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Cat Stands and Climbing Towers

Updated on May 24, 2014

Cat Trees and Climbing Towers Save Your Furniture (and your sanity!)

Is that clever kitty of yours so bo-o-o-o-red that he shreds your couch or sharpens his pointy little claws on your table legs, every time you go out for the evening, or you just want to sit down and rest, please, after a tough week? Cat stands and climbing towers to the rescue!

What worked for me - and, more importantly, for the sleep-disrupting Jasper Cat who arrived in my life when I was not at all prepared to be owned by a Smart Cat - was the introduction into our household of a cat stand. You know, like a plant stand, only for exclusive use of your feline friend.

Yes, as it turns out, what this desperate cat owner really needed was a clever (yet inexpensive) climbing tower, with a scratching post built in and a series of cat shelf platforms at various levels all up the stand, where Jasper Cat could perch and pounce and do his Big Wild Cat act. (You know that performance? It usually happens at 2 a.m., or halfway into your movie.) Height is key. And while a modest elevated platform is better than nothing (or your best chair) for his get-the-crazies-out scratching and climbing, what the truly ambitious furball really wants is a slightly more complex arrangement of levels and textures.

Photo: Cat stuck up in a tree copyright é123RF Stock Photos

Because let's face it, you can only barter yourself just so much peace-and-quiet with a supply of catnip mouse toys, before the Smart Cat is looking for more amusement...

Looks Like a Tree - Kitty Palm

Kitty Palm cat trees come in a couple of different styles, but they've got one thing in common - they're intended to look like read trees. Oh, and they're also hand made with natural manila rope and silk polyester leaves. Billed as the perfect "decorative alternative" to a traditional cat scratching post or "bulky cat condo" -- we can debate the "decorative" quality, but that's a matter of personal taste in home décor so I'll leave that aesthetic judgment up to you.

Kitty Palm Cat Tree with Ficus Foliage Top, Green Carpet, Manila Rope, 36 Inches
Kitty Palm Cat Tree with Ficus Foliage Top, Green Carpet, Manila Rope, 36 Inches

I'm personally not totally convinced the Kitty Palm Cat Tree is a wise choice for any home with a male dog who likes to mark his territory (!!)... but for a cats-only home, worth a look, if only for the fun visual pun.

 
Kitty Palm Cat Tree with Palm Top, Green Carpet, Manila Rope, 2 Platform, 60 Inches
Kitty Palm Cat Tree with Palm Top, Green Carpet, Manila Rope, 2 Platform, 60 Inches

What I do like very much about this taller cat tree is that it's more than just a scratching post, with platforms to play on and a wee food bowl as well. You know, an ambitious and athletic cat could even climb up the rope-wrapped trunk or leap to the top and hunker down among the (soon-to-be-crushed) faux foliage for a high-level nap.

 
Cat Tardis
Cat Tardis

Dr. Who CAT TARDIS

Half-scale TARDIS model makes a unique kitty condo!

Check out the clever Dr. Who TARDIS cat playhouse built by astromark for his lucky cat, Kaylee. He posted about the project at the hobby prop-building forum Tardis Builders in August 2011. Since then, the kitty TARDIS project has appeared on just about every website catering to cat lovers and/or model builders and/or Dr. Who geeks - and, now, the TARDIS has landed right here.

Cat-loving fans of Dr. Who will crave this homemade cat condo! Even if the classic British time-travelling TV series is not quite your thing, you can still admire the interior design of cat shelves and climbing surfaces.

"Kaylee's TARDIS is 2.5' wide and a little under 5' tall including the beacon," asys Astromark's wife, who set up a website to showcase the project. "It's a little shorter than perfectly half-scale because there's no sloping roof." See the lovely bonus photos on TardisCatFort.com to get a clear idea of what was involved in building this very unusual cat playhouse. You know, in case you want to build one of your own.

My favourite detail -- there's a round hole on top, for the cat to pop in and out when she feels like perching up on top.

