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Do Cats Like Cat Trees? (Benefits/Features/Reasons)

If you are contemplating picking up a cat tree (Click here for the reasons why I think these are the best cat trees), you are probably wondering if they are really worth it, this is normal.

Do cats like cat trees? Yes, cats like cat trees. Especially if they are indoor cats. They enjoy their own area where they can climb, scratch their claws and hide. The best cat trees typically have a cat condo, scratching post and high heights, which ticks these boxes.

Now that you know that your kitty will love these cat trees. I will now go on to explain what are the best features you should look out for before you buy, the benefits, how to get your cat to use it and much more, keep reading…

What exactly is a cat tree?

what is a cat tree

what is a cat tree

You may be wondering if you’ve never heard of it before, exactly what a cat tree is, right? A cat tree is an artificial man-made structure for cats that allows them to climb, hide and scratch their claws against.

You may have heard it called a number of different names before, such as:

  • Cat condo
  • Cat stand
  • Cat post
  • Kitty condo
  • etc.

What all good cat trees should have…

If you are considering getting a cat tree you may be wondering what exactly you should be looking for, right? You know, what are the best features that will make sure that you make a good purchase, are you with me?


If you are looking for a cat tree. It’s important that you get one that is very strong. Especially if you have a big cat. You need to feel confident that if they are climbing the tree will not fall over.


The best cat trees offer a cat condo. This is a hiding spot for your cat. But, the key thing is making sure that it is the right size. especially if you have a particularly large cat.

The Perches

The perches on a cat tree are levels that hold and support your cat’s weight. Therefore, it is important when you are looking for one that you get one that has good perches. They need to support your cat well. You may have heard of perches in other contexts, such as window cat perches (Click here to see why I feel this is the best one), you may have heard of some of them that have foam bases (Click here to see the best foam window perch), essentially the same thing, a raised level item.

The height of the cat tree

Believe it or not, the height of your cat tree is one of the most important features for many cat owners. Cats like to climb as high as possible, obviously within the constraints of a normal domestic home.

Also, bear in mind that if you have a particularly small cat. They may be a bit timid. Meaning, they may not want to go as high as a bigger cat would. So, you may need to take that into consideration before making your purchase.

The scratching post.

Cats absolutely love the scratching post that typically comes with most good cat trees. The better ones have sisal covering on it, which is ideal for scratching.

If you have a particularly large cat, make sure that you look at the cat tree closely to see thick if can support some aggressive scratching from large cats.

What are the benefits of having a cat tree?

Early we talked about some of the things to look out for, to make sure that you get the best cat tree. Also, what a cat tree really is. But, in addition to this, there is another benefit that is often not talked about.

Dominance by height (Avoiding Fighting)

In the cat world territory is everything. This is why you will find that most cats will typically mark their territory even in a domestic home.

Another behavior for marking territory is establishing dominance. This is typically awarded to the one who wins the fight.

The benefit of using a cat tree in this instance is that a cat can establish their dominance by climbing to a higher height in their minions. Therefore this cat tree may be able to avoid unnecessary fights that are typically used to establish dominance.

How can I get my cat to use the cat tree?

If you are in the owner of a cat, you may be pulling your hair out wondering why your cat is not using it.

The good thing is I’m going to share with you some simple things that you can do that hopefully will help and work right away.

Sprinkling catnip

If you’ve not heard of it before, catnip (click here to see the crazy effects catnip has on cats) is a very interesting thing that is used by a lot of cat owners to create weird behaviors in their cat.

You can use catnip to your benefit by sprinkling catnip around your cat tree to entice them to use it more.

Using their toys.

Another cheeky trick that you can use is putting their favorite toys at different levels on the cat tree to entice them to climb it.

This is a good way to get them to use it. After a while, they may start using it without you having to put their cat toys all over it.

Finally, make sure that you praise them (positive reinforcement)

In my opinion, the best way to motivate someone to do something is by giving them positive reinforcement.

What do I mean by this? Well, it’s simple. If you want your cat to continue using the cat tree, the best way to do this is to give them positive praise on the rare occasions when they do what you want them to do, are you with me?

So, if she uses her tree, simply praise her for doing so. This will motivate her to return to her cat tree because she will now know it pleases you.

Do cats like second-hand (used) cat trees?

Yes, they can use second-hand cat trees. However, only if you clean it thoroughly. And, I mean really well. In general, cats do not like using any second-hand equipment, including cat carriers, toys, etc. Unless it’s not tangible like the laser on a cat toy (Click here to see why I rate this one).


Simple, they easily pick up the scent of another cat and this turns them off using it. In extreme situations, it can cause anxiety and behavioral issues in your cat.

So, in all honesty, if you can avoid using second-hand cat trees then please do. However, if you’re on a tight budget and this is the only option available to you then, by all means, give it a shot. But, make sure you clean it properly.

In one of the following sections, I will explain some tips about how you can clean up a cat tree, to help reduce the chances of your cat rejecting this second-hand (used) item.

Where is the best place to put a cat tree?

If you have a new cat tree and you’re wondering where you can place it. I have some good advice for you.

Cats are natural people watchers. What do I mean by this? Well, they appreciate watching people passing by, birds flying, etc.

Therefore, it is advisable to put your cat tree in a position where they can see outside. For example, near a window is ideal. Obviously, this depends on its size (Click here for my best large cat trees for ragdolls).

It is also advantageous to put it in a spacious room. This way they can see other areas of the room. This makes them feel that they are in control of their territory. This will allow them to observe things easily.

How do you clean your cat tower?

Early I talked about the importance of cleaning a cat tree, especially if you get it second-hand. In this section, I’m going to give you some handy tips about how you can go about cleaning one of these.

This advice is handy if you own a cat tree and just want to take good care and want to maintain it.

First step – The initial clean

First thing,  you need to get hold some nice soapy water. Make sure that it is really soapy. If you have an upholstery cleaner you can also consider using this instead of soap (more on this later).

Use a cloth, sponge or something you can scrub with. This is to get rid of the obvious dirt stains and messy looking areas that you want to get rid of.

Wipe it on to these areas until the soap starts to create suds and leave it to soak for a while.

Second Step – Drying it out.

The next step is to draw any moisture out of the cat tree that you got wet in the first step. This is done by using a dry cloth. Once you have completed this it is advisable to leave it for 24-hours to completely dry up before allowing your cat to use it.

It’s important to leave it for that long. Why? It also eliminates the chances of your cat bringing more dirt back onto the tree by mixing up with a wet cat tree.

Other tips for cleaning

If you are using an upholstery cleaner, that I mentioned in the previous section, it is important to use a non-toxic one. Because this avoids causing issues with your cat.

If it smells really strong to you, your cat definitely would not like it. But, that’s not the only indicator you need to look out for. Nothing toxic is acceptable.

It is a good idea to remove any odors around the cat tree (Click here to see my best one) on an ad-hoc basis.  In addition to this cleaning procedure. You need to do a deep clean at least a couple of times a year.

This deep clean is essentially breaking down the cat tree and cleaning out all the little hidden crevices that may go unseen and then allowing it to be completely cleaned up.

Lindsey Browlingdon

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