If you're the proud parent of a large feline, you know how important it is to provide them with an engaging environment to keep them entertained, active, and happy. A good cat tree is the best way to achieve that, but you need to make sure it can handle a big cat playing, climbing, and snoozing on it. In this article, we’ll go over what to look for in a cat tree and give your picks for the best trees for large cats on the market today.
Here at tuft + paw, we are cat experts. We're intimately familiar with the cat tree features that are most important to cats and cat parents alike. This list is based on consultation with a veterinarian, cat behaviorist, hundreds of online reviews, and our own experience as cat parents to determine which cat trees offer the best overall performance.
affordable, large size, lots of scratching surfaces, accessible perches, two dangling toys, cat condo, fairly stable
lower quality materials, hard to clean, some unusable space, annoying assembly, faux fur shreds quickly, dangling toys rip off, not very stylish
particle board, faux fur, jute rope
56”H x 24”L x 19”W
What Qualifies as a Cat Tree for Large Cats?
To clarify, this article is about cat trees that are suitable for large cats. That doesn’t necessarily mean the cat trees themselves need to be large—what’s more important is stability and build quality. We consider any cat weighing over 12 pounds to be large.
To be included on this list, a cat tree must:
Be sturdy enough to support a large cat (12+ lbs) climbing and jumping on it.
Have spacious perches and beds to accommodate large cats.
After these criteria are met, we consider things like height and size. Tall, sprawling cat trees are certainly nice for bigger cats because they provide more space and higher perches, but for this list we treat size as a secondary criteria.
Tip: If you're looking for a broader selection of cat tree recommendations, check out our list of the best cat trees.
Now that we've defined the parameters of a tree for “large” cats, let's unravel the key attributes that should be on your radar when you're browsing the options.
Imagine a skyscraper with a shaky foundation – not exactly confidence-inspiring, right? The same goes for a cat tree. Stability is the cornerstone of any good cat tree, because if it wobbles during zoomy time your cat will not feel safe using it. Look for a tree with a sturdy base and solid construction, ideally made from high-quality materials. Some even come with anchor points you can attach to the wall.
Along with stability, durability is king when it comes to cat trees. For structural components, opt for natural wood or higher quality engineered wood (plywood, MDF) that can withstand the test of time and your cat's vigorous play. For scratching surfaces, look for sisal/jute rope or dense carpet that can endure enthusiastic scratching sessions. In general, we don’t love cheap faux fur because of its tendency to shed fibers and wear out quickly.
Large Lounging Surfaces
Large cats require larger perches and beds so they can get comfortable on their tree. Observe how your cat likes to relax and choose a tree with perches that can accommodate them. When sleeping, does your large cat like to lie on their side or curl up? When looking out the window, do they prefer to loaf or sit up straight? Understanding their preferences can help narrow down your tree choices. If you have more than one cat, look for a good multi-cat tree with several lounging spots.
Cats are natural climbers who love to survey their kingdom from a high vantage point. If you have the room, choosing a tall tree with high perches can provide your cat with a lookout spot, a lounging zone, and a safe retreat if they need it. If you don't have the floor space for a tree, you can also try a window hammock or a wall-mounted perch.
Every good cat tree should come with plenty of scratchable surfaces. Not only does this save your furniture from your cat's ferocious claws, but it also offers them a necessary outlet for their scratching instincts. Look for posts wrapped in sisal/jute rope and panels with dense carpet or sisal fabric. These materials are durable and have a satisfying texture for scratching. If your cat tree doesn’t have many scratchable surfaces, you may need to get a scratching post to save your furniture.
To get the most out of a cat tree, your cat must be able to access all the perches, nooks, and crannies it offers. Look for trees with purposefully spaced platforms and ramps that allow your cat to climb easily. Accessibility is especially important if your cat is chunky or has mobility issues like arthritis.
Putting together a cat tree shouldn't feel like solving a complex puzzle. Look for trees with straightforward assembly instructions and all the necessary hardware. Check reviews to see if any previous customers had trouble with assembly. Your time should be spent watching your cat enjoy their new domain, not wrestling with screws and bolts.
Some cat trees go above and beyond the basics. Once you’ve narrowed your choices down based on sturdiness, budget, and your intended use, you can consider other features like cat condos, ramps, and dangling toys. Take into account your cat’s preferences and choose the tree you think they’d get the most use out of.