Buckingham Palace for Cats - Cat Tower by Kitty Mansions

Have you seen this video tour of "the most staggeringly huge and elaborate kitty climbing tower EVER"? This cat castle is called "Buckingham Palace" and it's hard to imagine a more appropriate name for it! Hat tip to Domestik Goddess (Kitty Mansions and Cat Castles) for pointing out this amazing construction.

Multi-Level Cat Trees and Climbing Towers - by Kitty Mansions

Not all of the cat stands and climbing towers of Kitty Mansions designs are what you'd describe as "mansions" quite as over-the-top as the Buckingham Palace model, but there is quite a nice variety to suit every home and all but the most picky of kitties. Most of these have a fairly compact footprint - they tend to be tall structures, rather than wide - so you can tuck a cat tree into a fairly small space.

It's kind of fun, too, that a lot of the models are named after different places - Beverly Hills, Shanghai, Athens, Toronto, and the like - or names that otherwise bring to mind a particular part of the world. I don't know the reasoning behind that, but it does make it easy to remember the names of the cat trees that catch your eye. My fav is the Safari Cat Tree - for cats who like to climb on the wild side, you might say.

Kitty Mansions Safari Cat Tree, Leopard
Kitty Mansions Safari Cat Tree, Leopard

All plush leopard-print interest for the Big Wild Jungle Cat in your family, the Safari Cat Gym comes with a bedroom, tunnel, sisal rope-covered scratching posts, and three tower-top platforms - one of which has an extra cushion for snoozing after that big play adventure.

Under the faux fur? It's sturdy 3/4" particle board. The plush fabric on this stand is held in place by adhesive for a snug covering and no staples to pose a hazard to Puss. Dimensions are 23 x 23 x 60 inches, a superb use of space and one snazzy little piece of cat climbing furniture for the hip urban den.

 
Java on his Cat Tower
Java on his Cat Tower

Cat Climbing Tower

Java is King of the Cat Castle!

This imperious feline shown resting in the classic "load of bread" position atop a towering cat stand goes by the name of Java.

As you can see from the frayed edges on the carpet and rope that covers the cat tower, Java may look like a big fluffy softie but he's clearly an athletic kitty who likes to play Big Hunting Jungle Cat and really dig in his claws when he climbs to his perch on the top level of this impressive cat stand.

Java owns a fine human, Lisa Cee, who fully understands the importance of giving Java a climbing tower to show his proper rank in the household. Not only that, she also shows off Java's great beauty (and great climbing skills) in her photographs like this one on Flickr.

What a lucky Java cat!

Cats Do Love to Climb!

Sweet Pea cat tower hug by Monica R., on Flickr
Sweet Pea cat tower hug by Monica R., on Flickr

Photo: Sweet Pea cat tower hug by Monica R. [CC BY 2.0] on Flickr

Cats love nothing better than a cosy cubbyhole to squeeze themselves into, and if that tight little spot is high up -- say, on an upper shelf of your bookcase, for example -- they're delighted. Waiting, lurking, spying on the scene below, the Shelf Cat is ever ready to leap into action. Unless, of course, he curls up and falls asleep first.

Standing almost 6-1/2 feet tall, Hollywood Kitty's Deluxe Dollhouse Condo comes in a huge range of different colours.

If you're not a fan of the playful Pink/Blue/White theme shown here - you can specify which 3 carpet colours you want for the roof, platforms, and posts, ordinary carpet or shag - and you can even order colour-dyed sisal on the scratching posts, instead of natural sisal, for a small extra charge.

You can go with a monochrome scheme, say, beige for all three colour choices, if you wanted to be more subtle... but I'm not sure a big giant dollhouse for your cats can be called 'subtle," ever!

Me, it'd pick this condo in a tasteful burgundy and cream color combo.

Ultimate Cuteness in a Multi-Level House Style Cat Stand

For the cat who shares her playtime with a little girl, could a kitty castle be more purrrrfect?

Watch the video below, and you'll find yourself smiling at cute cats having a blast in their Dollhouse Condo...

