What is a Cat Tree – Cat Trees for Large Cats

The Jefferson’s aren’t the only ones that are ‘movin’ on up’! Cats are obtaining serious real estate in the cat tree and cat condo market. In my case the bigger the cat tree the better as I have a plus sized kitty. He prefers I tell people he is “big-boned” so, I went on the hunt to find cat trees for large cats, to make sure my gentleman was living comfortably.

top-platform-cat-treeWhat is a cat tree? A cat tree is an artificial structure similar to the structure of a real tree for lazy-cat-treecats to climb, exercise, relax, play and sleep on. Cat trees come in various heights, structures, materials, and designs.

It is typical for cats to prefer their cat tree or condo to be a “sky rise” over a comfortable single feline dwelling. My cat prefers the penthouse suite which enables him to have a clear survey of his territory, or a “birds eye view”.

Why Do Cats Climb Trees

Cats love to climb, and have a much easier time climbing up rather than getting back down. This is because cats claws grow inward, are retractable and curved, along with having stronger hind legs than front legs. These factors make it a lot easier for them to climb up an object, but the trip back down can be slightly more challenging.

cat-in-treePerhaps all those calls to the local Fire Department when Mittens decided to utilize her inwardly grown claws to climb a tree and get a “birds eye view” of her potential lunch prospect, weren’t just made for TV movies. This happens to be a real thing.

Don’t panic if your cat does get stuck in a tree. They are smart creatures, and before long will figure a way to shimmy down the tree backwards.

If a lot of time has passed and your cat still hasn’t figured her way down, you could always grab a ladder from your house and go up and save her. Last resort, call the Fire Department for old times sake

In my last apartment Uncle Sil was caught red pawed climbing my nice new screen slider door on multiple occasions. I would run and pull him off, just like a cat that is stuck up in a tree. Silvio would literally get stuck at the top of the screen door, looking to me for help with a guilty look written all over his furry face!

Why did Uncle Sil keep climbing the screen? Was it just for entertainment value? Was it to make me, his cat servant, chase him for his own guilty pleasure? Was it a game? Perhaps there is more behind this than meets the cats eye!

At my last apartment there was a telephone wire across the way, and I believe he was trying to climb up high to get closer to the birds on a wire.birds-on-wire

Birds on a wire or birds living in a tree can in fact lure your kitty to chase them and climb up the tree or up the screen in my case, to get closer to their prey. Either way you look at it this is all just standard cat instincts, and completely normal.


What is the Difference Between a Cat Condo and a Cat Tree

I get these questions a lot: What is a cat tree? and what is a cat condo?

A cat condo is not necessarily as tall and has more enclosures for your cat, similar to a cat house. A cat tree is tall, built from a wooden base and has various levels to it.

cat-hammock-postSome cat trees may have an enclosed space within the levels, making it more of a cat-tree-condo infusion.

You know your cat best, and if they would prefer the safety of an enclosed sleeping area like a cat condo for some peace, quiet and alone time to get some quality R&R. On the flip side your cat may love to climb and enjoy the height of a cat tree and the luxury of having multiple levels to do as they please.

The Cat Tree Break Down

cat-tree-condoWhat is a cat tree? The typical cat tree design starts with the foundation and solid structure, usually constructed of solid wood. Most cat trees are covered with carpet, and have several levels or wooden boards for platforms.

The elevator boards connecting the platforms will commonly be wrapped with sisal rope, which make great places for your kitty to sharpen her claws, and stay away from your plush living room couch!

Cat Tree Features and Benefits

Some of the benefits and features of cat trees are:

  • An indoor structure resembling a tree for your kitty to climb.
  • A great way to keep your indoor kitty active, with multiple levels of feline fun!
  • The sisal rope elevators and scratching posts that are built into the cat tree are a great way to keep your cat from clawing your furniture among other benefits that I mention in my why do cats scratch the furniture article
  • Plush carpet and soft faux fleece for the ultimate comfort and cat napmulti-cat-tree
  • Attached dangling toys to keep your kitty alert and on the hunt per their natural cat instincts
  • Some cat trees will feature a cat condo for essential privacy and comfort (don’t forget cats sleep 12-16+ hours a day!) This may be a great bonus feature of your cat tree.

