Best Cat Trees

Miscellaneous

Cat owners love their cats. A lot. And in the epic battle between cat and dog owners, cat owners at least have one item to add to their fun belt: The cat tree. Cats love to climb, they love dark, small spaces and they love to scratch to their little hearts’ content. Most cat trees these days add in a little bit of all of those things. Usually carpeted, cat trees come in all shapes and sizes. What a cat owner is looking for in a cat tree really comes down to size and expense. Do you have room for something that reaches to the ceiling, or are you looking for something a bit subtler? Do you have one cat or three? Are you looking for something to distract your feline friend away from the clawing up the couch? Maybe tired of the insistent meowing that causes you to put on some headphones to drown out the whines? These questions, and many more, are typically the ones that drive a cat owner into multiple directions. With so many options, it’s easy to get lost. Thankfully, we’ve done some research to help you figure out just which cat trees are the purrrfect addition to your home. Also, we offer no apologies for the pun. It was worth it.

AmazonBasics Cat Activity Tree

Product Info
  • Triple-platform indoor cat tree with 7 scratching posts wrapped in jute
  • Round top platform with sides and curved top rim doubles as a cat bed
  • Stable square-shaped base ideal for placement in room corners; made of MDF, carpet, paper tubes, and jute

Why we like it: AmazonBasics Cat Activity Tree goes for a bit of a different look and feel when it comes to their cat trees. They like to keep it simple, but they also like to give you some of the designer looks too. Their Cat Activity Tree is for the cat that likes to laze about on a comfy surface and nap…which is just about every cat we know. This version of the Amazon Basics Cat Tree is not a cat tree for cats that really prefer to be tucked away or hidden, it is more for the restful cat who loves heights and simplicity. The AmazonBasics Cat Tree is specifically designed for the cat in your life that enjoys a soft, plushy, and less rigid place to sleep that is only slightly above the ground, or higher up. This is because it has two options, depending on what height your cat enjoys. There is a medium and a large one, so you can have your cat go up higher, or stay lower to the ground with a less complex build. As for the cat in your life that just loves to scratch, this may well be the perfect choice. 

Size matters for cat trees, so you’ll want to consider the size of your cat before you consider whether or not this is the cat tree for you. This is why it is so helpful to have both a medium and a large option. The medium version is a simple design, with a square base, and three posts leading upward. Dimension for the medium version is 15.7 x 15.7 x 31.5 inches. A step up in both size and features, is the large version of this cat tree, which has the exact same design features, adding in another flat surface and three posts, which is clearly just for height and two places to sleep instead of one. This version alters the size a little bit all around, with dimensions of 19.5 x 14.8 x 23.5 inches. The largest and most feature-rich version, the Tower, is a monstrous upgrade on the other two. With dimensions of 17.7 x 17.7 x 45.9 inches, the Tower is an upgrade over the medium, and it can be clearly seen in the inches and height. A third tier has the same size platform for the cat in your life that just likes to be up high.

This AmazonBasics product does not come in any other color than beige. If this does not fit your style and the space it will sit in, you may want to pass on this one on the list. Just note that as with many products on Amazon, you will have to assemble this car tree yourself. Thankfully, it is very basic and the assembly is not too strategic and the tools and instructions come with this product that can be assembled by simple screwing. It is a great fit in any one of your corners and will entertain your kitty with it’s 7 scratching posts all day long. 

Pros

  • Sold in a Medium and Large size
  • Excellent for small or large cats
  • 7 scratching posts 
  • Plush beige carpeting 

Cons

  • Only one color option

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Armarkat Tree Furniture Condo

 

Product Info
  • CAT DADDY APPROVED. Overall Dimensions: 28"(L)X25"(W)X57"(H)
  • All scratching posts are wrapped in 100% cured sisal for long-lasting scratchability
  • House Dimensions: 15"(L)X14"(W)X12"(H)

Why we like it: Freedom of choice is everything for a cat. The Armarkat Tree Furniture Condo is a great example of what condos would look like if cat’s could do all of the designing. And, much like buying a real condo, Armarkat throws in various design features and different floor plans. In a way, this makes the Tree Furniture Condo a great place to start for those who are still learning about their cat’s habits or for those who have had their kitty for a long time and know exactly what he/she wants. The 6 available floor plans (and considering it’s called a “condo”, we’re going to keep referring to it as “floorplans”) have a mixture of nooks, towers, dangling pom poms and sisel rope scratching posts. If you can’t find what you’re looking for among these options, it’s quite likely you have a dog.

