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The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Modern Cat Tree

What are modern cat trees?

“What is the best modern cat tree?”

It’s a question many cat owners ask.

As a loving pet parent, you, of course, want to give your feline friend everything they need to be happy and healthy. This includes adding furniture made specifically for them to the home. The best way to do so?

Get a cat tree! 

A modern cat tree tower is an innovative and stylish piece of kitty furniture designed to provide cats with a stimulating and functional vertical space to play, sleep, scratch, climb, perch, and relax. A modern cat tree house is often made of wood, metal, and fabric. They come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. Cat trees, cat towers, and cat treehouses all refer to a piece of furniture designed for cats. They are essentially different terms used to describe the same type of product.

Today, Katris reviews the pros and cons of 9 different cat trees. Plus, we explain why our bestselling Katris Modular Cat Tree is the purrfect choice.

Types of modern cat trees and how they work

Before shopping for a cat tree, you will first need to understand the various types that are available on the market. That is because all cat trees are unique. Some will have special features like bells, whistles, and feathers. 

For example, modern cat trees include:

  • Free-standing trees
  • Wall-mounted trees
  • Carpeted trees
  • Wood trees
  • Towering trees
  • Extra small trees

Above all, choose a high-quality cat tree made of sturdy materials. The last thing you want is for your precious pet to ignore and not be interested in their new furniture. Or worse, get accidentally injured because it fell over – oops! For these reasons, carpeted cat trees with multiple levels that are heavy enough to stand freely or be wall mounted are excellent picks. 

Two cats resting on cat tree beside the window
(Image by Huy Phan on Pexels)

What is the purpose of modern cat trees?

So, why add a cat tree to the home?

After all, if cats are content to rest on the sofa, bed, windowsill, pillow, floor, etc., then do they really also need a cat tree? 

The answer is…yes!

There are plenty of “paw-some” benefits cats get when they have the opportunity to interact with a cat tree. Unlike furniture used by humans, cat trees are built with feline psychology in mind. That means that every element of the cat tree is there to make your cat’s brain say, “Ah. This feels relaxing, safe, and fun.” For instance, a modern cat tree will take advantage of your cat’s natural instincts, like an urge to be up high. As predators, cats love to observe the world around them. Sitting atop a cat tree provides a great vantage point from which they can watch over their territory. 

Similarly, modern cat trees are good for scratching.

Cat claws are sharp! 

Luckily, scratching is a natural and pain-free way for them to shed the outer nail layer. A cat tree offers an appropriate outlet for this behavior. Speaking of feline behavior and habits, cats also crave quiet, enclosed, safe hiding spots. With loud children, dogs, and family foot traffic in the house, a cat tree is a great place they can go to curl up away from noise or chaos. 

Another purpose of cat trees is to promote exercise.

Veterinarians report that approximately 63% of cats are overweight. Fortunately, running up and down a cat tree and playing with dangly balls and bells is a fabulous way to burn calories. 

How to choose a cat tree

Hopefully, by now, you are seeing the benefits of cat trees.

Yet with so many to choose from, it can feel overwhelming to make a decision. But never fear. Katris has compiled a list of questions guaranteed to help make your kitty purr with whichever cat tree you select. 

Three cats resting on the cat tree
(Image by Arina Krasnikova on Pexels)
  • How many cats are in the home? 

To begin, do you have only one cat? Two? Three or more? For homes with multiple pets, it’s a good idea to get a cat tree with lots of levels, as well as entrances and exists. Cats get jealous. To avoid hissing fights, give everyone their own area on the cat tree.

  • How active is my cat?  

Next, think about the base size, structure height, and activity levels. Kittens and more playful adult cats will require a wider base and taller tree with toys for added sturdiness as they pounce, roll, scratch, and climb up and down. On the other hand (or should we say, paw) senior cats may feel more comfortable with a shorter, more basic tree.   

  • What color will look nice with my décor? 

Don’t forget color.

Cat trees come in all the colors of the rainbow. However, due to their large size, it’s key that the color matches the living room, bedroom, or kitchen décor. For a seamlessly integrated look, try muted shades like beige, grey, brown, white, or black.   

