As seen in:
Go Pet Club
50W x 26L x 72H
Armarkat
57-Inch Tree
SmartCat
Multi-Level Climber
Best Choice Products
"The Tabby" Cat Nap
TRIXIE Pet Products
Baza
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Good

Multi-level with detachable ladders. Suitable for aging cats, multiple cats, and heavier cats. Cloth materials withstand continuous scratching.

Easy to clean. Durable faux fleece covering. Very affordable price.

A portable space-saver. Easy to clean.

Easy to take apart and clean. Numerous surfaces for cats to explore.

A budget-priced tree that earns consistently high ratings.

Bad

Highest levels are secured with plastic clips that may break.

Some consider shelving material to be on the "flimsy" side.

As a door model, it has a tendency to sway and bow out.

Larger cats won't fit inside condo.

Columns and base are made of "flimsy" cork board. Hammock is difficult to replace once it wears out.

Bottom Line

A highly versatile, quality-made cat castle that is well worth the extra investment. The best on the market.

An impressively sturdy and entertaining cat tree at a budget price. The best deal for the least amount of money.

A terrific solution for apartments and other cramped quarters.

A low-priced cat tree with some known durability and design flaws.

A budget-priced alternative to a bulky tree that your cat is sure to enjoy.

How we decide
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Products received from manufacturers
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Models Considered
38
Hours Spent
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Experts Interviewed
201
Consumers Consulted

Best Cat Trees

Cats have natural instincts to play, explore, scratch, and sleep. All five of these cat tree models do an excellent job of satisfying those needs. The five top cat trees are:

Products we Considered

Go Pet Club
50W x 26L x 72H
Armarkat
57-Inch Tree
SmartCat
Multi-Level Climber
Best Choice Products
"The Tabby" Cat Nap
TRIXIE Pet Products
Baza

Considerations

Construction and Design

In the same sense that furniture designed for children should be held to a high standard, furniture for cats should emphasize safety and stability. Each feature -- shelves, steps, shelters, and so on -- should accommodate the needs of small kittens, adult cats, and multiple visitors. Bases should provide enough stability for any configuration of cats, and there should never be any sharp corners or exposed building materials. In this section of our ratings, we examine the features and design elements (ease of assembly, quality of materials, etc.) that make a quality cat tree.

Interactivity and Engagement

Cats are notoriously fickle when it comes to new items in their environment. In this section of our ratings, we examine "engagement" features such as tethered cat toys, scratching posts, and places to hide. The best cat trees provide incentives for cats to spend time exploring and playing. Some cat trees aren't as feature-packed as others, but all cat trees should at least have some appeal for the user.

Ease of Maintenance

Cat trees can be complicated pieces of furniture to maintain, as fur and dander easily get trapped in numerous corners and hutches. Some models include replacement parts and special covers for easier cleaning. Others can be disassembled and reassembled for cleaning purposes. Our highest praise goes to cat trees with accessible elements and easily cleaned surfaces.

Price

A simple cat hammock costs around $20. A complicated cat castle easily sells for $100 or more. Our top five contenders cover most of these price points. Before you invest in a cat tree, it's important to understand your cat's natural inclinations.

Considerations

Construction and Design

Go Pet Club Cat Tree, 50W x 26L x 72H, Beige

Some cats prefer to ascend to high places; others prefer to crawl inside boxes and hide from the world. The Go Pet Club Cat Tree is designed to accommodate both behaviors. Standing nearly six feet tall when fully assembled, this tree features a number of levels for multiple cats. The product's detachable ladders may (or may not) appeal to younger cats, but they will certainly prove useful for aging cats. Two dangling cat toys come with the package, but additional toys could easily be attached to the particle board shelves. The covering is not a carpet; rather, it's a soft fiber cloth. Columns are covered with sisal rope, an ideal material for scratching posts. Assembly takes around 30-35 minutes on average, and a two-person building crew is strongly recommended. We give this model high praise for its stability – even for heavier and/or multiple cats.

