Cats in trees is just about as common and traditional as kittens and cream, puppies and children, Lady and the Tramp… In fact I often stop to photograph a cat climbing a tree when I’m out and about. I also photograph cats on fences, sitting on posts, even on rooftops.
Why do cats like to climb? Some believe it’s more for the positioning than it is dexterity practice. Cats like being above everything. Not only does it increase their territory (they have a greater view of their surroundings), but climbing is a common way for cats to escape from predators in the wilds (or the backyard). Do they know or simply sense that dogs, for example, and coyotes can’t climb trees?
In our house I notice that our cats often nap on the back of the sofas or an elevated counter. Our cats like to hang out on my desk and the kitchen table. From these places, not only can they generally watch the world go by through a window, but they can view the activities in the household from a safe and elevated place.
You may recall, when you’ve adopted kittens, that they like to climb, the sofa, drapes, even your leg. And as they get older they still want to be on a pedestal, but may need a little help from a ramp or a set of portable stairs.
Did you ever notice that your cats will often jump up on the cat tree or another higher surface in order to escape a conflict with another cat in the household or a dog, small children or the vacuum cleaner?
If you have indoor only cats and you haven’t done so already, consider providing an appropriate climbing apparatus for them. Of course, you’ve probably noticed that the cats do a pretty good job of locating their own high spot to hang out. Inside the linen closet, on the kitchen counter, or, if you have an attached garage, maybe in the rafters along with your Christmas decorations and old tax documents.
One of our neighbors had a five foot wooden cat tree made for her four cats in order to provide them with agility training, entertainment, and the opportunity to hang out in high places. We have it in our home now.