Rescuing Cat In Tree
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Rescuing Cat in Tree is Serious

Rescuing Cat In Tree
This lucky cat was rescued from a tree. Now much older she’s much wiser

Rescuing Cat In Tree

Rescuing cat in tree is serious business. It’s a real safety issue that all cat owners need to consider. First of all, we learned there’s only one way for a cat to get out of a tree – climb down backwards, or hire a tree climber.

The police and fire department will not help. Nonetheless, unless the tree is right next to your house, their big equipment won’t be able to get close enough to help.

My Cat Pink Collar taught me how to get a cat out of a tree

Rescuing Cat In Tree Is Serious

The entire neighborhood could hear the cries – the frightened MEOWS, or rather SCR-EOWS – coming from my beautiful silky 6-month-old black kitten, who had somehow ended up stuck some 70-plus-feet up in a straggly old pine tree, about 50 feet off the railroad tracks.

My Pink Collar was not street-wise. She hardly knew what the outdoors was because she was an inside-only cat. Her only idea of outside was the fresh air that came through the screen on the sliding glass door leading from our supersized condo to the deck.

Rescuing Cat In Tree
Cat Smokey Blue hears her housemate who had to be rescued from a tree.

This one day, however; she was determined to find out what adventure awaited her on the other side. It looked intriguing and exciting. She wanted to join her older house mate, Smokey Blue, who was peacefully sleeping on the deck. Smoke Blue got to sit out and absorb the sunshine because she would stay put, hardly moving, and mostly sleeping. Pink Collar was thinking, ‘Why can’t I go out too?’ Today would be that day…she would sneak between her human’s legs and make a mad dash for outside. And voila, the outside would be hers to be had.

As she ran to join Smokey, I thought a little fresh air and sunshine won’t hurt. I’m here working around the outside. Smokey sticks around. The furthest she goes is out to sit by the edge of the tree line. Pink Collar will probably do the same.

An hour or so passed, maybe more…everything was great. Then out of the corner of my eye and to my disbelief, I saw Smokey Blue chasing Pink Color as

Rescuing Cat In Tree
Inside cat escaped condo and ended up being rescued from a tree.

fast as she could. They were going full tilt across the back lawn towards the wood and worse, the railroad tracks. My heart stopped for a moment. Then, I took off in hot pursuit. I HAD TO FIND HER.

Cats Race

I thought she couldn’t have gone far, or could she. I walked through the wooded area, calling out, ‘Kitty, Kitty, Kitty’. I walked up and down the tracks, calling out desperately with a sunken feeling in my heart. There was no sign of her. It seemed like she had evaporated and disappeared into thin air. Circling back to the deck, I’d hoped she would magically appear.

Smokey Blue didn’t go far. She had found her way back to the deck and was resting peacefully. I had hoped I’d find the black kitty there too.

I put a can of tuna out on the deck. I was hoping that Pink Collar would smell the fish and come back. Dusk came. Darkness fell. Still no kitty.

I left the outside lights on for her. I took a flashlight out again, going through the woods and along the tracks. Still no cat. I heard the train go once again. I was praying she’d stay away from the tracks and be free from predators.

Cats Often Come Home If They Smell Food

Exhausted, I gave up, sat down, and tried to rack my brain on where on earth she could be. Smokey Blue and I settled in, snuggled up together, for a restless, somewhat sleepless night.

I had so desperately hoped to wake up to her sitting on the deck, eating tuna. That pipe dream was quickly dashed when awakening at the crack of dawn there was no cat in sight. I called in to work. My boss was a real cat person. I told her I had to find Pink Collar. I had to resume the search for her now. I knew she would understand. She did.

After 1 cup of coffee, the search resumed. I walked toward the tracks, dreading what I might find. The train, as always, had made 2 or 3 trips that night. I keep walking along the tracks. The woods were getting thicker and thicker. My heart sunk deeper and deeper. I kept praying, ‘Dear God, help me find my Pink Collar. Help her be okay’. As I was inwardly praying, I was also beating myself up big time. ‘What had I done by allowing her to stay out, say anything about going out? I should have immediately put her back inside the safety of the condo.’