  • Where should I put my cat tree? 

Finally, pay attention to location. Cats appreciate a bright window to sunbathe in and watch the birds. Just be careful not to place the cat tree anywhere too close to a vent or heater and always give them a shady spot to cool down, too.  

  • Does my cat like to scratch a lot?
Two white cats resting on cat tree
(Image by Petrebels on Pexels)

Lastly, if your cat is a mega scratcher…go with a thickly woven material. 

  1. Our top picks for modern cat tree furniture

Okay, cat moms and dads! We finally made it. In the section below, let’s review the top 9 modern cat trees.  

Mid-century modern cat tree: Tuft Paw Sprout Cat Tower

the Sprout Cat Tower
(Image from Tuft + Paw)

To start, check out this incredible product called the Sprout Cat Tower

You can’t go wrong with a mid-century cat tree such as this one. Available in walnut and shadow grey, it is very chic. Apartment and condo dwellers with minimal free space will be pleased with the narrow dimensions. This is a cat tree that can easily fit into any nook or cranny. We also love the shape. It’s fluid but still has a stabilizing inner wall (and hidden metal plate base) to keep it from falling over. 

Plus, the carpet pad is scratchable – a nice touch.

In terms of cons, unfortunately, this mid-century cat tree isn’t best suited to heavier cats. Because of the slim design, there isn’t much space to sprawl out and stretch. Additionally, there are no cubby holes. So, if your cat likes to hide, this probably isn’t an ideal choice. 

Minimalist modern cat tree: Tuft and Paw Grove Cat Tower

Tuft Paw Grove Cat Tower
(Image from Tuft + Paw)

Looking for something simple and small?

Tuft Paw Grove Cat Tower is a must-have. The round and airy design uses slated wood to create two-tiered perch. The top level is a wonderful ledge, and the lower level holds a soft cushion where cats can sleep away in the afternoon. It’s also easy to assemble. Cats who aren’t fussy about heights will meow happily with this low-to-the-ground cat treehouse. 

Beware: this tree doesn’t come with any special features. There is no carpet and no toys. Therefore, some cats might find it boring. 

Attractive cat tree: Vesper Cat Tree

The Vesper Cat Tree
(Image from Amazon)


Talk about good value for money…

The price of the Vesper Cat Tree is only $159.17. Honestly, it’s a bargain. This cat tree has over 4000 glowing 5-star reviews and it’s not hard to understand why. The Vesper Cat Tree has four levels reaching a total height of 48 inches. Cats can climb the poles and scratch to their heart’s desire without damaging the structure since it includes sisal scratching mats and seagrass scratching posts. A box condo also provides a dark and warm rest area.

Assembling the pieces does take time. Be prepared to read instructions carefully. Cats who play forcefully also might rip off the string by mistake.

Contemporary cat tree: The Refined Feline Lotus Cat Tower

Lotus Cat Tower
(Image from Refined Feline)

Fourth on Katris’  list of modern cat trees is the lovely Lotus Cat Tower. This cat tree is all about beauty and functionality. Made from wood, it is strong enough to hold multiple cats at once. There is even a secluded den at the bottom. Another huge pro is how easily the Lotus Cat Tower is cleaned. With no carpet, just wipe it down with a pet-friendly cloth and voila! Good as new. Foam cushions can also be washed.

The two downsides are size and minimalism. This is a tall cat tree. People with limited space may find it too big. Although it does have a scratching pad, there are no toys to mentally or physically stimulate playful kittens and cats either.   

Modern cat tree for large cats: Feandra Cat Tree for Large Cats

The Feandra
(Image from Amazon)

Calling all large cats!

If you have a Maine Coon, Norwegian Forest Cat, or other gentle giant breed, it’s important to buy a cat tree that can hold their weight. Luckily, we have this large modern cat tree. The Feandra comes with anti-toppling fittings to keep the 33.1-inch structure safe from bumps and jumps. The perch also has padded edges. And with not one, but two condos, dual-cat households will never hear hissing over who gets to sit where.

Keep in mind, there isn’t much-scratching rope.

Tall modern cat tree: Flat for Pet Cat Tree

(Image from Etsy)

Imagine a firefighter pole…but for cats.