Back-of-Door Cat Climber - Portable Cat Tower for Apartment Dwellers

Seems to me like this one's a SmartCat solution worth a look for apartment renters who aren't allowed to poke holes in the walls, or don't want to install something fabulous in the way of a cat climbing wall when you don't know how long you'll be living there... or even if you're permanently planted but you just don't have the extra living space to install a full-size climbing tower or kitty condo.

SmartCat Multi-Level Cat Climber
SmartCat Multi-Level Cat Climber

Here's the Amazon description: The SmartCat Cat Climber is the perfect choice for small homes or for pet owners who don't want to swap a handy end table for a traditional cat tree. The Cat Climber hangs on virtually any standard door using a spring-loaded bracket system that makes it easy to move from room to room. The durable wood unit features a natural sisal post ideal for scratching. Great for climbing, playing, and sleeping, as well as scratching. Plus, it looks great in any room. Easy assembly.

 

Modular Cat Climbing Wall - by CatsWall Design

CatsWallDesign Modular Climbing Wall
CatsWallDesign Modular Climbing Wall

One look at the the truly unique cat furniture of CatsWall Design Ltd., it becomes clear that these unique cat furniture designs were born in a loving multi-cat home:

"This is all began from a stray cat we first took in and offered it a home with us. Perhaps it is our destiny ... It did not take long before we realized that we have taken in more than a dozen of stray cats, naturally their living space and well-being became our first concern. ... After a series of experiments, we finally are happy with the concept of 'Modular Cat Wall' - which is like a cat playground, a combination of adjustable modular beds, scratch boards, ladders and shelves built on the walls designed for indoor cats to walk, run, climb, jump and scratch as well as to hide and sleep in."

CatsWall products are made of New Zealand pine boards, and come in several clear vibrant modern colours as well as natural wood. In addition to the Cat Climbing Wall shown here, their product line includes the Curvynest, Multi-Cat Raised Feeder, and Cat Scratching Board with new designs on the boards. You can stalk Catswall on Facebook to track down a distributor in your region -- not to mention, getting early word on whatever other clever cat furniture these inventive guys come up with!

Design Your Own Cat Wall?

One well-placed shelf would give access to a windowsill or top of a bookshelf, while a clever arrangement of two or three shelves could turn your place into a vertible kitty playground.

The Sophia Wall Mounted Cat Tree in Black
The Sophia Wall Mounted Cat Tree in Black

Set of 2 sturdy wall-mounted shelf boxes to give your cat some "vertical territory" - with carpet for good traction and a bit of scratching action, for cats up to 25 lbs.

 

Simple-but-Clever Cat Scratching Post - ClawSkinz

You know how cats always seem to work over the same place on a scratching post, all the time? so just one spot wears out, and then you're stuck with threadbare carpet on the post... and a bored cat. Well, check this out! The clever guys at ClawSkins have come up with a way to solve that worn-out-cat-scratcher problem.

Basically, it's a walnut-finish wooden post with a base and cap, with a "Scratching Skin" (rigid, replaceable tube of carpet) to slip over the post. When one part of the carpet gets worn out, take the Skin off and flip it over. And when the cat's scratching wears out the carpet completely, in time, just replace the Skin - you can re-use the post stand and cap, no need to buy a new one.

ClawSkinz®, EcoFriendly Scratching Post. Only replace carpet scratching skin. Easily slips on/off post. Re-use the base and post
ClawSkinz®, EcoFriendly Scratching Post. Only replace carpet scratching skin. Easily slips on/off post. Re-use the base and post

Unique manufacturing process forms a rigid Scratching Skin that easily slips over the post and stands firm - no buckling. Walnut furniture looking finish applied to the base and cap that will blend in with your home furnishings. Sturdy base and a tall 29" height. Easy "slip on / slip off" assembly - no tools needed.

 

You've heard about my Jasper Cat and some of his online Feline Friends - now it's your turn to talk up your Tom or Puss. Have you set up a piece of cat furniture to keep your own Smart Cat amused... or is your furry pal more of a casual windowsill-perching kind of kitty?

