Katz Tales: What to consider when setting up a cat condo

  • Animals
  • Tuesday, 10 Mar 2020

A cat condo must have a scratching pole, be made of cat-safe materials, and be stable. — 123rf.com

Cat condos come in all kinds of shapes and with different kinds of finish. If you're buying one for your kitty, here are some thoughts to consider.

Think like a cat. We love the sight of paw printed plush and exciting turrets that give cat furniture a castle aspect, but what is your pet interested in? Make a list of what your pet loves.

Absolute musts for configuration

A cat condo must have a scratching pole. This should be covered in sisal, a plant fibre that can be clawed but that is durable and safe in terms of splinters etc. It should also be stable, so your pet doesn't fall.

Configuration extras

'The taller it is, the better. Cats love to climb high, so if you can, get a huge pole and fix it to the wall via a shelf or long bracket.

Shelves are excellent for lounging. They should be big enough for your pet to lie down on. Also, shelves should stick out at one side but not the other – your pet needs to climb up the pole and then step around to the shelf.

Boxes are excellent for hiding inside. Shy kitties will love to have a box, especially if it's high up and out of the reach of kids.

Hammocks are fun but, as they are soft and your kitty may fall, they should be slung low in case of accidents.

Inbuilt toys

Some condos have balls and feathers stuck on. This may appeal but be sure they are low down in case your pet plays and slips.


The basic material should be wood that doesn't splinter and sisal rope that is safe. Material-covered condos are also good, but be sure the sewing involves cat-safe materials. If glue is used, it must be certified safe for cats.


Run your hand over every part of the condo, looking for sharp bits. If you find any, remove them before set-up. Remember, your pet will be running up and down the condo, and even the tiniest little thing can cause a massive cut. So be certain to test it thoroughly.

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