Cat tree for senior?

Novus888

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Jackson Galaxy is always promoting cat trees, but what about for a senior cat? Is a cat 9+ years old likely to want to use one? I don't mind spending $100 if it will improve the life of a cat, but it is a bit pricey for a decoration the cat will never use. Opinions?

I'm setting up the house for a senior cat adoption from the animal pound in a couple months. Bought all the obvious necessities, and now considering the luxuries.
 

GoldyCat

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It really depends on the cat. My oldest cat doesn't use the cat tree, but he never did even when he was 10 years younger. My 12-year-old cat loves the top shelf of the cat tree and at times has to fight with the 13-year-old cat to keep her place.

Ask the people at the rescue about the cat. They usually have a good idea of the personality and activity level of cats that they've had for some time.
 

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I agree that it really does depend on the cat. I would speak with the shelter (as suggested above) or just wait until the cat is in your home to decide on a cat tree. If you see him/her jumping on furniture, window sills or other semi-high up places I think there's a fair chance they might enjoy one. They also make cat trees specifically for senior cats that are a bit lower like the ones seen here:

FRISCO 33-in Faux Fur Cat Tree & Condo, Dark Charcoal - Chewy.com

FRISCO 32-in Real Carpet Wooden Cat Tree with Toy, Gray - Chewy.com

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00G2J0954/?tag=thecatsite

10 Best Cat Trees For Older Cats

https://www.wayfair.com/keyword.php?keyword=cat+trees+for+senior+cats

9 years also isn't that old for cats so there's a good chance they would enjoy traditional trees as well, it just depends on the cat and any joint issues they may have.
 

Elphaba09

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I agree that it depends on your cat. My oldest is 17 and likes to climb the cat tree.
 

daftcat75

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Nine isn’t too old. My 15 year old still wanted to get to the highest point of any hotel room we stayed in.
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The only reason she didn’t do this at home was that I purposely cluttered the top of the fridge to discourage this.

Krista liked the Furhaven brand of cat trees. Some of the carpeted ones off-gas and need to be aired outside for several days before they don’t smell like whatever solvents were used in their construction. The Furhaven brand does not have this problem. Krista would be climbing one before an hour after assembly had passed. She loved the high perch on this one with steps. I thought she’d use the steps more often than she did. Most of the time she’d jump to the desk first.
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Cat trees serve another important purpose for cats. A perching cat is a lot more relaxed and confident than a cat hiding under a bed. Your cat will appreciate a tree or perch in a socially important location. Maybe next to your desk, couch, or even TV. She’ll want to survey her kingdom and her servants. She can’t do that if the tree is off in a room somewhere her humans are not. Cats also love the “floor is hot lava” game. If you can make paths for your cat to get from a room’s entrance to her tree without touching the floor, she’ll absolutely love you. That’s because going the ground route is vulnerable and can make a nervous cat (like one new to your home) feel more anxiety about how large the humans look from down there. When she has power paths that are hers and hers alone, she’ll feel that much more confident in her environment.
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I gave my Krista a whole wall and a path to the kitchen counter. She was going up there anyway. I just stopped fighting her on it. We had so many wonderful food prep memories. 😻 That wall wasn’t socially significant. But the kitchen was.
 
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maggie101

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Most cats that age can still jump high. Maggie will be 7 soon. Major jumper. No dought that won't change
 
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Novus888

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Thanks for the advice. Sounds like the odds are in favor of it being used, so I'll go ahead and get it. I'm trying to have everything ready, and in place before the cat comes, so when it gets used to everything there will be no changes. As long as there is at least a 50-50 chance something is needed, I don't mind spending the money. Got my PC replacement paid for, and now that Newsom has all on lockdown, I got little else to spend money on.
 

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You could look at local ads (eBay, Facebook etc) . Cat trees are quite often not used and people don't know what to do with them and are happy to give them away. If your new cat loves it you can consider buying a new one. My cats definitely prefer the floor to being high up - but I think that's because they've detected where the heating pipes are - and, of course, they are no longer new to the house and most of them are "seniors" by your definition (but, they won't like to hear you say that). :)
 

daftcat75

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When choosing a cat tree, make sure it has at least one sturdy and tall scratching post among whatever other features. If my Krista is any example, a cat will cross a room for a good scratching post. Also get a cardboard scratcher for the floor. Some cats like to scratch up. Some like to scratch down. Krista enjoyed both.
 
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Novus888

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When choosing a cat tree, make sure it has at least one sturdy and tall scratching post among whatever other features. If my Krista is any example, a cat will cross a room for a good scratching post. Also get a cardboard scratcher for the floor. Some cats like to scratch up. Some like to scratch down. Krista enjoyed both.
For cat trees I'm currently deadlocked between these two:



I'll probably flip a coin, as both look about evenly matched.

I already bought this:


Guess I could take it off the wall, and figure some way to attach it to the floor.
 

daftcat75

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For cat trees I'm currently deadlocked between these two:

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I'll probably flip a coin, as both look about evenly matched.

