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Why cats climb

After scratching, climbing is the second nature to cats and even the youngest kittens will want to test their skills on the nearest tree. In the wild some cats climb trees in order to pounce on their prey from above. The leopard have been known to store food on trees, away from hungry animals on the ground.

According to a legend, a cat’s only trick is to climb a tree when she is in trouble. This is based on European fable in which the fox tells the cat it has 100 tricks in order to survive. The cat replies that she has only one trick. Suddenly a pack of hounds approaches. The cat climbs the tree while the fox goes through each of its tricks but is eventually caught and killed.

Many domestic cats claw at tree trunk in order to leave their marks. See Why cats scratch. Others will go as far as climbing to the tree in order to mark their territory. In both cases cats want to climb instinctively and the urge to ascend a tree will be strong. Both domestic and wild cats climb trees usually as a hunting strategy or to escape being chased.

With strong backs and powerful hind legs cats are good climbers. Their muscular strength and sense of balance make them truly athletic climbers. Cats are also an excellent jumpers. They are generally able to jump four or five times their own height from a crouching, stationary position. They tense their hindquarters before propelling themselves forwards and upwards. The forelegs are used to correct the balance and to gain a safe foothold when necessary.

Climbing upwards is very easy for a cat and it seems to climb for pure enjoyment. Cats often start a climb with a jump in order to gain height. They establish a good grip using their sharp, extendable claws rather like crampons, and use their hindquarters to power themselves up wards. However the cats are more adept at ascending than descending. They are better at climbing up trees than coming down. When they start coming down their weight must be supported by their front legs. The claws curve in the wrong direction and they have to rely on their weaker, front legs to hold their weight.

Cats have innate landing reflex so they can survive fall from as high as four floors. Even if your cat falls from a low height, she can flip herself in mid-air and land safely on her feet.

Our precious pets often like to perch where they don't belong, such as on the tops of bookcases and dressers, where fragile objects are easily broken. See How to Prevent your Cat from Scratching Furniture. That is why itis so important for every cat to have a place where she can scratch, climb, perch, play and even sleep.

Cat trees as well as cat scratching posts are the most common cat furniture that every cat owner should have. Cat trees are taller than cat scratching posts, and they give cats not only scratching surface but real amusement and spaces where they can climb up and come down all day.

You can save hair from being deposited on your furniture and keep your cat from clawing it at the same time by making or buying a multi-level cat tree on which your cat can sleep and scratch. Trees that have wood and sisal may be just the ticket for her comfort.

What cat tree to choose for your cats?

1.The cat tree must be well balanced, so your cats cannot tip it over.

2.The cat tree should supply your cat with both carpet area for comfortable lounging and sisal scratching surface for scratching. Carpet may be an acceptable covering, but it should be checked first to make certain that there are no tight loops. Some cats prefer sisal, a piece of material from an old chair, or even bare wood for scratching. Sisal rope is durable, inexpensive, attractive to cats, and lasts longer than carpet. Be certain to use a material that appeals to your cat.

3.Be sure that the base of the cat tree is heavy and large enough and maintains stability.

4.Take a cat tree that will provide your cat not only with height and scratching surface, but with comfortable places like shelves, trays and cat houses.

5.Be sure the components of the cat tree are sturdy and spaced, so that cats can climb up and come down without slipping or falling.

6.Make sure the entrance holes of cat tunnels, cat houses or some kind of cube are large enough to accommodate your cat.

7.If you choose a cat tree with shelves or trays, be sure that they can hold the weight of your cat.

Cat trees came in a variety of styles, heights and colours, so let your pocketbook, house size and cat's needs be your guide. Place the cat tree near a sunny window or a draft-free corner where your cat likes to spend time, or in front of a frequently scratched piece of furniture.

Learn More About Cats

How to Avoid Cat Urine Spraying

How to remove cat urine

Plants that will poison your cats

Cat Declawing. Is it Necessary?

Cats and the Cold Weather

How to Prevent your Cat from Scratching Furniture

Heartworm Disease in Cats

Cares for newly born kittens

Cat's Nutrition

Why cats scratch

Cat Neutering

What you should know about Cat's Shedding

Cat Diseases

Putting Your Cat out to Pasture

How to make your cat to scratch her scratching post

Care of Older cats

How to play with your cat

Domestic Cats

Siamese Cat

Maine Coon Cat

Ragdoll Cat

Persian Cat

Why cats climb

Cat's Characteristics

Turkish Van Cat Breed

About Cat's Skills

Cat's Temperament

Cat Massage - a hands on experience

What every cat owner should know about cat litter box