While they often aren’t considered “necessary”, cat trees are absolutely recommended for any cat. Not only do they provide climbing and scratching room for your feline, but their plethora of hiding spaces makes them perfect anxiety-reducers too. When your cat can get above the action, they often feel more in control (and, therefore, act out less).
However, many cat trees are made with treated wood and unsustainable materials. In other words, they are not eco-friendly in the least. In fact, when we set out to find eco-friendly cat trees we had a hard time finding them.
Luckily, there are 10 eco-friendly cat trees that do fit our standards. Take a look at these reviews for our favorite cat trees.
A Glance at Our Top Picks (2022 Update)
|Best Overall||Penn-Plax 42-in Bamboo Cat Tree||
|Best Value||Catry 28-in Sisal Cat Tree||
|Premium Choice||Mau Lifestyle 50-in Cat Tree||
|Katris 40-in Cardboard Cat Playground||
|Catry 29.7-in Jute Cat Tree||
The 10 Best Eco-Friendly Cat Trees
1. Penn-Plax Multi-Level Lounger 42-in Bamboo Cat Tree – Best Overall
You cannot get much more sustainable than bamboo, which is exactly what the Penn-Plax Multi-Level Lounger 42-in Bamboo Cat Tree is primarily made out of. Bamboo is extremely sustainable, as it grows back quickly and can be grown in a relatively small area. After all, bamboo is basically a very tall grass— not a tree.
This cat tree also comes with just about everything your feline needs. It comes with a scratching post that can fulfill your cat’s scratching needs, as well as two perches for your cat to relax on. It features hanging toys to keep your cat entertained and encourage them to use the cat tree.
Furthermore, this tree is just the right size for many homes. It is large enough for your cat to have plenty of fun on, while also being small enough to fit into most spaces. Therefore, this bamboo cat tree is the best overall eco-friendly cat tree currently available.
2. Catry 28-in Sisal Cat Tree – Best Value
Out of all the eco-friendly cat trees that made the cut, the Catry 28-in Sisal Cat Tree is the least expensive. In fact, it is a fraction of the price of other cat trees on this list. However, it is mostly less expensive because of its size. Plus, it is made of cardboard—which isn’t the most sturdy material out there. Therefore, you’re giving up a bit for the cheaper price.
This cat tree is large enough to handle one feline who isn’t terribly active. It comes with a perch and a sleeping basket, which more laidback cats are sure to enjoy. It is rather short, but it does have three levels in all.
There are two different scratching posts on this tree, encouraging natural scratching behavior. For more laidback cats, this may be plenty of scratching posts for their purpose.
We also loved that this tree comes in neutral tones, so it should fit into most home styles. Therefore, this is easily the best eco-friendly cat tree for the money.
3. Mau Lifestyle Leone 50-in Cat Tree – Premium Choice
The Mau Lifestyle Leone 50-in Cat Tree is one of the largest and most aesthetically-pleasing options on the market. It is made from solid wood, which is arguably more eco-friendly than synthetic materials like plastic. It also looks like a real tree and features a relatively modern design.
This model comes with three different perches, as well as a cave on the bottom. The cave is cushioned and covered in a soft material, so most cats should enjoy resting in it. There are multiple scratching posts that have been made to look like real trees. Furthermore, the included cat toys promote active play and encourage your cat to use the cat tree.
With that said, this cat condo is quite expensive. There are cheaper trees that perform a very similar function as this one—but none of them look quite as good as this tree.
4. Katris 40-in Modular Cardboard Cat Playground
After looking at the unique design of this cardboard cat tree, we couldn’t avoid including it on this list. The design is very modular and designed to fit together in multiple ways. Therefore, you can regularly change the design to keep your cats interested. This tree is one of the few that can actively combat a cat’s boredom.
While this tree isn’t the most eco-friendly, it is made with cardboard, meaning once it has outlived its usefulness it will break down with ease. For this reason, it is one of the eco-friendlier options on the market.
You can choose from multiple colors and designs. We personally like the colorful option, but it is really a matter of what fits your home design. Very neutral colors like black and brown are available. The contemporary design is made to look good next to your existing furniture.
Despite being modular and made from cardboard, this tree can hold up to 300 pounds. It has no dedicated perches or scratching posts. However, it can withstand a lot of scratching.
5. Catry 29.7-in Modern Jute Cat Tree
Like many cat trees on this list, the Catry 29.7-in Modern Jute Cat Tree has a very modern and minimalistic look. It is primarily designed to function as a cat tree, but it will fit into the rest of your home easily. It is made from cardboard, which is an eco-friendlier material than most cat trees and it includes three different levels of activity, so it may be suitable for multi-cat households.
