Just because your cat enjoys the comforts of your home doesn’t mean he’s lost his sense of adventure. For a cat to still get his energy spent inside, without hunting and climbing, you’ll be forced to find him an alternative – or he’ll find one you won’t like. If you want to avoid a stir-crazy cat scratching up your furniture and destroying your curtains, a cat tree can help. (Though, we do need to issue a bit of a disclaimer: Some cats’ wild hearts just simply can’t be tamed.)
If you’re finding even a cat tree isn’t quite enough, you may want to consider taking your cat outside to avoid his cabin fever. For that scenario, you’ll want to check out The Best Cat Harnesses And Leashes.
We reviewed dozens of cat trees to identify the best of the best. We looked at cat trees that offer a secluded cave for your cat to cuddle and hide, and the trees that will give him a place to perch and rule from on high. We found the best cat trees for big cats, for multiple cats, and more. No matter what your cat needs, we’ve found the best cat tree for you.
Early in our research, we could easily identify the AmazonBasics Cat Activity Tree to be the best overall cat tree. There’s plenty for your cat to do with this tree and ample space for him to perch and even sleep.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Cat Trees
|Best Cat Tree Overall||AmazonBasics Cat Activity Tree||4.5|
|Best Cat Tree for Large Cats||New Cat Condos Premier Triple Cat Perch||4.4|
|Best Budget Cat Tree||Catry Cat Tree Hammock Bed||4.3|
|Best Cat Tree for Multiple Cats||BEWISHOME Cat Tree Condo||4.6|
|Best Cat Tree with Scratching Post||AmazonBasics Multi-Level Cat Tree with Scratching Posts||4.6|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Best Cat Tree Overall: AmazonBasics Cat Activity Tree
The AmazonBasics Cat Activity Tree features a round bed atop a four-leveled tree that will allow your cat or cats to climb and play, but also to take a snuggled-in cat nap while sitting on top of the world. Each pole that holds this tree upright is wrapped in a jute rope to create a scratching post, which will appeal to your cat and may just save your furniture, too. Assembly of this tree is simple – there are only four platforms and seven poles, making it easy to figure out even without the included instructions.
Each platform is made with high-quality MDF wood and covered with a thick and plush carpet that will allow your cat the comfort he will appreciate. (In theory, we don’t make claims that after this purchase your cat will suddenly change his personality to show gratitude, of course.)
Sitting with right around 3,000 customer reviews on Amazon, this cat tree has an overall rating of 4.5 stars and combined with the features, this seems like a no-brainer purchase for your cat.
AmazonBasics Cat Activity Tree Key Features:
- Simple screw assembly; instructions and tools included
- 2 size options
- Made with MDF, carpet, and jute
Best Cat Tree for Large Cats: New Cat Condos Premier Triple Cat Perch
The New Cat Condos Premier Triple Cat Perch features four platforms, three of which have a ledge on three sides, making them a comfortable (and more secure) place to rest for a nap, whether there are multiple cats or your big cat just wants a variety of places to plop, this will give your cat (or cats) the height they want, depending on the mood they’re in.
The base of this cat tree is so large that it’s highly unlikely your cat will topple it over by simply hopping on and off, no matter how forcefully he jumps. The two posts are half the same plush carpet that covers the rest of the tree, while the top half of each side is wrapped in an un-oiled, natural rope that will create safe and appropriate places for your cat to scratch and file down his nails.
Over 500 customer reviews on Amazon have awarded this car perch an overall rating of 4.4 stars, and that’s plenty to tempt you. Spending a few minutes perusing those reviews, though, will have you sold.
New Cat Condos Premier Triple Cat Perch Key Features:
- 5 color options
- 20″w x 20″D x 32″H
- Arrives fully assembled
Best Budget Cat Tree: Catry Cat Tree Hammock Bed
The Catry Cat Tree Hammock Bed will give your cat a little bit of everything, up to and including a stable and comfortable hammock to nest in. The top perch features a lip that will allow your cat to spread out without worrying about falling off and the rounded shape will contour to his most comfortable lying position.
The posts feature paper rope that will appeal to your cat’s scratching needs and the hanging feather toy will be such fun for him to bat and tease that he’ll likely be enjoying this cat tree daily. The twenty-in base will prevent it from easily toppling over and that means that your kitty can use this for plenty of climbing and pouncing, as well.
