Monday, July 04, 2005

Shopping for a Cat Tree

I'd love to get the boys a cat tree so they'd have a nice high perch that isn't the kitchen counter. Unfortunately, all the cat trees I've owned, seen at the store, or viewed online are dangerously made. Most have loose carpeting (which they swallow), little plastic threads coming off, splinters in the cubbies, and even sharp staples hanging out.

I would love to get the boys a cat tree, but I've been procrastinating about this for a long time, hoping that I won't spend $150 - $200 on a product that looks good online, but then is dangerous when I unpack it.

Recently, I saw an ad for a new line of cat furniture, from a company called The Refined Feline. They use low-pile carpeting and smooth wood. I wrote them a note asking if they use staples and they wrote me back to say they did not. So I'm very tempted to order one of these.

From left, they are:

The Lotus: A whopping 70" tall which is great, but I'm a little concerned about how it sways when cats jump on it. They say it's designed to sway, however. View the video to see what I'm talking about.

The Watchtower: Good thing about this one is that there's not a lot of carpet in it so less for the boys to mess up. It also looks very stable, but I don't like the looks of it and I really want something taller. Also, the boys don't need a hiding place now that they have their new covered cage.

The Little Lotus: Just like the Lotus, but a considerably shorter at 48" tall (as opposed to 70). I'm wondering whether 48" is tall enough, but my fiancee Liz likes this choice b/c she's a little concerned about the boys being "taller than we are" when standing at 70".

What do you think?


neddles said...

We have a 2.1m tall scratching post for the mognificent Seven which looks like nowhere near as sturdy as yours, and none of them have ever managed to make it topple over (even with multitudes launching themselves at it from different angles) or fallen off it.

Cats with their natural sense of balance don't seem to have any difficulty overcoming a little swaying, in fact, I am sure two of ours enjoy having the entire post batted about by others whilst standing staunchly at the top riding out the waves.

Your boys will love you for the extra height, cats just love being up high, your biggest concern will be one of them or both turning into a pirate kitten (we have two of them, they are the ones thatlaunch themselves from any height onto your shoulder screaming Geronimo as they fly).

sadie said...

Hello, my name is Kathryn. I live in Dallas, Tx .. we have several cats (my sister & I) The best cat post I ever got was one from PetSmart .. it is about 4 feet some inches tall .. carpeted has a house on the bottom.. which cats will crawl into and sleep .. two tiers. On tier has a hanging carpeted square from it. It cost me
about 100.00 this was several years ago. At the time my cats did not like it, but my sisters cats LOVE it.. always someone on it. :-)

Vicki aka BaileyShelbyCody said...

Hello again! I was just looking at this post before I came over to see if you had written anything lately. Several years ago I had a post made that cost me a little under 400.00, it was custom made and I had carpet put on it. The backing from the carpet eventually made it's way to the front from all the scratching, and I do clip it, but I have never really had a problem with the pieces coming off.

I do have other posts with carpet and with carpet and sisel. I used to worry like crazy they would eat it, but I have never seen anyone try to eat a piece except Bailey and I clip them so he can't get to them. I have had the cats ingest anything from toys to hair to who knows what and I have one of the most cat proof houses you will ever find and the vet (after taking Bailey in for the umpteenth time) that almost everything passes through and if it doesn't they throw it up. Since that last visit (knock on wood) years ago, I quit worrying and have had no problems. Just keep an eye out.

Found something else you might like too. I'm going to order one a month. They are expensive, but I go through so much litter each month, I think this would save me at least 1/2. Not sure if I told you, I have 19 cats.

I made my own litter boxes like this a few years ago, twice. Once to use with the crystals (they got severly stuck in the holes) and another I used with a pellet type litter. Don't recall what the name was, but one of my cats hated the litter and would always poop outside the box. The smell was horrible too and I had to dump the boxes once a week and clean completely out. No way, I want to do that again, but this seems a better idea. There is another box on the market like it, in fact there are two. I bought one of them, but the sides were to short and the box too small, they went over the side. Same small size in the other box.

neddles said...

I know I have posted on this before, but having thought about it for a few more days I felt it important to weigh in on this - the posts you like look great with a capital G, but if I were a cat, judging from mine, I would high tail it in no time.


Not enough vertical scratching spaces. Ours are flimsy wobbly posts, and yes, one of our kittens will ingest the odd bit of sisal and hack it up in the morning like a furball, but at least they get to leap their way along sisal covered posts from floor to ceiling, and if they want to stop along the way they can have a good scratch to feel their paws and mark their spot.

In terms of the post you like, 10/10 for gorgeous from me, 2/10 I would suspect from the Mognificent Seven.

Muddy, said...

Oh those are cool!!! I want one. I like all of them, but the taller the better! -- Muddy,

Thumper said...

Those are awesome looking...but there's nothing really to stretch up to and scratch on, and that's what will keep the kitties playing with it.

The carpeted trees and gyms can be very safe. Look for ones made by Green Duck (very well made), or check local pet stores (and ranch supply places oddly enough) for cat gyms. Often people locally build them and sell them in supply places, and they're generally very well made.

We got our 2 a new carpeted gym and it's tacked down well, no staples or nails sticking out. Now it's just a matter of checking it every week, and if any carpet fiber has been pulled up we clip it off.

