The Ultimate Guide To Cat Trees

Cat trees are a (sometimes) unexpected essential for many cat owners out there!  It can be a great way to give your cats something to do, let them get to those high places that they love so much without causing havoc or just give them a sunny spot that the dog can’t quite reach. 

Cat trees give you cats their own space, which is always a really good thing. And there is always a cat tree that is the right size and design for you out there.

If You Are In A Hurry, Here Are 3 Of Our Top Picks:

You might be surprised as well, cat trees are often no where near as expensive as one might initially think. This makes it easy to turn your place into a cool cat tree house, no matter what. Don’t get me wrong, you can pay premium prices, as with just about anything you can pay as much as you want for something.

And there isn’t anything wrong with that and you can get a cool cat tree out of it, but there are just as many wonderful options for people on a budget. In just as many styles, too!

Okay, lets get into the cat trees, including what they are and all the different styles!

Cat Trees

Cat trees are a wonderful investment and it doesn’t matter if you have one cat, three cats or even an older cat, the money is well spent in the end either way.  You’ll have a much happier, healthier cat and furniture that has a few less scratches on it, if not eliminating the couch scratching entirely.

Now, let’s talk about what a cat tree actually… Y’know, is. I know this might seem a little simplistic, but I just want to quickly cover it just in case.

A cat tree is a piece of furniture for your cat. It usually consists of a base, some supports and at least one platform so that they can climb and enjoy themselves.

They can be carpeted or not and come in a plethora of different styles, and more are coming out all the time. Here are a few examples!

Some good news is that you are no longer stuck with carpeted cat trees either, though they can be nice and often are, if that’s just not the look you’re going for you now have a plethora of options (like the ones above), from modern cat trees like the Lotus Cat Tower to the more rustic cat trees like that  leafy CatHaven Cat Condo.

Back in the day you used to only be able to get carpeted cat trees, but now we have so many options, and more coming in all the time.

Cat furniture makers are more and more able to put an emphasis on form as well as function, so you don’t have to give up on your home decor in order to get your cat something special.

But, if you do really like that carpet look or you just think your cats would like it better, there are oodles of options out there for that as well. And a lot of them are just as cool as any wooden cat tree you might find.

Take this super cool carpeted cat tree from New Cat Condos for example. It’s a cat tree that looks like a tree. It’s amazing and New Cat Condos is an excellent example of a cat furniture manufacturer who builds things to last.

All of their cat trees are made from solid wood and household grade carpet. The better the carpet you get, the longer it will last when your cats scratch it.

And they are all handcrafted here in the U.S.A and shipped in as few pieces as possible to make assembly as simple as possible.

Some of their cat trees don’t even require assembly, they come pre-assembled, which is a real bonus. A lot of their stuff is fairly budget friendly as well.

Later on in this guide we’ll talk about some of the different brands and what they are best at!

Pro Tip: a lot of the cat trees on this page could be used as an outdoor cat tree if you have a covered patio or catio!  If you’re worried about it getting damaged, get a slightly smaller one that you can quickly and easily put inside out of the elements.

Here are just a few more examples of some different kinds of cat trees:

Modern Cat Trees

Modern cat trees, or modern cat towers are a great way to get something that feels like another piece of beautiful decor in your house while still having that wonderful function of giving your cats something to crawl on and scratch up (that isn’t your couch or drapes).

We all want our houses to be pretty and well put together and sometimes a fully carpeted cat tree is just not in the cards, it doesn’t maintain the flow of your house. Some carpeted cat trees look straight out of the 70’s.

Modern Cat Trees With Timeless Style

A modern cat tower with a timeless style, so even as the years go by and your decor changes, this cat tree will remain relevant and lovely.  It's built to last that long too, so you won't have to go replacing it.

All houses are different, but one of our favorites and top recommendations for people on the lookout for modern cat furniture is the Lotus Cat Tower from the Refined Feline. It’s sleek and stylish, but it really has a timeless look to it that you don’t see often.