Armarkat B5701 57-Inch Cat Tree, Ivory

The Armarkat's overall design and dimensions favor smaller cats. It can be a bit top-heavy and wobbly if larger cats play on it too aggressively. Top levels may be removed or re-purposed if stability becomes an issue. Placing the Armarkat in a corner or using additional bracing would also address this issue. Much like the Go Pet Club Cat Tree, the Armarkat is covered with faux fleece fabric instead of carpeting. Many users find this to be a plus, as faux fleece is quite durable and can be easily cleaned with a small brush. Owners of the Armarkat enjoy “Ikea-style” assembly; you need only one multi-tool and a streamlined set of instructions to put this piece of furniture together. A few owners complained about wood splits and threading problems caused by thinner pressed wood and misaligned pilot holes. Careful handling is required during assembly, but the end result is a very stable product.

SmartCat Multi-Level Cat Climber

The space-saving SmartCat Climber is designed to fit over a standard door of 79-82 inches. A spring-loaded bracket assembly attaches at the top and bottom of the door. Individual steps stagger the height of the door to encourage climbing. The central support strut is covered with sisal string, a common material used to upholster scratching posts. Some customers say that the individual steps are not suitable for heavier cats. Owners also comment that the unit tends to sway and bow out from the door because it lacks a central support. This situation could be remedied with the use of tie-down strapping. You could also mount the SmartCat to a permanent wall for more support. (This would take a little more advanced engineering, and it would make the SmartCat far less portable. However, the result would be a more secure tree for your pet.)

Best Choice Products New "The Tabby" Cat Nap Cat Tree Condo

While we admire the number of levels the Tabby Cat Nap Tree provides – especially considering its low price – we do have a few concerns about its stability and design elements. Larger cats may have difficulty reaching the highest platforms without tipping the tree over, and they won't fit comfortably inside the condo. The platforms are not staggered in a way that allows cats to climb and descend securely; owners commonly complain about this design flaw. The solution, though not convenient, is to anchor the cat tree to a wall or post. The Tabby Cat Nap Tree does get props for ease of construction, however. Average assembly time is 15-20 minutes, and the visual instructions are very intuitive.

TRIXIE Pet Products Baza Cat Tree

The TRIXIE Pet Products Baza Cat Tree proves that bargain-priced cat trees can still deliver satisfaction for both cats and owners. While it doesn't feature climbing platforms or a kitty condo, it does provide two sisal-covered scratching posts, a plush, fabric-covered cat hammock, and an attached dangling toy. It's the simplest design on our cat tree shortlist, but it receives a consistent stream of high ratings from owners nonetheless. We are especially impressed by how sturdy and easy to assemble the hammock is. The customer has only to install two screws to attach the hammock to the base. The most common concern expressed by owners is the quality and durability of the support columns and base, which are made of a cork board material.

The Go Pet Club Cat Tree is stable enough to support heavy cats, multiple cats, and rambunctious kittens.
Considerations

Interactivity and Engagement

Go Pet Club Cat Tree, 50W x 26L x 72H, Beige

The Go Pet Club Cat Tree has a generous number of shelves and boxes for cats to explore. Multiple cats should not feel crowded, and single cats will enjoy creating their own climbing and jumping games. Interest in the attached toys will vary. If your cat isn't attracted to the attachments, other interactive toys could easily be introduced. Cat tree placement is important; many customers recommend a spot that receives sunlight. The Go Pet Club Cat Tree is stable enough to be placed near human furniture, so owners can interact with cats without fear of a tip-over.As with all cat-related furnishings and toys, customers should expect a period of adjustment. Some owners report an immediate interest in this over-sized cat castle -- even during the assembly phase -- while others tell us that a little coaxing was required. Some cats may feel intimidated by the sheer size of the Go Pet Club Cat Tree, so owners should place it in an optimal location and allow their pets to discover all of its marvelous secrets at their own pace.

