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Why Do Cats Like Trees? Why Your Feline Friend Needs a Cat Tree

I don’t know about you, but I have never met a cat who doesn’t love to climb trees. Or, at the very least curtains, furniture – you get the idea. It’s like it’s programmed into their DNA or something.

why do cats like trees

It’s like it’s programmed into their DNA or something.

Let’s face it;

Watching a cat nimbly scale a tree with ease is a satisfying sight, but have you ever wondered why they do it? Why do cats like trees and have an insatiable desire to climb to great heights?

By extension cats love cat trees.

In this article, we will explore some basics feline behavior and delve into the reasons why cats love trees so much and by extension cat trees.

But cat trees are more than just a fun addition to your cat’s play area (play area = your house!), they serve a vital role in promoting your cat’s physical and mental health. A lot of times the only real trick is trying to disguise the cat tree in your house so it’s not too obvious.

So, let’s dig in and discover the fascinating world of cat behavior and why they love trees so darn much.

Why Do Cats Like Trees?

Most cats enjoy trees because they provide a fun structure for climbing, a safe escape from ground-level nuisances, opportunities for exercise, a great view of surroundings, and a place to hide from predators or potential prey.

Cats Like High Places

Good question;

It’s largely because they’re natural climbers and have an innate desire for protection, entertainment, and mental exercise.

Cats seek high locations to get out of reach of pesky children or other household pets that annoy or possibly threaten them. They also enjoy climbing and being up high to establish hierarchy and dominance.

Cats have a strong sense of safety, and being in high places provides them with a sense of security. They can better observe their surroundings and keep an eye out for danger from high places.

High places also provide entertainment and mental exercise for cats, which are important for their overall well-being. Cats can get bored easily and need stimulation, and climbing to high places provides them with the mental and physical exercise they need.

Cat trees are a great way to satisfy your feline’s need to climb high and provide a sense of safety. They have multiple perches at different heights and are covered with non-slip material to ensure they’re safe for cats to climb or jump onto.

Cat trees can also reduce anti-social behavior and aggression towards humans. As a cat owner, it’s important to provide your feline with opportunities to act on their instincts, and cat trees are a great way to do that.

Why Do Cats Climb Trees?

You may be wondering why your fur buddy has a natural inclination to scale vertical surfaces like a tiny, agile mountaineer. The answer lies in their wild ancestors, who used trees as a defense against predators. Domestic cats still possess this innate need to climb, and trees provide a variety of benefits for them.

To better understand why cats climb trees, it’s helpful to look at their methods of climbing. Cats use their retractable claws to grip onto surfaces, and their claws curve inward, allowing them to climb up head first.

Of course we all know that getting back down can be difficult for them, especially if they’ve climbed too high. This is why it’s important for pet owners to monitor their cats closely while they’re climbing and provide a way for them to climb down if needed.

One way to satisfy a kitty’s climbing urge is with a cat tree. These structures tap into their natural desire for height and provide a safe place for them to perch, scratch, and nap.

By providing a cat tree, pet owners can give their feline friend an outlet for their instinctual need to climb trees.

Provides a safe place to climb and perchMay take up space in your homeObserve your cat’s habits to choose the right design
Satisfies a cat’s natural urge to climb and scratchMay not be suitable for heavy scratchersSelect a stable and sturdy design with appropriate surfaces for scratching
Helps keep cats off of other parts of the home, such as furniture or curtainsMay not be necessary for all catsProvide multiple tiers and covered condos for multi-cat households

Why Your Cat loves trees

In the wild, cats climb trees to hunt prey, escape predators, and survey their surroundings. Even domesticated cats retain these instincts, and climbing trees provides them with an outlet to act on them.

Your kitty feels safe and relaxed when they’re up high. Trees provide a sense of security and a place to retreat from the chaos of the world below. Being above ground level also allows cats to observe their territory and keep an eye on potential threats. This is especially important for indoor cats, who may feel confined and stressed by their limited environment.

cat in a tree

As we mentioned previously, cat trees are a perfect solution to provide cats with the climbing and perching opportunities they crave. Not only do they fulfill a cat’s innate need to climb and rest up high, but they also provide a safe and comfortable space for them to scratch, hide, and play.

