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Cat trees are big (or, sometimes not-so-massive) structures that your cat can use for several purposes: scratching, lounging, and climbing. These are all activities that appeal to your cat’s instincts — that is, cats like to climb and scratch, and a cat tree provides a way for them to do it without leaving fur or claw marks on furniture. To make the cat tree even more appealing, set it up so it has a view (preferably out a window, so your cat can gaze upon the neighborhood birdies).
Here, the best cat trees to make your feline family member comfortable:
This four-level cat tree has tons of options, and is bound to appeal to your cat. First, although cats can jump onto the perches, the levels are staggered a bit, making it easy for both kittens and older cats who may have mobility issues to engage with this cat tree. Plus, there are plenty of resting spots, including a soft hammock, a partially enclosed cave, and a padded perch at the tippy-top of the structure.
Along with plenty of places to climb, the Feandrea Cat Tree also provides a place to scratch, with several sisal-covered posts. The structure is easy to assemble, and although it’s tall, doesn’t take up too much floor space. It's also quite sturdy, so if your cat is a jumper, it's unlikely to wobble too much.
Looking for a simple—and wallet-friendly—option? This Trixie Baza Grande hits the spot. It’s got just one level, but both the base and elevated ledge are covered in a soft, super cozy fabric. Plus, it has four sisal-wrapped posts for your cat to claw up. One of the posts also has a toy attached, which your cat will love to bat at.
This is the perfect pick if your cat just wants a spot to call their own, but isn't a climber or in need of lots of different hiding places. It's definitely best for a one-cat household, and is a good pick for kittens or older cats who may not be interested in (or capable of) lots of climbing and jumping.
"Whereas most cat trees are designed for interaction, the Baza Hammock is designed for clawing and lounging. Pinky spent entire days nestled in there, cupped perfectly in the little sling."—Joy Merrifield, Product Tester
If you have more than one cat, you’ll want to give them options. With this cat tree from Go Pet, you can do so—along with multiple scratching posts, it also has an almost endless-number of spots to perch on. There are baskets, caves, hammocks, ledges, and even a jelly-roll tube for cats to occupy.
It’s covered in a cozy faux fur fabric, and has raised edges to the perches, so cats won’t accidentally roll off. It's great for multi-cat households (as long as no one cat is too territorial), since there are plenty of spots on which to lounge.
"Over the next week, all of the cats—even our shy one—went up on the tree multiple times a day. They didn’t use the scratching posts that much, but they loved climbing around and sleeping on the platforms. The hanging rope was also a big hit; they were constantly playing with it."—Sage McHugh, Product Tester
Here’s the unfortunate reality about cat trees: They’re not always very elegant or attractive. But this Vesper cat tree is a possible exception—its three wood levels each are topped with a small memory foam cushion. Not covering the whole unit in plush fabric elevates the appearance, so it looks more like a piece of furniture than an oversized cat toy.
And this cat tree doesn’t just deliver looks: It’s also practical and fun for your cat. Toys on a string dangle from the top level for your cat’s playtime, and as well as plenty of scratching areas, there’s also an enclosed cave-like area for snoozing.
"For its sleek and unobtrusive design, this product feels worth the price—though, to be perfect, it would have to be a bit more stable."—Avery Stone, Commerce Editor
A larger cat needs a cat tree that’s big enough to fit. But with heavier cats, it’s also important that the structure be sturdy, so that leaping on it doesn’t knock it over, potentially causing injury.
This Armarkat cat tree offers plenty of space for larger cats and plenty of stability to withstand playful antics. There are lots of levels and nooks and crannies for cats to spend time in, too, including two cat caves that felines who love playing in boxes may find extra comforting.
Not a lot of space, but still want to treat your fluffy pal? This cat tree and condo has several levels, but at 28 inches tall, and 17 inches wide, doesn’t have too big of a footprint for apartment dwellers who are tight on space. Although, like with most cat trees, you will need to assemble it, this one won't take hours or cause exasperation before it's complete.
This tree offers two comfy, plush-covered perches, along with sisal-wrapped posts for clawing and scratching. There’s even a toy hanging from the top perch for cats to play with, as well. The covering on the tree is super soft, and cats will love snuggling up with it.
If your cat can't get enough of scratching at your furniture, try this tree, which is built to withstand cats with even the most persistent claws. Each column of the tree—there are seven—is wrapped in jute, so your cat can knead and scratch to their heart's content.
This budget-friendly pick has a square base and doesn't have many parts that stick out, so it's great for tucking into the corner of a room or directly next to a couch or window without blocking and views. The lounging surfaces are mostly flat, so this pick isn't the best for cats that prefer enclosed sleeping set ups, like boxes.
All cats love to lounge. Some are more committed to it than others. For these cats, there’s the You & Me Double Cat Nest With Lounger—it has three spots for stretching out in the sun. (That’s handy if you have multiple cats, too.) Cats can choose between two round areas, as well as curved hammock-like space.
This tree is a great pick if you prefer something low profile—each lounge area is on it's own level, but the tree doesn't tower feet in the air like some picks. The entire tree is covered in tan carpeting, though one of the posts is wrapped in jute for the occasional clawing between cat naps.
Size and shape Cat trees come in a variety of sizes and shapes, ranging from small, one-level trees to complex, sprawling jungle gyms. Depending on how big your home is and where you plan to put your tree, you may need a smaller or larger design. Keep in mind that some cat trees are more vertical while others take up more floor space.
Cat size The best cat tree for your home often depends on how many cats you have and how big they are. It goes without saying that bigger cats need a larger, sturdier tree. Plus, if you have multiple furry friends, you’ll want a design that gives them ample space to play and lounge.
Toys Many cat trees include a variety of scratching posts and toys integrated into the design. If your cats have been clawing the furniture, you should definitely find a product with a built-in scratching post. If your cats are playful, find them a model with hanging feathers or other accessories.