Is a cat tree really useful?

In this article, we will explain why it is often recommended to buy a cat tree when adopting a cat. This is a question all cat owners will ask at least once in their life “is a cat tree really useful?! “. Generally, fear reigns under this question… “Do I have to hit the big thing in a blue towel??! (#help me). So today we are telling you everything about the cat scratcher house.

What is a cat tree for?

The cat bed end table combines several things that are necessary for the cat: what to climb, height, and what to scratch. For those who want to know more about this subject, I made an article that explains why the cat scratches its claws. In this sense, it is super useful! BUT !! (and that’s where you’re going to love me) it doesn’t have to be!

The importance of climbing for a cat

Climbing is an instinctive need for cats. Some cats are fewer climbers than others because it’s all about character. The fact remains that it is anchored in them. They must climb. And besides, I would even say that they have to climb! Especially for indoor cats, it is a fabulous way to allow them to flourish and exert themselves (therefore also by extension, to maintain a good weight).

But to climb, it is not necessary to buy special “furniture” such as the cat tree. Already, if you allow him to climb on all the furniture in the house then you have almost won the game! If he can climb on the table, on the kitchen counter, on the shelves, the washing machine, the cupboard, etc. it’s great for him! In this, the cat tree is not necessarily useful.

The importance of height for a cat

When the cat is high up, he feels more secure because he can control his environment, and apprehend his little world seen from above, inaccessible. The fact of being able to stand up high will allow him to be much more relaxed. And it is essential to living with a Zen cat, especially if it is fearful in nature!

Cats need to be high up to control their environment

The cat tree allows this height, therefore this security. However, the wood cat tree must be large and stable enough. On this subject. The so-called miniature models for kittens, in my humble opinion, are only used to be under a window so that the cat can see outside (but a chair also fulfills this mission, especially if, as we will see later, your cat does not scratch, or at least not vertically! This brings us to the last point!

The importance of scratching a cat

Scratching for a cat is marking behavior. This is an instinctive behavior that we can never prevent him from having. I will explain to you further what it is and what it implies in my dedicated article What is marking in cats? It is, therefore, necessary for your cat to have scratching posts. Especially to prevent your furniture or tapestries from taking a big hit!

Scratching is a mode of marking the cat

As I explain to you in my article dedicated to marking, not all cats use scratching with the same intensity. Moreover, not everyone scratches the same way: they have their own preferences. Some cats will always prefer to scratch on a vertical surface, while others will only scratch horizontally.

So: if your cat never scratches vertically, a cat tree will not be useful for this scratching function.

Alternatives to the cat tree

First of all, you should know that today there are plenty of truly original cat tree models. You don’t have to go through the toupee (although these classic models work very well!). I had made an article in particular to present you with various models: Cat trees like no other.

If your cat never scratches vertically and has plenty of other spots to climb and be high up (if possible near windows to look outside), you don’t need a cat tree. In the same way, your cat may like to scratch the vertical supports, in sisal in addition. But you can absolutely decide to install vertical scratching posts elsewhere in the house. I made two articles to give you inspiration: How to choose a good scratching post and scratching posts that feel good.

Shelves to replace a cat tree

Cube-type shelves are very practical and I often recommend them. Not to mention that we can find plenty of inspiration today. Whether with cubic or rectangular storage, in different sizes and colors.

Cat window hammocks

To bring high points near windows, without it being imposing, I recommend window hammocks. For me, it’s a must! I’ve had it for 4 years now. He even had a move, and he never gave in even once.

the window hammock is a good alternative to the cat tree

The model in the photo above no longer exists (to my great despair because it was just brilliant (If the designer decides to resume service, I will inform you!) but the model below is acclaimed by my collaborator and my friend Sara, who works alongside me, and many other clients and their love cats that we have met in consultation. This is the model karlie:

a hammock as a cat tree

Make sure the cat can climb onto the hammock through a nearby piece of furniture. For example, he will first climb on the sofa, then on a small piece of furniture, a desk and hop to the hammock (this is the configuration I have at home!). Consider a high point near the window. What to observe the living room, the birds outside, having the possibility of taking a nap during the show!


And There you go! The choice is yours! You don’t have to invest in a cat tree.

Sometimes choosing the equipment for your cat is a hassle… what to choose?

What really matches his feline instincts and needs? What is good quality?

After the above information, if you still have doubts about cat trees, let’s take a closer look at what can be done to prevent cats from getting bored in apartment life.

A happy cat in an apartment Behavior & Tips

Many cats are very happy in small spaces. The key is that this space is well organized to meet all the needs of the cat!

How to live with a happy cat in an apartment

Just like humans, cats have their characters and their “aspirations”. A kitten raised in the countryside until its 6 or 10 months may not be the happiest in a studio. He will have taken a liking to the outdoors… But if you adopt a 3-month-old kitten, who has lived in a house until then, he could very well be the king of the world (the king of his world). Yes, all that matters to have a happy cat in an apartment is all our love, stimulation, and above all respect for a well-organized environment!