Armarkat B5701 57-Inch Cat Tree, Ivory

The Armarkat B5701 is comparable in height to other top-rated cat trees, and for the price, it offers more levels than traditional pet store trees. The cubbyhole is easily accessible by cats in the 9-10 pound range, and the support tubes are completely covered with sisal rope, giving cats plenty of opportunities to satisfy their natural scratching urges. The faux fleece is also a nice touch; it's more comfortable to a cat's skin than the traditional carpet remnants used on many cat trees. There's a single wooden branch holding a small ball on a thin string. Some pet owners may want to replace that assembly with a thicker string and sturdier ball. There is one cubbyhole available, but the dimensions are better suited for kittens and lighter cats. There are enough platforms for two or three kittens to use at once, but stability becomes an issue if the occupants get too rambunctious. A few customers noted that the platforms may not be wide enough for larger cats to feel comfortable. In short, this is quite an engaging tree, especially for small to medium-sized cats.

The SmartCat Multi-Level Cat Climber does not offer engaging additions like cubbyholes or interactive toys. An active cat would probably enjoy the challenge of climbing to the highest platform or jumping from a lower height, but the only real novelty in this activity would be the change of location. The sisal encourages natural scratching instincts, but the material used on the individual steps is not especially durable. Some owners report that their tree's steps deteriorated after only a few months of use. Larger cats may use the climber for exercise, but the smaller platforms could make napping difficult. However, kittens and smaller cats enjoy the challenge of the staggered steps and have been known to create their own routines over time. We feel that if interactive toys had been attached at strategic points, overall engagement would improve significantly. Put simply, the SmartCat Multi-Level Cat Climber is a basic cat exerciser recommended for locations where space is limited.

Best Choice Products New "The Tabby" Cat Nap Cat Tree Condo

The Tabby Cat Nap Tree features some of the same interactive elements that higher-end cat castles do. The support columns are covered with sisal rope, which should satisfy a cat's natural scratching instinct. The unit is very tall, which serves as an enticement for cats who feel more comfortable up high. There is a dangling toy on one platform, but some owners complain that the ball and string were completely destroyed within a month. There's a kitty condo, but the padding is thin; owners might consider adding a small blanket or towel to make the space more inviting. The main concern we have with this cat tree model is the design. Cats might be able to climb to the highest platforms, but there is no logical arrangement for lateral movement to other elements. If a cat does not feel safe and secure, it will probably lose interest in the cat tree over time. Also, customers tell us that the faux fur covering is not quite as durable as carpeting and is prone to damage after repeated scratching.

For such a simple design, the TRIXIE Pet Products Baza Cat Tree is surprisingly popular with its feline users. Not all cats are climbers, so the lack of platforms and high towers is not necessarily a drawback. The dangling toy is plush and inviting – not just a hard plastic ball suspended by a thin string. The two scratching posts are low enough to the ground for young kittens to reach. The base itself can accommodate one napping kitty, and the plush hammock will support larger cats. One satisfied customer wrote that her 20-pound Maine Coon spends 22 hours a day lounging in the hammock. The material used in the hammock is a plush faux fur, and many cats respond well to its comfort and insulation. This is the kind of cat tree that should be placed near a sunlit window or other stimulating location. The TRIXIE Pet Products Baza Cat Tree may not encourage gymnastics or climbing, but it does deliver on comfort and interactivity.

The Armarkat offers more levels for climbing than traditional pet store cat trees.
Bill
Expert Consultant
Bill
Engineer, Do-It-Yourself Guru

Bill has been a hardware store owner, locksmith, and general home repair guru for over 40 years. His ability to solve problems and repair every item in every situation is a true gift. In his spare time, you may find Bill working in his garden, tending to his perfectly manicured lawn, or riding his bike.

Considerations

Ease of Maintenance

Go Pet Club Cat Tree, 50W x 26L x 72H, Beige

Because the cover material is fabric and not carpeting, you can easily maintain your Go Pet Club Cat Tree with a lint roller, small pet vacuum, or dry cloth duster. Some owners complain about the build-up of hair and dust in the box corners, but this can be addressed with a crevice tool attachment. Owners tell us that even after years of scratching, the fabric used on the Go Pet Club Cat Tree is remarkably resilient. Potential buyers should note that the highest level platforms are secured to the unit with plastic clips. As such, they may break unexpectedly. This is a known issue, and replacement parts are available through the company.

