How to keep your cat healthy when confined indoors

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 express their true nature. Options such as cat trees and scratchers can help. The best quality cat tree will consider a cat’s physical and mental needs.

The pandemic is teaching us what confinement can do to our own mental health. The isolation has caused suffering 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 options for stimulation and exercise make it harder for our feline friends to stay healthy and happy.

Cats need exercise too Natural CLimbers cat trees

A lesson from personal experience:

Joey Shaw cared for an indoor Sphynx cat for 12 years. The lively feline had a vibrant personality. He was devoted to his owner. Suddenly the playful Sphynx died from cancer. The loss was huge. Like most of us after a death, Joey wondered what he should have done differently to give his cat a better life. His cat had always struggled with weight gain. If he had better exercise options, would he have lived longer?

Joy often comes after grief as Joey was able to adopt a pair of Sphinx kittens. The siblings would have each other to better express their cat instincts. As they grew, they started to put on weight. Joey realized his cats were still not getting the exercise they needed in their indoor spaces. They were losing their lean shape.

Joey knew his cats could better express themselves if they had an indoor cat tower that would offer a true climbing experience like climbing a tree. It would give them an opportunity to engage their athletic prowess while gaining mental stimulation. When he began to look for the best cat tree for climbing, scratching, and perching, he was disappointed by the offerings on the market. The cat towers were poorly constructed and over-priced. The typical cat tree was not built with a cat’s desires and needs in mind.

Joey wanted a natural wood cat tower with a surface material cats would enjoy scratching. The material needed to be strong enough for the cats to engage all four legs when climbing. Joey began toying with the idea to make his own handmade cat tree.

Cats deserve the best cat tree for climbing

The best 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. A cat perch tree and scratcher promote mental stimulation. Cat condos offer security for the cat that seeks a safe place to hide. A cat perch tower will give cats a dedicated vantage point to observe their environment. They can express their natural instincts through scratching, pouncing, and climbing activities.
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. We find products to engage both mental and physical needs.

Cats love to climb but they also need exercise and mental stimulation. Cats are naturally lean and lithe. Flexible, light bone structure and agile muscles give cats excellent coordination, balance, and athleticism. When confined indoors, they lose access to activities that will strengthen their athletic abilities and natural cat behaviors.

Confinement may also lead to undesirable tendencies to spray or scratch 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). Give cats an outlet for their scratching behavior.

Cat climbing towers with scratching material

Joey would build his ideal cat climbing tree. He started with the surface material. His first cat had loved to scratch a cat bed covered with a strong carpet material. After years of scratching, the fibers showed minimal signs of wear. Joey knew he had to find this exact material. Initially, he was told it was a sisal carpet. With this information, he designed his first prototype. However, the sisal fiber proved to be weaker than the original scratching material his first cat loved 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 aggressively playful 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 to build a truly safe and sturdy product. After months of experimenting, prototyping, and testing, he designed an efficient process where he can cut, shape, and assemble the best-looking cat tree 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 constructed with intention and integrity. 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 units 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 scratch and perch climbing towers 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 express the best of their natural athletic skills. Natural Climbers’ pet products are unique. They are designed with our cats’ mental and physical well-being in mind.

These quality cat trees are ideal for cats of all personalities. The extra playful or aggressive cat can wear himself out. Shy cats can take advantage of the safe hiding places. The Scratch-N-Sleep is the perfect size for rooms with minimal space.

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 are more likely to avoid using inappropriate surfaces like furniture.


Offer your cats a solid, durable, quality structure that will strengthen their balance, coordination, and agile muscles.

To sum it up

Natural Climbers' cat trees and scratchers focus on the needs of our cats.


  • Give cats a true climbing experience for more muscle engagement.
  • Stimulate their mental and physical desires to scratch, pounce, and perch.
  • Offer safety and security with crafted spaces to hide.
  • Will not break or fall over from extended use.


Natural Climbers’ handmade cat trees are strong and sturdy. Cats will engage and strengthen their athletic instincts. As humans, we love the activities that come naturally to us. Cats are natural climbers.

We usually keep our cats indoors for their safety. As owners, we want to prevent boredom and unhealthy behavior. We want the best for our feline friends. Now we have quality cat trees and scratchers 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 exceptionally durable. Ideal quality cat trees for natural cat behavior.


Joey’s new Sphynx cats use the Natural Climbers’ products. They are lean, healthy, and active. Best of all, they are 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 space to sleep
  3. Entertainment and activity – reduce boredom and increase healthy behavior (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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