Bargain Cat Trees can be Exasperating: “Some Assembly Required” – a Bit Optimistic

There are many things to which a dyed-in-the-wool cat lover may become addicted. Because we enjoy spoiling our beloved kitties we often search for ways in which we can delight and stimulate them. Unfortunately I tend to be an inveterate feline oriented shopaholic, so when I discover items on sale that I am sure will be intriguing to our kitties; I must admit that there are times when I may throw caution to the wind. Unfortunately however, my impulsive behavior can sometime result in becoming bitterly disappointed when the “treasured” item finally arrives.

Aki Poe Hubble on cat tree
Aki, Sir Hubble Pinkerton and Edgar Allen Poe on cat tree. Photo by Jo Singer
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For example: The beautiful, sturdy cat tree in our living room was becoming rather threadbare; tattered and torn. So when I “accidently-on-purpose ran across a website that was advertising a huge sale on cat trees (including free shipping) I decided to take the plunge and buy the one with three platforms, two tunnels, and a hanging hammock near the bottom. Since the tree shape and color was quite appealing; with its very reasonable cost, my credit card flew from wallet all by itself. In two easy steps, the cat tree was mine!

But buyer’s remorse set in seconds after I bought it. The words, “some assembly required” slapped me upside the head. I knew I was in deep trouble since I have absolutely no mechanical skill. I couldn’t help recalling some testy moments with my husband when we tried to put a small wooden desk together. To assuage my guilt, I lassoed our across the street neighbor; asking him if he would lend a hand in setting up the cat tree. He quickly agreed since he was very skilled in things mechanical.

The second the box was delivered, I contacted our neighbor. He dropped by a few minutes later, and after he had a chance to examine the pieces he felt it would be a simple procedure and easily assembled. Although some primitive tools were included the instructions only consisted of a schematic diagram which one needed to have an engineering degree to understand. Happily our neighbor was not in the least intimidated.

Unfortunately when our neighbor attempted to connect one of the bolts, beads of sweat started pouring down his forehead. Cursing softly under his breath, he rushed home to get more appropriate tools. He cussed again discovering that one of the pre-drilled holes was filled with glue; required reaming. This “no brainer” project turning into a nightmare. But his PURRsistence paid off and the cat tree was finally completed.

Would you believe that shortly after we finished this project, I discovered this short instructional video posted on You Tube by the company,, which gives step by step directions on how to assemble their cat trees? It was rather “anti-clime- actic” to say the least!

The good news is that today, years later, this tree is a favorite hangout for our three kitties. Purrhaps I was a bit psychic when I bought the danged thing!
Have you ever assembled a cat tree and lived to tell about it? If so, please share with us by leaving a comment.

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3 thoughts on “Bargain Cat Trees can be Exasperating: “Some Assembly Required” – a Bit Optimistic”

  1. Oh, yes! Our biggest and best activity center was bought during a flash sale on amazon after a friend told us about it. It arrived flat-packed, with instructional diagram, and I put it together. One part had the holes drilled on the wrong side, so it turned out a little bit different than the diagram showed, but it is very usable and our furmily thoroughly enjoys it! A friend tightened the bolts on it for us, too, so it’s even sturdier. I like the challenge of solving problems and putting things together/learning how things work, and also the possibility of finding something of good quality for a bit lower price.

  2. Having had 2 children, I’ve had a lot of experience assembling things, especially at Christmastime.
    During those years, I really hated doing it.

    Today, for the most part, I enjoy this stuff and the feeling of accomplishment that I reap as long as there are no glitches as you describe. I’ve assembled a few cat trees, houses, and jungle gyms. On a few occasions, I’ve had a part or two missing or a defective part.

    Those occasions were maddening, because I have a low tolerance for anything that impedes my progress. I never aborted the whole project but I was less than charming having to figure out how to rig or substitute a part and make it all come together.

    Now, what I try to do in order to save my sanity is to not begin any assembly until I have inspected every part. If there’s a problem, I just pack it back up and send it back.


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