Armarkat B5701 57-Inch Cat Tree, Ivory

The use of faux fleece makes routine cleaning of the Armarkat B5701 much easier. A small brush or mini-vac may be enough to stay ahead of the fur and dander. Some owners suggest adding a small towel or pet blanket to the cubbyhole for additional comfort and easier maintenance. A common complaint among owners is the relative flimsiness of the shelving material. Cracking and splitting after a tip-over or rough play could require replacement parts. The manufacturer offers a six-month warranty. This could potentially cover any parts that are damaged during assembly or initial rough play, but after that time frame, the manufacturer charges a "minimal" price for replacement parts.

SmartCat Multi-Level Cat Climber

Because the entire unit is designed to be portable, maintenance on the SmartCat Multi-Level Cat Climber is relatively straightforward. Instead of bringing the vacuum cleaner or brush to the climber, the climber can be brought to the cleaning system. (Or, a mini-vac could be used to clean the platforms.) Because there are no boxes or cubbyholes, there is no opportunity for fur and dander to collect in corners and crevices. The material used to cover the platforms is not standard carpeting, so deep vacuuming is not required. If the cat climber is wall-mounted, however, some extra maintenance may be necessary. The mounting screws could pull away from the wall over time, requiring some tightening with a powered screwdriver.

Best Choice Products New "The Tabby" Cat Nap Cat Tree Condo

The Tabby Cat Nap Tree uses thin faux fur instead of the typical carpet material. This means that the surfaces of most platforms can be cleaned easily with a small brush or crevice tool. The kitty condo may require more regular cleaning, especially in the corners where fur and dander tend to collect. Because the cover material is thinner than average, owners may have to patch tears or contact the company for replacement parts. We suggest that owners place a small towel or blanket inside the kitty condo to keep it more sanitary. Because the unit is relatively easy to dismantle, an annual thorough cleaning and reassembly would be a good idea.

TRIXIE Pet Products Baza Cat Tree

Routine maintenance of the TRIXIE Cat Tree usually consists of a few sprays of a Febreze-type fabric deodorizer and light vacuuming. Unfortunately, the hammock itself is not designed to be removed from the unit for machine washing. For occasional "accidents," the use of specialized pet cleaning products should be enough to minimize odors. We haven't read many complaints about structural failures, although the hammock material may develop a noticeable sag after several months of use. If the sides of the hammock develop tears or other signs of wear, some repairs will need to be made. The hammock section is not easy to replace by customers, but the overall durability suggests a useful lifespan of years, not months.

Even after years of scratching, the fabric used on the Go Pet Club Cat Tree is remarkably resilient.
Considerations

Price

Go Pet Club Cat Tree, 50W x 26L x 72H, Beige

At $78, the Go Pet Club Cat Tree is among the pricier models on our shortlist. The extra expense has definitely been applied toward the product's overall construction quality and stability. This model is closer to a castle than a standard three or four-shelf cat tree! For owners of multiple cats, having one unit that can accommodate three or four felines is preferable to buying several smaller cat trees over time. Compared to the pre-assembled carpet and wood cat trees commonly sold through pet stores, the Go Pet Club Cat Tree delivers far more versatility and a better overall design for its price.

Armarkat B5701 57-Inch Cat Tree, Ivory

A remarkably low price of $78 is perhaps the best incentive to purchase the Armarkat B5701. Typical prefabricated cat trees sold at pet stores at this price use cheap carpeting and do not feature sisal rope scratching posts. The Armarkat's higher-quality faux fleece adds longevity to the product, is more comfortable that carpet for the cat, and is resistant to scratches. The sisal rope encourages scratching and is a top-quality material. This product also includes a cubbyhole. Overall, the Armarkat's stability and impressive features make it a good investment.

SmartCat Multi-Level Cat Climber

At $54, the SmartCat Multi-Level Cat Climber is definitely a bargain. We feel the space-saving design and portability increase its value. (Traditional pet store cat trees at that price point can take up a lot of real estate and be very bulky and unwieldy for some owners.) Mounting the unit to a wall or adding a support board would not be an expensive upgrade, either. At this price, a cat owner might want to consider buying extra units later as the feline family expands. One satisfied buyer told us he has a SmartCat Multi-Level Cat Climber for each of his three cats. One climber is attached to a bedroom door, another is attached to a living room door, and another is permanently mounted on a wall in the basement. This kind of versatility is not often found in other styles of cat trees at any price.

