Although cats have been domesticated into cuddly, playful animals, they still follow their instincts. Most cat owners know exactly what I mean when I say that cats’ primary instincts are to scamper, climb, scratch and watch the world from a bird’s eye view. The best cat furniture gives cats a chance to satisfy these impulses.
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Tags: best cat house, best cat house ever, best outdoor cat shelter, best cat playhouse.
Why Do You Need a Cat Tower or Condo?
Many people who own cats have experienced the destruction that can occur at their pet’s paw. According to the Cornell Feline Pet Center, cats don’t scratch your furniture or get into your houseplants because they’re trying to ruin your life. They are simply being true to their inquisitive and playful nature.
Cats scratch to deposit scent from glands in their paws. This marks the area. In the cat’s mind, you’ll pick up on the scent and recognize that your cat has been in this territory. Scratching is also necessary to help eliminate the clear sheath that covers the claws. Because scratching is so instinctual, even cats that have been declawed often scratch at scratching posts.
How To Choose the Best Cat Tree or Cat Condo
Observe Your Cat’s Preferences
Cats have different preferences when it comes to scratching. Some prefer to scratch vertically, standing on their hind legs and reaching up. Others like to scratch at something horizontal, like the carpet beneath them.
Does your cat like to hang out on top of your kitchen cabinets or in a windowsill? This indicates an inclination for perching somewhere that sits up high.
If your cat is often hiding underneath furniture, it probably has a need to feel safe in an enclosed, dark space.
Match The Cat Tower to Your Pet’s Preferences
Based on the preferred orientation for scratching, you can select a low cat condo that takes up more floor space or a taller activity center that allows for your cat to stretch upwards. Some of the best cat condos are free-standing and have multiple areas on which the cat can jump or perch.
If you notice that your cat prefers to be in enclosed spaces, you might want to select a condo that has a few dark nooks or tunnels.
If your cat is often climbing the curtains, it may prefer a cat condo that’s tall and has fabric on which the cat can swing. Some cat towers have hammocks that provide cats with that unstable surface that they desire.
Most of the best cat towers are made of a variety of materials. The substrate may be constructed from wood, particle board or heavy-duty cardboard. Cat furniture is typically covered with carpet, faux fur or sisal, a rough, jute-like material. Some are connected with glue. Larger cat towers usually require some assembly and may include nails or screws that you use to put them together.
Some cat owners prefer a design that blends in with the décor of their home. Some cat condos have more natural elements, like realistic leaves and material that resembles tree bark. Others are more neutral. Some are decorated with coverings that have animal prints or bright colors.
The layout that you select should be based on the available space in your home, the number of cats that you own and your cat’s preferences. Platforms provide space for your cats to rest. Hammocks allow cats to perch, overlooking the area below them. Cubbies and condos provide dark, surrounded areas in which a cat can hide.
Scratching posts are usually constructed from the cylindrical pieces that hold up the platforms. These areas may be covered in a rougher material, which cats tend to prefer for scratching.
Ladders and ramps help them climb to higher levels when they are unable to jump from platform to platform. These are essential for older cats that may have lost some of their agility.
The best cat tree will also have toys incorporated into it. Cats love to swat at dangling objects. Small items, like stuffed mice or feathers, may be hung from the platforms.
Where to Put Your Cat Condo
If you have been having issues with your cat destroying certain areas in your home, consider placing the cat tower close to one of those areas. You can gradually move it to a more desired area as your pet becomes comfortable with the product.
When you see your cat scratching on your carpet, walls or furniture, pick up the cat and redirect it to the cat condo. Reward your cat for scratching on the condo instead of on your furniture.
If your cat doesn’t take to its new hideaway immediately, place treats or catnip on the different platforms. Make the furniture on which your cat has been scratching inaccessible. Cover the couch with plastic temporarily so that your cat explores its new sleeping area. Block the windowsill and place your cat on one of the perches of the cat tower to encourage it to enjoy it.
Finally, place the cat tower in a room that’s free of clutter and in an appealing location. If the tower is tucked away in a room in which the cat doesn’t usually go, it probably won’t use it.
Best Cat Furniture Reviews
Go Pet Club Cat Tree F2040 – Beige – 72 in.
This deluxe cat tower includes a variety of options for your cat in a small footprint. Three upper platforms stand close to 6 feet tall, giving your cat a prime view of the world below. Ramps make it easy for cats to climb to the different levels. Two hideaway areas give cats a place to burrow.
Each support post is covered with sisal for cats that love to scratch vertically. The base and flat areas are covered with faux fur, providing soft spots for your cat to rest on. Each perch is designed to support a 20-pound cat. Buy on Amazon.
- Sturdy wood construction.
- Fifteen different levels give cats several places to play or rest.
- Small footprint works well in tight spaces.
- Can be used with or without ramps if low on space.
- Ramps are ideal for kittens to access high areas.
- Lightweight and easy to move around.
- Plenty of space for multiple cats.
- Faux fur covering is soft and plush.
- Some users have experienced breakage of the upper platforms.
- Requires assembly.
- Instructions may be confusing.
- The thin fur covering material may wear through easily.
- Bottom ramp takes up an additional 10 inches of floor space.
- Some users claim that the pre-drilled holes are not spaced correctly for assembly.
- May be overkill for a single cat
Go Pet Club Cat Tree Furniture 77 in. High – Jungle – Brown/Black
This jungle-themed cat tree provides for just about every type of activity a cat might enjoy. Several platforms and perch area let your cat lounge around. Hammocks made of soft faux fur are draped within the interior, providing a semi-enclosed space for cats to recline. A hideaway condo is perched on the top of the tower, with steps leading up to an upper platform. This cat furniture includes dangling toys as well as vines with which the cats can play.
The sturdy structure is made of pressboard. Each column is covered with natural sisal to provide space for cats to scratch. Buy on Amazon.
- This cat tree is large enough for many cats.
- The sturdy structure supports heavy-duty play.
- Neutral color matches with any decor.
- Dark tones hide stains.
- The natural details help it blend with your furniture.
- The tall, wide structure may be too bulky for a small space.
- The baskets on which cats can perch may be unstable when used with heavy cats.
- Pressboard substrate may break easily.
- Larger cats may not fit in the cubby holes.
- Not designed to be moved often.
- Instructions may be confusing.
- Some users say ladder is flimsy.
Go Pet Club Cat Tree Condo House, 18W x 17.5L x 28H Inches, Leopard
This affordable cat condo is compact. Ideal for one or two cats, it offers a few different levels. The upper level is a tunnel with a hole for the cat to peek out of. The center platform provides a secure place for cat to rest.
The vertical columns are covered with sisal. There is also a sisal-covered horizontal column to provide additional scratching post options. The hanging toys allow the cat to play while resting on the platform or the base. Buy on Amazon.
- Leopard-print covering is stylish and striking.
- At only about 18” x 18”, the footprint is small enough to fit in just about any space.
- Ideal for cats who prefer cozy, tight spaces.
- Easy to assemble.
- The low height isn’t ideal for cats that prefer to be perched on taller areas.
- Does not accommodate many cats.
- Larger cats may not fit well through the upper tube.
- Some users say that the carpet is thin and wears off easily.
- Many users claim that the wings that flank the platform are not sturdy.
The Bottom Line
Most cats enjoy having their own space to rest, hide, scratch and play. The best cat furniture satisfies all of these needs with a secure structure. We prefer the Go Pet Club Cat Tree F2040 for its variety of options, small footprint and affordable price. We rate it 4.5 out of 5 stars. The 77-inch Go Pet Club Jungle Cat Tree is luxurious and deluxe, but its high price makes it less desirable. The Go Pet Club Cat Tree Condo House is the smallest and least expensive, but it might not be big enough for the average size adult cat.