Cat Trees: Does Your Cat Need One?

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Cats love to play with vertical objects, and a cat tree is designed especially for them to fulfill their playing needs. Cat trees are man made objects that serve as great vertical objects for cats, who love to climb on them. Cats love climbing and sitting on cat trees as they give them a sense of height and security. Also, they feel that they own something and get more playful and happier than cats who don’t have such objects to play with. A cat tree is the best way to make your cat happy without consuming a lot of space.

Why Does Your Cat Need a Cat Tree?

Cat Scratching

Cats love to scratch things such as carpets and furniture. To prevent your furniture, rugs, carpets, and household appliance from being damaged by cat scratching, you must give your cat something to scratch. Instead of stopping your cat from scratching or declawing it, you must give it something to scratch and be playful. Choose a cat tree that is made up of a material that cats love to scratch. Cats love to scratch materials that shed easily and produce a satisfying sound. You can buy a cat tree made up of corrugated material which scratches easily. Scratching is very healthy for a cat’s claws as it helps shed the dead layers from them.

Sense of Height

Cats love to sit at a height as it gives them a sense of security and freedom. They sit on heights to view what is going around in the house and for observing things. For this purpose, cat trees are built long enough so that the cat feels secure and relaxed sitting on them. A floor-to-ceiling cat tree is ideal if your cat loves heights.

A cat tree is very durable and allows multiple surfaces for a cat to sit and relax. It also keeps your cat comfortable as it is long enough and consists of warm compartments. Most cats love to climb such trees because they offer many platforms for climbing and hideaways for playing and keeping themselves warm.

Versatility

Cats spend most of their time sleeping and relaxing, and they need a comfortable and secure place for that. Many people provide their cats with baskets and cat houses to play and relax, and cats love them. However, a cat tree can serve as a versatile object as it can offer a playful and relaxing time for your cat. According to its mood, your cat can climb on it, relax in it, sleep in the compartment, or scratch it. Your cat will feel safe and secure while sleeping at a height, away from the hustle and bustle of the house.

Space Saving

Horizontal objects tend to consume more space than vertical objects. Cat houses and other horizontal objects for your cat can create a clutter in the house and consume a lot of space. A cat tree is ideal if you want to save space and provide your cat with something that could serve as a playing ground. This object is ideal for a small house where there is less space and lots of other things to place. Also, you can easily relocate the cat tree because it is very portable.

Hunting Prey

Cats have a feline nature and love to hunt their preys. This behavior of a cat is normal, and it spends some time daily in playing with its prey. Cats love to attack objects such as toys, flies, and furniture to spend their time and satisfy their hunting needs. Sitting on a cat tree, your cat can easily attack objects. Also, you can hang toys on the cat tree to prevent your cat from attacking other objects in the house.

Increased Territory

A cat tree provides a shelter for a cat and allows it to enjoy its own comfortable space in the house. Even if you have multiple cats, they can easily play and sleep in a cat tree with multiple levels and compartments. A cat tree offers an ideal place to perch and gives a sense of security and increased territory to the cat. If your cat gets used to it, it will spend most of its time there, and you won’t be bothered by its roaming and scratching everywhere.

How to Choose a Good Cat Tree?

There are many kinds of cat trees available on the market and choosing the best one can be a headache. Some of them are versatile and offer a lot of things and activities for cats, while others are made up of just a single vertical block. Some cat trees are floor-to-ceiling type, while others are quite short. Depending on your cat’s nature and needs, you have to choose a cat tree for it wisely. Just remember that if you own a cat, you must have a cat tree at your place. The following factors should be considered before buying a cat tree:

Your Cat’s Nature

Before buying a cat tree, you must consider its age, activity level, size, breed, and climbing ability. An active cat can easily climb a long or multi-level cat tree because it loves to climb, while a lazy cat will prefer a short cat tree. If your cat is old, it will like to sleep a lot, so make sure you provide it with a cat tree that has sleeping compartments. Cat trees with cubbies are ideal for those cats who like to sleep in an enclosed and dark space. If your cat is very playful, consider buying a cat tree that has hooks for hanging toys.

Durability

A cat tree should be very sturdy and durable because a shaky one can be harmful to your cat. Make sure that the cat tree doesn’t tip over and fall on your cat when it jumps or climbs on it. If the cat tree tips over even once while your cat is using it, it will cause fear in your cat’s mind and it won’t use it again. Carefully examine the design of the cat tree and make sure it is made up of high-quality and sturdy materials. There are many cat trees that are durable, sturdy, and stylish enough. Cat trees are more durable than cat scratchers, so they are a better option.

