A cat tree is a wonderful way to add some environmental enrichment into your cat’s life. Any cat parent knows that their furry feline likes to be in high places away from all the hustle and bustle of their human’s daily routine. Cats have an instinctual inclination to climb trees and be perched in places where they have the best aerial view of their surroundings, potential dangers, and prey. But, in most circumstances, the average living room or bedroom does not have a tree, so a fun cat tree with sisal posts and carpet-covered enclosures with a cat bed hidden away is the next best thing. Or, if you are handy with tools, you could also build shelving along your walls to allow your cat height for the full range of a room.
Why do cats love to be in high places? Being up high gives them the best vantage point and is a good way to protect themselves. There may be something outside that has captured their attention, or there’s a particularly inviting patch of sunshine. Or they know food is sometimes on your kitchen counter and they gamble they can get some tidbits. You may have noticed that your kitty jumps on your counters or your dining room table – places you’d rather them not be. So instead of yelling at them, or spraying them with squirt bottles, or getting frustrated at constantly setting them back down on the ground – which none of these options really work, at least for my cat Charlie – you can direct their inclinations to a more acceptable perch, like a cat tree. The posts giving the tree height are typically wrapped in sisal, which gives your cat a vertical place to scratch and stretch her claws. You could spray the posts with a synthetic feline pheromone to attract them to do this. Or you could put treats in the little hidey holes or carpet-covered steps to help them feel that this new piece of furniture is safe. You can find some really cute cat trees online, of varying sizes and shapes so you can choose the one that fits best with your home and budget. And ultimately, as long as it’s secure and allows your kitty a high perch and hiding spaces, she won’t notice that it’s more plain than the really expensive cat tree online that looks like a giant flower (cute but I’ve noticed these are very costly). This is just one way you can enrich your cat’s life; there are many other toys, treats, food puzzles, window attachments, and cat furniture you can explore. But a cat tree is a great place to start!
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