If you see a cat stuck in a tree, don’t assume it will figure out how to get down on its own. Cats can scramble up trees quickly chasing prey or just to get a high vantage point and then be fearful of descending. Cats don’t like to back down trees and the tree may be too steep to head down. As a first step, leave some very fragrant food at the base of the tree. Heat up tuna fish or canned cat food and then go inside. If there are many people milling about, the cat may be too afraid to descend. If this does not work after 24 hours, you will need to seek alternative means to get the cat down. Going too long without food can cause liver damage.
Most municipalities will not spend the resources to extract cats from trees, so it is left to the private sector. In some smaller municipalities the fire dept may be able to help. Animal control officers are typically not allowed to climb ladders or rooftops.
Cats in Action recommends contacting tree cutting services to see if they are willing and able to assist. You may also know someont with access to a vehicle with a cherry picker. Make sure there is a plan in place to safely get the cat into a secure vessel such as a carrier or net that cinches. If you can only find services that charge, we may be able to help you post a fundraiser in the Chicago Community Cats TNR Facebook group.
Cats in Action recommends the tree cutting services below. These services are owned by animal lovers and have been known to rescue cats for little cost or donations from the community. If one of these services is able to help you, be sure to give them a nice tip! We may need them again…
Avicente Carreno Tree Service: 872-985-6236
Dave’s Tree Service: 219-922-1819 (Mark Petri)
Jose’s Tree Service: 773-889-5446
Free Pet Rescue Service | Roto-Rooter (rotorooter.com) This is a resource for cats and dogs stuck in pipes, drains, sewers and gutters. Not all Roto Rooter locations offer this fantastic service, however.