Cat in Tree Pictures

Five of the best “cat in tree pictures”. Cats belong up a tree (as long as they come down in a timely manner). It is in their blood despite 10,000 years of domestication. The urge is still there because all cats are excellent climbers. Some are amazing. A good number of the wild cat species live in trees. These are arboreal cats (i.e. margay). The ancestor to the domestic cat, the African/Asian wildcat is not known for outstanding feats of tree climbing. That doesn’t matter because if needs must, the African wildcat can climb a tree with beautiful grace and ease as good as any animal and better than almost all others.

“..the African wildcat does most of its hunting on the ground, though it can climb well if pursued” – Wild Cats Of The World by Mel and Fiona Sunquist page 94

The world’s best cat tree climber is the margay followed by perhaps the clouded leopard. The best rock climber is the snow leopard. The best general climber is the leopard and the best jumper is the magnificent mountain lion.

People who declaw cats meekly say, “my cat can still climb a tree”. A feeble attempt at self-justification for doing the unforgivable, removing a vital part of the anatomy of the beautiful domestic cat. Cats use their claws extensively for climbing trees. That, and their strength and agility. Please just stop doing it and respect the cat.


Confident, relaxed, focused and happy. “Look Ma, top of the world”

“Trees are getting thinner and I’m getting fatter. It don’t work anymore mom…”


You have to admit that these cuties look totally at home up a tree. They can look down on us. When a cat gets stuck up a tree it is surprising. I think you’ll find that they will eventually come down of their own accord so don’t get too anxious. Patience is the key and perhaps some tempting favorite food. Occasionally they fall!

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Cat in Tree Pictures — 14 Comments

  1. Look at these beauties! Oh my. A perfect collection of natural, fully clawed grace. They all look quite pleased with themselves as they should. The angel up on high could be Bigfoot as a youngster. Same markings. Beautiful cat. The orange cat will get Marc’s attention. Beautiful. Thank you Michael.

    • I love that photo you are right 🙂 – I just love how many orange cats have orange eyes. They are just orange through and through. So pretty.

      It’s nice to know what Bigfoot looks like – beautiful and fluffy by the sounds of it 🙂

    • Pleasure. They are gorgeous and a wonderful celebration of the athletic cat in his/her element. Bigfoot must be handsome. I had forgotten how good looking he is.

  2. Wonderful photos of beautiful cats doing what cats like to do.
    It makes my heart ache to think of all the cats who miss out on enjoying tree climbing because humans have made their bit of the world too dangerous for them to be out in it.

    • Me too- I think it’s incredibly sad. I almost feel like it’s torture not giving them that. Sometimes I think I should let them out and let them be free and even if they die in a week and least they will have truly lived for a week. If I had no intention of moving then I would have to do that basically as I see it. But sinceI will move I think its worth a few years of working to try and make things good at home even if its not ideal. The payoff will be years of freedom and the great outdoors in a safer environment away from traffic. So far they are doing ok inside with me constantly playing with them and so on. Fingers crossed they will stay ok and energetic and healthy with this system.

      • They are lucky to have you. You make that very difficult point: a short life full of fun and life versus a long life that is duller and without spark. Which is better? More importantly which is better for the cat’s owner? The first answer is the opposite to the second one.

  3. Love the pics and the captions 🙂 I’m sure I mentioned before that Red used to show off and run all the way up trees in one go. He’d stay up there and ass about until I left. I would get nervous seeing him so high up but he’d just stay up there and climb around scaring me. The only way to get him down was to go. No more audience 🙂 – he used to show off to Lilly when she first came by getting her to chase him up trees but he’s invariably go futher than she wanted to. He got a run for his money though because Lilly can jump incredibly high and is very agile. He was bigger than her but not more agile so he’d have trouble catching her but then he could really hold her down with his weight. They were quite a balanced match in the end for playing. It always resulted in agressive grooming, never anything nasty. Lilly did sometimes have enough of playing rough and get a little peeved with Red wanting to wrestle. They loved each other so much. I have videos of them together cuddling on the couch. Red always reached up and put his paw on Lilly’s forehead when he was lying down and she was grooming him because he wanted to cuddle her. My cats all do that to me – they put their paw on my face to touch me. So sweet.

