July 22, 2017
When it comes to owning our feline friends, there are a few things that you should definitely consider getting in addition to the necessities of a litter box and a cat food bowl. A cat tree is at the top of most people’s lists since it will allow your cat to do what they love best: survey their surroundings from a great height. There’s a huge variety of them on the market, so let’s get into what makes for a great one and then we can introduce you to some of the best on the market.
What Makes a Cat Tree Great?
While it might seem to be an extremely simple matter, the choice will actually come down to you and your cat’s personal tastes at the end of the day.
The material both over and under the tree is of the utmost importance. A dedicated kitty can make short work of weak outer materials, as well as inferior inner products like particle board. While cheaper materials tend to be… well, cheaper, they’ll also lend a lot less life to your cat tower in the long run.
The better the material, the longer it will last, and in extreme cases, it may be best to just make a higher initial investment in the tree than it would be having to replace a cheap tree.
The best will be made of solid wood and have nylon carpeting covering them. These tough materials are sure to last a long time, and the increased weight of solid wood over particle board will also make it more stable. This makes it less prone to a large cat tipping it over as well as making sure it will last longer.
Solid wood is even more important if you have dogs or small children in the house since it can prevent them from tipping them over if they decide it’s something they want to explore. In these cases, especially, a wide base is also something to keep an eye out for.
If it has an included scratching post, then sisal wood is exactly what you’re looking for in order to make for a long lasting post that can help to save your furniture. Be cautious with treated ropes, however, as these can contain toxic materials.
While it’s not always possible to tell at first glance, there are a few things you should keep in mind. This plays into materials as well but is just a little bit different.
For the most part, screws will hold much better than nails when it comes to the wooden frame underneath the carpeting of the frame. You’ll also want to look for carpeting which is attached with staples instead of glue, as all but the most dedicated kitties will have trouble ripping them off in this case.
Amount of Platforms
Ideally, you’ll have a separate platform for each cat. While this won’t reduce them playing king of the hill with the top platform in all cases, it can definitely prevent some infighting amongst your animals as they vie for the platforms.
Eventually, they’ll settle in, but try to make sure you have at least one platform for each of the cats in your home. It can turn a simple cat tree into a cat condo which is exactly what you’re looking for in most cases.
The height of the cat tree that you decide on is also a concern. This is mostly on your end since it’s primarily for making sure it fits in the space that you’ve designated for it. Some cats really like to climb, however, and it may be worth spending a couple extra bucks in order to make sure they’re happy.
Remember that cats naturally like to be higher than their surroundings, so go with the tallest one you think you can fit unless you’ve got a particularly clumsy feline in the household. A tall cat tree usually makes for a happy cat.
Many people think that cat trees tend to be boring pieces of furniture, mostly for the benefit of the felines playing and resting on them. This isn’t necessarily true, however, there is a multitude of colors and attractive designs. Recently, there have even been cat trees that look like actual trees hitting the market.
For the most part, lower priced cat towers are going to look pretty much like you expect them to, but if you’re willing to pay a premium then you can get trees that will not only put your feline on a metaphorical cloud but can also greatly add to the décor of the room you’re looking at putting them in.
Of course, not all of us who own cats have the ability to drop the price of a new computer on a cat tower. There’s no need to worry, of course, since absolutely fantastic towers can be found at a relatively low cost. Just aim for the highest, sturdiest one you think you can afford and you’ll be fine.
Of course, if you have a higher budget there’s also a bevy of options which are sure to make both you and your cat happy.
As you can see, there’s not too much to keep in mind when you’re looking for a new cat tree. As long as it makes both you and your kitty, or kitties, happy, then you’ve made the right choice.
We’ve split the best trees we could find into two categories: cheap cat trees and the more expensive and innovative products which are taking the market by storm. We’ll take a look at the ones for those on a budget first, then we can get into some of the truly innovative products in this hot market.
