We already know that cats love cat trees!
But unfortunately, humans don’t always love the style of these massive walls of vertical carpet.
What if there were cat trees that didn’t include any carpet?
You’re certainly not the only one looking to avoid the carpet look and we’ve put together a list of our favorite carpet-free cat trees. But keep in mind, many of these cat trees will still include small amount of short carpet tucked into the cubby areas and sisal rope for scratching. While that’s pretty different from the fully carpeted towers most people think of, it’s still worth mentioning.
We’re going to go into detail on everything you need to know about a carpet-free cat tree but if you’d rather skip ahead and see our favorites you can check them out here:
- Best Overall: PAWZ Road Modern Cat Tree
- Runner Up: Made4Pets 65.6 Inch Modern 6 Level Cat Tree
- Best On A Budget: Furhaven Pet Corrugated Cardboard Cat House
- Best for High Climbers: PetFusion 76.8 Inch Ultimate Cat Climbing Tower
- Most Unique: On2 Pets 43 Inch Cat Tree with Leaves
- Premium Pick: The Refined Feline Lotus Cat Tower
- Premium Pick Alternative: Yokstore 62″ Multi-Level Cat Tree
- Best for Apartments and Small Spaces: Vesper 32 Inch Cat Tree
- Most Modern Style: New Age Pet ecoFLEX Kitty Klimber
- Best for Older Cats: Made4Pets 51.2 Inch Cat Tree
Before we cover the mini-reviews for each of our favorite trees, let’s take care of background information starting with one of the most common cat tree questions.
Why Do Cat Trees Have Carpet?
If you spend even a few minutes on Amazon or your favorite pet supply store, you’ll see massive trees covered in carpet. When you consider just how many cat trees are covered with the univeral beige carpet, it might seem like they’re required to have carpet on them!
But why is this? Why do cat trees always seem to have carpet? Carpet is a great material for cat trees because it’s soft and easy for cats to get a grip on it. But it’s also practical since quality wood costs more than carpet and by covering the exterior with carpet manufacturers can use a less visually appealing type and cut of wood for cat trees.
While many people don’t like the look of carpeted cat trees, a giant piece of unfinished plywood, complete with the occasional splinter, probably isn’t much better.
So Do Cat Trees Need To Have Carpet?
Nope, they don’t.
While cats do need cat trees, carpet certainly isn’t required. Cat trees provide cats access to heights, an appropriate place to scratch, and a much-needed space they can call their own. These are important feline needs that are deeply rooted in millions of years of instinct. But there’s nothing in your cat’s evolutionary history that requires them to have access to carpet!
Besides making it easy for cats to grip, carpet is also a decent material for scratching. Cats absolutely need a place to scratch (even declawed cats) and while carpet is popular the commonly used sisal rope makes a great option and some studies suggest that cats prefer this material over some of the other common options.
We’ll include a few cat trees with sisal columns, but also a handful that doesn’t have a specific scratching area. If you go with this kind of tree, you’ll need to make sure your cat has a designated and appropriate area to scratch, or else you might end up with claws on the furniture!
Are Cat Trees Without Carpet More Expensive?
While there’s going to be a lot of variety between different manufacturers, in general, cat trees without carpet will be a little more expensive than those with carpet. This goes back to our earlier explanation where we pointed out that by covering your cat tree in carpet you can get away with using a less appealing (and less expensive) wood.
Cat trees without carpet are often more aesthetically pleasing and feature polished and sometimes higher-quality wood or other material. While this isn’t always the case, it is more common in carpet-free cat trees.
Are Carpet-Free Cat Trees Safe?
If you’ve ever seen a cat climb a carpeted cat tree then you know that they often take full advantage of all the carpet and climb straight up.
But can cats safely climb a cat tree without carpet?
In most cases, cats won’t have any problem scaling a carpet-free cat tree. However, if you’ve got an older cat then you may want to look at our list of cat trees with easier access points like ramps. Most of those trees do have carpet though but sometimes we’ve got to compromise for our senior kitties!
You also might want to consider a different kind of tree if you’ve got a declawed cat. While you’d be amazed at how proficient some cats are at climbing even without claws, some of the taller cat trees still might not make sense for them.
But outside of those scenarios, most cats will do just fine either scaling the wooden supports or making the jump between platforms.
Will Cats Still Use Cat Trees Without Carpet?
