I like the idea of cats. I like watching them engage in their zany hijinks. The fact that they are naturally introverts appeals to me. We have two cats: Sonar and Judar. And, they are great, except for when they decide to be social and use my leg as a scratching post. I’m sure this is their way of telling me something. Maybe they want me to do something about the political climate? Maybe they can sense an earthquake coming? I don’t know. All I get from them is pain and blood running down my leg.
Anyway, if you have annoyingly affectionate cats, you may get them to leave you alone with a cat activity tree or cat tower.
What Are Cat Activity Trees?
Essentially, a cat activity trees is a piece of equipment that your meow-meow can climb and perch on. At its most basic, a cat tower consists of a post with a platform on top. On the other hand, if you love your feline friend, you can get trees with cat toys, gangways, scratching posts, ramps, hiding holes, dog torture chambers, hammocks, ladders, platforms, and perches. It’s a place where your cat can go to unwind after a day of napping in the sun.
Are Cat Towers Made out of Dead Mice?
I like where your head is, but that is a really stupid question. Cat trees are generally made out of the following materials:
- Wood – Many of the more expensive, modern cat towers are made out of durable wood. And, they often blend well with your interior décor so you can be a classy cat person. The problem is wood tends to show scratches more clearly than other materials.
- Corrugated Cardboard – If you’re crafty, you can use Amazon boxes to make a DIY cat tower. Or, you can buy a heavier duty corrugated cardboard unit. This is one of the least sturdy options and is prone to tearing.
- Carpet – Carpet offers a soft, comfortable spot for cats to take a load off after an exhausting day. This material is commonly found on non-scratching post poles and flat surfaces.
- Sisal – Sisal is often utilized on cat tower scratching posts because it is a coarse and durable natural fiber.
Which Designs Are Best for Your Kitty Cat?
Most cats like being up high. In (made-up) fact, the Brains Report’s Department of Nonsense Statistics found that 78% of the work performed by firefighters is coaxing cats out of trees. Being up high gives these vulnerable creatures the sense of security that humans get from guns and kung fu. Unfortunately, our bigoted Founding Fathers didn’t think the Second Amendment should apply to cats. Regardless, here are some design considerations you need to pay attention to:
- Height – I just got done talking about this. If you invent a device that allows you to communicate with cats, they will tell you they want higher towers. On the other hand, cats like looking out the window and judging people and other animals that walk by. So, you might be able to get away with a window-height activity tree.
- Size – Cats do not get claustrophobia (CLAWStrophobia? LOL). They love small confined spaces because this keeps them safe from sneaky cucumbers. So, confined spaces are fun for your cat activity tree. Also, don’t be afraid to go big if you just have a kitten because, you know, they’re going to get bigger.
- Stability – Most cat tower manufacturers don’t want to kill Mr. Fluffkins. Despite their tall, narrow design, cat trees are relatively stable. The ones on our list have not had any issues with toppling.
- Aesthetics – Keep in mind that this product will be hanging around your house/apartment for the next decade or so. You should probably pick out something that doesn’t make you want to gouge your eyes out every time you look at it.
How Much Is the Cold, Cold Love of Your Meow-Meow Worth to You?
I’m forbidden by contracts backed by expensive lawyers from disclosing the precise prices for the cat trees I am about to talk about, but I can use a general pricing guide to give you an idea of their costs:
- $ = about $35 to $49.99
- $$ = about $50 to $69.99
- $$$ = about $70 to $110
If you want to know the current market rate for the following models, you’ll just have to click away.
Now that you know everything, here are our picks for the top 10 best cat activity trees:
- Comes in six different styles
- Faux fleece covering material with pressed wood boards
- Holds 80 pounds of cat mass
This Armarkat Cat tree Furniture Condo is manufactured by AeroMark, which is either an aerospace company, rubber stamp maker, or British software developer. They offer a six-month warranty with any of their cat trees or pet beds. The entire unit weighs around 50 pounds and has a base of about 27” by 24” so it is stable. Users report that it takes about half an hour to assemble, though you may need to call up a professional basketball player to help you if you are too short to reach the top. This model will fit the needs of just about any cat or opossum owner.
2. Armarkat Cat Tree Model – $$$
- Four different sizes and five colors, including alabaster and goldenrod
- Made of pressed wood board material and faux fleece covering
- Holds 70 pounds of cat/toddler
Four of the top five cat activity trees we recommend are made by Armarkat. This is because they have the cat tower game on lock. Their structures are highly rated for ease of assembly, stability, versatility, quality materials, and aesthetic wondery. This Armarkat Cat Tree Model is about 78” tall and weighs 55 pounds. It is the most expensive unit on our list, but verified purchasers are nuts about it. They say it takes about an hour to assemble and can support fat cats with only a little bit of wobbling. No matter what model you have, it’s a good idea to tighten the screws on your cat tree occasionally.
