Feeling frustrated because your cat ignores their cat tree after you spent so much money on it?
Cats are such fickle creatures, but there’s usually a very good reason behind their actions.
This article will outline a few possible reasons for their fickleness in regard to their new tree and offer some solutions.
Let’s get started, shall we?
Why Won’t My Cat Use the Cat Tree?
Before we can figure out what to do when your cat ignores their cat tree, we have to look at some of the possible reasons behind their fickleness.
1. Fear & Anxiety
While most cats are curious creatures, some tend to be a little shyer than the others and can be timid around new things, such as cat trees.
Your cat could be petrified of this hulking new structure, or he could even just be afraid of something hanging near it.
Take a look at the surroundings.
Do you have a plant dangling from the ceiling right above the top perch? A scent diffuser sitting on a shelf near it?
Really try to think like your cat, then remove any offending objects.
Once kitty gets comfortable, you can consider moving these things back to their original location.
It’s all about ensuring your cat feels safe and relaxed when using their new furniture.
If your cat has stopped using their cat tree even though they loved it when you first got it, boredom is the most likely culprit.
Cats are prone to get sick of items that stay in one place for way too long.
That’s one of the reasons I love modular cat trees so much. When kitty gets tired of it, just switch things around!
Voila, new tree!
3. Comfort and Stability
The tree’s ability to offer comfort plays a huge role in whether your cat will use it.
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If it’s too small, scratchy, or hard, there’s a high probability that they won’t use it.
Think about it, would you want to perch atop something that makes you itchy, or that’s way too small to get comfortable?
Cats also aren’t too fond of areas that feel unstable.
If your cat tree’s wobbly, they aren’t going to trust/use it.
It’s not hard to understand, considering humans don’t like sitting in unstable places, either.
4. Underlying Health Issues
Specific health issues could make your cat unable to use and enjoy their cat tree.
For instance, joint and mobility conditions would significantly impact their ability to climb onto it.
Adding step-in stairs between the floor and the tree’s lowest perch could help.
This addition would allow them to walk through it without putting extra pressure on their joints.
You could also consider grabbing them a cat tree made for senior cats.
Owners often undervalue how vital the tree’s location is for their kitty.
In fact, it’ll be a massive factor that affects whether or not your cat ignores their cat tree.
For instance, you must realize that cats use this furniture for three purposes: playing, napping and being your home’s sheriff.
Cats love watching everything that’s happening inside their forever homes from high perches.
It would be best to place their tree in an area where you spend a lot of time.
Some examples would be your hallway, kitchen, bedroom, or living room. But make sure there’s plenty of space wherever you install it.
6. Territorial Issues
Multiple cat owners might very well be dealing with territorial issues here.
In other words, another one of your cats could be bullying them to not using it.
You’ll want to address these territorial problems immediately to promote a happy multi-cat household.
I recommend checking out this article on PetMD for tips on how to do that.
How Do I Get My Cat to Use the Cat Tree?
You now have an idea about what could be the underlying reason behind your cat ignoring its cat tree.
The next step is figuring out how to solve it. Here are a few tips to get the job done.
1. Choose Your Tree’s New Location Carefully
If you suspect a location is the main issue, move the tree into a place where your cat likes to spend their time.
It should be a place where they feel comfortable and away from other cats that might be bullying them.
Multiple cat owners might need to buy separate cat trees for each of their felines.
In this situation, placing them in different areas throughout the house could ensure each cat gets equal access. It would result in a lot fewer fights.
If you don’t have a ton of space to install multiple ginormous trees, consider these space-saving options.
2. Use Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement can go a long way in ensuring your cat has a good experience with their new tree.
Spend some time playing with your cat near the tree! Don’t force him onto it, just make the surrounding area more pleasant for him.
Some excellent toys to use would be ropes, feather toys, or even shoe strings.
Anything capable of getting your cat’s paws moving around or on the structure should help them get comfier.
It’s a simple way to use your cat’s trust to encourage their acceptance of this newly purchased cat tree.
You could even place some of their favorite toys on the structure itself.
3. Gain Your Cat’s Interest
Using catnip, treats, or food is another way to make your cat more interested in the cat tree.
For instance, laying out a line of treats on the climbing area could encourage them to climb up the entire structure.
You can also feed them special rewards on the structure’s lowest level, such as these homemade salmon treats.
It would make them spend more time on it and gain a little familiarity with it.
4. Make it More Comfortable
It would be best if you made the cat tree move inviting for your cat, as well.
Placing soft, comfortable bedding onto it could be the very thing capable of making them use it regularly.
On multiple floored cat trees, you could try and put different bedding on each level.
It could ensure your cat doesn’t become bored with the tree by giving them a few options.
Even if you follow all of these tips, you could still end up with a cat that ignores his tree. Don’t force the issue. Some cats just aren’t into them, and trying to make him use it will just terrify him.
If your cat never comes around to the tree, either return it if you can, or sell it.
Most cats, though, will come around if you follow the tips above! Just be patient!
Did your cat ignore their cat tree? Share what worked for you below!
My name is Ben Roberts, and I absolutely love animals. So, naturally, I love writing about them too! As far as my animals, I have a Pit-bull, a Beagle-lab mix, a Chihuahua, and one old cat. Each one of them provides me with a new adventure every day. And the best part is they’re all best friends. Well, except the cat when he gets a little annoyed.