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Hi,
I wasn't sure where to post this..
Is a cat tree a kitty necessity? Or just a nice-ity? We just got our new kitty one of those cave like beds and he has been sleeping in it. My kids want to go out and get him one of the carpeted ones with the holes in it for him to crawl in. Charlie (kitty) has now learned that he is allowed to sit on the tops of the sofa. This is not a behavior he has done the past 10days he has lived at our house. Though he did think the counter was free range. Thank goodness he knows "down." Anyway, do your cats use their tree? Is it a worthwhile purchase, or will he be ok climbing the sofas and leaping from the top of the kids' bunkbed?
What other toys have your kitties loved? So far, he likes string (oh man, does he go nuts for string) and the crinkly mice. Nothing else. I have yet to get the laser pointer.
Do your cats use the scratching post? He hasn't been scratching anything I know of, but not the post either.
Thanks for any help..new cat owner, but probably not new questions. sorry :)
 

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I got my Tuffy a cat tree and he never uses it - not sure why -he just doesn't seem interested. So in my mind it was a waste of money. But cats vary - yours might like one.

Plastic drinking straws are Tuffys new favorite toy - he plays with one for hours if I give it to him.
 

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My cats love lasers, they will play with it for hours and hours! Another favorite toy for them is those little mice from Petco, they're not expensive and they come in packs of I believe 8 or so. The kittens seem to love this ball that has fringed strings coming out of it, it's their favorite. As for a scratching post, mine don't use the post but I do get a scratching board so to say. It's from Petco and it just lays on the floor, it comes with catnip that you can sprinkle on it. It seems to work better for my cats who have their lazy moments and don't like to stretch ALL that way just to scratch. Haha! Bella seems to love my socks though, she will grab them out of my drawer and use it to let me know if she needs anything such as putting in the empty food bowl or in the water if she needs changing, things like that.
 

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My girls LOVE their cat trees. I have a lot of them, in each room of the house, and Muffs and Abby are on them constantly. They sleep on them, scratch the posts on the trees, climb on them, play on them. They'd be lost without their trees. If you are going to get one, make sure it's sturdy, because cats don't like to jump on things that seem flimsy and start to "rock" every time they jump.

As for scratching posts, some cats prefer different types (vertical, horizontal, flat, etc.) and different materials (sisal, carpet, cardboard, etc.). I'd try to find one that your cat likes sooner rather than later. When cats scratch (and at some point your cat will scratch), they leave both scent and visual markings, and these markings make them come back to the same site over and over. So, if you can "train" your cat to use one or more scratching posts right off the bat, chances are he will leave everything else alone. However, if he starts in on your couch or something similar, chances are he'll keep returning there because of his scent and visual markings, and it will be more difficult at that point to re-train him to use the post (not impossible, but more difficult).

A toy that I would highly recommend is Da Bird, if you can find it in Japan. If you search the Forum for Da Bird, you'll find lots of good things written about it.
 

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I don't think a cat tree is an absolute necessity, because a lot of people wouldn't have the space for it or wouldn't want to spend the money. Murphy loves his cat tree, but if I didn't have it I'd want to be sure he had somewhere to climb up to, like on top of tables, counters, etc. I sure don't mind if he's up there, even when he's blocking my view of the TV. :)

Have you seen these little perches you put on walls? I think they'd be really cool.

Cat Climbers: Scratching Posts: Sky Climber for Cats at Drs. Foster and Smith
 

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I have a cat tree that my cats frequently use. Although, their favorite place to hide is in the bunk bed over my futon couch. I don't have a picture of the bunk bed but it looks like this.


Leo walks along the top of the futon and then climbs the ladder to get up into it. Teddy either jumps from my desk or the dining room table that is about 5-6ft away (yes he is a very talented jumper). I often come home to find one or both of them in the top bunk.

In answer to your question, I don't think a cat tree is a necessity as long as you have plenty of things for them to scratch so they don't rip into your furniture.
 

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i spent a fortune on a cool cat tree for Mow when I got him (my ex husband cat used his *all* the time) because I thought of it as a necessity for scratching, sitting, and playing. He never even sat on it. I finally sold it on Craig's list a year after I got it.

He won't scratch on sisal, an inclined cardboard scratcher is his favorite (he's obsessed with cardboard in any form).

Toys he has to have? His laser pointer. If he even hears me open the drawer that it's in he comes running and chirping. Also 'Da Bird'(Feathers on a stick). In Mow's opinion the only good bird is a dead bird so he loves to chew and chase on that thing.

His absolute favorite....a plain old soft square that I crocheted. It looks just like a pot holder and i used a triple crotchet stitch on it so the holes are pretty large. I pour cat nip on it and rub it all in really well and he can spend hours rolling around on the floor with it. He rolls on it and drags it around and carries it. Picks the catnip out of it to eat and even tosses it in the air and catches it. (bonus is that i can just toss it in the washer to get rid of the cat drool).
 

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2 of my cats LOVE the cat tree...they are the most frisky ones while Azalia, whose more laid-back prefers the window perch. To compromise for all involved, I placed the cat tree next to the other side of the window...now everyone gets to look outside and lay in the sun, jump, nap, on their own platform.

As far as scratching posts, they use the cat tree, the carpeted part and the rug in the hallway...it's old and dingy so it's no biggie. They don't like sisal at all.