Yes! Most cats will still be interested in a cat tree whether there’s carpet or not. While some cats that are used to carpet might take some time to get used to the new style it’s unlikey to take too long. More important than carpet is making sure that your cat tree is in a great location– ideally somewhere that the humans like to hang out too!
If your cat still isn’t sure about their new tree, you can try creating as many positive experiences around the tree as possible. That’s going to be different for each cat but consider treats, catnip, or just some petting time around the tree.
What To Look For In A Cat Tree?
Let’s take a look at some of the key components and considerations to keep in mind in a cat tree regardless of whether you’re going for the carpet or not.
Cats have a natural need for heights. Heights allow our naturally territorial cats to survey their domain and monitor for prey.
But heights can also make our cats feel safe.
While it can be easy to forget, our cats are not only predators but also prey. By taking to the trees, wild cats could find a sense of safety and security from many ground-dwelling predators.
While not all cats will go crazy for heights, most cats will appreciate a comfortable perch. Cat expert Jackson Galaxy has a great article explaining how you can get a feel for your cat’s preferred style and “catify” your home appropriately.
Offering your cat a high-up location can also decrease undesirable behaviors like climbing on counters. If you’re trying to prevent your cat from surfing the counter, make sure your cat tree is taller (or at least) as tall as the counter.
Some cat trees without carpet can be a little limited when it comes to comfortable spots for an afternoon nap. Of course, you’ve probably seen your cat soundly sleeping in what couldn’t possibly be a “comfortable” position so many cats won’t mind at all. Others may just turn to other spots in the house but either way, consider how comfortable your overall house is when shopping for a cat tree. Of course, it’s easy enough to add in a bed or some blankets, too.
Without carpet to grip and climb, most carpet-free cat trees require cats to do more jumping. Because of this, it’s important to consider the size and distance between platforms and how easy it is for cats to safely land on them. We’ve got plenty of trees on this list that will work fine for big kitties (like Maine Coons) but if you want even more options you can check out our list of the best trees for Maine Coon cats– just be aware most of those are carpet covered trees.
While style often seems to be the lowest priority when it comes to most cat trees, we have a lot of great-looking options when we leave the carpet behind. Consider the colors and finish that will best match your overall aesthetic!
Best Cat Trees Without Carpet
With the major questions and considerations out of the way, it’s time to get into the reviews!
Best Overall: PAWZ 51 Inch Road Modern Cat Tree
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Our best overall pick is a great balance of size, comfort, style, and of course budget. For any cat tree to be considered the best overall pick, we’re really looking for a Goldilocks situation. In other words, not too much or too little of anything and instead we want to find something that’s just right.
At 51 inches tall (129.54 cm), the PAWZ tower is tall enough to be interesting for most cats but still small enough that it’s not going to completely overtake the room. It’s also got a little bit of everything: comfortable cubbies, padded perches, dangling toys and plenty of places to scratch. You’ll also that there’s no beige here and even the sisal rope is tinted gray to give the overall tower a lot more style than the typical carpet wall.
Some people might consider this more a hybrid tree, rather than a completely carpet-free tower. However, the cat tree does avoid the traditional carpeted look and instead goes for plush bedding in all the right spots. Still, for some folks, any fabric might be a deal-breaker. But don’t worry, we’ve got plenty more options on this list that are completely carpet-free.
The only issue that I’d expect some cat parents to have with this tree is the size of the cubbies and platform. The top platform measures 15″ in diameter which should be plenty for most cats but if you’ve got a super-sized feline it might be a tight squeeze.
Like all the cat trees on this list, it’s backed by plenty of positive reviews across the internet! You can read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon by clicking here.
What I Love About It: This cat tree is a great balance of style and function. While it still has some fabric, it skips the traditional carpet for an overall cleaner look while still adding in plenty of comfortable perches, cubbies, and scratching areas.
What I Wish It Had: I’d love to see a jumbo-sized platform at the top to make this cat tree a little better for extra-large kitties.
Runner Up: Made4Pets 65.6 Inch Modern 6 Level Cat Tree
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Our runner up is the taller 65.6 inch (166.62 cm) cat tree from Made4Pets. While this cat tree does have the same beige sisal rope as other cat trees, the finished wood really helps this cat tree look much more stylish than your typical tree. Like our best overall, you’ve also got many of the traditional cat tree features including a floating hammock and a cat cubby with plenty of padding inside.