Do you have a cat who'd love to have his own climbing tower?

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    • Coffee-Break profile image

      Dorian Bodnariuc 3 years ago from Ottawa, Ontario Canada

      @Flycatcher what cat wouldn't love a climbing tower? That's their heaven. I personally love the modular cat climbing wall, it looks great and it looks like the cats love it.

    • flycatcherrr profile image
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      flycatcherrr 4 years ago

      @calconcrete: I do have a couple of great ideas for you, in fact. Give me a day or two and I'll write 'em up, just for Julia and Gia. :)

    • calconcrete profile image

      calconcrete 4 years ago

      My two Aby cats, Julia and Gia, would certainly like a climbing tower. I've been put off by the $150-$200 costs at Petsmart and Petco. Julia usually scratches on the corrugated pads I give her. Gia could care less about these scratching pads but rarely will scratch on the carpeted cat tunnel I gave her. Gia still likes to scratch on my furniture and shred my papers.Any ideas on how I can meet their needs and not have to spend $200?

    • sierradawn lm profile image

      sierradawn lm 4 years ago

      My cat towers all look like Java's. They are all packed in the garage now, because we are moving. None of my 5 cats were pleased about their property going out into the garage. All of them clung to each tower as it was moved downstairs, and they remained at their perch posts all the way through the house to the door. So I am appeasing them by showing them the new towers we can buy here for our new home. They like the "Buckingham Palace" one the best, of course, but we are moving into a small house. They say they will take the doll house condo then. And they also want Back of the Door climbers on back of all the doors. So I will be back when I can, to accommodate their wishes. Thank you for taking their minds off their current lack of towers by displaying all these pretty ones here for them to look at.

    • sierradawn lm profile image

      sierradawn lm 4 years ago

      @flycatcherrr: me too

    • Bellezza-Decor profile image

      Bellezza-Decor 4 years ago from Canada

      Lots of cool choices! I have two small scratching posts for my two cats, which is a good thing. Panko is a bit of an eccentric cat and likes to scratch the walls, including trims, furniture, wallpaper and the legs on an antique desk chair, so I had to get a scratcher. And problem solved.

    • flycatcherrr profile image
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      flycatcherrr 4 years ago

      @TommysPal: Aren't they fun? I always love looking at creative cat furniture and sometimes even find myself doodling designs for new kitty castles. :)

    • profile image

      TommysPal 4 years ago

      That cat mansion is so cool. I've never seen anything like it. Wish I had room for something like that, but don't : (Thanks for showing all the nifty cat trees and structures.

    • XpectMore profile image

      XpectMore 4 years ago

      Wow, I never knew Cats had so many cool items designed for them. Cat Condos, houses, and climbing towers. I have never seen the Back of the door climb or the Wall climbers. I thought those were cool. I do not own a cat. I only own a dog and a duck. I pet sit with lots of dogs at my home. So, no cats allowed. I do sit for some though. They do not have cool fun furniture like these. If I had a cat/cats, I would be Sooooooo into this. So would my Teen girl and my son.

    • flycatcherrr profile image
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      flycatcherrr 4 years ago

      @Valleyslad: Have you tried a little catnip? You may be able to get an essence-of-catnip spray, if the bits of herb are too messy for you. Also, nice special smelly treats for him to discover on the lowest platform can help to encourage him to adopt his new climber. It's also helpful to look at where you've put the cat stand - there may be something about the placement that's not attractive to him. Some cats like their cat stands to be near a window so they can climb up and look out, but others like to be in a quiet corner - you will know best what your cat is likely to prefer.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Wow such lovely places for kitty to play and hide when he/she has done something wrong.

    • Valleyslad profile image

      Valleyslad 4 years ago

      What a great lens. I didn't realise there was so much variety in cat stands. I have a quick question though, if that's ok? We've bought a stand for our cat, but he doesn't seem to want to use it. He's normally really in to climbing anything, so this seems strange. Any ideas for coaxing him on to it?