It’s true that the numbers don’t lie when you’re looking at this cat tree. Not only does it have nearly 500 customer reviews on Amazon and an overall rating of 4.3 stars, but it also has a pretty impressive price tag. Picking up this little luxury for your cat will only cost you a little under $30!
Catry Cat Tree Hammock Bed Key Features:
- 2 color options
- All tools and instructions for assembly
- 15.7″D x 15.7″W x 27.8″H
Best Cat Tree for Multiple Cats: BEWISHOME Cat Tree Condo
The BEWISHOME Cat Tree Condo is an ideal cat tree for multiple cats in one home because it will give them each their own space, and plenty of room to spread out, as well. The two caves will create a private abode for the cat who likes the extra security of being in a covered space while the bottom hammock is perfect for a more social cat who likes that same privacy with a bit less stress of being part of the company in the room. For the ruler cats who love to be on top of the world and lord over their “kingdom” – there are two perches with plush edging to prevent sleepy falls.
For the active kitties, there is plenty on this cat tree to entertain, as well. There are two batting balls hanging from perches, each with a bell atop the ball and four of the posts that create this cat tree are wrapped with a rope to create separate scratching posts for multiples to enjoy at the same time. Above the hammock, there is a climb-through hole and hanging rope to work out some energy by enthusiastically climbing. No matter what type of personality your cats have, this tree will fit them in some way.
The over 800 customer reviews on Amazon and an overall rating of 4.6 stars has us convinced, but if you’re looking for more, take a moment to read through some reviews and see the adorable pictures with multiple kitties on this cat tree. After all, there is a statistical likelihood of you being one of the 89% of customers satisfied with this cat tree.
BEWISHOME Cat Tree Condo Key Features:
- All hardware, tools, and instructions included for assembly
- 27.56″L x 20.08″W x 57.09″H
- 27.6″L x 20.1″W x 57.1″H
Best Cat Tree with Scratching Post: AmazonBasics Multi-Level Cat Tree with Scratching Posts
There are plenty of cat trees that include scratching posts, it’s true. But the AmazonBasics Multi-Level Cat Tree with Scratching Posts turns a scratching post of every one of its support beams that make up this cat tree. That means there are an impressive eight separate scratching posts on this cat tree for your cat to go through over time, or for all your cats to attack individually and concurrently.
In addition to the scratching pots, you’ll also be giving your cat (or cats) a dual-door cave and three platform perches – two of which have edgers to make snuggling in for a cat nap all the more comfortable. The two hanging balls from different heights will give your cat extra entertainment that he’s sure to appreciate, too.
With an overall rating of 4.6 stars, you may be surprised to discover the impressive rating is awarded by over 1,500 customer reviews, making the rating all the more credible. After all, can 90% of the people who felt strongly enough about this cat tree really have it all wrong?
AmazonBasics Multi-Level Cat Tree with Scratching Posts Key Features:
- 8 scratching posts
- 8 style options
- 3 colors available
Who Should Buy a Cat Tree
For cat owners, particularly exclusively indoor cat owners, we’re frequently in search of something to entertain our cats and prevent them from acting out when bored. If you find a cat tree that will allow them to perch and observe the outside world from a window, they’re more likely to be entertained, and if that cat tree also happens to have a scratching post or toys attached he’ll have plenty to keep him occupied. For shy cats, the cave often in cat trees is an escape that will give your introvert cat the opportunity to be near, but hidden.
Even if your cat never acts out and is a perfect angel, you still will want to spoil him from time to time – maybe even more so if he’s not wreaking havoc in your home. For a good little kitty that knows where he is and isn’t allowed to scratch, a cat tree with scratching surfaces will keep him firmly on the “good cat” list and likely strengthen your relationship by building the trust between you; he’ll trust you to keep him entertained and you’ll trust him to scratch only where appropriate.
Important Features to Consider
A cat tree should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting a tree for your cat or cats:
- Window-height. You may not want to secure a perch devoted to the window, but if you buy a tree that allows your cat to also sunbathe on the perch, as well as satisfy his curiosity on what’s happening outside, then you may be getting two birds with one stone. (Without your cat having to actually go outside and killing a bird.)
