Any advice on getting a stray cat out of a tree?

A cat near my home has been stuck up a tree for at least 24 hours (I first saw it around 10AM Friday morning; it’s now 10:30AM Saturday morning). I assume it’s a stray - no longer really a kitten, but it doesn’t look quite fully grown yet. It’s hard to spot: I only noticed it yesterday because it was mewling loudly. This morning I left some food near the base of the tree, but when I came back a couple of hours later, that hadn’t been enough for the presumably famished cat to overcome its fears and descend.

I’d guess the cat is about 4 meters up the tree itself (and in quite a comfortable little bower of branches); what’s especially tricky is that the tree is on a steep slope, and even scrambling down the slope to the base of the tree looks tricky, never mind climbing up (at which point I’m sure the cat would just ascend to a higher branch). Some of you may know the stairs that go up to TKU/Tamkang University: the tree is beside those stairs. Plus, with the tree growing out from the hill, if the cat fell directly down, it could be 6-7 meters to the ground. The tree itself has a trunk that’s perhaps 30-40cm across? If it were on flat grass, it may be climbable, but on that slope, it’d be a bad idea.

Yesterday morning I assumed it’d come down soon, perhaps by trying to come down head first and then just falling, or by backing down. But it’s 24 hours later, and it’s still up there.

Anyway, I’m trying to figure out a way to help that wouldn’t also be dangerous. I’m appalling at judging distances, but from the walkway running along the hillside, it MAY be possible to reach the cat with a ladder or long stick (with a net at the end?) - not that I have a long stick with a net at the end handy.

We have a net on the end of a long pole. Which campus is it?

The cat is scared shitless. Firemen usually grab them and bring them down. Eventually it will come down on its own or fall down (hopefully not breaking anything).

But if you can get up there, get it down. OR call the Fire Department. They do those things, even in Taiwan.

Be careful though because although scared, it can still bite or scratch.

Especially if it is a feral cat.

Does anyone have any idea which campus this is?

Sorry I’ve been out for the day. It’s the Danshui TKU campus. I’ll be in the area again in a couple of hours, and hope to see no cat in the tree.

Edit: that was kind of unclear. I’ll see if that cat is still there, and will post here. I guess if it is still there, I’ll check again in the morning, and if the poor thing is still stuck we can somehow make arrangements.

Thanks for the suggestions.

Damn. 10:30PM and the poor thing is still stuck up there - so that’s 36 hours since I first saw it, and who knows how long it’d already been up the tree at that point. At least it still has the energy to be complaining loudly (a mild surprise: most of the time I’ve seen it it’s been quiet).

Ex Animo, if for some bizarre reason you have teams out and about in the middle of the night: go up Yingzhuan Road (in Danshui), through the night market, and follow the road as it winds to the right; you’ll come to the big flights of stairs that go up to TKU/Tamkang. Climb up the first flight of stairs, to where there’s a pedestrian/scooter path that runs along the hill: the treed cat is basically at the “intersection” of the stairs and that pedestrian/scooter path. If you’re going up the stairs: when you get to that path, turn left, and go maybe 2 meters - just a few steps. The cat is on the downhill side. (If you’re coming down the stairs, from the TKU campus, the cat will be on the right side of the stairs.) The cat’s bower is easily visible, but if the cat’s not making noise, it may still be hard to spot - there are street lights along that path, so there’s enough light to operate. The cat itself is a bit but not much above eye level.

But far more likely: I’ll get up moderately early tomorrow and check again - and if the cat is still there, I’ll post again.

A map for the cat?

Hm. So this is how Google maps apparently works. Cool - I didn’t know I could save pins and locations like that.

That link above should lead to a map with four pins: one showing where the cat’s tree is, approximately, two showing stair access, and one showing scooter access. Note that Google Maps is wrong/misleading: 水源街一段83巷 is scooter/pedestrian only, no cars; the “road” that heads north out of the “在地米粉” restaurant is actually the stairs, and not something anything wheeled can take (and for that matter the restaurant doesn’t exist either). If you’re in a scooter, you can take that up 水源街一段83巷; otherwise, park a car at either the base or the top of the stairs.

But to me it seems more practical for me to get up early to try to meet tomorrow morning. I’ll PM you as well.

Why not call the Fire Dept. They do get cats out of trees , even in TAiwan. OR hopefully ex animo can get out there. That cat is not going anywhere on its own.

My current hope is that I can meet Ex Animo, or his people, tomorrow morning and try to get that cat down. If that doesn’t work, I’ll get my wife on Plan B tomorrow (hmm, that doesn’t sound quite right, does it?), and have her calling around, starting with the fire department. But for now it’s 11PM, and I suspect kitty-in-a-tree is up there for another night.

I really thought cats could always make their way down! But yeah, at 36+ hours, this one doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

I can come in the morning. Call me if needed: 0920620109. In about 25 mins away. Cheers.

We used to all gather around at the bottom of the tree with a blanket or sleeping bag, then someone goes up and gracefully finds a way to scare the cat enough to slip, and catch it in the blanket… yes, not nice to scare a cat, but it’s better for it in the long run… or wait for hours or days until if falls asleep…

Happy ending: the incomparable Ex Animo came by (great to meet you!), and, when faced with two white people waving big sticks and nets at it, our treed little friend jumped to another tree, and then managed to scramble/fall down that bigger trunk. And off it went, disappearing into the trees.

So apparently the cat was more terrified of me than of starvation or dying of thirst. I’m not sure how I feel about that.

Anyway, I hope the cat managed to find the water and food we left behind - I’m sure some hungry kitty will find it, anyway.

Ex Animo, thanks again!

Good job guys.

No problem. That’s what we’re here for. Good to meet you and your other half, lostinasia, and many thanks for making sure that young cat got down.

The rescuee:

For future reference… usually a cat that can climb into a tree can get itself out. I think they will stay for long periods of time only because they are afraid but will come down eventually when it is hungry enough. Placing stinky/yummy food (canned tuna!) near the base of the tree and leaving is probably the most effective advice to get a stray cat out of a tree.

These strays seem to be pretty independent and don’t like people much. I think trying to actively get a stray out of a tree would just stress it out like crazy and risk injury as it tries to escape. In most cases, its probably better to leave it alone?

That’s actually not true. Cats can climb up trees very easily, but not down. This is because of the direction of their claws. Young cats especially find it very difficult and very scary to come back down a practically vertical tree.

I assumed that at first, but I’d already tried the food trick (about 24 hours after I first saw it), and it had been up there for at least 48 hours (from when I first saw it - who knows how long it had been up there before then). Note that the day temperature has consistently been in the low to mid 30s for the past week - that cat was already facing severe dehydration. It wasn’t coming down without some form of help (=scare/stress, unfortunately, but that’s the way many animals work).

great work guys :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: