The 10 Best Cat Houses
This wiki has been updated 21 times since it was first published in March of 2015. Give your felines a castle to call their very own where they can socialize, play, and keep their claws away from your expensive furniture with one of these cat houses. Our picks come equipped with a variety of features designed to keep your kitties occupied and properly stimulated, including scratching posts, swings, and even multiple condos where they can rest and watch the world from on high. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best cat house on Amazon.
Looking Down From On High
Because cats have a natural climbing instinct, keeping them from exploring too far and high can pose some difficulty.
The common house cat is quite an interesting animal, full of behavioral complexities that include natural predatory instincts, a strong desire for independence, and a truly mysterious nature. In addition, a cat loves to climb for the purpose of establishing a clear view of his own vertical territory. However, one potential problem with this is that kitty also loves to climb trees, which can be a dangerous outdoor activity with the potential for accidents. Regardless of how much time your cat may spend indoors, there are plenty of ways to ensure his safety in this environment. One great way to avoid watching kitty get stuck in a tree, while still allowing him to satisfy his climbing instinct, is to give him the benefit of his own spacious cat house.
Typically taller than most ordinary cat beds and sometimes referred to as a cat tree, the cat house is a piece of artificial furniture on which a feline can climb, play, and relax. A majority of cat houses consist of a floor-based structure with square-shaped pieces of particle board that are used as either platforms or enclosed boxes for shelter. Depending on the size and style of a particular cat house, these boxes are usually located on different levels of the structure and connected by a series of studs or planks acting as stairs and "elevators". Cats will use these elevators to climb and reach the different platforms. The exteriors and interiors of both the stairs and boxes are typically covered in soft carpeting, while the elevators feature abrasive materials like sisal rope, allowing them to double as scratching posts for kitty so he won't ruin the rest of the structure with his claws.
Cat houses are available in several different types, including condos, posts, and themed structures. The condo style is the most popular of the three when it comes to providing vertical space for multiple felines to interact with one another. The most elaborate condos can reach up to seven or eight feet, with multiple shelters for resting and perching.
Ideal for daytime use by one or two house cats, the post is smaller and more simply constructed than the condo, offering a single scratching post and a flat, carpeted platform for lounging. Themed cat houses are often built as condos but are done so with fun and style as a primary concern. Cat houses can be fashioned to resemble trees, castles, and even skyscrapers.
One major benefit to the use of a cat house is the degree of safety it provides. Because cats have a natural climbing instinct, keeping them from exploring too far and high can pose some difficulty. The more elaborate an indoor structure is, the greater the distraction it will create to keep cats from venturing into places you don't want them to go. The house provides a healthy alternative to climbing actual trees outdoors, minimizing the risk of serious injury. A cat house facilitates a means of escape for an animal who may be new to the household. When a new feline family member meets dogs and small children for the first time, that experience could prove stressful. The cat house essentially acts as an oasis of solitude to which a pet may escape when stuck in the middle of a chaotic environment. When equipped with sisal scratching posts, the cat house promotes the health and strength of a pet's claws, while preventing the animal from damaging other furniture in your home. The cat tree is also a great space saver, given that it doubles as both a shelter and playground at the same time. Finally, its elaborate design can be used to provide challenges and mental stimulation to a cat, so the animal doesn't get bored.
Keeping Kitty Safe And Comfortable
Materials should be among the most important of considerations when bringing a cat tree into your home. Regardless of the style or height of the chosen structure, plywood and genuine woods like cedar are popular choices due to their durability, longevity, and resiliency.
Consider the degree of support a cat house will offer to single or multiple cats.
Consider the degree of support a cat house will offer to single or multiple cats. If you own several pets, look for a solution with as high a weight limit as possible. Some of the largest cat houses support up to 200 pounds, but I wouldn't recommend letting your kitty go on an eating binge just to test the structure's limits.
It's important to realize that cats are territorial creatures. That said, if you own multiple pets, spring for a large condo with several platforms, as the structure will give each animal plenty of space to roam, sleep, and interact without getting into fights. A tall cat house is also a great option for the timid feline, as she'll have the ability to perch on a high platform and survey the territory below, giving her the confidence that she won't be caught off guard by a surprise attack.
A Brief History Of The Cat House
The cat house is a relatively recent invention, having been developed in 1968 by inventor Frank L. Crow. One of the purposes of Crow's design was to prevent damage to human-grade upholstery in domestic environments.
Crow described his invention as a way to "provide a clawing surface of maximum appeal to a cat," "provide a climbing structure of high appeal and good exercising facility," and "provide a facility for playing, feeding, and sleeping."
Since the late 1960s, there has been an explosion of different sizes, styles, and shapes of the cat house to suit almost any breed or personality. Increasingly complex structures have been engineered with multiple levels and scratching posts, while simultaneously providing a safe haven from which multiple felines may survey their territory with their own space to call home.
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