Do Cats Really Need a Tree House?
In a word, yes. Cats need tree houses and will appreciate a well-designed and placed tree house almost as much as she will love the cardboard box it came in. Why is a tree house important to a cat’s wellbeing?
A Little Cat Psychology
Cats like to climb, explore, look down on their minions (aka humans), and have a safe hideout. All cats from lions and tigers down to tiny wild cats love something tall to sit on, some place to sharpen claws, and somewhere to hide. Your domestic kitty is no different. A tree house can provide all those desires and may even eliminate undesirable behavior from stress.
Climbing and Scratching
Cats like to be able to watch goings-on from the top of things – refrigerators, curtain rods, chair backs. By giving them their own perch to supervise the dog and kids, a cat will be happier. Teaching children and dogs that the cat tree is a place for kitty to go when he needs some quiet time will make your cat feel less stressed.
Scratching is one of the great joys of being a cat and is necessary to proper cat hygiene. Instead of mutilating your cat by cutting off the first toe joint and claw, give her something to scratch on (and lots of praise). A cat tree satisfies the need to climb, hide and scratch in one location. Cat trees come with different scratching materials from carpet to wood bark. Sisal or jute is probably the most durable.
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Cats are semi-sociable and have a clear hierarchy. Having a cat tree allows the more dominant cat to have a higher perch. Just this simple act can bring peace to a multi-cat home. If your cats are still finding out their place in the family structure, a cat tree can quickly let the cats establish who is in charge.
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Sleeping, Napping, and Lounging
Cats spend about 60% of the day resting. Offering safe, warm places to sleep keeps cats happy. Many cat trees come with hidey-holes where the cat can feel protected on all sides. Having several of these on a tree can keep multi-cat homes peaceful.
Cats also appreciate being able to lounge around, out of reach from the vacuum, dogs, and children. If the cat tree is in front of a window, your cat can have the excitement of watching life outside without the dangers of actually being outside.
If you have a timid cat, offering a cat tree may help your kitty feel less afraid. It can be above it all, be protected from the rear and have an escape avenue, instead of hiding under the bed.
A cat tree is a playground and can save your furniture from cat rampages. Trees come with breakaway toys, a built-in jungle gym, and places to hunt. Having a cat tree allows your cat to climb, leap, swat, and pounce.
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What to Look For
First, get a tree that doesn’t wobble. The base should be wide and stable. A wobbly tree won’t inspire confidence in your kitty! Get perches sized for your cat. A huge cat won’t enjoy small perches. Try u-shaped ones for maximum cat comfort. Dens are a nice touch. If you attach toys to the tree, make sure they will break away, so your kitty doesn’t hang himself while playing. Get at least as many perches as you have cats.
Your cat wants to be part of what is going on. Putting the cat tree so it has a view both outside and of the most used area in the house will make the cat happy. Cats love snoozing in the sun, watching the birds outside, and keeping an eye on what is happening inside. Since cat trees come in many configurations and colors, you should be able to find something that will work for your cat and decorating style.
Cat trees are essential to keeping cats happy and healthy. We hope you enjoyed our article and found it useful in your search for a tree house for your cat.