Cat trees are totally worth it. Contrary to what some people believe, cats are not low maintenance animals. Cats need mental and physical stimulation and cat trees are a great way to keeping your cat healthy and physically active.
If you have an indoor cat, then a cat tree is definitely worth the investment. Not only will it provide your kitty with some much-needed exercise, but it will also keep them happy and mentally stimulated.
Cat trees are worth it because they will help you and your cat in more than one way. Let's see them:
A Cat Tree Will Stop Cats From Scratching Furniture
Cats use scratching as a way to mark their territory. They have pheromone glands in their paws, and when they scratch, they are leaving behind a scent that says "this is mine" or "this is safe".
So if your cat is scratching up your furniture, it's not because they're spiteful or trying to ruin your stuff – they're just trying to claim their territory. An anxious cat will display more of this behavior. Spreading pheromones is good for your cat's mental health, as it makes them feel safe and relaxed.
There are even synthetic products that will emulate this pheromone, like Feliway. Feliway is a synthetic copy of the feline facial pheromone, used by cats to mark their territory as safe and secure. It is odorless and non-toxic to both people and animals. When released, Feliway creates a state of comfort and well-being, reducing stress-related behaviors like urine spraying, scratching, or hiding.
A cat tree gives them a designated area to scratch and naturally spread their pheromones, helping them feel more relaxed and safe. Because the cat tree will be used for that purpose they won't feel the need to mark up your furniture.
Cat Trees Provide Mental and Physical Stimulation
Cat trees also provide physical stimulation for indoor cats. Most indoor cats are overweight. They eat too much or (in most cases) because they don't get enough physical enrichment.
Cats that have cat trees at home can climb and roam not only on the floor but also vertically like they would in the wild. They climb to the top and survey their kingdom, or play with the dangling toys. This keeps them from getting bored and restless, which can lead to destructive behaviors.
Cats Climb High to Feel Safer
Cats feel safer when they are up high. A cat tree also provides your cat with a safe place to retreat when they feel threatened or scared. This is especially important if you have other pets in the house that may make your cat feel intimidated.
Do cats use cat trees?
Some cats won't use the cat tree right away. If this is the case, try putting some catnip on it or spraying it with Feliway (the synthetic cat pheromone we mentioned earlier).
Try to reinforce the behavior when it happens. If your cat is familiar with clicker training, when you see your cat near or on the cat tree, click and reward for using it. You can also try placing your cat's food near or on the cat tree to entice them to check it out.
Once they have spread their pheromones on it they'll be using it all the time!
What makes a cat tree good?
To choose the best cat tree, my recommendation is that you look for one that is tall (at least 3 feet), has multiple levels, and is made of sturdy materials. It should also have a wide base to prevent tipping. And of course, make sure it has some fun features like toys, tunnels, or hidey-hole!
So, are cat trees worth it? Absolutely! If you have an indoor cat, a cat tree is a great way to provide them with exercise, mental stimulation, and a sense of safety. Plus, it will save your furniture from getting scratched up. So everyone wins!
Stay Wild, Stay Safe, See You Outdoors!
Albert & Mia