Best Wall-Mounted Cat Trees

Updated December 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

33 Models Considered
26 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
77 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best wall-mounted cat trees 

An elevated cat is quite often a happy cat. As pet parents, it's easy to forget that our beloved fur babies come from a long line of wild ancestors — cats who climbed and perched in trees not only to scope out prey but also to avoid larger predators. 

While Fluffy might not need to hunt or escape dangerous animals any longer, the instinct to perch up high and survey her surroundings remains. Unfortunately, finding a decent vantage point indoors often involves a good deal of furniture clawing, counter crawling, and perhaps even some attempts at scaling the fridge. 

How do you curb your kitty's cabinet-climbing habits without smothering their natural instincts? By installing a wall-mounted cat tree, of course! Wall-mounted cat trees provide felines with vertical space to call their own, giving them plenty of opportunities to stretch those climbing muscles in a safe and appropriate manner. 

Wall-mounted cat trees come in a variety of configurations to suit just about any feline fancy. For information and ideas, read on. Our detailed guide to wall-mounted cat trees will get you off to a great start.

cat tree1
Most wall-mounted cat trees have no footprint whatsoever, making them an excellent alternative to regular cat trees in homes with limited floor space.

Key considerations

Size and configuration

Wall-mounted cat trees are available in numerous shapes and sizes, from simple scratching post-and-perch setups to sprawling structures that can accommodate several cats at once. Finding the right one for you is largely a matter of personal preference and wall space. However, we believe that every wall-mounted cat tree worth its weight should tick at least a couple of the following boxes. 

Perch: A solid, adequately sized perch will allow your cat to safely and comfortably keep watch over their kingdom.  

Scratch post: Can cats have too many scratching posts? We certainly don't think so. A wall-mounted cat tree that comes with one or two scratching posts can be a little easier (and a lot more fun) to climb.

Sleep/lounging area: Whether it's a padded perch, a soft hammock, or an enclosed hidey hole, felines need a comfy spot for all those cat naps.

Ramp/climbing pole: If you don't want to install your wall-mounted cat tree too low to the ground and don't like the idea of your kitty launching off a nearby piece of furniture, consider a model that has a ramp or climbing pole at the bottom.  

Weight capacity 

Every wall-mounted cat tree has a maximum weight capacity. Before you buy, make sure your chosen model is capable of holding your cat's weight. If you have multiple cats, the weight capacity of each piece should be high enough to hold your heaviest cat — and then some. Remember, cats don't always follow the rules, and some may insist on sharing a single perch with a cuddle buddy.

Construction materials 

Platforms and perches

Shelves, platforms, and perches are usually made of solid wood, bamboo, or composite wood. While composite wood tends to be the most budget-friendly of the bunch, it can also be prone to splintering and breaking. For your cat's safety and your peace of mind, we recommend choosing a sturdy model with shelves that are crafted from solid wood or bamboo.

Hammocks, scratching posts, and ramps

Hammock and scratching post materials are important, too. After all, you wouldn't want your cat's bed to bottom out or her scratching post to unravel. Canvas is a particularly durable fabric, making it an excellent choice for hammocks and ramps. When it comes to scratching posts, sisal fabric or tightly wound sisal rope is your best bet. If this isn't an option, jute and seagrass scratching posts are both excellent alternatives. 

Ease of installation 

Pretty much every wall-mounted cat tree requires at least a handful of tools to install. However, while some simpler models can be installed without help, larger wall-mounted cat trees often require an extra pair of hands for proper positioning. Clear instructions and quality hardware will make the job easier. 

When deciding on shelf spacing for a modular wall-mounted cat tree, it's vital that you keep your cat's fitness level in mind. Older felines and chubby cats might struggle to reach shelves that are spaced too far apart.

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Features

Beds and hammocks 

Given the fact that the average cat sleeps 16 to 20 hours a day, beds and hammocks are features worth keeping an eye out for. However, a flat cushion, a folded blanket, or even a piece of carpet placed on a perch can also work in a pinch. Just remember to make sure any padding is properly secured, or it could end up sliding off, along with your cat.

Food and water bowls

Some high-end cat trees come with removable food and water bowls that fit into dedicated openings built into a platform or perch. This feature can be particularly helpful for skittish cats who share a home with dogs or children. 

