–Guest Blog by Andrea M. Krantz

Picking the right cat tree can be a daunting task. You have to carefully consider what your feline’s needs and preferences are, while also thinking about your own requirements and limitations. If you live in a rented space with low ceilings and not so much room, you will obviously need to look at models that can comfortably fit in corners and are not too tall.

The good news is that cat trees are available in all shapes and sizes. Some kitten scratchers rise a whole 6” off the floor and there are skyscrapers that go up seven or eight feet in height.

The main job for your cat tree is to support your fur family. Their tree is a place to call their own where they can climb, scratch, snooze, and preside over their territory. This is important since cats needs stimulation to stay healthy. For you, the main job of the cat tree is to keep Kitty happy so they will become disinterested in scratching your furniture. Keep in mind that your cat tree is an investment piece that can last the life of your cat. So, before you buy your cat tree, let’s consider the needs of your felines and their lifestyles–as well as your own–before you make the big purchase.

cat chewing on cat tree

1. Size Matters.

Do you have a clowder (that is what you call a group of cats), or just one, size huge, or even two growing kittens? Do you plan on expanding the fur family in the next few years? These matters influence the size of the tree you should buy. Next, take into consideration where you live. Do you have a spacious home with many rooms that can easily accommodate a tree that is both large and wide? If your space is unlimited and you currently have, or are planning to have numerous cats, you can go big. If not, smaller is better.

2. Holding Weight.

This number, found in product descriptions, determines how many cats your tree can accommodate. Multiply the number of cats you have times their weight. Don’t forget, if you have kittens they will soon become cats, so figure 20 lbs. each, which is on the average-to-high side. If your final number is less than the maximum holding weight, you are good to go.

3. Stability.

Once you assemble your cat tree and tighten the screws regularly, your cat tree should be strong enough to allow Kitty to run from across the room and scale the tree from base to tallest perch in seconds flat. This is great for the Zoomies. As long as the total weight of all feline occupants is under the designated holding weight, your tree should have structural integrity if it is from a reputable manufacturer.

4. Materials and Construction.

The best cat trees on the market will have solid wood bases which will contribute to their overall stability. The beauty of the cat trees, however, lies in the variety of coverings which can range from silky faux fur to cozy faux fleece, to luxurious carpeting. Additionally, you find that all-wood models that are built of polished soft wood–which is forgiving enough to allow little claws to safely climb. Pretty trees, like the ones at Armarkat, are a great finish for modern decor. Depending upon Kitty’s preferences and 6 home’s decor, you can choose from colors and textures meant to blend neatly into most environments.

5. Scratching Posts & Cool Features.

A good cat tree will have perches, platforms, and any number of the kitty distractions: hideaway condos, running ramps, hammocks, snoozing baskets, hanging rope toys, and more. When you find scratching posts covered in sisal, buy that tree because it is the best scratching material you will find. It will keep them off the furniture while providing their claws with as much scratching fun as they can handle.

6. You Get What You Pay for.

The best cat trees cost a bit more than the competition because of their premium materials and durable construction. Bargain brands may look similar but cost less because they are not built of wood, which is safer for feline claws that other synthetic materials.


While Andrea is not a certified cat behaviorist, her greatest loves have been the felines with whom she has cohabitated throughout her life. A former magazine writer, editor, and art director from prehistoric times before magazines went the way of the dinosaur, she believes in the power of the written word, with spelling, grammar, and punctuation still intact. In 2015, she joined the pet industry by way of AeroMark International, Inc, whose Armarkat line of cat trees and pet beds have led every “Best of” category since their advent in the early days of e-commerce. Click here to read her weekly blog on feline health, behavior, and nutrition.

Published On: February 18, 2022|Categories: Cat Behavior, Cat Health, Cats|