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The Best Cat Trees: Pros, Cons, and Analysis

Katelyn Son
By Katelyn Son
Medically reviewed by Ivana Crnec, DVM
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If you buy something from a link on our site, we may earn a commission.
See our advertising disclosure.

What are the Best Cat Trees?

BestPet Cat Tower Tree Multi-Level Scratching Posts
  • Our cat tree is your best choice!Let you have no these troubles any more with our cat tower! In addition, it adds a lot of fun for your cats with our cat condo.
  • The cat tree is made of high-quality particle board with skin friendly plushy faux-fur cover to keep your cat warm and comfortable.
  • Our Cat Tree is designed according the climbing habits of cats.  Multiple reinforced scratching posts with natural sisal ropes is perfect for your cats to scratch and grind their claws.

Is a Cat Tree Necessary?

Yes, a cat tree is necessary. A cat tree provides a host of benefits to cats. We have listed some main points of consideration below:

  • Scratching. Providing a cat scratching post can enhance a cat’s quality of life. It allows them to release tension through scratching and keeping their claws and feet healthy.
  • Exercise. Cats need exercise to be healthy. Cat tree houses provide them with a place for exercise by offering them a variety of heights and spaces to go in and out of. Putting cat trees next to each other or in a place with a view can add to the stimulation a cat tree can offer.
  • Safe Sleeping Spot. Cats enjoy being in high places. It is in their genes to prefer being up high off the ground for viewing and protection. Being up high allows cats to relax and safely sleep out of sight or reach of predators and offers a place of their own with the addition of a cat bed and cat toys.
  • Excellent View. Cats like to be perched with a bird’s eye view of their surroundings. Cat trees offer this opportunity, and putting the tree near a window can enhance the cat’s experience by giving them more to look over while relaxing in the tree.

Are Cat Trees Safe?

Yes, cat trees are safe.

There are, however, some things to consider when buying a cat tree. For instance, cats like to be high up in places where they can safely view the world around them, but if you have a senior cat or your cat is mobility restricted, then a tall cat tree may not be the best suited for their capabilities.

Cat trees can also be made of material that may be toxic if eaten or chewed on or that may fall apart sooner than expected. Some materials contain phthalates or BPAs that can cause harm to your cat if ingested.

According to the Ecology Center, about 45% of cat products contain traceable levels of hazardous chemicals. Traceable does not mean these chemicals are found in quantities that are toxic to cats but that they can be. When considering a cat tree, it is a good idea to look into what the product is made from.

Another consideration is the quality of materials. Cat trees can be quite costly, especially large cat trees, and to cut costs, it is not uncommon for manufacturers to use lower-quality materials. Doing this, as you can imagine, can limit the tree’s usefulness and longevity.

Over time, the tree may start to wobble, and the cat platform at the top may fall off, or screws at the base can pull out of the structure and cause collapse. Things like pressed wood instead of real wood can limit a cat tree’s quality, but things like PVC are known for their durability.

Do Cats Enjoy Cat Trees?

Yes, cats enjoy cat trees.

Cats feel comfortable when they are high off the ground and can see everything happening below them. It is genetic for cats to seek out high places perceived as advantage spots.

Does a Cat Tree Help Prevent Scratching?

No, cat trees do not prevent scratching.

They do, however, encourage healthy scratching in the right places. Cats have a yearning to scratch on things like carpet and furniture (or trees in the wild) as it helps to keep claws healthy and stretch out their feet and body.

Giving them a safe place to scratch and stretch does not prevent scratching, but it does provide them with a space of their own that will serve the purpose better than a carpet or couch. It may take some time and training for your cat to use the cat tree for this purpose, but once they do, it will likely become their favorite place to scratch.

The Best Cat Trees Reviewed

There are many tree products in the cat supplies section in pet shops and online retailers. Here, we will review the best cat trees readily available on Amazon and Chewy.

BestPet Cat Tower Tree Multi-Level Scratching Posts

BestPet Cat Tower Tree Multi-Level Scratching Posts

Get it on Amazon

Summary: The reinforced scratching posts of this multi-level cat tower are made of sisal rope, the perfect material for cats to exercise their claws on. It is made of a high-quality particle board with a skin-friendly plush faux fur cover for warmth and comfort.

It is a multi-function playground with scratching pads, scratching posts, and independent posts on which cats can lay. It can be easily installed in just a few minutes and is only 36 inches tall so it can fit anywhere in the house.

