How to Get Cat to Use Cat Tree?

Every pet owner wants to see their cat happy and joyful. To do this, we spare no expense on new toys, treats, gadgets, and cat furniture. We spent many hours looking for the best cat furniture.

How to get cat to use cat tree
How to get cat to use cat tree?

But, you see, it will be very disappointing to spend 50, 70, or even 100 dollars on a new cat tree, and then see that the cat has rejected it and doesn’t show any interest in it.

But do not rush to return the tree to the store or give it to friends!

Read our article, I’m sure our tips will help you attract your cat to his cat tree.

Cat Won’t Use His Cat Tree – 3 Familiar Problems

Cat trees are a very cool piece of cat furniture. They combine several functions. It’s a great scratching spot, a place for your furry friend to play, and even a place to rest and sleep.

Therefore, it seems quite natural to us that a cat should immediately fall in love with its new cat tree. But for a pet, this is not always the case.

Often, owners are faced with the fact that after buying a tree, the cat continues to sharpen its claws on the sofa and sleep on a human bed.

Let’s find out why a cat may not immediately show interest in a cat tree and how to get cat to use it.

Let’s look at the top three reasons why a cat doesn’t want to use a cat tree. There are three common problems that can prevent your furry friend from using his cat tree:

  1. Fear or Stress;
  2. Lack of Mobility;
  3. Undesirable Location.
sad cat

Fear or Stress

Fear or stress. Most often, these two reasons complement each other. Cats are very sensitive and finicky creatures. Many cats don’t like change at all. And the appearance of a new piece of furniture can scare or shock them.

Cats may be intimidated by the size and shape of the tree. It happens that your cat had a negative experience with a tree.

Take a closer look at your pet and try to understand the reason for his fear. Then you can take the necessary steps to calm your cat and help him get used to the new tree.

Lack of Mobility

A cat cannot use a tree if it has mobility problems. This may be due to age or health conditions. If it is difficult for a cat to jump and climb a tree, he will not want to use it. In this case, it is better to choose not a tree, but a cat bed and a small scratching post.

Undesirable Location

Wrong placement is another common cause. If you put the cat tree in a place your cat never visits, he won’t use it.

The choice of location depends primarily on the nature of your cat. If he loves the company of people, then it is better to put the cat tree in a room where people often gather, for example, in the living room. If your cat likes to be alone, it’s best to choose a remote, quiet room.

Perhaps your cat has a favorite place in the house, or he likes to look out the windows, consider the nature of your pet and you will be able to choose the right place for the cat tower.

6 Ways to Get a Cat to Use a Cat Tree

Now let’s find out how you can teach a cat to use the cat tree. Here are 6 tips to help you attract a cat to his new tree.

black cat and cat tree

Pick the Right Tree

The first and most important rule is to choose the right tree for your cat. Start by studying the models of trees in the store, and read the reviews of the owners. The tree should be made from quality materials, it should be strong, stable, and not wobble or fall.

  • How many cats live in your house? When choosing a tree, do not forget about the number of your pets. If you have multiple cats and they get along well with each other, one big tree with beds for all is a good solution. If you have multiple cats and they are not friendly with each other, it will be better to purchase several smaller trees.
  • What do your cats prefer to scratch? Do they like to scratch jute, wood, or carpet? Pick a tower from their favorite material and they’ll be more likely to use it for scratching.
  • Do your cats like heights? Some cats love to climb high and look at the world around them, while others prefer to be down on the floor. Consider your cat’s preferences when choosing a tree height.
  • What size and weight is your cat? The size of the cat is also important to consider. If you have a very large and heavy cat, the tree must be very strong and stable. If there are holes in the tree, make sure they are the right size so your cat can fit through them.
  • What age and health is your cat? If your pet is already old or has mobility issues, it will not be able to use the tall tree. In this case, choose a low tree with comfortable beds.
  • What is your cat’s activity level? If the cat is very active, mobile, and likes to climb and jump, choose a tree with the maximum number of levels, tunnels, and shelves. Many towers also have toys, balls, ramps, ladders, scratching posts, and more. But if your furry is not very active, all these things will be unnecessary.

Find an Ideal Location

Do you remember that the wrong location is one of the main reasons why your cat doesn’t use the cat tree? How to choose the right place for it?

  • First, put the tree in the room where your cat spends the most time. He will like to have his own climbing area in his favorite place at home.
  • Secondly, consider the nature of the cat. If the cat loves the company of people, put the tree so that the cat can see people and not feel alone. Do not hide the tree in a niche! It is desirable that the cat could see the whole room from its place.
  • If your cat likes to look out the window and see the outside world, put a cat tree near the window. But do not open the window so that the cat does not run away or accidentally fall out into the street. Safety first!
  • If your cat is modest, shy, and likes to be alone, put the cat tower in a quiet place where no one will disturb your furry friend.

