Why Do Cats Like Cat Trees? The Truth Revealed

Have you ever wondered why do cats like cat trees? Most cats like cat trees as they provide the security of high perches, and their own space to climb and explore.

These are the basic requirements for all cats. If you have a cat that spends most of her time indoors she will need a place to climb and explore

Unless your cat has access to a garden or outside space you should provide a cat tree. While you don’t need to buy a tall, expensive structure, you should at least provide a place for her to climb and play.

In this post you’ll discover why cats like cat trees, and how to choose the best one for your cat. Whether you have one cat or multiple kitties you’ll discover how to find a tree to suit their needs.

Your Cat Needs Her Own Space

No matter how sociable your cat is she needs her own space. This is somewhere to retreat to when she feels threatened or just needs time alone.

In addition, a tree makes your cat feel secure and in control. Cat trees provide this need with cubby holes to hide and launch attacks from!

A cat tree provides a perfect hideaway when you have visitors. I don’t know about your cat but mine always hides when friends come round.

Felines Use High Perches For Safety

cats like cat trees-high perches feel safe

The reason cats enjoy perching high is it makes them feel safe. If your cat has a place to perch high off the ground she’ll be able to observe her family.

As she won’t feel threatened there’s a chance your cat won’t dive under the bed when you have visitors round. Plus, if you have multiple cats it can diffuse tension.

You may find each cat has their own favourite perching place on the tree. There are many cat trees with multiple perches and cubby holes designed for several felines.

A Cat Tree Provides Somewhere To Exercise

If you have an indoor cat she’ll have a greater need for exercise. While outdoor cats have trees to climb, you’ll have to provide an alternative.

Just like humans, lack of exercise can soon lead to weight gain and obesity. While interactive cat toys can encourage exercise, a tree provides vertical space.

This allows your cat to climb, and jump as well as play. Even in a small living space you can still get cat trees that don’t take up space.

Claws Are Kept In Good Condition

cat sharpening claws on cat tree

Your cat needs somewhere to sharpen her claws. Whether that’s a scratching pole or your sofa, she will scratch somewhere.

In fact scratching poles are a basic essential if you’re a cat owner. The good thing about cat trees is they provide greater surfaces for scratching.

Most are covered in sisal which is an excellent material for keeping your cat’s claws in good shape. Scratching not only removes dirt and debris, but outer nail sheaths as well.

In addition, your cat has scent glands on her paws which she uses to mark territory. It’s a form of communication that marks things as hers!

How To Choose The Best Cat Tree For Your Kitty

Every cat has different needs, and homes vary in size. Whether you have a mansion or live in a tiny apartment, you can get a cat tree to suit.

Older felines may not jump very high in which case a shorter structure is best. While on the other hand, a young energetic cat will enjoy a taller structure to climb and explore.

older cats with arthritic joints may enjoy perches covered in soft, cosy material. In addition, look for cat trees with wide top perches.

This will allow your cat to stretch herself out in comfort, as well as survey her surroundings. You could even add a heated pad for total luxury!

If you have multiple cats it’s a good idea to get a cat tree with several hidey holes. Make sure there are two exits though for safety.

This is because cats can trap each other. Having an entrance and exit allows a cat to escape if there’s conflict.

One important point to bear in mind is the type of material the tree is made from. Your cat must be able to grip the surface.

Jumping or climbing onto a perch must feel safe for your cat. A fall could injure her, or make her nervous of using the tree.

While you don’t need to spend a fortune, you should look for quality. Cat trees made from solid wood tend to last longer.

It should also have a sturdy base that won’t tip easily. This is especially important if you have a larger cat.

In fact, you can buy cat trees specially made for large kitties. They’re often re-inforced for extra safety.

Think About The Size Of Your Home

cat trees to fit your home

If you live in a small apartment you probably would be better off with climbing shelves. These are an excellent choice as they don’t take up precious space.

They simply fit onto a wall and can be spaced apart however you want. They can also make an attractive feature.

Your cat will get plenty of exercise jumping from shelf to shelf. In addition, they also provide perfect resting places.

On the other hand, if you live in a house with decent living space, a tall cat tree would be fine.

How big is your cat?

Size matters when you’re choosing a cat tree. Always look at measurements and decide if it’s suitable for your cat.

For example, if you have a large size kitty, will the condos or hidey holes be big enough? You don’t want your fury friend wedged inside a condo unable to move!

Alternatively, if you have a young kitten you’ll find trees with smaller hidey holes will be fine. Also, you don’t have to worry about height.

Kittens have boundless energy and will love climbing and jumping on tall structures. Bear in mind though, if you’re at all worried about space, avoid wide designs

Tall, narrow cat trees are usually the best option as they take up minimal space. Also, check if it can be disassembled easily.

