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Best Cat Shelves and Perch Alternatives

Est. read time: 6 min.

If you’re a cat parent, you’ve probably witnessed your feline climbing a random piece of furniture while attempting to reach the highest point in the room. There’s an easier way to help your cats enjoy high places (and stay off your kitchen counters): by offering cat shelves! Learn why cats enjoy shelves and perches, and take a look at some of the best options on the market for pet parents.

best cat shelves

What is a cat shelf?

A cat shelf is pretty much what it sounds like: a shelf that exists for your cat’s benefit, whether that’s playing, lounging, or escaping household commotion. There isn’t much of a difference between a cat shelf and a regular shelf—but you’d best keep your cat shelf free of knick-knacks if you don’t want them knocked off the edge!

Why do cats like high places?

Have you ever spotted your cat perching on top of your kitchen cabinets or a towering book shelf? Many cats enjoy lounging on and observing from high places. Cats are ambush predators by nature, which means they like to hunt from cover. They also have an amazing sense of balance and almost always land on their feet

A cat shelf is a great way to indulge your cat in their love of high places!

Do cats like shelves?

Most cats like shelves because, as we mentioned earlier, they enjoy being elevated. There are certain low-key cat breeds that always want to be on the same level as their humans, but many cats prefer the run of the room—from floor to ceiling! 

Appropriately placed shelves can also provide indoor cats with a glimpse of the outside world—aka, exciting mental stimulation that breaks up an otherwise dull routine. If your windows don’t have large enough ledges for your cats to sit on, installing cat shelves next to the frame or cat perches in the window itself is a great way to provide your cat with some entertainment.

What makes a good cat shelf?

While a cat shelf is a relatively basic concept, you’ll want to consider the following features before you purchase.

Made of sturdy material

Although cats notoriously land on their feet, you don’t want your cat shelf to be the reason they fall. Whether you’re looking at a single cat wall shelf or at shelves that are part of a larger piece of furniture, cat shelves should be constructed using sturdy materials; that includes everything from the ledge to the installation components. You don’t want your shelf collapsing as soon as your cat lands on it! For further security, cat shelves should be equipped with non-slip material or a soft surface, such as a cushion or scratch pad.

Easy to install

Not every pet parent has the time or energy to put together a complicated piece of cat furniture. Cat shelves should be easy to install, such as arriving fully assembled with pre-drilled pocket holes. And if a shelf does require assembly, the manufacturer should provide a user guide with clear installation instructions.

Aesthetically appealing

Finally, you’ll want to consider the aesthetics of the cat shelf. The last thing you want is a shelf that appears ugly, flimsy, and out of place in the room. Instead, the shelf should be visually appealing, to be viewed as a stylish yet functional piece of furniture in your home—or even as a piece of art on the wall. 

Best cat shelf and perch options by Litter-Robot 

Litter-Robot and Sauder furniture partnered together to create a unique line of premium cat furniture. This line includes the best cat shelf and perch options available on the market!

Abyssinian cat sitting on a cat wall shelf

Cat Shelf (2-pack)

Best for

These wall-mounted shelves are best for pet parents who are low on space or prefer a minimalist style in their home decor. 

Special features

The cat shelves feature a reversible configuration, which means you can install them in a variety of ways to give your cats more options for fun! Each cat wall shelf includes a grey cushion, as well. 

Benefits

This set of shelves has a grand walnut finish that will look tasteful on your walls. Pet parents who are looking for unobtrusive cat furniture will love these wall-mounted shelves almost as much as their cats.

Disadvantages

Installation does require drilling into your walls. As these shelves feature sharp edges, they should be mounted with caution in mind if there are children at home.

Pricing

This set of 2 cat shelves is priced at $69.

Cat shelf alternatives

If you want to provide your cat with an elevated space but aren’t crazy about hanging cat shelves on the wall, you can explore cat shelf alternatives in the form of modern cat trees and cat towers.

Two cats on a white cat tower next to a pregnant woman

Cat Tower

Best for 

This modern cat tower comes in two designs—white or mystic oak woodgrain—to appease stylish cat parents who want to give their felines the ultimate piece of cat furniture! 

Special features

This cat tree’s cubic design includes three climbing holes, vegetable-dyed sisal scratch pads, soft felt pads, and a cat bed on the bottom level. 

Benefits

Lounging, playing, ruling the roost—this cat tower provides a variety of services for your house cat. And because some cats aren’t willing to leap to a wall-mounted shelf, this cat tower gives them a way to elevate themselves without needing an extra supply of grace.

Disadvantages

This product comes with a price tag that may be more than some cat parents are willing to spend.

Pricing

This cat tower is priced at $269.

Siberian cat on a cat pyramid

Cat Pyramid

Best for 

The epitome of the modern cat tree, this cat pyramid is a statement piece for your home while offering your cat varying levels of fun.

Special features

This A-frame cat tree features two climbing holes, a sisal scratch pad at the bottom, and soft felt pads to keep cats entertained while blending seamlessly into your home decor.

Benefits

If you want cat furniture that isn’t immediately noticeable as “cat furniture,” this is the piece for you. Your cat will have a maze-like structure to climb around, with each level of the pyramid acting as its own respective cat shelf.

Disadvantages

At 39 inches wide and nearly 64 inches tall, this piece of cat furniture may take up too much space in a small apartment or studio.

Pricing

The cat pyramid is priced at $189.

Why cat shelves by Litter-Robot are the best choice

Wall-mounted cat shelves and other elevated cat furniture from Litter-Robot allow your cat to indulge in their love of high places while also looking great in your home. These pieces provide your kitties with entertainment and open up possibilities of looking at the world from a whole new perspective!

Cats on cat shelves, cat towers, cat trees, and perch alternatives

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