Why Do Cats Love Climbing and High Places?
We’ve all seen nature documentaries with jungle cats effortlessly leaping up a tree. They crawl to the highest branch and then sprawl out and take a nap for a while. Then, upon waking, they will perch and study the tall grasses, starring at their prey before they sneak down to stalk a gazelle for a meal.
Our sweet little domestic cats are kin to these wild animals so we can’t be too surprised that they mimic this behavior within our own homes! Over the years, I’ve had a couple of cats that rarely climbed, but my current cat Daphne is quite the climber. From the countertops to the dresser to trying to climb the kitchen cabinets, she loves to indoor climb and parkour. Outside, she is up and down trees all day and then naps in the attic of my garage above my car. Wild or domestic, cats love to climb! But why is this?
Animals all have basic primal instincts to protect themselves from becoming prey. For cats, climbing higher than the rest and having the best vantage point gives them the ability to see and hear prey and any predator activities. Cats want to go high as possible and then some!
Cats love to be in the know. Overlooking their kingdom (or your kitchen!) is how they achieve their status and keep it running smoothly. My aunt had a cat, Willie, who would lay on top of the refrigerator and swat at you each time you opened the door to get food! Outdoor cats love to climb and while we tend to be scared that they will be stuck, there is no need to call the fire department. They climbed up there, they have their sneaky ways of getting back down with little to no assistance.
Hottest Seat in the House
Cats are smart and know that heat rises! Cats love a warm spot to rest and snooze the day away so why not climb a bit and find the coziest place in the house? It’s also quiet and out of the way from the hustle and bustle of a house or neighborhood. Did you know that mother cats sometimes climb to get away from the kittens when weaning them? It’s true!
We’ve all been low man on the totem pole, but cats take this literally at times. Cats perch due to hierarchy and will shift as the leader moves and leaves. I had one customer at the spa who had 6 cats and he said all 6 shift as they move around throughout the day. However, when the leader comes back into the room, they all downgrade back a rung on the cat tree. Cats know that higher up means power while lower is not an equal. Higher places must be earned to move up!
There are several climbing walls here in the suites for climbing and lounging. Some cats prefer to hide in dark tiny places instead, but to each their own. If you have a cat who climbs, a great purchase for the holidays or birthday is a cat tree. It’ll help eliminate the head swipes at the refrigerator!
Rock the Cat Spa owner Cari Thompson is a life-long cat lover. When she's not running the luxury cat spa & hotel, she's playing with her cat, Daphne. She writes weekly blogs on cat behavior, health, and care. To learn more about her, check out the About Me page!