We should mention, however, that all of these are great options. We’re bringing you only the best here, in order to make sure that you can find something to make both you and your feline friends happy no matter what your pocket book looks like.
Best Cat Trees on a Budget
These trees are all within a fairly small price range and should be able to fit in the budget of almost any cat owner. So, without further ado let’s take a look at the best of the best when it comes to cheap cat trees.
Armarkat Cat Tree Furniture Condo
The remarkable Armarkat Cat Tree Furniture Condo isn’t actually just one product, instead, it’s a line of high-quality and budget priced cat trees with a wide variety of designs attached to them. All of them have hidey-holes for your cat to sleep in and multiple platforms, as well as a variety of ways for your kitty to climb to the top.
Our favorites range from 50” tall to 75”+, making them suitable for a wide variety of locations in the home. All of them have a wide base for your cat to utilize, minimizing their chances of tipping, and the sheer variety of designs at the low price makes them a very attractive option for many of us with cats. The biggest of them can hold up to 60 pounds as well.
Of course, there are a few corners cut in order to offer such a nice set of cat tree condos at a low price. They’re made of pressed wood and the faux-fleece which covers them may not withstand extended scratching from particularly feisty felines.
This isn’t a deal breaker, however, since they do include sisal rope wrapped posts which are much more likely to be the targets of your cat’s claws than the carpet itself.
Our opinion: For the cat owner with multiple felines on a budget, any of these make a respectable option and they’re attractive enough to not stick out too much with most room’s décor.
- Multiple sizes
- Sisal rope scratching posts
- Multiple designs to meet the needs of nearly any owner
- Easy assembly
- Pressed wood isn’t as solid as real wood
- Faux-fleece can be easily damaged
New Cat Condos Premier Large Cat Play Tree
If you’re looking for a cat tree that looks like a tree without having to spend multiple hundreds of dollars, then this may be exactly what you’re looking for. While you won’t be convincing anyone you have a spruce mysteriously growing out of the carpet, it does provide a cute aesthetic which most people will love.
For the cost, you’re getting one heck of a deal as well. The entire tree is made of solid wood, the scratching post is comprised of unoiled sisal rope, and the carpeting is high-quality as well. What you end up with is a wonderful tree, if a little bit short, which can add a bit of nature to whichever room you decide to place it in.
As always, with something of this quality at this price, however, there are some compromises to be made. In this case, the tree comes without assembly instructions and you’ll need some basic tools to put it together.
If you’re the type who can put it together and wants a fairly natural looking cat tree, this may be exactly what you’re looking for.
- Unique, tree-like look
- High-quality build materials
- Sisal rope is hidden under the carpeting for a unified aesthetic
- Small enough to fit almost anywhere
- Requires a drill for assembly
- Only two platforms
New Cat Condos Premier Solid Wood Skyscraper Cat Tree
While the aesthetic of this particular cat tree might not be particularly unique, it stands out from the competition by being budget priced and composed of only the best materials.
In this case, you’re looking at a tree which stands 72” tall with only a 20”x20” base which you should be able to fit in most rooms. The entire thing is composed of solid wood with household grade carpeting that should be able to stand up to the claws of all but the most ferocious of felines.
It comes in a few different colors, but the important thing here is the sheer number of platforms that this cat condo boasts. For this low price, you’ll receive an impressive five platforms, making it a great addition to the home of someone who likes to make sure that they own an impressive number of cats.
Perhaps the most surprising thing about this tree is that it will arrive at your home fully assembled.
The only real issue that most people have found with it is that it can be a bit “wobbly” when particularly large and active cats decide to make a running leap for their climb to the top. A less common issue is that cats who really like to claw things have a tendency to rip up the carpet as well.
If you own several cats of small to medium size and are looking to make sure they can all fit, this might be exactly what you’re looking for.
