do cats need a cat tree

Do Cats Need A Cat Tree? And How To Buy The Right One

Cats have certain needs and requirements to keep them active and have their own place to scratch. Felines are curious creatures and require stimulation and movement to be happy. A cat tree can help save your furniture while providing your kitty with their own personal space.

Do Cats Need A Cat Tree?

A cat tree will provide your cat with an environment to take care of their basic needs, which include playing, climbing, and scratching. Many of them will also use it as their safe haven where they can retreat to relax and get away from the chaos around your home.

There are so many different types of cat furniture on the market, it can be confusing to know which one is right for your cat.

The purpose of this article is to help you understand what a cat tree is as well as how to shop for the right one.

*This page contains affiliate links to products I recommend. If you purchase something from this page, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you.

What Is A Cat Tree

It is furniture that is designed for a cat. Some people refer to them as a Cat Condo or Cat Tower, regardless of what they’re called, they all have structural features like stairs, boxes, shelves, slopes, etc that will bring out your cat’s natural instincts to scratch, play, sleep and relax!

Cat trees will vary in height, material, and etc. So it’s important to take that into consideration when shopping for one or making your own.

Some cats will prefer tall trees where they can look out the window and watch over their ‘territory.’ While other cats will prefer one that is designed for comfort so they can sleep in their secluded cave without being bothered.

Benefits Of A Cat Tree

benefits of a cat tree
Cats will definitely benefit from having a cat tree.

Security

Some cats are extremely timid and paranoid and spend most of their time hiding, especially when visitors come around. Shy cats will appreciate a cat tree because they can creep to a higher vantage point giving them a better view of their territory.

They will be able to hang out in the common areas instead of hiding under the bed all day long.

Cat’s that can see more of their surroundings tend to feel more relaxed. Believe it or not, a cat tree can help make your timid cat more social!

Safe Hiding Place

Cats can become easily stressed when a small child or dog comes around. A cat tree can be a great way for your cat to escape when they become overwhelmed.

Having a safe haven to turn to when they are being chased by obnoxious kids, drooling dogs, or energetic kittens will make your cat feel safe in a chaotic environment.

Stimulation: Indoor cats will benefit from having a place to play and perch on. When you place the cat tree by the window sill, it allows your cat to be entertained by the great outdoors.

They also act as a great playground or gym for indoor cats, especially, if you have multiple cats. Cat furniture comes with all kinds of fun stuff your cat will enjoy like scratching posts, and dangling toys to keep your cat entertained.

It can be a great way to keep your cat entertained and active outside of their normal routine.

Reduce Mischievous Behavior

Just like people, cats can get bored when they don’t have anything to do. This can lead to the destruction of your stuff, especially that expensive leather couch you love.

A cat tree gives your kitty a place to sharpen their claws, practice his hiding skills, and pounce without tearing up your personal property.

Things To Take Into Consideration

Not all cat trees are created equally. Here are some things you need to take into consideration when shopping for a cat tree.

Easy To Clean

Make sure you get one that is washable and can be cleaned easily. There are some on the market that have a washable cover, which makes it extremely easy to clean.

Overtime those cat perches will accumulate a lot of cat hair and you could spend hours trying to vacuum it off.

Stability

Do your due diligence and get a high-quality cat tree that won’t wobble or tip over when your cat tries to use it. Otherwise, your cat won’t use it and you will have just wasted all that money for nothing.

Instead, look for the following qualities in a cat tree:

  • Make sure it has a wide base.
  • It is made with real wood, not something like plywood.
  • A weighted bottom can prevent it from topping over or being unsteady.
  • It can be taken apart if you need to move to a new location with ease.
  • Made from a reliable company or craftsman.
  • It can be assembled easily even if you’re not a crafty person.
  • Has a return policy, in case your cat doesn’t like it.

Space

As I mentioned, cat furniture comes in varying shapes and sizes, most of the cat trees will take up quite a bit of space. Expect your cat real estate to take up a few feet of your home, which can make it an eyesore if you don’t choose wisely.

My sisters-in-law cat tree is taller than I am and I stand about 5’ 5” tall. You’ll definitely want to make sure that you have enough space before you buy one.

If you live in a small apartment, then you’ll want to consider cat trees that are designed for smaller spaces.

Cost

Cat trees can cost anywhere from $50 to over $2,000 depending on the one you buy. This kitty mansion costs over $2,000 and is a replica of Buckingham Palace.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to spend that much on your feline friend. I would never pay $2,000 for a cat tree.

Your cat won’t judge you because they don’t have the best cat tree on the block. They’ll be perfectly happy with whatever you choose as long as they have a place to exercise, scratch, sleep, and call their own.

While you should NEVER go for the cheapest cat tree, don’t feel like you need to finance it just to get one for your cat.

Your Cats Age

Choose the right furniture according to your cat’s age, weight, and activity level. Older cats will prefer one with comfortable perches where they can lounge in the sun all day long. I’ve put together a list of some of the best cat trees for older cats.

Younger cats will prefer a cat tree that has several caves and holes they can hide and play in.

Alternatives To Buying A Cat Tree

Not everyone wants to get a cat tree because they either don’t have enough space or they just think that it is an eyesore.

Regardless of why you don’t want to invest in one, here are some alternative ways to keep your kitty entertained.

Cat Hammock

This is a great alternative to a cat tree because it allows your cat to jump, relax, and swing. This can be a great alternative for younger cats.

It may not be a great alternative for older or disabled cats, as it can cause them to lose their balance. If you have an older cat, you may want to consider the sturdier cat hammock PetStages Easy Life Hammock Cat Toy.

Scratch Post

You can opt for a high-quality scratch post instead of a full-scale cat tree. There are several high-quality scratch posts that don’t take up a lot of room and will save your home decor.

Window Perch

If you don’t want your cat lounging on your couch all day, you may want to consider a window cat perch. This is similar to a cat shelf and can be easily attached to a window in your home.

This will give your cat a great vantage point to lounge in the warm sun while monitoring the activities of birds, squirrels, and other creatures outside.

How To Get The Very Best Cat Tree?

Every cat is different and will require different types of furniture. Hopefully, this article has helped you understand what to look for when shopping for cat furniture.

Remember, you don’t have to opt for the most expensive cat tree, but I would personally avoid getting the cheapest one on the market.

Final Word On Cat Trees For Cats

A cat tree will provide your kitty with their own place to sleep, exercise, and lounge. It doesn’t mean that every cat owner needs to get one.

If you have space and don’t mind assembling it when it arrives, then you should get one. After all, spending the money now can help save your expensive furniture and other home decor.

Give your cat some time to get used to it. Most cats will start using the cat tree right away, while others may be more interested in the box it came in.

References And Further Reading

VetStreet – Caroline Golon – Am I A Bad Pet Owner If I Don’t Want Cat Furniture All Over My House?