    • flycatcherrr profile image
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      flycatcherrr 4 years ago

      @Jo-Jackson: I believe you may have correctly interpreted what your kitty is telling you. :)

    • Jo-Jackson profile image

      Jo-Jackson 4 years ago

      Mty cat loves to scatch his claws on the carpet even though he has 2 scratching posts. He'll look me in the eye while he's doing it too! Maybe he's telling me he wants a mansion.

    • Stephanie36 profile image

      Stephanie 4 years ago from Canada

      I want that Buckingham Palace one! I have a little one for my kitty. It's actually really tall, but of course nothing compared to the mansions!

    • profile image

      johnsja 4 years ago

      Great selection. My cat could do with one of these. He is very keen on scratching the carpet.

    • Scribble1 LM profile image

      Scribble1 LM 4 years ago

      I love that picture of your cat on top of the cat tower. My kitties would LOVE something like that!

    • flycatcherrr profile image
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      flycatcherrr 5 years ago

      @JenwithMisty: Oh, your lucky cats!

    • JenwithMisty profile image

      Jen withFlash 5 years ago

      My cats have a cat wall for them to climb on. We had some wasted space so they got shelves.

    • flycatcherrr profile image
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      flycatcherrr 5 years ago

      @BluKatDesign: At that great age, I guess your cat is more of a couch potato now - and deservedly so. :)

    • BluKatDesign profile image

      BluKatDesign 5 years ago

      Love the back of door climber; what a cool idea! Our 19 yo cat is too old for climbers now!

    • sjewula profile image

      sjewula 5 years ago

      This has given me some great ideas to entertain kitty. Thanks!

    • sunlightseer profile image

      sunlightseer 5 years ago

      We have 2 cats. One likes to climb, the other likes to scratch. We have a very small place so put the cat tree on the patio and they LOVE it. If I had the room, I'd love to try a cat wall like above and the condo looks like so much fun. Cats are crazy people for sure. Fun lens.

    • profile image

      Echo Phoenix 5 years ago

      the modular cat climbing wall is awesome, would love to build one of those with my brother for his cat colony:) fun lens, thanks for the great ideas!

    • montanatravel52 profile image

      montanatravel52 5 years ago

      What great ideas for cats, I love the playhouse and the wall "toy"! I have always had cats and love ideas for entertaining them (and me:)). However, I just wrote a silly lens about our crazy cat who just doesn't seem to be "entertained" enough by the unnatural, Meet Our Bipolar Family Cat: "Checkers" aka Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde.

    • poorwendy lm profile image

      poorwendy lm 5 years ago

      We have a 4 foot tree for our cat to climb up to. Works for now.

    • rallo-smith profile image

      rallo-smith 5 years ago

      Great lens! My cats love their cat tree and the few shelves I have for them to make their way to their outside kitty play yard.

    • LivRiley LM profile image

      LivRiley LM 5 years ago

      I'm sending my sister this link...she would love some of these things for her 2 cats.

    • profile image

      periwinklekitty 5 years ago

      I love these cat towers, especially the modular wall

    • SilmarwenLinwelin profile image

      SilmarwenLinwelin 5 years ago

      amazing scratching posts!

    • flycatcherrr profile image
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      flycatcherrr 5 years ago

      @seegreen: Aha, stay tuned, I think I have just the thing for a rental... beside the couch and curtains. :)

    • profile image

      seegreen 5 years ago

      The cat modular wall is AWESOME! If I owned and wasn't renting I would absolutely do this. We moved a year ago from a house with stairs to one story and the stairs were my cats favourite place to be. I felt bad taking them away from a house with stairs and have wanted to do something like the modular climbing wall. How clever! Now my cats just climb up the screen doors or wander along the top of the curtains.

    • profile image

      BeyondRoses 5 years ago

      Creative presentation, and splendid selection of cat furniture. Love the cat condos, and towers!

    • profile image

      mockingbird999 5 years ago

      Looks like a lot of fun for the cats. Makes me wish I was one.

