If you own a cat or are thinking about getting one, you've probably wondered whether you need a cat tree. I've had kitten clients ask me if it's really necessary - they sometimes think it will clutter up their space or not go with their decor... there are so many reasons people question the need for one. Let's go through the reasons for considering a cat tree, and the benefits it provides for your indoor cat.
Cats have natural instincts to climb, jump, and watch from high places. In the wild, cats spend hours sitting on tree branches, looking around to see if there are any dangers. A cat tree gives your cat a place to go up and down indoors, letting them use their natural abilities. It gives them a place to climb, scratch, and play, which is good for both their minds and bodies. If you are okay with your cat sharing your furniture and perching in high places such as the top of the refrigerator or your kitchen cabinets, then you may not need to add a cat tree to your home. But if you have issues with cats on countertops, shelves, or refrigerators, then you need to be prepared to make a specific cat-enriched space in your home for your cat so that they can fulfill their natural instincts. The benefits of this fulfillment are many:
Exercise and Physical Health: Cats, especially house cats, need regular exercise to keep a healthy weight and avoid health problems that can come from being overweight. Your cat will get a great workout by jumping, climbing, and stretching on a cat tree's different floors, platforms, and perches. By doing these things, cats can improve their muscle tone, range of motion, and general health, as they would outdoors in their natural environment.
Mental stimulation: Cats are smart and interesting animals that need mental stimulation to avoid getting bored and acting out because of it. A good cat tree has many places to explore, such as scratching posts, hanging toys, and hiding places. These things get cats to play with each other and meet their natural desire to hunt. A cat tree helps keep cats from doing bad things like scratching furniture or acting in other negative ways simply because they are bored.
Territory and Ownership: Cats are territorial animals, and having a certain place to call their own is important to their sense of security and well-being. Cats can claim a high space as their own with a cat tree. It gives them a better view of their surroundings from up high, which helps them feel less anxious and stressed. Having their own place can also be helpful in homes with more than one cat because it gives each cat a chance to make their own territory and reduces fights.
Environmental enrichment: A cat tree is more than just a piece of furniture; it's also a great way to make the surroundings better for cats. It adds variety and complexity to your cat's indoor surroundings by giving it different levels and surfaces. Cats can jump, climb, scratch, and look around, which is similar to what they would do outside. This natural enrichment is important to keep them from getting bored and to improve their mental and emotional health as a whole.
Buying or building a good cat tree for your indoor cat is a good idea that goes beyond just adding furniture to your house. It has many benefits, such as exercise, mental stimulation, establishing their territory, and making the surroundings better. By adding a cat tree to your cat's surroundings, you give them a place to do things that are natural to them and good for their overall health. It's a gift they'll love and use for a long time.
Carmen Klassen, Owner of Jewelspride Bengals