How to Get an Animal Down from a Tree

Some Phoenix animals are built to climb but not necessarily to descend. Cats, for example, have claws that curve inward, providing them with great traction going up a tree trunk, but absolutely no help going down. They are good, fearless jumpers with springy legs that provide soft landings if they are not too high up.

But like humans, Arizona cats can be intimidated by heights, so if yours finds him/herself stranded in a tree it may need your assistance. If it’s been up there for a while, it may be scared. That’s when you need to consider how effect the rescue.

This may call for some strategic thinking on your part. Remember that if kitty is already upset and you start climbing after it, shinnying up the trunk or climbing up a ladder, it may feel threatened and move further up the tree. (Scared Arizona cats are not logical.) If it’s been in the tree for a while, the cat’s probably going to be hungry so you can oftenattract/calmit with strong-smelling food such as salmon or tuna, placedas close to the cat as possible. Maybe you can grab it when it takes the bait.You could also place the food in a bag on a pole and bagthe cat when it goes for the food. Or just place the bait at the base of the tree and give kitty a reason to climb down.

If you’re going to use a ladder, be sure it’s on stable ground and that you are comfortable with heights. Wear gloves, a jacket or long-sleeved shirt to protect yourself, because scared Phoenix kitties are prone to scratch. When you’ve got your pet, bagit so that you don’t have to battle a wriggling feline while making your way down the ladder.

If you’re not going to use a bag or basked, grasp the Phoenix kitty by the scruff of its neck to bring it down. Cats are not uncomfortable held like this, and it keeps their claws away from your skin. Some rescuers have been successful using a makeshift bucket/pulley system. The bucket is baitedand the line tossed over a limb as near as possible to the cat’s location. Cat goes for food, jumps into bucket, you lower bucket mission complete. Cats are not the only animals that can get stuck in a tree. Many kinds of small Arizona pets and birds can run into trouble. Most importantly, know what you can do, do what you can, and get help if you need it.

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