Tree Climbing Problem

Jaapie's_Human

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This is my British short hair Jaapie. He is a big and strong 3 year old that is kept inside. When my wife and I adopted him at one year of age, his previous mum told us he had only been outside a couple of times. We let him outside when he had gotten used to us, and initially all went well. We live in a mostly quiet village with a lot of trees, bushes, and other cats. The problem is, Jaapie climbs up trees and can't get down. I had to rescue him twice, and on the third time, I couldn't get him out of a neighbour's tree with a ladder because of the tree structure. We had to leave him crying up in the tree, and in the morning he was waiting to come inside. We can only guess that he fell asleep and fell out of the tree.

Should we continue to keep Jaapie inside? I want him to play outside because he obviously has a lot of energy, and looks longingly outside from windows. If I let him outside, what should I do if he gets caught up a tree? Should I rescue him if possible? Will he learn? I think he is neurologically divergent, so I don't think he will ever learn. I love him dearly, and would not like to see him hurt falling from a tree or getting hit by traffic. Am I being overly protective?
 

Mamanyt1953

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You are not being overly protective. Indoor-only cats live at least twice as long as those who are outdoors without supervision. If you really want to give him safe outdoor time, I'd suggest training him to a harness (a "holster" type is the safest) and leash. That way, you can walk him outdoors, he gets the fun of exploring, and you can keep him out of trees. Or, if your living arrangements allow it, a catio that he can access at will is a lovely thing to have.

If you decide on the harness and leash, you are in for a treat. It is very different from walking a dog. The cat always leads, and, if you allow it, he will give you access to his world, what he sees, smells, hears. It can be an amazing experience if you pay attention!
 

Dewey

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If you don't already, I guess you could trim the nails to make it more difficult to climb the trees, but it also puts a risk if your cat gets in a fight.
 
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