Felines Love (and Need) to Climb

Java on his tower / Lotus Cat Tower
Credit: (Left) lisa cee (Lisa Campeau) on flickr / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic | Right image: Amazon

Smaller Living Spaces

and Windows Without Sills Pose a Problem

If you've ever been owned by a cat or two, you know they love to be perched up high where they can supervise everything and everybody.

One of the main things I liked about my house was that the window sills were wide enough for my feline owners.
And over the years I've purchased a few carpeted pet condos. Soon enough, though, they became shaggy, torn up, and laden with fur (especially in the corners).
It became an unpleasant chore to vacuum them out or keep them clean, in general. We ended up donating them for recycling.
Recently, a friend of mine moved to a condominium with hardwood floors. Her husband suffers from allergies and their new living space has lessened his symptoms considerably.
When they moved, they donated their old carpeted pet condo/climbers too.
No longer do they have wide window sills either (but they have a gorgeous view of Lake Ontario). And, their two kitties are slowly adjusting - but they keep looking for those pet condos or some wide window sills.

Do Felines Need to Climb?

Yes, cats are hard-wired for it

My man-servant once asked our vet, "Why don't they just laze around?" According to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and other sources, cats climb for instinctive and practical reasons:[1][2][3][4][5]

1) To survey their territory[4] and watch for prey or predators[3]

2) As a stress release[3] or escape (for safety[5] or to get away from other pets, noise, people) 

3) To find a warm or sunny spot[4] (cats prefer to be warmer than us and warm air rises; floors tend to be cooler)[5]

4) As a reward (especially if tasty crumbs are left behind[1][4] on tables or counter tops)

5) For fun,[2] physical development, sense of well-being and security[2]

6) nap and rest times[5] (cats tend to sleep in the day and be more awake at night)

It's important to note that cats are built for climbing[1] - their legs, back, tail, and claws in particular. Climbing improves their balance and agility.[2] It also keeps him or her fit. 

One Exception

Purportedly, the Ragdoll breed, though, seems to dislike heights[1][4] and is therefore less inclined to climb.

I Know Some of You Are Thinking

Why not keep the climbers and get rid of the man?

Cat nose to nose with woman
Credit: DLSimaging on flickr / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Keep Everyone Happy

and Living in Harmony

As tempting as that might sound, sometimes we need to consider some humans in our lives (or man-servant, in my case). Plus I think I found the solution to this growing problem.

NYC Pet Show 2010

The first New York City Pet Show sponsored by APPA (American Pet Products Association) was held only a few years ago, in 2010. Apparently, New York is one of the most pet-friendly cities in the U.S.[6]

The pet show catered mainly to city people who owned pets (which certainly had my Toronto feline-loving friends and I interested). I can't find any definitive data, but I'm fairly certain Torontonians love their cats as much as New Yorkers.

And, we too, live in shoebox sized condos. The thing is, many of my friends are downsizing when they move. (And those traditional pet condo/climbers just take up too much space).

The Refined Feline Lotus Cat Tower

The Refined Feline Lotus Cat Tower
Credit: All 4 photos found on Amazon

Solid Business Ethics

and Partnerships With Pet Shelters

The first thing to catch my eye was the Lotus Cat Tower (shown above). Josh Feinkind, founder of the The Refined Feline, confirmed that the inspiration for the Lotus Cat Tower grew from the conclusion that many cat tree designs are "unnecessarily awkward and unattractive."[7]

And Feinkind didn't have an easy go-at-it in business either. He lost $20,000 to a vendor who went out of business and has since insisted on a letter of credit from any vendor he deals with (domestic or foreign).[8]

Since many people do not have $300 - $400 to spend on cat furniture, Feinkind has formed partnerships with shelters (and cat-centric blogs).[9] What's great about this marketing strategy is that his company also raises funds to help our feline friends.

True, the Lotus Cat Tower is more expensive than most pet climbers. But when you factor in the lifetime use of it (it's made of solid finished wood) and all carpets, cushions and the scratch pad are replaceable - I don't feel that it's overpriced at all. Plus, the cushion covers can be removed and washed.

Functionally, they work in smaller spaces, even beside a bed. One of my cats tries to sleep on my head - which I'm not too keen about (unless it's the weekend).

See Josh Feinkind Being Interviewed

at the New York City Pet Show 2010

The Refined Feline Lotus Cat Tower

The Refined Feline Lotus Cat Tower in Espresso RoseWrites 2014-03-24 5.0 0 5

The Refined Feline Lotus Cat Tower

Ships free when you order from Amazon

The Refined Feline Lotus Cat Tower in Espresso
Amazon Price: $399.99 $363.00 Buy Now
(price as of Apr 5, 2016)
The great thing about this cat tower is that it can be used for many years - and kept clean. The Berber carpeted sections are held in by Velcro and the sisal pad is an ideal surface for cats to scratch (it's all natural). Replacements for these and the cushions are available on the company's website. Soft cushions inside and on top of the cat "house" at the base include washable covers. There is a professional video which shows this gorgeous cat tower on Amazon - and I include an instructional video (below) of how to assemble it. (Takes about an hour and a screwdriver is included).

Assembly of the Lotus Cat Tower

Won Cat Fancy Editors' Choice award (2006)

The Refined Feline Cat Cloud Cat Shelves

The Refined Feline Cat Cloud Shelves RoseWrites 2014-03-24 4.5 0 5

The Refined Feline Cat Cloud Cat Shelves

In case your floor space is really limited

The Refined Feline Cat Cloud Cat Shelves in Off-White, Left Facing
Amazon Price: $119.99 $99.99 Buy Now
(price as of Apr 5, 2016)
In 2010, The Refined Feline's Cat Cloud Cat Shelves won the Pet Age Pinnacle award. When I viewed the video of how sturdy these are, I felt I should include them. These shelves can support 70 lbs., are made of powder-coated steel, and come with heavy duty wall anchors - suitable for wall beam or drywall installation. What impressed me most was the magnetic pads that come with them (which can be replaced). These also ship free from Amazon. See video next.

From The Refined Feline

Cat Clouds Cat Shelf (only 50 seconds):