I love that they decided to give the cat cubby a cute cat-shaped entryway too!
The only thing I don’t love about this tree, and why it had to be the runner up, is the added patches of carpet that are placed along the platforms. I just don’t think these look good and would much prefer to see the tree without them. Luckily, they’re only held on by velcro so it’s easy enough to just remove them if you’d prefer. Because they are removable, I felt that this cat tree still deserved a spot on our list of carpet-free cat trees.
There’s plenty of sisal rope in this tree which makes it great for cats that love to scratch and at almost 5.5 feet tall it’s certainly tall enough to give cats their heights fix! You can read more reviews of this cat tree and check out the latest price on Amazon by clicking here.
What I Love About It: This cat tree has a classy and modern look and the cat-shaped cubby is a really cute touch!
What I Wish It Had: I’d love to see this cat tree completely skip the carpet as I just don’t think the removable squares look very good.
Best on a Budget: Furhaven Pet Corrugated Cardboard Cat House
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If you want to ditch the carpet but not break the bank then this cardboard cat house from Furhaven could be a good option.
Yep, I said cardboard.
We already know that cats love playing with cardboard and sometimes it seems like all you really need is a box from Amazon instead of what’s actually in the box! Well, with this cat house you can fully embrace your feline’s love for all things cardboard. You also won’t find a single square of carpet as the entire thing is made of corrugated cardboard with plenty of prime scratching spots.
Measuring in at 33 inches (83.9 cm) this cat tree is small enough to fit in smaller spaces or makes a great second tree to your home. The folks at Furhave also ship these out with catnip to encourage cats to stay active in the tree which is a nice touch.
While a cardboard cat tree isn’t for everyone, if you don’t mind (or even like) the look of it, I’m guessing your next two biggest concerns are durability and ease of assembly.
When it comes to durability, Furhave actually backs up the cat tower with their “60-Day-Worry-Free-Progam”. There are also plenty of reviews supporting the durability of the tree but it’s important to realize that it is still made of cardboard so you should have expectations to match that.
As far as assembly goes, it seems to pass the review test and there are even folks that give the tree a 1-star rating on Amazon that still say it was easy to assemble. Just remember, almost every product on the market has some negative reviews and I’ll be the first to admit that a cardboard cat tree just isn’t for everyone!
But overall, this carpet-free cat tree is budget-friendly and can definitely give your cat a unique play experience- especially if your feline is cardboard crazy! You can read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon by clicking here.
What I Love About It: It’s a great balance of staying budget-friendly while still being a large playhouse for cats! Some cats will really love the cardboard too!
What I Wish It Had: While it makes sense that they have to go wider with a cardboard tree to keep it sturdy, I’d love to see a taller cardboard option for cats!
Best for High Climbers: PetFusion 76.8 Inch Ultimate Cat Climbing Tower
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Coming in at almost 6 and a half feet tall this simple (and carpetless) cat tree from PetFusion is a great option for high-flying and height-loving felines. There are no frills here and this cat tree is all about giving felines plenty of vertical space without taking up to much floor space which means this cat tree is also a great option if you’re dealing with a smaller space.
Consisting of only three platforms, this cat tree is designed for cats to climb straight up on the sisal column so if your cat is older or declawed they may have some trouble consistently making the climb.
Amazon reviewers are consistently commenting on the quality of the wood and overall the cat tree has a simple, elegant, and classy design. While some folks have mentioned that you don’t actually need to place holes in the wall to mount this tree, it is the manufacturer’s intention that you mount this tower directly into your wall. That could be a downside for some people but by going in the wall mount direction it means that this tree needs very little floor space and has a tiny footprint.
Like some of the other cat trees on this list, the tree comes with a few small carpet squares that can be velcroed to the platforms. But these can also be completely removed to go for an entirely carpet-free look.
This cat tree is also missing some of the extra feline amenities that we’d expect to see in other cat trees. In other words, there are no cubbies, extra cushions or dangly toys; instead, this tree goes all-in on one thing and provides cats a stylish way to climb to the ceiling!
You can check out more reviews from cat parents and see the latest price on Amazon by clicking here.
What I Love About It: This cat tree is tall! But I also love how little floor space this tree actually takes up. Of course, you do have to mount the tower into the wall to pull this off which may be a downside for some people.
