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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » My kitten is stuck in a tree - UPDATE safely down

   
Author Topic: My kitten is stuck in a tree - UPDATE safely down
Belle
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My daughter walked outside with the kitten in her arms and the kitten jumped down and ran up a tree. She is now about 25 feet up in the air, in the dark, it's going to rain tonight and go down to about 38. She's only about four months old...and never been outside.

She's mewing piteously. I have placed food at the foot of the tree, called her, played with her favorite toy at the foot of the tree and done every trick I know.

My daughter is distraught...I am upset and getting close to climbing the tree (not a realistic suggestion...where she is is way too slender to support the weight of anyone over about 50 pounds).

Anyway....just had to share my distress. I know that I should be patient and wait...but I'm scared for her if she is out all night in this weather. Calling for help is no use...a fire truck (even if they would respond - which they most likely would not) would not be able to get a truck to her and there's no place to set a ladder of any kind.

[ February 02, 2010, 07:25 AM: Message edited by: Belle ]

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theresa51282
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This may seem cruel but it has worked for me trying to get a parrot out of a tree in the past. Throw a tennis ball near the kitten on the tree. It is possible if you just get her moving that she will move downwards. The fear of the ball might be enough to jump start some movement. I hope she comes down. I know how upsetting it is to have a pet stuck.
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Belle
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She moved...down...and then I guess got scared so she turned around and fled back up again. Now she is as high or higher than she ever was. *sigh*
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King of Men
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Well, here's your chance to prove the efficacy of prayer. Even I will admit that if you pray long enough, the kitten will eventually come down.

Also, CeilingCat sez, "no kitteh shall fall".

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Darth_Mauve
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Next time throw a small Chihuahua up into the tree. That should send the kitten down.

I have not seen trees full of cat skeletons, so I think she'll work her way down once she gets cold enough.

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MEC
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I don't know if it's practical but if you have a pool skimmer maybe it would be long enough to reach the kitten?
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Uprooted
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I'm sorry, Belle. I hope she comes down soon.
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theamazeeaz
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Not that it's funny, but it kinda is. Is this helpful?

http://www.catinatreerescue.com/home/index.cfm

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Armoth
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I thought that's what firemen were for...
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Belle
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Firemen won't do it. Not allowed...liability issues. Never mind that they can't get a fire truck to this tree anyway..it's in the back of my house with no access roads and the tree is in the middle of a bunch of other trees. It's only about 4 inches in diameter so it won't hold the weight of anyone going up after her.
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MEC
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Are there any animal shelters or humane societies nearby that you can call for help?
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Belle
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Not at this time of night I don't think. I'm really worried because it's raining and it's getting cold. She's a very undersized kitten...I don't think she weighs three pounds yet - at her last check up she was 2.4 pounds.

My husband is out there now...he says there is no way to reach her. He's thinking of getting a rope around the end of the tree and trying to lower it but I don't think that is feasible and it may spook her into jumping if the tree begins to move.

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MEC
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Perhaps you and your daughter can hold a bedsheet outstretched in case the kitten does jump while he tries to lower the tree.
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Belle
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She is home. She came in around 5:00 am. Cold, hungry, and purring like a fiend.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Belle:
She is home. She came in around 5:00 am. Cold, hungry, and purring like a fiend.

Whereas just before she was chillin like a villain?

Glad your cat found her way back. [Big Grin]

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aspectre
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A cat can no more get stuck in a tree than a shark can get stuck in the sea.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMaZ4WAmc1c
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FynBYQc6ows

Have I "rescued" cats? You betcha. But only cuz I know I'm the safest alternative for getting them down when folks absolutely refuse to believe that "stuck" cats are perfectly fine where they are and perfectly capable of coming down by themselves.

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MEC
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quote:
Originally posted by aspectre:
A cat can no more get stuck in a tree than a shark can get stuck in the sea.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMaZ4WAmc1c
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FynBYQc6ows

Have I "rescued" cats? You betcha. But only cuz I know I'm the safest alternative for getting them down when folks absolutely refuse to believe that "stuck" cats are perfectly fine where they are and perfectly capable of coming down by themselves.