- Scratching posts. The more opportunities for your cat to scratch in an appropriate way, the less likely you’ll have to worry about him scratching up your furniture to wear down his nails. Most cat trees will allow your cat to scratch on the posts to help his nails and the climbing up the tree itself will help your cat shed some excess nail growth, as well.
- Extra large. A cat tree over five feet will likely be an excellent option for multiple cats. Multiple perches and caves will allow multiple cats to use the tree at one time and that will go a long way towards preventing fights. Additionally, you should consider that the individual components of the tree will see more wear and tear and you should budget for that – Namely, find one that sells replacement scratching posts so you need not replace the entire tree when the scratching has been destroyed..
- Weight. While your big cat may struggle with the weight capacity of his cat tree, the bigger problem you’ll want to consider is that your big cat will be jumping on and around this tree. That means that the weight capacity will need to support him on every single surface – and then some. Pouncing puts more pressure than just his own weight, remember. Beyond that, the leaping from ground to tree perch may cause toppling over concerns so the bigger the cat, the more balanced the tree needs to be.
- Cave. If your cat struggles with the weight capacity, he’ll likely also struggle with the standard cave size. Additionally, you’ll need to consider your cat’s personality. If he hides away under beds, then he’ll likely love the cave. However, if he prominently displays himself with no fear of anyone coming and going, the cave may go unused.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a cat tree and what does it do?
A cat tree is a perch or series of perches that are lifted from the ground with a means for your cat to climb up, as he would a tree in the wild. Most are covered with a soft carpet to add to the comfort and the poles on which the platforms and perches are held, will often be covered with rope or some other scratching surface. This will allow your cat the ability to climb and to file his own nails down, preventing damage to your home should he otherwise scratch an inappropriate piece of furniture. They will often have caves for your cat to hide and hammocks for your cat to snuggle in for a nap. The platforms will occasionally have a string and swinging toys from their bottom, providing your cat a toy with which to bat and play. The height of cat trees often coincides with common window heights to allow your cat a clear line of sight to the outside world – all from the safety of his own home.
How tall should a cat tree be?
Because in the wild, a cat would climb actual trees that are often much taller than the ceiling in your home, there’s no real limit to a cat tree in your home. In fact, some models are from the floor to the ceiling and that’s all the better for your cat – plenty of space to climb, scratch, satisfy enough of his wild instincts that he’ll be both active and entertained all in the safety of your home.
That being said, you will absolutely need to make sure it’s balanced properly with a steady and secure base. The higher it stands the more difficult it is to keep the tree steady, especially for bigger cats. You may want to consider wall mounts to secure it if it wobbles when your cat hops on it and if you’re concerned, look for a tree with a strong, large foundation base. You’ll typically be safe with a cat tree that stands waist to shoulder height.
Is it worth buying a cat tree?
Yes, it is absolutely worth buying a cat tree for your exclusively indoor cat. (And maybe even for a cat who lives an indoor/outdoor combination lifestyle.) No matter what type of personality your cat has, there’s something that your cat will appreciate in the variety of cat trees available. Your shy cat will love the cave, your adventurous cat will love the climb, your lazy cat will love a hammock, and your curious cat will love the height so he can observe more. No matter what personality your cat has, you can find a cat tree that will have him entertained and relaxed.
Where should I put my cat tree?
Someplace safe is the first criteria you should consider for your cat. If it’s by your fine china cabinet, the china is at risk. If you put it on the second floor close to a balcony, you’ll really be testing his ability to land on his feet. Bear in mind that this will be the equivalent of a jungle gym for your cat and you don’t want to tempt fate by putting it in a dangerous space. But you can use the tree to your advantage in more than one way. Rather than it be strictly entertainment for your cat, you can use the strategic placement of the tree to help ensure your home is safer while you sleep. That is, you can place it in the corner of your bedroom to encourage your cat to sleep in your room and not take the unsupervised time to wreak havoc. (And if you want to give your cat a gentle nudge to stop sleeping on your head, this is a good start.)
However, you may want to consider his social life, as well. Finding a placement for his cat tree that keeps him in the mix while you and your family are up and around the house may be a big help for him to adjust to a new lifestyle, or to perch atop the tree to lord over you all. Consider his personality in the placement of his cat tree. If he’s a shy sort, then the bedroom may be best. You won’t want to overlook the possibility of additional entertainment that a window can provide, either. Installing the cat tree so that his perch is level with a window would increase the entertainment value without encroaching on his personal space.
