Why Do Cats Like Window Perches and other Elevated Spots?

While in the house, cats will always seek for a high point to rest, lounge, or snuggle. It could be your sofa, table, TV armoire, cabinet, dresser, windowsill or ledge and so on. Some kitties may leave their comfy floor beds or even paw your stuff away to get a place that is elevated to get a place to lie, sit or sleep with Maine Coons and Abyssinian cats being so notorious.

Let us explore the reasons why kitties love high points. At the end of it all, you will appreciate why you need one of the best cat window perches, or even wall mounted perching spots. Remember, an enriched and stimulating environment equals a happy and healthy cat!

Why do cats love perching on high spots?

Behaviorists and animal experts have many reasons as to why kitty loves going to that high spot where she can see everything from above. Common reasons include.

1. It makes cats feel safe and secure

Cats prey on small rabbits, birds, and rodents. However, they are also preyed on by coyote, hawks, foxes, opossums, skunks, raccoons, weasels, bobcats, and owls. By optioning for a high place, they reduce the odds of being hunted.

Therefore, from an elevated point, they will safer and be more confident knowing that their predators won’t reach them easily, including humans, who may not be a danger, but kitties may perceive them so.

Even in the wild, they opt to sleep on trees. Also, in a multi-cat setup that causes tension, some may prefer going to eat or staying in a high place as it makes them feel safer.

Another aspect of security that an elevated point gives these animals is a chance to see if there are any lurking dangers, including predators from above. A vantage point will eliminate the chances of being ambushed (surprised) by predators and increase their survival chances, a reason why they will prefer snoozing on high perches during the day.

Kitties may hear sounds, detect scents, but they would prefer seeing what is going on. Without seeing, they may get frightened. Once they know what kind of threat they may be facing, they will know how to best respond by things such as staying quiet and hidden, escaping, preparing to attach, and so on.

Finally, since it makes them secure and reduces the chances of being startled or scared if something sneaked on them, it is always to have cat perches or vertical places. Chose those that prevent an attack from the rear, such as a window or wall perch.

2 Hunting or stalking a prey

Cats evolved as hunters, something they still have even the over 9,000 years of domestication. An indoor cat may be trying to stalk and hunt mice, insects, spiders, birds, bugs, and so on. A higher point gives them a perfect place to do so.

While they may hunt these critters, especially if stalking them from a window perch, it is their very nature just as we may enjoy a show on our television shows. However, they may sneak on and hunt them if they can access them.

On the other hand, an outdoor cat will look for raised spots, including on tree branches or structure roof, to effectively scan their prey before they can pounce.

3. It is part of their instinctive nature

While we may give various to certain cat behaviors like perching, scratching, climbing, and so on, it may just be part of their instinctive actions.

For instance, unlike dogs that are earthbound, they see life in three dimensions. Their ancestors loved climbing and perch on trees to escape or see predators as well as stalk their prey.

The behavior helped in enhancing survival. Even with domestication, some of a kitty’s hard-wired instinctive nature hasn’t wiped-off.  Therefore, perching on an elevated place may be part of their very nature, and a change of environment from wild to home hasn’t changed it.

If you observe your cat, you will see how she will skillfully use her claws, flexible musculoskeletal system, balance, and coordination to climb, jump onto a higher place. They still feel the instincts to do so, including whenat they feel unsafe or uncertain.

4. They want some privacy or want to be out of reach

If they live in places with high traffic, cats will go to high perches to have some privacy while retaining visibility. A refrigerator top, ledges, cabinet tops, and so on do offer them a place will fever distractions or traffic.

Cats living with other kitties, kids, dogs, and so on will go to their perches from time to time need alone time where not one bullies or touches them, irrespective of how cat owners try to enrich their lives. They want to have alone time to snooze or lounge without any company. 

At times, nursing queens may perch on a high place to prevent kittens from breastfeeding all the time, especially when they being weaning. They are just trying to be out of reach.

5. Show status or hierarchy

Going to the highest elevated point may be a way to show their position if you have several cats. You will notice this behavior if there is strife.

Usually, the highest-ranking cat (top or dominant cat) will go to the highest perch to show her or his status and prestige. From this point, she can survey the rest of the empire from a vantage point, something that will give her a chance to see all activities going on.

While taking the highest perch may help deescalate aggression, at times, if there is a contender, a fight may breakout. It is just like people ranking higher in jobs are given more beautiful lofty offices.

7. They are looking for a source of warmth

Sometimes, your kitty may love perching on your refrigerator or the windowsill. They are trying to keep warm. Fridges are warm from outside while on the ledges, they will be able to catch sunrays.

8. Just curious and having fun

While there may be no potential risk or predator, kitties may opt for raised points out of curiosity or just for fun. They want to see what is going around them or have fun as they climb to these perches.

Should I give my cats a perching place?

Yes. As seen, it makes cats feel safe, it gives them some privacy, and it is part of their nature (that is essential for their happiness and overall good health). Additionally, kitty perches may have the following benefits:  

1. Creates familiarity

Each time they spend time curling or snoozing on a particular perch or even a cat tree, they will leave their scent there. When they go back again, their scent helps in identification, creating familiarity, making your kitty more assured, especially when nervous, or uncomfortable with your house visitors.

Each time new people sit on a couch, or chair, they will leave their unfamiliar scents while their perch or cat tree will have only their smell.

2. Chance to exercise

As they try to access their perches, i.e., jump on to or out of (leaps and bounds) or climb, they will be exercising. Like it is to us, exercise is essential to cats as it helps manage weight and keep obesity at bay. Obesity predisposes these pets to arthritis, diabetes, and other conditions that will shorten their lifespan.

Even young kitties or kittens full of energy will exercise as they move from one perch to another out of curiosity or as they try to explore everywhere in your home. They are more adventurous.

3. Limit access to resources

Placing your kittens’ food on a high perch may limit access of older, less mobile, or obese cats, which shouldn’t eat such diets are they are unhealthy for them.

Break boredom

Having a window perch may help break boredom as it will give your kitty a chance to enjoy the indoor or outdoor scenery, including birds. You can make things more interesting if you place the perch overlooking a bird feeder.

Also, if you have several staggered perches, especially on a cat tree, it will keep them busy moving from one level to another, besides exercising them as already seen.

See also

We are passionate pet and animal enthusiasts bringing insightful information to ensure your furry, flying or finned friends are happy and in good health. Feed them well and love them always.

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