A black cat with yellow eyes stares from its perch in a cat tree. "Tree dweller" cats like to have a high vantage point.
“Tree dweller” cats like to have a high vantage point, it helps them feel secure.

If you have watched an episode of Animal Planet’s My Cat from Hell by cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy, you probably have heard the term bush dweller or tree dweller. These distinct terms describe those cats that prefer being high in the air or those who want to be close to the ground and hidden. In the wild, your typical tree dwelling cat, such as leopards and cheetahs, want to hang out in trees and bush dwellers, like bobcats, need to be in dens, bushes, and other low lying places.

So, if you are curious about your favorite furry friend, you are in luck! The team at Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital is here to answer your questions about whether your cat is a bush or tree dweller. 

Bush Dweller Versus Tree Dweller

What constitutes the differences between these two types of personalities? The good news is that these determinations are speculative, not based on actual science, but the descriptions seem to fit most cats. The two categories are between cats who love vertical spaces against those who like horizontal ones. 

The Tree Dweller

The tree dweller is found on the top of fridges, counters, book cases – you name it. They want a higher vantage point, which makes them feel secure. This cat loves to scale cat trees, scratching posts, and every other item that gives them the chance to climb high. 

If your cat is a tree dweller, they will often be found napping on dresser tops or the backs of furniture. Anywhere they can get off the ground. 

To make your tree dwelling feline happy, add some of the following enrichment for the home.

  • Cat trees
  • Cat cubes stacked high
  • Mounted wall shelves
  • Move space off of counters, bookcase, or dresser
  • Window perches
  • Ramps
  • Stairs

Anything you can create that is climbable, will be well received by your high altitude loving cat. As long as it is secure and stable, there are many ways to build a platform for your kitty. 

The Bush Dweller

These secretive kitties adore hanging out and napping in secluded places, where they can hide. If your cat gravitates toward cozy little nooks that where they cannot be disturbed, your cat is probably a bush dweller. 

Many of these felines also exhibit characteristics of anxiety and fear, which is why they want to hide. These concerns should be taken up with your veterinarian if your pet is experiencing changes in behavior or possible aggression towards people or other pets. In most cases, a bush dweller is a shy cat who enjoys their solitary time.

To make a bush dweller feel their best, provide the following props and spaces for them.

  • Cat cubes
  • Space under the bed
  • Space in the closet
  • Big covers and comforter
  • Catios
  • Cat tunnels
  • Empty boxes and cardboard bags

These hidden places are easy to make by clearing things out of the way beneath furniture, behind a couch, or in closets and open cupboards.
Understanding your cat means allowing you to create the right environment for them where they can thrive. If you have any questions about your cute cat, and whether or not they are a bush dweller or tree dweller, please contact us.