Cat Doesn't Like Climbing Or Cat Trees

Softmeows

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My cat doesn't show any interest in climbing her cat tree, which I feel now was a complete water of money. Or climbing in general for that matter. Yesterday I had a box delivered with some stuff, and she looooves the box. I am not planning to keep the box in the house as I have a small place so what are some other ideas for cats who are like this? :D
 

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Softmeows

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*waste of money
 

susanm9006

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Most cats like up high places but some do not. It is possible that your cat just isn’t a climber but I think it is too soon to tell. It may be that it is just a strange new thing to her or it might have some smell to it that she doesn’t like. In both cases she may warm up to it once she gets used to it. I would for sure sprinkle catnip around the top.

If she does prefer low to the ground or hidden places you could drape a table cloth over a table so she has her own cave underneath, or maybe you could find a corner to squeeze that box into. She does look very happy in it.
 
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Furballsmom

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What would happen if you gently pick her up while she's asleep and put her on a shelf of the tree, or in that cubby I see in the picture?
 
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Softmeows

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What would happen if you gently pick her up while she's asleep and put her on a shelf of the tree, or in that cubby I see in the picture?
I did and she is in there now but without much delight compared to the box. I have had cat tree for a few weeks now so it is not new. She is just not interested in it unless I place her on it, but then she gets off right away. Maybe there is a low to the ground kind of house for cats, almost like a dog house :D I think my cate think she is a dog in many ways anyway.
 

Kieka

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There are bush cats and there are tree cats. Sounds like you have a bush cat on your hands. Don't fret, the cat tree wasn't a waste of money. If nothing else, she will likely use it as a very sturdy scratching post. She may also surprise you and suddenly start climbing or napping on it. Absolute worst case, you can donate it to a shelter and claim it on your taxes.
 

Kflowers

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A small enclosed place - a box- makes her feel safe. The tree does not. She may enjoy it in time. Though our cat goes to boxes immediately, she does not touch new toys until they have been somewhere on the floor for about 9 months.

Our cat does not climb. She can jump about two feet up and four down. When she was close to a year old we had a full body x-ray done and discovered that she had a large patch of arthritis on her spine. Even though she now takes medicine and is a lot less cranky and generally more happy, I think the arthritis interferes with her ability to climb comfortably and her ability to jump normal cat distances.

You may want to get your cat a full body x-ray, one will do it for most cats, and see how her spine and legs are. Knee problems would also interfere with climbing.
 

FeebysOwner

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Feeby only climbs up on furniture - would probably never do so with something I actually bought/planned for her. She also likes to get into new boxes that arrive from something I have ordered, but that has a short life-span - like less than a day. And, if I deliberately give her another box, she somehow knows it and does not appreciate it at all.

You could try to keep a few of those boxes, tear them down for space sake, and occasionally put one back together again as a "new" box!! (I've done that for Feeby - the only time when planning to give her a box really worked!)
 

r-kins

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Ha ha, I would keep the box. Cats like what they like. Some cats just prefer to be on the ground. Maybe give a few more hidey holes, or get a decorative box or basket for her to sleep in instead of the ugly cardboard one? Having a cat is incorporating the things they enjoy into your home.
 

LTS3

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A small enclosed place - a box- makes her feel safe. The tree does not.
The OP's tree has an enclosed cubby right above the base.

The Amazon box doesn't look like it takes up a lot of space. Maybe you can push it closer to the siding door or under the shelf / table next to the little side table until you can get a smaller box that is still roomy enough for your cat.
 

kissthisangel

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I would have suggested a cubby tree, but you already have one and it's being ignored!! One of my cats LOVES my dressing gowns, If I leave it on the floor or on a chair he will settle on that more than anything else. So, we put one on a bed (cat or human) for him, and that's where you can find him. Ours both use the trees we have, otherwise I would have probably stapled it to the platforms by now.

Watch your cat, see where they settle and then provide more of those options in that environment. Ok your apartment might feel small, but I'm sure you can edge a cardboard box or two into some areas you actually don't use. like round the back of the sofa, or under that desk you have in the pic. You could try lining the cubby in the cat tree with that cardboard box she has already used, if you were planning on binning the box anyway. But if she doesn't go for it within a day or so, then she just prefers ground level.
 

Pjg8r

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Mine are tunnel and box dwellers. They do go up on the tree to look out the window but they do not prefer high spaces. How old is your cat (I might have missed that)? Is it possible there is arthritis or pain in jumping up or down?
 
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Softmeows

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There are bush cats and there are tree cats. Sounds like you have a bush cat on your hands. Don't fret, the cat tree wasn't a waste of money. If nothing else, she will likely use it as a very sturdy scratching post. She may also surprise you and suddenly start climbing or napping on it. Absolute worst case, you can donate it to a shelter and claim it on your taxes.
Thanks so much for telling me that there are bush cats, I never knew and it makes sense now! She is very low maintenance that way, I think tree cats get in more trouble :D My cat just hangs on the floor 90% of the time by choice.
 
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Softmeows

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Lots of great ideas everyone, thanks! I will try a few options! She also loves going inside closets and sit there amongst items of stuff. She is not a hiding cat though, very sociable but just like to be on the lower level and going into things that are close to the ground. She did not like a cat house (soft type) I got her before and does not go inside of tunnel type things much too.
 

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I had one cat that hated cat trees .... but loved the dresser cubby I made him in the closest. I put a cat bed on top of the dresser, hung a sheet on the hanger rod so he could hide & gave him a foot stool so he could get up there easily.

That cat had slight vision issues so he had problems jumping. You might want to ask your vet to check his vision & joints on his next vet visit. Foot stools make fantastic cat stairs to get to high scratching posts, waist high dressers or very tall beds. I would also suggest buying a cat cube for your cat & putting the cat tree by the couch (so your cat can climb the sofa to the bed in the cat tree.)

Some cats are just not climbers. I would still encourage your cat to get waist high with treats.... just because a high perched cat is a confident cat.
 

daftcat75

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Krista has opinions and preferences on cat trees. She hasn't liked every one I've brought home. Some she still barely uses but she'll go in them for fish flakes or to get from point A to point B. If your cat has shown any interest in heights, then you just need to try a few more trees. A lot of pet supply stores will let you return them or return for store credit if the cat rejects them. I've done this a few times.

But if your cat doesn't show any interest in heights, then look for fun ground level cozy spots like a soft dog crate like this:
Frisco Indoor & Outdoor Soft Dog Crate, Dark Gray, 36-in - Chewy.com

Or a carrier you can leave out for her like Krista's carrier. I put fish flakes in it several times a day as part of her pre-meal or post-meal fish flake hunt (another way to get your cat interested in cat furniture) so she has positive associations with it when it's time for vet visits.
Petsfit Double Sided Expandable Dog & Cat Carrier, Gray, Large - Chewy.com

I also just happened to see this while searching for the carrier. It's like a compromise between ground cats and tree cats. Something for both.
Petsfit 2 Story Outdoor Weatherproof Cat House - Chewy.com
 

danteshuman

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My kittens love their carrier (it has mesh on the side and can open on the side or on the top.... the bad thing is the little jerks figured out how to press just right top open the zipper/Velcro top when they were wee kittens.) However leaving it zipped open on the side in the livingroom with it's built in bed, is his favorite hidy hole/wrestle mania ring.

A cat carrier or a box on it's side with a towel draped over the first half is always a welcome safe spot for cats (if I can't see you, you can't see me.... cat logic )
 
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