When shopping for a cat tree, there are a lot of things to consider — especially if you live in a small space. To find out what qualities are most important when shopping for the best cat trees for small apartments, I reached out to two experts: Valli Parthasarathy, DVM, a Portland-based cat behaviorist with Synergy Behavior Solutions and Marci Koski, Ph.D., a cat specialist with Feline Behavior Solutions.
According to Dr. Parthasarathy, your cat tree should be tall, sturdy, and heavy enough that it won't tip over. "The ability for cats to have different heights to rest is one of the most important features of a cat tree," explains Dr. Parthasarathy. As far as materials go, carpet and sisal rope are both durable choices that are perfect for scratching.
But traditional cat trees that stand on the floor aren't your only option. If floor space is limited, Dr. Koski, recommends considering other alternatives, like over-the-door trees or even "cat shelves" that attach to the wall.
Once you've found the perfect tree, think about the best place to put it. Dr. Koski explains that location is key to whether or not your cat will embrace their new playground. "Make sure to place the tree in a socially-significant part of your home — where you and your cat like to hang out," she says.
Also, Dr. Koski recommends a little encouragement: "If you want to get your cat to use the tree, try putting cat treats on the various levels, using a wand toy to lure your cat up the tree, or sprinkling catnip on it. Your cat will figure it out!"
Based on the ideas and recommendations by these experts, I've put together a list of the best cat trees for small apartments to help you get the most out of your living space.