How much do you spend to rescue a cat?

Cat rescued from a tree

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

This is about a cat rescued from a tree, in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. It took several hours of work by:

  • Seven firefighters with their fire engine and a hydraulic platform
  • Police and a police car
  • An RSPCA inspector
  • A road blocked for an hour

…to rescue the cat who had been up a tree for 48 hours. The fire fighters used their hydraulic platform and a ladder. The man on the ladder drove the cat higher up the tree into the path of the firefighter and RSCPA inspector on the hydraulic platform (a “cherry picker” device).

They grabbed the cat and got him down safely. The cat is a red (orange) bicolor tabby (tabby and white).

I am all for helping cats. However, the RSCPA say that a cat up a tree for 48 hours needs to be rescued. That is how I read the situation. They called the fire service. I wonder if they made the right decision. I love their concern and courageous work by calling the fire service and the police etc. – this was a no holds barred situation but I just wonder if the resources were well used.

This operation must have cost a lot of money. It is hard to guess the amount but I can imagine it costing several thousands of pounds in total. Could the money have been better used on supporting a cat rescue center?

My theory is that cats come down eventually. It sounds cruel to say it but you never hear of or see cats dying of thirst or starvation in trees. They will always come down.

Retrieving a cat from a tree can be hazardous. It can be more dangerous for the cat to try and rescue him than leaving him alone to find his own way down.

I am not saying cats should not be retrieved from trees. I think waiting a little longer and using a more subtle way of enticing the cat down could have been the answer.

Diverting Money to Cat Rescue

I am sure the fire service can work out how much in one year they spend on rescuing cats from high places.

What if they said they will not provided that service (some already do this) and pledged the amount of money saved to a local cat rescue organization?

They probably don’t have the authority to do that. However, new ideas change things. We want to save and help cats. Resources are limited. It is good to find a way to make the money go further for cat welfare.

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30 thoughts on “How much do you spend to rescue a cat?”

  1. In my experience, cats come down eventually from trees or roofs. However, 48 hours is a little excessive. No organization here would be willing to help, including the fire department. I would (AND HAVE) be climbing the tree or roof myself.

    • Good on you Dee for climbing up there.
      We were starting to think where we could get a 30 foot ladder that day our Jozef was so far up, he was only 10 months old and we were frantic. We didn’t know then how clever he is!
      Babz has been on a roof and I’ve been down a well rescuing kittens for CP, but trees are scarily high and swaying!
      It’s easier doing a rescue on the spur of the moment than watching and wondering if you will need to.

      • I think a cat would come down before that if he could because it’s too long for a cat to go without food and water, maybe a healthy cat would be OK but I wouldn’t risk it if one of ours was up a tree that long.
        Unless he was feasting on birds of course.
        But then he’d be accused of decimating the bird population 😉

  2. Ahem. Firemen love to rescue kittens. old school.
    They love to put their equipment to use. Anytime they get an opportunity to test their well-maintained tools, they will. And kittens up a tree? Absolutely! like the good ‘ol days…


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