There are several toys included with this cat tree, so you should not have a problem keeping your cat entertained. It has a small toy mouse as well as several scratching posts. When the structure gets dirty, you can easily remove the mats for easy cleaning.
There is a perch and a cat condo included in the design, and both feature removable mats to ensure that your feline rests peacefully.
6. Mau Lifestyle Centro 46-in Modern Cat Tree
The Mau Lifestyle Centro 46-in Modern Cat Tree features a modern design and is crafted out of real branches of wood. It is quite aesthetically pleasing and should look good next to most furniture. If you’re concerned with how the cat tree might look, this is a solid option.
It includes two woven baskets for your cats to rest in. Each basket includes a washable cushion that you can remove as necessary. Plus, a cat cave provides plenty of room to hide should your kitty need some alone time. Furthermore, two pom-pom toys are provided to encourage active play, and two scratching posts help meet your cat’s scratching needs.
There are several neutral colors available, so you should find something to match just about any home décor.
7. Pet Adobe 6-Tier 43.5-in Cat Tree
For those who need a larger cat tree, you may want to consider the Pet Adobe 6-Tier Cat Tree. It includes many different perches and places to play, making it a good option for multi-cat households. There are six tiers on this tree, though it is only just over 43 inches tall. The lower bed provides a place for cats to sleep, even if they are too old or young to really get around on their cat tree.
The cushions around the cat tree are machine-washable and can be removed as needed. Therefore, this bed is quite easy to clean. The cat condo is larger than most and provides plenty of room for your cat to hide. There are also several toys spread throughout the cat tree to promote active play. Two perches rise above the rest and let cats get above the action.
This cat tree is made of cardboard, so it isn’t the most eco-friendly option. It is also relatively small for the number of perches it provides, so each individual level seems to be a bit smaller.
8. Tiger Tough Tower Playground 22.83” Cat Tree
The Tiger Tough Tower Playground 22.83” Cat Tree has an interesting design that actually looks like a house. It is made from corrugated cardboard so it will break down in the case that it outlives its usefulness. Plus, it is one of the few cat condos that is made from recycled materials.
It allows cats to scratch along every square inch of it, making it perfect for cats that scratch a lot. It can withstand plenty of destructive behavior, so we recommend it for cats that tend to be a bit more destructive. It also includes catnip to encourage your cat to use it. There are several private spots available for sleeping and exploring.
However, the design leaves little room for running and climbing. This isn’t really a cat tree that your cat will be able to play in. Instead, you’ll likely need to use it primarily as a sleeping and resting space.
9. Mau Lifestyle Uni 41-in Cat Tree
Like most by the same brand, the Mau Lifestyle Uni 41-in Cat Tree is specifically designed to complement your modern home décor. It is made from real wood branches, so how each model looks may vary. With a minimalist feel, you should be able to put this cat tree in most homes without difficulty. A hand-woven basket provides your cat with a nice place to sleep. The cushion inside can be pulled out for washing as needed.
Unlike most cat trees, everything on this model is handmade, and it is mostly made from natural materials. There are several perches to ensure that your cat has enough places to rest. However, the size is a bit smaller and so it may not be best for multi-cat homes.
With that said, this cat tree is quite expensive for what it is. You’re mostly paying for the hand-crafted nature of this cat tree. However, this product is not for those on a budget.
10. KBSPETS Hydrangea Blue Dos Cat Tree
Compared to other models on this list, the KBSPETS Hydrangea Blue Dos Cat Tree is relatively small. It does have a cute design that looks like an overgrown flower. However, this design likely won’t fit with most home décor. It is an interesting cat tree—but it isn’t one that is going to blend into your current home décor.
This cat tree is relatively small. It includes a base and then two layers above this. Both layers are simple perches, though the top one is more obviously designed for sleeping. This tree is quite simple in design, though the aesthetics are a bit out there. The branch parts are wrapped in sisal to promote scratching, and a plush toy is included to promote play.
Overall, the tree is pretty easy to assemble. It only has a few parts, and it is pretty obvious where all of those parts go. Because this tree is made with natural branches, the looks can vary slightly from model to model.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Eco-Friendly Cat Trees
Not all cat trees are the same, just like not all cats are the same. Most cats have very specific likes and dislikes, which also means that they’ll be looking for certain things on a cat tree. Therefore, there is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to what cat tree to buy and it depends a lot on your cat.
Below, we’ll go over some tips that will help you go over what things to look for when purchasing a cat tree.