    • jlshernandez profile image

      jlshernandez 5 years ago

      This is such a cool lens with the most innovative cat furniture ever. Thanks for sharing.

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 5 years ago from East Central Florida

      I was just sayint to hubby yesterday that we need to get Walker, Florida Feline something to climb on... and, here, you have some wonderful examples of cat furniture!

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 5 years ago from USA

      Cat lenses always have a bit of humor in them. My cats would enjoy these wonderful pieces. They do have their own furniture though including a sofa and bed. They're holding out for a frig :)

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 5 years ago

      Such a sweet lens. My house has become one big cat world so I can relate to all these cat towers. What else can you do when you love your kitties? LOL Angel blessed lens.

    • Commandrix profile image

      Heidi 5 years ago from Benson, IL

      Loved the videos. Cats will climb anything, won't they? I wish I could have gotten video of my cats when they were kittens, and they would always climb up my pants legs.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 5 years ago from United States

      These are all really awesome cat stands and climbing towers. My grandkitties would, no doubt, love them all :)

    • flycatcherrr profile image
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      flycatcherrr 5 years ago

      @Sensitive Fern: Glad to help! FWIW, I like to go with a carpet-covered or sisal-wrapped PVC pipe for the "trunk" of a cat tree, although I know someone who uses heavy-duty cardboard mailing tubes wrapped with rope and says they stand up well to being climbed on, but then, his cats are skinny and he keeps their claws clipped short. ;)

    • Sensitive Fern profile image

      Sensitive Fern 5 years ago

      What a great and fun lens!! I really need to get a cat tree for my cat. I may have to build my own, though, so I was happy to see the e-book with plans.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      Cats are such wonderful innovative spirits that curious cat play trees and condos are absolutely a must have if you love your feline pet. These toys give cats hours upon hours of entertainment.

    • flycatcherrr profile image
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      flycatcherrr 5 years ago

      @Helene-Malmsio: Wow, now I want to be one of your (lucky) cats, Helene! :-D

    • profile image

      Helene-Malmsio 5 years ago

      I try to make sure my cats have a bit of a 'jungle gym' in their huge catrun / dogrun area, with tree branches, pot plants, grass patch to eat and lay on, cane shelf units as bunk beds, shelves staggered along a wall, lots of chairs to select from... but now I want some of these cat stands and climbing towers for them too...!

    • flycatcherrr profile image
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      flycatcherrr 5 years ago

      @Gayle Dowell: There's a cat who is clearly asking for a tree, eh? ;)

    • flycatcherrr profile image
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      flycatcherrr 5 years ago

      @Paul Ward: Heheh, sounds familiar ;)

    • Paul Ward profile image

      Paul 5 years ago from Liverpool, England

      Piece of furniture? Anything they wanted :(

    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 5 years ago from Kansas

      Enjoyed looking at all the different cat trees. Maybe if I got one, my cat would quit trying to climb the Christmas tree!

    • marilynkvasnok profile image

      marilynkvasnok 5 years ago

      @flycatcherrr: If Cookie had "Buckingham Palace" she could invite all her kitty friends for a party!

    • flycatcherrr profile image
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      flycatcherrr 5 years ago

      @marilynkvasnok: I bet Cookie would like that "Buckingham Palace" to play on. ;) Thanks for stopping by, Marilyn!

    • marilynkvasnok profile image

      marilynkvasnok 5 years ago

      I love to give Cookie new places to explore. Thanks for all the ideas! ~Marilyn

    • flycatcherrr profile image
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      flycatcherrr 5 years ago

      @yayas: Hey, thanks for visiting back, YayasHome - very kind of you. And I know what you mean - when i start looking at cat stands and climbing towers - and especially the really fun climbing towers with many levels and platforms - it almost makes me want to be a cat myself! :)

    • yayas profile image

      yayas 5 years ago

      These cat stands and climbing towers are the perfect place for kitty to get lost in Paradise. I had no idea there were so many different kinds of cat stands and climbing towers. Too fun.Thank you so much for visiting my page an' commenting. I do appreciate it.