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A great cat tree provides a healthy outlet for your cat’s natural instincts, minimizing destructive behaviors while maximizing your cat’s physical and psychological health.
The best cat trees, condos, and towers are sturdy pieces of furniture that provide environmental enrichment for your cat. They have excellent design that complements your home decor scheme and come at a price that fits your budget.
In this article, we’ll go deep into which qualities make a great tree and use that knowledge to identify the top 10 best trees, condos, towers, and cat shelves on the market.
Quick Look: Top 10 Best Cat Trees
We highly recommend looking at the comparison product table we have below where we highlighted the features of each product.
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The Best Cat Trees, Towers, and Condos on the Market Reviewed
Overall Best Cat Tree: Armarkat Classic Cat Tree B5301 Review
Moderate price, high quality construction, and a fun but not excessive array of features earns this cat tree its place as our overall number one pick.
AeroMark has manufactured Armarkat trees for the last 20 years and is well-regarded as one of the best companies in the industry. Their products are reasonably-priced and made to last. They also offer replacement parts for all of their trees.
Armarkat’s Classic tree is a medium-sized tree measuring 24″ x 22″ x 53”. It costs $62.99, which is reasonable for a tree of this size.
It’s made from a sturdy pressed wood body and is wrapped in a faux fleece covering. It’s strong enough to support up to 40 lbs, but the platforms and condo areas are relatively small, so it’s best for smaller or medium-sized cats.
For example, the “house” area measures 14” x 12” x 12” —a relatively cramped space for a larger feline. Overweight cats or members of naturally large breeds should consider a more substantial tree like the CozyCatFurniture tower for large cats, which is reviewed later in this article.
The tree has two dedicated lounging platforms, a ramp, a dangling ball toy, an enclosed condo, and five sisal-wrapped scratching areas.
On Amazon, the Armarkat Classic cat tree has 880 customer reviews and an overall rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars. Positive reviews revolve around the tree’s sturdiness, while unhappy reviewers tend to complain about the short-lived covering quality. Apparently, the faux fleece has a tendency to snag. After about a year of use, the soft, delicate covering develops a rough, ragged appearance that you can’t do anything about.
- Strong and sturdy
- High enough to satisfy your cat’s need for elevation
- Has all the features cats need
- A great value at just over $60
- Cats tend to break the dangling toy
- Faux fleece covering tends to get worn and damaged
Best Cat Tower for Apartments: Trixie Pet Products Miguel Fold and Store Cat Tower Review
- Our Rating: 7.5/10
- Dimensions: 20.25″ x 13.75″ x 25.5″
- Product Weight: 11 lbs
- Weight Capacity: Ideal for cats up to 15 lbs
- Construction: Compressed wood
- Covering Material: Faux fur
- Country of Manufacture: China
- Color Options: Brown and Beige, Gray and Light Gray
- Price: Out of stock
- Read Customer Reviews
This fuzzy little folding tower packs (almost) all the features your cat could need into a small, portable tower that fits into limited spaces and flexible lifestyles. It’s designed to satisfy your cat’s natural instincts without taking up a lot of square footage.
This is a good choice for people who haven’t quite settled down. If you’re renting an apartment and think you’ll move on to a new home soon, this foldable little tower could be a good interim choice. A larger, more expensive cat tower takes some time and muscle to disassemble, pack, and move.
It has a comfortable bottom cubby for hiding, a scratching surface, a dangling ball toy, and a top hammock. But at barely over 2 feet tall, it’s not the best choice for cats who crave elevation.
If you live in a small apartment and want to give your cat additional vertical space, you might consider clearing away cat-dedicated space on a bookshelf or buying dedicated wall shelves for your cat. These may be either generic shelves or shelves made specifically for cats, complete with scratching surfaces and cat-friendly shapes.
Because they attach to the wall and tend to integrate well with home decor, wall shelves are a subtle choice for people with limited floor space.
- Fold it away and store it when not needed
- Packs multiple surfaces and features into a small size
- Convenient for nomadic people
- A short tree—not great for cats who need height
Best Large Cat Tree: Armarkat Deluxe 74” Cat Tree Review
This large tree measures 50” x 26” x 74”, so it’s both tall enough to satisfy your cat’s need for elevation and wide enough to provide a generous play area.
The tree is constructed from plywood, which is a sturdy, durable manufactured wood. The plywood structure is covered with a dense faux fur material. The tree has three raised platforms, two enclosed cubbies, two ramps, and all of the supporting posts are wrapped in sisal rope. A single pom-pom dangles from one of the top platforms.
The platforms and cubbies are large enough to accomodate most cats.
While the tree is well-constructed and stable by most accounts, it might topple under certain circumstances. One reviewer said that while their two cats were chasing one another up the tree, it toppled and landed on one of their cats, rupturing his bladder.
