Use a Cat Tree to Create Fun Play Area for Cats

Written by Kate Halse
Updated September 25, 2015
cat with collar standing next to stair railing
Cat trees or towers allow your cats to climb and perch — two of their favorite things to do. (Photo by Katelin Kinney)

A cat tree, cat tower and other cat furniture provides hours of fun and play for cats of all sizes and ages.

Coming up with a designated cat play area can seem daunting, but there are easy ways to tackle this. Consider adding a cat tree (also known as a cat tower or cat condo) or even a cat gym.

Although your cat may think otherwise, your furniture is not the best place to play and perch. Fortunately, you can create your own cat furniture solution or purchase one at the local pet store. Either way, it is important to give your cat the space it needs throughout the day. Cats can make use of both vertical and horizontal spaces, allowing for more flexibility and versatility when you are trying to decide what will work best for your pet.

Cat Tree

A cat tree or cat tower is a great investment for any cat, especially one that's a bit shy. Your cat may be new to the home and not quite comfortable yet, or perhaps it's just shy in nature. In either case, a cat tree can be a fun way for your pet to play and become more comfortable in its territory.

This is also a good way to get two cats to interact in a nonthreatening way. A cat tree will force the animals to share a close space, with different levels to ensure that each cat has its own territory. Cat towers are constructed in materials such as bare wood, sisal, and bark, which can be really good for scratching.

Cat Gym

If you are wondering how a cat gym could benefit your pet, think about the ways in which it helps humans. The gym allows us to exercise and be social, and reduce stress. Many of these same principles apply to a cat gym.

Whether your cat stays inside most of the time or you just want to give it more room to exercise, a gym is a great investment. Don't let the thought of installing a gym scare you, as they are mostly vertical and can be installed against a wall. A gym consists of multiple cat shelves and platforms and requires the animal to climb or jump from one space to the next.

DIY Cat Play Area

You don't need to spend lots of money to give your cat a place to hang out. In fact, you can do it for free.

Clear existing space within the house. This can involve organizing and clearing your bookshelves to create cat shelves. This gives your cat more room to play, and you can check it off your housecleaning to-do list. Your cat will use the space for high perching. Before you allow this, however, make sure that the unit is level and sturdy to prevent any falls or slips.

Another way to clear some room for your cat is to clean off the top of the refrigerator so your feline can use it as a perch. The top of the fridge makes a great cat play area because it provides space for the animal to move around, it's usually several feet off the ground, and it's generally warm. Just make sure the fridge is not too close to the cabinets or the ceiling.

Have you created a play area for your cat? Tell us about it in the comments section below.