What I Wish It Had: I’d love to see some different colored sisal rope like we saw on our best overall pick. That would really give this cat tree some extra style!
Most Unique: On2 Pets 43 Inch Cat Tree with Leaves
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This simple cat tree from On2 Pets is one of the more unique and stylish options out there. It’s also one of my favorite cat trees and has made quite a few of our best cat tree lists across multiple categories.
Just one look and you can see that this cat tree is not your typical tower! Featuring fake leaves, your cat can get a chance to hide in a natural-feeling environment. This tree can also give your space more of a unique look and while it doesn’t look exactly like a tree, it’s still more interesting than your typical tower.
The largest platform measures 24 inches (61 cm) in diameter and decreases from there to a still large 18 inch (45.5 cm) platform at the top. This cat tree is also quite sturdy and comes with a 32-pound weight limit which is way more than most cat parents will ever need. There is a small amount of very short carpet on each platform which will help cats grip the platforms. However, you do have to look closely to even see it since most of the platforms are obscured by the trees.
I’ve linked out to the Autumn colored set but they also have a deeper green set on Amazon that may go better with your space. Depending on your cat’s style, this might be the perfect tree for them. If your feline friend likes to hide around corners or under beds waiting for the perfect chance to pounce there’s a good chance they’d love hiding behind this little tree!
The main downside to this tree is that there isn’t a great way for cats to scratch. The center “trunk” has a smooth finish that makes it difficult for cats to really get a grip on and the platforms have a similar problem as the carpet is very minimal. As a result, this doesn’t make a great option as the only piece of cat furniture but could fit perfectly in your collection!
You can read more reviews and check the latest price on Amazon by clicking here.
What I Love About It: This cat tree has a ton of style and there aren’t really any other cat trees on the market that look quite like this one.
What I Wish It Had: While it has an abundance of style, it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that you might want to see in a traditional cat tree. More specifically, it’s not the best tree when it comes to satisfying your cat’s need to scratch.
Premium Pick: The Refined Feline Lotus Cat Tower
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The Lotus Cat Tower is part artwork, part carpet-free cat tree. At almost 6 feet tall, not only does it give your cat height but it can also bring some style into the room with its beautiful oak veneer. It’s this oak finish that makes this cat tree look so stylish but its also features like this that make our premium pick.
There are three platforms, the tallest of which has a curve that’s perfect for sleepy cats (just check out these pictures on Amazon) and there’s also a cubby at the bottom that cats can comfortably crawl into. There are scratching areas throughout and they’re colored to match the overall aesthetic of the cat tree. There are also several colors available and my favorite is black; however, you should have enough options that you can find something to match the rest of your furniture.
The only downside is that this tall tree doesn’t have a very wide base. While this does make the tree look great overall, it can decrease stability so if you’ve got a Maine Coon or just a big cat you may want to look at some of the other options on this list.
But if you’ve got smaller felines or you’re able to place this tree in a corner you can head off a lot of potential stability problems. You can read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon by clicking here.
What I Love About It: It’s beautiful! With an oak veneer, this is a lovely piece of furniture and a great cat tree. I also love the cat cubby and multiple scratch pads that don’t take anything away from the overall look.
What I Wish It Had: I’d love to see this tree come in a slightly shorter option.
Premium Pick Alternative: Yokstore 62″ Multi-Level Cat Tree
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If you like the general look of the Refined Feline Lotus tower then you’ll probably enjoy this beautiful cat tree from Yorkstore.
At 62″ (157.5 cm), it’s a bit taller than our premium pick and it also has a lot more going on with 6 different platforms for kitties to climb. Some folks won’t like this look but I love it! It makes this cat tree really look like a tree with branches coming out all over the place. There’s also a wider base which may make this a better option for bigger cats.
While it doesn’t use oak veneer but still does its best to pull off the same look with a very clean dark wood finish.
Overall, this cat tree definitely has the style of the Lotus tower and it’s probably worth taking a look at both our premium picks to figure out which one makes more sense for your space and budget. You can check out the latest price on this carpet-free cat tree on Amazon by clicking here.
What I Love About It: It actually looks a little like a tree (without the leaves)! I also love the dark finish of this tree!
What I Wish It Had: A few more routes for cats to take to reach the top. While it’s large enough for multiple cats, they’d need to be friendly enough to pass each other on one of the platforms.