The refined feline cat tree is tall with multiple platforms for your cats to lounge on or jump to. It has a cat condo for them to snuggle in.

Three different finishes to choose from, a dark espresso, a natural mahogany and a nice light smoke grey.

Each platform has berber carpet that attaches via velcro for removal for cleaning or replacing. The Refined Feline also sells cat shelves that come in a similar style, so if you want to really trick out your space and make a lovely and cohesively designed cat area, they’ve got your back as you can see below.

I think it’s easy to see why that is one of our most recommended modern cat trees. But, that isn’t the only one out there, and it isn’t the only one we think is amazing.

Contemporary Cat Trees

So, if you are on the lookout for something totally different, perhaps a minimalist cat tree. One that’s a bit more on the contemporary side rather than the “classic” side.

Another amazing modern cat furniture maker is Tuft + Paw. They are a designer cat furniture company with amazing, minimalist cat furniture. Contemporary and lovely, I think you’ll love what they have to offer if that’s your style

This is the MiaCara Torre from Tuft + Paw, a luxury cat tree that really melds form and function. It’s a beautiful piece of furniture that is more than likely to be a conversation started the next time you have guests over.

It’s a great way to give your cats an outlet for their scratching and climbing needs that saves your furniture and keeps your house looking gorgeous.

The Torre comes in two sizes and three colors. A large and small size make it so that you can get exactly what you think your home and your cat needs. The colors are white and grey, a ash wood and birch and then black.

It’s made from molded plywood, durable designer felt. The felt that covers the curved sides is perfect for your cat to scratch and climb while being durable enough that it shouldn’t ever have to be replaced.

And this is just their bestseller. They have other amazing cat trees too.

Or maybe you want something a little more on the whimsical and fanciful side of contemporary for your cats! That exists too and it’s really glorious.

If you still want wood and as little carpet as you can get away with in your cat furniture, while still having a lovely finish without functionality for your kitty there’s this large modern 63″ cat tree from Good Life USA.

It has five platforms for your cat to enjoy lounging on and a kitty cubby at the bottom level. This makes a great place for your cat to hide when they need to get away from the world.

A hammock to snuggle in near the top and five sisal posts run along each side of this modern wooden cat tree, making for ten scratching posts in total.

Inexpensive Modern Cat Trees

It’s okay if you still want modern on a budget though. I know luxury cat trees come with the luxury cost and sometimes that isn’t quite in the cards.

There are so many options out there for if you need something, want it to look good but don’t want to spend over $150-$200.

If you are on a super tight budget and need something for your cat to play on and enjoy, my top budget pick here would be the PetPals Grey Cat Tree.

Instead of carpet the platforms are covered in a strong felt for your cats to snuggle on and enjoy. A tunnel at the bottom and a top perch for your kitty to enjoy at the peak of this modern cat tree.

It’s 29″ tall and wouldn’t be bad for an apartment either.

It has great neutral colors that all work well together, brown sisal covers the supporting posts on this cat tree and the grey felt work with the cream tunnel and cozy trip on the top perch.

As of writing this, this cat tree is under $50 on amazon and is well worth checking out if you are in the market for a cat tree like this. As always, click through to see the current price.

With all that said and shown, modern cat trees come in such a wide range of different styles, sizes and colors that I can’t possible cover every single one here. I’ll keep making new articles and reviews as I find more, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, here are a few more to check out!

Cat Trees With Scratching Posts

Every household that has a cat really needs to have at least one scratching post of SOME kind.

I don’t care if it’s one of those little cardboard scratching pads. Or a full blown giant post attached to the most over the top cat tree you’ve ever seen!

It really is a must for your cat to scratch, it’s good for their mental and physical health.  With that said, you do have about as many options on a sliding scale between “cardboard” and “mega-cat-tree” as you can imagine.

