Not all animals are alike… dealing with cat entertainment is not like shopping for guinea pig cages or buying a frisbee for your dog.
Cats need enclosed spaces for mental and physical health but buying a cat tree may seem a bit excessive, no?
Thinking about buying one but not sure? Debating whether it’s worth it?
Won’t it take up space in your home (and possibly ruin your aesthetics)? And aren’t they hugely expensive?
Yes. But no.
Here are three ways cat trees are absolutely worth the investment:
Reason #1: It provides your cat with much-needed exercise
Keeping your cat indoors is a great idea for overall health and safety, but it does mean your cat could miss out on some essential exercise. An overly-sedentary cat can become overweight quickly!
If you live in a one-story home or apartment, your cat doesn’t have many options for jumping, leaping or climbing around. Without choices, she’s likely to curl up in her favorite sunny spot instead.
But a cat tree helps create an attractive exercise environment. Just like it’s more fun to run outside than on your basement treadmill, it’s more exciting for a cat to exercise on a cat tree than to roam around on the floor.
Reason #2: It gives your cat some entertainment opportunities (that’s more important than you may think!)
Besides being good for your cat, it’s fun for her! Although, yes, the cat tree will eventually become a fixture in your home, it offers new levels of entertainment (see what I did there?) If you have more than one cat, it gives them a place to chase one another around or, perhaps, get away from each other, without breaking Aunt Mabel’s vase.
You can also use the cat tree as a stage for exciting games.
Try sprinkling catnip in a Hansel-and-Gretel-like trail up to the highest perch. Or use a feather-on-a-pole toy to entice your cat to move all around the tree.
Have a laser? Use it to point to different places on the tree and encourage your cat to chase it.
Notice that all those games aren’t only fun, but they help your cat get exercise, too!
Reason #3: It encourages good behavior
For some reason, cats like changes in altitude.If you live in a home or apartment without many exciting levels (and even one with 4 stories), your cat will probably make up for it by jumping on countertops, furniture and window sills. While it’s cute at first, most cat owners quickly realize they dislike cat paws in their dinner or scratch marks all over their leather couches.
Besides giving your cat a wonderful place to perch, many cat trees include sisal scratching posts so they can sharpen their nails and get out their frustrations and pent-up energy without taking it out on your grandmother’s heirloom carpet.
It’s hard to tell a cat “no” and offer no alternative: that’s where the cat tree comes in.
Using the playful tricks I mentioned above (such as catnip or laser toy), draw your cats’ attention away from your recliner and up into the cat tree. It won’t happen instantaneously, but with some patient redirection you might be able to salvage what’s left of your furniture.
So what are you waiting for? Check out our comparative list of the best cat trees and give your cat the exercise and stimulation she deserves!