Has your kitty got tree envy? We have reviewed, together with Joey and Oscar, seven of the best cat tree options currently available on the market. You’re bound to find one you like, but in the meantime, are you keen to know which is our absolute favorite? Spoiler alert: it’s the Go Pet Club 62-Inch Cat Tree.
If you ever spend time with older people, you will invariably hear them say something along the lines of, “when we were younger, we didn’t have such fancy/clever/fandangled gizmos and gadgets!” And we’re guessing senior cats say the same thing when they get an eyeful of the different types of cat tree furniture you can buy nowadays.
But quality cat trees are more than just nice-to-have play accessories for your cat. You see, like humans, cats need to stay healthy and in shape. This includes eating the right food, drinking lots of water, getting enough sleep, and exercising. But for their mental health, cats also need somewhere they can destress and unwind, and just be themselves, the way nature intended.
Following Their Natural Instincts
You know that your cat is a predator, but at some point, smaller cats in the wild would have also been another animal’s prey. To survive, they would have adapted their behavior to avoid being another animal’s dinner.
From hiding in small caves and bushes to perching on high ledges and in trees, cats would be able to conceal themselves from predators and keep an eye out for any other potential threats. It’s what they do.
And your cat does the same thing, albeit in the safety of his home. Lurking behind the sofa, crouching on the refrigerator or perched on the chest of drawers in your bedroom, watching, waiting. He’s simply following his natural instincts and doing what he was programmed to do, surviving.
When cats are unable to behave the way they would in nature, they become stressed and anxious, which can lead to various behavioral problems.
For your cat to be healthy, happy, and relaxed, experts agree that it is essential to enrich his environment. This includes regular playtime with him, outside time (if he is an indoor cat), walks on a leash, building a catio where he can play and unwind, keeping his living space clean, and investing in a cat tree.
Dangerous Places Cats Like to Hide
Hiding is your cat’s way of avoiding danger, but it’s also how he gets away from it all. Unfortunately, if he doesn’t have a safe space where he can do this, he’ll choose other areas around the house that could be potentially dangerous for him.
The most common places cats like to hide include:
Washing machines, dishwashers, and dryers
Cats love privacy and warmth, and your dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer provide both. Unfortunately, if there are already clothes in the machine or dryer, you might not see your cat curled up inside when you switch them on.
To prevent your kitty from getting seriously injured or worse, make sure you have closed the doors of these or any other large kitchen appliances.
Stoves and ovens
Never leave the door of your oven or wood burning stove open. It is warm and cozy and particularly inviting to a curious cat or a kitten still navigating his way around your home.
Before you turn it on or light it, always check inside to make sure your kitty isn’t using it as his very own little cave.
Cats love cardboard boxes, and while they’re great for building makeshift obstacle courses for your furry feline, you mustn’t just leave them lying around. And if you’re throwing them away, check inside before you do so, in case your cat has settled in there for a quick nap.
Somewhere else cats like to hide is in car boots, close to the engine or by the wheels. We suggest always checking to see your cat isn’t in any of these spots before you leave the house.
A suitcase is also a great place for privacy and a snooze. Before you pack them away, check to make sure your cat isn’t inside. If you’re going away, double-check that your kitty isn’t unknowingly going on holiday with you.
The Best Cat Tree Buyers Guide
Also called kitty condos, high-quality cat trees have places where your furry feline can hide, seek, stalk, and ‘attack.’ The different ledges allow for him to climb, and to keep him mentally stimulated, they often also have soft toys that he can hunt and catch.
But what else do you need to keep in mind when shopping for a tree-rific piece of climbing equipment for your kitty?
What is it made of
The best cat trees are the ones that can withstand daily wear and tear. Remember that it’s going to be used for jumping, climbing, perching, sharpening claws, a lit bit of roughhousing, and of course, sleeping.
The most durable cat tree options are those that are made from wood and covered with durable carpet-like nylon or sisal. If you are after something a little more bespoke, there are cat trees that are made using recycled materials, solid oak, brushed metal, plywood, and even real trees.
How is it assembled
You’re definitely spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a cat tree in different shapes and sizes. Something worth considering is how it’s assembled. If it’s a permanent fixture, we think it’s better if it’s held together with screws rather than nails.
Also, a well-made cat tree will have a cover that’s fixed with staples, and not glue. Even the most clawsome kitty won’t be able to cause serious damage to a sturdy, well-assembled cat tree.
Depending on the style you have in mind, nowadays, some modular models can be adjusted. With these, you’re able to change the height as well as the shape. This is a great way to keep your cat stimulated, physically and mentally.
How many platforms does it have
The best kitty condos will have at least one platform where your cat can relax or watch the world go by. For multi-cat homes, we recommend buying a tree or condo with a place for each cat. But even if you only have one cat, several platforms will provide them with a change of scenery.
How stable is it
It’s a good idea to check the base of the cat tree. You want something stable, and that won’t topple over when your cat jumps on it, moves from one level to another, or jumps off.
Also, if you have children or other pets in the house, as a safeguard, you don’t want it falling on them.