Type

Cat trees are available in many different styles, configurations, and sizes. Normally, all cat trees have a scratching post and are carpeted. Some cat trees have hideaways, cradles, beds, multiple perches, enclosed cubbies, and hammocks. According to your budget and preference, choose the one that suits your cat’s needs and the available space at your home.

Color

Some cats prefer a particular color than others. If you feel your cat loves a particular color, try and find a cat tree of that color so that it can get used to it quickly. According to studies, cats love purple and yellow colors. You can test this by putting two or three toys or balls of different colors, and it will quickly pick the one that it loves the most. It is better to choose a cat tree in the color your cat loves the most.

Scratching Surfaces

If your cat scratches a lot, you must buy it a cat tree that has multiple scratching surfaces. Another thing to consider is the material of the scratch post. Some cats love to scratch corrugated surfaces, while others prefer sisal rope, wood, or carpeted ones. Before investing in a huge and expensive cat tree, you must first determine which type of scratch post is liked by your cat. You can judge this by noticing whether your cat loves to scratch furniture, carpets, or curtains.

Price

Most cat trees will cost around $100 to $150, but the floor-to-ceiling ones are more expensive and can cost around $500. These cat trees are no doubt expensive, but they are packed with features such as tunnels, cubbies, sleeping spots, and multiple perches. Obviously, your choice will depend on your budget, but if you save some money and invest in a high-quality cat tree, it will last longer and prove to be more useful for your cat.

Assembly

If you want to save time, you can buy a pre-assembled cat tree. There are some manufacturers that provide a pre-assembled cat tree, but such cat trees are a bit difficult to find. The easiest option is to order a cat tree online which comes with instructions for assembly and easy setup. Cat trees are usually not hard to assemble. However, if there are many features and is a multi-level one, it will obviously take more time for setup.

Location

Another thing you have to consider is the location in your house where you have to place the cat tree. Place it where it is easily accessible by the cat. A cat tree can be placed in the living room or lounge where the cat can keep an eye on the happenings and doesn’t feel isolated. A good option is to place the cat tree near a window so that your cat can enjoy outdoor activities as well.

The cat tree needs to be placed at a location where the cat feels comfortable and secure. If you place the cat tree in a basement or some other place where it isn’t taken care of well, it will end up being dusty and useless.

How to Teach Your Cat to Like the Cat Tree?

Cat owners often face a situation where their cats don’t show any interest in the cat tree. This situation can be a bit disappointing at first as a cat owner might feel that their investment has gone to waste. We know that you have bought a cat tree after a lot of research, assembled it with love, and placed it at the best location in your house, but your cat does not like it. Worry not, because we have some tips for you to teach your cat how to play with a cat tree. The following tips should be taken into account:

  • If your cat has been living with you for a long time, it is already used to the environment and furniture. If you want to introduce a cat tree to it, try choosing a spot where your cat loves to be most of the time.
  • Another idea is to give more attention to the cat tree so that your cat starts liking it too. If your cat has a good relationship with you and your family members, it will start getting attracted to the things you like. This way you can encourage your cat to climb the cat tree and get used to it. Spend more time in front of the cat tree so that your cat also enjoys playing with it.
  • Encourage your cat to spend time with the cat tree. You can give it treats to encourage it so that it understands that it is a good behavior. If you start encouraging your pet by appreciating it and offering it the things it loves, it will start getting used to the tree. Affection and lots of praise can do the work as cats understand everything and know what makes their owners happy or sad.
  • If your cat loves climbing on things, you can place some objects near the cat tree so that your cat climbs through them and reach the tree. You can also place its favorite furniture or basket near the tree, and it will gradually start exploring and liking it.
  • Carefully observe your cat and identify why it is not taking any interest in the tree. Perhaps it loves scratching and is not able to scratch the cat tree. If so, make sure the material of the post is one which produces noise and shreds when scratched.

Conclusion

A cat tree is a perfect vertical object for your cat to hang out, climb on, relax, sleep, play, and spend time. Some cats will start loving the cat tree the instant they get a new one, but others will take time adjusting to the new object. Consider the factors listed in this post while you choose a tree for your cat. If you simply go and buy a cat tree without determining your cat’s needs, you will most probably end up wasting your money. If you want your cat to love the tree, you must make sure it suits your pet’s requirements. Also, it is important to take care of the cat tree by cleaning and maintaining it weekly.

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Written by Scott L. McNary

Scott L. McNary

I was tired of my cat scratching up my couch, so I bought a cat scratcher. It was torn apart in 3 weeks. Now, I review cat scratchers so you don't have to declaw your cat.