If you’re looking at this page, it’s likely you’re looking for a cat tree, so whether it’s for your new kitten or you are finally upgrading from a well loved cardboard scratchpad, we’ve got a little something for everyone.

The good news is most cat trees come with areas for your cats to scratch!  Just like this pet pals ace cat tree, it’s lovely, has scratching posts and has a really nice almost wicker-like appearance to it.

The better news is that there are a lot of cat trees designed for the cat with a heavy… paw.  If you’ve got a cat who’s just over the top when it comes to scratching things up, here is a lovely selection of cat trees that have a heavy emphasis on the scratching post.

Like these…

Small Cat Trees With Scratching Posts

If you don’t have a ton of space or just want something a bit smaller, there are plenty of options out there. They easily fill your cats need to scratch as well as giving them somewhere to snuggle up.

Amazon basics small and affordable cat tree for apartment dwellers and condos.

These are going to be good cat trees for apartment dwellers, condos and some might even work for studio apartments and tiny homes.

Such as this cat tree from Amazon Basics. Amazon has started making good quality cat trees that are really affordable.

This one has a cat hammock supported by two durable scratching posts. The scratching posts are made using durable jute rope instead of the usual sisal. It’s only 20″ tall and its’ base is 15″ x 15″, making this an excellent size for small apartments.

The two scratching posts span the entire length of the cat tree, making them just about 20″ as well. This gives your cat a lot of scratching real estate.

If you want something a little less “classic carpeted cat tree” then you might want to check out this non-carpeted cat tree from Feandrea!

It’s not as small as the other cat tree, but I’d still put it on the small to medium sized cat trees.

But, one of the best things about this particular cat tree is it’s gigantic scratching post.

It’s an integral part of the design of this more rustic wooden cat tree. It spans the 34″ length of this tree, making it perfect for the cat who wants to really stretch and scratch. Or even climb up and down it like a fireman’s pole!

I’d say it’s small enough to fit into all by the tightest of spots as well, it has a rather small footprint overall. It’s base is 26″ x 15″, so it’s a long and skinny. Another bonus is that this particular model is perfect for both large and senior cats.

Large Cat Trees With Scratching Posts

Now, if you are wanting something a little larger and don’t have a lot of space constraints there are a ton of options along those lines as well. Whether you are wanting something that is larger than life or a nice simple and tall cat tree, there’s plenty out there.

Just take this 68″ cat tree from Lazy Buddy for example. It has no carpet and instead opts for a series of removable pillows that you can toss in the wash.

It also has tons of scratching posts. I believe it has 9 in total. They turned the support posts for all 6 platforms into scratching posts by wrapping them securely in sisal.

So, they go up the entire length of the tree meaning that no matter where your cat is on this thing, they’ll have something to dig their claws into. It’s size and number of platforms happens to make this cat tree excellent for multi-cat homes as well.

Now, if you are wanting to go supersized with your cat tree, I think I’d recommend this 103″, multi-platform gigantic cat tree from Tangkula.

It’s the perfect solution if you want something big and have multiple cats who are going to be lounging, playing and scratching all at the same time.

As you can see in the picture, it has every pole wrapped up in sisal to give all your cats a place to get out their need to scratch.

I count 14 areas total that are sisal covered, not including the ladder steps. This cat tree not only features a ton of scratching posts, but it also has a lot of platforms, hammocks, tunnels and a cat condo for your kitty to enjoy.

And you wouldn’t believe the price. I barely could for the size of it. If you want to see how much it is, check the price out here!

Modern Cat Trees With Scratching Posts

If you are wanting a cat tree with a scratching post that has a more modern vibe, I’ve got you covered. There are a lot of options that will give your kitty a place to scratch that also looks pretty dang cool.

A cat tree with a modern look that still has scratching posts can really help give your cats what they need without compromising the decor in your home!