If they're keeping their claws, they need something to scratch...those trees are pretty, but not especially practical.

Anonymous said...

Green duck is the brand that we did use and fell apart leaving shreds of carpet everywhere and with dangerous splinters and staples inside the hideaway just hanging out where I got cut just sticking my hand in there, much less our boys with their constant exploring.


Anonymous said...

Hi Liz and Avram,

We have a house full of cats and sometimes I think we spend more on their furniture than ours. No matter what we buy, they like these simple cradles the best:

That link goes to Dr. F&S, and we have four or five of those. They take a lot of abuse and we have had no problems with them at all.

We bought our very first cradle, whic is very similar, locally. I still like it best because it has a really low pile carpeting--really low--that they can't seem to dig apart in any way. I'm not sure of the brand but can possibly find out. It seems like shortly after that the same shop sold only the thicker pile versions.

That first cradle is also the favorite of most cats in the house.

We have tall trees but most of them love those short trees with curved little cradles when they want to take a nap.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about that last post, the link didn't work. It's the little 2-shelf cradle at Dr. F&S.

Janet W

The Refined Feline said...

Hi, I'm the founder of The Refined Feline. Thank you for you post and your comments. Regarding your concerns about swaying. Not to worry. Cats don't mind. Think branches in trees. Same effect. The Sisal weave is 21 inch high and cats seem to use it if you train them too. Any questions about our cat furniture please log onto our site and email us. Thanks again!

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kittycatgirls said...

Hi Everybody!

My name is Alicia and my Mom and I recently opened an online cat furniture and cat supply store. We decided to open the store because we are both cat and animal lovers, (I have three kitties and two puppies myself), and we were tired of the lack of quality cat trees and cat furniture available to everybody on the web. After many, many hours of research I finally found a manufacturer of cat furniture that I believe is of the best quality you can find. He does not use any staples, nails, regular screws, or any toxic materials on any of his cat trees. He's developed a high-torque method of applying his sisal rope to his scratching poles which makes them virtually indestrucible, and offers a two year replacement warranty on them if something unforeseen were to happen to one of them. He does not use carpet on any of his cat furniture. The material used is a plush velour, which my cats adore and has never come apart or made a mess of any kind. Also, the furniture is modular. You can build your own cat tree, or you can buy one of the pre-designed models and add on to it at a later date to make it as large as you'd like. You can choose from ten different solid colors, or you can make a duo-tone cat tree and have a multi-tone tree with two or more colors. The manufacturer donates his cat trees to shelters around the US and they are often in one room with up to 150 cats at a time. He'll ask the shelter to return the cat tree to him, (he sends them a replacement one of course), to see what if any damage has been done and 99% of the time the tree comes back in perfect condition. The quality of this cat furniture is incredible, and I'm not just saying that because I'm now selling it. My mom and I only decided to sell it because we really believe in the product. We actually encourage customers to shop around because we know if somebody buys one of the less expensive products it will fall apart in a very short time and then hopefully they'll come looking for quality cat furniture and find us. Also, we encourage customers to ask the other sellers questions. Ask them EVERYTHING about their products, including weight and materials used. If you visit our site and spend some time you'll see we have covered everything you need to know about our cat trees, and if you can't find a piece of information you can drop us a note and we'll answer you right away. We have cat furniture ranging from scratching posts, floor to ceiling cat trees (which have ceiling stabilizers & can be customized for flat or slanted ceilings up to 12 ft.)and cat trees as large as full cat play gyms. If our prices seem a little high at first don't be alarmed. First of all, you are paying for TOP QUALITY, INDESTRUCTIBLE cat furniture which we stand behind 100%, and second of all, all of our cat furniture has FREE SHIPPING. Everybody needs to beware of those sites that offer free shipping and then when you get to checkout you realize it's not offered on the item you chose. We don't do that. If you are looking for quality cat trees with your kitty cats safety in mind check out our cat furniture. Comfy Cat Furniture We love for people to ask us questions, so please fire away, and when you are shopping around make sure you ask other sellers all the important questions also. If they don't have detailed answers for you then the items are more than likely imported and made from very cheap material. I hope this has helped any of you out there shopping for Cat Trees. I know there are so many different points of view out there which can be very confusing. Just Remember:
The most important points for buying a quality cat tree are:
1. Material-Ask exactly what the cat tree is made of and how it is held together. If there is carpet, how has the carpet been treated, is it dyed?
2. Balance-What is the weight of the cat tree? Make sure the heavier components are towards the bottom of the tree. A cat won't play on a tree that wobbles. A thin large stand isn't necessarily better than a well made, heavy smaller stand? Find out what the stand is made of?
3. Where was the tree made? Is it imported? Where from?
4. Safety-Are there staples? Raw wood showing on the inside? Screws, nails, glue-is it non-toxic?
5. Sisal-How is it applied and treated? How tight is it? Ask for a close up picture?
6. Cleaning-Is it easy to clean?
7. Warranty-Do they stand behind their product? Will they replace any part of the tree if there is a problem with it?
Good luck shopping everybody!! Like I said, I hope I've been a bit of help!
Alicia S., Comfy Cat Furniture

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Cat Tree Lotus said...

I'd love to get the boys a cat tree so they'd have a nice high perch that isn't the ...