How tall is it
Because cats generally enjoy high vantage points, the taller the cat tree, the better. Taller trees also allow your kitty to mimic his behavior in nature. If space is limited, then you could go for a tall skinny cat tree. These are perfect for avid climbers and don’t take up too much room.
Of course, just how high you go will depend largely on the space you have available. And your cat’s personal preference. If he is particularly clumsy, you might want to go for something in between.
What does it look like
If you’ve avoided getting a cat tree because you think they’re ugly or dull-looking, you are in for quite a surprise. Described as furniture for cats, you’ll find some really pretty cat trees that combine form and functionality perfectly.
You can choose from traditional looking cat trees, cat condos, single scratch posts with a bed on top, hammocks, and swings or modern units. And if you want to go literal, you could get one that looks like a, well, a tree. No matter the style of your home, or your personal taste, there is a kitty tree to match.
Does it come with any extras
Cat trees come in all shapes and sizes. But some also have added extras like a toy mouse, a hanging ball, and a dedicated scratch area.
No one knows your cat better than you, which means you can decide whether these accessories would be nice to have or more of a must-have.
How much does it cost
While it would be nice to buy the biggest, most expensive cat tree out there, we know money doesn’t grow on trees. So rather than you blowing your life savings on the biggest and the best model out there, we think it’s better to get a durable tree that fits in with your budget.
But don’t compromise on quality. Buying a cheap, poorly made cat tree will end up costing you more in the long run.
Reviews for Best Cat Trees 2019
As promised, we’ve reviewed seven of the best cat trees and kitty condos currently available online and in-store. We also asked our resident experts to give us their opinions.
While they were lost for words for the most part, Joey and Oscar’s enthusiasm (or lack thereof) told us all we needed to know.
Let’s get started.
Go Pet Club 62-Inch Cat Tree
Joey and Oscar’s Overall Winner: Best Cat Towers
This was a definite favorite of our judges, by far. And we couldn’t get them off the Go Pet Club 62-Inch Cat Tree, even when review time was over. For starters, we loved that it is made from compressed wood, so it’s stable and doesn’t topple over. The cat tower (after all it is 62 inches high) is covered with soft faux fur that not only looks good, it’s also really comfortable for cats. And there’s something for every cat included.
Oscar immediately claimed the top perch as his, all the better to watch the birds, rabbits, and squirrels go about their daily business. Joey relaxed in the hammock, where we were still able to give him his belly scratches.
With three tiers, a hammock, a cubby hole for hiding, hanging rope, and scratching posts covered with sisal, the boys spent a good few hours on it. And we’re happy to say it held their weight well, was comfortable and both had a little space to call their own.
It does need some assembling, but it’s pretty straight forward, and all the tools are included. This is a great cat tree for one or more cats and provides them with the mental stimulation they need, as well as various spots for them to cuddle up and sleep. A worthy winner of the title best cat tree ever as far as we are concerned.
Yaheetech 51-Inch Cat Tree Tower Condo Furniture Scratch Post for Kittens
Best Cat Trees for Mulitple Cats
The Yaheetech 51-Inch Cat Tree Tower Condo Furniture Scratch Post for Kittens can hold up to 22 pounds, so it’s perfect for bigger cats too. At 51 inches, it is a good height for fearless felines keen to explore, and there is so much to keep them busy.
There are multiple places where cats can lounge around, including three high perches. It also has two houses for playing hide and seek, or curling up in and having a quick catnap. There are two hanging balls as well as sisal covered scratching posts.
Oscar and Joey liked this elegant cat tree, but our concern was whether it would hold their combined weight over a longer period of time. Having said that, it does have anti-toppling fittings, and when it is assembled, it’s very sturdy.
The cat tree needs assembly, but all the tools are included, as well as easy to read (and follow) instructions. From what we can tell, this is one of the top-rated cat trees for kittens at a budget-friendly price.
AmazonBasics Cat Activity Tree with Scratching Posts
Best Cat Tree: Amazon’s Choice
The large AmazonBasics Cat Activity Tree with Scratching Posts is the perfect choice for cats that like to scratch. It has seven scratching posts wrapped in sisal, as well as two ledges to laze on and a round top platform that can double as a bed.
The elegant cat tree is almost 50 inches tall and will look good in any style house. The compact size makes it ideal for small spaces, and we were impressed by how sturdy it is. Although there isn’t too much for cats to do, other than scratch or sleep, Joey and Oscar both spent time doing just that.
If you’re looking for a no-mess-no-fuss setup, that is affordable and durable, then this is an excellent buy.
FEANDREA Multi-Level Cat Tree for Big Cats
Best Cat Tree House for Large Cats
Can we just say that when we saw this, we both wanted to be cats for a day, just so we could hang out on it. And Joey and Oscar were just as impressed. The FEANDREA Multi-Level Cat Tree is easily one of the best quality cat trees available at the moment.