Length, width and height sizes on the 6 condo options vary. You’ll find that Armarkat offers their Tree Furniture Condo in a size as small as 44 inches high, to one that is 58 inches. Color options vary in mixtures of white and brown, with one model a bit browner than many users might prefer. Not that you’ll be using it, of course. Your cat will. But you’ll have to inevitably live with the choice, so buying a cat tree that you consider an eyesore (even if your feline takes a liking to it) can lead to some buyer’s regret. Depending on your home decor, it’s likely that the 44-inch model will be an eyesore. Nevertheless, every model is good for all kinds of cats. This includes your average tree dwelling cat, your creepy cave dwellers and your misguided go-betweens.

Every model of the Amarkat Tree Furniture Condo is cat tested. We’re assuming that they’re also cat approved, but we can’t guarantee that. Every model has at least two tiers, all have a solid, steady base, and every model has at least one nook. Ramps vary between models. However, all models also include at least one, and sometimes two, dangling toys. For multiple reasons, this Amarkat appears to have series of cat trees that will suit any and every cat. This includes kittens and elderly kitties. The various Tree Furniture Condo models are highly popular, with over 2,600 customer reviews and a rather impressive 4.6/5 average stars. Customers find that their cats have taken to the condos quite well, primarily due to the “little bit of everything” approach Amarkat took with the designs. 73% of reviewers left it a 5/5 stars. If you can’t trust your fellow cat owners, then really, who can you trust?

Pros

  • Extensive options
  • Sisel rope posts
  • High platforms
  • Varied nooks

Cons

  • More expensive than competitors

Go Pet Club Cat Tree F2040

 

Product Info
  • Color: Beige. Overall Size : 50"W x 26"L x 72"H. Base Board Size : 28"W x 24"L. Size of Condo 1 : 20"W x 15"L x 11.5"H....
  • Color: Beige
  • Overall Size: 50"W x 26"L x 72"H

Why we like it: With a weight of 68 pounds and rather large dimensions (50″ x 26″ x 72″), the Go Pet Club Cat Tree F2040 is a lot of cat tree for anyone to handle. Of course, your cat may well be able to handle it, and the complexity and versatility of this cat tree might make it a great addition to your home. If you have just one small cat, you may not want this much tree. Specifically, it’s a good addition for those who have multiple cats. However, if you really do need to spoil your very, very active and/or lazy cat (this cat tree is good for both), you may need to take the plunge. Just keep in mind that there is a bit of assembly required upon receipt.

The Go Pet Club Cat Tree F2040 has just about everything your cat (or cats, if you have more than one) is going to want or need. Think of this cat tree as the jack-of-all-trades among cat trees. Do you have a cat that loves heights? The three flat-topped towers offer sitting space for the “I can see you down there” cat in your life. If your cat prefers to laze around in dark nooks, the F2040 has two separate nooks on two different tiers. Each nook has two entrances, as well as small peek holes. If your cat is a bit lazier than most, the F2040 also includes two separate ramps. Because, let’s face it. Older cats and, ahem, fatter cats, just won’t be jumping up from the ground level to the top level any time soon.

The F2040 is one of the most popular cat trees you will find, and is fully carpeted on all of the flat surfaces. The insides of the nooks are also carpeted. The flat base is supported by four sisel rope scratching posts. Three of these posts go all the way up to the top, supporting the three towers and the second tier nook. As one of the most popular cat trees on Amazon, you’ll find this cat tree has great reviews. 74% of those who bought this cat tree gave 5/5 stars. With over 3500 customer reviews, your fellow cat owners have given this cat tree two thumbs paws up.

Pros

  • Extremely popular
  • Good sisel rope posts
  • Excellent size for large or multiple cats
  • Comes in two distinct color schemes

Cons

  • Does not feature multiple sizes

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Cat Trees Buyer’s Guide

So you’re in the market for a cat tree. That’s fantastic! But what should you get? Do you want lots of nooks or just one giant platform? And what the heck is a sisal rope? We’re here to answer all of your cat-related questions. We won’t even ask for any catnip in return. Just try to catain contain your excitement.