I already bought this:

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Guess I could take it off the wall, and figure some way to attach it to the floor.
Leave it on the wall if he uses it. Better the wall than your furniture.
 

daftcat75

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I like the Frisco one because it has a ground condo as well as the other perches. It’s also got great legs that I would cross the room to scratch. 😹
 
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Novus888

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You could look at local ads (eBay, Facebook etc) . Cat trees are quite often not used and people don't know what to do with them and are happy to give them away. If your new cat loves it you can consider buying a new one. My cats definitely prefer the floor to being high up - but I think that's because they've detected where the heating pipes are - and, of course, they are no longer new to the house and most of them are "seniors" by your definition (but, they won't like to hear you say that). :)
Yeah, looks like I'll be needing to revise that definition. Saw that in a couple books. Further online research is now setting the 'senior' stage at 10 to 11 years old, so that is what I'll be asking to see at the animal pound. There is an in- wall heater here, but it's blocked by shelving, and not been used in ten years. I've sewn a 'space blanket' cut-out to the bottom of the cat bed I got (to reflect body heat), but if it looks like that ain't good enough, I can always buy a space heater....$30 won't break the bank!
 
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Novus888

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Leave it on the wall if he uses it. Better the wall than your furniture.
I don't really have any furniture to worry about. Made me a computer 'desk' out of scrap lumber and pressboard or particleboard (not sure the difference). It's sturdy but looks amateurish, so scratches won't make it look any worse. Found a couple bookcases, endtable and chair on the sidewalk...zero emotional attachment to that. I do have a fold-up japanese floor table I'm fond of, a zabuton, and my bed that I wouldn't want attacked. The table can be put out of reach, and the floor cushion in the closet, so my bed is the only vulnerability....other than the walls.
 
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Novus888

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I like the Frisco one because it has a ground condo as well as the other perches. It’s also got great legs that I would cross the room to scratch. 😹
If I go with the Feandrea, I was planning to fill the bottom space with this:


Various sites say one should have two catbeds. I already have this one:


....well something like it. Mine is bigger (22" dia), plusher, and the cost from wish.com was like half that.
 

cataholic07

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Make sure any cat tree is very sturdy, some of them are flimsy and just topple over. Knowing the size of the cat can help. I have 3 cats, 2 are long and tall beasts, the other is long but tiny in frame. The boys are 13lbs and she's 11lbs. I had to buy a bigger cat tree as they just didnt fit in the last one well lol. All my cat trees are custom made because I have big cats lol. This one is 5ft and 43inches long, normal store trees wouldn't work. I prefer custom cat trees as you can make them to be whatever you want. With seniors you do wanna make sure that its super easy to climb up on as they do have arthritis.

cattree.jpg
 
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Novus888

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Make sure any cat tree is very sturdy, some of them are flimsy and just topple over. Knowing the size of the cat can help. I have 3 cats, 2 are long and tall beasts, the other is long but tiny in frame. The boys are 13lbs and she's 11lbs. I had to buy a bigger cat tree as they just didnt fit in the last one well lol. All my cat trees are custom made because I have big cats lol. This one is 5ft and 43inches long, normal store trees wouldn't work. I prefer custom cat trees as you can make them to be whatever you want. With seniors you do wanna make sure that its super easy to climb up on as they do have arthritis.

View attachment 369343
When shopping for cat trees I did run across reviews on many that mentioned how flimsy some were. I followed up on that, and found someone on Reddit or Quora saying he applied epoxy cement in addition to the included screws, and used 'Locktite Threadlocker Red 271' on the screws. I expect I'll likely try that, along with a nylon cable zip-tie to anchor it to the wall. The only real place for a cat tree is against the wall near the foot of my bed, so if a earthquake topples it while I'm asleep, it's trajectory would be predictable.
 

jersharocks

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For cat trees I'm currently deadlocked between these two:



I'll probably flip a coin, as both look about evenly matched.

I already bought this:


Guess I could take it off the wall, and figure some way to attach it to the floor.
I would go with the Frisco 65" one. I have the 33" version of it and the bed on top is awesome. My girls are both large (one is long and skinny, the other is wide and heavy) and they both love stretching out in the bed. It's removable so you can wash it and a little tip I have is to pick up a bed warmer to slide under it. Your kitty will probably go up there and sleep alllllll day if you do that lol.

The condo being on the bottom adds a lot of stability to the tree so it should be very sturdy. Also, Chewy has great customer service so if you run into any issues, they'll take good care of you. I have never heard of the songmics website but the reviews look pretty bad: Songmics is rated "Poor" with 2.6 / 5 on Trustpilot
 

susanm9006

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Very much depends on the cat. My previous cat would leap to the top of doors until she was 15-16. Current cat will only jump up about 30 inches at most. I wouldn’t buy a cat tree until you know your cat and there are inexpensive ways to give them a high up place other than buying a cat three. Since my Willow doesn’t like big jumps her “tree” is a table with a raised cat bed on top of it and a nearby chair for her to use to get up to it.
 
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Novus888

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I would go with the Frisco 65" one. I have the 33" version of it and the bed on top is awesome. My girls are both large (one is long and skinny, the other is wide and heavy) and they both love stretching out in the bed. It's removable so you can wash it and a little tip I have is to pick up a bed warmer to slide under it. Your kitty will probably go up there and sleep alllllll day if you do that lol.

The condo being on the bottom adds a lot of stability to the tree so it should be very sturdy. Also, Chewy has great customer service so if you run into any issues, they'll take good care of you. I have never heard of the songmics website but the reviews look pretty bad: Songmics is rated "Poor" with 2.6 / 5 on Trustpilot
Thanks so much for the Trustpilot link! I can hardly believe I only looked at reviews for the cat tree, which were excellent:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071CFXMZG/?tag=thecatsite

...and not for the actual source. As I no longer deal with Amazon, that was a very necessary second step which slipped past me.

I could get it from a more reputable dealer:


...but at a higher price, and cannot really justify an extra $50.
 
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