A cat tree isn’t just an extravagant purchase for a cat guardian, it’s actually a beneficial addition to the indoor environment. Humans live in a horizontal world but cats live in a vertical one and they depend on elevated areas for safety, comfort, exercise and fun. If you’ve ever had to retrieve your kitty from the top of the refrigerator or bookcase you know how much she enjoys being on the tallest perch in the room.
Cat Trees Can Help Keep the Peace
In a multicat environment, vertical territory can help maintain peace because the higher-ranking cat can claim the highest perch as a show of her status. In some cases where two cats might’ve normally engaged in a physical confrontation, the availability of a high perch can enable the higher-ranking cat to display her position by climbing up there instead of actually having to fight physically. It can often be a way of maintaining harmony when you have more than one cat.
Safety for Timid Cats
For a frightened or timid cat, a cat tree can provide a safe haven for her to stay relatively out in the open while maintaining a sense of security. When she’s on a high perch she can more easily see her environment and has more visual warning time of any advancing opponent. The tree can also provide comfort to a timid cat and she may opt to stay in the room more often, rather than flee under a bed or behind the furniture. The tree becomes a place that’s exclusively hers because it doesn’t contain unfamiliar scents that a sofa or chair would have.
Sharing Made Easy With Cat Trees
A multi-perched tree allows more than one cat to share a close space while maintaining the pecking order. Two cats or three cats in the home who wouldn’t normally share a window ledge in peace, may each comfortably claim a perch in order to enjoy watching the birds outdoors. Each cat maintains their status and feels safe while being in close proximity to each other.
A cat tree can serve more than one function for your cat as well. In addition to being a great place to perch, the support posts can serve double-duty as scratching posts. You can find cat trees that have sisal covering the posts (cats love sisal) or even bare wood. If you currently have a tree that has carpeted support posts you can wrap them with rope to create more scratching options for your cat. Just make sure the rope is untreated.
Shopping for a Cat Tree
When shopping for a cat tree, keep your cat’s size and personality in mind. If you have a large cat, don’t choose a tree with small, flat perches or kitty will be hanging over the perch – and that can leave her feeling very vulnerable to attack. Choose a tree with perches that are an appropriate size. Perches that are in a “U” shape are great because the cat can rest her back against the side. Cats often feel more secure when they have their back against something.