Cat stuck in a tree?

It happens all the time.  All cats are natural tree climbers, but when it is time to come down, some cats know how and some don’t.  Those that don’t know how to come down are truly stuck.

Don’t let your cat suffer any longer.  If you are in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area, give me a call or e-mail.  I will rescue your cat, and it won’t cost you a penny.

Cost
I rescue cats for free because I love cats, I hate suffering, and I don’t want the cat to suffer just because someone can’t pay.  Besides, I am retired, so I have the time, and this does not take me away from a paying job.  This is one way in which I am uniquely suited to reduce suffering, and it gives me great joy to do so.

It is very important to me that people know that I will rescue their cat even if they can't afford it.  For this reason, I refuse any offer of payment even though I am very grateful for the gesture.  If you want to give something, I encourage you instead to make a donation to Cat Haven or any other animal welfare organization of your choice.

Not in My Area?
If you are not in the Baton Rouge area, then be sure to check this Directory of cat rescuers all over the world.  Chances are good that you will find someone there.  If no one is listed for your immediate area, do not be afraid to call the ones closest to you.  You may be surprised to learn how far some of the rescuers will go.  Otherwise, they still might be able to help you find someone in your area.  Failing that, call your local tree service companies.  Many do not want to be bothered with cat rescues, but they still might be able to direct you to someone.

Rescue Philosophy
There are many ways to rescue a cat, and my goal is to do so in the least stressful manner possible.  Every cat is different, and every tree is different.  All rescue options will not be suitable in every case, but I will escalate to the next stress level only when the lower ones have failed or been deemed unsuitable.  In the end, however, even a stressful rescue is much better than none at all.

I like to enlist the cat’s cooperation as much as possible.  Not only is that easier on the cat, it makes my job easier as well.  I will use food to entice the cat to come closer to me or inside a carrier.  Most cats that have been stuck in a tree for a day or more are very food-motivated, and many will readily walk into a carrier to get it.  Some cats are so tired of being in the tree that they readily come to me begging for rescue without my enticing them with anything at all.  But not every cat is so cooperative.  Some will cooperate if I give them enough time to get used to me and see that I am not a threat.  However, some cats, especially feral ones, may not cooperate at all and instead climb higher in the tree.  Even so, I still have ways to rescue them.

I love cats, and I love trees too.  I climb trees using ropes and professional climbing methods that do no harm to the tree.  I never use spikes; I don’t even own them.

Why Do I Do This?
Randall descending cedar treeFirst, there is a need for it.  Cats continually get stuck in trees, and there are very few people who are willing and able to help.  In some areas, there is no one who will rescue the cat, and people and their cats suffer needlessly as a result.  I do it to help fill that void and reduce that suffering.  Also, remember that when I rescue a cat, I am also rescuing at least one person as well.  Sometimes, I rescue a whole family, including the children.  The people who love the cat are often suffering more than the cat is, and it feels very rewarding to me to return that cat to their arms and relieve their suffering.

Consider watching one of these slideshows of my favorite images from my rescues, and I think you will understand just how meaningful and important this is both to the people and their cats.


Images

Rescues 101 - 200

Rescues 1 - 100


Rescue Stories
Below this section are the stories of my two most recent rescues.  For these and all the other individual rescue stories, see the Rescue Stories page.  For a general overview, consider these yearly compilations of the best moments from all my rescues.

2016

Kairi

Kairi is a sweet, nine-month-old calico that has been with Jason and Mickey since they bottle-fed her as a small kitten. Kairi got stuck in a tree next to her house in Walker and had been stuck there for two cold nights in spite of Jason's creative efforts to get her down. When I arrived, I found Kairi crying constantly and looking pitiful, lonely and desperate. Unfortunately, the tree she had chosen was less than desirable for climbing, so I had to use a slow, tedious and strenuous method of climbing to reach her. Fortunately, she was only 30 feet high, and, once I reached 20 feet, she got so excited to see me, that she began to work her way down to me. She was trying to go forward down that steep trunk, and her feet kept slipping and sliding. She would stop at a small limb where she could get a foothold, but the closer I got to her, the more desperate she became to come down to me. We were eventually only a few feet apart, but she could not wait for me any longer and made a daring move down the trunk to get closer. As she did so, her lost her grip and flipped as her rear legs slid down one side of the tree while her front legs searched for a grip on the other side. She managed to slow herself down and hang in a head-up position while I reached for her to catch her. I picked her up and placed her in my lap, and she settled in there as if this were something we did everyday. I petted her and held her close to my body as we went down to the ground. Once we were on the ground, she jumped out of my lap and walked into the house.













Sebastian and Bella

Sebastian

Sebastian was the first of two rescues on this afternoon. Sebastian is a four-year-old Ragdoll boy in St. Francisville who climbed 55 feet high in a Pine tree in his front yard and got stuck there. He had been there for two nights, including a rainy one, by the time I arrived. I was hoping that Sebastian would live up to the friendly and docile reputation of the breed, and, indeed, he represented the breed very well. In spite of the almost-angry impatience with which he waited for me to reach him, he greeted me happily as if we were old friends. Getting him into the carrier required neither patience nor enticement, as he reached to step inside even as I was still moving the carrier up to him. He stepped all the way inside and settled in as if knowing that it would be only a few more minutes before he would be back down on the ground. Even after a rough ride through a gauntlet of vines that had invaded the tree, he was still calm enough on the ground to be released there, and Kaitlin scooped him up into her arms and carried him inside.







Bella

As soon as I finished with Sebastian, I drove straight back to Baton Rouge to meet Sam and Ashely and rescue their cat, Bella. Bella is a very sweet, seven-month-old black kitty with a little bit of white on her chest. Bella was stuck about 30 feet high in a Sweetgum tree in her own backyard and had already spent one night there. Just like Sebastian an hour earlier, Bella greeted me happily. Even though I was a stranger to her, she knew I was her ticket home. After the usual greetings, I held the carrier up to her to see if she would go inside. This is the first time I have ever attempted to use a carrier that I had not first cleaned, and I did not know if she would be deterred by the scent of Sebastian who had been in there just an hour or two earlier. I gave her time to sniff the carrier to her satisfaction, and, after about a minute, she stepped all the way inside. I could almost hear her say, "I don't care who was in here; I am not going to miss my ride home." I closed the door and brought her down. We took her inside to release her, and she quickly settled back into her territory and routine.