I’d probably walked well over a mile when I heard an ever so faint cry…I kept walking. It got louder and louder. It could be a cat. I thought, could she have gotten hit by the train? Could an animal, like a coyote, have hurt her? Could she be hurt and crying, unable to fend for herself? I kept following the MEOWS. They seemed to be coming from the woods, off the tracks. I knew it was a cat. Deep down inside, I was convinced it had to be my lost cat.

The Cat Had Gotten Stuck In Tree With No Way Down

Following the sounds, I wanted to run, but it was too thickly wooded. Where could she be? She has to be here. It sounds like she’s right …then, I looked up – only to see my beautiful spoiled, coal-black kitty with a white star on her chest, 20 feet out on a straggly limb – some 70 feet off the ground in a half-dead pine tree.

I was thrilled that I’d found her … but …

When she spotted me, she came to life. Her human had found her. She wasn’t alone and lost anymore.

She was searching desperately for a way to get out of that tree. She’d circle round, and round and round, circling from one dead branch to another, going up or down some five feet. She’d go out to the edge, fall, and dig in with her claws for dear life. She scramble back up to the safety of the limb. She kept climbing up and down around this group of limbs, out to the edges and back to the trunk, over and over and over again. Then, she would slip, lose her balance, and her bladder control as well with a stream of pee pouring out of the very scared kitten. It was like a broken record. I’d try to coax her down. She’d look for a way down going round and round, lose balance and fall, clinging to the limb for dear life with her two front paws, and scrambling back to the safety of those limbs that weren’t close to anything else.

Rescuing Cat in Tree not easy

I thought, ‘What can I do?’ How can I get her out of that tree? My mind started racing.

How can I get her out of that tree? Perhaps:

  • Putting together a rescue team of the neighbors
  • A tall ladder
  • Smelly food that might attract her
  • Police
  • Fire department
  • Research the Internet

There was no 70 foot ladder in a condo development in a suburban area, but when we did take find a much shorter ladder out, it showed just how high she’d gone.

Most Fire Departments Will Not Rescue Cats in Trees

… I called the local fire department…No they did not rescue cats in trees. The town didn’t fund that service. The neighboring town did, but they wouldn’t cross out-of-town lines. And being that she was in the woods, there would be no way to get a ladder truck in there…The officer said, ‘she’ll come down once she gets hungry enough… Meanwhile, I’d go check on her, and watch her slip off the branch, holding on for dear life – she was terrified, cold and hungry. I had to do something, but what….

Google Info On How to Rescue Cats Stuck In Trees

I Googled cats in trees… the results were not encouraging. It turns out that while cats can walk up a tree, they can’t walk back down. They have to back down, using their front claws to keep hold of the tree.

The accounts were distressing and downright scary. I read stories of cats becoming dehydrated and falling out of the tree after they became weak and close to death. Many did not survive. I heard of some cats that did scale back down, but it was rare.Rescuing cat stuck in tree is serious, and I kept thinking there has to be a way. I have to get her out of that tree, but how.

Another day was coming to a close. Pink Collar was becoming more frightened as we now could hear her MEOW-SREAMS throughout the condo development. People were asking, ‘What’s that sound? Something’s crying.’

There was no way I could leave her to fend for herself and wait for her to figure out how to come back down. What if she never did? This could not continue. There had to an answer. Finally my Google search paid off. The answer – find a tree climber. Now after sunset, no one would answer. Another sleepless night.

Tree Climbers Can Rescue Cats Stuck In Trees

It was Saturday – a weekend. I immediately went to the Yellow Pages. There weren’t many listings. I tried a well-known tree climbing company that worked for the big power companies. They were closed, but then, I noticed a tree climber in the neighboring town. He was an independent. Maybe he would have some compassion. I left a message.

What else could I do? A few hours later, the independent tree climber called back. As it was Saturday, his climber was off, but he’d call him, and see if he might come in. He’d get back to me. More waiting, and Pink Collar had been in that tree for 2 nights. How did she get there? Probably, an animal spooked her, maybe even the train. That didn’t matter. What did matter was getting her to safety, on the ground and back into the safety of my condo.