Cat trees can be pricey and take up a lot of space in your home, so it’s nice if they’re not an eyesore. Trees covered in beige carpet are no longer the only option available, so with some searching you can definitely find a model that fits in with your home decor (see our list of the best modern cat trees). Just remember: satisfy cat needs first, human preferences second.
Price: $999 Rating: 4.8/5 with 28 tuft + paw reviews Size: 62”H x 53”L x 15”W Materials: Birch plywood, crystal hammock, carpet
Disclaimer: Yes, we included our own cat tree here. This is because we truly think it performs excellently compared to other cat trees on the market. We subjected it to the same scrutiny as every other product on this list and asked for honest opinions from experts and cat parents.
The Milo Cat Tree is our pick for the best tree for large cats. This tree is a veritable jungle gym that has virtually everything a cat (or cat parent) could want. It’s exceptionally sturdy, tall, and offers multiple roomy perches for lounging or watching the world go by. Each platform has a removable carpet covering which is easy to shake out, vacuum, or replace. The big fun features, however, are the carpeted ramp on one side and the carpeted climbing pole on the other, both of which make the Milo super entertaining for energetic cats. The extensive carpet covering means the whole tree is easy to climb, comfy to lounge on, and satisfying to scratch. There’s also an optional crystal hammock on the top platform which can be swapped out if your cats don’t take to it. Long story short, the Milo is fun for cats, lasts for years, and looks good while doing it.
The main drawback for the Milo is the price, which we understand is not within every cat parent’s budget. It’s one of the highest quality cat trees on the market, and the high price tag reflects that. The only other drawback is that some users have found the assembly to take a while with a manual screwdriver due to the Milo’s large size. Set-up is much quicker with an electric screwdriver.
Price: $289 Rating: 4.9/5 with 1,300 Mau reviews Size: 46”H x 23.5”L x 18”W Materials: wood, woven rattan, faux fleece, jute rope
Mau’s Cento Cat Tree is a unique and well-made tree designed for cats up to 23 pounds, so it can most likely accommodate your big-boned feline. The rattan baskets are impressively roomy and come with cozy machine washable cushions. Supporting each basket is a jute-wrapped natural tree branch, which gives the Cento a cute rustic look and a sturdy frame. Rounding out the features are a faux fur-covered cat condo at the base and two dangly toys hanging from the baskets. We also appreciate that replacement parts are available for nearly every feature of this tree, ensuring it will last for years to come.
As with our top pick, the Mau Cento Cat Tree is on the pricey side (though considerably cheaper than the Milo). Structurally, some cat parents observed the top basket wobbling slightly when their large cat jumped up to it. It doesn’t seem to be a serious issue, but it is free standing and some cats may be turned off by the excess movement. At less than four feet tall, we also wish it was slightly taller and had more scratching surface on the poles. The texture of the woven rattan baskets may also invite unwanted scratching, and the material is less durable than sisal rope. Finally, the faux fur sheds quite a bit and the dangly toys are easily ripped off.
Price: $99 Rating: 4.8/5 with 13,000 Chewy reviews Size: 72”H x 23.2”L x 21.3”W Materials: engineered wood, faux fleece, sisal
If you’re on a budget but want to give your cat some serious real estate for snoozing and playing, the Frisco 72-in Faux Fur Cat Tree could be a great option. It has everything a cat needs: multiple perches, tons of scratching surfaces, two condos, and two cat ramps. The perches are all relatively spacious and could accommodate most large cats. There are also multiple dangly toys for your cat to bat around, though they may not survive vigorous play. Finally, we like the included wall mount which helps with stability.
Considering that this gigantic tree is less than $100, some quality issues are to be expected. Many negative reviews come from cat parents who had previously bought the same cat tree, and upon repurchasing it were disappointed with the quality. Complaints range from wobbly posts, to sisal rope coming undone, to the faux fur ripping very quickly. If your cat likes to put their trees through the ringer, this one may need to be replaced sooner rather than later. Additionally, the faux fur is hard to keep clean and isn’t particularly stylish. Some cat parents also found the assembly to be difficult, which in some cases was exacerbated by the occasional missing screw.
Rating: 4.5/5 with 200 Chewy reviews Size: 39.5”H x 20”L x 20”W Materials: engineered wood, faux fur, sisal
The EliteField 40-in Faux Fur Cat Tree is our favorite tree for large cats who are seniors or on the chubby side. This is because of its tiered platform design which creates an accessible staircase for large cats with limited mobility. The multiple scratching posts create a stable base which can support heavier loads. The platforms are roomy and each one contains an integrated panel of sisal fabric, so cats have plenty of horizontal and vertical options for scratching. Reviews often mention how easy it is to assemble, and overall it provides substantial value for less than $100.