- Solid construction with a small base
- Five different platforms
- Comes fully assembled
- Platforms are large enough to accommodate most cats
- Can be a bit wobbly, probably best to put it in a corner
- Some people have issues with the carpet tearing easily
Top of the Line Cat Trees
While not everyone can afford to drop a whole bunch of money on their cat’s toys, there are some truly impressive and innovative cat trees out there for those who can make room in their budget. We’ve gathered together the best and most innovative of these for your perusal, so take a look and see if one might be right for you and your feline.
Go Pet Club Huge 87.5 in. Cat Tree Condo House Furniture
Sometimes you just have to go all out. This is less of a cat tree and more of a full hotel for your kitties, with a ton of unique features that makes it one of the best you’re likely to ever find. The entire thing is high-quality, and it’s sure to be suitable for nearly any number of friendly furballs you have around the house.
There are five different cat condos included on the base of this amazing cat tree, as well as tunnels, platforms, and even some included swinging toys. On top of that, it’s made of great materials and features a huge amount of sisal rope covered scratching posts for your cat to keep their claws nice and sharp.
This all comes at a pretty hefty cost, of course. The only change that we would make to it is for the base to be made of solid wood instead of pressed wood, but with the enormous footprint. it’s unlikely that anything short of a tiger is going to be knocking it over anytime soon.
If you have a lot of cats, and a lot of room, then this might be exactly what you’ve been looking for to provide your cats with a perfect area for playing, sleeping, and generally messing around.
- Enormous footprint ensures it will never be knocked over
- Multiple tunnels and five separate sleeping areas
- High-quality materials
- Includes swinging toys
- Takes up a lot of floor space
Pawhut 108″ Floor-to-Ceiling Adjustable Staggered Climbing Cat Tree Tower
If you’ve got multiple cats, but limited floor space, this amazingly tall and adjustable cat tower is exactly what you’ve been looking for. By utilizing small metal posts and adjustable top posts you can maintain tension between the roof and the floor in order to make it extremely stable despite its small foot print.
It comes with four perches which can be mounted up and down to the height that you deem to be correct for your felines and includes a comfy hammock as well. If you’re into the industrial look, it will fit right into your home as well. The ladder design is comprised of gray metal, with the perches and hammock being a deep red color.
If you’re so inclined the design also makes it easy to hang toys for the cats to play with off of the sides. It can even be placed in the center of the room so you can attach platforms to either side, making it a truly versatile cat tree that allows for a high degree of customization. It’s also easy enough to assemble that nearly anyone can get it up and going within minutes of unboxing it.
The only real issue is that the platforms are too small for some larger kitties, but the hammock seems to be able to accommodate cats of nearly any size with a surprising amount of ease. Some cats might not feel quite at ease with it as well, simply due to the design but most will warm up to it surprisingly quickly.
If you have limited floor space and are dedicated to making sure your cat has a tree, then this adjustable cat tower is exactly what you’re looking for.
- Highly customizable
- Small footprint
- Several platforms and a hammock
- Industrial aesthetic
- Not all cats will trust it
- Shelves are a bit small for larger cats
Vesper Cat Furniture
This unique design from Vesper is made of amazing materials and will allow for a resting place that feels safe for up to three cats. It also has a fairly small footprint.
The look of it is definitely on the different side, making it look more like a piece of furniture and less like simply a cat tree. It also comes with some hanging toys made of tough materials for your cat to play with, meaning you won’t have to modify it to get things going.
Inside the caves which come with it are memory foam pads, allowing even older cats to rest easy when they’re done terrorizing the rest of the household for the day. The materials it’s made of are highly scratch resistant as well, this is sure to be a piece that your cat will be able to enjoy for years to come.
While it’s not quite as high as some of the other options available, it does make a fitting piece of cat furniture for your home. If you have a younger, highly active cat this may not be the best option simply because it lacks some of the “playful” features of other cat trees, but if you’ve got a lazy or older cat it’ll make a wonderful addition to your home.
