How To Fix A Wobbly Cat Tree


how to fix a wobbly cat tree

You just got a brand new cat tree and your cat loves it!

But there’s a problem.

Your cat also loves to run FULL speed across the room and leap through the air onto the cat tree. Which means that slight wobble is starting to turn into a big problem and the last thing you want is your cat tree to come crashing down.

Honestly, cat trees are pretty poorly designed. They’re tall towers with narrow bases and overall light construction so it’s no wonder so many are wobbly!

So how do you fix a wobbly cat tree? Your best options are to try and widen the base of the cat tree or to add something heavy to the bottom. Both these will increase the overall stability of the cat tree without requiring too much technical know-how. 

Let’s dive a little deeper into everything you need to know about fixing a wobbly cat tree. We’ve laid out your options from simple to a little more complex.

First Things First

Before we get ahead of ourselves or start buying things to try and fix our wobbly cat tree let’s start with the basics.

Is Your Cat Tree On An Even Surface?

As obvious as it might seem, it’s important to make sure that an uneven floor isn’t the cause of your wobbly cat tree. While most trees wobble a bit when a cat lands on it at full speed, your cat tree shouldn’t wobble when you touch it lightly. If that’s why you’re seeing, you may have an uneven floor.

But sometimes it can surprisingly hard to tell if your floor is uneven. If you have a level handy that will tell you right away.

Or you could take a much less technical approach and set a ball on your floor. If it always rolls in the same direction (and picks up speed) there’s a chance your floor is uneven. I know that isn’t the most technical solution but it will help you figure it out!

If you do find that uneven flooring is a problem, the simplest solution may be to move your cat tree to another room or another part of the house.

Make Sure To Tighten Any Screws

Cat trees come in a wide variety of styles from the homemade driftwood cat tower to the off the shelf full built activity tree. But regardless of how it’s built, there’s probably several screws that are helping keep everything in place. These screws can loosen over time so it’s worth taking a few minutes to make sure any fasteners are tight.

Try Moving Your Cat Tree Into A Corner

One of the easiest ways to fix a cat tree wobble is to place the tower against a wall or in a corner. Because my cat loves to leap through the air and latch on the side of the tower, I quickly realized that the corner was the safest place for my 6-foot tree.

However, that won’t work for everyone! You might not have the right layout in your home or your cat might not use the cat tree when it’s pressed against the wall. In some cases, cat trees have special toys or attachments that might be blocked off if the cat tower is placed against the wall.

If that’s your situation then keep reading, we’ve got more solutions!

Increase the Weight of the Base

Besides moving the cat tree to a corner, the next easiest fix is to increase the weight of the base. What you use will depend in part on the shape of your cat tree but many times you can use items from around the house.

Here are some ideas:

  • Magazines or books
  • Trays of canned cat food
  • Milk jugs filled with water or sand
  • Bags of pet food (just be careful no kitties decide to stage a heist)
  • Dumbells or kettlebells
  • Backpack filled with anything heavy

But if you want to use something a bit heavier, the most cost-effective option would probably be a sandbag. You can pick up a single sandbag on Amazon but just make sure that your cat doesn’t decide it’s a better scratching post than your actual cat tree! Once filled, that sandbag should weigh around 35-40 pounds which should be plenty for most cats and activity trees.

Widen the Base of the Cat Tree

One of the major problems with cat trees is that they have a very narrow base. This is fine if cats only want to lounge on them but even the laziest cats get a case of the zoomies now and then! Adding a wider base to your cat tree can really help stabilize the tree and decrease wobbling.

But how the heck do you do that?

Well if you’re a bit of a handyman then you could attach your cat tree to a piece of plywood that’s about 2 times the size of the existing base. But if that sounds like an easy project for then you probably wouldn’t be reading this!

So we’ll skip solutions that require drills or screws in favor or something a little more simple.

Use Wood Glue

If the underside of your cat tree is wooden (as most are) then you can actually use wood glue to attach a new plywood base.

I know what you’re probably thinking…glue? Seriously?

Wood glue is actually extremely strong and the base of most cat trees will give more than enough surface to create a strong bond. I recommend Gorilla Glue if you’re doing this route and you can pick some up from Amazon by clicking here.

But if you’re still unconvinced that wood glue will do the trick, check this video:

Typically doubling the size of the base should do the trick so take some quick measurement and head up to your local hardware store!

Use Ratchet Straps

Instead of drilling the base of your cat tree into a piece of plywood, you could attach the two using ratchet straps. Click here to see a video of how ratchet straps work if you aren’t already familiar with them.

Even with this solution, the cat tree may still wobble a bit (depending on how tight you can get the ratchets) but if done correctly the cat tree won’t tip over. If you’re interested, you can check out this 4-pack of ratchet straps on Amazon which will do the trick.

What Not To Do

You’ve probably seen people fix a wobbly table or chair by sliding a piece of wood or something else under the wobbly side. While that works for tables and chairs, it’s not something I can recommend for a wobbly cat tree.

If your cat decides to run full speed at your cat tree, that little piece of wood could easily shift and make it more likely that your cat tree tips over. I strongly suggest you go for one of the other solutions I’ve outlined like widening the base or increasing the weight of the tree!

Closing Thoughts

While my cat is completely unphased when the cat tree wobbles to one side, I was pretty terrified! Luckily I was able to find a nice sunny spot in the corner of the room to stabilize the cat wobbly tower.

But that solution won’t work for everyone.

In those cases, you’ll need to look at widening the base of your cat tree with some DIY work or simply increase the weight of the tree with few repurposed household items.

Let me know what you think and if you’ve been able to fix your cat tree wobbles!

Logan M.

Logan has always loved everything about cats! Growing up with a family full of pets and a lifelong passion for animals he pursued work in the veterinary industry. After 10 years, he started BetterWithCats.net to help cat owners learn more about their feline friends.

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