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Interior Designers Don’t Hate These Cat Trees

No beige carpeting in sight.

by Emma Loewe
December 21, 2022
A calico cat climbing over colorful cactus shaped climbing trees.
Courtesy of RiverNCats

Your pet wants you to read our newsletter. (Then give them a treat.)

No matter how much care you put into getting them, cat trees usually look like an afterthought that’s been covered in last decades’ carpeting. But with a little reimagining, these feline playgrounds can become stylish hideaways both your house cat and your houseguests will get a kick out of. 

To find the best-designed trees the internet has to offer, we enlisted the help of interior designers and stylists who have experience working with pet parents. Their advice? Look for a more understated tree that pulls inspiration from the design elements already in your space. Or when all else fails, just go all out and get that kitschy kitty toy you’ve been eyeing. 

You already worship the ground your cat walks on. Show the same care to the elevated surfaces they prance around with these designer-approved trees:

cactus cat tree

“I love shopping on Etsy for cat accessories because there are so many makers who create a unique take on pet products,” stylist and home decor expert Alexandra Gater tells The Wildest. Case in point: This cactus-inspired structure your cat can scratch and climb to their heart’s desire. You can make the funky structure your own by choosing the color of its desert flowers, leading one reviewer to give it the ultimate compliment: “I would even buy it if I did not have a cat.”

$303 at Etsy
modern cat tower

Speaking of streamlined cat trees with a modern flare, this wood and rope option also gets Putzier’s stamp of approval. “Its contemporary design and sleek profile make this cat tree the perfect addition to a modern loft. I love that the actual platforms are bare wood instead of carpet, which makes cleaning a breeze,” she adds. Reviewers also note that despite looking super intricate, this tree couldn’t be easier to assemble. 

$232 at Etsy
floral cat tree with red petals

Finally, for the pet parent who isn’t afraid to take risks, this Etsy option will send your cat off into a land of flowers and mushrooms. Putzier can see it taking center stage in an eclectic bungalow that leans into all things whimsy. “No, this isn’t a sophisticated piece—it’s not supposed to be!” she says. “This piece is fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously, just like the people who would make it a part of their home.”

$389 at Etsy

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emma loewe

Emma Loewe

Emma is a writer, editor, and environmentalist based in New York City. She is the senior sustainability editor at mindbodygreen, the author of Return To Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us (April 2022), and the co-author of The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide To Ancient Self-Care. While she doesn’t have any pets of her own, she is a loving dog aunt to Pip the pup.