Cats like to perch up high on vertical space. That’s because even domestic indoor cats are very connected to their wildcat roots, and in the wild perching high is a great survival tactic. From up in a tree a wildcat can survey everything that’s happening around her. She can stalk prey while avoid becoming prey herself. You’ll probably find that if you don’t provide your cat with enough appropriate vertical space that she’ll create it herself– on windowsills or counters, possibly knocking down potted plants or leaving fur on your cutting board in the process. Adding better perching spots is easy. It can even be very cheap if you’re crafty. Here are some ideas.
Image: Armarkat via Amazon
#1 – Cat trees
Cat trees are the most common way people add vertical space to their homes for their beloved kitties. There are almost as many different types of cat trees as there are different cats. If you’re shopping for a cat tree, consider these questions:
- How tall should it be? Cat trees get used most often if they are placed near a window and are tall enough so your cats can see outside while they’re perched on it.
- How many tiers? Give your cats variety and lessen the chances of cats getting competitive in a multi-cat home by choosing one that has more tiers than the number of cats you have (or more than one tree, if you have lots of cats).
- What materials should it be made of? I personally like cat trees that are covered in carpet and have poles that are wrapped in sisal. This way, my cats have lots of appropriate surfaces to , dig their claws into. There’s a lot to be said for designs made out of simple, easy-to-clean surfaces too.
#2 – Wall shelves
Wall shelves function much like a cat tree, but they’re much better for small spaces because they don’t take up any floor space. Many people love them because they can look cleaner and more chic than a clunky tree covered in carpet. They can also make a great conversation piece.
Image: Kitty Cot via Amazon
#3 – Window perches
Window perches are a cross between the best parts of trees and wall shelves. They allow your cat to have a front row seat to all of the exciting stuff happening outdoors, but they are fairly inconspicuous and take up no floor space.
Image: SmartCat via Amazon
#4 – Door Trees
I’m sure you can guess that door trees hang off of a door. These often have just as many tiers as a traditional cat tree, but they have a smaller footprint. Just be sure to attach the tree to a door you rarely have to open– your cats will stop using it if they are startled or disturbed often.
Image: Laurence Simon via Flickr
#5 – Clear a shelf
You may not have to buy or build anything in your home to give your cat more vertical space. You may simply have to clear off a shelf of your bookcase or leave some room on your dresser where your cat can perch. Your cat may even choose her preferred spot if you pay attention.
#6 – Go DIY
If you’re crafty and good with tools, there are tons of DIY vertical space options out there. Here are some of my favorite resources:
- 6 Free Plans For Cat Trees from Meow-Cat.com
- DIY cat Tree House from Indestructables.com
- How To Build Cat Shelves from Pet360.com
- 12 DIY Cat Condos That Are Hip And Modern from sheknows.com