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Why Does My Cat Climb Me Like a Tree?

Why Does My Cat Climb Me Like a Tree?

Everyone knows that cats are experts at climbing trees. If you’re like most cat owners, you’ll notice they climb almost everything. But what about when your cat climbs you like a tree and refuses to come down? What’s the reason for this behavior?

Well, it turns out that they have their language and they may be trying to tell you something. Here, we’ll discuss why a cat climbs you like a tree, what it means when they climb on shoulders and legs, whether you can train them to stop, and more.

Why Does My Cat Climb Me Like a Tree

A cat climbing you like a tree is a sign of affection. But it’s also a sign that you’re not giving your cat enough opportunities to climb on things that aren’t people. Your cat wants to climb because it is natural for them to do so. Climbing allows a cat to exercise and explore while providing a bird’s eye view of its surroundings. Cats also appreciate the height because it gives them a feeling of security and often lets them survey their territory without being seen. 

Woman playing with cat

When your cat climbs you, it is expressing its need to climb but has likely run out of other appropriate places to do so. It is not bad for your cat to climb you like a tree, and it indicates that your cat needs some stimulation and exercise, however. You can quickly solve this by providing your cat with more opportunities to climb objects that are not people.

What Does It Mean When a Cat Climbs on Your Shoulders?

Cats like to be at the highest point, and your shoulder might be one of the highest points in the room. Your cat may also appreciate the extra attention from you by sitting on your shoulder. Besides, it might be a sign of affection or that he wants to be petted. 

In some cases, cats will climb onto your shoulder while other people are nearby to show off his owner and make it clear that this is his human and no one else’s. This can be quite amusing because we often forget that our pets consider us their owners.

Can I Get Hurt When a Cat Climbs My Shoulder?

If you have a large cat or one with sharp claws, you might get hurt by their feet scratching you or hurting your neck. You should also remember that cats can carry diseases, so if your cat has an open sore, it could transmit the disease to you

Besides, you can prevent a cat from climbing onto your shoulder by gently pushing them away when they try to do it. If they play with your clothes or skin too much, then you should consider giving them a toy to keep them distracted instead of climbing onto people’s shoulders.

Why Do Cats Climb Up Your Leg?

Cats climb because of their predatory nature. Furthermore, this trait is evolutionary and is present in all cats, whether domestic or wild. Cats also love comfort and warmth; hence, sometimes, they want to be close to you. A full-grown cat will likely not hurt you when she climbs up your leg, but it can be pretty uncomfortable if your cat has claws that are not clipped. 

If your cat is startled while climbing, you might also get scratched by accident. Kittens or cats with health issues may cause injury if they fall from a height when climbing. Keep your legs still when the cat is on them to prevent them from climbing. If you don’t move, the cat will think it’s safe to stay there and won’t attempt to reach higher ground.

Cat catching woman's legs

How Do I Get My Cat to Stop Climbing Me?

Create a distraction; if your cat is climbing you, chances are they’re bored, or they want your attention. To distract them, give them access to more toys. Make sure that the toys you get are interactive to play with them by themselves. You can also try making homemade toys for your cat. Just make sure that these toys don’t contain any harmful materials that your cat might ingest.

If this doesn’t keep them occupied, it might be time to get a second cat. This way, both of your cats are occupied and entertained. Reward good behavior with treats or praise and ignore lousy character like climbing. When your cat climbs you, walk away from them or gently push their paws off of you until they get the hint never to do it again. You can also give them the attention they want. Pet and play with them when they meow for it. For this reason, they’ll be far less likely to try and get attention by jumping on you.

Can You Train a Cat Not to Climb?

You can train them though it can be hard at times. Consider using a squirt bottle or a water gun and spray whenever she starts climbing on you. Moreover, consider keeping small cans of compressed air at home. You can use them to spray your kitty whenever she starts climbing on you.

You can also use a loud sound to try and get her attention when she starts climbing on you. Clap your hands loudly or even blow a whistle. If you do this consistently every time she climbs on you, she will eventually associate the loud sounds with being on top of you and will stop doing it.

Cat on tree

Instead of punishing your cat when she climbs on you, focus more on rewarding her when she doesn’t do it. When you notice that your cat has been off of you for a while, try giving her something tasty—for instance, tuna juice or some cooked chicken. Your cat will start associating being off of you with getting treats and will not climb on you anymore.

Wrap Up

Hopefully, you have a clearer picture going forward as to what it truly means when your cat climbs you like a tree. This might be every cat owner’s nightmare. The good news is that you can stop it. Your cat won’t likely come down on its own. However, you can train your cat to come back down with the right approach.