Why Do Cats Love High Places?

If you own a cat, then you’ve probably noticed that they tend to explore every nook and cranny of your home. They do this as part of their territorial nature in order to feel more secure where they live. If you have a new kitten or puppy, then you’ll probably notice that the old cat will try to maintain the advantage of the high ground–and might even use it as a perch from which to mount his preemptive strike against this dangerous new threat to his alpha dominance.

Cats love high places. It’s no secret. This love of higher altitude can pose quite a problem if you’re the type of pet owner who maintains a strict no-cat on furniture policy. Trying to keep a cat from jumping on the couch, dinner table, counter, or bed is a difficult feat to achieve and maintain. They’re not trying to be rebellious. They just need to be as high as possible to scout for potential predators. It’s a hunting instinct, and they feel safer when they can watch from above.

Their bodies are even built to give them this predatory advantage. Cats are normally graceful because they have powerful leg and back muscles that help them better coordinate their movements. They use their claws to maintain balance when they land, which is why declawing a cat can affect more than just their ability to hunt or scratch.

That doesn’t mean that cats don’t fall. In the spring months, veterinarians often see an increase in the number of “high-rise syndrome” cases. Cats will accidentally fall from high-rise windows and balconies, often killing themselves in the process. Even if a cat survives the fall, it can be a dangerous new environment when he hasn’t explored the great outdoors before. Get your cat immediate medical attention after a fall, and he has a 90 percent chance to survive.

How can you make your rooms more amenable to cats? Well, start by placing staggered bookshelves in every room where you can. Put a comfy blanket or kitty bed with toys on that top shelf, and you’ll probably notice that your cat will love the spot. Many pet owners like to purchase cat towers, but there’s no reason to do that if you can implement this additional functionality into your own interior design!