3 Expert Tips To Choose A Cat Tree And Condo

Cat trees and condos are the perfect gift to treat your feline friends. Whether your indoor cat needs more exercise and stimulus, or you just want to provide your it with a cozy place to hang out, find the ideal cat tree for your home right here.

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How to Choose the Right Type of Cat Tree or Condo?

Cat trees generally fall into three types: freestanding, hanging and wall-mounted. Here's what you need to know.

Freestanding

Your standard cat tree and condo freestanding models generally need to be assembled. They come in a wide range of sizes and often have fairly large footprints, although if you're short on space, you could opt for a tall, narrow one.

Freestanding cat trees offer the widest variety of play options for your cat. Some versions include condos, perches, tunnels, hanging toys, and scratching posts, so there's a lot going on.

Consider your cat's age and temperament. If your cat goes out and is not very playful around the house, a large cat tree may be a little excessive and you could be better off purchasing a compact model with a condo for when they come in to rest.

Alternatively, very playful cats and indoor cats in need of exercise will benefit from a large freestanding model. Climbing, scratching and exploration are all promoted and it will help to keep your cat from climbing up and damaging your furniture.

Light Gray Sisal Wood Freestanding Cat Tree
Black Wood Carpet Freestanding Contemporary Cat Tree
Brown Wood Faux Fur Freestanding Cat Tree
Tan Wood Carpet Freestanding Cat Tree
Brown Wood Carpet Freestanding Cat Condo
Faux Fur Wood Freestanding Multilevel Activity Cat Tree

Hanging

Less common than freestanding versions, hanging cat trees are an ideal choice for small homes or more sedentary cats.

Most models can simply be hung from above a door frame or via a hook screwed into your ceiling. This gives you the possibility to remove your cat tree when necessary or to wash it.

These types are generally open tiers that your cat can sleep, perch and relax on. However, there are also enclosed versions with peepholes that provide an inner maze where your cat can climb up and hide away for hours of fun.

Wall-mounted

If your cat loves climbing and is always getting into trouble leaping from one piece of furniture to another, try out a wall-mounted cat tree.

Perfect for small homes, they take up a minimum of space, yet keep your cats active and give them a high up perch to preen themselves, doze and keep watch over you.

Wall-mounted cat trees generally come with individual obstacles, walkways and perches, so you can place them how you like in a pattern that suits your cat's age and ability.

Fabric hammocks, escape hatches and enclosed sleeping areas are all great options. You can also add extra elements as you get a feel for what your cat likes most.

Gray Wood Sisal Wall Mounted Cat Perch
Large Brown Hanging Cat Condo
Oak Wood Wall Mounted Cat Bed
Mahogany Solid Wood Wall Mounted Cat Perch
Oak Wood Wall Mounted Cat Perch
Gray Mesh Fabric Window Mounted Cat House

How to Choose the Right Size Cat Tree?

When choosing a new cat condo, the main aspects that you need to bear in mind are your available space and your cat's temperament and physical condition.

Number of levels

Most cat trees have at least two levels. However, given most cats' penchant for high places, you should opt for a model with multi-levels that replicates where they like to sleep at home.

  • If your cat loves sleeping on top of your wardrobe or fridge, a cat tree with five or more levels makes a good choice.
  • Older cats with mobility issues are less likely to benefit from cat trees with a large number of levels.
  • Younger kittens will mostly use lower levels, but buying a taller cat tree now will allow them to progress as they get older. However, you may not feel too at ease having them try out higher levels when you're not around to supervise them.

Height

Don't forget to check your ceiling height before ordering your cat tree.

  • You should avoid buying a cat tree that is too high and makes it impossible for you to reach your cat or to help them get down if needs be.
  • If your cat is young or old then a lower model or a modular version that you can build higher later, may be the best choice.
  • Cats in homes with dogs or young children tend to feel safer when they can hide high up.

Width

When choosing the right sized cat tree or condo for you and your cat, width is also important.

  • For lounging and playing, wide cat trees are a good option, although they will take up more of your floor space.
  • Versions with tunnels are popular, too especially for two or more cats. If two of your cats tend to fight for supremacy, you may prefer a lower, wider model, so they will have more space, rather than competing for the higher levels.
Beige Polyester Carpet Double Cat Condo
Small Gray Faux Fur Cat Tree
Black Wood Faux Fur Cat Condo
White Wood Carpet Modern Cat Tree
Large Gray Faux Fur Wood Cat Condo
Green Carpet Wood Cat Tree

Which Material is Best for Your Cat Tree or Cat Condo?

Here are some of the most popular cat tree and condo materials:

Sisal Rope - Extremely hard wearing and durable, sisal rope is the best choice for scratching posts and climbing. Your indoor cats will be able to use it to keep their claws down as well as enjoying climbing up to higher platforms.

Chocolate Brown Sisal Rope Cat Tree
Gray Sisal Rope Plastic Cat Condo
Brown Sisal Rope Adjustable Height Cat Tree
Gray Fir Sisal Rope Cat Tree
Sisal Rope Cat Tree And Condo
Dark Gray Sisal Rope Cat Condo

Carpet

Soft yet claw resistant, carpet is a popular choice for covering cat tree frames. Your cat's claws can sink into it, and they can use it to climb up the different levels. Less durable than sisal, carpet is more comfortable for perches and lounging platforms. Just don't expect it to last forever, though.

Candied Truffle Carpet Cat Condo
Carpet Wood Gray Cat Condo
Brown Carpet Plush Cat Tree
Carpet Climbing Tower Cat Condo
Cream Carpet Wood Cat Tree
Lilac Carpet Castle Cat Condo

Polyester

If you opt for a hanging cat tree, you may want to look for a machine washable polyester version. Simply unhook it and stick it in your machine for hassle-free maintenance.

Polyester hanging cat trees also make comfortable beds for your cats, and it is a highly resistant material that should stand up to their claws. However, you should expect some deterioration in looks with use over time.

Black Polyester Freestanding Cat Condo
Polyester Metal Freestanding Cat Perch
Brown Polyester Wood Cat Condo
White Polyester Freestanding Cat Condo
Brown Polyester Plastic Cat Perch
Gray Sisal Rope Polyester Cat Tree

Wooden frame

A lot of cat trees feature wooden frames. Some are exposed, while others are covered in sisal and carpet. Exposed wooden areas of the  frame can improve the appearance of your cat tree and they are also easy to dust and wipe clean, unlike the carpeted versions that will need to be regularly hoovered.

White Faux Fur Cherry Wood Cat Tree
Mahogany Pine Wood Cat Tree
White Wood Modern Folding Cat Tree
Natural Wood Side Table Cat Tree
Beige Wood Freestanding Cat Tree
Red Solid Wood Cat Tree

Lily is a modern designer with great appreciation for sleek architecture, a love for art in its many forms, and a passion for sharing her experience with people. If you’re looking for advice on how to modernize your old-fashioned place or make your new restaurant a visual blast, she’s definitely the one to ask.