Cats That Live in Trees

This is a list of cats that live in trees. These are wildcats, of course. The first sentence should be qualified by saying that no cat species lives in trees all the time. There are wildcats that live in forests and spend time in trees and hunt in trees. These cats also live on the ground (terrestrial cats). All cats are good climbers. Some are better than others. Tree dwelling cats are the best climbers for obvious reasons. They are usually slender and have long tails for balance.

These two wildcat species are the best climbers and most associated with tree dwelling:
  1. Margay
  2. Clouded leopard
Margay resting in a tree, typical behavior - Photo copyright Adriane Taylor
See more of Adriane's work

Other wild cat species that spend time in trees are:
  • Ocelet - hunt on the ground, rest in trees and escape to trees
  • Leopard cat - likes forest cover and can be "quite arboreal in their habits"¹
  • African golden cat  - thought to be arboreal but short tail and stocky body indicates otherwise. More needs to be known about this cat.
  • Marbled cat - more arboreal than the average wild cat species.
  • Leopard - we have all seen leopards taking prey into trees and resting in trees.
All but one lives in Asia, where logging is destroying their habitat. See cats that like water.

Note: "Arboreal" means: living in trees. (1) Wild Cats of the World.

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