Recently a private tree service called Allmark Tree & Crane Service managed to rescue a cat named Bae that had been clinging to a tree for at least a week. Such incidents are not uncommon. However, this particular cat received extra attention for a couple of reasons. One, Bae had been stuck for at least a week, meaning that there was a much increased sense of urgency to the whole situation. Two, both the local police and the local firefighters in Schenectady, NY refused to rescue the cat, which was particularly hard-hitting because the local firefighters intervened to save the owner of another private tree service who had attempted an earlier rescue. Fortunately, Allmark Tree & Crane Service was able to rescue Bae, who has been reunited with her owners.
Why Did the Officials Say It Wasn’t Their Responsibility?
The local police and local firefighters didn’t refuse to rescue the cat because of malice. Instead, it is common for them to refuse to get involved in said incidents for a number of reasons. For example, local police and local firefighters don’t necessarily have the right expertise, experience, and equipment to resolve such situations, which is important because scared cats are often very uncooperative cats. Similarly, local police and local firefighters need to conserve their resources for humans, who are prioritized over even the most beloved of animal companions. In this case, there was one other issue, which was that Bae was situated 100 feet up. As such, while the local firefighters were willing to take the risk for a human, they weren’t willing to take the same risk for a cat.
Why Do Cats Get Stuck in Trees?
Unfortunately, this kind of thing happens a lot. Some people might be surprised by that considering that cats have a reputation for being excellent climbers. Said reputation is well-founded. However, just because a species is well-suited for a particular activity, it doesn’t mean that said species can’t run into trouble while engaging in said activity. For starters, cats climb so much because it was extremely advantageous for their ancestors. First, climbing provided them with a huge boost to their chances of catching prey. Partly, this was because a lot of animals make their homes high-up, meaning that a cat’s climbing skills opened up a whole new part of the local ecosystem for them to feed upon. However, it should also be mentioned that being situated higher-up enables animals to see further-out. Something that can be very useful for picking up on the presence of potential prey in the vicinity.
Second, climbing also provided cats with a way to escape predators that can’t climb very well. This was critical because while the wild ancestors of cats were predators, they were predators that were also predated upon. As such, they needed various strategies to avoid being eaten, with escape being much preferable to standing their ground for a fight. After all, fights are dangerous, meaning that it is very much possible for even a victorious cat to lose by being so hurt that their physical capabilities are compromised in the process. Thanks to this, it is no wonder that modern cats still climb so much, particularly since the species was left alone to a greater extent than their canine counterparts.
In any case, cats can get stuck in trees for numerous reasons. For example, they can be spooked, thus convincing them to climb up without any consideration for whether they can climb down afterwards. This is particularly problematic because a cat’s body is built for climbing up but not for climbing down, meaning that the latter is genuinely more difficult for the animal than the former. Similarly, cats aren’t fearless when it comes to heights. They have a well-deserved reputation for being able to survive jumps from great heights. However, that doesn’t mean that cats are actually eager to make those jumps, particularly if they are too inexperienced to know whether they can make them or not. On top of this, cats can just be in bad physical condition, thus hindering them from making their way down on their own. Certainly, Bae could have been included in this category, seeing as how she had been stuck in the tree for at least a week’s time.
What Should You Do If Your Cat Gets Stuck in a Tree?
There are a number of potential solutions that might prove useful to people who have spotted a cat stuck in a tree. If they are lucky, the cat hasn’t climbed too high, meaning that there is still a chance for the cat to make it down on their own. Under said circumstances, interested individuals might be able to help out by removing things that might scare the cat, putting out food that might encourage the cat to come down, and even tracing out a path on the tree using a laser point to provide the cat with some potentially useful guidance. Similarly, if the cat is situated so relatively low, interested individuals might actually be able to carry out a rescue using the tools on hand. For instance, there have been stories about people tying a cat carrier to a rope before throwing the rope over a nearby branch, thus enabling them to raise the cat carrier and then lower the cat carrier. Of course, this kind of plan is practical under a relatively limited range of circumstances, so it isn’t very well-suited for anything outside of that.
When cats are stuck further up, interested individuals will have to seek out professional assistance. Unless they have the right expertise, experience, and equipment, they shouldn’t attempt to carry out a rescue on their own because they have a very high chance of hurting themselves. Instead, the right solution would be calling the local animal control services, which should have at least some relevant insight to share. Failing that, consider veterinarians and local animal welfare organizations. They might not be able to help out on their own, but they might be able to point interested individuals in the direction of receptive tree services because cats getting stuck in trees are an all-too-common occurrence.