10 Best Cat Trees of 2019

Finding the best cat trees usually means combing through reviews, determining what features are the most important to both you and your kitty and deciding on the best design for your space. 

Here at tuft + paw, we are cat experts. We're intimately familiar with features that are most important to cats, like sturdiness and scratching materials. We searched through dozens of cat trees and found ten different cat towers that are great for a variety of homes, cats and styles. We also spoke to actual cat and cat furniture experts to do some of the work for you. 

We divided our top picks into five key categories:

  1. Best overall cat tree
  2. Best budget cat tree
  3. Best modern cat tree
  4. Best cat tree on Amazon
  5. Most unique cat tree

Be sure to continue reading after we list our winners. We interviewed cat veterinarians, cat behaviorists, and product designers on what features are most important to look for when purchasing a cat tree at the end of the article.

Without further ado, let’s get started on our top picks!

Best Overall Cat Tree

Tuft & Paw Milo Cat Tower - $949

The Milo Cat Tower is my pick for best overall cat tree. Not only is this tower tall, but it is also a modern take on a more traditional cat tree. This cat tower features sisal rope, removable carpet platforms as well as a climbing pole and a bowl hammock. It’s the ultimate playground for cats! It’s time cat trees move towards the future, and this cat tree is certainly leading the way. 

Pros Cons
Removable CarpetCarpet pads can be removed, cleaned, or even replaced. 

Price: Quality comes with a price, but at least this cat tree is built to last.

Hammock: A fish bowl type hammock is certain to give a secure resting place for your feline friend. Space: Larger cat trees take up a bit more floor space. If you have a small apartment, this might not be the best cat tree for you. 
Climbing Features: With a ramp and a climbing pole, there are plenty of opportunities for a cat to stretch and exercise. 

Runner Up

Arbor Cat Tree - $239 

For a sleek, simple design featuring clean lines, look no further than the Arbor Cat Tree.  A slightly smaller cat tree, this modern cat tree would be great for apartments or smaller spaces. It still provides height for cats, but takes up less floor space than other options.

Pros Cons
Space Saving: At a slightly smaller height and width, this modern cat tree is great for apartments.

Simplicity: Is this a pro or con? It depends on what you’re looking for. This cat tree offers platforms, but no toys or hammocks.

Multi-Platformed: With three levels, the Arbor Cat Tree offers many views for your cats to choose from. Height: It’s a bit on the shorter side for a cat tree.
Solid Wood: Made with natural wood and laminate, this cat tree is built to last.

Honorable mention: Contempo Cat Tree - $225

 

Best Budget Cat Tree

DIY Ikea Cat Tree - $189

If you’re a DIY-friendly person, you might be interested in this Ikea hack cat tree! With only a few easy parts, you can create a vertical, multi-platform cat tree that looks modern and sleek. 

Pros Cons
Customizable: Create that cat tree that’s perfect for your home with as many platforms you want.

DIY: This Ikea hack with require some DIY skills.

Modern: No more ugly carpet cat trees, this Ikea cat tree looks totally modern.

Runner Up

Go Pet Club Cat Condo - $108

If you're willing to sacrifice a bit on aesthetics, this might be your best bet. Go Pet Club is no stranger to creating cat trees. In fact, they’re some of the top-rated cat trees out there, which makes it my budget pick. Not only is this cat tree affordable, but it has tons of amazing features. This cat tree features condos, ladders, carpet and sisal rope. At 72” this cat tree is great for single cats, as well as multiple cats. 

Pros Cons

Height: 72” gives this cat tree a ton of sunlight possibilities

Traditional: If you’re looking for a more modern take on a cat tree, you’ll probably pass this one up.

Sisal Rope: Sisal is one of the best scratching post textures for cats

Carpet: This cat tree is covered in carpet, which will eventually shed and be stained over time.
Condos: Cats love to hide and relax, with two condos, this cat tree is great for that purpose

Best Modern Cat Tree

Tuft & Paw Torre Cat Tree - $699

With a gray scratching surface and appealing curves, this modern cat tower looks beautiful in your home, as well as appealing to your cats. Your cats can jump, scratch and hide in this cat tree and fulfil their basic instincts without destroying your furniture.

Pros Cons
Modern Look: You won’t find ugly tan carpet on this cat tree. It’s made of totally modern materials.

Price: This cat tree is created using durable and valuable materials, so it’s going to be a bit more pricey than other cat trees. 

Stylish Curves: The rounded look of this cat tree adds style to your home. It’s not just a cat tower, it’s a piece of home furniture. 

Height: This cat tree is on the shorter side, so cats won’t be climbing as high. 

