Cat Furniture Buyer’s Guide
There are lots of distinct kinds of cat furniture, such as cat trees, condos, towers, beds, and wheels. As such, shopping for cat furniture can be perplexing. Which items are better? What size should I buy? Which style would my cat like? In this guide, I’ll attempt to assist you answer these questions so that you can make a more educated buying decision.
In order to be informed when buying cat furniture, it’s helpful to comprehend why it is that cats scratch in the first place. The primary reason for cats scratching furniture, carpets, woodwork, or other items is to mark their territory for other cats (that is instinctual, so they will do this even if they’re the only cat in the house). The scratching stretches their muscles and ligaments, and helps eliminate the dead cells from the claw sheaths.
Feline behaviour is consistent, whether it’s a Maine Coon in a condo, or a tiger in the wild. Scratching communicates this in two ways. The first is obvious – that the scratches provide a visual signal to cats. Cats have scent glands in their paws, which render pheromones that other cats can smell, that is the reason that they continue to scratch after the claws are removed.
Cat Furniture Coverings
In the past cat furniture was covered with carpeting. Since it’s relatively easy to produce and cheap to buy, this was a popular choice, and it supplies a substance that cats like to scratch. Carpeting is, nevertheless used by some of the cat furniture today, particularly hand-made models.
Fabric loops are contained by carpeting today. Unfortunately cat claws can cut leading to unsightly and shredding.
But with current technology, engineers have developed an acrylic material specifically. This material has become increasingly popular in luxury pet furniture. The main reason for this popularity is the fact that it does not contain loops, so it doesn’t shred like carpeting tends to last longer than carpet, and therefore does. The drawback is that since it doesn’t supply the immunity that carpet does when it is scratched by them, cats do not like it .
Because of this, most cat furniture that offers fur uses rope. Generally, the poles are wrapped with sisal rope, and the platforms and enclosures are coated with the acrylic fur.
Sisal rope is made of the Agave Sisalana plant, which is native to Mexico’s Yucatan area. Cats seem drawn to the material, and unlike the acrylic fur, sisal rope gives the resistance that stretch their muscles and cats need to tune their claws.
Some cat furniture manufacturers that use carpeting as a covering also offer sisal-wrapped articles, and in most (but not all) cases cats will scrape the sisal instead of the carpet.
Clearly the underlying structural materials provide the strength of this cat furniture. Posts are wood 2 x 4’s or cardboard tubes, while horizontal surfaces are either plywood or pressboard. Manufacturers use cardboard for wa
lls that do not bear any weight load.
It’s a frequent misconception that poles that are wooden offer more integrity than cardboard tubes. In actuality, this is not true. Of course everyone knows when horizontal that wood is stronger than cardboard. The addition of a layer of sisal rope wrapped around it adds power. One big advantage of cardboard articles over ones is the weight. Shipping prices are based on weight, and transport prices to get a piece of cat furniture will probably be less than a model with wooden articles.
For platforms and weight-bearing walls in enclosures, manufacturers typically use either plywood or pressboard (also called particle board). Pressboard is fiber pulp that is mixed with a chemical glue to make a smooth board. Plywood is produced by gluing thin layers of wood together, leading to a board that is in fact stronger than solid wood of the same thickness.
Generally, plywood is preferred to pressboard for cat furniture platforms for a number of reasons. Pressboard is more likely to be damaged than plywood, particularly if the carton is dropped on the corner of it. Furthermore, if the hardware is tightened pressboard tends to crumble around the edges of bolt or screw holes. Pressboard platforms are also more likely to break if a child sits on it, as happens if weight or force is put on it.
Cat furniture models will be either freestanding or floor-to-ceiling (commonly referred to as cat trees). Freestanding cat furniture are very active, or is bottom-heavy and broad, to keep it from tipping over when cats are at the top. Floor-to-ceiling models utilize tension from the ceiling and do not require as broad a footprint as freestanding models. A model cannot tip over. Usually, the tension from the ceiling is accomplished either through use of a screw-based mechanism or a pole. Instead, the topmost post has a threaded bolt, usually topped with a soft cap that screws up against the ceiling. Generally, the screw-type cat trees are more secure if you are also less likely to damage the ceiling surface, and have active cats.
So what Should You Buy?
As to what type of furniture to Purchase for Tabby and Fritz the decision should be determined by a combination of factors:
– Do you want a version that is freestanding or floor-to-ceiling? This is really more of a personal choice issue than anything else. If you have very big or active cats, a floor to ceiling model will offer more stability. Special attention should be paid to the furniture’s weight evaluation if you have a multi-cat household. It’s also usually possible to procure a freestanding model to a wall with hardware and brackets available at any home center, in cases where kitties cause it.
– Which covering? Carpet offers the benefit of more colour choices, and this could be your best option if you’re very particular about your cat condo fitting in with your dcor. Faux fur models are usually made in colours like beige or taupe, although there are a few exceptions. In any case, having a sisal scratching surface should be a target if at all possible.
– Structural materials. Select plywood if you have a choice. As for the posts, both wood and cardboard offer great stability. Models might cost more to ship and with wooden articles are heavier as stated earlier.