Barbara Fitzgerald is an AKC Breeder of Merit and author of the column "Conversations with Champions" for the BCSA magazine, "Borderlines."
Cats instinctively love high places, and cat towers, scratching posts and cat tree houses can satisfy that urge to climb.
Their remarkable leaping powers allow them to attain great heights, where, for millennium, they have napped and hunted in safety.
If you want to keep your kitty happy and your furniture intact, make sure to add a cat tower with adequate scratching posts.
Here we review some of the best selling cat trees for safety, durability and kitty desirability.
Getting Your Cat to Use The New Tree!
Indoor cats will very often begin playing on their new cat tree before you have even finished constructing it. Others will have a big time with the box while you are building their new tower. And some cats are suspicious of the new addition to the home.
These tips will help you to encourage the reticent cat onto the tower.
- Rub the posts and platforms liberally with catnip
- Entice the cat to the tree and to higher levels using a feather wand toy
- Place the tree near a window that gets sun
- Place the tree in a corner to enhance stability and a sense of coziness for your kitty
- Never try to force your cat to scratch on the tree; it may make him resent the new object.
The "Duplex" The Best Value Cat Tower for Multi-Cat Homes
With 6 levels to perch and nap on and two cat condos, the 6 foot tall Duplex cat tree is perfect for homes with multiple cats. And at a purchase price of $99.00 delivered to your door, the Duplex provides the best bang for your buck of any cat tree on the market.
The large base, at 27" x 23" makes this one of the more stable cat trees, and the two ramps provide easy access to the higher levels of the tower for senior kitties.
Finished with elegant faux fur, which is available in four patterns, and constructed with sisal posts for scratching, this model blends with décor better than many of the heavily carpeted cat tree houses.
Easily constructed within 45-60 minutes, the Duplex comes with its own tools and instructions for completion, however your ten year old may be able to get it constructed for you within 30 minutes!
- Available Colors: Beige, Leopard, Paw Print and Pink
- Tower Height: 73"
- Post Diameter: 3"
- Base Dimension: 27" x 23"
- Large Cat House Dimension: 20"(L) x 15"(W) x 12"(H)
- Small Cat House Dimension: 15"(L) x 12"(W) x 10"(H)
- Stable and Easy To Build
- Durable, expect it to last 3-4 years
- Made from particle board
- Expect the dangling mice to be detached by your cats within a month of use
- Comes in one giant, 58 pound box
- Sometimes arrives with pieces missing or damaged (a quick call to the seller will get you replacement parts sent out the next day, but you and your cats may have to wait to complete construction).
Checkout the Duplex withThese Kitties
The Best Starter Cat Tree - The Bungalow
Not sure if your kitty will take to a cat tree? If you are not ready turn your living room into a cat house or to make the real estate investment of the larger cat trees, then the Bungalow is the perfect starter cat tree for you. And priced at $65.00 delivered; it won't put a big dent in your wallet either.
Designed like a miniature Craftsman Bungalow, this cat house has 3 levels with the top one at 52 inches off the ground. However the top perch is really only appropriate for small cats and kittens. It was probably designed to hold the cat toy for added interest.
This tree was made to fit into a corner for added stability. The cat house itself is spacious and will accommodate an extra large kitty.
- Surface Material: Faux Fur (Available in Beige, Leopard, Pink and Paw Print Design)
- Overall Dimension: 16"(L) x 16"(W) x 52"(H)
- Post Diameter: 3"
- Base Dimension: 16" x 16"
- House Dimension: 16"(L) x 16"(W) x 10"(H)
- Perch Dimension: 12" x 12"
- Easy to follow step by step instruction with tools included
- Board Material Pressed Wood
- Weight limit: 20LB
Turn Your Cats Into Wall Art
The Urban Wave wall mounted cat perch, by Urban Pet Haus transforms lifeless walls into beautiful, feline works of art. Designed for the cat lover that does not want a "cat house," these perches easily secured into the studs behind your sheet rock. Made with real wood veneer in zebra striped ebony, the wave perches provide a soothing feel, like the waves at the beach. Consider a pair of them to maximize the aesthetic.
Cats love them, as they are very sturdy and ten inches wide, so even the heftiest Maine coon can enjoy these perches. We recommend staggering a pair of perches at a distance of 14-16 inches apart for easy cat climbing.
