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Finding The Perfect Cat Tree

Updated on August 29, 2015

How to Choose a Good Cat Tree

This photo was taken a number of years back. It is the bottom of my cat tree and is 2 feet by 2 feet by 2 feet high. A nice sturdy base for some wildly crazy cats. The whole tree is 6 feet tall. They would run up the tree and it would shake but with the heavy wide base there was no fear of it falling over. It has gone through many kittens and adult cats over the years.

Spacing of shelves should be for easy climbing up and down. Very important, as your cat will get older and you want them to always love the tree. We had a front hole in the bottom box and also a top hole. The top of tree also had a hole for them to come through and nice 4 inch border all the way around, so they could sleep up there without worrying about falling off.

Built it in 1980 and in the high wear area it has been re-carpeted many times. We made it out of 3/4 inch plywood. It was designed to fit beside a bookshelf and an organ. We even put a thin carpet on the bottom and three unexposed sides of the bottom box. There is still some of the original carpet on the tree, due to the fact it doesn't get any abuse. Our first was to glue the carpet in place, later when replaced we used a staple gun and the last few times we used tacks that were long enough to sink and hold into the wood. Used a hammer to secure them. We cut the loose threads from time to time, but when we can see that the scratching has exposed any wood we replace that section of the carpet.

All photos are mine or my affiliate links.

For Sturdy Posts!

If building your own tree, use four 3" flat "L" brackets screwed into the base and also into top platform.

Cat Tree Condo
Cat Tree Condo

Selecting The Best Tree

Build it or Buy it?

Well that would depend on if you have the tools, space and skills to build a tree. The best reason for building your own, you would be able to design what works best for your home and the area in which it will reside.

The good part about building your own you can put whatever carpeting you want on it. Even if you decide not to build your own, there really is no reason to have one really torn up cat tree.

If you or someone you know is having their home carpeted, ask the installer for all the remnants. It is easy to replace the carpet on the tree. When you take the damaged piece off, it will be the pattern for cutting the replacement out and you can just use a black marker on the under side to trace it out. Use a utility knife to cut the carpet, but be sure to protect what is under the carpet just in case you cut too deep. Get some good tacks from the hardware store and separate the carpet fibers and place the tack in the carpet and give it a few whacks with a hammer to secure it. Before long you will have a nicely fixed up tree.

That is why I highly suggest in getting a really good tree so it will last for years by just replacing the carpet, before it gets downright UGLY!

If a cat feels insecure because the tree is not sturdy, you may find that they won't use it no matter how much you try to assure them it won't fall over!

Amazon Product

Build It Strong!

If you build a good strong two foot high base, people can actually sit on it. If constructed with some thought it could be used for extra seating in a pinch. Did that after my daughter's wedding and the house was full of people.

6 foot Cat Tree Condo
6 foot Cat Tree Condo

Large Cat Tree

Picking a tree that will last

If you decide to buy a tree instead of make one, get one that will last for years. It should be like a good piece of furniture. Try to find something that will look great in your living room. Remember to cut off loose threads as your cats go to town on it.

Cats love to get up high and survey all their surroundings and up out of little kids reach. Besides it is usually so much warmer up closer to the ceiling and you know how much cats love the warmth.

Don't be intimated by replacing the carpet from time to time. You should be more ashamed of one ratty looking cat tree than taking the road to repairing it. Your cats will love you for it and they will not be ingesting loose threads from the worn out tree.

As they say "don't replace, reface"!

Amazon Product

Carpeting Hints

For safety don't use looped carpeting (claws can get hooked on them). Attaching carpet under shelves for those cats that like to hang upside down is an added bonus of play space for them.

Cat Tree Question

Have you ever re-carpeted a cat tree?

See results

Another Cat Tree Question

Have you ever made a cat tree?

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Exercise and Fun For Your Feline

TRIXIE Pet Products Oviedo Cat Tree (Beige)
TRIXIE Pet Products Oviedo Cat Tree (Beige)

The Trixie Oviedo Cat Tree will provide endless opportunities for cats to play and explore and scratch or just relax

This healthy outlet for scratching instincts allows them to sharpen claws on two sisal covered scratching posts instead of on furniture or carpet

If a nap or place to hide is in order cats can crawl into the condo or tunnel both covered with plush inside and out for a cozy retreat

When feeling a little spunky cats can slink in one door and pop out another while hunting for unsuspecting prey or running from a playmate

Beige with brown paw print colors are subtle earth tones easy to match to almost any home decor Size 11 x 19 x 41 inches Weight 30 lbs


Comments Are Welcome - Glad you dropped by and would love to hear what you have to say.

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    • Mary Stephenson profile image

      Mary Stephenson 4 years ago from California

      @GregoryMoore: Thank you for coming and leaving a comment.

    • GregoryMoore profile image

      Gregory Moore 4 years ago from Louisville, KY

      Well done. Very cute pictures of the kitties!

    • Mary Stephenson profile image

      Mary Stephenson 5 years ago from California

      @lesliesinclair: Thank you for taking the time to read about it. My cats still love the tree. Can't remember how many times I have had to re-carpet it.

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 5 years ago

      You write a delightful description of your own cat tree experience.

    • Mary Stephenson profile image

      Mary Stephenson 5 years ago from California

      @cmadden: Carpet remnants are pretty cheap and sometimes you can get them for free. It will look like new trees, etc. if only the shredded part is replaced. The cats have always liked it when I put new carpeting on it. Thanks for the visit.

    • profile image

      cmadden 5 years ago

      Let's see. Four cats. Oldest large cat tree (to just below the ceiling,) in the enclosed back porch (that's "outside" for our kitties); newer large cat tree (similar to the one you show here), cat gym (modular, currently about 5' 6" tall), and cat scratcher (hugs the ground) in the family room; small cat tree (just reaches the windowsill) and upraised corner of my desk (to window sill) in my workroom; and window perches in a couple of the other rooms. I like your idea of replacing parts of carpet - one kitty likes to sit on the cat gym and use his teeth to rip the carpet out, and another likes to sink his claws into the corner of one particular window perch and shred it!

    • Mary Stephenson profile image

      Mary Stephenson 5 years ago from California

      @BuckHawkcenter: If I had more room they would have a whole bunch of equipment to run and play on. Had to design for the space and they have all loved it.

    • BuckHawkcenter profile image

      BuckHawkcenter 5 years ago

      With multiple cats in my house, cat trees seem to be every room. Great choices here.

    • Mary Stephenson profile image

      Mary Stephenson 5 years ago from California

      @SteveKaye: Ah yes, and they already have all the furniture in the house and yet they still need their own space..!

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 5 years ago

      Some of these cat trees are more elaborate than my house.

    • Mary Stephenson profile image

      Mary Stephenson 5 years ago from California

      @anonymous: They will love it.

    • Mary Stephenson profile image

      Mary Stephenson 5 years ago from California

      @tssfacts: Cats are so much fun. My daughter had a cat name Patches. She used to fall off the bookshelf on to the chair below. She got to the bookshelf via the cat tree. Then we decided to add a L shaped area over the bookshelves with a 4 inch ledge all around the danger area. We carpeted it and the cats all love it. Nice and warm up there, we call it there penthouse! Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment.

    • profile image

      tssfacts 5 years ago

      It's been years since I have had a cat. Patches would love to climb and often thought about getting her a cat tree to play in but never did. If I ever have another cat I would make this one of the "must have" things for play. Cats are fun to watch as they play on, in a cat tree.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hoping to by my kitties a cat tree for Christmas!


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