As someone who recently disposed of a three-dimensional cat condo after my cat pretty much decimated it, I decided to go in for a 'cat tree' - just as high, but more streamlined, and more modern....
Although I settled on the SmartCat Cat Climber, I found a few others that I liked too, so I thought I'd share them in case you have the same concerns with the massive types of climbers. So here are three that attracted me, and I still might indulge in another....
The The SmartCat Cat Climber is easy to install on almost any door. Its spring-loaded frame extends from 79 to 82 inches and it grips both ends of the door sturdily. I hung it on one side of a double door which I have locked so it doesn't open and close. The carpeted platforms are sturdy and pretty large - 17" by 8.5" by 1". I thumbtack swinging feathers and ball toys to the bottoms of the stairs and my cat loves to lie on the shelves and swat at them.
I like this Cat Climber because it has plenty of sisal for my cat to scratch, and I think it will be easy to re-carpet the stairs if that becomes an issue.
Some customers have commented that the Climber is not steady on their doors, but most of them have hacked the problem and have left their solutions in their product reviews to share with other customers.
The PawHut Floor-to-Ceiling is intended for small to medium cats - the shelves can hold up to 11 pounds. It's a very versatile tower if your ceiling is not too high for it. The tower affixes to the ceiling by twisting the tops until tension is created. If you have popcorn ceilings or ceiling tiles, it might be difficult to achieve this tension.
Customers show off photos of the PawHut next to large windows where there cats use the PawHut as a lookout site; you should see them to give you an idea of how the PawHut can be assimilated into your decor.
To keep the PawHut stable you will need to stagger the platforms much like they are shown above. They measure 14" wide, 9" deep, and 7" high.
While still related to a cat condo, the Cat Craft Three Tier Floor-to-Ceiling Cat Tree is much more versatile due to its narrow circumference and its portability. It fits ceilings 8 to 9 feet high and it adjusts to your ceiling via an extension spring rod pole. The shelves are nicely sized - 17 by 10 inches - and they can be turned in any direction on the tree.
Cat parents report that the Cat Craft can hold heavier cats - over 15 pounds - which the cat trees above, apparently, cannot. The reviews on the Cat Craft are decent - some are very positive, others not. The major negative focus is on the carpeting that covers the tree. Many say it is very thin and their cats can easily destroy it. It's worth it to read many reviews because they are so widely different.
So, if it's more room, more style, or even more variety you want, one of the above cat trees should work for you. My cat is really happy with The SmartCat Cat Climber!
That's the buzz for today!