Try to find the best place that your cat enjoys and is comfortable for you and all your family members

Place Their Favorite Bedding on the Tree

All cats love comfort and convenience! Does your kitty have a favorite sleeping bed, blanket, or pillow? Try to put his favorite bedding on a tree and chances are your cat will love to rest there.

Make sure the bed is in a safe spot in a tree where the cat will be comfortable and safe. If you see that kitty has begun to rest on a cat tree, reinforce his interest with positive actions – give a treat, a toy, a stroke, and praise.

cat bed

Use Treats and Toys

Another great way to get your cat interested in a tower is to use your cat’s toys, treats, or even catnip. You can put your favorite toys on the cat trees, or hang your pet’s favorite ball there. It is even better to spend some time with your pet and lead him to the tree during the game.

You can also use the laser pointer game. Cats adore to run after the point of the laser pointer and will be happy to chase it all over the tree.

 You can also place the treats on it, or make a “trail of food” all the way to the tower.  You can even use catnip instead of food.

Interact With Them in the Tower

Cats are very emotional creatures. And positive emotions can be the key to making your cat love his new tree. Make the tree associated with love, care, and safety. Put the cat on it, talk to him and play.

He must understand that you are not leaving him in a new unknown place, but are nearby and taking care of him. If your kitty loves to play, spend some time with him playing next to the tree. So he will get used to the tree and it will evoke associations with your games.

Give it Time

And the last way is to give the cat time. Not all cats will immediately go inspect new furniture. Some are timid and distrustful.

They need more time to get used to the new furniture and stop being afraid of it. Sometimes cats start using the box first and not their new scratching post.

Don’t rush your pet. Give him time to accept something new, and get comfortable, and over time he will show interest in a new cat tree.

two cats and cat tree

How do you get your cat to stay in your cat tree?

Has your cat started using the new cat tree? Wonderful! Maybe you are worried that in the future the cat may not like it and stop climbing it?

To prevent this from happening, keep the cat tree clean. In our article, you can learn in detail about how to clean a cat tree. Also, check the strength of the tower and if any parts need to be replaced or repaired, be sure to do so.

Also try not to scare the cat when he is on a cat tree, do not drive him away. If he gets a lot of stress and the tower starts to cause him negative emotions, he may stop using it.

With proper care, your cat will enjoy using his cat tree for a long time. Therefore, you do not need to worry about the cat suddenly falling out of love with his tower.

How to get cat to use cat tree? – FAQs

We have already talked about 6 ways to get your cat to use the new cat tree. But perhaps you have questions about this topic? Below I will briefly answer the most common of them.

Why is my cat not using a cat tree?

The main reason is stress and fear, especially if it is a new cat tree. Every cat needs time to accept something new in a house.

It can also be caused by your cat’s age and lack of mobility. If the kitten is too small, it may be difficult for him to get on a large cat tree. Mobility problems can occur in cats due to illness or old age.

It can also be difficult or scary for an indoor cat to climb a very tall cat tree.

Also, if your cat already had a cat tree, but you moved it from his favorite place to another room, he may stop using it.

Will my cat actually use a cat tree?

Of course, it depends on the nature and preferences of your furry. There are cats that love the company of people very much and absolutely don’t want to spend time alone themselves. Or they don’t like height at all. But most cats are happy to jump on a cat tree and sleep on it.

Do cats not like used cat trees?

Very rarely, but due to its nature, it may happen that a cat does not like to use a cat tree. But more often than not, this is not the case. If you give your cat time to get used to the new tree, follow all the steps and keep it clean, he will be happy to use it.

Can cats sleep in a cat tree?

Oh sure! Many towers have special beds for the convenience and comfort of your cat. You can also place his favorite bedding on the cat tree. If you put in your cat’s favorite sleeping bed, he will be happy to sleep there.

What do you do if a cat is stuck in a tree and it won’t come down?

If we are talking about a cat tower and the cat is not scared, then he can easily get off on his own. If the cat has climbed very high, is afraid and meows, you can carefully remove it.

But if your indoor cat has climbed a tree outside, this is a more serious problem. You can read about how to remove a cat from a tree in our article.

How do you teach a cat to use a scratching post?

Sometimes it happens that after buying a scratching post, the kitten continues to scratch your sofa, carpet, or box. In this case, you can help him get to know the scratching post.

Encourage your kitty to spend time near the scratching post. To do this, you can use his favorite food, balls, laser pointer, etc. Over time, the cat begins to scratch his scratching post.


This cat furniture is a real find for all cat lovers. They look beautiful and bring a lot of pleasure to cats and their owners. After all, every pet owner wants to see his little friend happy and joyful.

In our article, we talked about three reasons why a cat does not use a new cat tree and 6 ways to get a cat to use the tree.

An important part of cat furniture is also a cat bed. If your kitty uses his cat bed, I recommend you read up on how to wash your cat bed properly.

I hope my advice will help you, and your cat will be happy to use his cat tower.

With love to cats, Julia.

Leave a Comment