When providing the best environment for your cat, one of the most important factors to get right are the things that cats climb.
Why Do Cats Climb?
Because climbing is essential to almost every activity a cat does throughout its entire life. There isn’t much difference between the varieties of cats that live outside and the ones that live indoors as our pets.
This means that indoor cats need pretty much the same things that wild and feral cats need to thrive.
Of course, the only difference is that one set of necessities are provided outdoors while the other set is provided indoors.
These factors include activities such as:
- getting a good view of the area while being safe
- increasing their territory
- escaping threats
If your cats are not able to achieve what their natural instincts are driving them to do they can experience side effects as severe as aggression and sickness. This is why it is so important to know what things it likes to climb so that you will create a more comfortable spot for them than the top of your refrigerator.
Things Cats Climb By Nature
Whether in an urban or rural setting, indoors or outdoors they will find something to climb whether it is directly provided for them or not.
Things Cats Climb In the Wild
In the wild, cats typically climb up trees. But not just any trees.
If you’ve ever watched a documentary about big cats like leopards you will understand what I mean. Cats choose trees that have:
- good cover usually provided by leaves or other vegetation
- strong, sprawling branches
- hard for other animals to climb
In a more human populated area where trees are more scarce, feral cats get their vantage point on structures like walls and relatively short buildings like houses or storage facilities.
Things That Cats Climb In Your Home
As mentioned before, your cat will look for much of the same structures even if it has spent its entire life indoors. The difference is that instead of houses and trees, your cat chooses other furniture that resembles the same qualities as their outdoor counterparts.
This can range from appliances like your fridge to decor like curtains and shelves.
Some people willingly let their cats tear up their furniture and have nothing wrong with them laying on the counters. But I caution you if you allow your cat to do this, while it is ok while they are supervised you must also consider when they are not being supervised.
An unsupervised cat may cause an accident if it accidentally turns on your stove or falls behind the fridge and gets stuck or suffers a fatal electric shock.
The first has happened in my family. Luckily we found it before it caught on fire.
Our cat was jumping on the stove, doing its thing and ran across the stove knob. It turned the burner on and melted the plastic bowl that it also knocked on it.
There are better options for you in cat climbing structures. There are so many types, designs, and styles that you can literally turn your home into a fully customized cat-friendly sanctuary that is safe and healthy for everyone in your home.
How To Make Your Home Cat-Friendly
The first step to transforming your home into a more cat-friendly location is to think about:
- Places your cat frequents
- Places your cat would frequent if it was outdoors
Next armed with these two factors, you will begin to look for or/and build structures that suit their needs.
Truth be told if you buy all of the cat furniture that your cat needs it will get pretty costly. Of course, if you can afford it and prefer to spend the money, by all means, buy everything your cat desires.
But if you’re like most of us who either prefer to save money or not spend all that money on your cats, you can affordably build your own. Aside from affordability, I like building cat structures because it brings our families together and encourages important life skills like communication, cooperation, and creativity that are tragically missed while spending hours in front of an electronic device.
Your goal with this is to mimic nature. Your cat should have walking space that is elevated and wraps around part or all of the walls of your home.
To do this, you will use:
- ground standing cat trees/condos
- cat shelves
- wall-mounted cat trees
Cat Climbing Structure’s Recommendation
Since cat types, personalities and preferences vary so much we have created a collection of recommended resources for you to look at.
If you are looking for good, already made, cat climbing structures for your cats, here are our best recommendations:Click here for our best pre-made cat climbing structure recommendations
This article is really interesting, I didn’t realize cats needed to climb frequently for a healthy lifestyle. I don’t own a cat and have had limited interactions with them myself, since my mum is allergic, so I was only really familiar with the stereotype of cats getting stuck climbing up trees!
I saw how one of the other things you listed that cats need to lead a healthy lifestyle is hunting. I’ve heard how cats like to hunt and leave dead mice on their owners’ doorstep, but I didn’t realize it was actually necessary for their well-being.
I have a dog, and while she loves eating meat and chasing things she never seems to have a desire to kill anything, which is the same with most dogs. Why do you think that is?
Surely all carnivores whose ancestors hunted in the wild would be compelled to hunt themselves?