Would your cat climb a Monkee Tree? We think they would, and here’s why this is one of our top finds of 2018.
Once Upon a Time There was a Window…..
One of our brightest rooms has a small high window that is far too high for cats to reach. It is a wonderful sun spot that we knew the cats would love to find for themselves. It would get a lot of use. So, how could we give the cats access to sunpuddle central? The problem had been nibbling it us for a couple of years when we discovered a solution……
We received a Monkee Tree set for review. The opinions here are 100% our own and we are responsible for the content of this post. We only share news and products we feel are relevant to our readers.
Meet Monkee Tree
The concept was born when the designer’s family cat, Smudge, could not access a rather high cat door on their property. Smudge was no high jumper and the family started thinking of how to make Smudge’s life easier. Monkee Tree is the result.
- VIDEO: If you can’t see the Monkee Tree video at the top of the page watch it here!
We first saw this fun climbing concept last year at Wellington’s first cat café Neko Ngeru. It is a key part of the café’s focus on indoor cat engagement. It also serves as a chance to retreat from café life if things get a little bit busy. Check the video, about 40 seconds in to see the Tree in action. These are almost floating cat shelves!
What is a Monkee Tree?
Monkee Tree is a modular cat ladder that can be configured in different ways. A small setup can allow a senior cat to climb on to a bed. A very tall pillar can allow an active outdoor cat to reach a second story balcony.
The modules allow you to create your own feline jungle gym using your choice of parts. It is so versatile that what you want is definitely what you’ll get.
The Monkee Tree has been designed and made in New Zealand. It is manufactured from durable materials that work inside and out, and look cool, stylish, and practical.
One thing the images can’t tell you is how satisfyingly solid and durable everything is to the touch. I have handled the Monkee Tree parts and the whole set up is something you feel your cats will use. They will feel safe and have plenty of room to climb. They can also rest halfway and, as our Sienna discovered, wait for Dad to come by with treats!
- Check out the Monkee Tree here.
Monkee Tree recommends a maximum height of 12ft (3.7m). More height can be achieved with an intermediate landing of some kind, for which you may need expert help.
What makes the Monkee Tree Special?
From the bottom up, every stage has been carefully thought out and it can be assembled by anyone with a small amount of DIY experience.
The one time the designers recommend you get professional help is if you have ambitions to make a multi-story Monkee Tree. The modular cat ladder is made from tough UV resistant polypropylene that can be used inside and outside.
What Comes in a Monkee Tree Pack?
There are several options, but here are a few of them:
- An adjustable base stump that can accommodate flat or sloping floors
- Trunk elements make the Tree adjustable to any height.
- The safe and solid branches are designed for fully mobile adult cats weighing up to 22Ibs (10kg).
- The Branches will collapse if overloaded with excess weight. This makes them secure for outside use.
- Steps are replaceable is someone does stand on a branch and break it.
- You get a good idea of the package contents in our video and illustration.
Mental and physical engagement are important for indoor cats. Add the Monkee Tree anywhere to encourage the feline spirit of adventure. Use it to provide access to an raised perch or walkway.
The versatile climbing frame can form part of your indoor cat’s own jungle gym to walkways higher up. Or allows a cat to visit a safe perch you have installed at a higher level for their bird TV viewing.
For active outdoor cats, the modular system can be adjusted to reach:
- An elevated cat door;
- Access to an open window, or cat flap set in a window;
- Higher level balcony access;
- Safe escape areas or a raised area well above ground level.
How Do I Put the Modular Climbing System Together?
The Monkee Tree handbook pdf tells you everything you need to know, but I know you will want a run down on how we put our unit together. You can also see the assembly clearly in our video. This can be a mini spiral staircase for cats, or simple cat stairs, as well as a lot of fun for the cats in your family.
The Stump at the bottom forms a firm base to build on. It can also be adjusted to work on a sloping surface.
Then to ensure stability your Tree stumps are supported and stabilised with a plastic pipe and wedges. Plastic and metal Pillar Pipes with outside diameters between 1.59”– 1.69”(40.5mm – 43.0mm) and inside diameters of at least 1.4” (36mm) can be used. The base stump can be mounted on:
- wooden floors;
- and paving stones.
The Trunk sections slide on to the Pillar Pipe and small wedges ensure these sections remain in place. These wedges can be clearly seen on the video. The trunk sections are then screwed into the pillar pipe so that they do not move. For thin pipes (like ours) this can be done by hand. For stronger plastic you may need power equipment.
We added the branches as we assembled the tree and branches can be placed in 12 different spots around the trunk, like a clock face. We had no trouble assembling the branch and trunk sections which are 4 inches (100mm) in diameter and height.
Once you reach the height you need for your tree, you add the top cap.
The Branches are 8 inches (200mm) wide and 11 inches (280mm) long and designed to allow water to drain away. Sienna climbs from branch to branch with confidence thanks to their generous size.
Plastic Pillar Information
This is the one item not included in the kits, because what you need depends on where you will site the unit. Your own set up is unique and special to you – so you know the best pipe better than Monkee Tree.
The rigidity of the pipe used and the distance between the places the unit is attached will influence how much flex the trunk will have. A pipe suitable to your requirements can be supplied by an installer. Or can be purchased from a local hardware store or plumbing supplies merchant.
- Details on the best kind of pipes for your installation are available here.
How Did Our Assembly Go?
We managed to put the Tree together using the instructions and are delighted with the result. We agree some basic Do It Yourself knowledge is a help.
The Tree is stable, solid and will take a lot of wear. If you site your Tree outside, the material is very tough and durable and the broad steps are also designed to let rainwater drain away so there will be no wet paws as kitty climbs.
We advise you to check the installation instructions to make sure you have all the tools you need before you start. Depending on where you site the Tree you may need different bolts for the floor or a drill (for concrete).
Where do I get my paws on a Monkee Tree?
The company order page is right here! They ship worldwide!
Do the Crew Like The Tree?
To encourage our first visitors we used treats to tempt our cats to climb. It worked very well and Sienna the tortie was our first adventurer. When we add a sleeping perch under the window, sunpuddle central will be in business. There will be plenty of activity and competition for the new sun spot.
This is the perfect addition to any fur family’s home don’t you agree?
Marjorie and the
Dash Kitten Crew