Fortunately, the cat went to the veterinarian and made a full recovery, but the incident is worrying. While this reviewer was the only one describing a toppling incident, you may want to brace the tree against a wall for maximum stability.
This tree costs $121.68, which is about average for a piece of cat furniture this size.
- Made from sturdy pressed wood
- Covered in faux fleece
- 60 lb weight capacity
- Both wide and tall for maximum fun
- One reviewer said that the tree toppled on their cat
Best Cat Tree for Older Cats: Trixie Baza Senior Cat Tree Review
If your senior kitty has arthritis or other issues that restrict their mobility, jumping onto a cat tree might not be as simple as it once was. One solution is to place cat steps or an accessible stool or chair next to an existing tree. You could also choose a cat tree with a senior-friendly design.
The Trixie Baza senior tree has a simple design with padded stepped platforms that allow your senior cat to hop from step to step all the way up to the hammock lounger. It’s not a tall tree, but it takes your cat off the floor and is the right height for looking out of low windows.
The tree measures 19.5” x 19.5” x 27.5”.
It’s constructed from durable MDF material and covered in fluffy faux fur.
The three scratching posts are wrapped in jute, which is softer and less durable than sisal rope. Prepare for some shredding and dilapidation after a few months of use. Remember that it is possible to replace the scratching rope wrapping. While it’s more time-consuming than ordering a new tree on Amazon, it’s definitely an economical and less wasteful choice.
- Stepped ramps for easy access
- Features a lounging hammock for snoozing in the sun
- Covered in a long faux fur
- Three jute-wrapped scratching poles
- Doesn’t come with instructions
- Made with cheap, flimsy faux fur
Best Cat Tree for Large Cats: CozyCatFurniture Cat Tower for Large Cats Review
Many cat trees have small perches and delicate designs best-suited to cats weighing 12 pounds or less. If your cat is larger than that, the tower might feel wobbly and the perches won’t give them space to relax.
While the tower itself is average-sized at 20″ x 26″ x 52″, it’s designed for larger cats. Each of the three beds measures 15” in diameter with a 6” lip, making them large enough to satisfy the beefier set. According to customer reviews, these beds are large enough for big cats weighing up to 20 lbs.
It’s a sturdy piece made from solid wood. The solid wood body is covered with carpet, which is highly durable and appropriate for scratching and roughhousing. The tree also features a 22” sisal rope scratching post.
It’s delivered almost completely assembled. Only the top bed needs to be attached to the head of the tower. Note that the holes aren’t pre-drilled, so you’ll need to use a power drill to drive in the screws.
It’s available in beige, brown, blue, gray, and green colors. The tree costs $89.98 plus $14.31 shipping.
- Large platforms keep your bigger cats comfortable
- Sturdy construction
- Minimal assembly required
- Moderate height
- Features a large, strong scratching post
- Some don’t like the appearance of a carpet scratching post
Best Stylish Cat Tower: The Refined Feline Lotus Cat Tower Review
The Refined Feline Lotus cat tower has a delicate curving design that is intended to add to the beauty of the room in which it’s placed.
At $369.99, it’s one of the more expensive trees on the market, but as one reviewer said, it’s for people who “can’t live with the ugly cat tower anymore but aren’t in the market for the $1000 mod-art models from a Swedish design firm.”
The tower measures 20” x 20” x 69”, allowing your cat to perch at a maximum of almost 6 feet above the ground.
It has three stepped platforms with a large cupped lounger at the top. All feature Berber carpet pads that are attached with Velcro for easy removal.
One side of the Lotus’s stem features a small woven sisal pad for scratching and stretching. A bottom cubby adds visual balance and supports the piece. Because it has a smooth body and removable pads, the tree is exceptionally easy to clean and won’t grime up quickly.
In 2011, the company started working with a new manufacturer, leading to serious quality control problems. Amazon customers received Lotus towers with cosmetic and structural defects, like chipped wood, uneven stain, misaligned screw holes, and more.
After a series of complaints, the company changed to a new manufacturer and, according to a statement on the product listing, has implemented a more rigorous quality control process. Although the company claims that this fiasco involved refunds, one unhappy customer said they received a generous $50 refund on a product that cost over $300.
While this moment in the Refined Feline story casts the company and their manufacturing ability in a bad light, the majority of customer reviews are positive. The tower has a 4.5 out of 5-star rating on Amazon, with 72% of 453 customer reviewers giving it 5 stars.
The tower is available in three subtle shades—espresso, mahogany, and smoke.
- Has a stylish curved design
- Comes in three colors
- Bottom cubby for hiding and snuggling
- Sturdy design
- Not made from solid wood
Best Sturdy Cat Tree: New Cat Condos Premier Cat Play Tree, Brown, Large
New Cat Condos has been in business for over 30 years. These trees are built in the United States and are some of the highest-quality products on the market. At Out of stock, this tree is the second most-expensive on the list, but it’s known for superior construction quality, stability, and durability.
