Climbing: The CH Cat’s Alternative to Jumping
One of the many charming things about a CH cat is that in spite of his wobbles, he usually gets to where he wants to go. Most often this involves climbing to his destination, instead of jumping.
Although this isn’t the case with all CH kitties, it does seem to be more common with cats who have moderate CH. This is most likely because they don’t have the hind-leg strength or coordination in order to jump accurately.
Our home is mostly a climb-up, jump-down home. Our cats tend to climb onto our couch, bed or their cat condo, but jump down, which often results in a ker-plop and bumping their jaws on the floor. There have been times when we’ve seen one or the other jump onto the bed or couch beautifully — but it’s often when they’re enticed by a toy and don’t appear to be thinking about it.
However, since most CH cats are relatively unaware of their limitations, it’s up to us pet parents to watch out for them and to make their adventures that much safer.
For example, if your cat loves climbing, you can make it easier for him in a few ways:
If the couch or bed’s material isn’t an ideal climbing texture/fabric, try covering the end of your bed or part of your couch with a heavy blanket (that can be tucked under your mattress or in your couch) that your cat can climb.
You’ll want to tuck in the blanket so your cat doesn’t pull it off your furniture and fall. Likewise, you’ll want to move all cat beds and pillows from the spot where your cat likes to climb — just in case your cat grips on to one and falls off.
I’ve also heard from some CH parents who strategically place their bedside chests a certain distance from their beds. One CH cat parent from the CH Kitty Club Yahoo! Group said that her CH boy climbs up the bed by using the bedside chest as a back support!
You can also strategically place floor coverings around your home. Most often these can be placed where your cat tends to jump down, so he can gain some traction on landing.
Similarly, if your cat tends to fall or land in the same spot, try placing a thick blanket or even a filled laundry basket on that spot. This way your cat will have a soft landing. (However, you’ll want to watch if your cat actually uses this, or tries to avoid the padded spot!)
You may want to reconsider how much you clip your cat’s claws; this can often impact your cat’s ability to climb.
If your cat’s really into climbing, I’d suggest having furniture and coverings that 1) You don’t care too much about and 2) Don’t show claw marks. Consequently, this may mean that buying a leather couch or that gorgeous bed comforter isn’t the best idea — at least if your CH cat may want to climb them.
Lastly, try to position climb-able furniture away from high or dangerous places they can reach — not to mention enticing destinations. This could include kitchen counters, bookcases or end tables with delicate objects on them.
Does your CH cat climb or does he jump? Do you have any climbing advice for CH cats? Please share in the comments!