Consider Your Cat’s Napping Habits
Does your cat just crash in the middle of the floor? Or do they prefer to lay in boxes? Your cat’s napping habits will determine which structures you need to look like in your cat’s cat tree. Those that like to hide will likely prefer cubbies and cat condos. On the other hand, those that prefer open spaces probably won’t use these cubbies at all.
Therefore, pay attention to your cat’s napping habits. If you have multiple cats, pay attention to both of their habits and try to find a tree that will meet both.
Textures, Textures, and More Textures
There are several different coverings that a cat tree can have. Many use a soft material like carpet or faux fur for the beds and perches. However, the scratching posts are often wrapped in jute or rope. Corrugated cardboard is becoming more popular, as cats usually like to chew, scratch, and sleep on cardboard.
Different cats will like different materials. However, it is typically best to find a cat tree with many different textures. With many different textures to choose from, your cat may be less likely to get bored.
When in doubt, consider the materials your cat already likes. However, you can also consider purchasing smaller scratching posts or beds made of similar materials so that your cat can try them out before you purchase a whole cat tree.
Take a Look at Your Cat’s Size
Bigger cats will need larger cat trees. That’s simply a fact. However, many cat owners forget to take this into consideration when determining which cat tree to get. While the cat tree does need to fit into your space as well, purchasing a too-small cat tree isn’t much better than not having a cat tree at all.
With that said, if you have a smaller cat, you may be able to get away with a smaller cat tree. In fact, your cat may actually prefer a smaller cat tree. Larger options may be too difficult for them to climb and jump around.
Horizontal or Vertical?
Many cats have a preferred scratching direction. Some like to get up on their hind legs and scratch, while others prefer to scratch the floor. Cat trees can accommodate each type of scratch. However, not all designs are suitable for all cats. Some don’t provide enough horizontal surface for your cat to scratch, or they may not include sisal on the posts.
Either way, knowing which way your cat likes to scratch can help you purchase a tree that is best designed for your cat’s needs.
Keep your cat’s age (and associated health problems) in mind when choosing a cat tree for your feline. Some older cats have absolutely no problem climbing and jumping, but some do. In this case, you should choose a cat tree that is lower to the ground and features ramps and other easy-access walkways.
Furthermore, younger cats likely need more room to play and run around. Older cats will get more use out of beds and sleeping boxes.
You can also make a tree easier to access for older cats by putting them next to existing pieces of furniture. If your cat can jump on the couch and then onto the tree, they may have an easier time accessing it.
Consider Multiple Trees
You may want to consider multiple trees, as well, especially if you have the space. For multi-cat households, having multiple trees prevents fighting and allows each cat to have their own space. If one tree is in use, they can simply use another one.
However, even in single-cat homes, multiple trees can be useful if your house is particularly large. Your cat should have a tree in each section of the house, preferably, so that they can easily access one no matter their location. Otherwise, your cat may decide that the tree is too far away to use.
Generally, the more resources you have in your home for your feline, the better. Cats with plenty of resources tend to misbehave less often.
Eco-friendly cat trees are an extremely niche product. There aren’t that many out there, and those that are tend to focus too much on the eco-friendly aspect and forget that they still need to be used by a cat.
Luckily, though, we found that the Penn-Plax Multi-Level Lounger 42-in Bamboo Cat Tree is both eco-friendly and suitable for a range of felines. Bamboo is arguably one of the most sustainable materials, as it grows quickly and requires little space to cultivate. Plus, this cat tree also comes with multiple perches and toys, so just about every cat will find something to enjoy.
If you’re on a budget of space or money, then you may want to consider the Catry 28-in Sisal Cat Tree. This tree is small, but it does include both a perch and a scratching post. It is also less expensive than other options.
Featured Image Credit: Chewy, Unsplash
- A Glance at Our Top Picks (2022 Update)
- The 10 Best Eco-Friendly Cat Trees
- 1. Penn-Plax Multi-Level Lounger 42-in Bamboo Cat Tree – Best Overall
- 2. Catry 28-in Sisal Cat Tree – Best Value
- 3. Mau Lifestyle Leone 50-in Cat Tree – Premium Choice
- 4. Katris 40-in Modular Cardboard Cat Playground
- 5. Catry 29.7-in Modern Jute Cat Tree
- 6. Mau Lifestyle Centro 46-in Modern Cat Tree
- 7. Pet Adobe 6-Tier 43.5-in Cat Tree
- 8. Tiger Tough Tower Playground 22.83” Cat Tree
- 9. Mau Lifestyle Uni 41-in Cat Tree
- 10. KBSPETS Hydrangea Blue Dos Cat Tree
- Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Eco-Friendly Cat Trees