Scratching Surface: This modern cat tree offers a scratching surface for your cats, so they can focus on their cat tree, not your couch. 

 

Runner Up

Vesper High Base- Oak - $149

This cat tree is a little less streamlined than our top pick, but does come with some great features, like a cat condo and memory foam cushions. 

Pros Cons

Modern Look: You won’t find any carpet on this cat tree.

Bulky: This cat condo is a bit bigger than other streamlined versions.

Cat Condo: A little hideaway is great for shy cats. 

Honorable mention: Karikmou Cat Tree - $399

Best Cat Tree from Amazon

Katris Cat Tree - $289

Cats are pretty good at playing tetris with their bodies, so why not get them a cat tree that imitates their flexible moves? Use these blocks to shape the cat tree of your dreams. This cat tree is durable, and gives a more modern look to your home. 

Pros Cons

Unique Look: Mix and match the blocks to create a cat tree that’s totally unique to your home. 

Durability: Because it’s made from recycled paper, be sure to read the reviews to make sure it’s durable enough for your home.

Eco-Friendly: This cat tree is constructed using recycled content, so it’s great for the Earth as well! 

Height: You can add more to this cat tree to make it even taller, but the base set won’t get your kitty very tall.
Exploration: With the ability to build onto the cat tree, your cat will have plenty to explore later on.

Runner Up

PawHut - $95

This cat tree is a little more traditional looking, but still modern. It has multi-level platforms, a cat condo, and even cushions for cats to hang out on. It comes at a great price as well! 

Pros Cons
Tall: This cat tree is at a nice height, so cats can see over their domain Lion King style.

Reviews: There aren’t many Amazon reviews of this product, so you might want to research further if you can.

Modern: With sisal rope and high quality MDF construction, this cat tree looks totally modern.

Most Unique Cat Tree 

Phoenix Feline Furniture - $199

Speaking of unique cat trees, how about a cat tree made from actual trees? These cat trees are made from driftwood for a totally unique look! 

Pros Cons
Removable CarpetCarpet pads can be removed, cleaned, or even replaced. 

Price: Quality comes with a price, but at least this cat tree is built to last.

Hammock: A fish bowl type hammock is certain to give a secure resting place for your feline friend. Space: Larger cat trees take up a bit more floor space. I you have a small apartment, this might not be the best cat tree for you. 
Climbing Features: With a ramp and a climbing pole, there are plenty of opportunities for a cat to stretch and exercise. 

 

Runner Up

Urban Feline’s Carribean Palms - $555

This cat tree is as unique as it gets- it’s literally a palm tree! If your goal is to have a fun and funky cat haven, look no further than this palm tree! This cat tree was designed with cats in mind with a large ergonomic lounging surface and a tall trunk to climb. With two different sizes, you’re sure to find a palm tree to fit your home. 

Pros Cons
Removable CarpetCarpet pads can be removed, cleaned, or even replaced. 

Price: Quality comes with a price, but at least this cat tree is built to last.

Hammock: A fish bowl type hammock is certain to give a secure resting place for your feline friend. Space: Larger cat trees take up a bit more floor space. I you have a small apartment, this might not be the best cat tree for you. 
Climbing Features: With a ramp and a climbing pole, there are plenty of opportunities for a cat to stretch and exercise. 

 

 Honorable mention: Rinn Cat Tree and Catastrophic

 

That's wraps up our top 10 cat trees of 2019. But it's always good to understand more about the products you're purchasing...

 

What's the point of a cat tree?

Indoor cats don’t always have their climbing and scratching instincts satisfied. That’s why cat trees, also known as cat towers, are important furniture for indoor cats. In fact, we talked to our resident veterinarian, Megan Tieber, and got the lowdown on why homes need cat trees: 

“Cat trees are especially useful in small homes and apartments to give cats the space they need to relax. Cats naturally prefer elevated positions where they can look down on their surroundings and see out a window.”

Why Cats Need Cat Trees

Cat trees are essential for a happy home for cats. If your cat is primarily indoors, they need space to scratch, climb and hide as needed, and of course soak up some valuable sunbeams to recharge. 

Let’s take a look at what makes cat towers so important for the home. 

Territory

Cats are highly territorial animals that value their own space. An abundance of vertical space can be essential for maintaining a peaceful home in a multi-cat household. Veterinarian Megan Tieber explains it best: 


“Cats need a space where they can feel safe, especially if they are feeling stressed by other pets in the home.”


If your cat is part of a multi-pet household, it’s important to provide them with their own vertical territory in the form of a cat tower. This allows cats to have their own space to look over their domain (because let’s be real, they own the place) and be able to relax in peace. It also prevents them from using unwanted spaces like countertops.

