For anyone who has ever owned a pet, of any kind, there is a special bond that exists between human and their animal companions. While there is no agreement as to which pet is the “best”, there is a general agreement that owners want to take care of and provide for their furry, scaly, or feathered wards. For many, pet are like members of the family. To that end, there is often a question of what furniture will help meet their needs, and at the same time help keep the human furnishings in better shape as well. For cats, the most popular pieces of furniture are the cat tree, cat beds, and scratching posts.
What Is A Cat Tree
While the phrase may conjure up the image of a tall tree filled with cats for some, a cat tree is basically a tall structure with areas for cats to climb to and rest on. Most cat furniture that falls under the category of a cat tree is typically made from something such as compressed wood that is covered in carpeting or comparable materials. The premise behind a cat tree, and why many feline owners invest in them, is that is helps provide a high up place for cats to explore and lounge. There is a common theory that cats can generally be divided between two groups, “tree cats” and “bush cats”. This means that cats tend to either prefer being up high where they can see their surroundings, or down low and hiding. Just about all complex cat trees will have features to accommodate both preferences.
What To Look For
When it comes to picking out a cat tree there are a few important aspects to look for. It should be made from quality materials and be able to support the weight of your cat or cats. It is also important to consider how much space you have, or want, to dedicate to it. Cat trees can range in size of the average side table, to upwards of six or more feet in height and take up a fair bit of space. The more luxurious models of cat trees tend to also be called “cat condos”, due to the bells and whistles, such as multiple “houses”.
When doing some comparison shopping, expect any tree over a couple of feet to be anywhere from $70 to $150 or more. The “Go Pet Club” retails their line of cat trees through amazon and one of the most popular models is their cat tree that measures 50” wide x 26” long x 72” high. It sells for a little over $100, with free shipping. While some of the reviews can paint a rather mixed picture on its quality, it is still fairly well rated and loved by kitties that were given it. This particular example is one of the larger ones, though some are even taller for a little bit more. Conversely, there are also models such as the “Best Choice” company’s mini playhouse. It is a small 14” wide x 14” long x 19” high. It has a scratching post, a raise bed area and a play tunnel for $30 with free shipping. While the former has areas that are suited to both cats that like to be up high or hunker down low, the latter is more ideal for the “bush cats” and kittens. It is also a fairly decent starter cat tree that can help determine how likely the cat or cats are to take to using it.
As mentioned previously, sometimes cat trees come in rather complicated designed, aside from the basic raised platform. The addition of house and towers are often the features that get added to cat trees. Although, for cat houses, there are a lot of options outside of a solid construction. Cat houses can be similar to small pop-up tents, or even be concealed inside what appears to be other furniture. Some kitties will even make a home out of cardboard boxes. Each cat has a different preference, for example, some may snub their nose at a $50 cat house and yet love an old drink box. Pricewise, cat houses can range anywhere from $5 to $200, depending on how complex they are. The higher end pieces are those that can be used as other furniture as well, such as a side table. The lower end priced cat houses are made from cardboard or other cost effective materials. The brand “Best Friends” retails a line of pet houses that can be used for small dogs and cats, their igloo and sherpa models range between $17 to $24 and are fairly popular in both pricing and style among reviewers.
Cat towers, when purchased alone, tend to take many different shapes. Some companies interchange the terms between cat towers and cat trees due to the similar design concepts. A cat tower is either a tall post with a bed at top, a series of interconnected shelves, or a stack of bed/house cylinders/boxes. The basic idea is to usually not take up as much space as the complex cat trees or “cat condos”, but rather to provide a high up area for cats to perch/play/rest on. It also not uncommon to see cat towers include a scratching post area of some kind as well. Pricing in general depends on the style, material, and size. With this particular branch of cat furniture, the lower end can be anywhere from $30 for short single tier models to over $400 for large models made from solid wood and fine materials.
Cat Beds and Cat Scratching Posts
Beds and scratching posts are two of the most frequently added-on items to other types of cat furniture. They are also two of the most common items that people buy for their felines. Scratching posts are easily considered necessary for kitties, as scratching is part of their natural grooming habits. They can be as simple as cheap as the $3 cardboard disposable models available at many pet retailers, or they can be as solid and large as the $40 “Classic Kitty” scratching posts that stand a couple feet high and are covered with special carpeting. As for beds, like their houses, cats can and do make the oddest items into beds. Anything from baby blankets, old sweaters, and even packing paper can seem like your cat’s favorite bedding. Most formal cat beds start around $10 and are not much different then the same sold for small dogs. The premise is to give them something soft, fluffy, and warm to bed down on. It is not uncommon for cat trees and towers to include cat beds on their ledges, since many kitties don’t need a lot of extra padding to be happy.
It doesn’t usually take a lot to have a happy kitty, and there are many solutions to creating cat friendly resting and play areas without getting extra furniture. If there is a desire to get a cat tree or full out “cat condo” then it important to consider how much space you have, how much money you plan to spend and how well made the item is. The most joy among cat owners is purchasing a cat tree and finding their cats love it.