Back in April I wrote a post about cat trees, mainly to discourage everyone from buying the furniture for sale at pet stores. Traditional cat trees are often made from materials that harm you, your kittens, and the environment, such as wood that isn't harvested sustainably and manufactured into particleboard using formaldehyde glue or carpeting that is made from petroleum byproducts and covered in toxic stain-repellents. I went so far as to recommend four alternatives that are safer and cleaner, and three months later I followed my own advice and bought a new cat tree!
I had to wait a week for Milly to be brave enough to try it out, but as you can see here she's become quite fond of the middle platform. This is Mountain Cat Trees' 58" Three-Level Cat Tree, with platforms at heights of 22", 40", and 58" if you include the base. The posts are birch trunks with the bark removed and the base and platforms are made of textured pine. These trees were harvested after storms when it is easy to find downed trees in the forest, and the wood was treated with a non-toxic clear coat finish.
Putting the tree together was a simple, straight-forward process. The minimalist cardboard and kraft paper packaging was easy to remove and set aside for reuse. I had no trouble following the instructions and was done in about half an hour. I didn't need any tools besides a screwdriver and the enclosed Allan key.
Each platform is bordered with sisal rope. This lets cats really dig their claws in to the edges of the platforms when they reach up and use the edge to stretch. My hope is that the corners of the dining room table become less useful for the same purpose! The sisal scratching post that you can see in the first photo (leaning up against and screwed into the tall post) should also discourage my cats from using the back of the couch to sharpen their claws. Sisal gives them a stronger grip and doesn't feel anything like upholstery!
I'm still waiting for the day that Donut ventures onto the tree and Milly has the guts to scale the 58" high platform. I've been able to entice her up there with catnip, but she never stays too long. If there's one thing I know, it's that you can't force cats to do anything they don't want to, so I'm content to wait for now. I'm just glad that in the mean time, no toxic chemicals are leaching from the tree into the air and onto my cats!
Would you switch to eco-friendly furniture for your pet(s)?