Whether it’s the top of the refrigerator, a cat perch, the highest shelf of a bookcase, or the top cushions of the sofa, cats cherish those elevated locations. You may have purchased the most comfortable, enticing cat bed on the market but if it’s placed on the floor, it may be ignored by the cats in your home. Why do cats love elevated perches so much? Here are some reasons:
1. More Visual Warning Time for Your Cat
When the cat is on an elevated perch she can more easily see more of her environment. The ability to see whether a predator or opponent enters the area can provide her with much needed extra seconds to
- Plan her escape
- Remain silent and hidden
- Prepare to attack
- Determine whether the approaching animal or human is a threat
2. Prevent an Ambush from Behind by Another Cat
For an indoor cat, if the perch is situated close to a wall or window, it limits an opponent’s ability to sneak up and ambush from behind. In an outdoor setting, the cat may also choose an elevated location that limits or eliminates the possibility of a surprise rear attack.
3. A Way for a Cat to Display Status
In a multicat environment, a higher ranking cat may choose the top elevated location to display her positioning in the group. When there’s tension between cats with a possibility of aggression, a higher ranking cat may go to an elevated location to show status and it can often be enough to thwart a fight.
4. Out of Reach
If the cat lives in a household with young children or dogs, the ability to retreat to a high perch is the best way to be left alone. In our house, my children and my dog were taught early on that when the cat is her cat tree it means she doesn’t want company.
In a multicat household where there’s any tension, you might find one or more of the cats feel more secure eating their meals in an elevated location. It can also be an easy way to keep an older, less mobile or obese cat away from a younger kitten’s food.