How big should a cat tree be? That’s a common question among cat owners wishing to provide the best for their furry friends.
The cat tree size depends on your pet’s age, breed, and habits. If you have multiple cats, you’ll need a bigger tree.
A cat tree five to six feet tall will suffice for most domesticated cats. A cat that falls from that height isn’t at a high risk of an injury but can climb and jump, expressing its instincts.
For kittens, however, trees no taller than two feet are ok. There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all cat tree. Many kitties will like a much taller cat tree than the minimum height for cat furniture.
Buying a cat tree can be tricky because there are so many different kinds. Pay attention to your cat’s preferences and consider your living space to pick the best cat tree.
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Tree Size for a Kitten
Kittens don’t typically need as big trees as adult cats. They aren’t yet skilled at climbing and can injure themselves if falling from a tall tree. However, the tree’s height also depends on your kitten’s personality.
A short cat tree might be better if your kitten spends more time lounging. However, more curious and energetic kittens need a more elaborate setup or multiple trees.
You can get cat trees for kittens from under two to four inches. Shorter cat trees are better for young kittens under two months old that only learn to behave like adults, jump, and climb.
Taller trees are best for kittens over four months old that can already jump relatively high and know how to land on the ground safely.
Cat trees can be very simple, with a single scratching post and platform, or serve as a proper playground for your pet.
Get a larger tree with several condos, scratching posts, and toys if you have room for one. For kittens, a cat tree is merely about the enrichment than about the elevation.
When choosing a cat tree for a kitten, stability is a must. Cat trees that wobble from jumping, climbing, or clawing may not be dangerous for your kitten because they can tip over and cause an injury.
The best time to teach a cat not to claw furniture is in kittenhood. An appealing, sufficiently large cat tree will help you build positive habits in your little friend.
Tree Size for An Adult Cat
A cat tree for an adult cat should be at least three feet tall, about the height of a kitchen counter. Although many cats prefer clawing horizontal surfaces, they still sometimes appreciate an opportunity to sleep at an elevation.
Cats love climbing, so a tall cat tree is a great idea to get enough exercise. After all, you don’t want your cat jumping on the fridge or TV or climbing up your curtains.
Get a tall cat tree for your adult cats to encourage exercise by climbing, leaping, jumping, scratching, and playing. Cats also like to observe their surroundings from a height, like feral cats that watch their prey from trees.
Besides, cats feel safer in trees than on the ground. There’s no doubt that cats are apex predators in our houses, but in the wild, they’re also prey.
It’s harder to spot cats among branches, so a cat tree makes your pet feel secure and helps relieve anxiety.
However, consider your cat’s breed. Munchkin cats, for instance, have short legs and don’t need an as tall tree.
The perfect height of trees for these cats is up to five inches because if they fall from a six-foot cat tree, they might get hurt.
On the other hand, an active, agile Abyssinian or Oriental cat will appreciate more space for climbing, both vertical and horizontal.
Tree Size for A Large Cat
Large breeds of cats like Maine Coons, Savannahs, and Norwegian Forest Cats can find it hard to stand atop conventional cat trees. Plus, they need taller trees to stretch their backs after a long nap.
Consider how old your cat is and how spacious the room is. Ensure that your cat tree won’t pose a safety risk to your pet while giving you enough space to sleep and exercise.
Large-breed kittens might need a cat tree for adults because of their non-standard size. A Maine Coon or Savannah kitten might find a two-foot tree unattractive and unamusing if it does not pose any challenges.
Consider floor-to-ceiling cat trees for an adult large-breed cat. Such cats can weigh up to 35 pounds, and conventional cat trees aren’t designed to handle such jumping power.
Floor-to-ceiling cat trees bolt onto your floor and ceiling (obviously) so they don’t tip over no matter how active your cat is or how many cats you have.
If your large breed cat spends most of its time sleeping, ensure that the tree has several condos, platforms, and hammocks to give it a view of its surroundings. The condos should be spacious enough.
Your cat may prefer a lower cat tree if it typically sleeps on the floor or your bed rather than an elevated surface.
Tree Size for Multiple Cats
We humans might not always realize this, but cats are extremely territorial and need personal space like air. Our feline friends can co-exist and even become friends, but sharing isn’t their strong trait.
Having multiple cats means you’ll need a larger tree. Cats love silence and peace when they’re sleeping. If one cat steps on another while it rests or attempts to take its place, they may begin a fight.
They can split up more territory with a broader tree and claim different sections. The extra width also gives cats more paths to find their perfect spot.
It may be hard for cats to get to their favorite sleeping spot if the tree is tall and narrow because they will inevitably have to step on their housemates.
The cat tree for multiple cats should have as many sleeping spots as many pets you have – or more.
For instance, if you have five cats, get a cat tree with at least five condos, even if your cats are friends and often sleep together.
Cats that have never been territorial can suddenly change their attitude because of environment change, maternal instincts, or inter-sex aggression.
Preventing territorial aggression in cats is easier than resolving an existing issue, so ensure your cats have enough place to wind off.
An older cat is less likely to jump around than a kitten or a young cat. Taller cat trees might be ideal for younger cats but unattractive to older ones. A multi-floor tree is perfect if you have cats of different ages.
Some cat trees have tunnels, jump-through holes, and toys allowing cats to play together, chasing each other and hiding. It’s a perfect option if your cats are playful and active.
Your cats should also have their own scratching spot, so pick cat trees with several posts.
For older cats, a tree with wide floors is better, so their legs don’t droop. Heavier cats also may have trouble jumping and getting through tight spaces.
Ensure the cat tree has a heavy base for extra stability because more cats mean more trouble. The cat tree doesn’t have to attach to the floor or ceiling, but its base should be made from solid wood.
A Heavy Base Is Crucial
A cat tree must be stable to prevent it from tipping over if your cat jumps on it. You should be mindful of the height to base weight ratio.
If the tree is tall but the base is made from cheap plastic, the structure will be shaky, and your cat won’t find it attractive.
Check the cat tree material and weight before buying it. The most durable, stable cat trees are usually made of solid wood and can get quite heavy. You shouldn’t be able to lift it when it’s assembled unless you’re a heavy lifter.
Every cat’s favorite thing is jumping into the air and running across the room at full speed, an action known as “zoomies.” The tree should withstand your cat crashing into it and climbing to the top.
There are a lot of poorly designed cat trees on the market today. They are affordable but turn out to be a waste of money in the long term because cats are hesitant to use them.
In the wild, cats claw tree trunks that don’t move an inch. They associate shaky cat trees with danger.
Is there a fix for a wobbly cat tree? You can try widening the base or adding something heavy to the bottom of the cat tree. A heavy base will make the construction more stable without replacing the entire tree.
Premium cat trees made from solid wood and durable sisal are pricey, but a well-made one will last a lifetime. Bored cats can get destructive, so investing more in a high-quality tree is a good idea.