You may just assume that, due to their aloof and independent nature, cats prefer to sit and observe from above just to look down at us in superiority until breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You could be right, although there are other reasons why your cat might climb to high-up and hard-to-reach areas. Read on to find out more about why your feline friend prefers to stake out in these awkward spots.
Why do Cats Like to Be Up High?
Believe it or not, there are a few reasons why your cat might prefer vertical spaces rather than relaxing on a comfortable sofa or bed. These may be because they are limiting time around other pets, avoiding larger animals and humans altogether, or even just appreciating a cozy, smaller space. Some of these are a little more troubling than others but not to worry- we’ve also dedicated a segment, further on, to help you make your feline friend more comfortable at home.
This particular segment mostly answers ‘why do cats climb trees?’ although it’s still relevant even if they are indoor cats as they are still hard-wired to stalk and look out for prey.
Wild cats, and even domesticated cats, are not especially earthbound creatures. Cats often climb trees to get a vantage point to be able to spot prey. They also climb up high because it has survival value as other, larger predators may see them as prey.
Some cats get into high spots to keep an eye on what’s happening in the home. They merely like to have the angle and have a good eye on what’s going on around – or even – beneath them. Certified cat behavior consultant Pam Johnson-Bennet mentions that “cats have an instinctual need to see things from up high” and that this is also a trait picked up from their giant cat cousins.
Most cats like to be in a high place because it’s comfortable. Since heat rises it’s understandable that they might want to retreat to a spot that’s warmer as a cat loves to be cozy.
Cats love to explore, so sometimes climbing simply satisfies their curious nature. If your cat is new to your home, you might find them scaling tall furniture to merely scope out what could be their next promised land and favored napping spot.
Cats climb to high places in an attempt to get somewhere quiet and where they are not likely to be further disturbed by humans or other pets. Although, if your cat withdraws to vertical spaces often and doesn’t seem to be anywhere else, seek advice from your vet as they may be dealing with anxiety or stress.
Pet owners with more than one cat, small children, or dogs may find that their kitties are more likely to enjoy being high up. This is because they prefer not to be disturbed and are less likely to be bothered by the other household occupants.
Some cats live to rule over other cats in the house. Dominant felines will often take their throne on top of high places as a way of reinforcing their supremacy.
High-rise Syndrome and How To Prevent It
High-rise syndrome is the result of your cat harming itself after falling from a particularly high spot. Despite what some may think, cats don’t have nine lives, certainly don’t always land on their feet, and don’t often consider their own safety, so they can sustain serious injuries when attempting to climb down from a vertical space.
Cats enjoy climbing and sometimes there’s no stopping them. Fortunately, there are things you can do to provide your cat with a safe space in your home so that they may be less compelled to climb up to ridiculous heights.
Providing Your Cat With A Vantage Point
There’s nothing more irritating than buying a deluxe cat bed only to find that they either prefer the box it came in or somewhere high up, such as cabinets, the top of the refrigerator, or even bookcases. Fortunately, you can purchase specific cat trees, shelves, and even seats and beds that will accommodate a cat that prefers a vertical space.
Cat owners will rejoice to learn that cat trees come in all shapes fitting to any size home. A cat tree often comes with comfortable hidey-holes, toys to bat, and even climbing posts that your cat will enjoy exploring. If you’re not sure where to start looking PetSide has a useful list of the best cats trees that cats love to explore and relax on.
Hanging shelves are a great way to give your cat a vertical space to relax or to engage them physically, especially if you install more than one so they can jump and climb to their favorite spot.
Since cats love watching the world go by, you may find that they will appreciate a window perch over a high shelf. These are particularly popular in the warmer months when your cat can bask in the warm glow of the sun. PetSide also has a handy list of the best cat perches including a mounted and suction cup perch that your cat will adore.
Extra Tip: Cat Insurance
If your cat is still intact with its innate survival traits and is particularly fond of climbing up high then make sure you have your fur friend covered. As mentioned previously, sometimes they can climb a little too high and may injure themselves badly when getting down, so make sure you can provide them with the best care.
Bottom Line – Why Do Cats Like High Places?
There is an abundance of answers available to pet parents who find themselves asking this question, so it’s important that you monitor your cat to be able to narrow down a definitive answer. By doing so, you can either accept their watchful nature or accommodate them with a comfortable piece of furniture, especially for your cat friend.