Up, Up and Away

Why your cat should have a cat tree — and 
the right one to get.


Consumer Reports maintains that a happy cat has a cat tree and has evaluated several on the market, noting that different cats have different tastes and requirements. The American Association of Feline Practitioners has endorsed the organization’s view by placing its article about cat trees on its website. It’s not surprising. Cats were originally tree dwellers and like hanging out by themselves “above the fray.” Here are the basic takeaways.

  1. If your cat likes to squeeze herself into boxes and other places that are tight fits, consider purchasing a tree that has cozy cubbies for her to nestle in.
  2. All cats are climbers, but if climbing is something your pet really enjoys, buy a tree where she can perch at several differ-ent heights.
  3. Choose a tree with the scratching texture that you’ve noticed your cat really enjoys. It might be something like jute, seagrass, or rope.
  4. Does your cat enjoy scratching horizontally or vertically? If horizon-
    tal scratching is her thing, make sure the tree you bring home has a base that she can run her claws across. If she’s a vertical scratcher, look for a tree “trunk” in her preferred texture.
  5. If your cat weighs more than 10 pounds, make sure you purchase a tree with a relatively wide, heavy base. You don’t want the thing tipping over when she jumps up onto it. While you’re at it, make sure the perches on your heavier tree are big enough for your larger cat.

The article notes that your cat might enjoy having the tree next to a wall but near a window. The wall — something solid behind her — will make her feel safe; the window will allow her to look outdoors from her comfy landing.

For the full article and suggestions for different types of trees depend-ing on your cat’s proclivities, go to the website of the American Association of Feline Practitioners — catvets.org — and look under “AAFP in the News.”


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