A firefighter rescuing a cat from a tree is a rather iconic image. However, it is amusing to note that firefighters have been known to rescue cats from other inaccessible locations as well. For instance, firefighters rescued a cat named Zorro from behind the wall of his home a short while ago in Henrietta, NY. This was made possible by their use of thermal imaging to locate the cat. After which, the firefighters cut through the wall to reach him.
How Did the Cat Get There?
It isn’t unclear how the cat managed to get stuck behind the wall of his home. However, it isn’t difficult to come up with potential explanations. For example, it is possible that Zorro was exploring his surroundings. Similarly, it is possible that Zorro was chasing a prey animal of some kind. Whatever the case, once the cat had gotten behind the wall of his home, it would’ve been very easy for him to become confused about the way out. As for why this kind of thing happens, well, suffice to say that cats have very strong instincts for both kinds of behaviors. For starters, they aren’t just carnivores but obligate carnivores. Furthermore, cats have evolved to get their food from hunted prey rather than other potential sources, meaning that they are hard-wired to go after potential meals. On top of this, it should be mentioned that cats aren’t one of those predators that can go a couple of weeks between meals. Instead, they are supposed to eat at least twice a day because their stomach becomes hyperacidic if they go 12 hours without a meal.
Moving on, cats are also hard-wired to explore their surroundings for not one but two important reasons. One, knowing their surroundings increases their chances of success when they are hunting. This is critical because a predator that can’t catch prey is a predator that doesn’t eat. Something that can become particularly problematic because a predator weakened by hunger will become even less successful in this regard. As such, it makes good sense for cats to locate hiding spots for potential prey as well as other sites of interest in their surroundings. Two, cats also need to know these things because they themselves are potential prey. Simply put, they didn’t evolve into apex predators in their native ecosystem. Instead, cats were predators that were predated upon by bigger predators. Something that still happens from time to time in the present. Thanks to this, cats will go to great lengths to find hiding spots as well as other sites of interest because their instincts tell them that such locations can mean the difference between life and death for them.
Should You Call the Firefighters If Your Cat Is Stuck?
People are used to the idea of calling the firefighters when a cat gets stuck in an inaccessible location. However, while firefighters are willing to help out with such cases in some places, interested individuals shouldn’t count on it. Firefighters are responsible for human well-being. As a result, there are a lot of places where they won’t answer calls for assistance with a stuck cat because they need to conserve their resources for their intended responsibilities. Due to this, interested individuals should call their local animal control, which should possess the expertise, the experience, and the equipment needed to help out a wide range of animals with a wide range of issues. Failing that, there is still the option of calling the closest veterinarian. Chances aren’t very good that they will be able to help out with such cases. Instead, veterinarians can help out by pointing interested individuals in the direction of someone who can provide more direct assistance, with an excellent example being a tree trimming company for when a cat has become stuck in a tree. Something that they share with local animal shelters and other animal welfare organizations because they should have received similar questions in the past.
What Should You Do Instead?
Besides this, there are some other things that interested individuals can try. For example, it is possible that a cat is in the inaccessible location because they were spooked. As such, it can be useful to remove anything in the area that can scare the cat before waiting for them to calm down enough to come down on their own. Something that may or may not be helped out by the use of food to encourage them. Unfortunately, this won’t always be the case, so interested individuals might want to look into ways to help cats find a way down as well. Sometimes, it can be helpful to use a laser pointer to show a path down to the cat, who may or may not be able to realize it on their own. Other times, people have been known to try throwing a rope over a branch, tying a carrier to one end of the rope, and then seeing if the cat is willing to get in so that they can be lowered down.
Regardless, it is important to note that cats do not possess infinite reservoirs of strength and stamina. As such, while interested individuals can give them some time to see if they will either come down or come out on their own, there is a limit to how long they should wait. Generally speaking, two days should be considered the absolute maximum. Furthermore, there is a wide range of factors that should convince interested individuals to seek out assistance sooner rather than later. For example, kittens need help much sooner than their adult counterparts because kittens just don’t have the same kind of strength and stamina that the latter possess. Similarly, other cats with physical issues need assistance sooner as well, with excellent examples ranging from those that are overweight to those that have little to no experience to being outdoors. Meanwhile, there are also local conditions that can create a more urgent need for assistance. For instance, if a cat is stuck in a tree while either wet, windy, or freezing weather is expected, interested individuals need to move sooner rather than later to prevent the cat from being struck by the full force of that weather.