What Material Is Used for Cat Trees?

Most people are surprised to learn that materials including plastic, rope, sisal rope and carpet are used in making these cool cat trees. The most popular material for making cat trees is wood because it's solid, safe and durable. Wood is also easy to clean, which is important if you have a pet that loves to sharpen their claws on the post and scratch pad.

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A cat tree is a must-have item for every cat owner. Unfortunately, cat trees, especially the most advanced ones, can be quite pricey. Another drawback you need to be aware of while purchasing a cat tree is that it will eventually wear out. When this happens, you can either shell out more dollars to replace the entire tree or simply recover the damaged parts of the tree with new material and have a new tree without spending a fortune. However, before you take the second route, you need to be fully aware of the different materials used on cat trees.

So, what materials are used on cat trees? The most popular and widely used material for cat trees is carpet. Carpet is relatively inexpensive, easy to work with, and has various colors and patterns to choose from. Other materials include rope, sisal, fabric, and even wood.

This post discusses everything you need to know about different materials used on cat trees. Read on to learn more.

Cats Love to Scratch

Before we dive into the different materials used on cat trees, it’s essential to understand why cats scratch in the first place.

For starters, scratching is a natural behavior for cats. It helps them stretch their muscles and keep their claws in good condition. In addition, scratching also helps mark their territory.

Your cat’s paws have scent glands that lets her claim the spaces she scratches as her own. The physical scratch is meant to leave a message to other cats that this space is already taken.

Ccat scratching at the cat tree.
Scratching helps them stretch their muscles and keep their claws in good condition.

This is a vital thing for your little pet because being able to mark her territory calms her and makes her feel relaxed and more confident. Consequently, it decreases her desire to perform other unwanted behaviors in your house.

While you may not like it when your cat scratches your furniture, you should provide her with an alternative like a cat tree. This will save your furniture and give her a designated space to scratch to her heart’s content.

Never contemplate declawing your cat because it is an inhumane procedure equivalent to cutting off your fingers at the first knuckle. Not only is it painful, but it also prevents your cat from performing a natural behavior.

Types of Materials Used on Cat Trees

Now that you know why cats scratch, let’s look at the different types of materials used on cat trees.

1. Carpet

The most popular material used on cat trees is carpet. It’s relatively inexpensive and easy to work with. In addition, there is a wide variety of colors and patterns to choose from.

The main thing you need to remember when choosing a carpet for your cat tree is that it should be durable and resistant to wear and tear. After all, your cat will spend a lot of time scratching and climbing on it.

A loop pile is the best type of carpet for a cat tree because it’s more durable than a cut pile. In addition, a loop pile is also less likely to show wear and tear.

Cat paw on a carpet.
Carpets are relatively inexpensive and easy to work with.

Here is a quick preview of the different types of carpets you will come across and how they differ from one another:

a. Sisal carpet

Sisal is considered one of the most durable materials available. It’s made from the fibers of the agave plant and is often used in cat trees.

One thing to remember is that sisal can be rough on your cat’s paws. As a result, you may want to consider wrapping the tree in a softer material like carpet or fabric.

b. Jute carpet

Jute is another durable material that is often used in cat trees. It’s made from a plant of the same name and has a natural resistance to wear and tear.

Like sisal, jute can be rough on your cat’s paws. As a result, you may want to consider wrapping the tree in a softer material like carpet or fabric.

c. Polypropylene carpet

Polypropylene is a synthetic fiber that is often used in cat trees. It’s durable and resistant to wear and tear. In addition, it’s also relatively inexpensive. One thing to keep in mind is that polypropylene can be pretty slippery, making it difficulty for your cat to climb on the tree.

d. Carpet tile

Carpet tile is a type of carpet made up of individual tiles. It’s easy to install and replace individual tiles if they become damaged. However, it can be quite slippery. As a result, your cat may have a hard time climbing the tree.

e. Wool carpet

Although wool carpet is sometimes used to cover cat trees, there is a debate about how suitable it is for this purpose. While it is considered non-toxic, experts believe it is unsafe since most cats tend to chew on it.

2. Rope

Another popular material used on cat trees is rope. It’s a great alternative to carpet because it’s also durable and resistant to wear and tear. In addition, a rope is also relatively inexpensive.

The only thing you need to remember when choosing rope for your cat tree is that it should be made from a safe material for your cat to chew on. The last thing you want is for your cat to ingest a piece of rope and become sick.

Cat climbing on a cat rope.
Rope is a great alternative to carpet because it’s also durable and resistant to wear and tear.

Natural fiber is the best type of rope for a cat tree because it’s safe for your cat to chew on. Furthermore, it is biodegradable.

There are different types of ropes you can use on your cat tree. They include jute rope, cotton rope, and sisal rope.

3. Fabric

For many years, fabric has been a popular choice for cat trees. It’s easy to work with and comes in various colors and patterns. It is also relatively inexpensive.

One thing you must remember when choosing fabric for your cat tree is that it should be made from a safe material for your cat to scratch and chew on. Ideally, you don’t want your little family friend to ingest a piece of fabric and become sick.

The best type of fabric for a cat tree is natural fiber because it’s safe for your cat to scratch and chew on. It is also biodegradable.

Typically, the fibers become dislodged as the cat scratches on the fabric. Over time, this can result in the fabric becoming thin and threadbare. As a result, you may need to replace the fabric on your cat tree more often than other materials.

There are different types of fabrics you can use on your cat tree. They include wool fabric, cotton fabric, and linen fabric.

4. Faux Fur

Faux fur is another popular material used on cat trees. It’s soft and has a luxurious feel that many cats enjoy.

However, faux fur is not as durable as other materials such as sisal, especially when it comes to scratching. But most cats are usually attracted to the comfortable feeling of faux fur and its attractive appearance.

A cat sitting on a faux fur.
Faux fur is soft and has a luxurious feel that many cats enjoy.

Faux fur is typically made from polyester fibers. As a result, it’s not as biodegradable as natural fiber materials such as wool or cotton.

There are different types of faux fur you can use on your cat tree. They include long-pile faux fur, short-pile faux fur, and medium-pile faux fur.

5. Sisal

Sisal is a popular material used on cat trees. It’s made from the fibers of the sisal plant and is known for its durability. It takes a lot of effort for your cat to break down sisal.

However, sisal is not cheap because the raw material is relatively expensive, and wrapping the rope also consumes a lot of time.

One thing to remember is that sisal is a natural fiber material. As a result, it’s not as biodegradable as synthetic fiber materials such as polyester.

A closeup image of a cat scratching.
Sisal is not cheap because the raw material is relatively expensive, and wrapping the rope also consumes a lot of time.

In terms of color and design, sisal is available in many options. You can even find a rope that’s been dyed in different colors.

What Should I Look for in a Cat Tree Covering Material?

One of the most important things you need to consider when purchasing a cat tree covering material is toxicity. You must ensure the material is non-toxic and safe for your cat to be in contact with.

In addition, you also need to consider the durability of the material. The last thing you want is to purchase a cat tree covering material that will start to fall apart after a few months of use.

Finally, you also need to consider the material’s price. Some materials such as sisal can be quite expensive. As a result, you need to ensure you’re getting your money’s worth.

Summary

Cat trees come in all shapes and sizes, and with a variety of different materials used for the covering.

Whether you are looking for a carpeted tree to keep your kitty’s nails groomed or a sisal-covered one for them to scratch their back, there is definitely a perfect cat tree out there for you and your feline friend.

Be sure to consider what material you want the tree to be covered in before making your purchase, as this will be one of the most critical factors in determining how much use your cat gets out of it.

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