Cats have evolved from a long line of hunters, following after their larger wild cat cousins such as the panthers and the leopards. And although the beloved felines we know today are much more docile and domestic than their wild counterparts, cats are still predators who’s natural instincts involve prowling, scratching and climbing.
So how do we satisfy these instincts of theirs when they live in our homes? The answer comes from one item that no cat owner can live without; cat trees.
But how do you get a good one?
In the wild, cats actually climb real trees in order to observe their surroundings, from hunting their own prey, to avoiding larger predators that are out to get them, being on a high perch gives them this high advantage.
Which Cat Tree Should I Buy?
For indoor cats, it would be quite odd to grow your own live tree in the middle of your bedroom, which is where the cat tree comes in handy. It is a good idea to look at the design of the cat tree, as not all cat trees are made the same.
The ideal cat tree has sturdy panels that are both easily accessible and non-slip so that your cats will not hurt themselves when they are feeling particularly energetic.
The panels should also be a mix of small—so they can easily travel from one panel to the next, and large panels that they can lounge on like an actual tree.
Other than climbing, cats also love to scratch. It not only allows them to stretch their paws, but also is a form of grooming for them and a way of marking their territory.
If you don’t want your feline to be “grooming” on your favorite plush couch, you might want to look into cat trees that have trunks with a built in scratching surface to save you this problem.
Many cats also enjoy the privacy of hiding in covered areas so that they’re less exposed, taking naps in these enclosed spaces, similar to hiding amongst the leaves of a real tree.
If your cat seems to do this often, then it might also be a wise decision to invest in a cat tree that has built in “hidey holes,” or enclosed spaces with a whole similar to a cave, hammocks or boxes.
If you want to splurge a bit more and give your cat some more entertainment, some cat trees also possess built in cat toys that can dangle over the tree, which young kittens are free to play hunt and older cats may be able to bat at it lazily.
These toys are very likely to break quickly however, so you must make sure that they are easily replaceable.
Where to Place a Cat Tree?
So you have the perfect cat tree with all the right features for your cat, but sometimes even if it’s the perfect cat tree, your cat might not use it if it is in the wrong location.
Observe your cat and find where it usually likes to hang out or which is easily accessible for them, or where the sun usually hits, as cats do enjoy basking in the sun.
If your cat isn’t using the tree in a specific area, sometimes just simply moving it around is enough to get your cat to be interested in it.
A cat tree’s main purpose is definitely going to be for your cat, but don’t neglect yourself, as you are very much involved with this cat tree, since it will be in your living area.
It would be ideal to find a cat tree that you yourself wouldn’t mind having in your living space, and you should think about the more practical aspects of owning a cat tree, such as: “Does it fit in my home?” “Is it easy to clean” or “Easy it easy to move around?” as much as we love to give our pets everything, it would be good to find a nice middle ground that both you and your cat will be happy with.
Choosing the Best Cat Tree
WIth all these things to think about when getting a cat tree, it could get a little bit overwhelming, or maybe your choices are limited and it’s hard to find “the one.”
Well don’t worry, because if you really want a specific kind of cat tree, there is still the option to go for a “modular cat tree.” a modular cat tree gives you more options to customize a cat tree to your own specifications and accommodate your cat even better.
And because of the flexible nature of a modular type, you may be able to change it in the future or add more pieces to give your cat tree some variety.
There are so many cat trees to choose from, and each cat tree comes with their pros and cons. For example, small cat trees are easier to manage and are perfect for small apartments, but large cat trees are much better if you have more than one cat.
There are open cat trees for cats who enjoy surveying the area from above, and there are enclosed cat trees for cats who enjoy just lounging in a small space.
There are also cat trees that are carpeted, which is comfortable for your cat, but are harder to clean compared to the sleek non carpet counterpart.
At the end of the day, you know your cat best and by keeping everything here in mind, you can have the perfect cat tree that both you and your feline friend can enjoy.