    Cat’s definitely belong up trees. It’s amazing to watch them. I made many videos of Red and his mum and grandma climbing up the trees in the garden where he was born. I guess it ran in his familly. But I kid you not, if I came out on my balcony Red would sometimes run accross the grass and straight up one of the taller trees to a height of at least a good 3 floors up – maybe 8 metres or so – all in one go. And then he’d just look at me as if to say “not bad eh, check out my mad running up tree skills” – and me – “Red come back down, come on honey you should come down its not safe up there” – all my whining encouraged him to start out along the branches. What a big silly boy. I met a cat called Chico once who liked to show off running up trees. Lilly shows off her jumping skills more 🙂

    • Your Red reminds me of my Missie. She was amazing. The first tree she saw (we took her to the Cotswolds once) she raced up it to the top (30 feet) and then raced down head first. She then went inside the rented house (built with Cotswold stone) got out of a top floor window and proceeded to walk along the top of the sloping roof. Me: terrified. She: totally relaxed.

      I was literally in love with her. It broke my heart to lose her. Never got over it.

      • She sounds like an amazing cat and a best friend and companion all in one. I hope you understand that after Red I think it’s best to keep my cats in until I find a better outdoor arrangement. I will try to get my balcony enclosed this spring. But as much as it’s sad and possibly selfish to keep them in I think that if in 5 years I have a place in the countryside – the first day I let them out they will still have many more years ahead of them to enjoy their new founf freedom. It would be sad to loose one or two of them before getting there. Also, unlike Red, they can accept being indoors. They are conditioned to it should I say. Red was an outdoor boy. I am sure you understand having your experience with Missie. At the end of the day I will admit Red lived a very perfect and happy life – he was so happy it was contagious. But short. A short life. I struggle with my current decision to keep my cats inside.

        • I agree, you are doing right by keeping them in given the circumstance. They get used to their life with full acceptance. Don’t be surprised if once you do move to a home where they have more freedom, they still might prefer to be mostly indoors. Bigfoot is a perfect example. When I met him, he was living on his own outdoors. He didn’t seem afraid at all. I put notices around the neighborhood and on Internet ‘found pet’ listings but no one claimed him. I started feeding him. He peeked his head inside once, and I wondered what it would be like to have him move in. At that point, 9 year old 90 lb Daisy was no friend to cats. It seemed like an impossibility. That is all history. Daisy is a cat loving dog. Bigfoot trained her.

          My point was going to be, Bigfoot has the freedom to go out whenever he wants. But he chooses not to. I call him my bedroom cat because that is where he lives. He will go downstairs to say hi to Marvin now and then. Maybe go out to eat a little grass or sniff around but never very long, and never every day. He just lives inside.

          The other three behave the same way (except for Marvin) only outdoors. Yellow and Shadow move with the sunshine from spot to bush to opened hillside. I can always see them from my kitchen. Yellow is a good climber.

          I have yet to see Marvin climb a tree. He does wander, which is a worry. But I can call him up any time and he comes running from every which direction. That boy has personality, charm and is very entertaining.

      • lol – it’s funny to imagine her doing that and you watching half in amazement and half terrified. She sounds like a real explorer – a truly curious cat.

  4. “Posturing at dangerous heights” is one of the reasons people have a fascination for cats, the closest relative of the big wild cats that has been domesticated by humans as pets.Unlike outdoor cats as shown in these photographs the life of indoor house-hold cats is entirely different.My traditional Persian cats love sitting on the balcony ledge and stare down 5 floors below, akin to these cats photographed on trees.These photographs are beautiful and well captured through excellent photography.

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