It seemed like eternity, but tree climber did call back. It was mid-afternoon at this point. His climber and he would come over at around 4 pm. Since it was a weekend, he told me he’d charge me double. My heart sunk, but I knew there was no alternative. At this point that didn’t matter. Getting Pink Collar out of that tree was the only thing that mattered.

Most Cats In Trees Will Spook, Running For The Top

He arrived in his pick-up truck with a whole host of gear stuffed in back. The climber, a tall lanky guy probably in his 30’s, picked up a bag and a pole, pointing out most cats will spook and run for the top of the tree. It would be no easy task to get her.

Once we arrived at the tree where Pink Collar was, he put on his gear. Even with my panic, it was interesting to watch. It was like having claws on your feet where he would walk up the tree. He had ropes. He easily walked up the tree – much like a cat would do. He arrived to where she was, took out the pole and the bag to stuff her in.

There was no fight or flight. Much to his surprise, she didn’t run. She seemed quite happy to have that noose go around her so she could be put in the bag. He walked down as easily as he went up.

We took the cat in the bag back to my condo, and let her return to safety. She’d get plenty of treats for sure. Even Smokey Blue was happy to see her.

The climber could see my distress, and could tell I was really concerned about my cat’s welfare. He could tell from my story that this was not a commonplace happening. It was a freak accident. Rather than doubling the price, he halved the priced, but warned, ‘I’ll charge double next time.’

There Was Never A Next Time

There are lots of cartoons and stories about cats in trees. When it happens, it’s dead serious. People have no idea of what to do. I found out the hard way – find a tree climber. Even animal control isn’t equipped to scale a tree to rescue a cat.

Have you ever had to get your cat out of tree? It’s a funny thought till you have to deal with it. Please share your stories.

8 responses to “Rescuing Cat in Tree is Serious”

  1. Summer Avatar

    What a scary experience for both you and your kitty! I’m so glad it worked out in the end.

    1. BJ Avatar

      We’re glad it worked out. Indeed it was scary. Wished I’d known about the tree climber. It would have save some gray hairs from me and Pink Collar.

  2. Mary McNeil Avatar
    Mary McNeil

    I talked a young cat of mine out of a VERY tall pine tree (about 40 feet up) with a can of tuna and lots of patience. But it took hours, the tree was in the front yard and there were lots of branches. Whenmy Mom was in the hospital, our cat git out and climbed up on the roof. I had a long enough ladder – and another can of tuna – but it took more than an hour as darkness settled in and the cat exploredd both sides of the roof.
    Most recently, I took in a cat that a woman walking her dog had heard yelling 80 feet up a tree.Like you, she called everybody, including the SPCA, and no one could help. That made her mad, so she called the local paper. I read the story and offered to come over and try to help her (and bring tuna). By then the cat had been up there 3 days, including in a near-blizzard the previous day. But before I got there a tree climber showed up and got the cat down. The woman couldn’t keep it because of allergies soI whisked her off to my vet and we waited to see if an owner showed up. She wasn’t chipped,and no one claim her, so she became mine – lost half an ear to frostbite and had PTSD, so she can be a handful to deal with, but Peaches has been inside since 2013. Bless those tree guys !

    1. BJ Avatar

      Thanks for sharing. What a scary but wonderfully ending story.

  3. Ellen Pilch Avatar
    Ellen Pilch

    I am glad Pink Collar was rescued, that is scary.

    1. BJ Avatar

      It’s a story that needs to be share because it’s not all that uncommon, but it’s amazing how few people know what to do.

  4. Louise Pare-Lobinske Avatar
    Louise Pare-Lobinske

    How scary! I’m glad you got Pink Collar back to you safely. One of our indoor cats broke out of a screen last year to roam the wild. He’s still alive, but I’m scared for him every day. The last time we had this happen, it was a year and a half before the cat came back to us. I’m just hoping he comes back, hopefully soon.

    1. BJ Avatar

      That’s so sad. Hope he comes back soon, safe and sound.

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