- Real wood veneer
- Dark zebra wood engineered finish
- Durable felt padded top for your pets comfort
- Each Wave is 44 Inches long, 10 Inches wide, 8 Inches high
- Also comes in a small size to add to the aesthetic design of your cat wall
The Best Looking Cat Tower - The Refined Feline Lotus Cat Tower
Looking for a cat tree that can double as a piece of art? The Refined Feline Lotus cat tree is as elegant as cats themselves, and will enhance any living space with its espresso finish and high style.
Well constructed and easy to assemble the only stumbling block to purchasing this cat tower may be the price. Prices on this beautiful tree range from $329-399.00 delivered.
- Espresso wood veneer finish
- Brown Berber carpet attached with Velcro
- Sisal pad is perfect for scratching
- Soft cushions with washable faux suede covers above and inside hide-a-way cubby
- Assembly required; tools are included
- Overall Weight 70 pounds
- Available in a smaller 4' tower - The Little Lotus
- Some owners complained that the actual product did not match the promotional image. Rough veneer, additional supports, different colored pads and different pad sizing and placement were sited.
- Additional tools required: you will need a hammer on hand to gently nudge some of the pieces and dowels into place.
- In 2011 there was a bad batch made, the manufacturer has changed plants and those old negative online reviews should be obsolete. The company is quick to replace parts if necessary.
The Sebastian Modern Cat Tree - Best Cat Tower for Senior Cats
The Sebastian Modern Cat tree can accommodate 2 or more cats and each level of the cat house is easily accessed through an ingenious stair step design. The clean design is more conducive to cat napping rather than to scratching and playing.
- Six separate levels for climbing
- Sisal scratching material on the first level
- Carpet on the second and fourth levels for lounging
- Cubbyhole with hiding place on the second level
- Cat entrance hole is 7.5-inch-inch wide by 8-inch-inch high to fit large cats
- Available in black or white, painted with durable, glossy, non-toxic, lead-free paint - made to last
- Pilots holes for the L brackets are sometimes off, and you may need to re-drill those holes.
- Sometimes the whites don't match from layer to layer.
- Stickers are applied to label the pieces, but the stickers are difficult to remove without damaging the finish.
- Finish is sometime unevenly applied leaving bald places at the edges.
- Expensive for the quality of workmanship
The Best Space Saver - The Cozy Kitty Climber Cat Tree and Cloth Condo
Created to hang on the back of a door, the Cozy Kitty Climber and Cat Condo can be hidden away on the back of a spare room or closet door. Although it is attractive enough to place it in an area where you can enjoy watching your cats climb.
Designed by Carole C. Wilbourn, a feline behaviorist and noted author on cats and cat behavior, the Cozy Kitty Climber gives plenty of interest and exercise for your multi-cat household.
- Lightweight, easily moved and stored.
- 5-story climbing unit for cats; mounts to most closet doors
- Perfect for indoor use where space is limited
- 64 vertical inches for climbing
- Top privacy parlor with cozy washable fleecy platform pad
- 5 roomy levels to climb and play; 2 portholes on each level for easy access
- Rugged tight weave PVC mesh construction with removable fabric awning
- Cats have gotten their claws caught in the mesh and needed to have help to remove themselves from the mesh. If you purchase this item, be sure to keep your cats claws trimmed.
- The employees at Kitty Walk are not customer service oriented. If you have issues, you will need to rely on your seller for support.
Innovative and Affordable Catty Stacks
Catty Stacks Modular Cat Condos - Made in the USA!
If your cat is the type to enjoy a cardboard box, then these inexpensive condos just might be perfect for your kitty. At $13.00 a piece, you can test out 3 for less than $50.00. However, a large setup like the one pictured above can become pretty pricey at $78.00 plus shipping.
These condos are made from heavy duty corrugated cardboard, and made in the USA (they only product on this list made in America). They come with clamps to hold them together in any configuration you choose. They are purchased individually, so you can mix and match colors to suit your décor.
The holes are perforated to knock out larger holes if desired.
