Regardless of age, gender, breed, and whether they have been neutered your cat is simply behaving normally. This is true whether you have a high energy breed, like a Bengal, or a low energy breed, like a Persian. Felines’ bodies are made to climb and use vertical spaces as much as horizontal spaces. Climbing is a problem only because the behaviour is unwanted or damaging. If given unrestricted access to places with long curtains, most cats will end up damaging them just because it is fun and in their nature. To avoid this, we should provide them with opportunities to perform this behaviour in a way that is acceptable to us.
If your cats are aloud outdoors, they would have access to plenty of elevated spaces and would readily climb up on them. They climb trees for finding safe spots, for scanning the environment, for catching prey, and for fun. Cats are naturally inquisitive, and it’s their natural inclination to want to climb. Cats want to get up high because it gives them a better vantage point for spotting prey, but also because cats themselves are at risk from larger predators since they are both hunters and hunted.
Remember, that predator/prey behaviour does not go away just because your cat lives safely indoors.
Create a Safe Climbing Space for Your Cat
We have to keep in mind that cats that climb door or window screens might be trying to explore the exciting world outside, so do we have to do best to keep them active indoors.
We can’t think about our house just as floor space, we have to think of the third dimension.
We can offer our cat shelves, hammocks, cat trees and scratching posts, where the cat can climb for safety and fun. And try limiting access to areas with long curtains or screens, or tie back the curtains.
Having enough space helps set up a designated climbing room for our cat. Arranging furniture and shelves so the cat can jump safely from one level to another, and making it interesting, with toys and treats hidden in different places.
Other simpler ways to keep our cats entertained include tying feathers or a ball to the end of a strong stick and using it to mimic a small prey animal that your cat can chase and catch, using engaging cat toys, such as cat teasers with feathers and flies at the end of the teaser, or bringing home a strong cardboard box from the grocery store and cutting an entry hole in it.
If we do not provide interesting and safe ways for our cats to climb without doing damage, then, yes, they will turn to the screens, curtains, sofa, and whatever else they can dig their claws into.
Just give your cats the fun they deserve at home; otherwise they will find their own way to have it!
Underlying Health Reasons for a Cat’s climbing
If a cat is feeling unwell, anxious, or stressed and wants to be left alone, it might seek out a high perch away from other cats, pets and people. Offering multiple surfaces at different levels and quiet places for a cat to escape to is particularly important if you have several cats. They need their space to get away from each other.
Certain metabolic disorders, like hyperthyroidism, as well as some medications could make a cat more active in general, but would not necessarily lead to destructive behaviour.