Best Choice Products New "The Tabby" Cat Nap Cat Tree Condo

At a cost of $79, the Tabby Cat Nap Tree is very inexpensive. Shipping costs may need to be taken into consideration, and in case you receive a defective item, it may be easier to keep it than return it. If you were to buy a tree of this magnitude in a store, it would most likely cost a lot more. We appreciate the Tabby Cat Nap's multiple levels and two cubbies. Some owners question the product's durability and design, however, and larger cats may have a harder time enjoying the cubbyholes and smaller platforms.

TRIXIE Pet Products Baza Cat Tree

The TRIXIE cat tree may be bargain-priced at $33, but it still provides many of the features found in the higher-end cat trees we examined. The plush material used for the hammock is preferable (at least from a cat's perspective) to the rough carpeting used in typical cat trees. At this price, owners of multiple cats may want to consider investing in two or more cat trees to prevent territorial instincts from kicking in. One cat tree could be placed near a sunlit window; another could be located in a laundry room or a favorite kitty hideaway. The TRIXIE cat tree proves that a lower price doesn't always mean cheaper construction.

The Armarkat's high-quality faux fleece adds longevity to the product, is more comfortable than carpet for the cat, and is resistant to scratches.

Best of the Best

All of the cat trees on our shortlist have their merits, but the Go Pet Club Cat Tree is the very Best of the Best. Standing nearly six feet tall when assembled, this cat tree has been expertly crafted for durability and stability. It's everything that single or multiple cat households could wish for.

The support columns are covered entirely in sisal rope, allowing cats to satisfy their natural scratching urges. Some cats may choose to take long naps in the comfortable and accessible boxes. Others might want to explore the highest platforms or bask in the sun. Several dangling toys encourage interactivity. What's more, you can easily attach additional toys to the particle board shelves.

The Go Pet Club Cat Tree offers all of the most desirable features in cat furniture – without breaking the bank. Cat owners will enjoy watching their pets discover their own favorite spots for exercising, napping, and playing. If you're looking for the ideal castle to pamper your kitty – or kitties – the Go Pet Club Cat Tree is the very best on the market.
Best of the Best
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The Go Pet Club Cat Tree is everything that single or multiple cat households could wish for.

Best Bang for your Buck

The cat tree model that hits all of the marks – for the lowest possible price – is the Armarkat B5701 57-Inch Cat Tree. It may not be the ultimate cat castle like the Go Pet Club Cat Tree, but it will still provide entertainment, exercise, and relaxation for most kittens and smaller cats.

There is a spacious cubbyhole for napping, two high platforms for jumping and leaping, and an included dangling toy. (We suggest replacing it with a thicker string.) The support columns are covered in sisal rope, a natural material that encourages scratching. The base of the Armarkat B5701 gets high ratings for stability from customers. We do have concerns about top-heaviness, but these concerns could easily be resolved by situating the Armarkat in a corner or adding a bit of bracing.

The platforms and cubbyhole, covered in durable faux fleece, are easily maintained with a small brush, crevice tool attachment, or mini-vac. For $78, the Armarkat is comparable in price to traditional pet store cat trees, many of which do not offer the extras (cubbyhole, durable faux fleece, interactive toy) that the Armarkat provides. For all of these reasons, we enthusiastically declare the Armarkat B5701 to be the "Best Bang for Your Buck".
Best Bang for your Buck
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The Armarkat B5701 is comparable in price to traditional pet store cat trees, many of which do not offer the extras (cubbyhole, durable faux fleece, interactive toy) that the B5701 provides.
The team that worked on this review
  • Michael
    Michael
    Creative Lead
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Editor
  • Jasmin
    Jasmin
    Operations
  • Jimi
    Jimi
    Product Analyst
  • Ben
    Ben
    Operations