If you have a cat in your life, you know how important a good cat tree can be.
Not only does it provide a comfy place for your favorite feline to lounge, but it also provides an outlet for your cat’s natural desire to scratch– that isn’t your favorite couch.
Thankfully, cat trees have come a long way since the days of bulky old carpet swatches piled on top of a cat scratcher. Cat lovers everywhere can now opt for trees that complement their home’s modern look.
We know the internet is a big place. So we've compiled a list of the 18 best cat trees built for durability and with a modern design in mind.
But before we do, let's debunk a famous cat myth once and for all.
Why Do Cats Scratch?
Contrary to popular belief, cats don’t scratch furniture just to spite you. And it is not reasonable to expect your cat to just stop scratching altogether. There are some legitimate reasons why cats scratch (and why they need to.)
Your kitty will scratch or climb when they are excited or overstimulated as a way to work off some energy. Children get the wiggles, dogs get the zoomies and cats scratch and climb things. It’s just what happens.
As Part of Their Grooming Routine
It’s no question that cats are expert groomers, and we expect them to groom their coats. But their hygiene habits don’t stop there.
Cat claws are made up of a few different layers with parts that are constantly growing. In order to let the newer, healthy nail grow, the outer sheath needs to come off. And you guessed it--scratching helps that happen.
To Leave their Mark
I hate to even write it, but sometimes cats like to mark their territory. They have scent glands in their paws, and scratching helps leave traces of scent, letting other cats know the space is occupied.
But before someone gets all worked up about it, let's put something into perspective. We don't mind so much when Fido lifts a leg on a property-lined tree. And it really isn't such a horrible thing for cats to want to leave their mark either, especially if you have an indoor/outdoor cat and live in close proximity to a feral cat colony.
Listen, cats need to stretch too. And when your cat is scratching, they are able to get a nice back arch and work their toes. Think of it like kitty yoga. All I’m saying is that no one squirts you with a water bottle when you start your morning flow.
Our Favorite Trees
But while we know scratching is a normal and healthy behavior for a cat, no one wants to come home to newly destroyed furniture every day. So what's the solution? One no-brainer option is to provide your cat with an appropriate place to scratch, climb and leave their mark, which brings us back to cat trees.
So without further ado, here are our 18 favorite cat trees for the modern home.
True to Wayfair fashion, this Cleopatra Cat Tree is the best of all worlds. Your cat will enjoy his own cubby, scratching pad and wooden hammock.
And the clean lines and neutral colors make it easy to complement your current living room decor.
The neutral tones and clean lines make the Vesper High Base Cat Tower a good fit for your modern or mid-century home.
It comes with plenty of scratching posts to keep your kitty stimulated and memory foam beds for when that post-playtime snooze rolls in.
Choose from three colors and sizes to fit your space and needs.
This wall-mounted Gomes Acadia Cat Tree is designed for the modern cat owner.
Unfortunately, since it is mounted to the wall, there is a bit of prep work. And you don’t have the freedom to rearrange your space on a whim.
But the sturdiness is worth it.
The cat shelves are made from high-quality laminate and faux fur, so you can trust your beloved feline will not take a tumble.
This four-story ecoFLEX Cat Climber is what every multi-cat household needs. Your cats won’t be bored with the two cubbies, scratching pad and shelves to play in.
As the name suggests, this particular cat tree is eco-friendly; it’s made from recycled plastic that is both durable and easy to clean.
Reviews say it was easy to assemble, which is always a plus.
And if you need a little extra support, this tree comes with wall-mounting hardware.
When we think of modern cat furniture, this Lovely Caves Minimalist Style Cat Tree from Chewy comes to mind.
But don’t let this simple design fool you. This cat tree comes with double hardware and a tough sisal post so it can withstand even the most playful kitty.
And it is just high enough to keep your small dogs from taking over your cat’s bed if that’s a thing in your home.
This Catry Wooden Cat Tree Condo on Amazon features all the usual cat-tree components but with a simple design and clean lines.
You will still find a sisal rope scratching post and comfy bed for snoozing. But, unlike some of the other trees we’ve mentioned, this cat house has a nice wide door for those big-boned felines.
Another thing we love? The mats are removable, and wood material is easy to wipe down, so you don’t have to worry about starting your own germ colony.
The Tuft & Paw Milo Cat Tower has it all. At over 5 feet tall, this is the ultimate jungle gym for your felines. It has a scratching slide, hammock bowl, multiple perches and a climbing pole.
This cat tower is big enough to hold a few furry friends at the same time. Another perk with this mega tower is the carpet is removable, making it super easy to wash and clean.
The Ace - PetPals Cat Tree & Cat Condo can double as a piece of artwork in your house. This Cat tree and condo combo is made from recycled paper, has an adjustable lounger, multiple scratching posts and a feather teasing toy.
It is meant for cats up to 15 pounds, so it should last for years. You can get it for your kitten and watch your feline grow into their comfy perch.
Okay, so this might not be the prettiest cat tree on our list, but it is affordable and perfect for a multi-feline household. The Go Pet Club 80-in Faux Fur Cat Tree & Condo is covered in carpet for maximum lounging opportunities. This would be a great cat tree to put up near a tall window so your kitty(s) can soak in the sunshine from all of its different perches.
