Buying an outdoor cat tree will be a way to give your cat the exercise and mental stimulation it needs while you’re at work all day.
Leaving your cat outside can be an answer to many problems such as dealing with waste and letting them in and out constantly without a cat flap.
However, depending on what’s in your yard, it may be hard for your cat to get the same mental workout as they would from prowling, jumping and scratching objects inside. This is where a cat tree outdoors will make a difference.
The size and scale of the tree will depend on the size of your yard, the athleticism of your cat and your budget. It is possible to spend hundreds of dollars on complex systems that, in all honesty, your cat may just ignore. However, the key features that you should definitely have on your outdoor cat tree are:-
While your cat will know of many different things to use to sharpen and cut their claws outside, such as tree bark or patio stones, a purpose built cat scratch post will do the job much more effectively.
If you have an indoor scratch post for your cat as well, you should make sure that the scratch material is roughly the same so that your cat doesn’t develop a preference for one scratch post over the offer.
One of the main functions of a cat tree for outside is to provide your cat with something to do during the day and there is no better activity for a cat than climbing.
Your cat tree should have flat spaces at different heights, making sure that the spaces between them can be jumped by your cat. This is where the athleticism of your cat comes in as less mobile cats will need small cat trees.
Many of the cat trees for outside will be free standing which gives you the opportunity to move them around and take them in when you get home. However, the danger is that a big jump or strong wind could send them tumbling over which could possibly injure your cat.
You need to find a cat tree that either has a very wide base or one that can be secured into the ground with guy ropes or tied to a tree or fence post.
When you start looking at cat trees, you’ll begin to see how much even the most basic models cost. If you have the time and the skills, making your own cat tree for your yard can be a money saving and rewarding activity. You’ll need:
Timber – make sure that it’s not pressure treated. Pressure treated wood is full of toxins that are not good for your cat, plus cats love the feel of untreated wood. Pine and oak work best, but anything that comes in both flat sheets and poles will do the trick.
Old carpet – you can cover the scratching area with old carpet or use some old rope tightly wrapped around the wood and secured with nails. Just remember that the carpet might develop mildew over time.
Once you’ve got these in place, you can then assemble your outdoor cat tree in any way you like. A traditional design is to build a pyramid with a large flat base leading up to a smaller perch with various scratch posts and poles for your cat to climb around.
Secure the whole thing with wood screws and make sure it can bear the weight of your cat.
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