While plenty of cat breeds like to stay near the ground, there are some breeds that really love to climb. What about the Maine Coon cat?
Do Maine Coons Like to Climb? Maine Coon cats absolutely love to climb. Their claws were and still are natural gifts that enable them to climb, escaping into the treetops or going high to wait for prey to come their way. Climbing is an instinct and it is hard-wired in cats to engage in such behavior, especially Maine Coons.
Continue reading for some suggestions about ways to help your Maine Coon enjoy climbing, what to do if your Maine Coon gets stuck and more.
Why Do They Climb And Why You Should Know
The natural history of the cat can point us in the right direction when it comes to knowing why Maine coons love doing this so much.
The Maine Coon had to work hard to survive in the wild, just like the ancestors of the house cats we have today. Cats are predators for sure, but they also can be victim to larger predators.
Climbing high up on trees was one way for the cat to avoid being taken by a predator who sought a quick meal, keeping them away from ground-dwelling enemies.
Climbing also provides cats a method of holding onto their prey, lest other animals try and steal it. Cats could stash away their spoils in holes in trees, much like leopards in the wild do today.
Today, many cats enjoy climbing, especially the Maine Coon. While many of our Maine Coons will not have to worry about predators or finding food on their own, they still enjoy going back to their roots and climbing on anything and everything they can get their paws on.
They feel much more secure when they are high up in the air and feel better about sharing their territory with other cats when they can retreat to an elevated space.
The flexible bodies of the Maine Coon and their claws are excellent tools for climbing, a natural gift to hold on tight and move quickly up nearly any surface, whether it is a couch or a tree.
In sum, Maine Coons climb because:
- They have the claws to do so
- It gives them the feeling of hunting
- They may do it out of protection for their lives
- They may stash food away in some cases
What Can I Do to Help My Cat Climb?
Sometimes you have to go out on a limb, no pun intended, when it comes to helping your Maine Coon get the exercise and urge to climb out of their system. You should consider some of these ideas to help your cat climb in a healthy and safe way:
- Cat trees (In this article, we show you a couple of cat trees that are large and sturdy enough for Maine Coons.)
- A piece of wood brought indoors if appropriate
- Oak cat tree (looks very classy and almost like a shelf, but still great for cats.)
There are other factors that play into why your cat might like to climb.
- Your cat may be getting into a predator situation in which he or she is running from a large predator and gets themselves stuck in a tree. This is definitely not because they like to do this, rather it is a matter of staying safe from a creature that is attempting to hurt them. Cats tend to go high when they feel they are in a sticky situation or threatened, so it is not really a matter of enjoyment, but a matter of self-preservation.
- Going high up into a tree gives the Maine Coon a vantage point and the ability to keep an eye on everything.
Cats often get stuck in trees, and Maine Coons are no different, even if they are bigger and very smart.
It’s so easy for cats of all kinds to climb trees, especially your beloved Maine Coon. Cat claws are in fact natural and perfect tools for climbing upwards – it’s like watching Spiderman go up a building!
But once a cat gets up very high, it becomes clear to them that getting down is going to be a different matter altogether.
Cats may have difficulty coordinating their back and front feet when it is time to come back down. This is not a normal movement for cats. It’s kind of like us humans when we get on skates or a bike for the first time – we have to coordinate and balance, which becomes a whole new complex movement that we haven’t assimilated yet.
Cats, more often than not, prefer to jump from high distances instead of climbing down.
One cat we know loves to get up on a high window, and she always makes the five-foot jump. She does not climb down the wall or a nearby bookshelf. Consider your own cat-when she gets off the chair, does she jump or climb? Chances are you will say “jump”.
In some cases, cats may have the ability to climb down, but rather is too afraid to make the huge jump from a, say, 20-foot distance off the ground.
We would not want your Maine Coon making a huge jump either unless there was a soft-landing zone! This also happens to cats who are not used to going outdoors, also.
Furthermore, cats that are declawed are at a higher risk of getting stuck in a tree.
In sum, help your cat by doing this:
- Supplying them with a cat tree to get exercise and play
- Keeping them away from tall trees
- Keeping them relaxed so they do not feel the need to go high
What to Do If My Maine Coon is Stuck?
Sometimes, we cannot help it and our Maine Coon will get stuck in a tree because they just love to climb for fun.
If your cat is stuck, you can do any number of things to help her out. TV and movies always show a fire engine with a retractable ladder, but that’s the stuff of Hollywood. Here are some ideas you can use:
- Food Lures
- Climbing Up Yourself
- Creating an Incline
- Calling Help/Getting Assistance
Your Maine Coon loves food as all cats do. Pull out some of his favorite cat food that might help your cat make the effort to jump down from his high perch. You can warm up some wet food to get the aroma up in the air, helping make it easy for cats to come down.
You do run the risk of attracting other cats, however, so get a chair, set the food down, and relax. Your cat will also relax and realize it is okay to come down.
If you are able and it is safe, you can also climb after your kitty. This is potentially dangerous, so do make sure you can only do this if you able, have a friend to help you, and conditions are safe.
Keep somebody on the ground as your spotter, and this way you will always have someone to get help in case something goes wrong.
Be sure the cat trusts whoever will climb the ladder. A stranger may stress out the cat even more. Even calling a company known for having long ladders-an electric company, house painter, or roofing company might be willing to loan their ladder for a fee.
Creating a ramp or incline is another way for your kitty to come down. You can get a sturdy board from your garage or neighbor’s house and prop it up, giving the cat a way to climb down.
This is much easier, safer and less risky overall than climbing up after your Maine Coon.
Getting outside help is another way for you to get your precious feline friend out of the tree. Calling a local animal shelter or rescue group will have what you need, and they will have the equipment to handle it like the pros they are. Just go with this option if you can, as it is safer for all.
Are Maine Coon Cats nice? These gentle giants are outgoing, sometimes even referred to as “dogs of the cat world.” They are intelligent and friendly cats. They socialize well with other people and pets.
How Much Does a Maine Coon Cat Cost? Be ready to make an investment in these beautiful cats. The average price for a Maine Coon is about $1000. They can be adopted in shelters for less money, even though most of them won´t be purebred.
Are Maine Coon Cats Indoor Cats? Maine Coon cats can be kept as indoor cats, but if you can let your cat outdoors to play, that is great too. They like to get mental and physical exercise by playing outside.