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 11 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 everyday. 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 11 favorite cat trees for the modern home.
True to Wayfair fashion, this modern cat tower 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 Cat Tree 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 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 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 minimalist cat cave 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 wooden cat 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.
Related: What is Pretty Litter?
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 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.
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 a-frame 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.
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?
After all, happy cat, happy home.
You might also be interested in: 7 Self Cleaning Litter Boxes [For Your Stinky Kitty]
Our 11 Favorite Modern Cat Towers (And Alternatives):