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Published May. 24, 2021

Does your cat enjoy scaling your cabinets and bookshelves? Do they spend every morning surveying their domain from the top of the refrigerator? A cat tree is a wonderful way to keep your cat occupied, especially if they have a fondness for high places. The majority also come equipped with scratching posts, which keep claws away from your beloved sofa. If your cat hides in closets and under beds, a cat tree house with covered shelters will provide them a sense of security and personal space. And all these options come stacked in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. Do you need a towering kitty castle, or a cozy perch for a cat that just wants to loaf? Does your interior aesthetic call for a modern cat tower? From kitten to couch potato, we’ll go over the best cat tree for you and your feline’s specific needs.

Features to consider when buying the best cat tree

There are a few features to keep in mind when shopping for your new cat tree. It is a good idea to designate a space in your home for your cat and keep the limitations of that space in mind. Sprawling homes can accommodate a large cat tree, but a tight apartment might require a more compact design. Then you will want to consider your cat’s activity level. Rambunctious kittens love to clamber up multilevel towers, but they are not as accessible for older cats; a cat with mobility issues will need a shorter model with wide platforms rather than a high-rise cat condo.

If your cat loves to scratch, it is important to choose a tower that they can’t wait to sink their needle-sharp nails into. The best cat tree will include a scratching material that you know your kitty loves, whether it’s sisal rope, jute, cardboard, or wood. And if your tabby loves to spread out, their dream tower will include ample space for afternoon catnaps. There’s a lot to choose from when it comes to pet products, so let’s break it down some more.

Related: Fulfill your cat’s dream of comfortable slumber with the best cat beds.

What’s the best cat tree for active cats?

The majority of house cats spend all day inside and they need a place to exert their bundles of energy. If you’re looking to entertain a cat that seems hellbent on toppling your bookshelves, a tall cat tree is an easy way to redirect their attention. If you have multiple cats, a large cat tower can accommodate three to four felines and prevent territorial scuffles. Tall cat towers are also a good way to stimulate and challenge curious kittens.

The most important features to keep in mind when shopping for tall cat trees are durability and weight capacity. Yours will have to handle high-speed cat leaps, and you don’t want the tower to wobble or tip. If you have enough room for a larger cat tower, you will also want to ensure that it offers an assortment of interactive elements. The best cat tower will have scratching pads, a variety of perches, toy attachments, and condos to hide in. Check out our favorite for high-climbing cats.

Best tall cat tree: Armarkat 77-inch Faux Fleece Cat Tree & Condo

Interactive and Engaging

The Armarkat Cat Tree is a lofty tower for energetic cats. Chewy

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The Armarkat stands over six feet high and boasts 10 scratching posts, six platforms, and two comfy condos. This feline fortress is built to handle the more exuberant kitty personalities, with a weight capacity of 80 pounds and a sturdy plywood structure. Your cat can govern from the highest perch of this large cat tree or spend all day snoozing in the privacy of a faux fleece cube.

What if I’m looking for a smaller cat tree?

If you live in an apartment or smaller home, you might not have room for a kitty skyscraper. Small cat towers are a great way to designate a spot for your furry friend without sacrificing precious living room space. Does your cat spend all day lounging by the window? The majority of small cat perches are window-level, which makes them perfectly suited for hours of cat contemplation. Although small cat towers are lower to the ground, you will still want one that won’t sway when jumped on. The best small cat tree will have a sturdy base, resilient scratching posts, and soft platforms for maximum relaxation.

Best small cat tree: Frisco 32-inch Real Carpet Wooden Cat Tree

Compact Comfort

A cozy cat tree that won’t take up space. Chewy

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The Frisco Cat Tree is a double-decker tower for your cat to stretch out on. This wooden cat tower is built to last all nine lives, with a handcrafted solid wood structure and two heavy-duty sisal rope posts. It’s wrapped in plush, household grade carpet, with a familiar texture that every cat can enjoy. This small cat tree comes fully assembled with two luxurious platforms and a hanging toy. The base of this tree measures 20 inches on both sides.

What’s the best cat tree for larger breeds?