Actually if left overnight, especially at such a young age, it is highly probable that the kitten would become victim to a predator while it is on the tree.
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Belle
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Yes, I was very concerned about predators. I'm in a semi-rural area with a large population of owls and other raptors. I've seen hawks carrying off rabbits from my back yard that weigh at least as much if not more than my little kitten.
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Tstorm
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I've yet to see a cat climb a tree that it couldn't climb down when it wanted to.

A little over three years ago, I did see a cat climb out onto a thin brick ledge, two stories up an old Opera House. That cat didn't make it down gracefully. It tumbled, hit a railing on the way down, and landed in a way that suggested broken bones. It was healthy enough to evade me immediately afterwards, though, so I assume that it lived.

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Nighthawk
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Your cat's stuck in a tree... you're daughter's "distraught"... and you're posting HERE?
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Belle
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There were long stretches of time where we came inside and gave her a chance to come down on her own.

By the time I started posting here I had already sent my daughter to bed. Eventually I wound up trying to sleep...not that it worked well.

At least it all ended well.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Nighthawk:
Your cat's stuck in a tree... you're daughter's "distraught"... and you're posting HERE?

Next time I want video, don't dissuade her!
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Noemon
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quote:
Originally posted by Tstorm:
I've yet to see a cat climb a tree that it couldn't climb down when it wanted to.

Cats instinctively know how to climb up a tree, but climbing down is a learned behavior. Generally if a kitten is taken from its mother before it's been taught to climb down it never learns.

quote:
A little over three years ago, I did see a cat climb out onto a thin brick ledge, two stories up an old Opera House. That cat didn't make it down gracefully. It tumbled, hit a railing on the way down, and landed in a way that suggested broken bones. It was healthy enough to evade me immediately afterwards, though, so I assume that it lived.
:: wince :: Poor cat. I hope you're right, and that it wasn't bleeding internally, or too injured to hunt, or whathaveyou.
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Dobbie
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quote:
Originally posted by Belle:
Yes, I was very concerned about predators. I'm in a semi-rural area with a large population of owls and other raptors. I've seen hawks carrying off rabbits from my back yard that weigh at least as much if not more than my little kitten.

Apparently your area also has nature's most vicious predator.
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kmbboots
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Aw...such a cute widdle predator.
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Tstorm
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quote:
Cats instinctively know how to climb up a tree, but climbing down is a learned behavior. Generally if a kitten is taken from its mother before it's been taught to climb down it never learns.
That doesn't make any sense to me. I guess the corollary to climbing up would be jumping down, in terms of instinctive actions?

If one of our cats was up in a tree, meowing, we'd just ignore it. Chances are, come nightfall, the cat is going to get hungry enough to figure out 'climbing down' on its own, no help required.

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Noemon
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quote:
Originally posted by Tstorm:
quote:
Cats instinctively know how to climb up a tree, but climbing down is a learned behavior. Generally if a kitten is taken from its mother before it's been taught to climb down it never learns.
That doesn't make any sense to me.
Why not?

My source for this particular nugget comes from Temple Grandin. I'm not sure which of her books I read it in, but if I remember to this weekend (when I have access to both of the ones I've read) I'll see if I can find the passage where she discusses it.

quote:
I guess the corollary to climbing up would be jumping down, in terms of instinctive actions?
That's my assumption.

quote:
If one of our cats was up in a tree, meowing, we'd just ignore it. Chances are, come nightfall, the cat is going to get hungry enough to figure out 'climbing down' on its own, no help required.
Were your cats around their mothers for a while? If so (and if she knew how), she probably taught them how to climb down. If not, my guess is that they're probably jumping. It's possible that one of them figured it out on its own--some cat has to have at some point--but it doesn't seem likely.
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Tstorm
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It doesn't make sense to me because I'm thinking of a long-term evolution of instinct. The instinct to climb seems to require a 'climb down' action for every 'climb up'. If climbing up has become an instinct over millenia of evolution, why couldn't climbing down have gone along with it?

