You may have noticed your cat racing around the house at 100 miles an hour, climbing and jumping on the furniture. He’ll take a break to scratch the couch and then start up again. When exhaustion finally sets in, he’ll pass out in his favorite spot under the bed or on top of the bookshelf. For most cats, there’s much more to life than eating and drinking.
The best cat tree meets your cat’s need for stimulation and is where he wants to go for playtime, exercise, scratching, climbing, and nap time. Read on to learn about the features to consider when shopping for the best cat trees, and find out why the following models are among the best cat trees available for your feline friends.
- BEST OVERALL: Go Pet Club 62-Inch Cat Tree, Beige
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Amazon Basics Cat Condo Tree Tower with Hammock Bed
- UPGRADE PICK: On2 Pets Cat Tree with Leaves Made in USA, Large
- BEST FOR LARGE CATS: FEANDREA Cat Tree for Large Cats, Cat Tower 2 Condos
- BEST FOR SCRATCHING: Amazon Basics Cat Activity Tree with Scratching Posts
- BEST PLAYGROUND: Furhaven Pet – Tiger Tough Tall Cat Tree Playground
- BEST FOR SMALL SPACES: Best Pet Supplies Catify Cat Scratcher Pad/Toy/Tree
- BEST FOR MULTIPLE CATS: FEANDREA 63.8 inch Sturdy Cat Tree with Feeding Bowl
- BEST FOR KITTENS: FEANDREA Cat Tree with Sisal-Covered Scratching Posts
- BEST WOODEN-LOOK: Vesper Cat Furniture, Cat Trees
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Cat Tree
When shopping for the best cat tree, first consider how much space you have to accommodate feline furniture—some cat trees are massive. You’ll also want to factor in your cat’s size and the number of cats who will share the tree. It’s also important to think about whether your feline friend is a fan of heights and how and where he likes to sleep. Most important, you’ll want a cat tree that’s stable and safe and can bear the weight of the cat or cats using it. Keep these objectives in mind when shopping for the best cat tree for your furry friend.
Size and Height
Cats like having spaces of their own. Even cats who like to cuddle with each other will sometimes need time apart. For households with more than one cat, a cat tree with multiple perches and hiding spaces is ideal.
If you have a big kitty, you’ll want a cat tree that’s wide enough for him to stretch out and feel comfortable. Look for a cat tree with wider perches that can support his weight. (A good rule of thumb is that cat perches should be at least three-quarters the length of your cat.)
The cat tree’s overall dimensions—its height, width, and depth—depend entirely on the available space in your home. Be sure to measure the area you have in mind before shopping for a cat tree.
Most cats crave heights and love to climb. If you notice your cat jumping on the counter or climbing the bookshelves, you’ll want cat furniture that’s high and has lots of levels. Not all cats have the same preferences, though. For bashful cats that prefer hiding under a bed to climbing the walls, a short cat tree with interior spaces may be better. A shorter tree works best for kittens, too, because kittens lack the balance they need to climb efficiently.
A solidly built cat tree is less likely to topple over and is less likely to damage your home or, worse yet, injure your fur baby. Most cat trees are constructed of solid wood, plywood, or particleboard. Solid wood provides the most stability and durability. Plywood is the second sturdiest choice—it’s more robust than particleboard. When shopping for the best cat tree, be sure to take note of the item’s total weight. The heavier the tree, the less likely it is to fall when cats run, jump, and play on it. If you’re shopping for a smaller cat tree that is lower to the ground, look for one with a solid base.
Most cat furniture is trimmed with a soft material that is comfortable to cuddle on and inviting to scratch. Padded carpeting is one of the most popular cat-tree trimmings because it’s a material that your pets likely find in other parts of your home, making it more inviting and familiar to them. Some cat trees are outfitted with faux fur. While it’s silky to the touch, it doesn’t provide as much cushion and isn’t as fun to claw.
A feline’s preferences will determine what kind of cat bed she likes. Cats who like to hide under blankets or beds will probably prefer a cat condo. These are enclosed boxes on a cat tree that look somewhat like outdoor cat shelters. Condos offer more privacy and help your cat feel safe and secure. In contrast, a cat who likes to lounge in the open might favor a round or square bed with raised edges at the top of the cat tree. Some cat trees come with hammocks in which your kitty can curl into a ball and drift off to dreamland.
Scratching is instinctual for cats and allows them to mark their territory, stretch, and wear down their claws. Cat trees provide new surfaces in the home for your feline to scratch, which will hopefully distract pets from clawing furniture, drapes, and rugs.
Cat trees typically have either sisal rope, carpet, or seagrass scratching post surfaces for pets to scratch. Because felines like to stand and scratch, you’ll want to find a cat tree that has a tall scratching area. The platforms’ carpeted surfaces allow for horizontal scratching, and the poles or scratching ladders allow for vertical grating. Cats are finicky creatures, so some may only want to scratch vertically versus horizontally, or vice versa. Observe your cats for a few days, if you can, before shopping for a cat tree to get an understanding of your animals’ scratching preferences.