That’s basically what the Flat for Pet Cat Tree resembles. Amazingly, this floor-to-ceiling cat tree has it all: scratching post, shelves, tower, mounted pole, and covered “hemisphere” where they can hide away or snuggle. With five pillars, there is no shortage of space. It’s also made with natural materials such as beechwood and cotton, so you don’t need to worry about your cat chewing on chemicals and toxins in the rope. 

However, installation won’t work unless your ceiling is either concrete, brick, wood, metallic, or a floor beam because the pole needs somewhere to be mounted. This is NOT a freestanding cat tree. 

Small modern cat tree: PetFusion Ultimate Cat Window Climbing Perch

The PetFusion Ultimate Cat Window Climbing Perch
(Image from Pet Fusion)

Does your cat’s tail twitch watching birds, insects, and squirrels? 

For cats who “hunt,” the PetFusion Ultimate Cat Window Climbing Perch is a good option. The genius thing about this small modern cat tree is the three suction cups. Together, these attach to a glass window for added support. The 42-inch sisal scratching post also encourages cats to unleash their feline scratching, climbing, and clawing instincts. Even more fun? Organic USA-grown catnip leaf is included. 

Get ready to party with the PetFusion cat tree! 

The design is rather simple, however. Just one pole and one perch. For a lazy cat who stares out the window all day, it’s fine. But more reclusive cats may feel stressed being open and exposed. 

Modern cat tree for kittens: Go Pet Club 70-in IQ Busy Box Cat Tree Condo

Go Pet Club 70-in IQ Busy Box Cat Tree Condo
(Image from Amazon)

Number eight on our list, it’s “im-paw-sible” to beat the creative design of the Go Pet Club 70-in IQ Busy Box Cat Tree Condo. Our favorite feature? The IQ Busy Box. Cats have the intelligence of a two-year-old human child. Just like us, they need mental stimulation, games, puzzles, and challenges to stay entertained. Luckily, this cat tree has a dangly mouse, sisal rope-wrapped posts, a private condo hideaway, a hanging hammock, and a built-in feeding bowl. 

It’s like a vacation for cats!

Some buyers claim it can be wobbly. Be sure to test out this cat tree or secure it with weights and/or bolts before letting your feline friends explore. 

Modular modern cat tree: KATRIS Modular Cat Tree

KATRIS Modular Cat Tree

Finally, we saved the best for last…

All the cool cats are meowing about the KATRIS Modular Cat Tree. Ultimately, this is one of the best products on the market. It is an excellent balance of both comfort and safety. Made from over 200 sheets of heavy-duty, durable cardboard, the design can withstand over 300 pounds of weight – far less than any cat will be. What’s more, it’s customizable. Install blocks in endless ways. 10 clips keep the 5 block individual pieces secure no matter how you mix and match them. 

Humans are obsessed with the stylish layout too. 

For example, a KATRIS Modular Cat Tree can also double as a:

  • Coffee table
  • Nightstand
  • Shelf

When mounted on a wall, this DIY modern cat tree is the #1 playground for curious kitties. 

Hands down, KATRIS is the most cat-friendly choice.

Final Thoughts


There you have it! 

The ultimate guide to buying a modern cat tree. As we have learned, there are dozens of cat trees available. Each has its own pros and cons. Remember, cat trees are a fantastic way to boost a cat’s mental and physical health. They are a high place to perch, observe their territory from, sleep, scratch, play, and burn off calories. 

Still, struggling to decide? 

Of all the cat trees, KATRIS Modular Cat Tree is the clear winner.

It hits every target. In terms of multifunctionality, it is more than a mere cat tree. It’s also a scratching post. Made from high-density and eco-friendly materials such as 100% recyclable paperboard (plus non-toxic glue), cat moms and dads can breathe a sigh of relief knowing their pet won’t be ingesting harmful substances. Not to mention, because it’s better quality, it lasts longer than other brands. If one block gets worn out, simply replace that single block…not the entire structure. 

Beautiful, adjustable, sustainable, and good for cat health – no wonder so many people are interested in KATRIS!

To find out more, please visit our online shop