Last week I got a new cat tree and could not help but notice my cat, Josie, had started jumping, scratching, and sleeping on it.

Since the start of the week, Josie wants to stay in the same spot and doze off.

Are you a cat parent and wondering if your cat needs a tree of its own?

You have come to the right place since this guide is here to answer that very question.

Why Do Cats Need Cat Trees? (3 Reasons)

A cat post has various benefits for you and your cat, especially your feline companion. Here are some of the reasons your cat needs this piece of furniture.

1. To Feel Safe

a cat looking from the perches of her cat tree

While we picture our feline friends as predators, which is true, they are also prey to other animals. Ideally, a cat will want to find a high place to relax.

A cat can easily spot predators entering its territory at this height. This gives the feline a sense of safety and comfort, knowing they are unreachable and well-hidden

And if you are asking, “are cat trees dangerous for cats?” No, they are not because they weigh more than your cat and have the correct center of gravity.

2. To Exercise

Most trees available on the market come with unique built-in toys and accessories. These accessories include dangling toys and tubes, among others.

With these accessories, your furry friend can play alone, with other pets, or with you. Moreover, climbing from the wide base to the top can be an excellent exercise.

3. To Mark Territory

cats sitting on a cat tree

The cat family is territorial by nature. Like lions or wild cats, your cat has its hunting territory usually marked with scent from its feces, urine, facial, and anal glands.

You will note this trait when a new pet tries to invade their privacy only to be met with a growl, hiss, or a fight. (1) But what if there are multiple cats or other pets in the house?

A dedicated tree post for your kitty helps them mark their territory easily without conflicts. Also, territorial marking extends to food and water bowls, so it is no shock to find your cats refusing to share these essential items.

Do All Cats Like & Use Cat Trees?

According to Jackson Galaxy, cats have unique preferences similar to humans. (2) He categorizes our feline friends into three genres according to their traits.

“Cats who prefer being off the ground can be termed as tree dwellers,” he explains in his YouTube video.

“And these are the perfect candidates for a cat tower since they want to see what is going on around them.” 

“On the other hand, kitties who are dominant on the ground are beach dwellers. You will, however, not find them hidden in a corner but out in the pen to show everyone who the boss is.”

The last category belongs to bush dwellers. You will find them tucked under the table or behind your indoor plants. And yes, these awkward places are their safe haven.

Not all cats will like or use a new cat tree. You, however, have to study your furry friend to see what they prefer and go with that trait.

And as Jackson puts it, “If they find their mojo in a vertical space or on the floor, well and good.” The goal is to have your cat comfortable around the house.

Do Cats Like Cat Towers?

cat tree looking below from her cat tree

Cats are typically curious by nature, and their climbing instincts rise at the sight of a scalable object. However, note they are cautious and can take time to adjust to the tall cat tree.

You do not have to worry if your cat is not using it at first. Moreover, you can find a tower designed to strike your cat’s interest with this cat tower review article.

Why Do Cats Like Cat Trees?

If you own a kitty at home, the chances are that you have come across scratched surfaces or upholstery. And if you are wondering where the scratches came from, you do not have to worry again.

Cats have a scratching instinct and quickly turn anything into their scratching surfaces. However, a cat tree gives them the freedom to scratch the surface without any fuss.

Generally, there are two outstanding benefits as to why cats like tall trees, namely:

  1. For territorial purposes
  2. To have their own time

How do I get my cat to like/Use the cat tree?

If your cat doesn’t play or use the cat tree, you can entice them using their favorite treats. Start by placing some treats on the actual tree base; after this, you can put the snacks level to level until the top.

Within no time, your kitty will have the confidence to use the piece of furniture to enhance their playtime. Moreover, this will come naturally with time, so be patient with your feline companion.

What Happens If I Don’t Get A Cat Tree?

child looking at something

The ultimate goal in getting a typical cat tree is to let your kitty redirect their energy to the right place. If you choose to skip the tree, you can be sure to have your cat in spaces you do not want them in.

For example, if your cat is fond of lying on the kitchen counter, get ready to wipe cat hair often. You do not want your meal preparation place littered with fur.

