8 Cat Trees That’ll Make Your Lil’ Tiger Feel Like King of the Jungle
In a feline’s perfect world, he’d have a forest full of trees to climb and perch atop all day long. But unlike their more feral cousins who romp through nature, a house cat’s domain consists primarily of your living room. And that can be tough on the feline psyche. One way to make your kitty feel like she’s still queen of the jungle is to give her a cat tree of her own, so she can survey her territory in royal style. Keep reading to see why the pros say your cat needs a cat tree, plus our picks to suit even the finickiest of felines.
What are the benefits of a cat tree?
A cat tree, sometimes called a cat condo or cat tower, is usually an elevated structure with a series of platforms, hammocks and hiding spaces. They’re often coated in soft fabric and may include scratching posts or dangling toys. Cats love playing and lounging on them, but the benefits of cat trees extend far past simple amusement.
They help her feel safe
Elevated retreats like cat trees help your cats relax, says pet expert Charlotte Reed, author of The Miss Fido Manners Complete Book of Dog Etiquette (Buy from Amazon, $13.11) and co-host of radio show The Pet Buzz. She explains that cats feel more confident and safe when they can observe situations from above because the height gives them space from potential predators.
They give her exercise
Cats don’t go on walks like dogs. They fulfill their exercise needs by jumping and climbing. “Cats love to explore their world in a vertical way,” says Crystal Litzenberger, vet tech and team member of pet health company Lola Hemp. “Make sure to provide ways for your cat to climb up and down.”
They help her communicate
If you have more than one cat, having a cat tree can help defuse power struggles between them and bring balance to a stressful dynamic. “Cats telegraph status using height,” says cat behavior expert Stephen Quandt. “If multiple cats are in a [home], giving levels allows them to express status.”
Fin the perfect cat tree for your home
There’s no such thing as “one-size-fits-all” in the pet world. Cats have different needs and preferences — and let’s face it, so do you. Whether you need to accommodate multiple cats, you want it to fit in with your home decor or you only have a small space, there’s a cat tree to suit your home. Here are our top picks:
Best cat tree for large cats
With a high rating and more than 36,000 reviews, it’s easy to see that this cat tree is a crowd pleaser. It has three different platforms and a weight capacity of 44 pounds, which means it has plenty of space for multiple kitties — or one very spoiled one.
Best cat tree for small cats
Do you have a little kitten with a big appetite for climbing and scratching? At 20 inches tall, this minimal version has the elevation and comfort your furry friend needs.
Best modern cat tree
If you’re concerned an ugly cat tree will cramp your style, worry no more. This artsy, modern one is bold enough to fit in with your decor and spacious enough to please even the choosiest kitties.
Best space-saving cat tree
This is the ultimate space saver since it hangs on the back of a door instead of sitting out in the middle of your living room.
Best whimsical cat tree
This too-cute cat tree will make your princess feel like she’s lounging in a floral fantasyland. And how adorable will she look sitting in the middle of those giant cartoonish flowers?
How to make a cat tree
Not only can is a DIY cat tree less expensive and more customizable, it’s also pretty easy. With simple instructions and a trip to the hardware store, you could have a brand new kitty hangout before the day is over. Just check out these fun tutorials:
Modern and simple
This sleek, simple idea from Cuteness is made out of budget-friendly PVC pipes and plywood.
Cozy and cute
We also love this rustic-looking take from HGTV covered in scratchable rope and wicker baskets.
Easy and upcycled
Want to go even simpler? Try this creative idea from Diana Hansen of Diana Ramble, who repurposed an old kitchen stool. With some jute and soft fabric, old furniture becomes your kitty’s new favorite place.
Which cat tree will you get for your fur baby? Whichever one you choose, just be careful — she might love it so much, she’ll want a whole forest of them.