The title is a bit brutal for a cat lover but if we try and answer the question the answer has to be “none”. Of course that does not mean there are none but I think you’ll agree that none is the right answer.
There is quite a lot of stuff on the internet about cats being stuck in trees, unable, apparently, to get down. The fire service (firefighters) in some locations won’t respond to a call from someone with a request to get a cat out of a tree. The reason is the balance between benefit and downside; the benefits don’t outweigh the downsides according to the firefighters.
While the firefighters are getting the cat down they could be doing something else. And every rescue carries some risk for the firefighters. And the argument is that a cat in a tree will get down when ready. I see that. But don’t get me wrong. I am just being rational and logical. Personally I would rescue all the cats in all the trees, but do they need rescuing?
How long do you wait for a cat to come down? I think the answer is long enough. There is always the common sense solution which is to encourage movement by putting the most palatable and smelly food at the base of the tree. Favorite cat food is a great motivator to a cat.
It has always surprised me why a cat climbs a tree that he can’t get down. Cats shouldn’t do that sort of thing. I would expect a cat to have an inbuilt guide that informs him as to how far he can go up a tree.
However, it is possible that domestic cats have lost that natural ability. I am absolutely sure that wild cats of any species will never get stuck up a tree. Why should domestic cats? The only answer is because they are domesticated and have lost their skills. Or is it the case that they are not really stuck?
Are we getting the time frame wrong? Are we jumping into action too soon to get a cat down?
Also I wonder if the reason why a cat stays in a tree is because he is frightened about something on the ground, in his home or near his home. Staying up a tree does not automatically mean that the cat physically can’t get down, that he is frightened to get down. Perhaps he has decided to stay there because it is safer.
I think we have to respect the decisions of firefighters to not come out to rescue cats no matter how harsh it seems. I have to say that I have changed my mind because at one time I felt that firefighters should always come out to rescue cats from trees.
Note: this article has been republished to bring it forward from the archive which is why the comments are dated 2012.