The first thing we bought to spoil Persephone was a cat tower. A nice one, with three-levels for her to gaze at the birds and fall asleep on. It was her personal cat condo—now she has to share it with Miles.
As far as we’re concerned the cat tower is the best investment we made to keep our cat’s happy. In fact, we now own two cat trees. One for each kitty.
One is the original condo which is so worn it sheds more lining more than the cats do in Spring. The other is a new tower we purchased after moving; one in the bedroom, and one in the living room.
(Our go-to cat tree is a FEANDREA Cat Tree, which is the grey tree in these images.)
Should you also get a cat tower for your cats? The answer is a resounding “Yes!”
The Health Benefits of Cat Towers
Cat towers aren’t just ornaments to show visitors how much you spoil your kitties. They actually improve a cat’s quality of life.
We have to remember that though cats walk on all fours they’re vertical creatures. Anything that a cat can climb will be climbed. A lesson we’ve learned all too often.
By adding verticality to their living space cat towers tap into your cat’s inherent desire to sit higher than you stand.
Cat Towers are Great for Fearful Cats
Many scaredy cats like to perch themselves up high to feel secure. Like a guard looking towards the horizon, they see if trouble is approaching, and can either run for the hills (in this case the closet) or stay out of danger by being up high.
The top perch is a haven. When your cat is tired, or doesn’t want to be bothered, she finds sanctuary at the top of the cat tree. The height makes the kitty feel secure even though she’s exposed.
However, depending on your particular tree, some kitties may still feel vulnerable. If that’s the case it’s a good bet to pick a cat tree that has at least one enclosed area, such as a middle hideaway like a boxy cave.
Since you’re kitty will likely live half of their lives on the cat condo their scent will douse the tree.
That will turn the tower into a place of familiar comfort. Unlike a chair or couch which I’m guessing you vacuum regularly unless your cats don’t shed.
Giving Multiple Cats Their Territory
If you have more than one cat in your home a cat tree may help keep their confrontations to a minimum.
Dominant cats forego fighting by sitting on the highest perch of the tower to assert their position. They’re like kings standing on top of a Mayan pyramid.
In that way the cat tower helps create a relative harmony. Each cat owns their own level on the tree, allowing them to sit side-by-side in harmony.
Our two comfortably share the space on the cat tower and call out to the birds together.
Most cat trees are supported by columns of scratching posts. And scratching is a fundamental part of being a cat. The more opportunities to claw properly the happier your kitty will be.
Since the vertical posts of a tower are often long they help your cat get a necessary full scratch.
We always find Miles and Persephone digging into the nice rough pillars to give themselves a big stretch that flexes their back muscles and shoulders.
We know the days when Miles is extra energetic because he climbs the backside of the tower by pulling himself up by the scratching posts.
Do the Cats use Every Part of the Cat Tree?
Pretty much. The cat tower’s topmost perch and the bowl that juts to the side are our cats’ favorite spots. We find Persephone curled in the bowl every single morning. It’s her favorite place to snooze—for the same reason why cats like boxes.
There’s also the cave located at the middle level: a cubed hideaway. We catch the cats resting in there when the sun is streaming through the window with a full blast of heat. It’s a shaded getaway that provides just enough protection from the rays.
That being said there are two aspects of our particular tower that go unused.
Our cat tree has a food bowl dish on the second-highest level. We have never used it. I’m hesitant to put water or food in there, because the cats often shake the tower, which would spill whatever is in the bowl.
I guess you could put treats in the dish, but with two cats we know that Miles would devour them before his sister has a chance to take a bite. Admittedly, the dish is removable so you don’t have to leave it there.
Then there’s the hammock.
Our Unused Hammock
I’ve noticed that many cat towers include a swinging hammock near the floor. But I have never seen a cat use one. Maybe kittens will, being insatiably curious.
Other people do report their cats curling up and gliding off to snooze-land in the hammock. Apparently our cats are just not swingers.
It’s still decoratively nice, I guess. Maybe one day they’ll warm up to the hammock.
Is the Cat Tower stable?
We’ve never had an issue with our cat tower’s stability. That might be because our cats are lightweight. They don’t have enough force even when they launch themselves to knock the tower around.
That doesn’t mean it doesn’t jostle slightly. But in the three years we’ve owned cat towers it’s never threatened to spill over.
Our cat tree does come with an anchor that can be bolted to a wall. But because our tower is situated in front of a sliding glass door we haven’t tied it down.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t, especially if you have a big cat like a Maine Coon. If that’s the case I recommend anchoring the tower to prevent avoidable damage.
Is the Tower Used for Playtime?
Persephone’s favorite game used to be a kind-of fetch involving the tower. We would throw a toy mouse at the upmost perch and she would sprint up the cat tower like a mountaineer trying to set a Guinness World Record.
While Persephone needed a goal to jump at the tower, Miles has always energetically lunged himself to the topmost perch just to do it. We know he’s at the big of his energy when he does so.
The point is, when we first got the towers, the cats played almost exclusively on it. Admittedly, cats are more likely to play around with anything new. Nowadays the tower isn’t for playtime so much as it is for relaxing and safety.
Still the first tower was seen as an object of play long enough to break it.
The First Tower’s Broken Perch
Because the cats were constantly wrestling and fooling around on our first tower the pillars became loose. We would tighten them. Twisting the scratching post pillars to keep the bolts secure.
But all good things have to come to end at some point.
Eventually, we came home one day and found the topmost perch snapped in half. The cats had worn down the bolt. It broke clean. This is pretty much why we ended up picking up a second tower.
Be careful if you have to tighten your cat tower’s perch. Overdue it and it will wear down the bolt.
Choosing a Cat Tower Color
Here’s a recommendation. If you have cats that shed as much as ours don’t pick an all-out black tower. Within a few months it will be covered in a thick coat hair, turning it from jet black to bright white.
Our first tower ended up looking like a yin-yang. If that doesn’t bother you then don’t worry about it.
For the sake of sharing I’ll let you know we went with grey the second time. Having two cats that shed white hair like they’re in a barber shop everyday we don’t notice their hairs on the tower.
Cat Towers For Life
We’ll always make sure to have a cat tower in our apartment. The amount of use our cats have gotten from the condos is too much to ever give up on. Miles and Persephone are in their cat tower as I write this. They use it every single day.
How about your cats? Do you have a cat tree and do they use it? Or, maybe you’ve found another way to add verticality to your home. Let us know!