Tiger cubs willingly climb trees for about the first sixteen months of life and young tigers have been sighted following langur monkeys up into the trees in an effort to secure a feed. But after this age their increasing weight makes both ascent and descent difficult, and few tree branches have the needed strength to hold their weight.
Adults seldom climb, but are quite capable of doing so; they may do this if being chased by dogs or when after prey. There have been occasions of men climbing trees to escape an attacking tiger, only to be killed when the tiger followed them up.
This does not mean tigers are willing or efficient climbers. On the contrary, they are not. The white Bengal and Amur tigers shown here are doing something quite unusual for tigers of their age.
Compare the tiger to what is the widest-ranging big cat, the leopard.
The leopard - an arboreal cat:
The tiger - a terrestrial cat:
Tigers are essentially terrestrial animals which confine climbing to their juvenile years:
| Early Days | Raising
Cubs | Hunting & Captive
Feeding | Water Play | Sleeping
| Tree Climbing
With Thanks To Shirley Cutis (Photo 1)