And instead of creating a fuss all the time the kitty lies on the countertop, a tree post can help significantly. Why would a cat refuse the comfortability of a well carpeted, cozy cubby for a hard and cold marble counter?

What can you use instead of a cat tree?

Some cats will feel disinterested in climbing a tree post. This reduced attention span is especially evident in a senior kitty, so you have to look for alternate ideas like:

Toys

cat chewing on a cat toy

These alternatives help keep your pet occupied even without your presence. Excellent cat toy options include laser pointers, a piece of string, and wand toys.

A window bed

Cats love sightseeing, and it is no shock to find your cat on the window perch frequently. If your pet has this trait, a cozy window bed can be a suitable cat tree alternative.

Here’s a really easy and cheap cat window bed idea that you can make yourself.

A scratching post

This piece of additional cat furniture is an excellent way to let your feline companion scratch a surface without the climbing. Pet stores have various sisal-wrapped posts, and you always find one that suits your small, medium, or large cat-like the Maine Coon.

You can check out this extensive cat tree alternatives guide for more cool alternate ideas. 

Cat Trees and Multiple Cats

If you have multiple cats at your house,  you are likely to think about the situation at hand. Questions you find yourself thinking about include,

Will my cats share one tree?

Should I get separate trees?  

Where do I find the best cat trees for multiple cats?

Luckily, the cat furniture market has various options you can choose from to satisfy your kitties’ needs. These trees come in a multi-level design, offering several posts and canvas perches.

While having a cat tree for each pet is advisable, this is a guideline. Your aim in getting separate tree posts is so that cats do not mark a specific post as their territory.

Is It Worth Getting a Cat Tree?

child giving a thumbs up

Yes, but that depends. While some cats prefer higher places to show authority, some are fine on the ground. 

However, the goal of getting a 4-foot-high cat tree is to help your cats find the perfect relaxation, playtime, and hiding spot. As you ask yourself, “are cat trees worth it?”

Know the decision is not entirely on you but on your feline friend. 

READ MORE: How much does a cat tree cost?

FAQs

Do Declawed Cats Need Cat Trees?

Yes, declawed cats are no different from those with claws, and they still have scratching instincts. The market has a variety of cat trees for declawed cats; therefore, your declawed cat is sorted.

Is it ok to buy a secondhand cat tree?

No, but it depends. Quality cat trees come at high prices and leave your pocket dented. The second hand cat tree offers the same experience. However, disinfect it to avoid infections.

Do I have to buy an extra tree when my cats share one peacefully?

declaw cat playing with toy

There are instances when cats share because there are no options left. However, getting each cat its own resources is advisable to avoid unnecessary conflicts and territorial invasions.

How do I know my cat will like the cat tree I intend to buy?

As Jackson Galaxy puts it, your cat falls under three categories. You cannot be sure whether your feline will love the tree, so monitor its preferences.

How long do cat trees last?

Cat trees can last a few months to several years. How long depends on how hard your cat is on it and the quality of the tree.

Conclusion

The question, “ Do cats need a cat tree?” can run through your mind if unconvinced of the cat tree benefits. However, these items of cat furniture come in handy to help your kitty remain occupied.

The above guide shines a light on the subject, and you now know whether the cat tree is worth it. It is now up to you to decide and enhance your cat’s playtime.

How Do I Get My Cat to Like Our Cat Tree

If you have any other ideas on how to get your cat to like a cat tree, please share them with us down below!

Resources

  1. ASPCA. “Aggression in Cats.” ASPCA, 2015, www.aspca.org/pet-care/cat-care/common-cat-behavior-issues/aggression-cats.
  2. “Catifying Your Home for Harmony.” Jackson Galaxy, 21 Mar. 2018, www.jacksongalaxy.com/blog/catifying-your-home-for-harmony/.
Deanna C
Deanna C

Deanna is a passionate cat lover and freelance writer. She lives with her Chi dog and a ragdoll cat. When she’s not writing, Deanna loves listening to country music or watching Dancing With The Stars.
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