It has multiple ladders, scratching posts and condos; your cat will never get bored!
This is another funky-looking cat tree that could double as artwork. It definitely catches your eye and reminds us of jumping on clouds in Mario Bros back in the day. With 3 sisal posts, 3 perches, hanging toys and tunnels, the Armarkat 38-in Faux Fleece Cat Tree will provide endless entertainment.
Your cat will get a workout as they maneuver through this bad boy. You'll probably catch them taking a cat nap in different areas each day.
Our Favorite Not-So Trees
While even the modern style cat towers have swayed a bit from the standard cat-tree aesthetics, here are few picks that really break from the cat-tree mold.
If you don’t love the bulkiness of traditional cat trees, consider the Kelsey Tri-Cat Condo. Complete with a hideaway and sisal rope toy, this condo is great for small spaces.
This piece features a natural wood base with the option to choose white or black accents.
And coming in under $100, this condo is good for anyone with a tight budget.
If you want to avoid the cat tree tower look altogether, this Cleopatra Branch Cat Perch from Wayfair will do it.
Simply hang it anywhere in the house to enjoy a modern piece while giving your indoor cats the chance to climb a tree—sort of.
This lotus-inspired branch includes a scratch pad and comes in smoke, mahogany, espresso and white to match your decor.
Want to extend your cat’s climbing adventure? Pair it with the smaller Cleopatra Leaf Perch.
This modular cat tree bundle from Katris is the cat tree of the future and our dreams. In this bundle, you will receive 5 cardboard blocks that you can customize however you want.
Each block is made from over 200 pieces of recycled paperboard, making it both eco-friendly and surprisingly sturdy. (It can hold up to 300 pounds. That's a lotta cat.)
Unlike the other options, this bundle is one entire scratching surface and can be rearranged whenever you want to create some fun cat climbing opportunities.
And if that wasn’t enough, as an added incentive, this bundle also comes with 5 bags of catnip.
If you want to offer your cat the closest thing to an outdoor jungle gym, you will want to grab the CatastrophiCreations Gardens Set. This is purrfect for cats that love to climb and need their own space. We also love that you can add some plants to this cat furniture; just make sure the houseplants are safe for your cat!
Wall-mounted options are a great choice for any cats dealing with behavioral or territorial issues. Plus, the dog certainly can't pester the cat when they are snoozing up high on one of the hammocks.
The Sauder Natural Sphere Cat Tree is one of the most versatile cat beds on the market. Its contemporary design can match a ton of different design themes.
And the materials make it great for different environments. It is a great indoor pet bed or can be used as a patio piece for your high-class outdoor cat in the warmer months. Keep in mind that this bed is definitely not intended to keep your kitty warm in the winter.
It features a cat scratching post, a hanging cat toy and a washable cushion.
Who says a cat tower has to be shaped like a tree? This Cat Pyramid is what dreams are made of and doubles as a stylish bookshelf and would look great in any room.
While it doesn’t have a scratching post, that’s what we like about it. Instead, your kitty will enjoy scratching surfaces and lounging on each shelf.
The SmartCat Multi-Level Cat Climber is perfect for cat owners who have a small space but still want to offer their felines an elevated place to play and relax. All you need is a standard door between 79 to 82 inches.
This climber is spring-loaded, making it super easy to transition to different doors. It has 4 different perches, a central sisal post and can offer your cat a place of their own without sacrificing valuable end table space for a big cat tree.
Last but certainly not least is the PawHut 108" Floor-to-Ceiling Adjustable Staggered Climbing Cat Tree Tower. This cat tree tower is fairly large but also very customizable. You can adjust the shelves and hammock to any level, giving your cat the feeling of climbing a tree outside.
The spring-loaded brackets make it super easy to move from room to room or put closer to the window in the winter and somewhere else in the summertime for your kitties. This is also a minimalistic option for a multiple-cat household.
Let ‘Em Be a Cat
Cats can be the most loyal and loving companions. But just like any pet, they require their own special care.
Rather than punish your cat for being a cat, why not explore some ways to engage your cat’s natural habits?
If a cat tree isn’t enough to satisfy your kitty, you can also check out some interactive cat toys and chew toys.
After all, happy cat, happy home.
You might also be interested in: 7 Self Cleaning Litter Boxes [For Your Stinky Kitty]
Our 18 Favorite Modern Cat Towers (And Alternatives):
- Cleopatra Cat Tree
- Vesper High Base
- Gomes Acadia Cat Tree
- ecoFLEX Cat Climber
- Lovely Caves Minimalist Style Cat Tree
- Catry Wooden Cat Tree Condo
- Tuft & Paw Milo Cat Tower
- Ace - PetPals Cat Tree & Cat Condo
- Go Pet Club 80-in Faux Fur Cat Tree & Condo
- Armarkat 38-in Faux Fleece Cat Tree
- Kelsey Tri Cat Condo: Wayfair
- Cleopatra Branch Cat Perch
- KATRIS Modular Cat Tree
- CatastrophiCreations Gardens Set
- Sauder Natural Sphere Cat Tree
- Cat Pyramid
- SmartCat Multi-Level Cat Climber
- PawHut 108" Floor-to-Ceiling Adjustable Staggered Climbing Cat Tree Tower