How to keep your cat healthy when confined indoors

We have indoor cats. We love our feline friends. They add so much joy and comfort to our lives. We in turn are responsible for their total well-being. The question: How do we make the right choices for our cats' health and quality of life?

To protect our cats, we provide safe indoor spaces. The tradeoff is they lose valuable opportunities to climb, exercise, or play. The best natural cat climbing trees should offer true exercise value.

The pandemic taught us what confinement can do to our own mental and physical well-being. The isolation left us feeling vulnerable and stressed in multiple ways.

Confinement and inactivity take a toll on our indoor pets as well. They get bored and anxious too. Apathy can lead to weight gain. Limited exercise options make it harder for our feline friends to stay healthy.

Cats need exercise too Natural CLimbers cat trees

A lesson from personal experience:

Joey Shaw cared for an indoor Sphynx cat for 12 years until suddenly the playful feline died from cancer. The loss awakened questions regarding his cat's living conditions. Could he have done more to extend her life?

He committed to ensuring exercise options for his next cats. He adopted a pair of Sphinx kittens. The siblings would have each other for entertainment and activity. As they grew, Joey realized his cats were still not getting enough exercise in their indoor spaces. They were starting to gain weight.

Joey had a vision for an indoor cat tower that would offer a true climbing experience like climbing a tree. He found no offering on the market that served his specific needs. The products were poorly constructed using synthetic materials. They lacked quality and design.

Joey wanted a cat tower with a surface material that cats enjoy scratching. The outer material must be strong enough for the cats to engage all four legs when climbing. The structure needed to be an adequate height for the cats to gain maximum benefit from the activity.

Cats love to climb

The right cat tower, also known as a climbing tree, a cat condo, or cat furniture, can provide excellent exercise. It’s like a little gym or playground for our cats. Consider how much more muscle engagement we get from climbing a rock wall versus climbing stairs. Cat climbing towers promote mental and physical stimulation. They offer security, a space to hide, a place to perch and observe. Cats will be entertained by the scratching, pouncing, and climbing opportunities. Sphynx cat climbing to perch on Natural Climbers cat tower

As humans, when we are confined indoors, we learn to adapt. We invest in home exercise equipment, games, and DIY projects. In other words, we find products that will engage our mental and physical needs.

Cats have always loved to climb and perch. They desire a higher vantage point to observe their environment. Flexible, light bone structure and agile muscles give cats excellent coordination, balance, and athleticism. When confined indoors, they lose access to strengthen their natural athletic abilities.

Confinement may produce undesirable behaviors like spraying or scratching furniture. Cats are meant to scratch. It is a normal feline function that helps to stretch the claws and forelimbs, mark their territory, and remove external nail sheath (Source: Journal of Feline Medicine). Confinement may also lead to boredom and inactivity which will lead to weight gain and health problems.

Cat climbing towers made by an actual cat owner

Joey started with the surface material. He had a cat bed covered in a carpet fiber that his first cat loved to scratch. After years of scratching, the material showed minimal signs of wear. Joey knew this unique carpet would be ideal for his scratching posts and climbing towers. Initially, he was told the material was sisal carpet. With this information, he designed his prototype. However, the sisal fiber proved to be weaker than the original scratching material his first cat had enjoyed for years.

coir all natural cat scratching material

Coir cat climbing tower

Joey’s search led him to coir, a natural material woven from coconut husk fibers. Coir fiber is thick and resilient with a low decomposition rate making it highly durable. It is hard and rough and much stronger than sisal, ideal for scratching and climbing. He tested coir prototypes with aggressive cats. The fiber proved perfect.

sisal all natural cat scratching material

Sisal is a natural fiber woven from the leaves of the Agave plant. It is a beautiful material, but its strands are softer. Joey thinks this could be a benefit for older cats. Younger or aggressive cats need the sturdiness of the coir material.

How to build a safe and stable cat tower

cat climbing structure baseAfter deciding on the perfect material, Joey needed to seriously learn how to build his product. Previously, he had never used a power tool. He taught himself how to use each tool effectively. It took many months of experimenting, prototyping, and testing. His result is an efficient process. He can cut, shape, and assemble a beautiful cat climbing tower in a few hours.

