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Home > Cats > How to Get a Cat Out of a Tree (6 Proven Methods)

How to Get a Cat Out of a Tree (6 Proven Methods)

Cat stuck in a tree branch

Cats are curious creatures who love to be adventurous. As a cat parent, you’ve most likely witnessed your feline friend getting into mischief often. For some of us, these antics take place daily. One of the things cats enjoy doing is climbing. While they may give you the appearance of agile climbers, falls happen. They also get stuck. While seeing your cat stuck may be humorous at first, these situations can also be quite dangerous.

It may seem like something out of an old movie, but cats do get stuck in trees. Whether they are playing, chasing prey, or running from a dog, cats are known for scurrying up a tree easily. The problem is, they can’t always get back down. When you see your cat stuck in a tree, after the laughter fades, you’re left trying to rescue your rambunctious kitty from the predicament they’re in. Fortunately, for pet parents, you have options. Read on below to learn six proven methods to help get your cat out of a tree when they’ve found themselves stuck in a precarious situation.


The 6 Ways to Get a Cat Out of a Tree Safely

1. Food Is a Great Starting Point

person scooping out dry cat food out of bag with their hand
Image By: Ekaterina_Minaeva, Shutterstock

While the meows and cries of your cat may leave you thinking they can’t get down on their own, that’s not always the case. Fear or uncertainty may be what’s keeping your cat up the tree, not their climbing ability. This is why food with a strong odor is a great starting point when rescuing your kitty.

Once the area is cleared of any animals or other irritants they may stress your cat, opening a can of their favorite food or tuna can help coax them back to earth. If your cat doesn’t show any reaction to the scent, try placing chunks of the food or its juices higher up on the branches. If your cat is simply in fear, they will most likely make their way down the tree to retrieve their favorite treat.

2. A Laser Pointer May Help

Considering a cat’s playful nature when it comes to toys, bringing in a laser pointer may help remedy the situation. Whether the laser pointer is your cat’s favorite toy or not, this toy does allow you to direct high up in the tree. When your cat spots the laser and is a playful feline, it may work its way down the tree in an attempt to capture the light. If this method works, you’ll be prepared each time your cat finds itself stuck.

3. Try a Ladder

Ladder on a tree
Image By: Elen, Pexels

When using the ladder method, there are two ways you can try. If your cat isn’t showing signs of being frightened, simply leaning the ladder against the tree trunk may be the answer. You can step back and watch as your feline pal slowly makes their way down the ladder and back to safety. If this doesn’t work, and your ladder is positioned safely, you can always climb up to meet your kitty. If they are excited to see you, they’ll end up in your arms quicker than you realize.

4. Offer a Safe Ride in a Pet Carrier

By using a few of your cat’s favorite treats and placing them inside, your cat may be inclined to step inside a pet carrier it is familiar with. While using a carrier, which needs to be safely secured with a rope, you can control how fast your cat comes out of the tree. If your cat climbs inside the carrier, you can slowly lower it to the ground ensuring your cat returns to the ground safely. Don’t forget, however, this method can take some time. You may be waiting with your carrier door open for a bit, so be prepared to keep your pet carrier well-secured during this time.

5. Reach Out for Assistance

animal control truck
Image By: Joy Brown, Shutterstock

We’ve all seen the movies and television shows where brave fireman uses their ladder to safely go up a tree and rescue a meowing kitty in distress. This makes for great theatrics, but in reality, most fire departments don’t have the time and resources to take such action. Luckily, though, animal control is known to step in when a cat and its owner are in need.

Another source of assistance that many people don’t think of is local arborists. If your cat has been stuck in a tree for 24 hours or more, and your local fire department and animal control can’t help you, tree experts could be your best bet. Arborists have the needed equipment to climb trees safely. This could be beneficial to both your tree and your cat. With less stress on the animal, rescue could go much smoother. Keep in mind, however, you may be required to pay a fee to local arborists for the use of their time and equipment.

6. Give Your Cat Time to Figure It Out

While you may be in a complete panic during this crisis, your cat may not be. If your cat is on the more timid side, it may simply be waiting until all the attention has dwindled before making its way down the tree. It’s also possible that your cat could figure out this situation on its own. It may be hard to walk away from your precious feline while they are stuck, if you don’t see the panic in your cat, this may be the quickest route. Simply walk away from the tree, leave food at the base, and keep watch. Cats are very intelligent, and brave. In many of these situations, they will solve the problem on their own.


Don’t Forget to Stay Calm

Our cats can keep us on our toes with their antics but when they find themselves in trouble, it’s hard not to panic. While you’re trying out our methods, the most important thing to remember is to stay calm. If you share a close bond with your cat, they may pick up on your stress. The last thing you want is your cat panicking while in a tree. This could make them lose balance, or attack anyone who tries to assist them. Offer calm words and loving calls to help coax your cat into remembering why life is better on the ground.



If your fun-loving kitty gets itself stuck in a tree, there are ways you can help. Cats are known for their balance and climbing ability so expect situations like this to arise now and then. They may not always end up in a tree but knowing what methods to use if this scenario happens will make things easier for both you and your feline best friend.

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Featured Image Credit: Kapa65, Pixabay

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