How to Get a Cat Out of a Very Tall Tree

If she got up, she can probably get down.

If she got up, she can probably get down.

Some cats seem adept at finding their way up trees, and then forgetting how they got there. Few things might be more pitiful than a cat meowing at the top of a tree, but he’ll probably find his own way down, eventually.

Ask family members to stop panicking, especially near the tree. Your cat is probably stuck not because he can’t physically get down, but because he’s had an attack of nerves. People acting anxious will just make this worse. Stay calm; in fact, go and do something else for half an hour. Your cat might well calm down and get down by himself.

Open a can of his favorite food and do whatever you usually do when you call him -- whistling, tapping the can or calling his name. Greed quite often triumphs over nerves. Put a bowl of the food near the tree.

Find or borrow a tall ladder and lean it against the tree so as the top is near the cat. He might use the ladder himself to get part of the way down. Don’t try to get the cat down yourself -- the end result could be a nasty fall for you and the cat still stuck in the tree. Also, this might just make the cat climb to a higher and more precarious branch.

Call a professional if your cat is still stuck after a day. The fire services might or might not help -- check first. They certainly can’t help if there is a fire elsewhere. However, there are other, better options. For example, tree surgeons often have the equipment and practical expertise to get a cat out of a tree. If you aren’t sure who to call, call your vet or the nearest animal sanctuary.

Items you will need

  • Wet cat food
  • Ladder


  • These tips apply to healthy adult cats in trees. According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, if the cat is a kitten, stuck up an electric transmission tower, ill, or the weather is very hot or stormy, you need to get him down as soon as possible. Call your vet’s emergency line for advice on who to contact.

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About the Author

Judith Willson has been writing since 2009, specializing in environmental and scientific topics. She has written content for school websites and worked for a Glasgow newspaper. Willson has a Master of Arts in English from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.

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