If you are a fan of Jackson Galaxy on Animal Planet’s My Cat from Hell, then you may be familiar with the terms he uses in references to cats: bush dweller vs. tree dweller. This is a distinction made between felines who enjoy being hidden or those who like to be up high. While not a specific scientific theory, there is some truth to the way certain cats enjoy spending their time that is distinct to them.

The cat veterinarians at Naperville Animal Hospital thought it would be fun to explore the questions of whether your cat is a bush dweller or tree dweller. Let’s explore!

Tree Dweller Tendency 

If your cat is a natural climber, you probably have noticed them up on counters (even when they shouldn’t). These curious kitties like to sit on top of the fridge and watch over their domain or climb across the bookcase for a better view. Tree dweller cats need places they can scrabble up and over, as well as high points in the house for prime napping.

If you own a tree dwelling feline, be sure to engage their attention with the following.

  • Cat trees at a variety of heights
  • Scratching posts
  • Open shelves that are sturdy enough for your cat
  • Ramps and stairs
  • A fridge that has been cleaned off for perching
  • Window lounges 
  • Open dressers and shelves
  • Wall mounted shelves

Tree dwellers are roamers and need quick escapes along determined routes in the home. A good rule of thumb is to provide secure and clear pathways for them to meander.

Bush Dweller Traits

A bush dweller is more likely to be under the bed or in the back of the closet than up on a perch. These cats sometimes deal with anxiety, fear, and aggression when they feel cornered or under threat. They need extra reassurance in order to feel safe. 

Bush dwellers are less assertive than tree dwellers and prefer the company of their owner, rather than strangers or other animals. In order to make a bush dweller more secure, you can create safe havens for them using the following:

  • Empty boxes
  • Room in the closet
  • Space under the bed
  • Cat cubes or condos
  • Cat tunnels
  • Big covers or comforters
  • Paper bags

Naperville Cat Veterinarians

Have you decided which type of cat you are proud to care for? Thankfully, understanding your cat gives you the chance to provide the best home for them where they can thrive. If you would like more information about cat dwellers vs. bush dwellers, or to schedule an appointment, please reach out to our Naperville cat veterinarians.