Cats are cute. Cats are quirky. Cats are, if we are being honest, a bit of a conundrum. When it comes to understanding what cats do and why, things are sometimes a bit up in the air. There is sometimes a little method to the madness, though.

The Pet Experts at Wheaton Animal Hospital knows that understanding cat behavior comes down to instinctual remnants in many cases. Understanding things like the bush or tree dweller theory in cats can help owners comprehend their feline friends a little better.

Is Your Cat A Bush or Tree Dweller?

Jackson Galaxy, cat lover extraordinaire, can be credited with the bush or tree dweller theory in cats. He feels that all of our indoor house panthers identify either as a tree dwelling creature or a bush dwelling one. 

Tree dwellers – Cats who identify as tree dwellers want to spend their time up   high. Similarly to their leopard cousins, they chose a tall perch from which to survey their surroundings and keep an eye on things. They tend to be a bit more confident than their bush dwelling counterparts and can often be found on top of cabinets, shelves, and countertops. 

Bush dwellers – Those cats who are more accurately described as bush dwellers are a bit more shy and are thankful for the opportunity to hide when overwhelmed or scared. These timid animals often seek shelter in nooks and crannies and might be found peering from under the bed, inside a well placed box, or smushed in between your couch and end table.

If you pay attention, you are probably able to determine which your cat most closely resembles. Whether your cat is a bush or tree dweller, there is some valuable information to be learned from this preference.

Bringing Out the Best 

When you understand if your cat is more of a bush or tree dweller, you can better provide an environment conducive to your cat’s well being. 

Environmental enrichment for cats can decrease behavioral problems like aggression, scratching in unwanted places, overgrooming, and not using a litter box. It can also increase your cat’s sense of well-being and happiness. Cats are quite intelligent, and by tapping into their innate instincts we can channel those smarts in a good direction. 

Enrich your cats environment by:

  • Giving your tree dweller vertical space to thrive in such as cat friendly shelving, sturdy cat trees, and other high up lounging spaces
  • Designing a kitty superhighway above your living space that your tree dwelling pet can use to traverse your home, allowing multiple lanes and alternative routes where possible
  • Supporting your tree dweller by positioning furniture and other belongings to allow use as vertical space
  • Giving your bush dweller plenty of hiding spaces to quietly observe from
  • Showing your bush dweller support with cat tunnels, covered beds, and boxes to explore
  • Helping bush dwellers feel more comfortable by being sure that their path to their favorite places has many nooks and covered shelters to provide them confidence on their way

A happy cat, no matter whether they are a bush or tree dweller, is a healthy cat. Our Wheaton cat veterinarians think that having a happy pet is paramount, and we are happy to answer any questions you might have about your pet’s care and environment. Never hesitate to reach out to us– we want your pet’s palace to be, well, purr-fect.