Take this wonderful piece from PetPal’s. It’s modern, super inexpensive and has three separate scratching posts for your cats to enjoy.

The scratching posts are done up with handmade paper rope. It’s platforms are covered in felt, so it’ll be soft and cozy but can take a scratching itself.

It’s not big either, so if you really need something for your apartment or just want something small to start your cat off with, this is a great pick. It’s only 20″ tall, and it’s base is 20″ x 15″.

If you have older cats or just aren’t sure if you have the space for a bigger cat tree, this is definitely my modern cat tree recommendation.

However, if you want to look at something that’s a bit taller, there’s this delightful, modern solid wood cat tree from the Refined Feline. It’s a lovely piece of furniture that will look good in just about any home.

It’s called the Lotus Cat Tower. Tall, beautifully finished, modern design. This cat tree checks all the boxes for a modern cat tree.

And while it doesn’t technically have a scratching post, it does have a large 20″ scratch pad that attaches to the side of the cat tree itself.

The pad is made from sisal and you can get a replacement pad whenever you need to from the manufacturer. Same goes for the berber carpet pads that attach to the platforms themselves.

If you wanna learn more about the specifics of this cat tree, we wrote a review!

They are easily replaceable and easily cleanable, since they attach with velcro to the cat tree. This means all you have to do is tug off the pads and wipe down the cat tree whenever you think it needs a clean, plop the pads back on and boom. Good to go.

Here are a few other great options for you to poke at!

Cheap Cat Trees With Scratching Posts

We all have a budget, and sometimes it’s a little tight. But we all still want to give our cats what they need. So, finding a cheap cat tree with a good scratching post moves to the top of the list.

My own personal top recommendation for a cat tree when you are on a budget is this one from New Cat Condos. It might not look like much on first glance, but it is super high quality at an amazing price.

This cat tree is made from solid wood, household grade carpet and unoiled sisal. All of these things are top quality materials and it comes in a quite a bit less than $100 (at the time of writing this, you can check current prices here).

And it’s made in the U.S.A. That’s why it’s my top pick for this category.

But, that’s not to say there aren’t other wonderful options. Another favorite of mine is one from Feandrea. It’s great for large cats and it’s quite affordable.

It’s super cozy, designed to keep kitties warm and happy wherever they like to lay. The top bed area is big enough for two full sized larger cats to snuggle up. Or one large cat to really get cozy and have a good sprawl.

It has two natural sisal covered support posts that make this great for cats who have a real need to scratch as well. And it’s 33″ tall, so it’s not tiny but it isn’t huge either. It’ll fit nicely into most spaces.

Here are a few of our other favorites for your to check out.

Cat Trees With Leaves

Okay, so the modern cat trees aren’t your bag.  You want something a little more on the wild side, something leafy and maybe just a little bit rustic for your cats to frolic and play in.  Cat trees with leaves are a good option for people looking for a cat tree with a more natural feel to it or if you want to see your cat unleash their inner tiger, prowling through the leafy underbrush!

One of our favorites is actually the cat haven cat condo, since it’s completely covered in leaves!  It gives it a wonderful look and I can guarantee you’ll get a good giggle the first time you see your cat peeping at you through the leaves.

That last bit may or may not be a bit of an exaggeration, but I really do think your cat will dig any of these leafy cat trees.  It’ll truly be like their own little cat tree house with leaves.

If you didn’t really find what you’re looking for here, or think your cat would prefer something a bit more cubby or cave-like, then perhaps check out our cat condos!  They can be pretty cozy too and help with the same problems.  Have a great day everybody and happy cat-house-hunting!

Cat trees truly come in an array of shapes, sizes and designs.  You can get one to match just about any decor style now-a-days!  And we all know our cats deserve a little pampering, even if you do just get the cat tree for the giant box it comes in.  Whether you’re trying to put an end to furniture scratching or just want to give your feline overlord a way to look out the window and be comfy, a cat tree is great.

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