I had a lightbulb moment when I heard Jackson Galaxy describe cats as being either tree dwellers or bush dwellers! In fact, it inspired me to make some changes to our house to improve our resident tree dweller’s life. There was one mystery that remained unsolved though… until recently. Read on to find out more!
Socks has always had a passion for heights. As soon as we got her home I noticed she was constantly bouncing along the back of the sofas, racing along the kitchen counter tops or perching herself on the top of their modest-sized scratching post. Oh those were the days when I was restrained enough to only have one scratching post!
In comparison, Charlie seemed and still does seem very… well… grounded. Lifting one paw off the ground looks like a big deal to him sometimes. It amazes my whole family that he manages to climb up the garden fence. I believe he does this against his better judgement, just so he has a chance to see if his nemesis, Tabby, is outside. Amazing how he still hasn’t cottoned on that they have a time share!
In his article, Jackson says that tree dwellers get their confidence from being high up and looking at what is going on around them. This describes Socks all over. In fact, I remember when we bought her giant cat tree; she was climbing on it before we had even finished assembling it. She also started spending a lot more time downstairs, confident in the knowledge she could climb away from Charlie if he chased her. If you’d like to remind yourself of the magnificence of the cat tree, you can find the post about it here.
My boyfriend and I even added some shelves in the house specifically for Socks to have somewhere to sun herself. During lockdown, I found time to glue some luxury carpet to the shelves, which went down like a treat with Socks. I’m not sure Charlie is aware of these modifications yet. I upholstered the shelves using off-cuts that were kindly donated by my very understanding mother-in-law. No really, I didn’t think about actually buying some luxury carpet myself for my cats… honest!! *looks guiltily at the ceiling*
Jackson explained that adding high up spaces particularly helps multi-cat households because it means that the cats are no longer competing just for horizontal space. Vertical space is now up for grabs too. In fact, Socks has absolutely no competition from Charlie whatsoever for this vertical space. He simply cannot be bothered with that.
One thing that did trouble me about this discovery was that I now had to label Charlie as a bush dweller, based on the fact that he was certainly not a tree dweller. Jackson describes bush dwellers as cats that don’t like to leave the ground (like Charlie!) but also they are cats that can be found waiting under a coffee table or behind a plant (definitely not Charlie!). I wondered why Charlie wasn’t exhibiting this natural behaviour. His main source of amusement is to lie in inconvenient places around the house (doorways and the top of the stairs) and observe how his humans struggle to get round him.
I decided to grow some bushes of cat herbs to see if he would enjoy hiding behind them. I found a lovely gift pack of cat herb seeds and planted them enthusiastically thinking this would change his life. The herbs included catmint, valerian and clary sage and all grew very well indoors from the seed.
Although both cats showed some interest in the herbs and it certainly made the windowsill more inviting for them, Charlie still didn’t transform into the bush dweller I believed him to be. I started to suspect there may be a third type of cat dweller called ‘thinks he is a dog’.
The mystery was solved a few days ago though, when I ventured back onto Jackson Galaxy’s website. He now states there is indeed another type of dweller! Here is the extract:
So there you have it, Charlie is a Beach dweller! Here he is, just missing his rubber ring!
What type of dweller is your cat? I would love to know! Please leave a comment or like or subscribe to the blog if you enjoyed this! 🙂
p.s. Charlie and Socks do earn a small commission from products that are sold via the website. We wouldn’t tell you about them if we didn’t think they were awesome though! xxxx
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