- Made in the USA from industrial-strength Corrugated Ultraboard(TM)
- Individual stacks can be replaced should one wear out
- Innovative, patent-pending design allows for unique configurations
- Boxes secure to each other
- 6-inch and optional removable 10-inch diameter holes
- Colors: Sky Blue, Pistachio Green, Snow White and Chocolate Brown
- No Scratcher
- Some cats find them uninteresting
- Becomes expensive to create a tall stable tower for cat climbing.
How to Kill a Cat - The SmartCat Multi-Level Cat Climber
One of the best selling cat climbers on the market, the SmartCat Multi-Level Cat Climber failed our review for several reasons.
The climber is difficult to assemble, and does not lay flat against the door. It becomes increasingly unstable as each layer is introduced. Many disappointed buyers remedied the situation by screwing it into studs on the wall. That would be the best place for this cat tree.
Imagine your cat sleeping on one of the levels when someone unwittingly swings open the door. Cats usually land on their feet, but when they are sound asleep... There is nothing to protect a cat from being flung on to the floor from the door mounted installation.
- Designed for scratching, climbing, sleeping, and exercising
- Natural sisal post is ideal for scratching
- Spring-loaded bracket system makes it easy to move from room to room
- Fits on virtually any door from 79 to 82 inches high.
- Most door frames cannot accommodate the cat tree clamps on top of the door, so the door is left swinging once it is installed.
- Made from particle board that emits a strange odor
- Wobbly when attached to a door, cats will not use it when unstable
- Sisal brackets are not located conveniently for scratching unless you have a small kitten
- Distance between levels is too far for most cats to comfortably climb
- Ledges are not wide enough to accommodate a full grown cat
Assembling the Lotus - Then Kitty Time
Otniel on December 26, 2014:
When I went to the humane soctiey last month to adopt a cat, the cat I picked out was well and friendly, no sickness. They required I sign the adoption forms, and then leave her for a few nights so that she could get fixed. That's what was required to adopt her from them. The deal was I had a 30 day insurance coverage on her, and had to take her in within a week to be checked. They even gave me a list of certain vets participants' to take her to. Two days after I picked her up, she came out of hiding with a bad cold, runny red eyes, and she wouldn't eat. Her stitches didn't look toyed with or infected. Surely if they cut her open they gave her antibiotics.I took her into the vet. I was mad and instantly suspicious. Pets are the perfect prey. They can't communicate and there's a huge industry of pet medical coverage out there. There's freakin vet offices in large commercial pet chains there is money to be made by people who care to treat their pets like family members, as they are indeed. The vet said it was a resperatory infection and its been rampant in kenels and that she's seen lots of it. Non of the cats in that kenel had illnesses. She was in a display alone. They required I leave her with them to fix her. Infections happen due to the immune system being attacked by a foreign virus or bacterium. She wasn't a kitten. After the visit and the fee of $80 for antibiotics, my inbox has been getting bombarded with pet insurance deals. Sounds like manipulation of pet health to me, and I'm very distrustful
Ann1Az2 from Orange, Texas on July 23, 2014:
Yes, it would be a pretty addition to any room. I love the wood and the color.
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on July 23, 2014:
Hi ana1Az2 I would love to make a kitty jungle out of many of these trees. The Lotus is so elegant and artistic. It's like a living kitty sculpture for your living room.
Ann1Az2 from Orange, Texas on July 23, 2014:
Love the lotus! Wish I had the money for it. My cats would love it, too.
Well done. You did some good research on this.
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on June 17, 2014:
Hi epbooks: When Buddy is ready, you will need to get a kitty to keep him in line. Cats rule over dogs lol. Might have something to do with the claws.
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on June 17, 2014:
Hi Peggy W Thanks for dropping by and reading. Go ahead and try the catty stacks for your kitties. If they don't like it, it is easy to return!
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on June 17, 2014:
I just saw those cardboard ones in PetsMart yesterday and their price was either $11 or $12...similar to buying it from Amazon. I gave thought to purchasing one but then thought better of it since our cats already have a similar cloth type one and they also love their existing boxes. Good review of the various types of cat towers and cat houses. If ours were not as old as they are, I would be tempted to get one of those cat towers but not sure ours would adjust. Pinning to my cats board and sharing!
Elizabeth Parker from Las Vegas, NV on June 17, 2014:
I don't have cats, but this is good info to know for those who do! All things I would have never known about otherwise.