The Big Nose Wall-Mounted cat shelf is an entertaining multi-level cat post with sturdy wooden steps and a comfy hammock for relaxing. It's naturally made from jute and solid pinewood.
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This shelf frees up space in your home while giving your cat a safe and private space to play and relax. It can be slowly expanded and customized over time, and you can buy more shelves to add levels. Plus, the shelves can be set up at different angles to suit your unique space. We found the shelf easy to install; it is adequate for medium-sized cats. Cat owners like that the hammock is lined with a soft fabric for cats to relax. Overall, we found this shelf is well-made and offers great value.
While this cat shelf is a good size for average cats, it’s not ideal for you if you have larger cats—many users found the shelves and hammock significantly too small. We were disappointed in the fabric of the hammock as it’s slightly flimsy and the wire frame tends to sag while in use.
Best for Heavy Cats
The K&H Pet Products Kitty Sill Cat perch attaches prettily to windowsills and is sturdy enough to hold a cat of up to forty pounds. Made with orthopedic foam, it's ideal for curious cats.
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If you have an indoor cat that loves looking out the window, then this luxe seat in the sun is perfect for you. We found this cat shelf super quick and easy to install and we liked that no tools are required. The mattress is thick and supportive, and the cozy cover is removable and machine washable. This cat shelf is spacious with a stable, pleasing design that blends well into any home. It’s one of the sturdiest perches on the market and can comfortably hold more than one cat at a time.
While this shelf can be installed without any tools or screws, we found that the Velcro doesn’t provide enough stability and peels off easily. If you’re going to be using the shelf for the long-term, it’s advisable to screw it into the wall. Unfortunately, this product can only be used on windowsills that are at least two inches wide.
The HumaneGoods Deluxe floating perch is a sleek and stylish cat shelf made of top-quality wood that's built to last. It can be used on its own or as part of a more intricate climbing system.
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This cat shelf is an excellent solution if you would like to buy a cat shelf but don’t want to compromise the look of your home. It takes up minimal space and the elegant wood design blends in well with other furniture. Customers appreciate the three replaceable scratch pads that are included. We found that the slightly curved design appealed to our cats. This shelf is significantly larger than others on the market and supportive of all sized cats, including big cats weighing up to thirty pounds.
This shelf is easy to assemble; however, the screws are thin and don’t seem like they are sturdy enough to sustain long-term use. We would also have preferred to be able to attach the shelf with more than one wall stud. While the carpeted shelves are a welcome extra, some cat owners found their cats didn’t like the feel of the material.
Best Wall-Mounted Shelf
The CatastrophiCreations fabric cat shelf is beautifully handcrafted in the USA out of 100% cotton canvas, solid pine, and sisal. Its sturdy design makes it the ideal choice for multi-cat households.
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This cat shelf is best for agile cats who like to play as it meets cats’ innate need for adventure by stimulating and engaging them. It’s durable and moveable and suitable for cats of all sizes—the canvas section can support up to sixty-two pounds and the shelf can support up to eighty pounds, so it can be used by several cats at a time. We like that this cat shelf is both functional and attractive and that it attaches easily to the wall. Even our bigger cats enjoyed the snugness of the hammock.
Although this cat shelf is undeniably excellent quality, many cat owners found the price very expensive in relation to what you get—essentially, wood and canvas. Also, some users were dissatisfied with the quality of the screws and found they weren’t of equal quality as the rest of the product. We were disappointed that the fabric hammock started to sag after frequent use.
Best for Active Cats
The CatastrophiCreations Floating sisal cat post is handcrafted and sturdy and designed to encourage cats to be active. The posts come in natural colors that blend into your living spaces.
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These cat posts are super easy to install and are designed to be used in conjunction with other climbing posts and perching shelves. When set up at equal distances diagonally across a wall, they provide hours of fun and physically and mentally challenge cats, which contributes to their overall health and well-being. Cats instinctively need to climb, and we found our cats loved running across the posts, which they did with ease. The posts are sturdy and built to support even very large cats.
Although these neutral posts blend in well, they are definitely not the most attractive cat shelves on the market. They lack style when compared to other similar shelves or posts. Many customers found them way too expensive in relation to what you get.
What Really Matters?
There are so many types of cat trees available, it can be difficult to choose the right one. When making your choice, it’s important to consider whether the size and configuration meets your needs. Most cat trees include scratching posts and perches for the cat to play or sleep. You need to consider how many cats will be using the shelf, as well as the type of cat you have. If your cat is playful and active, shelves that include hanging toys and several varied perches are ideal. If you have a more docile, easily-scared cat, then a shelf system that includes a sleep nest or pod is better. The size and weight of your cat will also determine the type of design you should ultimately select.
Strength and Durability
Naturally, a cat shelf needs to be durable enough to sustain the weight of a cat jumping on and off it frequently. When selecting a cat shelf, opt for a lightweight but durable shelf. Wooden shelves have better longevity and they look good, too.
In today’s fast-paced world, most people don’t have the time or energy to spend hours installing furniture for themselves, never mind their cats. To avoid lengthy and laborious installations, it’s crucial to consider how long it will take you to assemble the cat shelf. Another factor to consider in terms of installation is whether you’ll need to move the shelf around or if it will be in a permanent location.
What’s in Right Now?
The latest trends in cat shelves, and cat furniture in general, revolve around items that are well-built, safe and secure, and enhance the cat’s life in some way. Cat furniture that fits seamlessly with the rest of the furniture in the home is becoming more sought after. Cats have become more popular as pets, and as a result, there are many more options that are now available when it comes to cat furniture, toys, and accessories. Cat shelves today are sophisticated and designed to engage and stimulate cats while being comprised of better quality and safer materials.
If you want a top-of-the-range cat shelf, expect to pay $60 or more.
$20 – $40 will get you an average, good quality cat shelf. At the lower end of this range, you’ll find window perches and smaller shelves and hammocks, and better quality, sturdier shelves on the higher end of this range.
You can find an entry-level, very simple and lightweight cat shelf for $10 to $15.
How wide should a cat shelf be?
Ideally, for a cat to have enough space to lounge comfortably, a cat shelf needs to be at least ten inches wide. Anything narrower would be awkward for your cat to use.
Why do cats like to perch on high shelves and look out the window?
Cats are curious by nature and love to see what’s going on around them. It’s part of cats’ instincts to survey the area around them for approaching predators and other perceived dangers. Perching high up is also a way for a cat to show its status. If there’s any tension between cats in a household, a cat may try and affirm its status by sitting on the highest available shelf.
How can I get my cat interested in the cat shelves?
Some cats may be reluctant to use a cat shelf at first. Don’t despair; it may take some time, but with a little assistance your cat will eventually warm up to using the cat shelf. The best way to encourage your cat to use the shelf is to place its favorite treats, toys, and food strategically on the shelves. Alternatively, if your cat enjoys it, sprinkle some catnip on the shelf to entice him/her.