Your Maine coon might not fit on a regular cat perch, but that doesn’t mean he has to miss out on the fun. There are a variety of cat tower designs available that are built to lodge bigger cats. If your cat weighs over 15 pounds, their tower should be uniquely constructed to handle that extra fluff. When selecting cat towers for a large breeds, you should ensure that the platforms are wide enough for them to fully recline, and that they contain spare padding for optimal comfort. The best way to avoid tipping is with a two-pillar design, which prevents trees from leaning to one side.

Best cat tree for large cats: FEANDREA Cat Tree for Large Cats

Built for Big Cats

Here’s a tree that’s specifically constructed for big cats. FEANDREA

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The FEANDREA Cat Tree is a welcoming abode that won’t budge under pressure. The roomy cat condos and oversized plush perch provide an abundance of space for big cat naps. Each post is wrapped in natural sisal rope and reinforced with battens at the base of the tree. It also includes an anti-toppling wall attachment if you are super wary of tipping.

What if I prefer a more modern design?

We know that your décor vision might not include a carpeted cat tower. Wooden designs are a sleek solution for those that prefer a more minimal aesthetic. Traditional designs might cause unwanted visual clutter, while a modern cat tower can blend seamlessly into a contemporary layout. Wooden designs may not be covered in plush fabric, but they are easier to clean and attract less hair. The best wooden cat tree will fit your modern style without compromising on kitty comfort. Here’s our favorite for sophisticated cats.

Best wooden cat tree: Vesper Modern Cat Tree

Stylish Choice

This is an elegant piece of furniture that just happens to be cat furniture. VESPER

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This cat tower is made with laminated MDF board and comes in three attractive shades: warm walnut, natural oak, and classic black. With a tall observation platform, cozy cat cube, and seagrass scratching posts, this modern cat tree will keep your cat occupied while complimenting your meticulously curated apartment. The sisal scratching mat and memory foam beds are easily removable for easy washing. Vesper Trees are built for lifelong use, and replacement parts for scratching poles, cushions, carpets, and toys are available.

What can I get for under $30?

We know that quickly cat furniture can run you into the triple digits, especially if you’re shopping for a complex tower or a contemporary design. Luckily, there are options available for inexpensive single-platform trees. Cheap cat towers are sometimes made with flimsier materials, so you will want to ensure that what you pick is sturdy and claw-proof. The best cat tree on a budget will have durable construction, a soft bed, and tough scratching posts. Here’s an economical tree for your four-legged friend.

Best cheap cat tree: AmazonBasics Cat Condo Tree Tower with Hammock Bed

Budget-Friendly Relaxation Station

This is a practical and compact tree for your cat to curl up in. Amazon Basics

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This tower includes plush carpeting, an elevated hammock bed, two pillars wrapped in natural jute rope, and a hanging toy. The Amazon Basics cat tower is super easy to assemble and has a 15.7-inch base, but keep in mind that this condo is best for small and medium-sized cats and might be too snug for a larger breed.

FAQs

Q: Where should I put the cat tree?

Buying the cat tree is only half the battle—you have to get your cat to actually use it. You might want to stick the it in the most convenient or concealed location, but that is not always the most attractive spot for your cat. We recommend setting it up in a shared living space where your cat can keep tabs on you from the comfort of their perch. Proximity to a window is great for cats that love to birdwatch.

Q: How can I get my cat interested in my cat tree?

When you’re first introducing cat furniture to a kitty habitat, you should provide as many positive associations as possible. You can sprinkle the tower with catnip, reward them with treats when they show interest and line their condo with used toys and blankets for a familiar smell.

Q: How many cat t

owers do I need for two cats?

With a multiplatform cat tower like the Amarkat, two friendly cats or kittens can coexist peacefully. If your two cats struggle to get along and display territorial aggression, it might be better to purchase more than one cat tower. Ultimately, the number of trees you need depends on the dynamic between your feline pair. 

Related: Tiny paws can still mean big mess. A robot mop can help (and maybe your cat will ride it).

The final word on finding the best cat tree

Cat towers are a smart solution for pet parents looking to keep their cats occupied and relaxed. The right cat products can resolve a scratching habit and entertain your pet while you’re away. From jungle-gym climbing trees to glossy wooden condos, the best cat tower will help your kitty feel truly at home.

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