“Why does my cat like to sit up high? I feel like she’s spying on me!”
Pet parents understand the feeling of coming back from work and catching their fluffy friend perched on top of the refrigerator, on the highest of shelves, or even on the TV – we’ve all been there. We’re aware that cats showcase odd behaviors we don’t understand on a regular.
Sitting up high, however, seems to be a common, instinctual, and intuitive behavior we’ve managed to decipher. More often than not, cats climb on the highest spots because they’re hiding from the rest of the household, hunting (sort of), or keeping an eye on things. Read more down below!
Why does your four-legged friend hang out perched on high spots?
1. It’s simple – she’s driven by her instincts and intuition
Yes, your little fluffer that takes three-hour-long naps and lounges on the couch for the rest of the day inherited wild cats’ instincts and intuition. Because of that, she experiences an instinctual and intuitive need to observe the world around her.
She’s both a predator to birds, mice, and bugs and a prey to dogs, coyotes, and eagles (depending on where you live). She climbs on top of the refrigerator or the bookshelf next to the window to keep an eye on everything that’s going on – but she doesn’t need to do that, right?
She can’t escape the fact that climbing and perching seem to be deeply ingrained in her biological makeup, for once. She’s doing that for other reasons, too.
2. It’s a hierarchy thing – she wants to mark her territory and display her status
You see, cats are more similar to humans than we might want to admit. Humans are known to seek success, recognition, and status. Cats are known to prefer to be at the top of the social ladder when they’re surrounded by other cats, too.
You might notice your cat marking her territory whenever she passes by the TV, pawing at the furniture, headbutting the pillows, and rubbing against you. You might think she’s doing that because she’s weird, but that’s your cat’s way of saying “All these things are mine and nobody can take them away from me!”
Sitting on the highest spot can be a form of marking her territory, too.
3. Because she can keep an eye on her environment
We already mentioned that cats like to keep an eye on the environment.
Still, you might be wondering why she spends most of her time doing that when she doesn’t even hunt. Bird watching, overseeing the humans, and observing the neighbor’s dogs could be your cat’s version of a TV show.
Cats adore knowing what’s going on around them at all times. Cats are like Karens, they want to know where you’re going, who you’re going with, and when are you coming back.
And, they’re bored when you’re not home because there’s nobody there to entertain them. So, they entertain themselves by keeping track of everything that’s going on.
4. Because she craves a solitary space to get away from the rest of the household
Now, that could mean a million things. Maybe she’s trying to get away from you because you keep hugging her, picking her up, and disturbing her when she doesn’t want to be disturbed.
Perhaps she’s trying to escape from other cats because she doesn’t want to hang out. Maybe she’s even trying to have a moment away from everyone when you’re throwing a party or hanging out with friends. Whatever the case might be, you shouldn’t bother her when she retreats.
Cats are creatures of consent. When your cat wants to hang out, she’s going to approach you on her own. When she doesn’t, though, she’s going to retreat to her safe space or scratch your eyes out. So, you should be thankful that she chooses to hang out on top of the refrigerator when she’s fed up with you.
5. Because she needs protection from other four-legged members of the family
Cats can be cold-blooded with each other and there’s a chance your cat might be trying to get away from the rest of your four-legged family. Whether she’s the newest addition and they’ve refused to accept her or they’ve never grown accustomed to each other, you might have a problem at hand.
Observe your cats’ behavior toward each other and figure out whether you need to separate them, teach them to tolerate each other, or give them more time to get to know each other. On the off chance that your cat might be a victim of abuse (that’s a thing, too), you’ll need to react ASAP.
6. Because she’s not a fan of confrontation
Whether she’s a senior cat or a cat that can’t be bothered with other cats’ company, she might be retreating to the top of the kitchen cabinets because she’s not a fan of confrontation.
Cats can annoy each other, too.
Younger cats tend to follow older cats around because they’re bored. Adolescent cats tend to express strange behaviors that frustrate older cats. Older cats tend to crave some time alone every now and then.
Whatever cat demographic you might be dealing with, there’s a chance your cat likes to hang out in high spots because she doesn’t want to deal with other cats’ shenanigans.
7. It’s a hunting thing – she’s on the hunt for hunting opportunities
We’re aware that your precious purrincess doesn’t need to hunt because you shower her with Fancy Feast and Meow Mix every moment of the waking hour – but she doesn’t know that.
She thinks that she needs to catch every mouse she catches a glimpse of and every bird that stops by the window. She keeps sitting on her cat tree because she’s waiting for the perfect opportunity to pounce and catch the bad guy.
8. Because she’s a cat – and she can do whatever she wants to
At the end of the day, some cats are more dominant than others. And, your cat might be climbing on the highest spots because she wants to assert her dominance, be the center of attention, and do whatever she wants to do – and get away with it.