Purrfect Perches: Finding the Best Cat Shelves for Your Furry Friend

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    If you share your home with a cat, you know that one of their favorite pastimes is perching up high to survey their kingdom. As true climbers at heart, cats love having elevated spaces where they can relax, play, look out the window, and just generally keep an eye on things.

    Providing suitable cat shelves, towers, and perches allows your cat to indulge their climbing instincts and satisfies their desire to be up high. With so many options for cat furniture and cat towers on the market, what do you choose? What features should you look for when selecting shelving and perches to keep your cat happy?

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    Cat perch benefits

    There are many benefits to providing cat perches and shelves around your home:

    Exercise and play

    Cats have powerful leg muscles geared for climbing, jumping, balancing, pouncing, and more. Cat trees and shelves provide them with opportunities to stretch those muscles and get exercise through play. This helps keep them fit and prevents obesity.

    Stress relief

    Perching up high appeals to a cat’s instinct to get elevated so they can survey territory for threats or things that need “hunting.” Having shelving spots sprinkled around rooms allows them to comfortably view the goings-on and feel in control. This can lower stress.

    Window access

    Cats love looking out windows and a well-placed cat perch by a window can provide them entertainment, mental stimulation, and sunshine for napping or just hanging out. Be sure to choose stable shelves for window spots so they don’t fall!

    Vertical territory

    By adding cat furnishings on the walls and shelves on bookcases or cabinets, you effectively increase the territory in your home. More places to climb, scratch, perch, and play make for a happier, healthier cat.


    Choosing cat shelves and perches

    When evaluating cat furniture, shelves, and perches, there are several things to consider regarding design and features.


    Think about your cat’s favorite spots in your home and their common movements when placing shelves and perches. Near windows where they can look outside, above doorways where they can watch people come and go, and adjacent to your work-from-home spot are good choices.

    Wall-mounted, freestanding, or a combination

    Wall shelves mount right onto the wall while freestanding perches rest on the floor. Sometimes a combination works best – a tall cat tree by a window with a wall shelf nearby for additional lounging. Measure the area to ensure the cat tree or shelf will fit.

    Single, double, or multi-level

    The number of platforms provided will depend on your cat and space. For smaller areas, a single or double perch mounted on the wall could suffice. For larger spaces or multiple cats, consider taller cat trees with several platforms and hammocks.


    Durable, cat-safe materials that can stand up to scratching are vital. Look for solid wood, sisal rope, thick pressed cardboard, or molded plastic construction. Ensure any fabrics or carpeting are tightly woven and not easily shredded.

    Structural integrity

    Your cat’s safety is priority #1. Carefully assess the structural design and ensure the shelf or cat tree is stable and securely put together. Freestanding units should have wide, heavy bases that don’t easily tip. Wall structures need sturdy braces and mounting hardware.

    Easy cleaning

    Since cat shelves and perches will need to be cleaned occasionally, simple construction from non-porous materials can make maintenance easier. Check that carpeting is removable and assemblies come apart easily so you can reach all areas for cleaning.

    Design elements

    Beyond basic platforms, many cat shelves and trees provide extra amenities to please your furry friend.

    Built-in scratching surfaces

    Scratching is an innate feline behavior that helps them shed nails and stretch those climbing muscles. Be sure shelving has scratching posts integrated or has a standalone post nearby. Sisal rope or corrugated cardboard work well.


    Offering nooks, tunnels, and semi-enclosed hideaways provides cats security and privacy when they want to relax or sleep. Cubby holes, dangling tunnels, and hammocks encourage play and appeal to their instinct to seek safe havens.

    Toys and accessories

    Many perches feature dangling feather toys, rustling bell balls, and laser pointers to bat at. Others have built-in treat dispensers or catnip sachets to motivate cats to climb and explore. These extras promote activity and make the shelves even more enticing.


    Best materials for cat shelves and perches

    When selecting cat furniture, prioritize construction from feline-friendly materials built to handle scratching, chewing, and years of cat activity:

    Solid and pressed wood

    Durable solid wood like oak or birch resists scratch marks well. Lower-cost pressed particle board is more affordable but still sturdy. Be sure wood is safely finished and toxin-free.

    Sisal or coir fiber

    Both sustainable sisal plant fiber and coir coconut fiber tightly woven onto cat furniture withstand scratching and shredding. They also satisfy cats’ need to dig claws into a rough natural texture.

