Cats lying on a cat treeCats love to use their claws. Anyone that has ever had a feline friend knows that every carpeted area, towel, curtain, couch and recliner is an easy target for restless paws. Scratching, clawing and climbing is a natural instinct for cats, and is an important part of their exercise.  It stretches muscles in their legs, strengthens their paws, and helps align their spines.  Instead of discouraging your cat from his natural inclination, provide the right location for this type of exercise. That way, your cat will be happy, and your furniture will remain unscathed.

Cat furniture can be as ornate or simple a design as you chose. Many are carpeted structures of multiple levels, reaching to the ceiling; while others are modest split-level cat houses.  If the fully-carpeted look is not for you, consider a high wall mount where the cat can perch and stretch his claws;  or a sleek wooden cat condo with a few subtle walls of woven hemp he can scratch.  Some owners get creative with their cat furniture, arranging it to look like a house with a hammock, or next to a tall fake tree that the cat can both climb and claw.

Tips for buying cat furniture

  • Steer clear of treated wood, since some resins, dyes and polishes can be toxic.
  • The furniture doesn’t need to be carpeted only, but can be covered in materials like thick cloth, hemp, coiled sisal rope (veterinarians encourage this).
  • Make sure the carpet used is made of nylon or olefin, since they are more durable than others.
  • Consider cost: cat furniture can cost anywhere from $30-$1,000+ depending on the design and brand.  Remember that you get what you pay for, and though one option may be cheaper, you might find yourself looking for a replacement in a year or two.
  • If you don’t like what you see, don’t be afraid to make your own cat playhouse. Just be sure to use only carpet, wood, glue, weaves, and ropes that are not toxic to the kitty.
  • Once you’ve found the right piece, entice your kitty to the new playground by rubbing catnip powder into the walls/surfaces to help draw him in. Let the games begin!