The main drawback of the EliteField 40-in tree is its low quality materials. The faux fur sheds fibers and wears through easily, plus it’s not the easiest to clean. The other common complaint is that the bed is on the small side. If your cat likes tight spaces to curl up in, it shouldn’t be a problem, but others may not use it. Some users adapted by removing the top bed to make the platform below more spacious. Lastly, it’s the shortest tree on our list (just over 3 feet tall) so it may not be ideal if your cat likes high perches.
Price: $99 Rating: 4.6/5 with 6,500 Amazon reviews Size: 56”H x 24”L x 19”W Materials: particle board, faux fur, jute rope
Our final tree for large cats is the Amazon Basics XL Cat Tree with Condo. Similar to the Frisco 72-in, this tree offers plenty of space and features for adventurous cats at a reasonable price. It comes equipped with multiple platforms, a condo, and tons of sisal-wrapped scratching posts. The perches are fairly close to one another which makes them accessible for chunky cats. It also has two dangling toys for cats who like them.
Similarly to our last two entries, this Amazon Basics XL Cat Tree is a budget pick and, as such, suffers from some quality issues. The faux fur sheds a lot and is hard to clean, and the dangling toys don’t seem to last very long. Some cat parents thought the assembly manual wasn’t clear enough, while others had trouble with wobbly platforms once the tree was assembled. Some reviewers didn’t like the way the posts and boards overlapped, which reduces the usable space for larger cats.
lots of scratching surfaces
two dangling toys
lower quality materials
hard to clean
Some unusable space
faux fur shreds quickly
dangling toys rip off
not very stylish
Large Cat Tree FAQs
Do I need a specific cat tree for large cats? Can't I use a regular-sized one?
While regular-sized cat trees can be suitable for smaller cats, larger felines require more space and sturdier constructions. A cat tree designed for large cats offers spacious platforms and sturdy structures that can accommodate their size and weight, ensuring their comfort and safety during play, rest, and scratching activities.
How do I know if a cat tree is stable enough for my large cat?
Stability is crucial when choosing a cat tree for larger kitties. Look for models with a wide and sturdy base, preferably weighted or anchored for added security. Read reviews from other cat owners, as their experiences can provide insights into the tree's stability over time. Additionally, opt for cat trees made from durable materials like solid wood or high-density particleboard to ensure lasting stability.
What cat tree features should I prioritize to satisfy my cat’s scratching needs?
To fulfill your cat's scratching instincts, look for a cat tree that boasts multiple scratching posts or panels. Look for surfaces covered in sisal rope or fabric, as these materials offer satisfying textures for scratching. Cat trees with vertical and horizontal scratching options will provide your cat with variety, helping to prevent furniture damage and keeping their claws healthy.
What cat tree features should I prioritize for an older cat for their comfort and accessibility?
For senior or less agile cats, prioritize cat trees with lower platforms and ramps. These features allow easy access to various levels without requiring strenuous jumps. Look for padded perches or cozy hideaways with comfortable cushions where your cat can relax. Cat trees with gradual steps and well-placed ramps can provide a more accessible and enjoyable experience for your senior feline.
How do I ensure that the cat tree I choose fits well in my living space?
Measuring your available space is essential to ensure the cat tree fits comfortably. Take into account the height, width, and depth of the tree to avoid overcrowding. Look for cat trees that have a slim profile or can fit in corners if space is limited. Many cat trees are designed to blend with home decor, offering various color options and styles to complement your living space while providing a haven for your large cat.
We know finding the right cat tree for your big cat can be a difficult process, but we hope this list has provided you with some solid recommendations to get your started. Our first choice is the tuft + paw Milo Cat Tree for its overall build quality and impressive array of features, but we understand it’s too expensive for some. The Mau Cento is a step down in price and quality, but still has a lot to offer. If you’re on a strict budget, we think the Frisco 72-in and Amazon Basics XL cat trees are worth taking a look at. If your large feline isn’t the most mobile, then definitely go with the EliteField 40-in Cat Tree for its easily accessible design. Whichever tree you choose, just remember to base your decision on your cat’s past behavior and preferences and you won’t go wrong. Good luck!