time to get the kitty down, your pet should be fine, just a bit frightened). Here’s what to try when your cat is up a tree.

1. Use Food

If your cat is staying in the tree because it’s scared, rather than just being unable to climb down again, you might be able to coax it down with food. Try placing food or treats at the bottom of the tree to entice your pet into coming down. And if you’re putting out wet cat food, heat it up just a touch first to make it smell stronger. Hopefully, once kitty gets a whiff, it’ll be down quickly.

However, if you’re in an area where the food might also attract other animals, don’t just put the food down and walk off. Stay near the bottom of the tree to keep animals away.

2. Try a Laser Pointer

A laser pointer is another excellent method of getting scared felines out of trees. Cats love laser pointers, so kitty might end up following it without even realizing it and find itself down the tree again in no time.

a black cat on a tree branch
Image Credit: Miller_Eszter, Pixabay

3. Climb After Kitty

If your cat isn’t too high up in the tree, you can try going up a ladder to get it down. But only take this route if you’re physically capable of climbing and have someone else there. Ladders can be dangerous, so if you slip and fall, you need another person nearby to go get help.

4. Make a Ramp

Since cats mostly have issues getting out of trees due to the movement involved in getting down, you might try making a ramp of some kind to help your cat down. Some cats will be able to go down a ladder, so propping one by the tree could help. You can also lay a sturdy board or even a strong limb against the tree for your pet to walk down. And going the ramp route is safer than climbing up after the cat.

cat on a tree
Image Credit: havlil, Pixabay

5. Make Use of a Pet Carrier

If your kitty is low enough in the tree for you to simply reach up and be fairly close to it, you could try getting your pet to jump into a pet carrier. Place a few treats or pieces of food in the carrier, then hold it up high to see if your cat will get inside so you can safely bring them down. Just keep in mind this method could take a bit of time, so you may be holding the carrier for a while.

6. Ask for Help

We’ve all seen what happens in movies when cats get stuck in trees—someone calls the fire department, and they come to rescue them. Well, that’s not exactly true to life, but you can contact your local animal control, and they should be able to help you get the cat down. If not, a local arborist might also be willing to help.

cat trying to get down from a tree
Image Credit: Zazu70, Pixabay

Final Thoughts

Felines love adventure, but sometimes those adventures leave them in unsafe situations—like up a tree. And because cats have difficulty climbing down trees, you’ll need to lend a helping hand. Luckily, there are several ways you can go about helping get a stuck cat from a tree, whether by coaxing them down with food or lasers, climbing after them, or calling someone more qualified for help. Just remember not to panic if your pet gets stuck in a tree; you know what to do now, so you should have them down again in a flash!

Featured Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

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