Although you may never intend to take the tree apart, there may be occasions you’d need to such as decorating or moving home.

You can find out more about cat trees here, and choose from a variety of styles.

Final Thoughts

why cats like cat trees

I hope this post has helped you understand why do cats like cat trees. As you’ve discovered, all cats need plenty of exercise.

While an outdoor cat usually has trees to climb, indoor cats find other means. Whether this is your best curtains or a cat tree, your kitty won’t mind either way!

Of course, cat trees aren’t essential, but provide your feline friend with her own space to play and rest.

If you’ve enjoyed this post and found it useful please share. Also if you have any questions or would like to share experiences, leave a comment below:)

Wishing you a purrfect day:)

10 thoughts on “Why Do Cats Like Cat Trees? The Truth Revealed”

  1. Hi Kathy,
    I like the idea of a cat tree. I know my cats always like to be above everything whenever they can. They like to be able to see things from above, I would think it is their natural hunting instinct as well. My cats were indoor cats, so the extra exercise would benefit them also.

    My apartment is small, so I think the climbing shelves would be better. I could also get one with the scratching rope as well and eliminate the scratching post they have now. Do you recommend any manufacturer as being the best quality? Thank you for sharing this information on cat trees.

    • Hi Chas, yes, it’s definitely hunting instinct that makes cats choose high places to perch. Being able to survey surroundings from a high vantage point makes it easier to stalk prey. Also, you’re right to consider climbing shelves if you live in a small apartment. They’re not only space saving, but encourage exercise as well. There’s no particular make I’d recommend, but look for quality. Solid wood is usually best as it’s durable. Glad you enjoyed this post and found it useful)

  2. Hi Kathy,
    Thanks for your great article. I had a cat for many years and never fully understood about cat trees.
    I also didn’t notice our cat climbed much. Do all cats need to climb?

    Now we are at the stage of considering pets for our child and the old cat vs dog dilemma comes up.
    I do like that cats are lower maintenance and can also be affectionate. Also knowing about cat trees is really helpful as I can see the safety benefits, exercise and claw sharpening benefits from cat trees.
    Thank you.

    • Hi John, thank you for your comment:) Yes, most breeds of cat need to climb apart from those with short legs. Unless you have shelves, or other such places for your cat to jump and climb, it’s a good idea to provide a cat tree. Yes, most cat breeds are fairly low maintenance. The good thing is you don’t need to walk a cat, like you would a dog:) I hope you manage to sort the dilemma between choosing a cat or dog! Thanks for stopping by:)

  3. It makes sense that cats love cat trees. I mean, imagine if as humans, we don’t get to exercise, have a secure space or do things for fun, what a bore that would be.

    It’s always a good idea to look out for the best ways to better care for our furry friends and your website have lots of good ideas and suggestions to that effect.

    Thank you for this review and the handy tips on cats and cat trees, it’s very informative. Let’s have more of this, Kathy .


    • Hi Femi, I completely agree. Lack of stimulation or exercise would make most people very bored! Glad you enjoyed this post and found the tips useful:)

  4. Hi Kathy, I love your article. Pets give us much love, and I have learned something again by reading your post.
    All indoor cats should have a cat tree because otherwise, our sofa will not last long. A friend of mine had a cat that had ruined chairs, the couch, and other materials like carpet and doors. Cats need to use their paws; it is their nature.
    I can see this too if I watch lions and other cats on television. It is so funny to see several cats in a tree; each one has its place. They seem so relaxed sitting and lying on the branches.
    I believe that this instinct is still in our house cats. A neighbor cat always sits in our peach tree. I don’t like her there because she is hunting my wild birds, but I understand her as well.
    For me, such a cat tree in the living room also looks quite decorative, like furniture. 🙂
    Lovely article, Kathy!

    • Hi Sylvia, thanks for sharing your thoughts, and glad you found this post informative:) I know what you mean about ruined furniture. My cat has made his mark by clawing the sofa! Yes, I love those wildlife programs about big cats as well. They’re so much like domestic kitties! I can understand how upsetting it must be to watch your neighbour’s cat hunt birds from the peach tree. Thanks for stopping by:)

  5. Hi Kathy,

    This is a very useful article for cat owners to know more about their cats. It’s exciting and educational simultaneously. It’s good to provide them with a cat tree at home so that they can exercise enough to stay healthy. They also need personal spaces for safety, so a cat tree does both for us.

    I wonder, where should we put the cat tree? Should we put it alone in a corner or a place with other furniture like the lounge?


    • Hi Matt, so glad you enjoyed this post:) Yes, cat trees have quite a few benefits for our feline friends! In answer to your question, it’s usually a good idea to place the tree in a corner. That way it won’t clutter living space, and your cat may feel a greater sense of privacy. Thanks for stopping by, and nice to see you hear again:)


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