cat up a tree

How To Get A Cat Out Of A Tree – A Quick Guide & How-To

Cats are opportunists by nature, give them a fraction of a second and whoosh, they’re gone out the front door. This may have happened to you before and left you wondering how to get a cat out of a tree.

How To Get A Cat Out Of The Tree Safely?

If you have an outdoor cat they may not find it difficult to get out of a sticky situation but, for an indoor cat, it can be a bit of a challenge. Here are some of the easiest and safest ways to free your cat stuck in a tree.

Understanding the situation – Keep Calm

Try not to panic and keep calm when you’re near the tree. Check the surrounding area around the tree and look to see if there is anything your cat might be afraid of or running from. 

Any anxious behavior is not going to help the situation, in fact, it will make your cat more nervous and skiddish. 

Have someone else stand near the tree if possible keeping an eye on kitty, make sure the cat stays calm. After some time of standing around calling kitty, your cat might calm down and get down by itself.

Encourage Your Cat Down – Use Some Treats

Try to lure your cat down by showing him some treats or shaking his favorite food. 

Call him by his name, whistle, tap the can or even keep an open can of food on the ground near the tree. All of this will hopefully motivate your cat to come down. 

Ultimately, it’s up to your cat when they decide to come down unless you physically climb the tree and get them.

I don’t recommend doing this though, it’ll likely result in many scratches. Not to mention you could fall from the tree yourself.

Help Them Come Down The Tree – Use Props

The easiest way to get your kitty down is to grab a tall ladder and place it against the tree. 

Place the top part of the ladder as close to your cat as you can and hopefully, he can climb down using the ladder after some time.  

If someone has any experience in climbing a tree, they can try to rescue the cat by climbing up the ladder. Just make sure the ladder is secure and someone is holding the base secure.

I still don’t recommend this as both you or the cat could get hurt should something go wrong. Just place the ladder and observe if your cat will use it to come down. 

You can also try to use a cat carrier with the help of some rope. Tie a strong knot to the carriers handle, sling the rope over a solid branch near your kitty and pull the carrier up.

After pulling the rope to raise the carrier near to your cat, you’ll want to leave it there and observe if they will climb in. This takes a lot of skill and most people won’t be able to get it right. It’s more of a last resort fingers crossed type of thing.

Calling For Help – A Movie Cliché

If everything else fails and things aren’t going your way, you can try to get help from a professional. 

If you think that your cat is in danger, or they’re getting weak, then it’s better to have a professional handle the situation. 

That said, don’t let the movies fool you, these days it’s not a great idea to call the fire service department.

Instead, there are tree surgeons that have the proper equipment and experience to help rescue your kitty. 

Do firefighters Get Cats Out Of Trees?

Some time ago, people used to call the firemen to help their cats stuck in trees. 

Nowadays, Firemen are very busy with their daily routine and attending call outs or emergencies. 

It’s more reasonable and sensible to call a tree trimmer to come and get your cat out of the tree. Better safe than sorry people say.

Why Do Cats Get Stuck In Trees?

Many reasons really. They could be scared or just confused as to where to begin to get down. 

Often they debate whether they should attempt the climb down or to leap out onto the ground. 

Cat’s claws are also designed to go in a single direction, either upward or straight. Due to their pointed claws, they can easily climb up a tree in seconds if something is chasing them like a dog.

With their weight over them on an angle, it’s hard for them to grip the tree for a steady forward descent. Often you’ll see your cat turn their body and begin the climb down back feet first. 

For most cats, it’s relatively easy, and they’ll manage just fine on their own. For us, it can be a bit of fun watching them trying to figure it all out for the first time. 

How Long Can A Cat Stay In A Tree?

A cat can stay in a tree for days, hunger or boredom usually gets the best of them and they climb down on their own.

It’s advised not to leave your cat stuck more than 24 hours in a tree. Try to rescue them at the earliest possible or at the very least make sure they can get down safely on their own.

How Far Of A Fall Can A Cat Survive?

Cats can survive falls from a huge height with a shocking survival rate. 

There have been many stories from the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association that 132 cats fell from a 5.5 storeys and have survived with a 90% survival rate. While 1/3rd of them died due to lack of medical treatment.

That being said, there are instances of cats falling from 26 stories and landing on solid ground, without injury, the known record fall height without injury for a cat is 46 stories. That’s just nuts! 


A cat stuck in a tree can be a stressful situation for both the cat owner and cat. So, make sure you rescue the cat safely from the tree without having any injuries. 

Most cats will figure it out on their own and usually, you’ll have nothing to worry about. If there are no predators that can harm your cat, leaving them be for a while will usually be enough for them to come down. 

Finally, cats will be cats. If they’re in a tree not harming anyone or any wildlife leave them be. My cats love to play in the trees during the day and are brought in at night so they can’t hunt any wildlife.