See some interesting links to cats falling at the end of the article.
The interesting aspect of this rescue is that the cat was not very high up unless the man had climbed a good distance up the tree which I don’t think happened. This indicates to me that this is a timid cat which is reinforced by what we see in the video.
The cat was clearly very relieved to get down. The big message I take from the video is that domestic cats genuinely do not know how to get down sometimes. They need help which is a serious failing in their thinking. You’d have thought that over hundreds of thousands of years of evolution the cat would be able to ensure that they can get down. Most domestic cats do but some get stuck. All wild cats get down with human intervention.
It seems that the domestic cat over about 10,000 years of domestication has partly lost their wildcat ancestor’s ability to climb down as well as up. I’d put all the problems of cats stuck in trees to domestication, which has altered the cat’s mentality and abilities.
The domestic cat is not as smart as their wildcat cousin and ancestor. We know that. It’s because our darling cats are underchallenged. Their brains are less well exercised as are their bodies.
In good homes, all their needs are met. Food being the most important which impacts their desire to hunt. Not completely because a well-fed domestic cat will hunt instinctively as their wildcat behaviours are embedded in their DNA. But often they don’t hunt with commitment and leave the prey animal under the dining room table as they prefer commercial cat food.
Of course, the domestic cat’s anatomy is not tailored to getting down from trees as their claws curve backwards. The have three choices when getting off trees (a) shimmy in reverse which is unnatural or (b) race down forwards while using the branches that they encounter as brakes until they are able to leap from the lowest branches to the ground. There is a third way: leaping off the top and fanning out their limbs to slow their fall. This works okay if the ground is soft.
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