Small vs. Large Cat Trees

The first step to buying a cat tree is determining just what size tree you want. This question may seem obvious at first, but a little forward thinking is also involved. First, consider the size and age of your cat. If you have a kitten (and no,not the “aww my 12-year-old, 20-pound cat” type either) you’re likely thinking that you want a small cat tree.

Not so fast. Your cute little kitten is going to get big, fast. Just as you’re going to need to upgrade that tiny litter box, you’ll need to upgrade the cat tree as well. The last thing you want is a big cat sitting unbalanced on a tiny tree. No, your best bet for a cat tree is to go big, or go home, regardless of the size of the cat.

So what good is a small cat tree, you ask? Well, there are some situations where you may want to go ahead and spring for a small one. Particularly, if you have a full grown cat that is under 10 pounds and it’s the only cat you have, a smaller cat tree may be a great option. That said, if you only have one cat, you’re in the minority among cat owners. The average number of cats per cat owner is 2.1. We don’t know which part of the kitty got left behind to give us that .1 of a cat, but we’re afraid to even look. Averages are weird that way when you aren’t use the mode.

Large cat trees can work for pretty much any size cat, even the small ones, and are a great buy for those who have multiple cats (which is most of you, if the stats are to be believed). Your biggest concern with a large cat tree is, of course, going to space. Small apartment living makes owning a cat a good alternative to owning a dog, but it also means limited space for cat trees.

What distinguishes a “large” tree from a “small” one? There’s no real scientific or industry standard here. Generally, it’s guesswork. If has only one tier and sits under 3-4 feet, you’ll likely consider it a “small” tree. If has multiple tiers, several intersecting or solitary nooks and a few geometrically designed platforms, you’re probably looking at a “large” cat tree. Weight can sometimes be used to measure this, but be careful when using weight to determine small or large trees. Even a small tree can weight over 30 lbs. if it’s made of thick, heavy wood.

Common Cat Tree Features and Designs

There are design features common to all cat trees. It’s good to be conscious of your cat’s habits before buying a tree. While most cats do love small, dark spaces and most do love viewing us little weak humans from on high, every cat is different. Think about where your cat usually likes to spend his time. A cat tree that matches his preferences will likely get accepted fairly quickly into the household.

Nooks

Nooks are one of the most common features on a cat tree. Sometimes these nooks are at ground level. Often, they are located one middle and upper tiers of the cat tree. Cats love nooks because they love the safe and secure feeling that comes with small spaces. If your cat loves to lounge in these types of spaces (and most cats do like this), getting a cat tree with a nook or two (or three) is a great idea.

Platforms

The flat, open areas for your cat to lay on are the platforms. Cat’s love heights. Especially areas where they can stare down at the peons, err, human owners below. Just as most cats love dark, tight spaces, most also love heights. Even if the height is not above your head level (which may be a good idea), your cat is likely still going to enjoy jumping up and down on a nice, soft surface to catch a quick catnap.

Carpeting

If you’ve ever owned a cat, and you did not cruelly get it declawed, you’ve had to deal with its incessant desire to scratch. It’s a natural urge, and completely unavoidable. Some cats just go for pieces of furniture. Others enjoy the carpet. A carpeted cat tree provides a good scratching post alternative. Furthermore, your kitty will love the feel of it, and may even prefer to lay about on the carpeted tiers or inside of the cozy, soft nooks.

Sisal Roping

Sisel is a type of fabric that is often made into ropes. Made from the fibers of an agave plant, it is not quite good for clothing, but an excellent material for ropes. Many cat trees will use this rope around the conical tubes that separate the tiers of the cat tree. Cats love the feeling of this rope and will often use it for scratching as a preferred alternative to your favorite couch. Likewise, it is sturdy easy to hook claws into, making it a safe climbing material.

Steadying

While you may get a lot of enjoyment watching your cat scamper up and down his cat tree, you won’t be so happy when you hear it crashing down to the floor in the middle of the night. The complexity of many cat trees requires a design that keeps the structure steady. Despite their sometimes lightweight, many cats can still knock over a poorly designed cat tree. Try to find a tree that has a wide base, or, alternatively, one that has an internal design that gives it a fairly heavy center of gravity. This will help avoid accidental knock-overs.

Dangling Objects

If your cat loves to play with dangling objects, as so many love to do, getting a tree that has these built in may be a good option. Often you’ll find trees that have round, puffy balls hanging from tiny strings, or feathers, or some sort of flailing ropes. Regardless of what it is, if it can be interacted with, your cat may love it.

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