How to Get a Cat out of A Tree

Cats are notorious for being avid climbers both indoors and outdoors. Inside, they love to be up as high as possible and enjoy a tall cat tree or any other structure to sit on. Outdoor kitties often climb trees too.

Some cats are more adept at being curious and getting themselves in trouble without realizing it right away.

If your cat is stuck in a tree, there are several methods to get her down safely.

1) Stay Calm

If your inside cat runs out the door or your outside cat doesn’t come when you call her, you may be looking around for them. When you hear your furry feline meowing pitifully, you know for a fact that something has gone awry. When you do spot your cat, she’s in a tree and crying for your help.

The most important first step is to stay calm. Your cat is already distressed, especially if she’s been stuck in the tree for quite some time and you’ve just found her.

Often you will hear her cries and get near to the sound looking for her and she is then quiet.

So, it can take some time depending on how far up the tree she is, the size of the tree, and if the tree has a lot of limbs and leaves on it obstructing your view of your kitty.

Cats take cues from your feelings. Just as human babies do too. When they realize you are stressing out, it makes them more stressed and can lead to them falling from the tree and injuring themselves. So stay calm to keep your cat as calm as possible while you attempt to get her down.

2) Coaxing The Kitty Down

You can stand at the base of the tree where your cat can see you and call her. She may actually just come down on her own after a few minutes.

If this doesn’t work and she is still scared, try coaxing her with food or treats. It’s best to use something that is easy to smell and has a strong flavor that she loves.

You can open a can of tuna fish and hold it up as high as you can reach, then set it on the ground. Fluffy may come down on her own for this special treat.

If this strategy doesn’t work, you can rub some of the canned tuna as high as you can reach on the tree trunk so she can smell it better.

In Case the cat has been hungry for long, she will likely come down on her own to get the lovely fish. If your cat isn’t hungry at all, this approach may not work.

3) Try Trickery in Playing

You know what your cat likes to play with, whether it’s always an inside kitty that escaped or it’s an outside cat who uses a cat door to go inside when she wants.

A cat teaser wand with feathers on the end is a beloved toy for cats to play with. You can hold the wand and fluff and switch the feathers around as high as you can reach from the ground or use a sturdy chair to gain more height.

Cats of all ages really love laser pointers. If you play with your cat with one of these gems, you can try to coax her down by shining the light near her on a branch she’s perching on or on the tree trunk.

Then move the light down the tree trunk to try to get her to follow it. It’s lighting up a path for her to follow which is much like airport personnel who direct airplanes at night.

If you don’t have either of these toys for your kitty, you can tie a fluffy stuffed animal onto a broomstick for further reach and try this approach to get her down. Your goal is to get the toy as close to her as possible and get her to notice it in order to save her.

4) The Timing Matters

If your cat has recently been in the trees, it may come down in its own time. Especially if the tree trunk isn’t very high and there are some lower branches that she can use to come down a limb at a time.

Cats are great climbers and they can use reasoning to determine if a limb is sturdy enough to hold its weight.

Leave your cat’s water and food dish at the base of the tree and wait for a while. It may help to walk away and observe your cat from inside the house while you give her time to make her trek downward.

Your cat should be okay for a few hours in the tree, so be patient and she may just surprise you.

Many cats cry at first to get your attention and alert you to their predicament and then come down on their own.

5) When Not to Wait out

There are some situations in which you shouldn’t wait for your cat to come down on her own. If she is a kitten, she can become dehydrated easier than a full-grown cat and she may have a bit less than stellar balance, which can cause her to fall out of the tree.

If your cat is declawed, it should be gotten down as quickly as possible, and also if your cat appears to be injured.

An indoor cat that escapes outside isn’t as comfortable as an outdoor cat, so she should be gotten down quickly.

If there’s any threat of a predator such as hawks, owls, or eagles, or the weather is turning bad with wind, rain, or snow, your cat needs to be gotten down immediately for her safety.

6) Using a Ladder

Adult cats are quite adept at using ladders, even though most people don’t realize it. If you have a tall enough ladder, lean it against the tree with the top as close to your feline friend as possible.

She is able to just simply walk down the rungs, but make sure you keep the ladder very steady and don’t allow it to move at all or you might scare her even further up into the tree.

If you don’t have a ladder that long, you can stand on a sturdy chair or possibly in a truck bed to gain extra height. Then put the ladder back on the tree near your cat.

If you don’t have a ladder and the kitty isn’t too high, you can try holding a folding chair out for her to climb on. If she steps on the chair, take it down slowly so you don’t scare or drop her.

7) Make a Cat Elevator

If your cat has prior training for staying in crates and sleeps in a cat carrier or travels in one, then you have a great comforting solution to getting her down.

Tie a sturdy rope onto the handle of the carrier and open the door. Tie a weighted object to the other end of the rope.

This should be something such as a hard rubber chew toy having good weight but also on the soft side. If your cat has a bed in her crate, leave it inside of the crate for a familiar sight and scent.

Throw the rope over a tree limb that is at the same height as your cat or a bit higher. Depending on how the foliage is on the tree, this can take several attempts to accomplish. Just make certain that you don’t hit your cat, as this motion will most probably make her uneasy anyway.

Pull the weighted end of the rope down and the cat carrier will rise like a cat elevator. Get the opening of the crate as near to your cat as possible.

You should then just be patient and talk to your cat to try to coax her into the carrier. This can take several minutes. With luck, your feline family member will get in the crate. Then you slowly lower it to the ground.

She may jump when the crate gets near enough to the ground and she is confident that it’s not too high.

8) Call for Assistance

We’ve all seen movies where firefighters rescue cats from trees. However, they usually have many more important things to do with being first responders to fires and accidents.

A great person to call for assistance is a tree trimmer with a license and bonds, so if there are injuries, he and you have covers.

He has a series of long ladders and can climb the tree with special tree spikes on his boots.

You might offer your hired help to use the cat carrier to take your cat down safely. if a stranger tries to touch her she could injure him by scratching and biting on her ride down the tree.

Why Do Cats Get Stuck in Trees?

Cats can easily climb a tree because their claws unsheath to grip the tree and pull themselves upward easily. Coming down isn’t so easy, as they can’t always determine how to coordinate their front and rear paws for the descent.

They may chase something up a tree and then realize it’s too high to jump down on their own, so they cry for your help.

If you are attempting to get your cat down out of a tree on your own, you should wear a long-sleeved shirt and some type of protective gloves to protect yourself from sharp teeth and claws.

Even though it’s your cat, when scared cats may become aggressive. Fortunately, most cats will only be stuck in a tree once, before they realize that it’s a great predicament, so you shouldn’t need to worry so much about a recurrence.