Why Are Cat Trees Carpeted? And Do Cats Like It?

Cat trees provide a healthy, cozy, and enjoyable environment for your pet to roam and sleep, which is why it’s a must for every cat owner.  

Conventional cat trees have a solid, floor-based structure that’s composed of platforms, boxes, and enclosed structures. Its exterior and/or interior are typically covered with a sort of cushioning, typically carpet.

But why are cat trees carpeted, anyway? Is there a specific reason why carpeted cat trees are preferred by the majority of cats and cat owners?

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5 Reasons Why Cat Trees Are Carpeted

As a dedicated cat owner, I’ve owned at least five different cat trees in my lifetime, and you know how expensive a cat tree can be

Perhaps it’s my cat’s preference, but she’s always preferred fully carpeted cat trees than those that come in small patches or sisal. I can certainly understand why; it surely looks comfier to lie on a “cloud” of plush, soft carpet! 

After observing my cat for years, I can say for certain that there are five primary reasons why cats love carpeted cat trees more than the alternative: 

#1. Carpets Are Cozy and Comfortable

Just like us, cats love to lay and sit on soft, comfortable surfaces. This luxurious feeling is what keeps them coming back to rest in their trees at night. Just like how carpets give a “softer” feel to our home, cats share the same sentiment.

Plus, carpet keeps cats warm in winter months, as it retains a cat’s body temperature when sat atop.  

#2. Carpets Are Non-Slip and Easy to Climb

Because of their thick, non-slip texture, carpets encourage cats to climb and play without fear of falling. Cats can roll around, jump, and climb as much as they like. Slip-and-fall accidents are less likely to occur when a cat tree is carpeted.

#3. Carpets Can Sharpen a Cat’s Claws

Just like we use razor strops to sharpen our knives, cats use carpets to loosen and remove the outer layer of their claws to reveal a new, sharper surface underneath. Because of their thick and durable surfaces, carpets make for a perfect claw sharpener.  

Claw sharpening is an act of grooming for a cat. As such, if she doesn’t have a “special” scratching place, like the scratching posts typically found in cat trees, she’ll most likely target your furniture, instead. 

Because the carpet in a cat tree is usually fixed and non-yielding, it provides enough resistance against the muscles she uses when she scratches. 

#4. Cheaper Than Other Materials

Another reason why many cat trees are made of carpet is that carpet is cheaper than other materials. Natural sisal has a durable texture and sharpens a cat’s claws just like carpets do, but they’re worth about twice the price. 

Carpet trees are a budget alternative and are much cheaper to mass-produce. Plus, it comes in a variety of colors that’ll attract many buyers! 

#5. Wears Fairly Well

Despite the carpet trees being a cheaper alternative to sisal, faux fur, and other tree materials, it still wears fairly well. Although far less robust than sisal, it’ll take perhaps half a year or so before you need to replace a damaged carpet. 

Reasons Why We, As Owners, Don’t Like Carpeted Cat Trees 

cat sitting on carpeted cat tree

Despite my cat absolutely loving his carpeted cat tree, there are some downsides to owning one. If I were to choose, I’d rather have my cat use a modern, uncarpeted, rosewood cat tree that perfectly matches my living room. But alas, it isn’t my call. 

Here are some reasons why owners might not like carpeted cat trees so much:

It’s Difficult to Clean 

If you’ve ever owned a carpet, you already know how difficult it is to clean. Stains and other fluids are a pain to remove, and many need a special type of cleaning detergent to completely remove unattractive cat odors.

Some carpets are easier to clean than others, like nylon, polyester, or Berber carpets. However, these carpets aren’t the most comfortable for your cat. She might even refuse to use the cat tree entirely if it’s carpeted this way!

But if we opt out for comfortable, thick, plush carpets, clean-up is quite strenuous. In worse case scenarios, it might never be cleaned at all. There’s no win-win here, you’ll just have to accept the fact that regularly cleaning your carpeted cat tree is mandatory.

It Holds Odor 

The elimination of the pungent odor is far from an easy task. Sometimes, even the strongest detergent can’t completely remove an unwanted odor. 

If a cat sprays on the carpet, it’s almost irreparably damaged. Even if, by some miracle, you were able to completely remove the foul urine smell, it’ll only encourage her to spray on it even more. 

Cats spray on carpets to “mark” their territory, and if you remove the smell, they’ll be forced to mark it yet again.

The only solution, other than replacing the entire tree, is to cut away the soiled piece and attach a brand new carpet. 

It Doesn’t Look That Great 

Beauty is subjective, of course. There’s a fair number of cat trees that are hands-down gorgeous, but those are few and far between. And often, the “prettier” a cat tree is, the more expensive its price tag.  

How to Replace the Carpet on a Cat Scratching Post

carpeted cat trees

Replacing the carpet on your cat tree isn’t as difficult as others make it out to be. In fact, it’s fairly straightforward and requires only a couple of tools to complete! 

Before we start, here’s what you will need: 

Once you have the above materials to hand, you’re now ready to replace your cat tree’s carpet!

Step 1: Remove Damaged Carpet

Inspect your entire cat tree for damage and identify what you need to remove. Once done, use a flat scraper, a heavy screwdriver, or a utility knife to pull the carpet off.

As much as you can, try to remove it in one piece. This will serve as a template to measure the length and width of the new carpet. 

Step 2: Remove the Staples

Most carpeted cat trees are held together with heavy-duty glue and staples. If your cat tree is the same, you’ll need to loosen said staples with a flat head screwdriver. Gently remove the staple with the aid of piers. 

Step 3: Measuring Your New Carpet 

Lay your new carpet on top of the old carpet. Using chalk or pencil, trace the corners of the carpet. This will serve as a guide. 

When ready, grab a sharp razor or utility knife and cut your new carpet piece, following the lines you’ve drawn.

Step 4: Place the Carpet 

Glue and staple the newly cut carpet onto your cat tree using a stapler gun. The staplers need to be placed every few inches along the seam, edges, and/or the top and bottom of the post. 

Step 5: Finishing Up 

And you’re done! Your newly carpeted cat tree may have a smell that only new carpets have, so you can put your tree somewhere outside to air it out for a couple of days. 

And, finally, don’t forget to remove stray carpet fibers using a vacuum cleaner! 


Almost all cat trees are carpeted. There are many reasons why that is, ranging from comfort, its easy-to-climb surface, to its affordability. So if you’re thinking of buying a cat tree, I highly advise you to choose something with a thick, plush carpet, to keep your kitty comfy and happy!