Why Do Cats Like High Places?

by beaconpet
Why Do Cats Like High Places?

If you’ve ever wondered why cats like to perch in high places, you’re not alone. It turns out that this behavior is instinctive for domesticated cats. In their natural habitat, cats are both predator and prey, so they develop a need to observe their surroundings from a higher vantage point. This behavior not only allows them to detect potential prey, but also helps them protect themselves from larger animals. Although most domesticated cats are not regular predators or are hunted, their desire to climb and perch is still ingrained. In addition to instinctive urges, climbing also provides mental and physical stimulation for cats. Providing them with plenty of vertical space in your home is essential for their health and can help prevent boredom and destructive behavior. There are many different ways to create vertical space for cats, such as cat trees, shelves, and window perches. Just remember to prioritize their safety by securely attaching any structures and keeping windows closed. For more follow BEACONPET.

Why Do Cats Like High Places?

Why Do Cats Like High Places?

So, Why Do Cats Hang Out in High Spots?

If you’ve ever walked into your home to find your cat perched on top of the refrigerator, a bookshelf, or another high point in your home—and wondered what, exactly, she was doing—you’re not alone. We all know there are a lot of, ahem, odd feline behaviors that aren’t so easy to explain, but it turns out, perching from high points is a super common—and instinctual—behavior among domesticated cats.

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Why Your Home Needs Vertical Space for Your Cats

In addition to their instinctual urge to climb, domesticated cats simply enjoy climbing because it gives them mental and physical stimulation. That’s why it’s so important to provide your cat with plenty of vertical space to climb, jump, and perch—and more so if you have multiple adult cats in your home.

So, Why Do Cats Hang Out in High Spots?

Predatory instincts

Cats have an instinctual need to observe their world from a high point because they’re both predators to mice, birds, rabbits, and other small animals, and prey to larger animals, like coyotes, owls, or eagles. Not only does a higher vantage point give cats a better view of potential prey, but it also offers them some protection from larger animals—and, in theory, allows them to see a predator coming.

Protection from larger animals

Protection from larger animals

Back when our domesticated kitties’ ancestors lived in forests and jungles, the leaves and branches of the trees they considered home also offered some camouflage from predators. It’s safe to say most domesticated cats aren’t frequent hunters—aside from the occasional mouse or bird—and definitely aren’t being hunted themselves. Their penchant for perching in high places, however, remains deeply ingrained in their biological and evolutionary makeup.

Camouflage from predators

In addition to protection from larger predators, being up high allows cats to camouflage themselves from other potential threats. By blending into their surroundings, cats can remain undetected by potential predators, allowing them to feel safe and secure.

Observation of environment

Perching in a high spot gives cats a bird’s-eye view of their surroundings. From this elevated position, cats can observe the movements of potential prey, as well as any potential threats or dangers. This allows them to gather information about their environment and make informed decisions about their safety.

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Private and calm space

Private and calm space

High places provide cats with a sense of privacy and tranquility. In a busy household, they can retreat to these elevated spots to escape noise, interruptions, and other animals or people. It gives them a safe space to relax and unwind without disturbances.

Avoidance of confrontations

Cats are territorial animals, and conflicts between cats in the same household can arise. By seeking higher ground, cats can avoid direct confrontations with other cats, asserting their dominance from above and reducing the likelihood of physical altercations.

Status symbol in multi-cat households

Status symbol in multi-cat households

In households with multiple adult cats, lounging in the highest points can actually be somewhat of a status symbol—the cat with the “best” vantage point is typically considered the dominant cat. Having a number of high points in the home can help prevent conflict because each cat will have his or her own “designated” spot.


So, why do cats like high places? It all comes down to their natural instincts and behaviors. Cats enjoy being up high because it fulfills their predatory instincts, offers protection from larger animals, provides camouflage, allows them to observe their environment, gives them a private and calm space, helps them avoid confrontations, and can be a status symbol in multi-cat households. It’s important for cat owners to provide vertical space in their homes to fulfill their cats’ needs for mental and physical stimulation. Whether it’s a cat tree, shelves, or window perches, giving your cat access to high spots will contribute to their overall well-being and happiness.

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