Cat in tree

Why a Cat Tree Is a Must for Your Cat

Why do I need a cat tree? This is  typical question pet owners have if you’re new to having cats. 

So, why would your feline need a cat tree? Simply because of their lifestyle! Unlike humans, cats lead both a horizontal life and a vertical life.

Cats desire comfort, entertainment, and safety. And nothing does all three as good as a vertical structure.

If you have more than one cat in your home, a vertical structure like a cat tree would significantly boost their chances of living in harmony. This is because, with a cat tree, felines of higher status would naturally claim the most elevated perch, and by doing so, they let the other cats know they’re in charge of the pack. This, in turn, lessens hostilities and standoffs.

Below, you’ll find more reasons why a cat tree is more than a necessity for your felines. 

The Reason Why You Should Buy a Cat Tree

Vertical and Horizontal

As I mentioned above, cats can live both ways – vertically and horizontally, and they rely on these ways for safety, comfort, and fun. This is why providing your cat with a vertical option isn't necessarily a luxury but an essential part of its life. A standing area in a home with several cats can be all the difference between a happy and peaceful household and a feline battleground.

A vertical territory such as the cat tree establishes and maintains a pecking order. This not only prevents conflicts for as long as you have it but is also a great scratching area.

Lastly, while a cat tree will help to discourage fights, the multilevel structure allows them to live in harmony together but not next to each other. 

Cat Trees Can Curb Timidity in Cats

Yes, even among cats, there are timid ones. Timid cats tend to stay away from people, and a cat tree offers the much-desired feeling of safety and security. Plus, the cat has more of an advantage to see his environment better because of the elevated structure. As such, it would be quickly alerted of any opponent or danger, thus making it better prepared for any attack.

If you have a nervous cat that often runs to hide at the slightest sign of danger, having a cat tree in the room with an A-frame bed in it is a good way to curb your cat’s timidity. The setting provides elevation and a sense of security, and in times of danger, instead of running for cover under the bed, it is enough to make him stay in the same room with the family.


Before You Buy That Cat Tree

Cat trees are helpful for breeding healthy and happy cats, but before you go shopping for one, there are some things you should consider.

Size and personality

One of the things you should look out for before you make a purchase is the personality and size of your feline. You don’t want to buy a small tree for a big cat, you want a large one . It defeats the purpose if your cat ends up having a leg hanging out of the tree. If it’s going to be a fortress for your cat, it should be comfortable enough to serve the purpose.


Check out the shape of the cat tree before you buy it. Is it as vertical as it should be?


The location of the tree is one factor you definitely should put into consideration before you pay for a cat tree. A good position to place one would be near a window so your feline gets a better view of the outside world. If you can’t find or make space near the window, you can make do with an area your cat enjoys spending most of his time.

Scratching Surfaces 

With felines, scratching preferences differ. Carpeted posts are a favorite for some while, for others, a wooden surface does it. So, before you go shopping for a cat tree or constructing one yourself, you have to put your cat's favorite scratching surface into consideration. If you're unsure which your cat prefers, pick a design offering various options. 


Now, you want a cat tree that is sturdy enough to hold your cat. You also want one that doesn’t tip over when your feline either leaps or climbs to and from it. With so many lovely designs to choose from, you could easily be persuaded to pick one because of its look. This is why you have to ensure whichever you pick should be for its sturdiness and not just how it appears. That said, a good cat tree should be able to provide both visual appeals and remain strong.

Other Things to Consider 

Along with the tree, the platform, perches, and ladders should equally be tough and the holes of tunnels large enough for your cat to fit through. Some even come with other extras so, for example, if your cat likes playing with string, you may want to opt for one that has this feature. 

Also, if you intend to go DIY, note that a solid oak will be more robust and more attractive than particle board, while carpeting may last longer than a faux fur when used on the cat tree.

Lastly, whether you’re buying or doing it yourself, you should note that screws are a lot more secure than nails and can easily be tightened or loosened when and if the need arises. You also eliminate the possibility of the cat catching itself on any nails that come loose.

Other Cat Tree Types

With cat trees, there are a lot of options available. One example is the stackable cat tree. With this type, you can start the tree with one or two sections and add more sections later for a taller or broader tree if you so wish.

This tree type offers you many advantages. One of them is how easy it is to move around and the wide range of design options it offers. Whichever style you choose for your feline, you can be certain it will enjoy the long hours of play, napping, and fun only a good cat tree can offer.

About the Author

Kirsten Heggarty
Website | + posts

Kirsten created The Pet Handbook with the aim of sharing her knowledge about pets, pet food, healthy habits, and more. All of her advice is based on years of her own experience with her pets, and feedback that she has received from grateful readers about her tips. If you want to know more please read the About Me page.