Cat Jumping And Climbing Behavior
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Have you ever truly just sat and watched a cat? I am a cat-lover and have always had at least two kitties living in my

home. I now live with five cats and two dogs. The dogs are another story! I have observed cat behavior up close and

personal for the past 40 years. Their movements can be described as flexible, agile, and precise. They are amazing to

watch. Miniature versions of the Big Cats!

It is true that the domesticated cat does not need to hunt in order to survive. Good, nutritious meals are regularly

provided by their "pet parents." However, hunting is an instinctual behavior in cats. If you want a happy cat, you need to

provide alternative hunting activities for her. Climbing is often part of the hunting experience for the cat. The vantage

point of a high place gives your kitty the ability to observe what is going on in her territory. From high above, kitty

can securely view all the comings and goings of potential prey. In my home, the potential prey is usually another cat.

Stalking, the second stage of the hunt often occurs from this same vantage point. Kitty #1 (the stalker) moves forward

just a little with her belly close to the ground, ears pricked forward, eyes wide open as unsuspecting Kitty #2 (the

victim) casually walks through the room moving closer and closer to Kitty #1 position. Then comes the final stage of the

hunt, the kill. When the timing is just right Kitty #1 will jump from her position and pounce on Kitty #2. Of course, the

actual kill never takes place, but the playful wrestling and rolling around of the two cats achieves the desired effect.

Cat climbing behavior is also linked to their survival instinct. Few enemies have the same climbing and jumping abilities

as the cat. Three of my cats are litter mates. "The Girls" were born to a feral mom under an addition of my house. I began

feeding Mom cat as I realized she either had kittens under there or was about to give birth. About a week later, I noticed

Grace, one of my cats, was quite interested in what was going on in my backyard. When I went to investigate, I found three

little kittens having a good time running between the potted plants and furniture on my patio with Mom cat watching over

them from her perch on a surrounding wall. I, of course, continued to provide them all with meals. Every time I went out

to feed them, Mom cat would immediately run under the house when she saw me. The kittens followed. It took weeks for those

kittens to trust me enough to stop running and hiding and even longer before they allowed me to touch them. Each in her

own time. Eventually, Mom cat left the nest as I guess she decided they were old enough to fend for themselves. I knew this

day would come and had already made the decision that the kittens would become part of my family. So, into the house they

came and off to the vets we went to be sure they were healthy and to receive their proper vaccinations. Now, remember, I

was the only human they had ever had contact with and I never had any previous experience with feral cats. The exam of the

first kitty went pretty smoothly. Baby was the first one to let me touch and hold her. Then I let Rue out of the crate.

She immediately began jumping up trying to grab the wall. She did this repeatedly 5 or 6 times jumping to a height of 4-5

feet. Then she spotted the computer monitor which was attached to the wall. Up she went on that and hung on with her paws

and claws wrapped around the monitor's frame. The monitor began to tilt from her weight and off she went onto the floor. I

was finally able to secure her and calm her down enough to complete her exam. Poor Rue! She was desperately trying to jump

and climb up to a safe place. She was terrified. Visits to the vet have much improved since this time!Cats need the opportunity to exercise their jumping and climbing skills and they will absolutely find a place they feel is

suited for this. Cat parents often find their kitties sitting on the kitchen counter looking out the window, napping on

the dining room table, or perched on top of the kitchen cabinets surveying the area. You may not feel these are suitable

places for your cat to "hang out." Cat towers or cat trees are the solution to this problem. They provide the place that

you find acceptable and kitty finds to be perfect. I mentioned earlier that I also live with two dogs. Sometimes the dogs

get the brilliant idea that chasing the kitty would be a really fun game. Unfortunately for the dogs, the game ends very

quickly when the cat jumps up onto the tower. Oh, the smug and satisfied look on the cat's face-"Ha Ha Doggie. I am

quicker and you can't get me up here!" Cat towers are available in many different sizes and with multiple levels which are

ideal for homes with more than one feline so that each kitty has her own personal space.

Street Talk

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