Vesper also makes a wide range of other cat furniture in roughly the same price range and it’s worth taking a look if you want to make sure that your cat has a comfortable resting place made with unusual and innovative materials.
When it comes to cat tree luxury, a close look at Vesper’s line of cat furniture might be exactly what you want.
- Memory foam padding
- High-quality materials from rope to wood
- Several colors available
- Several designs available
- Quite expensive
- Not tall enough for all cats to truly enjoy
KATRIS Modular Cat Tree
While the KATRIS modular cat tree doesn’t offer much of a resting place, it more than makes up for it by basically being a modifiable jungle gym for kitties.
The KATRIS consists of five different blocks which you can configure into different forms in order to provide your cat with a changing playground. They’re extremely durable and sturdy and are rated at being able to hold up to 300lbs. There’s no need to worry about them breaking at any point.
The materials themselves are also extremely scratch resistant. They come with five clips so that you can configure them however you want, whether you want to attach them to a wall to make a feline highway around the home or make a gigantic tower for your cat to play on.
The only things lacking here are an area to rest for the cat and the fact that each set of five blocks is going to set you back a decent amount of money.
If you want to keep your cat amused with different combinations, or just want something totally different than anything else on the market, then the KATRIS modular cat tree is definitely something to look into.
- Extremely unique and innovative design
- Impressive weight rating
- Configurable however you want
- Sleek and modern look
- No resting area for cats
Go Pet Club F2095 Cat Tree Furniture, 85-Inch
If you’re looking to add to the natural, nature driven look of a room and provide your cat with an amazing piece of cat furniture, then the Go Pet Club F2095 design is absolutely perfect for your needs.
While there are certainly more “tree-like” products on the market, it’s rare to find them for under $500 and this one remains functional without having to dominate a room. It’s an attractive, tall piece of cat furniture which is draped with ivy and the wooden platforms definitely add a nice touch. It even has a built in food dish.
It has a considerable base size, coming in at 32”x35”. It provides multiple platforms for your cats to hang out on, and some hanging ropes for them to play with as well. There are two “condos” included with this cat tree, making it ideal if you have a couple of cats.
The only issue is that it should probably be placed in a corner as it seems to be a bit top heavy despite the wide base. The supports are also covered in faux-fur instead of sisal rope, which can make them a bit less durable than some scratching posts as well.
If you want a unique, natural look, and a ton of features then you this may be exactly the right piece of cat furniture to add to your home.
- Unique look
- Built in cat dish
- Hanging ropes to play with
- Multiple real wood platforms
- A bit top heavy, place it in a corner
- Material on scratching posts isn’t top notch
Molly and Friends Three-Tier Scratching Post Furniture
The Molly and Friends Three-Tier Scratching Post definitely isn’t the most unique looking tree out there. That’s obvious enough at first glance. It’s what you can’t see that justifies the price of this piece. It’s simple one of the best cat trees out there.
Your options are pretty much limited to colors here, and even those aren’t in a wide variety. Instead what you get is a piece of cat furniture that was designed to be used. The entire construction is made of solid pine, covered in amazingly high-grade carpet which has been solidly stapled down.
Even the scratching post has had a considerable amount of thought put into it, being made of untreated sisal rope that will keep even the sharpest, meanest cat from tearing up your furniture for years to come.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t have quite as many platforms as some of the others on our list and, let’s face it, it looks kind of plain.
If you don’t care about a unique look, and simply want a piece of cat furniture which will last for years and years to come, however, adding this to your home is a simple way to do it.
- Amazing construction materials
- 24”x24” footprint
- No assembly required
- Super durable
- Fairly plain look
- Only three platforms
As you can see, there’s a huge variety of different products to allow your cat to play in, climb on, and generally horse around with. Or is that cat around? Adding one of these to your home can greatly increase your cat’s quality of life, and if you pick the right one for your décor you’ll end up with something that both of you can enjoy. It’s a small investment indeed to make for a very happy cat and owner.