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Cat Jumping And Climbing Behavior

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 Momcat 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 Momcat 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, Momcat 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, Momcat 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, rememberArticle Search, 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 down to 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!

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Cats need the opportunity to exercise their jumping and climbing skills and they will absolutely find a place they feel is suited for this.  You may not feel these are appropriate places for your cat to "hang out."   Sometimes my two 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 into 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. If you think a cat tower is just what your furry friends need go to and see if you can find the perfect one for you and your kitties.

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