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Why do cats get stuck in trees?

They go up easily enough but getting down is something they just can't do

ATLANTA — ATLANTA—Warmer weather is drawing us all outdoors, and that includes the pet cats who risk getting stuck in the top of a tree.

Cats can scale a tree in the blink of an eye, but why can’t they get back down?

For the answer, we turn to Normer Adams who has his own cat rescue business. He says cats climb to get away from trouble. Their claws are like grappling hooks which makes it easy for them to go up.

Getting back down is a different story.

“Squirrels can turn their claws when they’re coming down,” says Adams. “Cats can’t. Once they get up a tree the only way they can come down is backward and most cats don’t know how to do that.”

Adams rescues cats for free because most Fire Departments around metro Atlanta no longer do it, which brings us to another why. The practice that seems as old as the trees themselves is rare now due to liability and the need for fire departments to focus their time on bigger emergencies.

So the job goes to people like Normer Adams.

“I’ve only been scratched once,” says Adams.

A scratch-proof container is part of his equipment so that Normer Adams and the cat can leave the tree unharmed.