HomeCat BehaviorclimbingMonty Doing Some Tree Climbing


Monty Doing Some Tree Climbing — 23 Comments

    • Monty’s lucky to have so many to choose from! Even with the few that we blocked off because he got stuck in them he has the option of climbing seven different trees of varying heights and sizes.

      • We have trees all, along the back outside our back fence too, our boyz used to go up more often when they were younger like your boy.

        • I wonder if Monty will climb less as he gets older. All the more reason to give him ample chances to enjoy it now.

          • Yes I think most cats climb trees less as they get older, they are not as adventurous maybe? Or maybe like us they get more sensible and realise some things are really quite risky.

            • Perhaps that is it. I think I have gotten a little bit more sensible as I have gotten older. I once freewheeled my bicycle down a huge hill in Lake Delton and in front of me was an old guy driving the speed limit. It took me a good half an hour to walk my bike up that hill so I could cruise down it going fast, so I had no intention of doing the speed limit. I just passed him on the left and kept flying by. I wonder if he was surprised to be passed by a kid on a bicycle. The speedometer on my bike said I was going 50 miles per hour. I wouldn’t do that today. Humans can lack any semblance of good sense until they are about 29 years old.

              So do cats have the same issue? Do young cats take more risks climbing than older cats? Or do older cats stop climbing as high because it is less easy for them to climb, so they don’t do it? Or do they really perceive the behavior as risky at an older age, but not when they are younger?

              • Oops, I meant to say I passed him on the right. Well, whatever, it was horribly dangerous.

                When I was about 13 I climbed all the way to the top of this huge pine tree on a hill next to Lake Delton. The people who owned the land it was on had asked that my sister and I not climb the rocky points down the hill to the lake, but otherwise we could play there. Well, they never said anything about that tree. I got to the very top and stood up. The tree was swaying in the wind, but standing up there I could just see over the tops of the other trees, especially since there I was at the top of the ravine. My heart was pounding and I was shaking, but it was an incredible experience. So I understand the joy Monty gets from tree climbing. That tree was awesome. My sister and I would sit up there for hours, about half way up. I have some pictures, but they kind of turned green and faded over the years.

                Another thing I’d never do today, even if I physically could! I have climbed a couple of our back yard trees to rescue Monty, but I haven’t had to do that in a long time. He’s getting very good at getting himself down.

            • My pastor says a cat will “turn into a rug” at about age seven. He seems to think this is a good thing. I hope Monty stays active and adventurous for a long, long time.

              • Oh that’s not true Ruth! Our cats are almost 12 and they are far from rugs. If cats turn into rugs it’s through the neglect of their caretakers. If we don’t let them have some freedom, if we don’t pay them attention and play with them, then life is dull and they have nothing to do but watch the world go by, or sleep.
                Yes cats become less adventurous as they age but we certainly shouldn’t let them become rugs at any age at all.
                All our old cats have enjoyed their lives until their very last days because we have made sure that they did.

                • I agree with Kattaddorra. But I am amused by the phrase:

                  a cat will “turn into a rug” at about age seven

                  I think seven is too young. However at a certain age, depending on the cat, he will be pretty static.

              • Pastor is too protective of his cat to let him outside. He plays with him, certainly loves him– but once a cat is overweight he is going to be less playful. It’s probably harder to play when carrying extra weight. Probably? I know it is, being quite the fatty myself. But I know I have to exercise anyway, no matter how hard it is. A cat doesn’t know that. Pastor feeds Gideon dry cat food. I think it always comes down to that. Most of the overweight cats I know are fed exclusively or primarily dry food. An overweight cat at seven may turn into a rug. If I can keep Monty at a healthy weight and keep giving him outside time, he should stay active. I could tell Pastor about wet food being better and give him one of Monty’s squirrel tail toys for Gideon. (One of Jeff’s friends hunts and brings Monty squirrel tails.) A toy that seems so much like live prey (Monty loves them) and better food might make all the difference over time.

  1. I personally like the part of the video where he jumps up suddenly and exercises his claws on the tree…

    I noticed this and I love to see it. It is an all round good thing for a cat to climb a tree and scratch. It is very natural.

    • Don’t you think he is scent marking that tree? Looks like it. Wonderful video and story about Monty. He is truly a POC famous cat now. And a beautiful one at that.

      • Yes he might be scent marking and perhaps visually marking (scratch marks) and sharpening claws and stretching all at the same time.

        I sense Monty is doing more in the way of stretching and claw sharpening rather than scent marking because he is high up and cats will scent mark on prominent objects nearer the ground where other cats are likely to see and smell them.

        • Monty does that type of scratching too, and it probably is scent marking. But maybe he was scent marking to tell those pesky squirrels that this is Monty’s tree!

          Whenever I come back into the house after having been away, Monty sniffs me with interest. It’s like he’s asking, “Where have you been and who have you been talking to?” Though I have very little sense of smell, I love to bury my nose in Monty’s fur and sniff and sniff him. I am, as Elisa says, a “cat sniffer.” Jeff will say, “I think he smells like his litter box. He was just in there.” Not being able to tell the difference, I don’t care. I still like to sniff him. Monty doesn’t seem to mind. He doesn’t know it’s like a blind person looking really carefully at a painting. I still do it.

  2. He does look happy and free. He reminds me of Fluffy, who used to climb up our apricot trees and get stuck. I’d have to get the ladder and get her down. One time she made it to the roof.

    Thanks for sharing. I needed some cat time! Back to work..

  3. I love this video and article and the detail – it’s really interesting and really fun. Monty is just great isn’t he. I’d be very proud to be his friend.

    • Marc,
      At first Michael said if he posted this video you would be jealous. I said he should post it and make you jealous seeing as you had said he is a bit dodgy (because of his role as a neighborhood catnip dealer for stray cats.)

      I’ve wondered if Monty would be friendly to all his admirers from PoC, should he ever meet them. I think he accepts anyone who smells of cat. We had a repairman in the other day and Monty was just fine with him. Then the repairman said he has a twenty pound Maine Coon at home. There seems to be a pattern: smell of dog and he will growl at you, don’t smell of animals and he will be indifferent and growl to tell you to go home when he’s had enough of you, but smell of cat and he will accept you.

      • We are now onto how people smell – a favorite subject. I believe that some people for some reason smell friendly to a cat. In other words, their body odor suits felis silvestris catus. I don’t know what it is but when a cat smells my hand they like it, and lick it, even strange cats sometimes.

        Maybe they know I’m the catnip dealer 😉

  4. I loved seeing Monty up that tree happily doing what cats love to do, it did my heart good.
    My favourite bit too was when he reached up to exercise his claws.
    I don’t think we give the impression that only declawed cats suffer from arthritis, it’s just that they are more prone to it because they can’t exercise as cats need to.

  5. Thanks again for featuring Monty, Michael! He is happy to provide material, the little ham. I sent you a photo last evening of him sitting in a tree– one of my favorites. He looks so wistful or wise or something. I found another video from last year that still scares me watching it because it sure looks like he is going to go head first from a tall straight tree. He obviously thinks it over, finally decides on butt first, but then jumps off while he’s about six feet up. What a goofy cat. But he has fun out there, and I worry less now. He seems to be getting better at tree climbing. He still prefers his method, but will go back legs down first if safety requires it.

    He has entirely accepted my sister as one of his people. She came outside with us last week and he rubbed against her and then flopped down asking for a belly rub, which she dutifully knelt down and provided. He purred his fool head off for her making me feel just a tad bit jealous, but it was good to see.

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