Best for Apartments and Small Spaces: Vesper 32 Inch Cat Tree
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This simple tree from Vesper makes a great addition to small spaces like apartments or just smaller rooms of your home. While it doesn’t have the oak veneer of our premium pick, it still features wood paneling in a variety of colors. With a height of 32 inches (81 cm) and a base of 21 inches (53 cm), the footprint is quite small and this cat tree can easily squeeze next to a couch or near the TV- wherever you need to find the perfect fit.
Vesper has been able to get all the essentials into this tree with multiple scratch pads, a cozy cubby with a memory foam bed, and some dangly toys.
Okay, maybe a memory foam bed inside the cubby isn’t essential but if our cats could talk they might tell us that it is! Like many of the cat trees on this list, there is a small carpet pad but it’s velcroed to the top platform and easy enough to remove.
There are layout options to choose from with multiple cubbies but the base style is my favorite and is also the most compact. While not everyone is going to go crazy over the wood finish, if you have hardwood floors I think that this cat tree can really look stylish. You can click here to see pictures from an Amazon reviewer with hardwood floors to get an idea of what I mean.
You can also read more reviews and check out the latest price for this compact little cat tree on Amazon by clicking here.
What I Love About It: Simple and clean design but still has everything you’d want to see in a cat tree.
What I Wish It Had: Not everyone will love the wood panel finish but when this little cat tree is mixed in with the rest of the furniture in your home I don’t think it will stand out too much!
Most Modern Style: New Age Pet ecoFLEX Kitty Klimber
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Standing at 5-feet tall, the New Age Kitty Klimber is made from non-toxic recycled plastic-wood polymer. A mix of modern and almost gothic syles, this isn’t your standard cat tree!
I’d say this cat tree is geared more towards cats that love a good cubby with two cozy cat caves but only two smaller platforms. That means high-climbers and platform nappers might be a little disappointed.
There’s one scratcher on the second level and surprisingly it isn’t colored to match the rest of the furniture. But in this case, I actually like the way it stands out on this tree.
With a strong base and an optional anti-tipping wall mount available, this cat tree will be plenty sturdy for most folks. To get a feel for the size (it’s hard to tell without some contrast) you can check out this adorable photo from an Amazon reviewer
You can read more reviews and see today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.
What I Love About It: It’s got a really interesting modern design while still somehow looking like it belongs in a 19th-century farmhouse. Maybe that’s just me but I do love the design of this cat tower!
What I Wish It Had: I’d love to have seen them squeeze in an extra scratching pad on the side. As it stands, there’s not much room on the platform for cats to really get their scratch on.
Best for Older Cats: Made4Pets 51.2 Inch Cat Tree
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While this 51.2 inch (130 cm) cat tree will work for just about any feline, because of its well-placed platforms, it’s easy for senior kitties to climb. Many older cats begin to suffer from arthritis and other joint changes that can make jumping and climbing a little uncomfortable. But the first platform on this tree is only 10.8″ (27.5 cm) from the floor. The distance to the top platform (and napping bubble) is 11.2″ (28.5 cm) which means that most cats can make the climb jump free.
While this cat tree doesn’t appear to have been designed with senior kitties in mind, the spacious cubby at the bottom is another great feature since it allows cats to enjoy the space without having to make any leaps.
Finally, there’s the half-bubble napping area at the top which I love. At this point, you’ve probably noticed that some carpet-free cat trees can be a little lacking when it comes it comes to comfortable sleeping areas so this comfortable napping area makes a great addition. Since the bubble is clear, you can also take some very cute cat photos like this Amazon reviewer.
While this made our list as the best for older cats, this is a great tree for just about any kind of feline! You can read reviews from the many happy cat parents and see the latest price on Amazon by clicking here.
What I Love About It: Besides the placement of the platforms that allow for easy access, I love the clear napping bubble at the top! I already enjoy seeing the funny positions my cat sleeps in and with a clear napping area I get a full 360-degree view of them all!
What I Wish It Had: There’s really nothing I would change about this tree!
You can get a great without having to bring home a giant wall of carpet. Many times, cat trees without carpet bring a whole new style to your home and actually add to your overall aesthetic instead of distracting from it!
I hope you found what you’re looking for but let me know if there’s a cat that you feel should be added!