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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


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 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, 9 Inch (Pack of 1)
SmartCat Multi-Level Cat Climber, 9 Inch (Pack of 1)
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.

CBoner Cell Phonefefef15
CBoner Cell Phonefefef15
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?


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