Ladders vs. Ramps
Tall cat trees with multiple tiers and different ways of getting from one platform to the next can encourage jumping, playtime, and exercise. Ladders and ramps are fun to climb or to use for sneaking down and surprising other cats on the platforms below. Trees with these fun features appeal to kittens and playful youngsters.
Older cats may not appreciate a five-tier cat tree or those with ladders that have broad gaps between the rings. Shorter cat trees fit their lifestyles better. Mature cats can benefit from trees with ramps, especially since they may not have the energy or ability to jump anymore. Look for ladders with rings that are closer together for an easier climb.
Some cat trees are outfitted like gymnasiums and have features that delight these furry friends. They may come equipped with wire springs with balls cats can “punch,” dangly balls, feathers and mice to swat, hanging ropes to try to catch, tunnels to run through, IQ busy boxes, even ball tracks to challenge them.
Another thing that’s important to think about when shopping for the best cat tree is whether it requires assembly, and if so, whether it’s easy to put together. Many cat trees require purchasers to slot posts into holes or tighten screws together, which isn’t so difficult. If you are not handy at building things or partial to following instructions for assembly, seek out cat trees that come preassembled. These just need to be unboxed before the kitty games begin.
Our Top Picks
The best cat tree for your furry friends is one that allows them to indulge in all their favorite activities and provides the privacy and security they crave when they need some alone time. These top picks offer quality and value and feature the toys, ample scratching surfaces, and other criteria mentioned above. Whether your cat craves a condo or a tall perch, there’s sure to be a product on this list to keep your kitty happy.
This cat tree from Go Pet Club is just the ticket for cats who want to play, sleep, scratch, or just laze the day away. For sleeping, there’s a condo for hiding, and it has a perch, hammock, and basket for lounging. A top-tier tunnel is the perfect place to take a stealth nap.
A cat can move from level to level by climbing the ladder or posts or by simply jumping from level to level. Felines will be delighted by the hanging rope, which is fun for them to swat, claw, and try to catch. Two tall scratching posts covered in natural sisal rope will tempt pets to claw something other than your living room couch.
Made of highly durable compressed wood and wrapped in high-quality faux fur, Go Pet Club’s cat tree ensures a comfortable and safe environment for one or more felines. It is available in beige, black, blue, and gray.
Amazon Basics’ reasonably priced cat tower is equipped with the basics: two scratching posts, a toy, and a hammock. Constructed from sturdy chipboard and covered in plush gray or beige carpeting, it’s both durable and comfortable for cats to use. The natural jute fiber wrapped around the scratching posts provides a satisfying surface for scratching and sharpening claws.
The tree’s dangling cat toy is loads of fun to play with, and since it’s both replaceable and removable, kitty parents don’t need to worry that it will lose its appeal. Once playtime and exercise time is over, a cat can lounge in the cozy hammock and dream of chasing birds.
For those with indoor cats who longingly stare outside and constantly try to escape the house, On2 Pets’ cat tree is worth serious consideration. This structure is like bringing the outdoors indoors: With three carpeted perch shelves to relax on or jump from one level to the next, there is plenty of room for a cat to have fun. It simulates climbing a real tree or resting on a branch.
What’s particularly unique about this cat tree is that it’s covered in silk leaves, which allows the cat to peer out from a well-hidden, natural-looking place. Replace the clip-on leaves with fall colors as the seasons change (sold separately) or when needed. Another advantage to this cat tree is its aesthetically pleasing, contemporary look—it’s a more interesting addition to a home’s decor than its carpet-covered, boxy-shaped competitors. This cat tree comes with foliage in green, fall, plum, or summer colors and is available in three sizes: medium, large round, and large square.
This cat tower from FEANDREA has two cat condos, two scratching posts, and an oversize top perch to stretch out on. For overweight or large-breed cats, this wide perch is just the ticket. Big cats can easily stretch out or curl up and still have enough space to feel comfortable. The raised edge serves double duty as a headrest and a rail to prevent falls. The perch also works great for two feline buddies who love to cuddle, and the two individual cat condos give them their own space when they need alone time.
The oversize scratching posts wrapped with natural sisal rope provide stability and promote nail scratching and exercise. Made of premium particleboard and robust supporting tubes, this cat tree has anti-toppling fittings to keep pets safe and secure. Some assembly required.
This multilevel cat tree from Amazon Basics is 31.5 inches high and has four jute-covered scratching posts that provide a tempting distraction from household furniture and drapes. Cats can jump from one level to the next to fulfill their appetite for fun. Its top perch is a tempting post-scratching nap spot where kitty can curl up and sleep for hours. The perch, base, and middle platform are all trimmed in a comfortable, scratchable carpet.
