Q: Cat condos; what features do you like or dislike?

July 5, 2009 | By Norrie | 7 answers | Expired: 2396 days ago

Cat condos; what features do you like or dislike?

I recently adopted 2 sister kittens. I'd like to get them a cat condo-tree-scratching post combo but there are so many types, it's confusing.
I'm afraid the really tall ones would not be stable with active cats.
Do any cats use the ladders or hammocks?
Carpet over faux fur?What type do you have for your cats?
Do they use the high parts & cubby's all the time or just in the cold weather?
Are those pretty wooden Lotus ones worth the money?
If you were buying again what would you do different?
Where did you buy and how much?
Thanks ahead of time.

Readers' Answers (7)
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Jul 08, 2009

So many to choose from, the task is dizzying!! I like to go with carpet covered with some sisel rope sections for scratching. My cats like to lay up high, so I got a taller one with a few levels. Remember that you are buying this for cats who will destroy it, so if it costs lots of money or looks fancy you may feel bad each time they tear it up! Utillity and quality for a good price that's my motto :)

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Jul 07, 2009

we only have a single, relatively small cat tree. when shopping for a cat tree, look for one with a nice big base. that will make it more stable and less likely to tip. also, some very tall cat trees will have a kind of tension rod that runs from floor to ceiling for added security. cat trees are also great as scratchers, and there are a variety of options as far as that goes. most cat trees will only have sisal rope and / or carpet scratching surfaces, but there are other options. some will have bare, natural wood legs, and some have spaces in the legs where a corrugated cardboard scratcher can be inserted, and some will have panels of sisal fabric. if you know what kind of scratching surface the kittens preferr, definitely try to get something that has that kind of surface. if you're not sure, aim for variety. Drs. Foster and Smith make at least one cat tree:


that offers wood, carpet, and sisal rope, all in one. something else ot keep in mind...many cat trees can be modified fairly easily. "add on" parts are also sold by many cat tree makers, so you might make an existing cat tree bigger, or replace a carpeted post with a sisal one, etc.

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Jul 05, 2009

Those kittens are adorable!!!!

Having four cats, we have a super huge,kitty tree that goes
all the way, up to the ceiling. My husband bought it for me? or
shall I say, for our fur kids,on ebay.

When buying a kitty tree,make sure that it doesn't shed, because the pieces of carpeting
can get into your kitty's eyes or be ingested.

Our cats do not mess with my furniture and I'm not good about trimming their nails.

My furniture is not the greatest,anyways.lol~ and besides I throw furniture out,every few years.

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Debra B.

Jul 05, 2009

A wide base is needed for stability. Very active cats can make those cat trees/condos topple over with their chase play and leaping. I like a 2 ft by 2 ft base for a condo that is over 5 feet tall. If I lean against the condo with my arm and it sways, then I don't buy it. The other option is to abut the condo against a wall so that if it does sway it hits the wall and doesn't topple over.
My cats prefer the platforms that have short, upright sides to them so they can lean against them when sleeping. They don't like to lie on a totally flat platform. I find that most of the little houses in condos are way too small for a adult cat. Tunnels open at two ends are prefered over a little room with one way in and one way out. The tunnels usually provide enough security for a sleepy hiding place.
I don't like any toys suspended from rope or strings on condos as my cats rip these off in a matter of hours. Also look for staples that are concealed and not exposed, and glue used on every square inch of the carpet to secure it to the wood. I like carpet, but it doesn't last as long as sissal. Some of my cats don't scratch the sissal all that much as they prefer to tear off carpet bits.
I have three 5 ft tall ones and two shorter ones. While they are pricey, I think they are worth the investment. Getting the cat fur off them with a vacuum attachment can be challenging. I use the zip brush which has a rotating bristle for my Kirby to vacuum them.

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Kathy L.

Jul 05, 2009

I agree with the others. I and my cats love the condo. I did not get a very large one, because I only have two cats. But it did provide them with a toy, scratching post, and a place to hide when they wanted too. I believe in giving my pets a place of their own, and for cats, the condo is the answer.

Hope this helps, and enjoy your new friends!

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Michele Z.

Jul 05, 2009

My cats like anything/everything as long as they can climb, lay in/on it, hide, etc. The more parts and options, the more enjoyment they will get out of it. My cats are front-declawed, but they still like to sharpen the "claws" (roll their paws) on the sisal rope sections; cats with intact claws will especially like the rope.

I think what is most important in selecting a tree is the stability of the base--which you mentioned as a concern. Many trees/towers are too wobbly, but it is also true that adult cats learn to expect some "rocking" and adjust their jumps to it. However, it is best to get a tree that is very secure or else you will have to find a way to secure it from falling over.

You also have to watch for odd odors from the fabric/carpet--if the material "stinks" to a cat, the cat is not likely to use it. Also, try to pick a color and fabric that will match your cat's fur and/or is easy to clean!!! Almost any tree will be appreciated, provided it doesn't have an unpleasant smell to your cat. So, go for a very sturdy base.

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Jul 05, 2009

THEY ARE LIFE SAVERS! Including the tall ones.
2 months ago I rescued 4 siblings. At first I baught a canvas condo for $16. But they out grew and tore it up in about a month. Today I have a 7ft. piece, and two 3 foot pieces in one room. It gives them the opportunity to be what they are, CATS. They climb and play and scratch at their convenience.

It also saves the furniture. You know what else, it's the most entertaning thing I have ever seen in my life.

They are expensive, but they are worth it.

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