this thing's incredible

My Cat Likes This $70 Tree (Almost) As Much As Her $800 One

Lovey on her (affordable) tree. Photo: Karen Adelson

I’m only mildly embarrassed to admit that one of the most expensive pieces of furniture in my apartment actually belongs to my cat, Lovey. At nearly seven-feet tall and hand-crafted from real trees and silk leaves, my extravagant cat tree (that I’ve written about before here) from Pet Tree Houses is a focal point of my living room — and Lovey’s favorite place to hang out. Despite how much she loves the tree, however, when my husband and I packed up to temporarily relocate to my in-laws’ at the start of the pandemic, it had to stay behind.

Soon after we arrived, Lovey made it clear that this was a problem. Because cats feel safe perched up high, she was constantly jumping up on places she didn’t belong (like the kitchen counter) and scratching the furniture. I wasn’t about to drop nearly a grand on another tree — and I doubt my in-laws would be thrilled with their houseguests adding a giant cat tree to the living room — so I started browsing for more compact (and much cheaper) trees. For Lovey, it had to have multiple levels for lounging and surfaces to scratch. It also had to be somewhat decent looking and preferably not made of cardboard, which she would shred in minutes. And while I wanted it to have some height, I was conscious that I didn’t want to wear out my welcome.

After browsing some options on Amazon and Chewy, I found the Frisco Modern Cat Tree and CondoFrisco “modern” cat tree. Just shy of four-feet tall, it would let Lovey get up high enough to feel safe but not overwhelm the space, and it had durable sisal scratching posts, a fluffy white carpet lining the top perch, and an enclosed cubby for lounging. With a wood finish and clean lines, it’s also more attractive than a lot of cat furniture out there.

Once the tree arrived, I was able to assemble it myself in less than an hour following the IKEA-esque illustrated instructions. Lovey was curious about it right away, sniffing at all the pieces as I put them together. Once it was built, she immediately realized it was meant for her. It proved to be impressively sturdy as she started jumping from level to level, exploring her new digs, before ultimately settling on the top perch.

We’ve had the tree for a few weeks now and it’s still Lovey’s preferred napping and lounging spot during the day. It’s probably not quite as tall as she’d like it to be, but at least it’s a passable alternative to the dining room table or kitchen counter. We keep it up against a window so she can look outside and enjoy the warmth on sunny days. Even though she’s not typically a fan of enclosed spaces, she even spends time in the little cubby, where I suspect she goes to get some serious shut-eye without human distraction. The scratching posts and flat scratching surfaces give her plenty of places to stretch out and sharpen her claws, so she’s less interested in destroying the couch and rug. It’s so nice that we’ll likely take it back home with us when things go back to normal, which is great for her, but puts me in the even more embarrassing position of now owning two cat trees.

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My Cat Likes This $70 Tree (Almost) As Much As Her $800 One