3. Go Pet Club Cat Tree – 72 in. – $$$
- Comes in beige and blue
- Wide, stable base (50” by 26”) and weighs 66 pounds
- Has two condos so you can sublease one
Go Pet Club claims their 72” Cat Tree can keep your cats off your furniture, yet they do not provide any evidence for this. Sure, the tower will keep them occupied a bit, but there’s nothing stopping kitties from going wherever the heck they want. They are the gods of their domain. Anyway, this will keep your cat busy: two condos, three high-up perches, and ten posts covered in sisal rope. The boards are made of compressed wood and faux fur covers much of this model. This is a great option if you have a lot of space in your home.
- Pressed wood/faux fleece
- Shortest and most affordable Armarkat that we recommend
- Six-month warranty (doesn’t cover pet toys)
As a writer, I do not play fast-and-loose with the English language. If something is a “condo,” then it belongs to one person and the surrounding area is jointly owned. However, cats rule everything around me (C.R.E.A.M.) So, it follows that this Armarkat Cat tree Furniture Condo isn’t so much a “condo” as it is just another thing that your cat owns (including the rest of your home.) Users report that it takes 20 minutes or less to assemble. This is your best alternative if you live in a small apartment.
- Comes in ten different styles
- Faux fur/pressed wood
- Holds 50 pounds and has 30” by 28” base
How awesome would it be to have the job of taking pictures and videos of cute kitties playing with cat towers for marketing materials? I guess you’d get sick of it like every other job: “Ugh, I hate Mondays. Time to go take stupid pictures of adorable kitties. No one respects my art.” Well, this Armarkat Cat tree Furniture Condo is pretty similar to the options above only the styles range from 60” to 70” in height. Everything you need to assemble this is included, and one buyer reported it supported their 50-pound dog who thought he was a cat.
- Soft plush covering and natural sisal scratching posts
- Features rustling tunnel and hammock
- Only 27” tall
The TRIXIE Pet Product Baza Cat Trees come in four different sizes and seven different styles. The medium, which we are going to cover here, is the most affordable option on our list. It essentially consists of two level: the base, where the tunnel is located, and the top, which features the hammock. Users report that it takes less than ten minutes to assemble and kitty meow-meows really take to them. This is a solid alternative for companions who don’t want to shell out too much skrilla.
7. Go Pet Club Cat Tree, Brown, F49 – $$
- 32” wide by 25” long by 47.5” tall
- Each post is covered with natural sisal rope
- The rest is pressed wood board and faux fur covering
We included two Go Pet Club models on this list and easily could have added more, but we wanted to have more variety. The Brown, F49 cat tree has a vaguely triangular base which makes it ideal for corners. Buyers report that it can support several cats at once, and that feline animals enjoy interacting socially, recreationally, and formally with the hanging mouse toy.
- Comes in sixteen different styles ranging from 45” to Christina Ricci height
- Private bungalow doubles as a cave
- Springy ball wand that your cat will try to ruin
Furhaven Pet makes the Tiger Tough Cat Tree House Furniture. Everything is covered with a soft plush material, except for the posts that are covered with sisal rope. And, the cozy cat perch gives your mouser a spot to look down upon you with contempt the way she likes. The main complaints from users are that the platforms are fairly small, and the unit does not fit into corners easily.
- A little scary since it is as tall as Denzel Washington but has a 16” by 16” base
- Two “condos,” three top-floor perches, and two ladders
- Faux fur surface material
With a name like “BestPet,” I can’t help but think of North Korea. And, the CT-9073 is kind of the North Korea of cat trees: outlandishly big, not too expensive, and not the most stable. Despite the relatively narrow base, I did not find any reports of this unit tipping over. However, I would recommend putting it up against a wall for added stability.
10. SmartCat Cat Climber – $
- Attaches to doors that are 79” to 82” high
- Features spring-loaded bracket system to move it easily from door to door as you visit friends’ houses
- Made of durable wood and features natural sisal post
The SmartCat Cat Climber is the only model on our list that isn’t standalone. You have to have a door to put it on. It has four carpeted platforms and not much else. Verified purchasers note that it’s incredibly sturdy as long as you install it correctly.
Well, that just about sums up everything you need to know about cat activity trees, and I wrote the whole thing without saying “pussy” once! Please share this with your favorite cat lovers.