How Many Humans Does It Take to Get Three Cats Off the Roof, Anyway?

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One sassy kitty allegedly chased two others up a tree to the rooftop, and the rest was history.

We don't know what exactly made the fur fly, but according to the Methuen Police Department, Animal Control Officer (ACO) Renee Falardeau received notice that three cats were stranded on a house roof for a couple of days. This was late January, in northern Massachusetts, when even the highest daytime temperature barely reached the teens. We put together a guide for keeping your pets safe in extreme winter weather as temps across the country drop, but here's a spoiler alert: Don't let them impersonate Santa Claus from the frozen rooftop.


Falardeau learned the city's fire department had already responded to the initial call, but had no luck returning the kitties to safe ground. Falardeau eventually spoke to the owner of two of the cats, who wove the tale of a third feline who "had possibly chased her two cats up a tree and onto the roof." That darn cat!

Methuen Police News (MPN) reported that a local towing service also offered assistance. While the tow company staff coordinated with the property owner to climb to the roof on a ladder, "it was determined that a trap could not be safely placed to capture the cats at this time." The company even went a step further, securing a metal ramp to the ladder to provide a spot for the cats to climb down. "After several hours," the statement says, "the cats did not take advantage of this opportunity even with a buffet of food awaiting them."

Cats on roof composite

Frightened kitties? Absolutely. Finicky kitties? Well, maybe.

Falardeau asked for help from two officers in neighboring municipalities. They continued hunting for other options to get these kitties back on solid ground. "Several tree companies, roofing companies, and rescue groups were contacted for help," MPN stated. "There was an overwhelming response to help. ACO Falardeau put a rescue team together and a plan was put in place for first thing in the morning." The team was eager to get the cats out of the cold, as they can suffer severe health conditions.

A trap was set to entice these frosty felines to come down, baited with tasty treats. One curious cat tripped it and scampered back up the roof. MPN noted that there wasn't any access to the roof from windows, vents, or crawlspaces, so all rescue attempts over the next few days required even more ingenuity.

Netting secured from a second-story porch provided a safe landing spot when one brave cat lept from the roof to a tree, then scurried away before ACOs could return him home. A tree service owner rigged a system to climb onto the roof and approach the remaining two kitties with additional nets. A second cat dodged this capture and jumped to another tree, working his way down branch by branch and, once on ground, dashed away. Both cats remain at large.

Composite of cat being saved from roof

MPN reported that the three ACOs then lured the third cat to safety by standing on the second-story porch with a 12-ft. extension control pole to draw him closer. Success! He's now with his owner.

As fast as our world turns, it's heartening to know that an entire community will stop and band together over the course of five days to rescue high-climbing cats who are unable to shift into reverse and come down. And just in case this ever happens to your favorite feline, here's what to do if your cat gets stuck in a tree.

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