Why Do Cats Like Cat Trees Anyway?

Picture this: your cat is a fearless explorer scaling a mountain, conquering new heights and surveying their kingdom from above with a sense of adventure and security. This is the essence of why cats like cat trees. The act of climbing up and perching on a high platform satisfies their innate desire for height and security. The fact that cat trees provide a safe and stable structure for them to climb enhances their sense of adventure.

Cat trees provide a variety of benefits for cats. Firstly, they provide a sense of safety and security for cats. Just like how cats climb trees in nature to escape from predators, cats feel safe when they climb up a cat tree.

As if that wasn’t enough, cat trees provide hours of entertainment for cats. Cats can scratch, climb, play, and rest on the different levels of the tree.

Here’s another thing to consider; cat trees are good for cats’ health. Climbing up and down the tree helps to improve their strength and flexibility.

Wha About Declawed Cats? Although we’re not big fans around here of de-clawing cats, but if your cat has no claws they can still enjoy a cat tree.

Keep the tree at a height or distance that is within their jumping range with surface that isn’t slick.

Do Indoor Cats Need a Cat Tree?

Let’s take a closer look at how beneficial a cat tree can be and check out the table below. It compares the behaviors of cats without and with a cat tree in their environment. You’ll notice cats with a cat tree are more likely to engage in behaviors that fulfill their natural instincts, such as scratching and climbing. 

BehaviorsWithout Cat TreeWith Cat Tree
ScratchingFurniture, wallsScratching post, tree
ClimbingCurtains, shelvesTree, perches
Feeling SafeHiding under furnitureElevated, covered spaces

Indoor cats do need a cat tree in their environment. Not only does it provide a place for cats to engage in natural behaviors such as climbing and scratching, but it also helps them feel safe and secure. As a cat owner, providing a cat tree can help ensure your cat’s physical and mental well-being.

Why Do Cats Like Trees? FAQ

Q: What types of cats benefit from a cat tree?

A: Many cat breeds are natural climbers and can benefit from a cat tree. However, cats who live in smaller apartments or homes without access to outdoor space may particularly benefit from having a cat tree.

Q: Should you get a cat tree for your kitten?

A: Yes, getting a cat tree for your kitten can have many benefits. It can keep your kitten entertained and provide them with a safe place to play and climb. It can also help prevent them from climbing on furniture or other household items.

Q: Do you need multiple cat trees if you have more than one cat?

A: It depends on how many cats you have and their individual preferences. Many cats can share a cat tree, but if you have multiple cats who don’t get along well, it may be beneficial to have more than one cat tree to prevent conflict and provide each cat with their own space.

Q: Why do cats like to climb trees?

A: Cats have a natural inclination to climb and explore their environment. Climbing also allows them to see what’s going on around them and gives them a sense of security.

Q: Can a cat tree improve my pet’s health?

A: Yes, a cat tree can help keep your cat active and engaged, which can improve their overall health and well-being. Climbing and playing on the cat tree provides exercise and mental stimulation for your furry friend.

Q: Do all cats necessarily like cat trees?

A: No, not all cats are interested in cat trees. Some cats may prefer other types of toys or activities. It’s important to observe your cat’s behavior and preferences to determine if a cat tree is right for them.

Q: Do you need a large tree for a large cat?

A: Not necessarily. Many cat trees come in a variety of sizes and styles, and some are specifically designed for larger cats. A multi-level cat tree can also provide plenty of space for your furry friend to climb and play.

Q: Can a cat tree be used for multiple purposes?

A: Yes, a cat tree can serve many purposes for your cat. It can be a place to play, sleep, or relax, and it may also provide scratching surfaces and dangling toys to keep your cat entertained.

Q: Do older cats still enjoy using a cat tree?

A: Yes, many older cats still enjoy climbing and playing on a cat tree. However, it’s important to provide a cat tree with branches and platforms that are easy for them to climb and access.

Q: What are some features to look for when purchasing a cat tree?

A: When purchasing a cat tree, it’s important to consider the size and weight capacity to ensure it can support your cat. Look for a cat tree with scratching surfaces, platforms, and hiding spots to provide a variety of activities for your pet. You may also want to consider a cat tree with a hammock or dangling toys to keep your furry friend entertained.

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