It’s covered with plush household-grade carpet and has a core structure made from solid wood. This sets it apart from most cat trees made from engineered wood products. Like most high-quality and sturdy trees, it arrives almost fully assembled. You’ll need to use a drill to attach the two platforms.
The base is a heavy square measuring 20” x 20” and the tower is 51” tall. The tree has a top perch, a center lounging platform, and two “knots” that add to playtime options.
It looks a bit like a cartoon tree, a design that some love and others hate. Although it doesn’t have a dedicated scratching area, the entire body is covered with carpet, allowing the entire structure to function as a scratching post.
You can purchase it in beige or green shades.
- Looks a bit like a real tree
- Comes almost fully assembled
- Available in brown or green colors
- Full body carpet for all-over scratching
- Very sturdy and durable
- Some might not like the tree design
- Relatively small lounging platforms
Best Budget Cat Tree: Trixie Pet Products Baza Cat Tree Review
If you’re on a hardcore budget, you don’t really need to buy a cat tree at all. If your goal is providing environmental enrichment, you can achieve that without buying any special furniture.
Instead, give your cat dedicated climbing zones on bookshelves, baker’s racks, or install low-cost shelves for your cat to climb on. You might also consider a tall scratching post to satisfy both scratching and climbing instincts.
If you do want to buy a tree on a limited budget, this small hammock lounger from Trixie Pet Products is a good choice.
The Baza line includes a variety of trees at different prices and sizes. The size small is your cheapest option at $24.95. Unfortunately, it’s only 20 inches tall and acts more like a cat chair than a cat tree.
While it’s not the ceiling-scraper that some cats need, it does provide some of the psychologically satisfying benefits of a cat tree. It has two scratching pillars covered in sisal rope, a hammock for lounging, and a pom-pom dangle toy for the frisky set.
- A great value buy
- Cats love the hammock lounger
- Two scratching posts
- Very easy to assemble
- The faux fur is difficult to clean
- Cats tend to rip up the fur base
Best Cat Tree for Multiple Cats: Go Pet Club Cat Tree – 72 in. Review
This sprawling tree measures 50″ x 26″ x 72″.
It has three high perches, two enclosed condos, and two dangling toy mice. Your cats can leap from level to level or use the two sets of steps to climb up.
The entire structure is built from cardboard and compressed wood covered in a dense, plush faux fleece. The cardboard posts are wrapped in sisal rope.
It’s a strong cat tree. Several customer reviewers said that they put their own bodyweight on the tree to verify its strength.
One 130-lb reviewer climbed all the way to the top, while another said that the first tier supported their 230 lbs.
While the tree starts out strong, it has a tendency to break down over time. For example, the poles and posts have a tendency to become wobbly after months or years of use.
It’s one of the most popular cat trees on Amazon, with 5,969 customer reviews and an overall rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars. Considering its massive size, it’s a good value at around 81$.
The tree is available in three colors—beige, blue, and leopard print.
- One of the larger trees on the market
- Soft plush fleece covering
- Multiple play areas
- Some reviewers received damaged products
- Cheaply made
Best Cat Wall Shelves: On2Pets Cat Furniture Canopy Shelves for Climbing, Playing and Relaxing Review
If you have limited space, don’t like the appearance of a cat tree in your home, or want to add even more off-ground space in addition to a tree, you might consider installing cat shelves.
These shelves have an interesting appearance thanks to the addition of artificial leaves. Like little bushes on the wall, they are instinct-satisfying places to perch and hide. The leaves are made from smooth polyethylene plastic.
The perches are covered with soft carpet for added comfort and scratchability.
The shelves are sold in sets of two. Each one supports up to 32 pounds and measures 22” x 13” x 15”.
A set of two shelves costs $54.99 on Amazon.
- Perfect for limited space
- Attractive artificial leaves look like home decor
- Strong enough to support 32 lbs
- Carpet pad is scratchable and cozy
- Gets positive reviews from customers
- Not as multifunctional as a traditional cat tree
- Some cats may eat the leaves
- Not recommended on drywall
Choosing the Best Cat Tree—Qualities of a Great Cat Tree, Tower, or Condo
The best cat trees are tall.
Imagine suddenly shrinking down to your cat’s height. After exploring the hidden world at ground level, wouldn’t you want a way to look down at your environment from above?
If your cat is afraid of humans, loud noises, or other cats, or if they’re generally stressed out, a tall cat tree can help to get them off the floor and out of the fear zone. The more stress-induced behavioral problems your cat has, the taller their cat tree should be.
