Things Cats Climb That Are Important For A Healthy Lifestyle

When providing the best environment for your cat, one of the most important factors to get right are the things that cats climb.

Why Do Cats Climb?

Because climbing is essential to almost every activity a cat does throughout its entire life. There isn’t much difference between the varieties of cats that live outside and the ones that live indoors as our pets.

This means that indoor cats need pretty much the same things that wild and feral cats need to thrive.

Of course, the only difference is that one set of necessities are provided outdoors while the other set is provided indoors.

These factors include activities such as:

  • hunting
  • sleeping
  • getting a good view of the area while being safe
  • increasing their territory
  • escaping threats
  • etc

If your cats are not able to achieve what their natural instincts are driving them to do they can experience side effects as severe as aggression and sickness. This is why it is so important to know what things it likes to climb so that you will create a more comfortable spot for them than the top of your refrigerator.

Things Cats Climb By Nature


Whether in an urban or rural setting, indoors or outdoors they will find something to climb whether it is directly provided for them or not.

Things Cats Climb In the Wild

In the wild, cats typically climb up trees. But not just any trees.

If you’ve ever watched a documentary about big cats like leopards you will understand what I mean. Cats choose trees that have:

  • good cover usually provided by leaves or other vegetation
  • strong, sprawling branches
  • height
  • hard for other animals to climb

In a more human populated area where trees are more scarce, feral cats get their vantage point on structures like walls and relatively short buildings like houses or storage facilities.

Things That Cats Climb In Your Home

As mentioned before, your cat will look for much of the same structures even if it has spent its entire life indoors. The difference is that instead of houses and trees, your cat chooses other furniture that resembles the same qualities as their outdoor counterparts.

This can range from appliances like your fridge to decor like curtains and shelves.

Some people willingly let their cats tear up their furniture and have nothing wrong with them laying on the counters. But I caution you if you allow your cat to do this, while it is ok while they are supervised you must also consider when they are not being supervised.

An unsupervised cat may cause an accident if it accidentally turns on your stove or falls behind the fridge and gets stuck or suffers a fatal electric shock.

The first has happened in my family. Luckily we found it before it caught on fire.

Our cat was jumping on the stove, doing its thing and ran across the stove knob. It turned the burner on and melted the plastic bowl that it also knocked on it.

There are better options for you in cat climbing structures. There are so many types, designs, and styles that you can literally turn your home into a fully customized cat-friendly sanctuary that is safe and healthy for everyone in your home.

How To Make Your Home Cat-Friendly


The first step to transforming your home into a more cat-friendly location is to think about:
  1. Places your cat frequents
  2. Places your cat would frequent if it was outdoors

Next armed with these two factors, you will begin to look for or/and build structures that suit their needs.

Truth be told if you buy all of the cat furniture that your cat needs it will get pretty costly. Of course, if you can afford it and prefer to spend the money, by all means, buy everything your cat desires.

But if you’re like most of us who either prefer to save money or not spend all that money on your cats, you can affordably build your own. Aside from affordability, I like building cat structures because it brings our families together and encourages important life skills like communication, cooperation, and creativity that are tragically missed while spending hours in front of an electronic device.

Your goal with this is to mimic nature. Your cat should have walking space that is elevated and wraps around part or all of the walls of your home.

To do this, you will use:

  • ground standing cat trees/condos
  • cat shelves
  • wall-mounted cat trees

Cat Climbing Structure’s Recommendation

Since cat types, personalities and preferences vary so much we have created a collection of recommended resources for you to look at.

If you are looking for good, already made, cat climbing structures for your cats, here are our best recommendations:

Click here for our best pre-made cat climbing structure recommendations

6 thoughts on “Things Cats Climb That Are Important For A Healthy Lifestyle

  • April 5, 2018 at 9:00 am

    This article is really interesting, I didn’t realize cats needed to climb frequently for a healthy lifestyle. I don’t own a cat and have had limited interactions with them myself, since my mum is allergic, so I was only really familiar with the stereotype of cats getting stuck climbing up trees!