Features: Various colors like beige, brown, and navy blue; faux fur; multi-level design; reinforced scratching posts

Weight Capacity: N/A

Size Variations: 20.7 x 15.8 x 36.2 inches

Pros

  • Sisal rope for scratching
  • Multiple scratching surfaces
  • Faux fur lining for warmth and comfort
  • Independent platforms for each cat
  • Includes plush cat toy

Cons

  • The weight limit on the cat tree was not listed

Review: Customers were mostly happy with this tree, although even five-star reviews said it was a bit small. Cat owners say their 9-pound feline friend was almost too big for it. Dissatisfied buyers noted misaligned holes and a wobbly construction once put together as reasons for their critical reviews.

Feandrea Modern Cat Tree with Scratching Posts and Hammock

Feandrea Modern Cat Tree with Scratching Posts and Hammock

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Summary: This cat tower features two top perches with raised edges and soft padding to ensure maximum comfort. A hammock provides a fun place to lay and nap with a 44-lbs weight capacity.

This modern tree is made with a high-quality particle board and reinforced battens at the bottom for extra support. This cat condo is designed with a multi-level layout so cats of all ages can enjoy it.

Features: 56 inches tall; cat hammock; various colors; multiple top perches

Weight Capacity: 44 pounds

Size Variations: 21.7 x 17.7 x 56.3 inches

Pros

  • Multiple cat perches
  • Cat hammock
  • Sturdy four post construction
  • Tons of space for scratching
  • Nearly 6 feet tall to satisfy the needs of climbers

Cons

  • The precut head hole may be large enough for a cat to get their head through but difficult to get it back out of the hole

Review: Cat owners, especially those with large cats, were happy with this cat tower. They often said it was sturdy enough for their large cat’s playtime, and they had no problems with it as home decor. Other buyers were upset that the precut head hole in the cat condo was just large enough to be dangerous to their cats, saying their cats could get their heads stuck in the hole.

TSCOMON Multi-Level Cat Tree Scratcher with Hammock Basket and Hanging Ball

TSCOMON Multi-Level Cat Tree Scratcher with Hammock Basket and Hanging Ball

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Summary: The multiple sisal scratching posts and scratching pads on this cat tree provide a great amount of surface area on which cats can exercise their claws. This tower comes in multiple sizes to suit the needs of numerous cats and has two cat condos, a cat hammock, and a top perch that is easy for small cats to get to.

The included plush hanging cat toy provides great entertainment at multiple points of the tower. Its heavy design helps keep it firmly planted on the ground when your cats are roughhousing around the various levels.

Features: Multiple size options; multiple cat condos; cat hammock; multiple scratching areas

Weight Capacity: N/A

Size Variations: 36”, 59”, 61”

Pros

  • Multiple cat condos
  • Features a cat hammock
  • Heavy construction provides a planted feel on the floor
  • Almost six feet tall
  • Numerous scratching areas

Cons

  • Due to its swinging nature, the cat hammock may pose a risk of tipping the cat tower

Review: Many customers were happy with how sturdy this cat tower was, even on thick carpet. Their indoor cats were able to play and relax on the tree without them having to worry about it tipping over or injuring their cats during playtime. Others were unhappy with how small the tower was and said it was “built for hamsters” in their review.

Heybly Cat Condo with Sisal-Covered Scratching Posts and Cooling Mat

Heybly Cat Condo with Sisal-Covered Scratching Posts and Cooling Mat

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Summary: This short cat tower features a variety of perches for your cat to choose from. It has a hammock made of faux fleece for ultimate comfort and includes an arm that attaches to the wall to prevent unwanted tipping of the cat tree.

Multiple scratching posts and pads provide cats the space to stretch their feet. A springboard is included to help cats of any age enjoy this short cat tree by assisting them in climbing up the tower.

Features: Multiple scratching areas; multiple perching areas; hanging plush cat toy; cat hammock; wall attachment to prevent tipping

Weight Capacity: N/A

Size Variations: 25.59 x 11.81 x 32.68 inches

Pros

  • Safe wall attachment prevents tipping over
  • Springboard attachment helps older cats
  • Faux fleece cat hammock
  • Numerous scratching areas
  • Spacious luxury condo

Cons

  • Often out of stock on online retailers

Review: Pet owners were thrilled at how easy this cat tower was to assemble. Even bunny owners said their pets enjoy playing and relaxing on this cat tower, and their owners were glad to see the area was comfortable enough for their multiple cats to do what cats love to do: sleep. Unhappy buyers were not kind to this cat tree in the reviews, with some calling it “horrible.”

Yaheetech Cat Furniture House Play with Cat Scratcher

Yaheetech Cat Furniture House Play with Cat Scratcher

Get it on Amazon          Get it on Chewy

Summary: This cat tower features several perches and is available at multiple heights to fulfill the needs of any cat. It has reinforced scratching posts attached to a base made of a 1/2 inch thick particle board for stability and security.

Two spacious hideaway spots offer cats a comfortable and quiet place to relax. It is made stable and secure with an included wall mounting bracket that will hold the tower in place even during the roughest play sessions.

Features: Multi-level play options; wall securing mount; several height options; multiple cat condos

Weight Capacity: 44 pounds

Size Variations: 54, 61, 70 inches

Pros

  • Made with sturdy 1/2 inch particle board
  • Reinforced scratching posts for stability
  • Wall mount bracket for extra safety
  • Multiple top window perches
  • Available in several height variations

Cons

  • Relatively few scratching areas

Review: Cat owners enjoyed seeing their cats play on this tower. They said it wasn’t too difficult to assemble, although several mentioned it “isn’t as big as you think” while still giving it five stars for how much time their cats spend in this tree. Other customers were unhappy with how small the cat tower was and said it was challenging to put together and wobbly once assembled.

Hey-brother Cat House Wood Cat Tree Tower with Sisal Posts

Hey-brother Cat House Wood Cat Tree Tower with Sisal Posts

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Summary: The multiple cat condos paired with the hammock and top perch offer cats plenty of relaxing space on this cat tower. It features two scratching posts wrapped in sisal rope, and the hammock attached to one of the posts is made of plush faux fleece.

The cat condos have an opening on one side to provide your cat with quiet and privacy during naps. It also features a secure wall attachment to prevent tipping during playtime.

Features: Wall mounting bracket; cat hammock; plush perches; two cat condos

Weight Capacity: N/A

Size Variations: 15.8 x 11.8 x 31.5 inches

Pros

  • Simple design is easy to assemble
  • Wall attachment provides a secure footing on the floor
  • Multiple cat condos
  • Features a plush cat hammock
  • Made of wood instead of cardboard or particle board

Cons

  • Made specifically for small cats

Review: Happy cat owners saw their small cats enjoy this cat tower immediately. They were satisfied with this purchase for its multiple lounging areas and scratching posts they said their cats loved. Disappointed customers say their cat was too big for the tree and said their cats were more entertained by the box it came in than the tree itself.

What Should I Look for in a Cat Tree?

When shopping for a cat tree, consider the following:

  • Height. There is no real rule of thumb for this, but many cat owners subscribe to the “two feet for every cat” rule. This implies there should be two feet of height for every cat in the house, and this can be broken up into multiple cat trees. The purpose of this is to offer each cat their own space in the cat tree without intruding into another cat’s personal space.
  • Space. A cat tree should have space around it on the floor that is open enough for your cat to run up to from the other side of the room. It should also have enough space between the top level and the ceiling to allow cats to stand and sit, as this is likely to be where the cat spends much of its time.
  • Cat Preferences. If your cat likes to hide under the bed or behind furniture, then a cat tree with a hole or cave-type area may be best suited for your cat’s preferences. If they prefer to climb on counters or dressers, then a taller cat tree with platforms they can lay on may be best.
  • Replaceable Items. Typically, a “replaceable” item is something like a toy or platform your cat can sleep on. These are made to be removable and are often easily removed by accident by your cat.

Is it Cheaper to Buy or Make a Cat Tree?

On average, it is much cheaper to build a cat tree than to buy one.

Cat trees can be costly. With some costing well over $2,000, it is not hard to see the ways you could save money by building a tree yourself.

With a bit of knowledge and some work, you can make a comparable cat tree for your furry friend that costs a fraction of what it would be in the store.

What do You Need to Make a Cat Tree?

This depends on what type of tree and how intricate you are trying to get, but in general, the tools and materials you will need for making this piece of furniture will be the same.

For a standard cat tree, you will need:

  • Saw
  • Screwdriver or screwgun
  • Screws
  • Tape measure
  • Wood
  • Carpet
  • Staple gun

The DIY cat tree is cheaper and more satisfying, and you know what quality to expect. However, it is also labor intensive and requires building space and learning if you are not a skilled builder.

Where Is the Best Place to Put A Cat Tree?

The best place for a cat tree will often be a busy area of the house with windows and an overview of the area.

This may be a kitchen, dining room, or living room where people often walk through, and that has an appropriate amount of windows to keep cats entertained while sitting in the tree.