How to Make Sure a Cat Won’t Die From Being Stuck up a Tree

It is uncommon for a cat to die stuck up a tree. They will usually find a solution. However, if your cat is still there after 2 days, it may fall and get injured, due to weakness from dehydration and hunger.

Offer help by:

  • Luring it with food
  • Give it something to grab
  • Call a rescuer


Climbing a Tree is Easy, Going Down is Hard

Cats can do an amazing job jumping up on high grounds. Their claws point upward making it easy to climb up a tree.

It gets hard when going down because they need to go butt-first, the same way you climb down a ladder. Most cats do not know this trick or are just too afraid to do it.

Normally, a cat will try climbing down a tree head-first, which proves difficult with its upward-pointing claws.   

Felines often become engrossed in the reason for climbing, and forget how high they are going up. While stuck up a tree and looking for a solution, the cat will be frightened and distressed.  

Read more, to find out if cats can die stuck up trees. Here, you will find practical solutions to helping your cat, if it is having problems coming down a tree.


Your Cat Needs Your Help While Stuck Up Tree

If your cat is stranded for a long time, it may get hungry and dehydrated, lose consciousness, and fall. This can cause injury to your cat, especially if the tree is too high.

A panicked cat may continue to climb higher. There is also the risk of the cat being attacked by vultures or owls. Therefore, it is important to try and do something to rescue the poor cat.

Most people will always assume that the cat will eventually find its way down. This goes with the common saying, “we don’t see cat skeletons in trees.” However, the task of coming down would be almost impossible if the cat is:

  • Disabled.
  • Has no tail to help the balance.
  • Declawed.
  • A kitten with no strength to hang on.
  • An indoor cat and has no climbing skills.
  • Old, so its bones have lost its natural elasticity.
  • Physically stuck in a branch.


Solutions to a Cat Stuck Up a Tree

  1. Give your cat something else to grab

 A distressed cat on top of a tree will welcome the idea of clinging to something lower than the tree. Stretch out a sponge mop to the cat, and once they hold on to it, you can lower it the ground.

Remember to put a soft pillow or cushion to your chest, to avoid chances of being scratched by the cat.


2. Lure it with food

Chances are that your cat is starved, especially if it has been there for a while. Bring it some food as a source of motivation. Place the food under the tree, as this could lure the kitty to come down.

Your cat will likely find a solution on its own, with no distractions from other people or animals.

Since the food’s aroma might entice other animals, you can sit down beside the food (if you don’t mind.) Tuna is a good choice since it is strongly scented food. Your presence can also assure the cat that it is ok to come down.


3. Call for help

Perhaps your cat is too high up and seems agitated. In such a scenario, it would be best to call help from the animal shelter or rescue. You can try looking for an experienced rescuer in your area on the nationwide directory.

It is important to call professional tree climbers, as they wear protective gear and use non-invasive climbing techniques.

The fire department will not respond to your call, because they feel human emergencies should be their top priority. Besides, they are too busy to respond to cat issues. 


4. Climb up after it

This is an option only if you are physically able, and have the assistance of another person. This ensures if you accidentally fall, there will be someone to help.

Do not attempt to bring down the cat yourself, unless it is calm and trusts you. Find a sturdy ladder to aid you in going up the tree to rescue your cat. Wear gloves and long sleeves.

It is recommended that you take a pet carrier with you, to make it safe both for you and your cat to go down the tree. Try putting some treats inside the carrier or basket.

Once your cat is inside the carrier, hand it over to your rescue partner.


5. Use toys to tempt your cat down

Your cat’s hunting instincts may be the reason it climbed up the tree in the first place. That means, you can act on this same instinct to help it get down a tree. Use your cat’s favorite toy to appeal to its natural playful nature.

A toy that imitates prey will motivate the cat to try chasing it.

You can rub catnip on the toy and dangle it temptingly, with a stick close to the tree’s branches. Just make sure it is a cat you have given catnip to before, so you know how your cat responds to it.


How to Ensure a Safe Descent for Your Cat


1. Calm Your Cat

A cat stuck up in a tree can be a frightening experience, both for you and your cat. It is important to create a calm environment for your cat. If you panic, your cat will sense this, and might even go further up. 

Speak to your cat in a low calm tone. It is helpful if you call it by its name. Your facial expression matters too, so smile.

Cat-specific music can help calm your cat if played on a moderate sound. According to the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, such music may help decrease stress levels in a cat.

Do not stand so close to the tree. At such a time, the cat values space for it to feel in control. Doing so, will boost its confidence and increase the chances of it climbing down the tree on its own.


2. Create a Soft Landing

Cats are normally comfortable at navigating great heights. However, when it is on top of a tree, if it feels stressed, the cat may sense it will likely fall if trying to go down using its claws.

Place an old mattress below the tree to create a soft landing for your cat. You can also use cushions or blankets.


3. Your Cat Can Get Hurt If It Falls From a Tree

A cat’s legs are muscular, which enables them to make safe descents. Cats can jump up to 8 feet tall without injuring themselves. Their paw acts as natural shock absorbers, spreading the falling impact throughout their entire body.

However, falling from a tree may be problematic for your cat. It can be difficult for your cat to view possible horizontal platforms for a safe landing.

There is also the risk of your cat dozing off from the tree and falling. If it does not wake up in time before landing or is too sleepy after awakening, it may not be able to use its righting reflex to help it safely land on its paws.

Your cat will, therefore, land on its back and seriously injure itself.



Your cat stuck up a tree is a situation you may face.

It could climb while on its hunting adventure, or running away from a scary dog. Climbing will be easy, but going down can be difficult for your cat. Try the above-explained solutions to safely get your cat on the ground.

Remember to always ask for assistance when trying to get the cat down. But, chances are, it will eventually come down on its own, if left undisturbed.


Writer: Flora Ojow

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