Cat trees play an important role in your cat's world. They provide an elevated space for retreat and safety, along with a 360 view for them to monitor the movements within their surroundings.
Your cat's cat tree becomes a place of sanctuary, safety and contentment. Often, a place they will trust going to and one they become to love for many years. Many cat's view their cat tree as their "castle", a place where they can rest peacefully, knowing they are safe and sound. They find a deep pleasure sinking their paws into the sisal columns, making note to others that this is their "home". But with so many cat trees available today, how is an owner to know what their cat wants?
Well, first lets start with placement and location as you will want to consider this BEFORE you purchase a cat tree. When placing your cat tree, your cat would prefer it be in a socially relevant area of your home - so not the basement, a closet or the mudroom. If your cat seems to love the window view in your office or the sun in the sliding glass doors of your family room this might help you to know where your cat would use this tree the most. Once you've located your cat's "go to" rooms, consider what size space you are working with. Cat trees are great in the fact that they take more vertical space than horizontal, but if you are working with very little floor space you want to make sure your cat tree will work for that location. If you are not sure, you can map out the base on your floor using masking tape to see if that will work for you before purchasing. Next, you will want to consider your cat's preferences in their daily habits. Is your cat a climber who likes to be up high above everything and everyone? If so, you're best fit may be a cat tree with significant height and multiple levels. If your cat prefers all four on the floor, with the occasional jump on the couch - they might prefer a shorter cat tree with condos or hammocks. There are certainly cat trees of all shapes, sizes, materials and designs to fit the avid climber, the couch cuddler - and everything in between. As your cat grows it is very important to know they may need a new tree to adjust with their size and or abilities. If you notice your cat using their cat tree less consider if their growth, health or age is playing a factor.
We're sure you're wondering, "what if I have multiple cats?" Some cats will happily share a cat tree, however if given the choice they would likely prefer to have their own. When it comes to resources, multiple vertical spaces (window perches, cat shelves, cat trees or even a book shelf) helps tremendously when it comes to avoiding and reducing tensions in a multi-cat home. So, if you can get multiple cat trees - great! If not, ensure your cat tree is suitable for multiple cats by hosting multiple perches and condos so everyone has their own space to go.
Next, when you find a few cat trees you are considering make sure to check the that the size of the perches. ledges, hammocks or cat condos will fit your cat. It is best to look at measurements VS photos as only measurements will allow you to see the true size compared to your cat. Although cats often find themselves squeezing into small spaces - many cats will avoid using perches on cat trees if too small for them. In addition if condo entry ways are too small your cat may never want to step foot inside. Sadly lack of planning, can make this expensive cat tree a piece of decor and nothing more. Avoid the disappointment and do your research.
Last but not least - make sure the cat tree is a SAFE option. Read reviews and do your research across different websites to see what consumers are saying. For example, some cat trees are known to be wobbly when a rambunctious kitten gets the zoomies - others have been found to have small parts that fall off or come loose. Once you have found a safe, quality cat tree that your cat will love - it's time to get it home!
Once your cat tree is home and all put together, it's important to let your cat be the first to make the decision to come check it out. Do not put them on it or near it as your "strange" behaviors to make them explore this may actually make them run from it. Cats are explorers and they will most certainly find it when given space and time. If your cat is still not interested, you can use a little enticement of food, treats, or catnip to make it an exciting new endeavor to explore.