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Cat Keeps Falling From Cat Tree

Discussion in 'Cat Behavior' started by mmin, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. mmin

    mmin Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Aug 4, 2018
    I'm not too sure if i should put this under cat behaviour or cat health.

    I wrote in a previous thread that my cat probably injured himself somehow, i now believe it's cause of his cat tree? After his previous injury, i turned the cat tree horizontal so that he was no longer able to climb on it and fall down whilst he was recovering. but after seeing that he was getting better, i returned his cat tree to him. i feel like it made his mood so much better, being able to go up high and watch out the windows and stuff. it's a pretty tall cat tree. about 180++cm tall.

    but--
    i've also noticed him falling from the top a couple times now, and about twice i managed to bring him to safety when he was still clinging on before he actually fell. it's not that it's wobbly, or that he's wobbly, i feel like he tends to ... be too reckless??? .. he stands on his toes at the top of the cat tree to hold on the window, and sometimes, he just, moves too fast or just- i don't know, he gets up to top, is safe for awhile, and then he does something reckless and ends up falling.

    Should i turn the tree back horizontal so that he doesn't fall anymore?? but he always seems so happy being able to go up high on his tree i'm conflicted. and the day i returned it to him, his mood completely turned for the better. Any advice?
     
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  2. Purr-fect

    Purr-fect TCS Member Super Cat

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    Apr 20, 2017
    Last week greg, my cat, suddenly developed a very bad limp. He was fine at 7pm and limping at 8pm and had been in the house.

    The only cause I can think of was him spraining his leg jumping from his cat tree onto the possibly slippery hardwood floor.

    I now have a set of stairs against the cat tree. He quickly learnt to use the stairs to access and exit the tree. I will include a pic latter as the cats and I are outside now.
     
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  3. Purr-fect

    Purr-fect TCS Member Super Cat

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    Apr 20, 2017
    Here are some pics of the stairs greg now uses.

    These wouldn't be high enough for your cat. But you could make some at a reasonable cost.

    Cover them with carpet for good traction.

    Google cat stairs for ideas.

    20181202_114355.jpg 20181202_114323.jpg
     
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  4. Kflowers

    Kflowers TCS Member Super Cat

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    Jul 28, 2018
    Stairs look like a good idea. Most of the time we have the elderly and every window has a set of 'stairs' footstool, chair, bookcase to the view.

    I was wondering if the top shelves of the cat tree are level? If they are a little off and he starts to slip, it maybe hard to get a grip. I know cats have no way to grip onto things ;) But I was thinking the unexpected slide might make him miss his grip.
     
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  5. mmin

    mmin Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Aug 4, 2018
    hmm would the stairs help because it’s not the getting up that is the problem, he gets up fine, stays up there for quite awhile, then does something possibly reckless while he’s up there and ends up falling down.

    Because it’s such a tall cat tree (>180 cm) i’m worried when he falls—
     
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  6. mmin

    mmin Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Aug 4, 2018
    also, he's about 6.5 months old!
     
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  7. TobiDaDog

    TobiDaDog TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Aug 7, 2018
    Reese does this too. >.< She gets to the top of the tree and gets careless, just jumping around and climbing on things. Sometimes she will misstep or jump too high and fall from the top. It scares the crap out of me.
     
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  8. Columbine

    Columbine TCS Member Staff Member Advisor

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    Feb 27, 2015
    The kitty playground
    My boys are pretty reckless too, especially Shenka. Stabilising the cat tree helped (I tethered my tallest tree to a very heavy, sturdy bookshelf), as does checking and tightening the tree joints regularly to keep it as still and strong as possible.

    I have kind of mezzanine levels in a couple of rooms. The access for one is a vertical 7ft ladder. The boys love going up there but have a worrying tendency for death defying leaps from the top :cringe: (they do the same from the top of the stairs, bypassing the stairs and taking death-leaps over the side all the way to the ground floor).

    My solution is to provide crash mats for them. For the mezzanine level, I use my lab's huge memory foam dog bed, further padded out with pillows. For the ground floor, I have a kind of futon thing which, when folded, is a triple layer of thick cushions.

    It's not the prettiest solution, especially the dog bed one, but it does keep them safer.

    Another option would be to get a lower cat tree. 180cm+ is very tall. Something a bit smaller might be safer, whilst still giving your guy high places to climb and settle in.
     

  9. Gizmobius

    Gizmobius TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Dec 4, 2016
    Michigan
    I just recently got an 80 inch cat tree that Gizmo's managed to already fall from once already. There's clear ways for him to get up to the top, yet this boy decides to blaze his own trails and chooses the absolute dumbest ways to try to get there! He was fine after his fall, thankfully, but I told myself if he does it again, I'm just going to line the floor with soft landings like somebody else suggested. Beds or pillows or whatever I can think of.
     
