Did you read the article in the New York Times today about rescuing your cat from a tree? Maybe you’ve never had it happen to you but, a little tip: firefighters generally won’t come and save your cat…unless you live in a Norman Rockwell painting or with Opie Taylor in Mayberry. I haven’t had to get a cat out of a tree in a long time, but some of the tips in the article were funny and well researched. Here’s a breakdown of the tips, and you can check out the entire article here.
- Firefighters probably won’t help, although it doesn’t hurt to try and coax them over. Arborists might also be willing to rescue your cat for a fee.
- Give the cat at least 24 hours to dismount on its own before going up after it. When you do, wear a hard hat, a harness and boots, and bring a bag suitable for carrying a feisty feline. Stay safely tied to the tree either by a top rope you’ve looped over sturdy branches above or with two ropes secured around the trunk. To avoid spooking the cat, climb quietly, without breaking dead branches or yelling progress reports to onlookers below.
- Bring along food—you may be able to coax a hungry cat from a dangerously high perch.
- Watch for signs you might be dealing with a jumper: Is the cat crawling dangerously far out on a branch, repeatedly looking at you and then down at the ground? In one expert’s experience, about one in 15 cats will leap rather than be captured. All the jumpers he has witnessed hit some kind of soft vegetative surface and survived.
- Reassure the cat in a high-pitched, childlike, “Here kitty, kitty” tone.
- Even if the cat is purring, don’t pet it; it could change its mind, scramble away, jump, scratch or bite you.
- Grab the animal by the scruff of its neck, like a mother cat does. Once suspended, it will go still. Don’t release it until it’s in the bag and the drawstring has been pulled tight. Secure the bag to your harness to climb down.