A grey cat hiding under a table

Most cat owners are highly attuned to their cat’s preferences. They provide the right food and toys, set out the snuggliest blankets for them to curl up in, and always save cardboard boxes. 

Based on the widespread popularity of cat trees and high vertical climbing structures, it’s easy to think that all cats enjoy surfaces high off the floor, too, but this simply isn’t true. Your cat’s environment should reflect their preferences: Are they a tree or bush dweller?

Fur Real!

When observing your cat’s behavior as an interested bystander, does your kitty tend to hop up to the top of cupboards or bookshelves? Or, do they prefer to find dark, cozy corners or places very close to the floor? Depending on what you see, you can decide on whether you have a bush or tree dweller for a pet. 

When your cat’s environment doesn’t meet their needs you may see certain behaviors, such as scratching, marking, or aggression. As a result, it is essential to understand what they like (and the many other things that upset them!).

The Truth of the Matter

Bush dwelling cats inherited their preference for the ground from their wild ancestors. They don’t climb trees like jaguars or cougars. Instead, like servals, bush dwelling cats like to make their beds in overgrown grass or bushy shrubbery. They may also look for areas that offer protection or security, like under tables or beds.

Bush dwelling cats also like boxes, bags, or comfy areas that surround them almost completely. 

Owners of bush dwelling cats should always be aware of any hazards, such as choking or entanglement risks, that lay close to the floor.

Going High

Tree dwelling cats feel safe and confident when they achieve some altitude. You might notice them climbing items, like drapes or curtains, shelves, and other high structures, like the fridge,  to best survey their territory. 

Love Your Cat’s Environment

Obviously, cat trees are made for tree dwellers, but they can also be employed for bush dwellers if they have little caves or hideouts on the bottom levels. Otherwise, bush dwellers will always take to covered cat beds, cubes, cardboard boxes, tunnels or cozy cat caves. 

Tree dwellers may also enjoy wall-mounted cat beds close to the ceiling, walkways or bridges that give them access to high perches and platforms that provide great views out a window. Like bush dwellers, their safety is paramount so check out what risks might face your climbing, courageous feline. As they get older, you may have to reinforce their efforts with secure ramps or lower platforms.

Springbrook Cat Health and Happiness

Every cat is unique and has highly individualized tastes. As such, it’s always best to provide as much variety to your cat’s environment in order to keep them happy and satisfied. By maintaining places that nurture their preferences you are all but guaranteeing a well-adjusted and affectionate cat/roommate.

As always, if you have questions or concerns about your cat’s health or behavior, the cat veterinarians at Springbrook Animal Care Center are always here for you.