Why do cats like high places?
9th September, 2019
Are you being driven up the wall by your cat’s love for climbing your curtains? Puzzled about your pussycat’s perch on top of your wardrobe?
Cats love being high up. But they’re not just being aloof – they’re following their natural kitty instincts.
Read on to find out more about why your moggy is a mountaineer, and how you can cover your cat through cat insurance cover in case it takes an accidental nosedive.
Claiming its territory
Think your house is yours? Think again. Your tabby is highly territorial, and your garden is the gateway to its kingdom.
Your fences and trees are like turrets and battlements, with your moggy on guard duty, watching intently should any enemy cats attempt to invade!
Many cats love to roam, exploring their neighbourhoods and marking out their territory. Should your tabby or tortoiseshell get lost or injured, then good insurance for your cat can help cover vet costs.
However, unless you live in a country mansion with no other cats nearby, your feline housemate may feel its territory is not as grand as it deserves. By climbing up high, it’s extending its territory upwards, rather than outwards.
Especially if you live in a small flat, it’s best to provide your feline friend with climbing posts and cat trees and clear some high surfaces to provide the perches it needs to rule the roost.
Safety from predators
Your cat is only too aware that its position in the food chain is lowlier than it would like.
That’s why it has a highly developed instinct towards self-protection. And climbing up high not only gives it a lookout point, but also protects it from predators.
Remember bringing your kittens home for the first time? They probably scurried off and hid in a box or in a corner until they were brave enough to venture out. Funnily enough, that’s the same instinct that will later get them climbing up your curtains.
Cats feel safest in spaces where they can’t be surrounded and ambushed. By hiding closer to the ceiling, they can be sure that nothing will descend upon them from above.
Waiting for their prey
Of course, as those occasional gifts of half-dead mouse make plain, your cat is not just the hunted, but also the hunter.
You might not think of your living room as a hunting ground, but your cat is ever hopeful. Climbing up high gives your ferocious feline a vantage point from which to spot a scurrying rodent.
In your garden, scrambling up a fence or a tree brings your moggy closer to all those enticing birds.
From its perch on a bookcase or branch, your pussycat is poised to pounce!
To relax and unwind
Although your home is probably predator-free, your moggy may be heading up high just to escape something far more commonplace: the hustle and bustle of normal family life.
As far as a cat’s concerned, there’s no better chill-out zone than the top of a wardrobe – after all, you’re unlikely to climb up there yourself. Nor is your playful puppy, your excitable toddler, or your scary vacuum cleaner.
So while your curtain rail may look to you like a precarious perch, to your moggy it’s the purr-fect place for a catnap.
Higher in the hierarchy
Got more than one cat? Then you’re probably aware of the not-so-subtle power games they often play, such as who grooms whom and who gets which food bowl.
If you find your cats sitting on different shelves, they could be demonstrating who’s top cat – literally.
It doesn’t necessarily mean that the higher cat is the alpha cat, though. It could be that the boss has laid claim to the comfy sofa or the warm rug.
Fortunately, cats that share a home will sort out their hierarchies themselves, so it’s not something to worry about unless it’s part of a pattern of bullying behaviour or is causing distress.
And often, those hierarchies are flexible, with cats shifting positions quite happily.
Where do you fit in? While your cat may often be literally looking down at you, in reality it knows you’re at the top of the tree.
Just because they can
Let’s face it: if kids could climb up curtains, they would. It’s perfectly natural to want to test out your physical capabilities.
And in the case of your fearless feline, it might sometimes seem like it’s hoping the sky’s the limit.
Cats are designed for getting up high. They can run much faster than humans, giving them the momentum needed to leap further: about eight feet, or six times their own length, in one bound.
Their curved claws help with the ascent, too – though unfortunately less so with the descent. That’s why they occasionally have to submit to a humiliating fire brigade-assisted rescue from their treetop perch.
Still, despite the occasional mishap, all this adventuring gives your moggy good exercise, keeping it fit and healthy for the long term.
And if it should suffer knocks and cuts or even fractures as part of its mountaineering activities, good cat insurance will help cover the costs.
Get a quote for cat insurance
Your pussycat may have nine lives, but it could use up a few of them due to its climbing habits.
Purely Pets’ top team of pet insurance specialists aim to help you find you the right level of cover for your beloved kitten or cat.
Get a quote for cat insurance today, and keep your feline friend in high spirits.
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