Constructed of medium-density fiberboard (MDF), carpet, and paper tubes, this structure’s screw-together design makes it simple to assemble.
Cats can run, jump, swat, hide, scratch, and problem-solve for hours on Furhaven Pet’s Tiger Tough playground. This cat tree comes with two plush ball toys, a dangly mouse toy, and a cat IQ busy box for entertainment. What’s more likely to keep felines busy is climbing its ladder and jumping between perches on the playground’s four levels. (The structure is 69.3 inches tall, so that’s a lot of jumping.) If that isn’t enough fun, the Tiger Tough cat tree also has four scratching posts wrapped in sisal fiber to satisfy a kitty’s need to sharpen its claws.
After hours of exercise, the tree’s two cat condos provide comfy hideouts for sleeping, and there’s plenty of room on its faux-fur-trimmed platforms for lazy lounging. The cat tree is available in gray and cream.
For those who live in small abodes with little real estate to spare, a cat tree that takes up more space than your refrigerator just won’t do. This cat tower from Best Pet Supplies is cylindrical, and its two levels are stacked on top of each other rather than sprawling out horizontally, as is the case with other cat trees.
Lazy, lounging cats will love this tower’s multiple sleeping areas: There’s a condo, two hammocks, and a flat platform. Its posts are wrapped in natural sisal, perfect for a cat to dig its claws into and scratch until it’s content. The tree’s large base and thick supporting posts ensure that it won’t tip over, and its extra-soft, cream-colored plush lining will complement most homes’ decor.
There’s plenty of space for every cat in the house on FEANDREA’s multilevel, feline hotel-size cat tree. It’s over 5 feet tall and is outfitted with a cat condo, hammock, sleeping basket, and multiple platforms from which to jump. Your kitties may squabble over the penthouse-level top perch, which has raised, padded edges and doubles as a luxe cat bed.
The tree’s tall, 2.8-inch-diameter posts provide ample support and are wrapped in sisal rope to allow for plenty of scratching. Once the cats are all prepped and feeling good after a long nap and some working out, it’s playtime. Unlike most other cat trees on this list of top picks, this one comes with a detachable cat bowl that can be inserted into one of the higher platforms, so Fluffy can enjoy lunch with a view. Constructed from CARB-certified natural particleboard with a reinforced base plate, this cat tree from FEANDREA is a stable environment for both rest and play, and it comes in smoke gray, light gray, or beige.
This kitten tree by FEANDREA boasts many of the features of a full-size cat tree but in a compact size. Rather than multiple tiers branching out into different levels, this kitty tree has a condo in its base and one perch. A kitten can jump to the perch and back down to the floor, practicing balance and flexibility.
After your little furball tires of jumping, she can exercise on the scratching post or swat at the hanging ball for a while. Once fatigue truly sets in, the kitten can nap in either the cat condo or on the perch. Constructed of engineered wood with a reinforced base, this 37.8-inch-high cat tree feels sturdy and stable. The soft plush fabric covering the structure finishes it off nicely and is comfortable for cats. The cat tree comes in smoky gray and light gray.
Vesper’s 47.9-inch-tall cat structure has a beautiful walnut-look finish that adds a touch of elegance to a room, which is not something that’s often said about a cat tree. It offers a high observation platform for cats to check out the world around them and a cubed den with two entrances. Both the condo and the observation area can accommodate two smaller cuddling cats, or a bigger cat on his own. One of this tree’s best features is that its flat surfaces and den are outfitted with memory-foam cushions.
When they’re not lounging around, cats can exercise their claws on the structure’s extra-long seagrass scratching posts or play with the hanging ball-and-rope toy. The tree is constructed of high-quality MDF with a laminate-look finish, and some assembly is required.
FAQs About Cat Trees
For more information about the best cat trees, check out these answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. If additional concerns arise, contact the manufacturer.
Q. How big a cat tree should I get?
For a multi-cat household, you’ll want a cat tree with multiple sleeping areas. Be sure to check the size of the beds carefully, too: Larger cats will require more space to stretch out than kittens will.
Q. Where should I put my cat tree?
Cats enjoy sleeping in the sun and watching the world outside, so situating the tree near a window is a terrific idea. Putting a cat tree in the corner of a room is also a good idea, as the two walls help prevent the structure from toppling over.
Q. How do I teach my cat to use his cat tree?
Positive reinforcement goes a long way: Sprinkle some catnip on the tree and give your cat treats when he uses it. If your cat has any favorite toys or blankets, place them in the condo or bed.
Q. How do I clean my cat tree?
Use a vacuum to clean up the hair and dander, and spot-clean messes with hot water and mild dish soap. To eliminate odors, purchase a pet-safe odor remover at a pet store.