25 Jul Cat Scratching Tree Furniture (A BUYERS GUIDE)
A Cat Tree, which can also be referred to as ‘cat furniture‘ is essentially an artificial structure in which your feline friend can scratch, play, exercise and relax.
Generally speaking, cats do you prefer cat trees which are tall enough to allow them to scope out their surroundings from a height, as this taps into their natural hunting instincts to ambush their prey as they would in the wild.
Cat furniture is usually constructed of durable wood, which is then covered in a variety of materials. Most commonly, natural ‘sisal’ is used, as this provides a durable texture which is perfect for sharpening your feline friends claws. Alternatively, carpet can be used to give a similar effect.
Despite carpets being a cheaper alternative, many people feel that it is far less robust and as a consequence, needs to be replaced far more regularly as opposed to natural sisal.
Cat scratching trees are often used to discourage cats from digging their claws into household furniture, and as many pet owners will be able to testify, cats can quickly damage property at great expense with only the smallest bit of effort!
A fantastic way of encouraging your pet to play on their new scratching tree, is to spray the base, poles and platforms with cat nip spray. You will be amazed how much your pet well enjoy rubbing themselves against a cat nip covered cat tree. Try it out to yourselves!
Not all of us are lucky enough to have outdoor space for our feline friends to play in their natural environment. Many people live within an urban environment, which is simply too dangerous to allow your feline friend to roam free. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a domestic cat spending their entire lives indoors, providing they have enough physical and mental stimulation to keep them going. Otherwise, an outdoor cat tree will make a fantastic addition to your garden space!
It is for these very reasons why cat furniture is becoming increasingly popular for pet owners up-and-down the country. Some cats will be more than content with nothing but an empty cardboard box, whilst others require full multi-level cat activity trees that caters for all their needs.
To satisfy their natural hunting instincts, dedicated quality play time with your pets is strongly advised. If however, your cats are left at home during the day when you are at work for example, then a cat tree can give you peace of mind, that they have everything they need whilst they are on their own.
How to Select the Right Cat Furniture for Your Cat?
It’s amazing just how varied the modern day cat furniture on the market today really is. No matter how big your budget is or the amount of space you have available — you can be sure there is perfect product out there for you.
It’s important to consider when purchasing a piece of cat furniture for your home, how the product will suit your feline friend. All cats have different personalities, so finding the perfect cat tree to fit in with your homes décor and also cater for your feline friends needs can sometimes cause a bit of a headache!
Other factors that must be considered include the cat age, size and what they like to play with at home already. Only you will know your pet, so it’s important to observe their habits to determine what will be the best product for them.
For example; If your cat is elderly, it would probably be wise not to choose a floor-to-ceiling cat tree. Instead, a shorter model that has spacious areas built within it for them to perch and explore without having to climb too high would be advisable.
Alternatively, if your feline friend is extremely active, then why not consider an activity play centre, tower or exercise gym which will offer them the space they need to climb, jump and scratch! If they get tired of playing, there are plenty of models available that have a hammock included for them to snuggle up and snooze the day away!
What To Look For In Good Cat Furniture?
It’s fair to say that cats are great climbers, so it’s important that furniture is built to withstand all that your feline friend can throw at it. If the cat furniture has a wide, sturdy, strong base. That’s a great place to start, especially if you are considering purchasing a floor-to-ceiling construction which could potentially cause your cat injury should it accidentally be knocked over.
Secondly, it’s a good idea to ensure that all of the components within the cat furniture such as; platforms, perches, ladders and hammocks — are spacious enough to ensure your feline friend does not slip as they navigate their way around it. Also, test these areas out of yourself and make sure that they are strong enough to hold the weight of your cat without any problems…
If you are struggling to decide between a flat or rounded platform, bear in mind that’s some cats prefer a flat surface to dig their claws into. On the other side of the argument, beds or round platforms may provide additional security. It’s important to note that some cats may not be able to relax where they do not feel 100% secure.
If your cat furniture has a tunnel, or a play tube then obviously make sure that they are large enough to accommodate your cats size. The last thing you want is to have to call the Fire Brigade to rescue your feline friend from a sticky situation!
Most cat trees these days come flat packed, so if you’re planning on moving into a new abode try and make sure that the furniture you buy can be easily put together and taken apart.
