Why Do My Cats Like To Be Up High All The Time?

You probably notice your cats’ favorite places to be are on top of the fridge, TV stand, desk hutches and other places that are up high. This can be quite frustrating when they are up there knocking things down because there’s really no room for them in the first place!

My cat used to jump up on the TV stand that literally had no space. Like you, I found myself baffled about why my cats like to be up high all the time even to their own discomfort.

There’s a reason for this and I hope that the following information will help you understand your cat’s weird and persistent behavior as well.

Why Do Cats Sit In High Places?

There are a couple of reasons your cat wants to be up high. The biggest and probably most commonly heard reason is their infamous call to hunt.

Another reason might be because they want to increase their territory or show superiority over the other cats in your home.

Finally, a third reason that cats seek high ground is to escape threats.

Your Cat’s Instinct To Hunt

One of the biggest driving factors for this behavior is your cat’s instinct to hunt. Of course, it’s not technically ‘hunting’ in your living area but it just has a strong need to feel like it is.

S/He wants to get a good vantage point where it can see its surroundings safely. Have you ever put up a cat tree in the center of your living room and wondered why your cat doesn’t use it too often?

Think for a minute about the placement of structures like fridges, bookcases, and TV stands. Got it?

They tend to be around the edges of the room. This is a prime setting for your cat.

By perching up high around the room’s perimeter, it can see everything without being seen itself.

Your Cat Needs Its Own Space

One of the biggest differences between cats and dogs is that cats are not cuddly. They may like a pet here and there but nothing too vigorous.

Even when they are rubbing up against your leg, you might be heartbroken to find out that they’re not being as lovey-dovey as you think. They’re actually marking you with their cat hormones.

Cats are communal animals but they are also loners especially when its time to hunt. They are very unique in this sense and it might be hard to wrap your head around.

But in lamen’s terms, just give your cat some space to be left alone. They usually choose somewhere off the ground because it is hard for others non-cat entities to reach them.

Another factor to this that I find quite interesting is that by giving your cat vertical space, you increase their territory. So in essence, you give it more room without actually adding more space to your living area.

Why Does Your Cat Sleep In High Places?cat_climbing_structures_why_do_cats_like_to_climb_to_sleep

You probably notice your cat likes to sleep up high too. This is because it feels safer off the ground where it knows most predators and threats can’t reach it.

Remember, your cat’s instincts are what drives it even though it’s technically not being ‘hunted’ in your home. So I hope that this doesn’t seem offensive to you, its just the way your cat sees the world.

And in regard to your home, it might be trying to get away from other ‘threats’ like kids, dogs, or noisy things like the vacuum cleaner and other power tools.

How To Get My Cat To Stop Jumping on The Counters and Tall Furniture?

Since your cat is driven to find heights, you have to give it an alternative location to find refuge and comfort. When it comes to countertops, there is the added lure of food even if its only tasty scraps.

In order to provide your cat with a better resting spot, you will need a few things:

  1. a cat tree
  2. food and water bowls
  3. clean counters and other eating areas

A good cat tree to use for this mission is one that is above 5 ft, preferably above 6ft like this Go Pet Club Tree.

Note: This tree is a good starter option for most cats but if you have a large cat like a Maine Coon, it won’t work.

Then once the tree is up, you will place their favorite food bowl at the highest perch and sprinkle some of its favorite treats over the other levels.

Make sure the dogs or any other pets do not eat the treats before your cat can get to them. If your cat is very territorial, or too large, you might have to get one that is bigger and better suited for multiple cats, like the Cat Tree King Tiger Cat Tree for Extra Large Cats.

Even with these two options, the best setup we recommend is using a wall-mounted cat tree like the CatastrophicCreations Multi-Level Cat Climbing Activity Center. That way, you know that only your cat can scale the different levels!

In addition, they take up the least space and look the best. You can literally go all the way up to the ceiling with these as well.

Once your cat gets used to its new area, you will notice it will jump on your countertops a lot less or even not at all! 😀

I hope that this article has helped you understand why your cat climbs all over your high furniture and appliances. With a little patience, understanding and working together, you can provide your cat with a healthier way to fill its need.

If you have any questions, comments or other feedback, please leave them in the comments box below. Otherwise, we’ll see you next time!

Click here to learn more about the best wall mounted cat tree kit!

8 thoughts on “Why Do My Cats Like To Be Up High All The Time?

  • June 6, 2018 at 2:08 pm

    My cats are the same way as most cats. They like to be up high and look out the windows. 

    I have several cat trees that they like to climb on. Sometimes we leave treats and toys at the top of the trees. 

    My one cat likes to hide them from the other cat.

    Sometimes my one cat will even climb up on the top of the refrigerator! They are hysterical!

    • June 7, 2018 at 2:32 pm

      Hey Wendy!

      Your cats sound so adorable!

  • June 6, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    I loved this post. It made me want to rearrange my living room for my cat to have more space. 

    I love the videos too. I watched them about 3 or 4 times. The only thing I believe I would change would be where you say “like this one”. 

    Left me wondering, which one & what choices do I have. I believe I’d put the product name in place of this one & link (Cat Tree King Tiger Cat Tree ) to that instead of “this one”.

    That would peek my curiosity to click & go check it out faster. I loved the videos and watched them several times.

    Makes me want to do my living room in such a fashion to let my cat be more happy with “her” space.

    Thank you. this helped me make a decision on what to do for my cat.

    It is a very easy read & I didn’t want to stop til I reached the end. You are doing great!

    • June 6, 2018 at 5:36 pm

      Hey Paula!

      Thanks for the feedback and comment. I was wondering about that. I didn’t want to come across the wrong way but I’ll change it!

      I’m glad you enjoyed this information and found value in it. Its always nice to change things up sometimes so have fun rearranging your space! 🙂

      Take care,


  • June 9, 2018 at 8:05 pm

    Haha now I can imagine my cat with a sniper rifle sitting on a bookshelf in the corner of the house waiting for a mouse to pop in and shoot! 

    The cat is very smart and like dogs pretty much territorial. What I like about cats I think they are more independent animals than most of the dogs, I didn’t say all because there are also independent dogs out there.

    • June 10, 2018 at 10:45 pm

      lol! That’s EXACTLY how it is for them too! Funny visual but great analogy!

      Thanks for sharing & commenting! 🙂


  • June 21, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    Hi Marlinda:

    My wife and I currently have 4 cats and have had many, many others throughout the years.

    I love cats (all animals actually) and I love to observe them. They are absolutely fascinating animals! Yes, that need to hunt is absolutely burned into their DNA and having the high vantage point gives them the best view.

    It’s so interesting that domesticated cats have that hunting instinct even though it’s not necessary for survival. I was just watching a documentary on PBS last night that talked about this.

    Thank you for explaining this. Many people who have cats will now have a better understanding about why cats like to be high!

    • June 22, 2018 at 3:55 pm

      Hey Christopher!

      I appreciate the feedback and thanks for sharing your experience. I’m becoming more and more fond of cats the more I learn about them and I agree they are quite interesting to watch.

      I used to be quite afraid of them growing up because of a traumatic experience I had with one. I’ll never forget the friendly cat that changed everything. Unfortunately she passed last year but remains forever in my memory.

      I hope you have a wonderful weekend and keep taking good care of those cats! 🙂 I also hope that this info helps others to understand them better as well and encourage them to become more fascinated with their behavior.



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