Please tell me what you think even in one word. It is a difficult question because sometimes people can abuse the fire service. There has been a 60% increase in call-outs for trapped companion animals over the past 6 years in London, UK. In London there is a call to the emergency services every 14 hours asking for assistance to rescue an animal. Regrettably half of the calls relate to trapped cats; probably stuck up a tree or some other high vantage point.
They are ‘highly trained emergency service personnel’ says Ron Dobson, the London Fire Commissioner. What he means is that their role is not to rescue animals. They are too important for that. That is the impression I get.
Ron Dobson says we should call the RSPCA. The RSPCA (Royal Society for the Preventation of Cruelty to Animals) will respond and assist but only after 24 hours unless it is a real emergency. The reason for delaying, they say, is that cats eventually get down or unstuck. Klare Kennett of the RSPCA makes the point that we never see dead cats up trees. Fair point but cats can get injured if they fall from trees.
In the UK there are alternative services and alternative methods. Suggestions by Alex Ralph in the Times are:
- place the cat’s favorite food at the base of the tree. The cat will eventually come down. Comment: highly palatable and smelly food is effective in getting a cat to move wherever he or she is.
- place a ladder against the tree and the cat will eventually use it. Comment: not sure about this. Are ladders easier for a cat to use than a tree trunk? Also most people don’t have very long ladders and often cats are stuck quite high up.
There is a video on YouTube which explains how to get a cat from a tree when the cat is too high for a ladder. You’ll like this video. It is a bit scary. The man who constructed the pussyvator LOL (cat elevator) is a laugh and very competent although I did fear for the cat on occasions. Patience is the key and calm nerves.
Another option is to contact a tree surgeon. This may be an expensive option as they are a private service – they are not free like the fire service.
However, tree surgeons are very good at getting up trees. In Shropshire, UK there is a person who specialises in recovering cats stuck up trees: Johnathan Finlow (The Good Tree Company).
Mr Finlow recovers cats, day or night. He grabs the cat by the scruff of his or her neck and puts him into a bag on a rope and lowers the cat down. I think it to avoid the tricky business of climbing down himself with a scared cat as a companion! That can lead to disaster.