A lot of research has shown that cats in Humberside might be the most adventurous — but when they appear to be in a sticky situation, a charity boss says rushing to dial 999 isn’t always the right answer.
Charity Yorkshire Cat Rescue requested a Freedom of Information and found that 29 cats needed rescuing between June 2015 and June 2016. South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue came to the rescue of 12 cats, with North Yorkshire only having to respond to six calls of felines in distress.
Sara Atkinson, founder of Yorkshire Cat Rescue, says: “Cats are notoriously brave and, sometimes, rather foolish in their activities. It is not unusual for them to climb tall trees, buildings and utility poles. Most cats are perfectly capable of getting themselves down again, given time and perhaps a tasty incentive.
“The fire service has previously asked the public not to call them to rescue cats that appear to be stuck at height, and they are probably right most of the time. Being approached by a stranger in a uniform might have the opposite effect and result in the cat fleeing further up the tree.
“It might be safer and more successful to coax the cat down either with food or a toy. But be careful about climbing the tree or trying to reach your cat from the top of a ladder, unless you are very confident you can do so safely.”
Sara concludes: “I’ve heard the quote: ‘you never see the skeleton of a cat up a tree’ and I guess it’s true. In my 25 years of running a cat charity, I certainly haven’t. Although we all love our cats and want them to be safe, it probably won’t hurt to wait a few more minutes and try a couple of alternatives before dialling the fire and rescue service. Perhaps start by calling your local RSPCA for advice — bearing in mind that every 999 call costs everyone money which, in some cases, could be saved.”