Cat Trees: Choosing the Best

Cats love to have vertical space, and your kitten is no exception. Not only do cat trees give your kitten an appropriate place to climb, they also provide her with the exercise she needs and a natural opportunity to groom her own claws.

However, in order to make your kitten's cat tree experience a good one, you need to take a few very important things into account:

  1. First, the base of your cat tree needs to be sturdy enough to keep it from tipping over or wobbling when your kitten climbs on it. If it does fall over, your kitten certainly won't want to use it anymore; worse, she could be seriously injured. Although even the cheapest cat condos might do for a tiny kitten, plan ahead: your cat will weigh anywhere between 7 and 20 pounds (depending on breed) when she's fully grown, so be sure your post has a wide and sturdy base.

  2. Be sure that your cat tree has a variety of scratching surfaces and sitting or snoozing areas on different levels. Hang toys from the cat tree to make it even more tempting.

  3. f your kitten reacts to catnip, you can get her interested in the cat tree by sprinkling some catnip on the base and in a couple of the perches.

  4. You can expect to pay quite a bit of money for a well-made cat tree. High-quality cat furniture retails for anywhere between $100 and $600 US (and more!).

  5. If you have more time and DIY skills than money, there are a couple of excellent websites that offer information on building your own cat tree. Thrifty Fun has instructions on how to build a cat tree, and this post on the Toolcrib blog has links to 20 websites that offer free cat furniture plans.

Photo: G. Sloan