Indoors cats can climb if you get him a cat tree

If you’ve ever watched your cat outside and watched how fast he climbs a tree you’ll be stunned at how agile he is and how fast he can climb. Cats are natural climbers, just remember those pictures from Africa of the big cats draped in the branches of trees.

Female Lion (Panthera leo), resting in Yellow ...
Image via Wikipedia

But why do cats climb? Of course it is not possible to know entirely without getting into the mind of the cat but there are several obvious reasons which we can deduce. If you ever seen a cat sitting on a branch smirking at a dog barking on the ground below the tree you can reasonably assume that cats climb to get away from predators. And it works very well when the predator is a dog.

And of course if there are predators around a tree is a much safer place to sleep than somewhere on the ground.

And of course cats are predators too and will frequently climb trees, particularly at night, to do their own hunting. It is one of the major reasons why it is highly recommended that cats be kept indoors at night, if not 24 hours a day, because they can decimate small native furry animals that live around the house in the trees.

And whilst it looks like a lot of fun it’s hard to know if cats climb for entertainment.

The bottom line though is that all cats climb, and presumably love to do so. It’s probably instinctual.

So if you keep your cat indoors as you should it is unlikely that he will suddenly learn to ignore his impulse to climb, and in many cases ends up climbing your curtains, which is extremely damaging for the curtains and can be damaging to the cat as well if he falls.

Rather than hoping that your cat will lose his instinct to climb you can cater to it by providing him with some fine cat furniture that actually encourages him to climb by giving him a place to do so where nothing important will be damaged. It is known as a cat tree, or sometimes a cat tower or a cat gym or condo, but whatever name it goes by it is a piece of cat furniture that allows your cat to climb and play to his heart’s content. Read the rest of this entry

Building a cat tree can be a cheap way to get some good cat furniture

A good cat tree can be easy to build, and for those who find commercial cat trees a little expensive this can be a good way to save some money on your pet furniture.

Female Devon Rex in cat tree.
Image via Wikipedia

There’s a few simple things to remember and if you’re handy with a hammer and nails it shouldn’t be too difficult to build your own cat tree.

The first thing to remember is that a good tree for a cat needs a very wide base. This is because as your cat climbs the tree it exerts sideways pressure on the tree. If the base is not wide enough the tree becomes unstable and can fall over.

Of course the taller the tree the wider the base will need to be. However remember that before you build your cat tree you need to know where it is going in the house and to ensure that there is adequate space to house it there.

Any decent cat tree needs a base at least 3 to 4 feet square, and preferably from solid timber so it is nice and heavy.

The easiest tree to make is one with a solid chunky centre pole. If you use timber at least 3 or 4 inches square it is easy to fix nice and securely to the base so it does not rock. Use metal angle brackets to secure it to the base.

You can then build horizontal arms, or branches, which come out from the centre pole and use these arms to secure some interesting items that make some fun things for cats to play on.

It’s quite possible to scrounge all sorts of interesting items such as plastic tubs. Screw these onto the branches either intact or cut in half to give the cats lots of nooks and crannies to play in or sleep in. Read the rest of this entry

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