    I saw how one of the other things you listed that cats need to lead a healthy lifestyle is hunting. I’ve heard how cats like to hunt and leave dead mice on their owners’ doorstep, but I didn’t realize it was actually necessary for their well-being. 

    I have a dog, and while she loves eating meat and chasing things she never seems to have a desire to kill anything, which is the same with most dogs. Why do you think that is? 

    Surely all carnivores whose ancestors hunted in the wild would be compelled to hunt themselves?

    • April 5, 2018 at 5:32 pm

      Hey Cheyenne!

      Thanks for your comment and questions. You bring up a couple of good points here. Perhaps a response would be better suited for a video or post but I’ll try to make a quick response here too.

      Many people don’t realize it but cats are more aggressive than dogs but dogs get the bad rep because they’re bigger, have bigger teeth and fit the ‘scary’ bill. And of dogs, the smaller breeds tend to be more aggressive than the larger but mums the word before I go off on a tangent here, lol.

      The reason dogs don’t hunt is two fold. One, even wild dogs are inefficient hunters and although carnivores, they don’t require as much protein as cats do. 

      Also, dogs were bread for specific, typically non-killing, purposes like herding, retrieving, obeying, guarding, etc.

      You’re right, some dogs do have what is called ‘prey drive’ which is why some dogs chase cats but this can be corrected with proper intervention. Its still not as strong as a cat’s NEED to hunt.

      Again, I won’t go off on a tangent but there is a reason there are much more stray cats than dogs. Its because cats are better adapted to survive in the wild.

      A dog bred to herd isn’t going to be driven to hunt or do anything other than herding. You will see it do other things related to herding or even things that seem ‘motherly’. You may also find other dogs really take to the game fetch because they have the instincts to retrieve. Golden retrievers are a good example of this.

      Cats on the other hand are different. For one, as a species they have been resistant to being taught to do anything for people. They also have been resistant to giving up some of their wild instincts like hunt.

      I believe this is because they depend on animal protein to survive. Their instinct to hunt is why they bring their prey back to their ‘nest’ aka their owner’s doorstep/house because that’s what they do in the wild.

      A cat can go from living a comfy life indoors to outdoors with little adaptation issues. This is not a statement saying that I agree with throwing out pets because I ABSOLUTELY HATE IT! But the fact is, they’re still ‘wild’ by nature even being ‘domestic’ animals.

      And their ability to adapt also shouldn’t be mistaken for their ability to find prey. With decreasing animal populations due to overpopulation, pest control, and other destructive, mostly human, occurrences, feral cats have trouble finding foods.

      I have another site that I’m working on to bring light to this but I figured I’d mention it here as well.

      I know this is long and I’ve still got so much more to say, lol. I hope this makes sense. Basically cats are more adapt hunters and dogs are more adapt people pleasers but they’re both loveable when cared for correctly! 🙂

      Hope this helps and I’ll likely do an article later on so make sure you subscribe to our newsletter.


  • April 5, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    I have long been looking at these for my cat! They look like so much fun!!! How will I know what size I should get? My cat is about 6 months old and he has destroyed most of our furniture!!! I really think this could be the answer to saving what is left of our furniture!! Haha!

    • April 5, 2018 at 4:29 pm

      Hey Pierre!

      Yes, that is the age it really kicks into gear and it only gets ‘worse’ from there! >

  • April 5, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    Hey Marlinda, truly appreciate this information. I knew that cats need to be on higher ground, but didn’t really think too much into it. 

    I have a high stool on my living room and that is where my cat keeps look out most of the time. Been debating whether to get him a climbing structure or not. This article convinced me, hope he likes it, thanks for this.

    • April 6, 2018 at 10:37 am

      Hey Victor!

      I’m glad you found value in this information and are making such an awesome decision! Hope he enjoys it!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *