If you’re wondering ‘are cat towers worth it’ and considering whether to invest in one or not, this article will hopefully help you decide either way. In short, my answer is a big fat yes and my cats agree. So, read on to see why a cat tower can be the purrfect pressie for your beloved puss.
First of all, what’s a cat tower?
A cat tower, sometimes called a cat tree, is a vertical structure you place in your home for your cat to climb and enjoy. They can be pricey, but it’s possible to make something similar if you’re on a budget, which your cat will still love. For example, placing a chest of drawers next to the wardrobe which has a blanket on the top. They’ll have fun climbing and jumping between the two pieces of furniture, and at no cost to you.
But if you want something a little different you’ll find many manufactured cat towers out which offer a range of activities including: platforms for your cat to sit on, planks and stairs to climb, houses to hide in, rope style posts to scratch. Although some can be pricey, not all of them are and it’s worth shopping around. I chose a mid-range tower in terms of activities it offers at a not too high price, and it’s purrfect.
Will my cat love a cat tower?
Impossible to say if your cat will answer with a positive meow to ‘are cat towers worth it’, but highly likely. A cat tower satisfies the natural instincts and behaviours of a cat, whilst providing them with fun and comfort. Be patient, it might take them a while to get used to it, and be prepared for the cat to initially prefer the cardboard box the tower arrives in (that’s standard!). But, position it well and patiently wait… They’ll soon start to explore. Or maybe they won’t… that’s how a cat likes to rock n roll…
What are the downsides?
Not so much downsides, but definitely things to consider. First, the cost. Towers can range from reasonable to ridiculous. Research carefully before buying, and choose which you think is best for you, your cat, the space you have in the home and your budget. Reviews definitely vary between each of the models. The one I recommend is, for me, great value and provides our cats with everything they need, but there are cheaper options out there which are smaller and with less activities offered. If you have a cat that goes outdoors, they’ll generally find all the activities they need out there in the big wide world. But for our indoor cats, the bigger the cat tower you can afford, the better as it will provide them with many hours of joy.Consider the space they will take up in the home. The bigger and more complex the tower, the more space they’ll gobble up, not just height-wise but width and depth. Think carefully about where you’ll place it before you buy. If it’s not positioned right, your cats are likely to ignore it. And if it’s squashed in a room too small, you’ll end up cursing it. Ours is in an unused corner of the lounge, next to the radiator and by the window so they can watch the world go by and it seems to suit them… for now!
And lastly, the cat tower needs to be safe for your cat to use. If you have a cat with restricted mobility or a physical illness / disease that could cause the cat to fall suddenly (e.g. epilepsy and seizures), think carefully about purchasing one of the taller models. It’s a long way down if they fall and they can seriously injure themselves.
Still undecided whether it’s a yes or no to ‘are cat towers worth it’?
Check out my top 5 reasons for providing your furry friend with a cat tower. Each of the reasons naturally link with at least one of the welfare needs which form part of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, which is my go-to for anything related to cat care. Caring for our kitties isn’t just about fun and the cute stuff, it’s about how we allow them to follow their natural instincts and behaviours, and enable them to live happily and healthily.
1. A cat tower provides an opportunity to play and explore
Cats need fun in their lives with plenty of opportunities to climb, jump and play (as long as they are physically able to). Offering them a cat tower is one way to meet the welfare need: providing a suitable environment. It helps them to be active both in mind and body. This is especially important if your cat is an indoor pet – although not a replacement for the great outdoors, the cat tower is similar to a tree that an outdoor cat climbs and explores.
2. It provides the perfect look-out
My cats love sitting on the top platform and looking down at the minions below. (They actually think of themselves as Richard Gere’s character Edward in Pretty Woman, when he tells Julia Robert’s Vivienne that the reason he has the penthouse is because ‘it’s the best’. And we all know cats like to be the best…)
From high up they can spot potential enemies, like an approcahing killer vacuum cleaner or an annoying furry sibling. This behaviour relates to the welfare need: to exhibit normal behaviour patterns. Think of a lion in the wild, sitting up on a high rock looking out for prey and enemies. That’s how the domestic cat feels when standing proudly on top of the cat tower, and who are we to burst that bubble?
3. A cat tower offers a perfect place for a cat to hide
As we know, cats like to hide. Sometimes it’s because they feel unsafe, such as on Bonfire Night or when there’s a stranger in the house. Other times it’s because it makes their human run around, late for work, trying to shut the bedroom door and keep the cat out but not being able to as the cat is hiding under the bed mocking their human servant.
A cat tower which includes a small cat house about half way up, or a high platform, is a way of providing a suitable environment in terms of an alternative hiding place. Humans spot them quickly, but furry siblings not so much.
4. Are cat towers worth it to keep my puss healthy, nimble and active?
Just like humans, if a cat is inactive, it can suffer from issues such as obesity, painful joints and potentially be more prone to illness and disease. An indoor cat is more likely to suffer these things than an outdoor, as the cat who roams outside has an abundance of opportunities to climb fences and trees, strut around the neighbourhood and chase mice and birds. Providing a cat tower, especially for an indoor cat, will increase the opportunity to exercise which in turn helps to protect from pain, suffering and disease, another of the welfare needs.
5. A cat tower provides the cat with their own space away from other animals in the house
As another welfare need, this is especially important for cats as they are naturally quite solitary animals who generally prefer their own company. By providing a cat tower with a platform or small box style house, you’re offering your puss an opportunity to find their own space and chill.
Now, I must say that this works great for cats wanting to avoid the family dog, but not always as useful for keeping away from their annoying furry feline siblings. Ours do tend to have a little scrap on the tower every now and then, mainly because the youngest one likes to be King of the Castle and kick the bigger one off the top platform… but you can only try!
So, is it a yes or no to ‘Are cat towers worth it?’
As well as being great for your cat, a cat tower gives us humans an opportunity to do what we love too, which is watching our cats having fun. If I’ve convinced you that a cat tower is a great piece of equipment for your cat to enjoy, research before you buy, but I can highly recommend the one here in the photos which I bought from Amazon. It’s a great size, well made, offering several platforms and 2 cat houses, plus steps and planks. And it was worth the money.
I’m not recommending it just so you buy it and I earn a small commission – I’m recommending it because I did a lot of research and was really pleased with it, and I know others would be too. It works for my cats, and it therefore works for me. However, I will really appreciate you clicking the link if it is one you would like to buy – it won’t affect your purchase at all but the small commission I’ll receive helps me to keep blogging and letting fellow cat lovers know about anything I think they, and their furry friends, will enjoy.
Do your cats already have a cat tower? Let me know about your experiences. Plus, I’d love to see photos of any home-made towers – they can be just as good as the manufactured ones and great if on a budget. Plus, they can use up any materials that might otherwise be thrown away – great for the environment too!