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Why Do Cats Like Heights?

Petmate Academy

May 10, 2021

Have you ever noticed that your cat seems to like exploring high places? Maybe you've seen your feline friend jumping on top of tall dressers, bookshelves, or even on top of the kitchen cupboards and cabinets. If you've ever been curious as to why your cat, and many others, seem drawn to heights, keep reading to learn more!


Believe it or not, there are actually a number of reasons why cats like heights! We may not know for sure why your cat specifically likes to chill out in your high windowsill or on top of your refrigerator, but here are a few possible reasons:

1. The first reason is for survival. This might seem confusing at first because your house cat is not likely encountering life-or-death situations on a daily basis. However, cats are animals with the same instincts as their relatives that live in the wild. Climbing and hanging out in high places is a way that wild cats escape from predators, stay safe, and wait on prey without being seen. This natural instinct, then, could definitely play a role in why your cat likes to climb!

2. The next reason why cats may like to climb is simply just for fun! Just like other pets, cats love to play and find new things to do. Climbing and jumping to the top of tall furniture and other spaces, then, is a way that they keep themselves entertained and have some fun, especially if they live in a smaller space and don't have as many places they can explore on the ground.

3. Another reason why cats may like to climb is to spend some time alone. If you live in a house with multiple pets or small children, it's likely that your cat doesn't get much time to himself. Cats, like people, often need time to recharge and rest, especially when they want to sleep and be left alone. Finding a high spot out of the way of people and other pets, then, is another reason why you may spot them up high and out of reach.

4. Last of all, cats may enjoy hanging out in high places because these spots are often warmer. Since heat rises, cats may be drawn to high spaces to enjoy basking in some warmer air during cooler months or when finding a nice spot to take a nap.


You might be wondering, should I be concerned that my cat is always spending time in high places? Does this mean my cat feels unsafe in my home? Is he or she too bored? Is it safe for them to be up so high?

Before you start panicking, know that it's perfectly normal for cats to want to climb and jump up to higher spots! It does not necessarily mean that they feel unsafe or are bored in your home. However, you do want to be aware of your pet's safety when they are hanging out in high spots, since many cats are fearless when it comes to heights. Don't leave any windows or screens open that they could fall out of, and be sure that whatever surface or piece of furniture they're on is stable and won't fall over or collapse under their weight.

You may have heard the phrase "a cat always lands on its feet." While this is usually true, it's not always the case. And just because a cat lands on its feet doesn't mean that it won't end up injured. When a cat falls from a high place, it can injure its head, pelvis, paws, legs, or other parts of its body. "High rise syndrome" refers to when a cat is injured from falling from a high place. As stated above, it's important to take precautions and keep your cat safe to avoid high rise syndrome and vet visits. Another good way to avoid this is by providing your cat with safe places specifically just for them to hang out.


a cat sitting on top of a cat post


So, what are some good climbing options for your cat? Cat trees and climbing posts are a few great choices! They are vertical and don't take up too much room if you have a small space. They are also easy to purchase or even build if you're looking for a HIY project. Another idea is installing shelving options specifically for your cat to climb or perch on, especially near windows so that they can enjoy watching birds and relaxing in the warm sun! (Just make sure that you don't leave the windows wide open!)


If you've been noticing your cat spending time in high spots, don't be alarmed. Know that this is a natural and normal behavior for cats, and consider setting up a designated space just for them to relax! They will be sure to love it.

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