Advice on how to prevent this from happening and how to rescue a cat who has found itself in this situation.

By Mary-Jo Raffone
Director, CHARM

We have had many calls about cats in trees over the years. Being in Phoenix, Arizona, we have many tall palm trees. Dogs and coyotes seem to be the main cause of cats up trees. So whenever possible keep cats in and dogs kept up (as is the law).

We have found that tree trimmers are your best asset in getting cats down from high places. Our local fire departments often refuse to get involved in these types of rescues and the general public is confused on where to turn. The tree trimmers have the equipment and experience with functioning at those heights. Often they will take the cat down at a reasonable fee. This, however, can only be done during the daylight. So he who hesitates leaves a cat to spend a very difficult night in a tree. Call early when you find this problem.

Since tree trimmers may not be cat experts, provide the person going up the tree with a satchel of some type that can hold the cat. Carriers are too awkward for this. If the cat is feral they can hopefully get it into the satchel somehow then they can close it and hang from the shoulder or arm as they descend the tree. Leather gloves, talon gloves, or small handled net may be helpful in a feral cat situation.

Most of the rescues that we have been involved in have proved to be indoor cats that got out and had to take rash measures to stay alive when surprised by life threatening assailants. Remember please that coyotes do eat cats and that dog packs (2+ dogs is a pack) may kill anything in their path. Report dog packs immediately to animal control agencies giving a much information as you can about the situation.

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