How To Recognise Quality Cat Furniture?
The general rule when purchasing furniture, is that you generally get what do you pay for. If you are purchasing a budget cat tree, the chances are it is made of cheaper quality materials, and could be prone to suffering from premature wear and tear. More importantly, it may well be unsafe for your feline friend.
With this in mind, here is some useful information to consider before purchasing a piece of cat furniture.
Wood vs Plywood vs Pressed Wood
In my opinion, nothing can really beat good-quality solid wood cat tree, simply due to the fact that it is far more durable than alternative materials on the market. The durability however comes at a cost, and that is because it is a much heavier material and can be prone to small cracks appearing on the surface over time. Some may argue this is not such a big deal, as it will not affect the stability of the product. Solid wood furniture must be kept away from the sun to prolong its life.
Plywood is put together with sheets of thin veneer and since it is made from the entire layers of the tree logs as opposed to small strands, plywood is far more consistent and carries a much smoother appearance than traditional solid wood.
Pressed wood shares many of the similar characteristics of plywood. OSB as it is also known, is made from rectangular wood strands that are arranged in crossed layers. Pressed wood is a fantastic alternative to plywood and is cheaper to purchase. However, pressed wood must avoid contact with liquids at all times.
Carpet vs Faux Fur and Faux Fleece
Believe it or not, your feline friend will be far less concerned as to what your cat furniture is covered in than how many different play areas, rest areas and tunnels etc it has to offer.
It is important though that you understand the differences between these materials when making a decision on behalf of your feline friend as some cats simply refuse to play on cat trees that are covered in carpet for some reason! Watch your kitty in action to determine just what their preferences are!
The most popular material for cat furniture coverings on the market today, is without question faux fur. Despite the material being artificial, faux fur is particularly durable, and can withstand plenty of abuse from your feline friends claws. Amazingly, even though faux fur is traditionally much thinner than carpet, it can still compete in the durability stakes and survive many years of intensive use! On the other hand, faux fur is more expensive then its carpeted rival…
Carpet is usually seen on budget cat furniture as it is much cheaper to produce and comes in a variety of colours. It’s very important that the material is open and not looped, as looped carpet often snags in your cats nails and can sometimes cause injury to your pet. Berber carpet should also be avoided as it can disintegrate very quickly due to the carpet being woven in one continuous thread.
Another disadvantage to carpet cat furniture is that it is much harder to clean than faux fur and it may well send the wrong signals to your feline friend and accidentally encourage them to ruin your own personal home carpets.
If you are looking for the perfect material for your feline friends to sink their claws into, nothing beats natural sisal. Sisal is a natural material which is been cultivated from the Mexican agave and has a rough texture that is used in a variety of products. Cat furniture is one of them!
In my opinion, sisal beats carpeted poles hands down, and most cats would agree! Sisal is 100% natural and is guaranteed to really bring your feline friend to life. If you are looking for a material that will stand the test of time and last for many years, then we highly recommend sisal above the cheaper carpet alternative.
Fully Assembled or Flat Packed?
Depending on how your piece of cat furniture is built, it will either arrive fully assembled or require some DIY. Products which require assembly are generally called ‘modular furniture’ or ‘flat packed furniture’ and are becoming increasingly popular with pet owners and manufacturers across the globe due to the ease of transportation..
It’s important to check the reviews before committing to purchasing a piece of modular cat furniture as many customers have complained of poor instructions turning it into a very stressful experience.
Modular cat furniture does have an unfortunate reputation of being less sturdy then there fully assembled counterpart. Ultimately, the stability of a product boils down to just how well it has been assembled. So make sure you type in all those screws and follow the instructions to the letter!
Fully assembled cat trees tend to be more expensive and have solid wood frames which can make them more durable in the long-term.
How to Introduce the New Cat Tower to Cats
If your cat is anything like mine, they will probably be eagerly and impatiently watching your every move as you open up their new toy from its cardboard box. Other cats maybe a little bit more nervous and require a bit more encouragement to get acquainted with their new present. Important to be patient I’m not force your feline friend on board…
On most occasions, cats will need more than a few hours to get accustomed with their new cat tree. But, if you were to rub or spray some KONG Catnip on the platforms and pillars, you can be sure your feline friend will not hesitate to starts exploring and playing without a moment’s hesitation!!