Other Cat Trees We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other cat trees. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best cat trees list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your cat. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.
Cat Tree Caves
This cat tree features a scratching post as each pole supporting the entire cat tree.
- Covered with carpet-like faux fur
- Max weight capacity 20 lbs
- 20″L x 20″W x 52″H
This cat tree has a weight limit of 20 pounds, so it’s perfect for one large or multiple small cats or kittens.
- 2 colors available
- 2 entry points
- 8 size and style options
This cat tree uses a paper rope on the post to make it a prime target for scratching.
- 14″D x 14″W x 31″H
- Back of cave opens to provide additional exit
- Hanging ball for play
This cat tree is a cave in tree form, with a scratching post and lightweight PVC frame to make it ultra-portable.
- Fast assembly; under 10 minutes
- Fabric is removable and machine washable
- 17.6 lb capacity
With a hammock, a cave, and two perches, your cat or cats will be pleasantly entertained with this cat tree.
- 2 colors available
- 2 hanging balls for play
- 10 scratching spots
This cat tree will give plenty of comfortable places for your cat to snuggle in for a good rest.
- 4 padded mats
- Velcro-secured scratching mat; scratching post
- 2 windows for curious cats
This is an excellent cat tree selection for the cat who loves to climb and rest in high places.
- 18.9″W x 18.9″D x 14.34″H
- 2 color choices
- 3 scratching posts
The plush padded top of this cat tree is a removable and washable cushion that your napping cat will certainly appreciate.
- 3 color choices
- Dual condos
- 2 scratching posts
Each post on this cat tree is wrapped in a rope to create a scratch-friendly place for your cat to file his nails down on his own.
- 2 color options
- 3 designs available
- Includes 3 batting balls
You have seen plenty of posts that are covered in a rope for additional scratching posts, but this cat tree also includes ladder rung scratching posts for optimal climbing grip.
- 2 colors available
- 32”L x 27”W x 47.5”H
- 0.5″ particleboard
With two caves, two batting balls, and three perches as well, this is a perfect cat tree for a cat who has siblings or just likes a bit of variety.
- Made with 0.5″ particleboard and 400g plush covering
- 3 scratching posts wrapped with sisal rope
- 6 colors available
Cat Tree Perches
Your cat will have his choice of two perches – one that contours with his body or a high-up perch that will provide him more to see.
- 25 lb weight capacity
- 4 design choices
- 2 color options
If you want to give your cat more of an outdoor experience from the comfort of your home, then this perch can certainly provide it.
- 2 base shapes
- 3 sizes available
- 3 color (season) choices
You’ll be offering your cat the comfort of a perch and the fun of a batting he hanging ball with the purchase of this perch.
- 3 scratching posts
- Easy assembly; all tools and instructions included
- Weight capacity: 15 lbs
XL Cat Trees
There’s plenty for several cats to stay occupied on this cat tree; from the dangling batting feathers, to the busy-box – your cat (or cats) will be occupied for years.
- 36 style and design options
- 19.7″ x 19.7″ x 69.3″
- 5 sisal-wrapped posts
With two styles of hammocks, a cave and a tube on this one cat tree, this cat tree offers the very best kind of variety.
- 9 sisal-wrapped posts or ladder rung
- 38″”W x 27″”L x 62″”H
- 5 colors available
There are climbing ladders and plenty of perches, so that this cat tree is a fun and easy climb for any kitty.
- 6 colors available
- Sisal posts; hanging toy mouse
- 22″W x 33″D x 72″H
This cat tree is made with a durable wood board as well as faux fur and sisal-wrapped rope for a durable creation your cat will love.
- 3 color choices
- 16″W x 16″L x 35.5″H
- 8 scratching posts
Between the tunnel, the hammock, three perches and two caves, it’s hard to imagine not having enough space on this cat tree.
- 21.7″L x 21.7″W x 65″H
- 3 color choices
- Made with particle board, plush fabric, and sisal rope
This cat tree is an excellent option to entertain your well-loved cat or cats with the quality and the activity potential.
- 31″L x 22″W x 67″H
- Made with plush material, CARB board, and hemp rope
- 8 scratching posts, hanging toy mouse, and batting ball