The roomy ‘activitree’ (yes, we’ve coined the word) two high perches, two lower ledges, two hanging balls, and 10 sisal covered scratching posts. And when it’s time to relax, there is a comfy hammock as well as a condo where they can sleep.
Safety is top of mind when it comes to the design. Durable boards are kept in place with battens, and anti-toppling fittings ensure that it remains stable, even with everyday use. The scratching posts are wrapped with sisal rope, while the rest of its covered in a cozy plush fabric that our boys liked.
This is a really well-designed cat tree with a sturdy base that doesn’t groan under pressure, even with two large, somewhat rambunctious cats on it. And while Oscar took to the ramp like an absolute pro, Joey spent most of his time swatting and swiping the hanging balls. It was great to see them having so much fun.
It is definitely one of the pricier products reviewed here, but because it’s made for large cats, you won’t need to replace it any time soon.
AmazonBasics Cat Post with Platform Bed
Best Cat Tree for One Cat
The AmazonBasics Cat Post with Platform Bed is an excellent choice if you have one cat. The single post is high enough to give your kitty a good vantage point, and the hanging ball is a nice distraction.
Perfectly proportioned, there is very little chance of it toppling over, and the platform for the bed is sturdy. Although the design is relatively simple, it provides cats with an activity area where they can let off steam, sharpen their claws, and catch a few zzz’s.
The AmazonBasics Cat Post is affordable and perfect for homes or apartments with limited space. What we like is that it’s portable and can easily be moved from one room to another.
TRIXIE Pet Products Miguel Fold and Store Cat Tower
Best Cat Tree for Small Spaces
The TRIXIE Pet Products Miguel Fold and Store Cat Tower might be small in size, but it makes up for it in style and functionality. The fold-away tower is convenient to store and easy to move from one room to another. It is also one of the few you can take on holiday.
The clever design is ideal for small spaces and features a hammock, two hanging balls, and a plush little condo where your kitty can hide or sleep. It also has a scratching area on one side, so you don’t have to worry about your furniture, carpets or curtains getting destroyed.
Although the cat tower is probably better suited to smaller cats and kittens, Oscar and Joey were both able to get comfortable on the hammock and inside the condo. And at 25.5 inches, it’s high enough for them to see out of the window.
This is, in our opinion, a nifty little cat tower that is affordable and well-made. It’s stable, and while we were a bit skeptical that it wouldn’t hold our boys, it did, without toppling over.
AmazonBasics Cat Scratching Post and Hammock
Best Cat Furniture on a Budget
The AmazonBasics Cat Scratching Post and Hammock is the perfect accessory for the cat that likes being king of the castle. The hammock is really comfortable and allows your cat to sleep raised off the ground, similar to how they would in their natural environment.
The two robust scratch posts make it more stable, as does the broad base. Although it is quite a simple design, it’s well made and really easy to assemble. This is perfect for single cat homes or if you have two cats that get on well.
What we really liked about this is the hanging ball. An odd thing to say, right? Well, what you don’t know from just looking at it, is that it’s detachable with interchangeable strings for different types of play. This is a great little addition that has been well thought out.
Getting Your Cat to Use a Cat Tree
You’ve chosen a cat tree, got it out the packing, and assembled it, but your kitty has no idea what to do with it. Does this sound familiar? Not to worry, it happens. If your cat has never used a cat tree before, he might need a little coaxing from you to try it out.
Take a look at our step-by-step guide on how to get your kitty to use his new cat tree.
Before you get started, the cat tree must be in one of your cat’s favorite places. The chances of him ‘accidentally’ trying it out are much better than if it’s tucked away in the corner of the house he never goes to.
If possible, make sure it’s close to a window or in a spot where he has a view, even if it’s peering at you at your desk. Look around and check that there are no potential dangers where he might hurt himself if he loses his balance and falls.
For the treat-loving cat, a good way to get him to explore his new cat tree is by throwing a few kibbles around the tree. Let him eat the treats in his own time, praising him all the way and using words of encouragement. He will soon understand that the cat tree isn’t a threat.
You can then place a few more kibbles on the ledges, inside the condo or bed. As he gets more comfortable, he will make his way to other spots on the tree.
Play with him
If your kitty is comfortable with the tree in the room, you can play with him around it and try to incorporate it into playtime. Whether it’s throwing his favorite toy onto the ramp, coaxing him up the ramp with a toy mouse, or dangling a ball from the hammock. As soon as he associates the tree with something positive, he will be more inclined to explore on his own.
Keep an eye on your cat while you are introducing him to the tree. If at any time he shows signs of stress, rather stop and try again later. Never force your cat onto the tree or stop him from jumping. For the most part, once a cat has had an unpleasant experience with something, there’s no going back.
Some cats will take to it immediately, while others may take a few days or even a week. The best advice is to take it slowly and at a pace that your cat is comfortable with. Once he gets the hang of it, you’ll have a hard time getting him to leave it alone.
Now it’s time to tell us what you think. Have we featured your cat’s favorite tree? Is there one you think we really need to include in a review? Better still, send us pics of your cat in action, so we can add them on our Facebook page and Instagram profile.