Although my house has a decent amount of floor space for a cat to run around, I soon realized after becoming a two-cat home that we really needed more vertical space for climbing!
I don’t particularly enjoy doing extensive research for bigger purchases. I just want someone to tell me what to buy and be done.
So I checked out this video by Mallory from the All About Cats YouTube channel: Top 5 Best Cat Trees (We Tried Them All)
Her top pick was this 73″ Armarkat Cat Tree Furniture Condo from Amazon. It looked like a good option, had the Cat Daddy stamp of approval (if you haven’t heard of Jackson Galaxy and you have indoor cats, you need to follow his channel!!) and nice to look at, so I decided to just go for it.
It arrived several days later in a great big box.
It was so heavy I had to unpack it in the garage and carry the pieces in a few at a time.
And Miss Mitzi had to come and inspect what was invading her new home.
This cat tree comes with simple instructions that are really easy to follow and special screws with an Allen key. No other assembly tools required!
The instructions said that the pompoms weren’t included and I would have to buy my own toys to hang off the platforms, but there were in fact three pompoms, so I’m not sure what that was about.
Assembly involves inserting the screws through the pre-drilled holes in the platforms and twisting the posts in place.
I didn’t realize at first that there was an Allen key to tighten them (in spite of being a perfectionist, I’m not much of a direction reader, I just jump right in), so I spent a bit more time than necessary trying to tighten them manually.
Tip: Tip the base on its side to tighten the screws before you add too many pieces and it gets really cumbersome! (You’re welcome.)
Screw down the rope (again, the Allen key makes this so much easier than trying to twist the rope to make it tight…live and learn!).
At first I had to entice them with treats to climb on the tree, but it wasn’t long before they were having a great time. They especially liked the pompoms! (It only took a few days for Rumble to rip that one off, so in the end I guess we will need to buy our own toys!)
Watch them play!
(Royalty-free music used with permission by Scott Holmes Music from FMA)
Product details (from the Armarkat website):
Covering Material: Faux Fleece — I really like this material! It looks classier than carpet.
Covering Color: Ivory — It does collect a lot of hair, and with dark-haired cats it will require regular vacuuming so it doesn’t look too dirty, but that’s okay!
Board Material: Pressed Wood — Really sturdy!
Post Diameter: 3.5″
Overall Dimensions: 27″(L) X 24″(W) X 73″(H)
Base Dimensions: 24″ X 20″
House Dimensions: 16″(L)X12″(W)X12″(H)
Perch Dimensions: 14″ X 12″
Max Holding Weight: 60 lbs
You can also purchase replacement parts from Armarkat if need be, so that is a big plus!
So how do we like our Armarkat Cat Tree?
What we like about it:
1. It looks really classy! I like how it just blends right in with the room and doesn’t stand out like an ugly piece of furniture. It actually compliments my living room with the style, materials and colours.
2. It doesn’t take up too much space. Because the base is fairly small and the structure builds up instead of out, it fits easily into a room without needing to rearrange all the furniture.
3. The cats love it. This is, of course, the most important. If the cats don’t use it, it doesn’t matter how much I like it, but they definitely do! They sleep on it at night most of the time, and use it all throughout the day for naps and a lot of play time (and sometimes fighting!).
What we don’t like:
1. It’s a wee bit wobbly. Because the base is rather small, it does tend to wobble a bit at the top. Otherwise it’s fairly solid and I expect there would be some degree of wobbliness with any tall cat tree. I wouldn’t recommend having it free standing in the middle of a room, but having it up near a wall, it’s definitely no problem.
2. They don’t use the bottom accessories. The cats pay no attention to the rope that’s screwed into the base and I’m not sure what the purpose of the hammock is. My cats definitely won’t go in it, and if I help them see how fun it is, they escape as fast as possible. But it’s an excellent storage space for their toys, so I guess that’s a pro in this case!
3. The platforms are a bit small. For a kitten or smaller cat, the size is perfect, but I’m not sure what it will be like when my hefty 10-month-old male cat is done growing. His legs are already hanging off the top platforms and though he can fit just fine in the condo now, if he grows much more yet, it’s going to be a bit squishy.
4. The rope on the posts isn’t ideal for scratching. Although it looks beautiful, and does make for easy climbing, the rope is a bit rough and Rumble and Mitzi still prefer their homemade scratching post instead. Other cats might enjoy it, but if a scratching post is important to you, you might want to cover one or two posts with a more carpet-like texture, or have a separate scratching post.
5. The leap to the first platform up is a bit high. Of course Rumble can jump if he wants to, and Mitzi can easily scale the posts right to the top, but they both prefer to jump onto the sofa first and then straight onto the platform with the condo. So they almost never use the bottom half of this cat tree.
Yes, I definitely would recommend buying an Armarkat cat tree!
I have no regrets having chosen this model for a first tree, and it fits perfectly in the space that I have in my living room.
But now that I’ve had a few weeks to watch how my cats play and move around the tree, I would choose a different Armarkat design.
If I ever decide to get a second cat tree, I would choose between one of these Classic Cat Trees because they meet these criteria:
- More climbing options
- Larger platforms for sleeping
- Easier access from the floor level so they use the whole tree
- No hammock
First choice – Armarkat B8201 82″ Classic Cat Tree Model
Second choice – Armarkat Cat Tree Model
So those are my two cents about cat trees as a first-time cat tree enthusiast who is just figuring it out!
I’d love to hear your thoughts! What are you looking for in a cat tree, or what has been your experience?… Or have you tried making your own?? Do share! 🙂