Watch your cat’s climbing behaviors to gauge their personal desire for height. One cat might hop to the top of the refrigerator, while another seldom jumps higher than your desk. Use this natural behavior as a guide, but don’t let your cat’s current habits limit their future. Some cats are shy and inhibited and will hide under the bed until they’re given vertical territory.
The best cat trees are well-constructed from strong wood or wood products.
Ultimately, the materials used to make the tree aren’t as significant as the tree’s construction quality. That said, it’s good to familiarize yourself with the materials used to make cat trees.
There are several types of derivative wood products.
- Plywood is composed of thin layers of wood glued together. Because it’s very strong, plywood is an excellent cat tree building material.
- MDF or medium density fiberboard is a type of compressed wood made from wood flour and glue. It’s a high-grade composite that’s often stronger than natural wood.
- Particleboard is made from wood byproducts bound with synthetic resin or other binders, and it’s an economical, slightly weaker alternative to plywood or solid wood.
Because they’re made from unpredictable, inconsistent natural materials, cat trees made from solid wood are typically more expensive than those made with engineered wood products. Cat trees made from solid wood are often artisanal pieces that place an emphasis on design quality.
The best cat trees are covered in comfortable, durable materials.
Your cat won’t only scratch the tree’s dedicated scratching posts. They’ll dig their claws into almost every surface of the tree. The tree’s covering materials should be strong and durable for years of clawing and fun.
Carpet cat trees have the greatest longevity and feel nice under your cat’s claws. From a practical standpoint, carpet-covered trees are your best choice.
They’re more aesthetically pleasing than carpet-covered cat trees, but fleece materials are less durable than carpet. Some people say that their cats slip when trying to jump onto fleece trees.
Like real fur, faux fur comes in multiple lengths and thicknesses. Longer faux fur gets dirty quickly and can be difficult to clean. Shorter, denser faux fur has the same benefits and drawbacks associated with faux fleece.
Some cat trees, especially those exploring a chic, stylish concept, may not have any soft covering at all. They may be made from laminated wood with patches of scratchable material. These are fun for some cats and uncomfortable for others. Again, personal preference is the deciding factor here, so observe your cat’s behaviors to anticipate how they’ll respond to any given type of cat tree.
The best cat trees are sturdy.
You need a cat tree that can handle routine cat attacks. Most cats aren’t afraid to climb to the very top of a tree, but if they feel a wobble, they’ll be nervous. If the tree topples, they might never use it again—and for good reason. Look for trees with substantial bases, heavy construction, and a reputation of stability.
The best cat trees have features that suit your cat’s style.
Some cat trees have cubby holes, multiple platforms, dangly toys, and numerous scratching posts. These features can be fun, but you have to know your cat and whether or not they’ll be into it.
Before you buy a tree, think about your cat’s personality and play style. If you’ve spent time with your cat outdoors, think about their reaction to a real tree. Do they like to climb as high as possible, or are they afraid to touch bark? Are they all about scratching or are they more inclined to chase after blowing leaves?
Give your cat as much play space and play options as their personality demands and your budget, floor space, and personal taste will allow. You might want to give your cat a rollicking good time with a monstrosity like this, but is it really worth the price and visual impact? You decide.
The best cat trees coordinate with your home decor.
Your cat doesn’t make any fashion demands—they want a place where they can freshen up their claws, stretch, get a little exercise, and pretend they’re lounging in a fever tree. These needs could be equally satisfied by a beige carpet jungle gym or a sleek piece of modern art.
When it comes to aesthetics, be selfish. It’s your house and your choice.
The best cat trees fit in your budget.
Cat trees run the price spectrum, but it’s almost impossible to find a tree priced lower than $25 at retail. Those around the $25 mark are typically smaller trees with fewer features. Most cat trees fall within the $45-$200 range, and this is where you’ll see a lot of variety in size, construction quality, and design.
Most cat trees over $200 have some extraordinary characteristics to justify the price. These include extra-large size, chic design, or exceptional workmanship. Some of them are zany novelty items, like this 82-lb Kitty Titanic Condo, which allows your cat to survive the sinking of a carpet-covered Titanic for just $1,999.
How to Make Your Own Cat Tree – DIY Cat Tree Ideas
Not satisfied by the selection of trees on the market? Here are a few resources to help you complete your own DIY cat tree project.
IkeaHackers contributors have come up with a lot of cool ideas for making your own cat trees, condos, shelving, and other cat furniture.
This video tutorial will help you to construct a full-feature cat tree over the course of a weekend.
This tutorial from Brittany Goldwyn gives you all the information you need to create a gorgeous cat tree with natural branches.
About the author
Mallory Crusta is a writer and adventurecat enthusiast on a mission to make cats’ lives extraordinary. She’s one of the founders of Wildernesscat – a site for happy, healthy, and adventurous cats who are fueled by nature. Visit Wildernesscat for radically natural cat nutrition, home remedies, and lifestyle inspiration.