Cat trees are fun, comfortable and beneficial for so many reasons. Getting your feline friend a cat tree is a great way to provide a safe environment for a multiple cat home, where they can have various levels to lounge out on and get some space from their brothers, sisters and even your own human children.

Whether your cat is friendly, playful or shy, I assure you they will find pleasure in all the offerings of a cat tree. It becomes a save haven for them to mark their territory and call it their own.

Living Large – Cat Trees for Large Cats

My kitty Uncle Sil is a big guy, he sits places he probably should not sit because quite frankly he just doesn’t fit. If you have a plus size cat, I assure you there are plenty of cat trees for large cats out there!

Many of the cat trees may seem to look similar to you, but they all have their own features that are built and designed with your cat in mind.

Things to look out for when purchasing cat trees for large cats:

    • If your cat is “big-boned” the number one thing is to make sure the construction of the cat tree has a sturdy base and is made with durable materials.

  • If it has elevators or ramps to various levels, I recommend one that is wrapped in sisal rope for your kitty to claw and scratch. Helps prevent them from scratching your furniture!
  • The perches on the cat tree need to all be sturdy and large enough for your plus sized kitty to fit comfortably. Ever try squeezing into clothes that are too small? It’s not comfortable, and we wouldn’t want our feline friends to have any sort of discomfort or insecurities!
  • The cat-tree-condo- infusion, aka covered hiding places for your kitty to get some serious cat nap time in peace and quiet.
  • Dangling toys built into the cat tree are an added feature that your cat will thank you for by showing you extra TLC and appreciation!

You Are Your Cats Realtor

Your cat and my cat are not the same. The cat tree that is best suited for Uncle Sil, may not be the same cat tree that is best suited for your kitty.

silvio-postYou are your cats Realtor. You know your cat best, and will have a good idea as to what cat tree will be the most accommodating, comfortable and beneficial for your kitty.

We all have our favorite spot in our home, where we like to relax, sip our morning coffee and curl up with a new article from The Cat Chronicles. Your kitty deserves their favorite cat spot in the house that they can call their own, and enjoy being the most precious, wonderful cat they can be!

Yours in Kitty Health,

Kate Grey

Founder of The Cat Chronicles


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9 thoughts on “What is a Cat Tree – Cat Trees for Large Cats

  1. Mecyll Gaspary

    What an extensive review about a cat tree! I really am amazed with how you discussed it. πŸ™‚

    So, may I know why cats love this? I’m not really a cat person, but I tend to observe them moving a lot than dogs. I mean, they keep on climbing somewhere else than dogs, who prefer laying around sleeping. πŸ˜€

    Looking forward to your response. πŸ™‚


  2. Rowena Henrichs

    A great post, I didn’t realize that there was a difference between a cat tree and cat condo. So thanks for clarifying this, it helps when coming to buy one which features you need. A quick question How tall are the cat trees?

  3. Bibin

    I am big pet lover and my cat motti will always jump on big trees.I always wonder how they climb so high and we are more panic than them. Cool article.

  4. Christine

    I love that picture of your cat in the “penthouse”, comfortably on his back, so funny and cute.
    I have three cats. Luckily I have a huge lot with large trees and they climb them often and sharpen their nails on them. I have seen several tree trunks with shaved off bark πŸ˜‰
    Right now I am building my house on that land, and once that is done, I would like to set one or two cat trees inside. The ones you show here are beautiful, and I know that my cats will love them.
    Thank you for sharing this post!

  5. Holly

    I didn’t realize they were named a cat condo. Haha but they are nice to have. I have had them for my cats in the past. After looking at this article i should probably get one for the cat i have now. Its funny how some cats play on it while others use it as a sleeping place.


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