 

Exercise

For indoor cats, there can be a shortage of exercise, especially if busy owners forget to play with them! Though fat cats are fun to squish, it’s best to have an easily available form of play and exercise for cats to keep them alert and healthy. 


Enter: cat trees. Cat trees often have toys attached to them that encourage cats to jump, play and scratch. From tunnels to ladders, cat towers are great spaces for cats to play with each other, or by themselves. This allows for cats to have a gym of their own. 

 

Relaxation

According to PetMD cats sleep on average around fifteen hours a day! For cat owners, this comes as no surprise. Kitties love to snooze. For a great relaxation spot for your feline friend, consider a cat tree! Cat trees make for a great sleeping spot for cats, especially in front of a sunny window. 


A cat tree with a soft platform is a great spot for a catnap and allows for some solitary time away from other pets and humans. 

 

Cat Tree Features

There are many important things to consider when purchasing the best cat tree for your home. I’ll break down some of the most common features of cat trees and help you decide which features are the most important to your pet. 

 

cat tree

Cat Caves

Cat caves, sometimes known as cat condos, are the cubby holes that some cat trees have. These relaxation spaces are great for cats that are more on the shy side and crave more isolation and security. 

However, if you have a larger cat, the cat condos may be on the small side for them. It’s a good idea to check the dimensions to make sure you cat can comfortably fit inside their cave to ensure your cat tree will be used. 

Scratching Surface

Cat trees also double as scratching posts. Many cat trees features posts that are covered by carpet or sometimes sisal. This texture is often appealing to cats and encourages them to both scratch, climb and stretch. 

Providing a scratching surface can help prevent cats from scratching on furniture and walls. Scratching is a healthy behavior for cats, so it’s important to provide them with an outlet to do so. Our vet friend Megan has some more insight on this behavior: 

Scratching is a natural instinct for cats--it allows them to stretch, mark their territory, and wear down sharp claws... posts that are placed in key areas around the home provide environmental enrichment for cats.” 

Platform Levels

Platform levels are an especially important feature in multi-cat households. Cats are naturally territorial and often develop hierarchies inside the home, with the dominating cat often taking over higher levels. 

If you’ve noticed more scuffles breaking out among your cats, that might be a sign that they’re lacking personal territory and vertical space. Cat trees with multiple levels can help alleviate that tension within your home. 

Tuft & Paw’s designer, Steve Suchy, has this to say about the importance of steady and comfortable platforms:

“The base can't be slippery or cold as both of these deter the cat from approaching, jumping, or landing.”

Toys

Like I mentioned before, cats towers aren’t just lounging spaces, they can also be like a personal gym for your cat. Cat towers that feature toys, ladders and tubes can be great encouragers for active play. 

If your cat is in need for some extra enrichment in their life, a cat tree with toys is a great way to go. 

Height

Cats are natural born climbers. If you have a counter surfer or a bookshelf scaler, your cat may be craving some climbing time. While there are shorter cat trees available that are great for kittens to play on, a taller cat tree might be preferable if you observe a strong climbing instinct in your pet. 

FAQ Section

Does my cat tree need to be secured to a wall? 

Maybe. Cat trees with a larger, heavier bases may not need to be secured to a wall or weighted down. If you notice your cat tree rocking or tipping while your cat is jumping on it, it might be a good idea to secure it to the wall or weight the base. 

Additionally, cats who notice their cat tree rocking or tipping unexpectedly may not use the cat tree out of fear. 

 

When should my cat tree be replaced? 

If your cat loves to scratch and you notice your cat tree has become damaged or become unsightly, it may be a good idea to replace it. Also, if you notice your platforms sagging or tilting, it’s a good idea to replace your cat tree to ensure the safety of your pets. 

How do I clean my cat tree? 

A vacuum is a great way to remove hair and dander from cat trees. If your vacuum has a brush attachment, use that to help gather cat hair away from the cat tree. Stains can be removed with hot water, a tooth brush, and baking soda or dawn dish detergent- spot clean as needed. There are also many pet-safe odor removers commercially available to help freshen up your cat tree. 

How do I teach my cat to use their cat tree? 

If you’re purchasing your cat tree to try and deter your cat from scratching, it’s important to place your cat tree near their favorite scratching spot. Additionally, cats tend to use items that are in active areas of the house, so place it where they enjoy to be the most. 

You can also use Feliway and catnip to help attract the cat to the cat tree. 

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We hope you found these tips useful! Let us know if we missed any of your favorite cat trees. If you're looking for something a little smaller, be sure to check out our guide to the best scratching posts.

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