Today’s cat furniture goes beyond scratching posts and pet beds. Cat trees and condos, as well as steps, rockers and tunnels are all part of the available inventory of furniture.
A cat condo is usually made from a heavy duty cardboard tube that has been covered in carpet. It has multiple levels (2 or 3 being most common), each having an entrance hole, and a ‘floor’ between the levels that has a hole large enough for the cat to move up or down while inside the condo.
A cat tree is one or more vertical posts that have resting places on the ‘limbs’. Sometimes they are shelves, or may look like short boxes. Most often trees are covered in carpet, with the lower part having sisal or burlap to encourage scratching.
Many manufacturers now combine trees and condos into one piece of furniture, giving kitty a true hidey-hole in which he can spy on the world, but remain hidden himself. (If you have a jokester, he will lie in wait until you walk by, then pop out to startle you.)
Besides combining cat trees and condos, designers also have created castles, forts, treehouses, even trees and mushrooms. Additions include ropes to hang from; stairs; swinging shelves; ½ pipes and nests.
Cat trees and condos are available in many heights and colors. Carpets range from berber to shag and may or may not have a sculpted texture. Colors may be solid or patterned. Finding a tree or condo that fits your décor is easier than you think. Some manufacturers even take orders on colors.
Many cats seem to enjoy the challenge posed by intricate cat tree and condo designs. Multiple cat households are often treated to games of king of the hill, where one cat is either at the top of the tree, or in (one of) the condo(s) fending off attacks from the others.
A big difference between cat trees and condos is that condos are not very stable if you have a cat that likes to jump; most do not have a base that extends beyond the edge of the condo. Trees are designed to remain upright while the cat climbs and jumps. If you are thinking of buying a cat tree, verify it is going to stay up by trying to tip it. If it tips easily, it is not safe for your cat.
Cat trees also make better scratching posts than most scratching posts. They allow the cat to reach up to their full extent and really stretch and exercise their muscles while they scratch.
The ‘crazies’, where your cat(s) race(s) around for no apparent reason, are even more entertaining to watch when kitty goes vertical, and usually don’t last as long as the cats expend more energy climbing and jumping.
Cat trees and condos also make it easier to play with your cat; they are up where you can get to them, and they are less likely to scratch you when they are hanging from their favorite perch.
Investing in cat furniture will please both you and your feline friends