A Wellington firefighter had to be winched from steep terrain after a cat took exception to being rescued from a macrocarpa tree.

Earlier this morning the Fire Service was called to an address in Porirua after Joy Collins called with grave fears for her cat, whose name is Morty.

Porirua senior station officer Owen Woodman says the firefighter made contact with the cat before it lashed out, causing him to fall 40 feet from the tree.

Owen Woodman says the firefighter is now in hospital but his injuries are not life-threatening and he is recovering.

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But it turns out it wasn't the first time someone had tried to tempt Morty the cat down from a tree.

Ms Collins says her pet went missing yesterday afternoon.

When she heard meowing from a nearby tree that night, she called in her daughter to try and coax Morty down.

"She climbed the tree and tried to get him. She got within a couple of feet, but he wouldn't budge and she couldn't go any higher.

"And at 10 o'clock at night it was a bit dangerous."

Then this morning Ms Collins turned to the firefighters - which didn't end well.

The search continues for Morty who scampered away when the firefighter fell.

Ms Collins is not taking any chances with her other cat Rigby.

"Well he's locked in so he can't disappear.

"But he is calling for the other one. They're attached to each other, they were both brought home at the same time."

Ms Collins says she feels dreadful for the firefighter who fell and wishes him a speedy recovery.