Toys - they all like 'Da Bird'. 2 of my cats go nuts for foil balls, even if it's just foil crunched up into a ball...they are not picky. It just needs to be shiny and roll. They also like their mouseys. Each one has their own special mousey they carry around, bat at, and sometimes nap with. I think it's the cat equivalent of the teddy bear :)
 

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All three of our cats LOVE their cat tree, and they all climb on it, but only two of them will sleep on it or scratch on the posts. I think Hermes just likes being naughty when it comes to the scratching--he prefers my dad's walls, which are covered in some kind of cloth material. :?
 

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My cat is crazy about the cat tree and uses it a lot. He stretches, hides in the holes, pass through the circle, jumps up and down, take naps, etc. Keeps him entertained and exercised hehe. It was the best investment I made. For i.e. I bought an expensive and fancy cave bed and he simply refuses to sleep in it, he doesn't even go near it !!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Have you seen these little perches you put on walls? I think they'd be really cool.

Cat Climbers: Scratching Posts: Sky Climber for Cats at Drs. Foster and Smith
Thank you for this! It seems like a much easier option than a tree, especially since we know we will move 2/3 more times in the next 10 years.

So, a laser pointer and I'll look up Da bird.
I think if he's been scratching anything, it's the carpet in the hall. It's a used old carpet, so I don't mind that much. If I get a flat carpet scratching board and lay it on top, do you think he'll get the idea?
The kids' bunkbed has steps to get up and he loves to go up and sleep on the top bunk.
Right now he is snoozing in his "cave" in the sun. Every so often he peeks out the window.

Thank you all so much for your responses! :)
 

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A cat tree is not necessary, but something to climb on IMO is.

I created my own cat shelves (five of them) about 8 feet off the ground by a top window for sunning and view of my back yard spending about $15 since I already had the shelving material.

Any shelf that is preferably not too deep and can support around 30lbs of weight is fine.




All kinds of furniture can also be repurposed for it.

My cats jump from the floor to my kitchen counter to the top of my fridge and then to the top of my cabinets, which I made sure was nail and snag free, and then lined with soft blankets. They LOVE sleeping up there together.



Over at Ikea they have Lack series bookshelves that if mounted to the wall staggered can be used as a ladder and perch.
 

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Ducman you have a cool, cat-friendly home.

I second avoiding the cat tree if you can. My cat would never have gone for one. She isn't a climber though she loves stair.

My cat's favorite toys: cardboard boxes. She loves the open flaps. She rubs against them, swats them, etc. I did get her a scratching post and a door-hung scratch rug. She also loves the cardboard scratching bed. She sits on hers whenever she needs to calm herself.
 

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All three of our cats love our cat tree, and it's they're favorite place to go when we're at work. We have it set up in front of the loft window, and we have the blinds always open so they can look out. They're always sleeping in it, playing in it, but mostly just sitting around and surveying their domain. :-D

We're actually thinking about getting another cat tree with more levels. The one we have just has two platform levels, so one cat is always left out.
 

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In my experience, it depends where the cat tree is situated. When it was just Sammy & I living in my room at Mum's place, there was a large glass sliding door that looked out to the backyard. From the cat tree, he had plenty of sun and could see outside. Less than a month after we adopted Meeka, we all moved in with my partner. The cat tree was set up in the spare bedroom and they never used it. I'm guessing that's because there was very little sun and no outside views in there. I didn't bother bringing it to this place, it's in storage at Mum's now cos there's nowhere here we can set it up near a window..
 

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Our 3 cats love the tree, they take turn being on the top 2 shelves. We have it next to the window (the room it is in is on the 2nd floor) and they love looking out. They use the scratching posts also.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thank you all! Right now Charlie loves to stare out our back sliding glass doors (it's a set of three) I showed DH the IKEA cabinet idea and he said we can pick up stuff and make something similar to put at the back door. It will be smaller, but tall so he can climb and pick a spot. I want to put carpet in one so he can scratch and some soft spots to sleep in another. I'm very excited. :kittyball
 

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In a multi-cat household, providing a plethora of levels is almost essential to keeping the peace. I have a total of eight cats - six are mine, two are fosters - and every one of them climbs, plays, sleeps and claws the cat trees. There are over 16 different levels/perches and they're all used at one time or another.

With only one kitty, I can imagine you could get away without a tree, but the more levels you provide (via tree or some other method), IMO, the more enriched his/her life will be.

AC
 

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My two kitties LOVE their cat tree and use it all throughout the day chashing each other up and down, then they hang out on the top levels and view the world both inside and out (it's up against the sliding glass door):

Here it is, six feet tall:

Playground Cat Tree - BestCatTrees

It's very well made, sturdy, and took about 20 minutes to put together (no screws or nails!) Definitely worth the price, as it will last for many years. And they DO use the sisal posts on it for scratching.

Also, they go bonkers over these stuffed toys I got a local pet shop -- sorry don't know the brand -- but they're about nine inches long with a stuffed body, then they have 'fur' covered tails that are filled with a crackly sounding material.

I throw them around and Winnifred chases it, tosses it and wrestles with it, then brings it to me and drops it at my feet. She even swishes her tail when I pat her and praise her for it. Percy can catch one in mid-air and brings it back, too, but then he races right past me with it and hides it somewhere. I got a few of them because they both like them so much and will steal one away from the other. If I ever lock them out of a room (to dress, sleep, or shower) I usually find one of the toys sitting right outside the door when I open it. Kills me every time, as they have to carry it all the way down the hall to leave it there for me.

Their other favorites toys are a wand with a mouse at the end (get a very well built one or they'll shred it in a few days), a balled up wrapper from Subway (they chase it around, then crouch over it like it was a football to keep me from getting it), and, of course, the toilet when it flushes. Thank heavens they can't flush the toilet by themselves or they'd play with it all day.

:kittyball:kittyball
 
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