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Cat dislikes high-up places?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Before I even went to the shelter to attempt to pick out a kitty, I did tons of research on how to prepare my home. I got a cat tree, I covered every stable, high up surface with pillows/towels to encourage climbing, made little "sill cozies" for my windows.. heck, I even arranged various pieces of furniture in tiers so he could go on up easily. My living room became a variable kitty-cat jungle gym.

Right. So, cut to four months later (Niko is now 11 mos.), he just doesn't seem interested in climbing or jumping up on higher places. Never has been. At all. He's definitely physically able (he runs around like a li'l furry nut), and he's not frightful or anything. He'll go up just fine for a tasty treat, but he'll just push it off the edge and jump down to enjoy it. I believe the highest he's ever gone, on his own volition, was the top of the couch or on my window sills.

I always believed climbing and hanging out on high up places were a few of cats' fav things, but as usual, Niko seems to be the exception to the rule.

Anyone else have a cat that likes to "lay low"?
post #2 of 16
Get rid of all the towels and pillows and sill-cosies for a start - you may have thought you were helping, but they make the surface an unstable landing place and if your cat has tried jumping onto any of these things he is unlikely to try again because they just aren't a good surface to land on, he needs to be able to use his pawpads and the tips of his claws on a solid surface, and towels especially can catch in his claws and be unpleasant to walk across.

It could be that he's just not into climbing, but the soft furnishings that you have put on every surface are more than likely acting as discouragement to jump about and land safely!
post #3 of 16
I have one that seems to be a bit afraid of heights. Last year I tried putting the outside cat food on top of the cat house in hopes the raccoons wouldn't get it, but it would be easy for the cats to access. Wrong! I even picked Lippy up and put him by the cat food to show him what was there and the only thing he was interested in was getting down. I figured he is just one of the odd ones that likes all four feet on the down low and stable.
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
@Epona: I took all the fluffy stuff down about a month and a half ago, and that didn't help, as he still is quite uninterested. That was actually my initial suspicion, that he didn't like the towels 'n stuff, but oddly, he wouldn't even go back up on the sills /without/ the li'l cozies I made. I only put those back up.. he seems to like anything crocheted (already claimed two of my throws as his).

It doesn't bother me that he doesn't like to climb, heck- it makes it easier for me as he's prone to tipping things off of shelves, beds, and tables. I just thought he was missing out on an important part of kittydome, but I guess he's just not that into it.
post #5 of 16
Its possible the cat was hurt or something in the past that made him leary of going in high places. Or maybe he really is afraid of heights. What happens if you put him up high at the top of the treehouse? Does he stay? act scared?
post #6 of 16
Maybe you could make him (you seem handy!) a floor-house, like we did for our rabbits - 2' square rooms, 1-2' high for the first storey, and the same (if not as wide) for the second... connected by a ramp inside or something, with soft carpetting without loops in it. Cats do like hunkering into caves!
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
@GoldenKitty45: He seems fine if I scoop him up and put him up somewhere. He doesn't act scared, sometimes he'll curl up and snooze for a few moments, but usually, he just gets down.. though not in any particular hurry. But he'll never go up there unless I put him there, or I lure him with a treat.

@Larke: I've tried making little hidey boxes, but he doesn't go in them. He likes wide, open spaces, like under the bed- and that's generally only if he's bored and wants to play with something he's found under there. He's not much of a hider or scaredy cat.. he's quite nosy and is always running /to/ commotions to see what's going on, instead of running away from 'em. I think it's cause he was in a cage all the time before he came home with me and doesn't like anything confining.
post #8 of 16
Maybe he is just comfy in his domain and doesn't feel the need to survey for any interlopers? Wonder what he would do if you brought in another cat? Interesting fellow
He sure is beautiful!
post #9 of 16
Some cats are just earth bound. American Shorthairs are famous for being the most earth bound cats!
post #10 of 16
Sounds as if he is just not into climbing then! Not all cats are, look on the bright side at least you're not at risk of being woken by a cat leaping off the top of the wardrobe onto your stomach

If he's not using the cat tree, try moving it to a position where he can use it to see out of a window, that may generate some interest
post #11 of 16
Riley loves his cat tree, but my foster cat Akasha has no interest in it or any other high place. She spends most of her time on the floor. The back of the couch is the only place she goes higher.
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epona View Post
Sounds as if he is just not into climbing then! Not all cats are, look on the bright side at least you're not at risk of being woken by a cat leaping off the top of the wardrobe onto your stomach
You mean cats do that?????
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epona View Post
Sounds as if he is just not into climbing then! Not all cats are, look on the bright side at least you're not at risk of being woken by a cat leaping off the top of the wardrobe onto your stomach

If he's not using the cat tree, try moving it to a position where he can use it to see out of a window, that may generate some interest
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
You mean cats do that?????
Taco did exactly that to me the other night. My stomach is still sore where he hit, I've got a bruise there now!
post #14 of 16
My Smudgey has depth perception issues so isn't keen on being high. She'll climb to the top of the cat tree (which is about chest high), but up until a couple of months ago (she's 1 1/2), would not jump directly down from the top. She should jump to the next level down, then to the window sill, then to the bottom level, then onto the ground Now she puts her front paw on the middle level, leans down, then jumps to the ground from there.

She loves being on our shoulders, but she slips, and falls and gets completely uncoordinated because she hates being up high. Once we lean down a bit, she's happy.

So yes, I have a weird cat as well.

Actually Lily doesn't really try to get up high either. She'll chase Smudge to the top of the cat tree, but prefers to sit in the middle level.

Only Stumpy likes to climb the tv onto the mantlepiece, climb the linen cupboard shelves, jump up into the wardrobe, find a way on top of the fridge etc.
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
You mean cats do that?????
It's like being hit by a falling breezeblock when Sonic does it
post #16 of 16
Wow, a cat that doesn't like heights!? Colour me surprised!
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