Review Of Cat Trees And SmartCat Bootsie Bunk Bed
by Elisa Black-Taylor
GoPetClub cat tree
Today I'd like to do a review of cat trees and SmartCat Bootsies Bunk Bed.
I recently purchased all three products with a nice donation sent from one of my Furby's Halfway House supporters. The only stipulation was for the money to be used on entertainment for the cats.
The main reason I was interested in a cat tree was to coax as many cats as possible to move off of my kitchen bar. I have at least 8 cats stretched out up there at the same time.
My first purchase was a cat tree by GoPetClub. I won it with a $42 bid on Ebay, which is excellent because this tree retails for around $100 if not more. I know I really irritate bidders on Ebay because I bid on items in the last forty five seconds and most of the time I win by doing that.
Below is a direct link to the tree on Amazon.com. As you can see it runs higher to just up and buy it than to bid on Ebay.
I've read countless reviews on the GoPetClub brand and few of them gave the company a good rating. Complaint of instability to the product being too small for adult cats was the main issue. My daughter put it together without any problem the day it arrived. Here's a video of some of my cats playing on it.
Samantha quickly claimed the bottom shelf and Miss Kitty climbed all the way to the top. Lucky enjoyed the cat condo and also the hanging toy. Furby even made himself at home for awhile on the cat tree.
Then the newness wore off after a few days. Miss Kitty still sleeps on the top perch. I have to agree with the person who said the perches are too small for larger cats. Miss Kitty, my largest Maine Coon female, says she disagrees with the critics and she isn't giving up her throne. Lucky still uses it as a scratching post and sometimes he plays with the toy. Which I might add came off the first day and had to be reattached.
Overall I give this product a good review for the price. It's up against a wall and I probably should have placed it near a window where the cats can lounge and look out at the outside world.
That's what I did with the second cat tree I ordered from BestPet at Amazon.com. It was under $50 including shipping. The reviews on this tree received better reviews when I checked out their merchandise online. I don't see how. The tree is unstable with lots of wiggle room. It does have larger platforms for the cats to use as a napping spot. At least it was as easy to put together as the GoPetClub tree.
I first placed in in my master bath, then moved it the next day because the cats were totally ignoring it. Now it's right beside the window in my bedroom. It's a beautiful shade of pink so it matches my dusty rose carpet.
I have the thing braced to where it won't fall over if more than one cat jumps on it. The poles that anchor the shelves are very unsteady. I believe they're in the wrong place on the tree, therefore making it wobble-a LOT!
Mister Tom is a rather large cat and he's moved onto the top shelf. From here he watches the outside world. I now have round the clock cat sentry and in the evenings Mandy joins him on the tree and takes the second shelf. None of the cats have shown any interest in the cat condo at the bottom of the tree. And the ball that came attached to the tree was destroyed the first day. I found it cheaper to purchase on Amazon than if I'd bid on Ebay. Here's the link image and text:
The SmartCat Bootsies Bunk Bed arrived a few days after the cat trees. It received great reviews on Amazon and I could picture my younger cats pawing at the attached toys or playing with each other through the holes on one side.
I put the bunk bed together at work. No tools needed and just snap it together. It should have been that simple, but of course nothing is simple for the cat lady who can't put a square peg in a square hole. I kept taking it apart and trying to line up the snapping tabs. It turns out one of the latches was assembled in the wrong place during manufacturing. I had to take one of the latches off and move it over for the two pegs to interlock. It not for that problems I could have assembled it in less than five minutes.
The SmartCat bed is well made of real wood. It has a nice comfy sleeping pad on top and room enough inside for one large cat or several kittens. Furby claimed it immediately and after two weeks is still sleeping on the mattress. The two kittens from my last rescue have checked out the two hanging toys, but really haven't shown much interest. Here's the link. I'd like to add this was also cheaper to direct purchase from Amazon.
If you have active cats I believe this would be the ideal toy. I have lazy cats. Physically and psychologically damaged cats. It may take time for them to show an interest in the toys. Many of them were strays who never learned how to play. Survival came first before I rescued them.
Now for the clincher to this review. I found several sturdy cardboard boxes at work the same day I put together the bunk bed. So I brought them home with the plan to turn them into condos for the cats. My daughter taped a few of them together and sat them up against a wall. She left one of the boxes at the bottom upright so a cat could really hide. And guess what? They appear to enjoy those cardboard boxes more than the fancy cat trees.
This goes to show cats don't know whether you've made them a free toy or spent a hundred bucks on one. They gravitate toward what they find interesting or comfortable. Cats are into hiding and bird watching. The cat trees I purchased for my cats are pleasing to look at and fit the decor of my home. I get the feeling the boxes will be used much more than the trees.
My final opinion on the cat trees I purchased is good. They come in many different colors so they're easy to match them to the colors in your home. Young kittens will probably go for them more than older cats. I may be wrong on that one. I do want people who donate to Furby's House and specify to use the money for toys to see it's spent on things the cats will enjoy.
I believe the next time I get the urge to buy my cats another toy I'll just invest in some wood and build another bar in my kitchen. My daughter thinks it's a little freaky having a bar full of felines watching her prepare meals. Kind of like the Japanese restaurants we have in the states where the food is prepared in front of the diner.
Have any of you purchased a tree or toy your cats have loved and you'd like to share with the readers? Have you brought home an expensive toy, only to be faced with rejection by your feline housemate? I'm just curious.