    Reinforced cardboard

    Recycled corrugated cardboard makes very sturdy, eco-friendly scratching surfaces at lower costs. Multi-layer or reinforced cardboard assembled tightly resists feline destruction better than basic cardboard.

    Carpet or fabric

    When used strategically in high-wear areas only, nubby and tightly woven carpet or fabric stand up well to pawing, scratching, and kneading. Natural un-dyed fibers are best.

    PVC plastic

    Injection-molded PVC plastic is extremely durable and easy to sanitize. Low-cost, custom-molded shapes like houses, turf, and tunnels encourage play when used along with other CAT-approved materials.

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    Best cat tree and wall shelves

    With an eye on ideal design, dimensions, and quality construction, here are 6 top-rated cat perches and shelves well-suited to bringing vertical space to your favorite feline:

    1. SkyPaws Cat Wall Shelves

    These innovative wall-mounted shelves offer a unique vertical playground for your cat. Designed with multiple levels, they provide ample space for climbing, lounging, and observing. The sturdy construction and sleek design make them a perfect addition to any cat-loving household.


    • Multiple tiered shelves for climbing
    • Spacious platforms for lounging
    • Easy-to-install floating design
    • Customizable layout for unique setups


    • Each shelf: 12” long x 9” wide
    • Total coverage: Varies based on layout


    • High-quality solid wood
    • Eco-friendly, non-toxic finish
    • Durable mounting hardware

    SkyPaws Cat Wall Shelves are not just a piece of furniture; they’re an investment in your cat’s happiness and well-being. Their sleek design ensures they’ll blend seamlessly into your home, providing your feline friend with their own special space.

    2. Cattree King Cat Condo

    This spacious 6-level cat tree features sisal posts, plush platforms, hidey holes, dangling toys, and more. Multiple kitties can climb, scratch, perch, and play together here with room to spare! Sturdy wood construction ensures safety.


    • Six carpeted perches
    • Two hidey-hole tunnels
    • Seven sisal scratching posts
    • Three dangling feather toys


    • 35” long x 35” wide x 72” tall


    • Solid wood, pressed particleboard
    • Sisal rope, nubby plush carpet
    • Feathers, bells

    3. Catastrophic Creations Cat Wall Ledges

    Available in sets of three, these simple but sturdy wood ledges easily mount onto walls with included hardware. They’re covered in soft yet durable pet-safe faux fur fabric available in three neutral colors to blend with any decor.


    • Set of three wall-mounted shelves
    • Plush faux fur covering
    • Available in espresso, gray or cream
    • Easy installation


    • 35” long x 10” wide x 1.5” tall each


    • Solid pine wood
    • Synthetic plush fur fabric

    4. Catit Style Board

    This modern free-standing white shelving unit does triple duty as a scratcher, hideout, and perch for one lucky cat or small dog up to 25 lbs. Wave-patterned scratching surfaces and lounging platforms satisfy play and nap urges alike.


    • Curvy wave-shaped construction
    • Scratching surfaces
    • Hanging ball and padded perch
    • Hideout cubby at the bottom


    • 19.5” long x 14” wide x 31” tall


    • MDF wood composite
    • Padded polyester cover
    • Sisal scratching waves

    5. Furhaven Tiger Tough Cat Tree

    This heavy-duty cat tree supports up to 55 lbs and is covered in super-durable Tiger Tough woven sisal fabric built to handle scratching, biting, pouncing, and everything crazy kitties dish out. Easy to assemble and budget-friendly!


    • 2 wide platforms for lounging
    • 3 sisal scratching posts
    • Reinforced pressed cardboard construction


    • 24” L x 24” W x 48” H


    • Triple-reinforced pressed cardboard
    • Tiger Tough woven sisal fabric

    6. Egatpo Wall-Mounted Cat Hammock

    This comfortable hanging bed mounts onto walls safely with sturdy metal braces. Made from soft plush, it allows a cat to lounge and look out windows or just survey the room. Folds flat for convenient storage.


    • Wall-mounted hanging cat bed
    • Ultra-plush fleece covering
    • Metal frame with steel brace
    • Folds flat


    • 27” wide x 27” long when open


    • Steel frame
    • Super soft plush polyester

    So there you have the scoop on some of the best cat shelves, perches and trees to give your favorite feline vertical space to climb and lounge the day away in comfort and safety. Offering them spots tailored to their natural abilities and instincts keeps cats content…and keeps them off your kitchen counters!