Well, that's the best way I can explain why it doesn't compute in my mind.

As to our cats...I never stuck around to watch them get 'un-stuck', that I can remember. I've seen cats climb down trees, of course, but the cats that seem stuck don't garner my attention.

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Uprooted
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OK, this is a fairly big derail from the kitten in the tree, but since we're on to learned behaviors and so forth, thought I'd ask. We have three cats, one of whom, Merlin, we took in as a semi-feral one-year-old. He is really funny about getting though doors that are slightly ajar.

It took me a while to realize this, but the way he gets into a room where he has to push the door open is not to just sort of slide in through the crack, the way most cats do. He stands up on his hind legs and pushes the door open with his front paws.

After observing him a few times I realized that he is looking at and reaching for the door handle when he does this. For the first several months we had him, he was kept in a fairly large room to avoid warfare between him and the other cats. He hated it. But I realized that everytime one of us came and opened the door, just before it opened he would have seen the handle turn, so he learned that the handle turning led to the door opening.

However, he has no understanding whatsoever of how to get through a door that he has to pull open. I don't think I've ever had a cat that didn't understand that they can hook a partly open door with their paw and pull to get it open. He's just stuck and frustrated in a room with a door that opens towards him and will claw the carpet under the door, which sometimes accidentally creates the right movement to open it.

I'm just wondering if this is some skill set he didn't learn from a mother, or what. I've even lain down beside him and tried to show him how to pull it open, but can't get him to pay attention to what my finger is doing. Any thoughts?

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kmbboots
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http://www.nevadacounty.com/animals/cat-stuck-in-a-tree-if-they-could-come-down-they-would/
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Noemon
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quote:
Originally posted by Tstorm:
[QB] It doesn't make sense to me because I'm thinking of a long-term evolution of instinct. The instinct to climb seems to require a 'climb down' action for every 'climb up'.

Yeah, I can see why you'd think that. The evidence doesn't support it, though.

quote:
If climbing up has become an instinct over millenia of evolution, why couldn't climbing down have gone along with it?
Since you've seen cats climb down trees before, you know that even for a skilled climber, it's quite a bit more work than climbing up. The way their bodies are built, climbing up is just a matter of digging in their claws and pulling with their front lets while pushing with their hind ones. There isn't a lot to it. Climbing down, however, is much more complex, and involves a lot more cognition on the cat's part. It isn't really something that lends itself well to instinct, I think.
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aspectre
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From Lisa J. Lehr at nevadacounty.com, "We don’t see cat skeletons in trees because of a well-known law of nature called gravity: Kitty becomes too weak to hold on, lets go, and falls.

Yeah and the bases of trees are littered with the dead or dying bodies of fallen cats.
Heck that's why trees grow so tall, to turn cats into fertilizer.

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Mike
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As someone who does a fair amount of climbing, I can tell you it is typically much easier to climb upwards than downwards, and I don't think it's just that I spend more time practicing up-climbing than down-climbing. Disclaimer: I am not a cat.
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Orincoro
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From an evolutionary standpoint, it seems to make a lot of sense that climbing up (evading predators) would be easier than climbing down. You have to climb up without falling to survive- you can more easily survive a fall on the way down (after the predator has presumably left the area).
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Tstorm
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Video evidence of why I feel the way I do about cats stranding themselves in tall spots by climbing:

YouTube video of cat on telephone pole

(It's not graphic; it's a newsclip, apparently.)

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kmbboots
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It is harder for cats to climb down than it is to climb up. Think of the mechanics of it. They have curved claws and stronger hind legs than front legs. To climb down, they have to back down which is harder than going forward. Sometimes, if a cat is tired or dehydrated or ill or frightened, it is too hard and they fall. And yes, cats can often land well from high distances. They can also get injured or killed.
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Tstorm
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Kmb, I was only coming back to post because of the neat video of the cat jumping off the telephone pole. I've already accepted the explanations provided above, the video is intended to underscore my belief that cats can climb down from tall objects whenever they darned well please (most of the time).
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