Cat trees are a great way to distract felines who would rather climb and scratch the furniture, but they also offer a host of health benefits. If you’ve been thinking about getting your kitty their first small cat tree, or are looking to replace one that was well-loved, you’re about to discover why it’s essential to have one in your home.
What a Cat Tree Looks Like to Your Cat
A cat tree doesn’t look like anything else you might have in your home, and it may not look like an appealing or even necessary piece of furniture. Yet, to your cat, that tree is the call of the wild. It speaks directly to the millions of years of evolution that went into producing the highly skilled predator your cat is today.
The bottom line? A cat tree is an essential addition to any home with one or more felines because it provides a place where they can be themselves, doing exactly what cats have been doing for millennia.
Climbing and Claws
It’s not only programmed into your kitty’s DNA to climb but, because they are highly skilled predators and competitors, cats also need to keep their claws sharp for hunting and fighting. Just like a real tree, cat trees allow domestic kitties to get up high, where they can observe their surroundings—and seek out prey like those toy mice—from above.
In addition to climbing and keeping their claws sharp, cat trees also give your kitty a place to mark their territory. A cat’s paws contain scent glands and, as they scratch, they’re letting other kitties know that this area belongs to them. It doesn’t matter if your cat is the only one in the house; scratching is a completely normal activity for every cat and an activity they will engage in on a regular basis.
A Sense of Safety
In addition to giving them what they need to just be, cat trees also provide a safe place for your kitty. Of course, they may enjoy lounging on your bed and your couch when they feel relaxed, but, when they become scared or stressed, your cat needs a place where they can feel safe.
A cat tree provides an escape route; instead of hiding underneath furniture, which places them in a vulnerable position for an ambush, a cat tree gives them the advantage. Being able to get up high makes your cat inaccessible to their perceived threats and keeps them safe until the danger has passed.
A De-Stress Station
As you have probably already witnessed, your cat will experience sudden bursts of energy that sends them dashing around the house, scratching madly at anything they can get their paws on. A cat that’s feeling frustrated for one reason or another will also look for surfaces they can scratch to release that energy.
Cat trees are a great place for your cat to release frustration and energy, and they can scratch as much or as little as they like whenever they feel like it.
Maintenance of Feline Hierarchies
For homes with multiple cats, you’ve probably witnessed scuffles from time to time. Buying a cat tree online is a great way to help all of the kitties in the house to work out their issues naturally. A cat of higher status will naturally seek to claim the highest perch on the tree and, in doing so, consistently confirm to the others who is boss. This can benefit cat families, as it provides them with a way to maintain natural order and balance, ultimately increasing harmony overall.
Cat trees can also help if you’re introducing a new feline to your home. Your existing cat can communicate to the newcomer that they were there first by claiming the more desirable spots on the tree. The newcomer can more easily acclimate to their new environment, allowing them to engage in the comforting act of scratching.
Introducing a new cat tree to an existing and new resident simultaneously can also provide a way for them to leave their own scent on a brand new surface, which can help them get to know one another in a natural and less stressful way.
A Variety of Surfaces
A cat’s paws are very sensitive to different surfaces, so a cat tree that offers soft carpeting, as well as rougher sisal rope, will feel good to their paws and also provide them with ways to mark territory and keep paws healthy.
More specifically, a soft surface helps your kitty clean between their claws more deeply and gives them something to shred, which they love to do. Rougher surfaces help them maintain nail health and claim territory.
Keeps Bodies and Claws Healthy
Cats can’t resist climbing any tree, including cat trees. This can be great news if your cat is overweight or a couch potato. Climbing helps cats tone their muscles and shed excess weight, which both have numerous health benefits.
Vertical and Horizontal Structures
Cats can be healthier when they’re able to have a variety of options to scratch in different positions. For example, a vertical structure like a simple scratching post is just like a tree trunk to your kitty.
As they scratch these vertical structures, they can exercise, pull, and stretch shoulders, back, and hindquarter muscles. Scratching downward on a vertical surface helps your cat keep their nails healthy by helping them shed older nail layers. It also allows them to keep their nails trim, preventing painful overgrowth.
Horizontal or flat structures mimic tree roots and branches. Scratching these structures allows shoulder and back muscles to be stretched in a different way. As well, the different angles of a horizontal structure will change the areas on their body that bear weight, allowing them to vary the way they exercise, which benefits all muscles.
Where Should You Put a Cat Tree?
Cat trees are great for your kitty, but one scratching post simply won’t provide your cat with enough variety, in terms of height and scratching surface types. In order to be as healthy and happy as possible, your cat needs a scratching environment of posts, trees, and surfaces that will allow them to exercise their muscles, de-stress, and scratch where and when they need to, based on their mood.
Their Favorite Places
If your kitty has one or more favorite spots in your home, placing a cat tree in these areas will allow them to mark their territory, as well as give them several ways to use their favorite areas.
Places of Temptation
You can also place cat trees in places where kitty may have been doing some unwanted scratching, which is a classic sign of boredom. A cat tree is simply too tempting for kitties to resist, and thanks to the many surfaces, heights, and sleeping and playing spots that cat trees offer, your kitty will never be bored again!
Cats also love to scratch after they eat or wake up from a nap, so placing scratching opportunities near to napping and eating areas is also a good idea. The same is true of anyplace that your kitty likes to visit or spend time in; if you put a cat tree on a floor or in a room that they don’t normally visit, they’ll be far less likely to use it.
Top-Quality Cat Trees That Benefit Feline Health
Cat trees are absolutely vital to your kitty’s health and happiness. Armarkat’s Classic Cat Tree is the perfect choice whether you’re purchasing your first or next tree. With lots of vertical and horizontal surfaces, a variety of heights and textures, a hanging toy, and the perfect hiding spot, our Classic Cat Tree benefits one or multiple cat households. Visit online or call today to learn more: 609-331-9993.