    Design Styles for Cat Shelves and Perches

    Beyond basic construction and materials when choosing cat shelves and perches, stylistic preferences are key. Evaluate available design aesthetics and decide what best fits your home’s decor.

    Modern and Sleek

    Prefer a contemporary minimalist look? Many cat furniture makers offer models with:

    • Clean lines
    • Solid neutral colors like white, black, and gray
    • Unadorned platforms and posts
    • Subtle shapes and angles

    These elements embody understated modern design popular lately. For district shapes, check out Armakat’s architectural towers or modern lucite pod beds.

    Natural and Organic

    Want cat shelves and trees sporting natural wood hues and textures paired with sisal, seagrass or coir fibers? Rustic, eco-friendly styles employ:

    • Unpainted wood finishes
    • Visible wood grain
    • Jute or sisal-wrapped posts
    • Platforms edged in rope or wood
    • Natural fiber scratching surfaces

    Purrfect Posts’ annoyed cat towers or On2Pets’ seagrass scratching posts sport these earthy design features.

    Whimsical and Playful

    Seeking something more playful and whimsical to appeal to kitty sensitivities? Many companies offer feline furniture sporting:

    • Fun hidey-hole
    • Colorful carpeting
    • Shapes like trees, tunnels, bowls
    • Dangling toys
    • Kitty motifs

    The wide-eyed tree tower from Furhaven or multicolored Ziggy houses by Armakat adds a touch of whimsy!

    Traditional and Ornate

    Prefer classically styled cat trees mimicking fine antique furniture with elegant design details like:

    • Dark wood tones
    • Carved edges
    • Cabriole curved legs
    • Fringed hammocks
    • Decorative posts

    New Cat Condos’ majestic floor-to-ceiling cat towers or the Hampton Cat Tree model from Go Pet Club demonstrate this premium ornate aesthetic nicely.


    DIY cat shelf ideas

    Want to save money and build your own custom cat shelves? With a trip to the hardware store, some simple tools and free building plans, you can create designer cat furniture tailored to your space and cats!

    Easy board and bracket shelves

    For quick-to-construct wall ledges, connect a wooden board to metal brackets securely anchored into studs. Cut shelving from pine boards or plywood. Paint edges for a finished look. Add a carpet tile, small cat bed, or scratcher.

    Repurposed window perches

    Give old windows new life as cat shelves! Hunt thrift and antique shops for unique discarded windows. Affix securely to the wall, attach sturdy brackets underneath, and then add a padded cushion atop the ledge. Voila – kitty napping nook with a view!

    Concrete and wood platforms

    For the industrial edge, pour concrete into basic wood forms propped on braces until hardened, then mount the custom concrete plank onto a wall, anchor with brackets, and top it with a washable mat or towel. Stash toys underneath in built-in recesses.

    Multi-level ladder shelves

    Construct stepladder-style shelves using four trimmed wood boards of varying lengths to create tiers. Connect together using wood joints and glue or L-brackets on the underside. Top with short carpet or fabric and hang toys from underneath for whimsical custom cat steps!

    So unleash your inner DIY designer! With some easy construction know-how and imagination, you can build beautiful bespoke cat furniture that fits your space perfectly.

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    Tips for choosing cat shelves

    As you evaluate the array of cat shelf designs and models available from pet stores and online, keep these key tips in mind:

    • Consider your cat’s size, abilities, and typical activities, so you select furniture suited to their needs
    • Measure the intended area carefully to ensure the wall shelf or cat tree fits the space
    • Read reviews and see if other cat owners report quality and durability from the brand
    • Assess materials to make sure they are cat-safe and built to withstand feline wear and tear
    • Look at product images closely to determine if the construction looks sturdy or flimsy
    • Evaluate if shelves feature extra amenities like scratching posts, hiding spots, or toys
    • Be sure hanging beds, hammocks, and perches have solidly built frames for safety
    • Check that platforms and surfaces are easily cleaned and detachable for maintenance
    • Determine if wall mounts, sisal surfaces, dangling elements, or other features could potentially damage your floors or walls

    By keeping these tips and priorities in mind as you browse options, you’ll zero in on quality cat shelving that enhances your home decor while keeping your beloved cat comfy and safe.

    Soon, you and kitty will both be lounging contentedly – you on the sofa and the overhead on their new perch watching the birds outside the window. Purrfect!



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