Cat furniture generally consists of posts covered in jute or carpet with landings of varied heights and small areas in which to hide. Generally, they’re not very eco-friendly nor do they come in decorative colors. They have one configuration for the life of the cat tree. They are generally fairly stable and heavy, but can be also costly. Not very attractive, it’s likely to sit in the corner of a room where you will hope it blends in, the irony being that your cat will probably prefer to play in the box it came in rather than the cat tree itself.
The opportunity to give Catty Stacks a try arose recently and the company was nice enough to send me several boxes to configure into a “high rise” type play area for my two cats. They’re recycled and also recyclable, and colored with vegetable dyes. Catty Stacks are made in the USA. The idea is fairly straightforward: put the boxes together and then stack in such a way that your cat can climb up and through the holes. Cats like to perch, they like to observe from above, and they love to explore so this product is a winner in the area of environmental enrichment.
Here’s what we liked:
We had barely assembled them and our cats were already inside exploring.
Our cats loved going through all of the different “portals” created by arranging the boxes creatively, no matter whether that was through the ones at the base of the structure or all of the way up through to the top.
The boxes stack comfortably five high and are sturdy and stable.
Catty Stacks cardboard is heavy weight and the boxes come in attractive, neutral colors to look attractive no matter how they’re configured. This is not just regular cardboard. It’s definitely heavier and much more stable.
The modular appearance is stylish and modern, and unlike cat furniture it’s lightweight enough to move around easily for cleaning or redesigning the structure, or moving it altogether to a different room.
The variety of the size of holes available is enough to accommodate our 17 pound cat.
The boxes are well engineered and easy to put together, with tabs and slots that are well cut out and fitted.
Our one year old cat is very active and climbs all of the way up through all of the boxes to nap inside the very top. Even when he climbs on the top the structure stays fairly still. Both of our cats use the Catty Stacks every day and overall we really like them. We added a small, rectangular dog bed (over a piece of cardboard to reinforce it) on top of two boxes on the second story and the cats enjoy lounging on that.
Some things to note:
The binder clips which hold the configurations flip off of the boxes regularly – the one year old cat pulls them off to play with them and that compromises the structural integrity of the design. We have two cats, one who is very active and climbs to sleep at the top, and another who is mostly inactive but really likes to sleep in the bottom. Edit: It was suggested to me by the company to remove the handles from the binder clips after placing them on the boxes to deter curious felines from playing with them. Brilliant!
There is no structural support in the sides of the boxes that we decided not to open the hole further along the perforated area. Our large tabby jumped into a box on the second level and went completely through to the floor because his weight broke the perforations and widened the hole. It would be nice for some of the boxes to have sides which are completely solid so that the possibility of a solid floor is available.
It’s difficult to align the holes in the various boxes to create a structure – some holes are offset and even turning the box several times, it’s difficult to line them up correctly. According to their website, there’s a specific configuration for climbing holes, which I was not aware of when we put them together and this might have been part of our problem.
Catty Stacks are available on their website, on Amazon.com or you can use the store locator to find a retailer near you. They are also available at your local PetSmart in the US and Canada. Check them out on Facebook for great deals, sales and giveaways.
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