Today Joey has multiple climbing trees of various sizes. Owners will get to see their cats engaging in natural climbing activities. The materials are hand-picked and high quality using only non-toxic adhesives. They are built to be safe and sturdy; they will not wobble or tip over.

Best cat climbing tree for big cats

cat tree for large cats

Joey recommends the Scratch-N-Hide Jumbo or the Scratch-N-Climb with a 12-inch diameter for large cats over 20 pounds. Joey built the jumbo unit after testing the original Scratch-N-Hide with a 20-pound Maine Coon. The cat was too large to fit inside! He designed a jumbo unit that would be ideal for bigger cats. The jumbo units have internal shelves to reinforce their structural strength. The shelves also serve as a place for the cats to hide, sleep, and play.

Climbing structure for the Sphinx cat

Joey designed and constructed his cat scratching and climbing products out of a love for his Sphinx cats. Then he turned it into a business so that cats of all sizes and personalities can have dedicated furniture to climb and scratch. Natural Climbers’ pet products are unique. They are designed to provide cats with a true climbing experience.

These cat trees are ideal for the extra playful or aggressive cat. They are beneficial for a shy cat that will take advantage of the safe hiding places. They are perfect for indoor spaces, even apartments with minimal space. Cat shelters and boarding places will benefit from the solid, durable structure made to handle scratching and climbing from multiple cats.

The outer material of coir or sisal fiber allows felines to engage all four sets of claws. Standard scratching posts are not tall enough for cats to fully engage their back claws. The extra exertion from climbing keeps cats toned and in shape. Cats who have a dedicated scratching and climbing surface can be trained to avoid using inappropriate surfaces like furniture.

To sum it up

Natural Climbers’ cat towers are made to last. They are strong and sturdy. These cat trees can take the activity from multiple cats. Natural Climbers' cat furniture products were built with a real purpose in mind: to give cats a true climbing experience. Cats will engage and strengthen their athletic instincts. As humans, we love the activities that we are naturally good at. Cats are natural climbers.

Many cats are confined indoors. As owners, we want to prevent boredom and unhealthy behavior. Now we have quality options for our indoor cats. A real cat owner spent a large amount of time testing and prototyping. The materials are non-toxic, top-quality, and very durable; ideal for scratching and climbing.

Joey’s new Sphynx cats use the Natural Climbers’ products. They are lean, healthy, active, and most of all happy.

sphynx cat uses four legs climbing natural climbers cat furniture

6 Benefits of Natural Cat Climbing Trees:


  1. Stimulation – a good place to scratch and perch promoting mental and physical health
  2. Safe hiding space - Natural Climbers offer a place to retreat and a comfortable place to sleep
  3. Entertainment and activity – reduce boredom (remember how bored we were in quarantine; cats get bored too)
  4. Scratching – stop cats from scratching your furniture, give them a dedicated place to sharpen their claws that is not your furniture
  5. Exercise – let them engage their agile muscles and athletic prowess
  6. Encourage natural instinctsjump, hide, pounce, scratch, climb, and perch


Who should buy a Natural Climbers cat tree?


  • Families with indoor cats
  • Cat owners with minimal space for cat activity
  • Cat clinics – sturdy and durable products for multiple cats to gain exercise and entertainment
  • Cat boarding services – cats of all personalities love Natural Climbers
  • Cat cafes, cat lounges, cat clubs, cat shelters


Shop Natural Climbers Today!

Scratch-N-Sleep: 2 feet tall, 19 inches in diameter, 8-inch hole

Scratch-N-Perch: 4 feet tall, 9 inches in diameter, 23-inch-wide base

Scratch-N-Hide: 4 feet tall, 19 inches in diameter, three 8-inch holes, 55 pounds

Scratch-N-Hide Jumbo: 5 feet tall, 25 inches in diameter, three 10-inch holes, 70 pounds

Scratch-N-Hide set: 4 feet tall, 3-foot x 2-foot base, 65 pounds

Scratch-N-Climb: 8-10 feet tall, 9 or 12 inches in diameter

Have a question? Contact us today. We are happy to answer any of your questions.

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