Cat trees tried and tested by the Bombadillo kitten for honest, independent reviews
The Natural Paradise Cat Tree - XL Standard has become a firm favourite in our house. We have bought them in various sizes and styles now, and all are very good.
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This cat tree is made from solid, natural wood. It then has strips of velcro attached to the wood and then soft, plush material pads and seats fix onto the velcro. The soft material components are all removable and washable.
What drew us to this tree was the materials used: wood is naturally antibacterial, and we suspect it will be easier to clean than alternative cat trees that are completely covered in plush fabric. Also, the fabric components are all completely removable and can be washed on a 30 degree cycle in the washing machine.
This cat tree also comes in a slimmer line version and a larger version. If this cat tree is too large, they also do a smaller version which just has the first 2 levels included.
The cat tree comes in cream, brown, black and burgundy. We went for cream.
Natural paradise cat tree: construction
A word of warning...this is a very heavy item! I had to carry this upstairs piece by piece, as I could not carry the whole box, it was just too heavy - which is a good thing for a cat tower, once you have it all set up and in place! Construction was reasonably straight forward, and was a one-woman job.
Natural paradise cat tree: initial thoughts
This is a very strong, sturdy cat tree. It was reasonably simple to put together. The sisal scratching posts are enormous: 15cm in diameter, which is far bigger than our other cat trees. The cat tree looks and feels like a high quality item.
As soon as this cat tree was out up, it was a hit! We got it for our boy Sylvester because he likes to hide in dens, and this cat tree has a really good sized den included in it (which he needs because he is enormous!). He had taken to using his hooded litter tray as a den...not the best idea! So we went looking for an alternative for him and found this. Despite that, his favourite place is sitting in the nest on top of the den! Either way, we are happy, as he no longer uses his litter box as a nest!
This appears to be an excellent cat tree so far. It is very solid, and we love the fact that it is made from solid wood which is easier to clean and does not harbour germs in the same way that fabric does. The fabric components are washable at 30C. In an ideal world the fabric components would be washable at 60C (because that kills viruses), but at least these are detachable and washable (we just use an anti-viral solution on them before washing). To find out why virus protection is so important, have a look at our articles on Feline Coronavirus and FIP.
We were slightly concerned that the velcro would not be strong enough to keep the fabric components attached to the cat tree, but so far, they have stayed stuck tight and not come off even once.
Overall, so far, we are very impressed, but we will update this review once it has been tried and tested!
Update: we have now been using this cat tower for quite a while, and it is in excellent condition. The velcro works a treat and we have not had a single occasion where the fabric parts have become detached. Highly recommend this cat tree - a brilliant investment, and worth every penny. It is enormous though, so try the compact version for a slightly smaller footprint.
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