Even before a kitten learns to walk with confidence they are excellent climbers. Leaping and climbing come naturally to them and in the wild this athletic ability means the difference between life and death.
So what is it about high places that interests your cat so much?
When the first cats roamed the earth, they lived in heavily forested areas and became adept at climbing trees to escape predators. From up high, a cat can also observe potential prey over a greater expanse of territory.
Domestic cats love to seek out high places – tops of cupboards, on top of refrigerators and countertops, bathroom sinks – you name it, the taller the better. Climbing is something they need to do, so make sure they have a climbing post or two and a place up high where they can sleep and chill.
If you have more than one cat, providing tall places for your cat to hang will cut down on disputes and effectively increase their territory. It’s an easy solution to keep the peace. If you don’t have a lot of room in your living space, don’t worry. You can find some pretty cool kitty shelves that mount on the wall where your cat can lounge and leap. Great fun! It also a great way of keeping your cat from shimmying up the curtains or wrecking your furniture.
You can also get creative with your living space. For example, one cat owner who lives in a loft, wrapped sisal rope around a vertical support beam, proving the perfect scratching and climbing post for his cat.
As a point of interest for those of us who live in an apartment or condo, balconies need to be kitty-proofed to keep your cat safe. Claws are excellent climbing and gripping tools on a tree, but on a rail or window ledge, they’re deadly. Too many cats get distracted by a bird flying by and lose their balance. If your cat has access to your balcony, make sure they’re safe and if they do fall, rush them to the vet right away.
Once a solitary predator who hunted to eat with Ninja-like tactics to escape and hide from enemies, your cat hankers to climb because it speaks to an instinct hardwired into their DNA. So don’t get mad with kitty when he or she jumps up on the kitchen counter. Instead, give him a spot specially for them where they can keep an eye on you and the goings on in your household.
by Natalie Secretan