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  10. Maria Bayote

    Maria Bayote TCS Member Adult Cat

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    Jan 15, 2018
    Doha
    Young cats get excited, just like toddlers with their new toys. And they get reckless. :)
    They do get happy when up there. I suggest to just put soft landing spots for your fur boy, like pillows.
     
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  11. Kflowers

    Kflowers TCS Member Super Cat

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    Jul 28, 2018
    Older cats nap in high places and roll over and off.
     
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  12. tnrmakessense

    tnrmakessense TCS Member Young Cat

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    Sep 22, 2015
    Central Florida
    Yep, those youngun's are just plain reckless and have no fear. It might me a good idea to put the tree on its side until he's a bit bigger. And if he insists on going up places he shouldn't (like most do) what I do is put towels/rugs/etc on the floor below to cushion the fall. Maybe hang a sheet next to it so he can grab it on the way down to keep him from plummeting. (my curtains are a safety measure for kittens insisting on climbing up to the window sill.)
     
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  13. Kflowers

    Kflowers TCS Member Super Cat

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    Love the idea of hanging the sheet to swing down like a golden age of film hero.
     
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  14. tnrmakessense

    tnrmakessense TCS Member Young Cat

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    Sep 22, 2015
    Central Florida
    Loved that mental image !
     
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  15. Nissas

    Nissas TCS Member Kitten

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    Dec 3, 2018
    New here, but I've had my fair share of experience with cat trees. I'd suggest getting a couple at different heights, and putting them next to eachother. My setup is next to our sectional couch, so our cats have plenty of places to jump off onto. I tend to find free standing cat trees too dangerous, and if your kitty is being too reckless, you need to accommodate for their safety.
     

  16. bear

    bear TCS Member Young Cat

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    Feb 19, 2005
    South Coast of California
    Stabilization of the exercise tree is important.
    One difficulty can be having multiple cats on the tree. A larger (or active) cat might jump from the top and tip the tree enough to dump a sleeping cat onto the ground.

    I have a PussiKat tree that goes to the ceiling. I can tighten the top to make it fit enough to keep a big cat from dropping the other cat.

    Additionally, I don't have any high solid platforms.

    I configured my tree to have three hammocks. These are like metal squares, with soft material that covers them and is zipped onto the square. The cat is partially contained by sinking into the middle, reducing chances of falling out.

    I did add an affordable cat condo at the top. This lets them crawl into a den that is hard to fall out of. It also has a ridge around the circular top, that tends to keep them contained when asleep.

    One big advantage of the PussiKat trees are they can be rebuilt and reconfigured. I got this one used in 2001. I have rebuilt it once and would like to save up to rebuild it again. You can get the columns is varying sizes. The hammocks are available in two sizes and multiple colors.

    In the images you can see my 13 pound former feral tomcat as he comes down from the top hammock, down to the lower hammock. He is 12, yet was run over at about 1 year of age and has a bad hip joint and one leg bone healed off set and is more than an inch short.

    If you look at the bottom hammock, you can see the cover needs replaced and get an idea of the metal rod structure.

    Notice that the middle hammock is larger. It also spans between two columns for added strength.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    This last image shows Valentine the 13 pound male and Forte the 8 pound female sharing the larger center hammock. Really cozy. SO much so that sometimes he scruffs her while making "murrrror" noises to tell her he is dominant and it is his. Then he shares.
    [​IMG]
     
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  17. mazie

    mazie TCS Member Top Cat

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    Jan 11, 2015
    south Georgia
    I have heard the old school of thought, "cats are either tree dwellers or bush dwellers." Since that does not need an explanation as to what is meant by that, I will go on to say that Katy is definitely a "bush" dweller. When I got her 3 years ago from a shelter, I bought a 7-8 foot cat tree for her. Well, she loved to climb, BUT when she would get to the top tiers, I could see her "hanging on for dear life". I would have to go over to her and lifter her back down, she was clinging to the sisal post, I was so afraid she would fall and get hurt. So, what I did was take off the 2 top tiers, now when she gets onto her tree, she is about 4 feet plus (never actually measured) the height. she is very happy, can stretch out on the top 2 tiers of the tree and take a sun bath in front of the window. Also, I have noticed through the years that if something scares her, she will not find something to climb, she will go underneath a chair, bed, will try and hide down low out of sight, thus my "bush" dweller. :);)
     
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  18. Kflowers

    Kflowers TCS Member Super Cat

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    Jul 28, 2018
    So much sympathy with Katy.
     
    mazie purraised this.

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