Ramps, steps, and posts

Cats are excellent at jumping and climbing, but that doesn't necessarily mean they'll never need a leg up. Ramps, steps, and posts can make it a little easier for felines to navigate their wall-mounted cat trees, especially when it comes to larger models with multiple levels. 

cat tree2
DID YOU KNOW?
The flat surfaces on a wall-mounted cat tree should be roughly finished or covered in fabric or carpet to provide traction for climbing kitties.
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Accessories

Electric drill: BLACK + DECKER 5.2-Amp, 3/8-Inch Electric Drill
As with most wall-mounted fixtures, you'll need a drill to install your wall-mounted cat tree. We recommend opting for a corded drill like this one from BLACK+DECKER rather than a cordless model simply so you won't have to worry about battery life if installation takes longer than expected.

Stud finder: ZIRCON Pro StudSensor A100 Wall Scanner
The most secure way to install heavy items like wall-mounted cat trees is to anchor them to the studs behind the drywall. A stud finder will help you locate your wall studs without any risk of damaging your drywall.

If you'd like your cat tree brackets to be less visible, consider painting them the same color as your walls.

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Wall-mounted cat tree prices

Inexpensive: Basic wall-mounted cat trees consisting of a single scratching post and one or two perches can cost anywhere from $30 and $60, depending on the size and overall quality.  

Mid-range: You'll find a host of quality options in a variety of configurations within the $60 to $150 price bracket. However, if you have more than two cats, it might still be necessary to invest in an extra cat shelf or two.

Expensive: If you have a large cat family (or one very spoiled kitty!), a sprawling structure with several perches will help keep everyone happy. Elaborate wall-mounted cat trees are often priced between $150 and $500.

Tips

  • Choose an appropriate option for your cat's size. As a rule of thumb, perches and platforms should be at least 10 inches deep to allow for safe and comfortable lounging. Particularly large breeds, like Maine Coons and Bengals, may require shelves with a depth of 15 inches or more. 
  • Enlist the help of a family member or friend. Installing a wall-mounted cat tree single-handedly can be tricky. To avoid frustration, we recommend preparing in advance and enlisting the help of a friend or family member. 
  • Make sure your wall-mounted cat tree is sturdy. For added peace of mind, test each surface of your wall-mounted cat tree by loading it with the equivalent of your cat's weight (dumbbells or books work well) before allowing them to use it.
  • Grow your cat tree. You can easily expand a smaller wall-mounted cat tree by adding extra cat shelves, ramps, and horizontal sisal poles.
cat tree3
Cats don't always know what to do with a wall-mounted cat tree straight off the bat. If your kitty seems a little reluctant to explore, try coaxing them up with a sprinkle of catnip or a favorite treat.

FAQ

Q. Can I install a wall-mounted cat tree if there aren't any wall studs available?

A. When working with drywall, securing your brackets to wall studs is by far the safest option. However, if this just isn't possible, you can still install your wall-mounted cat tree using 1/8-inch toggle bolts, also known as butterfly anchors. Unlike threaded or self-screwing wall anchors that simply bite into drywall, toggle bolts feature wings that open up to brace against the interior of hollow walls. This design delivers improved weight distribution, making it possible to securely mount heavy items on drywall even without wall studs. 

Q. How should I clean my wall-mounted cat tree?

A. Wiping down perches and vacuuming beds and hammocks once or twice a week is generally enough to keep a wall-mounted cat tree clean. However, a deeper clean will be necessary if your cat vomits or urinates on any of the fabric pieces. While some models come with removable, machine washable hammocks and perch covers, many don't. If you're dealing with a big mess on fixed fabrics, we recommend using an enzymatic cleaner. For basic cleaning and sanitizing of fabric and sisal surfaces, a steam cleaner is your best bet.

Q. What kind of configuration works best for multiple cats?

A. Setting up a wall-mounted cat tree for multiple cats involves a bit more thought than simply choosing something with the right number of perches. Ideally, you should try to make sure that each perch and platform offers both an entry point and an escape route. This open-ended configuration will help eliminate the possibility of one cat being cornered by another. Also, staggering perches in a vertical fashion can help territorial cats establish their daily hierarchy — whoever reaches the top first reigns supreme!

 

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