It’s happened to us all, we are looking for our cat only to find them in the most unexpected places. Like atop the refrigerator, walking along the top of a bookcase, or even trying to climb the curtains. 

But why are they up there?

In all honesty, it could be that your cat is in a high place because they think they are better than you. But most likely it’s because it is in their nature to climb up high. They might be bored or cold or need to escape to the safety of higher altitudes where predators (or playful dogs) can’t reach them. 

Understanding why cats like heights is the first step in learning to be okay with finding your cat in unusually high places. 

Cats Love Heights Because It’s in Their Nature 

When they live in the wild, as every cat’s ancestors did at one point, cats have to be careful not to become prey for a larger animal. Wild cats, while bigger than their domestic counterparts, are still often on the smaller side of the mammal chart. However, even the big cats, like tigers, will climb up high to survey their territory.

By climbing a tree (or a cabinet) your cat gains a distinct tactical advantage. Heights allow them to observe more details, like how often you refill your water bottle. The height also puts them out of danger from larger predators, or from getting their tail run over by a toddler with a doll stroller. And it gives them the space they need because let’s face it—that puppy is exhausting. 

Climbing Can Keep Your Cat Healthy 

Not only is climbing a natural behavior, it also provides some extremely healthy exercise. Climbing exercises your cat’s muscles, keeping them limber, and it also exercises their brains. 

Cats, when they live indoors, often find themselves getting bored. Lack of stimulation can lead to unwanted behaviors like scratches in your favorite chair, or mugs of coffee knocked off your counters. 

Climbing requires your cat to mentally plot a course and rely on their problem-solving skills if they hit a snag. It also gives them an opportunity to practice their physical agility and balance skills in an attempt to gain new heights. 

High Spots Also Help Keep Your Cat Toasty-Warm

Staying warm is a top priority for cats. While most have thick fur coats, they are still small animals that get cold easily. Temperatures around 45 degrees can start to prove harmful for our feline friends. So while you might be comfortable with the thermostat set at 60 degrees, your cat might be feeling chilly. Since heat rises, a warm bed or blanket in a high-up spot can help keep your cat cozy on cold nights.

Veterinary Care That Reaches New Heights

Regardless of whether your cat prefers the top of the fridge or taunts the dog from your dresser, they need top-tier veterinary care. Yearly checkups and vaccinations can help detect medical problems, help you keep your cat’s weight under control, or give you ideas on how to keep your cat happy. 

From checkups and vaccinations to sudden illnesses and emergencies, East Valley Animal Hospital is here for you. Our staff has the knowledge, experience, and technology needed to make sure your furry friend gets the very best care. Contact us today to make an appointment.




Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (12/8/23). Photo by XinYing Lin on Unsplash.