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 13
ways to save your furniture from cat scratching. 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 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.