What should I do?

My cat is stuck in a tree.  What should I do?

Relax.  Don’t panic.  Your cat can survive quite well in a tree for a long time.  It is good to wait at least 24 hours before doing anything.  Give the cat time to learn how to come down.  Be patient.

Go out as often as you can and softly call the cat.  Try not to call with lots of stress in your voice. Talk gentle. Only one person at a time should call.  Enough coaxing by the right person encourages the cat to experiment and possibly learn how to come down.  Offer some food if you like, but do NOT leave food unattended near or in the tree.  Unattended food attracts other cats, dogs, and predators (like Raccoons.)  Leaving food can actually prolong your cat’s stay in the tree.

Don’t climb  the tree.  I know you climbed when you were a kid but you are not a kid now.  If you did succeed in reaching the cat, how are you going to grab him safely and make your way down again.  All it takes is one slip or for one branch to break and down you go.  It is just not worth it.  Call a tree climber who has the correct equipment for the job.  A good tree climber will always be tied securely to the tree and will have a nice bag for your cat.

I do not recommend that your call 911 but if you do, start your conversation with “This is NOT an emergency.”  This allows them to put you on hold if necessary.  They may be able to furnish a list of tree climbers.  The fire department can not help.  It is too expensive, and how would you like it if someone’s house burned down while they were chasing your cat up a tree.  Humane Society and local vets, may also have a list of tree climbers.  Check the local phone books for “tree services.”  Sometimes they will help if they are not too busy.  Most will not.

Contact a tree climber and arrange to get the cat down.  Understand that a tree climber must work you into his/her schedule and may not be able to come right away.  Climbers will usually NOT climb a tree if it has power lines going through it.  If it is not your tree, and it is on private property, obtain permission to climb before the climber comes.  If the climber decides that it is unsafe to climb for any reason, accept that as a fact.  Most trees can be climbed, but there are exceptions.

Expect to pay from $75.00 to $125.00 for the job.  You are asking the climber to risk his/her life for your cat.  It takes time, skill, and equipment.  It is worth it.


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