So why do cats climb? It is so obvious with their attitude, they want to look down on their kingdom. However we will look more into their feline behavior as to why.
Deandrea is the Siamese that we found homeless at a recycling place, in the summer of 2016. The man working there had been feeding her for a couple of weeks and when he saw us recycling our litter containers he begged us to take her, and I was so excited to have a Siamese again.
All my cats stay inside now, but back then, they went out some, especially Deandra, and she gave me way to many scary moments with her climbing. In the picture above, she was as high as a second story building. I was taking this picture out of my bedroom window which was far from the ground. I have seen her jump from the back deck onto the roof of the house. Then get to the highest point and meow like she couldn't come down... my heart would jump a beat, because there was nothing I could do. I would go inside to calm down, wondering who could I call to help rescue my poor kitty, then I would go back, and there she was sitting on the deck with a smug look on her face. Why do cats climb up high then pretend that they can't come down? Is it some type of mind game they play on us?
Every night before I go to bed, I do a headcount of my cats. I did that mainly because I did not want to leave one outside, but it's something that became a bedtime habit. So here I am looking everywhere for my tuxedo cat CC, and then I so happen to look up, and there he is, looking down at me... he is so high in the picture above that his head is touching the ceiling.
So while it's common knowledge that cats like high places, what are the behavioral and evolutionary reasons behind it? So lets explore why do cats climb?
It is instinctual for cats to have the need to see things from up high. It is something rooted deep within them because cats are not only small predators, they are also prey. By having a high vantage point, cats are able to see potential threats and take refuge from larger animals. They have this amazing ability to quickly climb or jump up to a higher elevated location to escape from larger animals.
In a multiple cat home, vertical spaces help maintain peace in the household. There always seems to be some type of cat hierarchy. That status is not fixed so you will find these positions to be quiet flexible. I have five indoor cats. Thank goodness I have two very large cat trees, and many other vertical place in the house. They seem to take their turns as to who is going to be on the highest spot on the cat tree.
For indoor cats, the easiest and safest way to provide climbing opportunities is to purchase or build a cat tree. Recently I moved into a much larger house, and I needed to provide my cats not just something to climb, but more things to scratch, because they started to prefer the door frames. I recently wrote an article about this new adventure with the new cat tree: A New Cat Tree. The new one was the same exact type of tree that I had purchased over 10 years ago and it's the most popular tree around. You can find it at Chewy.com, Frisco 72-in Faux Fur Cat Tree & Condo. This is a very tall cat tree and it provides multiple perches at various heights. It really keeps them happy.
Besides a cat tree, you can install shelves and window perches. I love the cat hammocks that are window mounted. There are many vertical territories that can provide the need to be up high for your cats such as tops of refrigerator, book shelves, window sills, and cabinets.
By understanding why do cats climb and why your cat likes high places, you know how important is is for their well being. Providing these safe spaces in your home for your kitty to romp around will definitely ensure their happiness and will help them peacefully coexist with their fellow cats.