Would your cat love a climbing adventure like the Monkee Tree? I think so because engagement and activity are vitally important for indoor cats and outdoor cats. My cats love their Monkee Tree, and I would love to tell you why.
Can’t see the video? Play it here!
Dash Kitten received a Monkee Tree set for review. The opinions here are 100% our own and we are responsible for the content of this post. The blog only shares news and products we feel are relevant to our readers.
Once Upon a Time, There was a Window
One of my brightest rooms has a small window that is far too high for cats to reach. It is a wonderful sunny spot that I knew the cats would love to find for themselves. Any cat lounger there would get a lot of use.
So, how could I give the cats access to a cat wall hammock in sun puddle central? The problem had been nibbling it me for a couple of years when I discovered a solution.
The Monkee Tree Cat Ladder
The concept was born when the designer’s family cat, Smudge, could not access a rather high cat door on their property. He is no athlete and the family started thinking of ways to make Smudge’s life easier. Monkee Tree is the result.
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 you can see the Tree in use. When filming I felt that these cat shelves almost seem to float but I checked and they are very sturdy.
Can’t see the video? Play it here
What is a Monkee Tree?
Monkee Tree is a modular cat ladder that can be configured in different ways. A small setup can create a set of senior cat stairs to climb on to a bed. A very tall pillar can allow an active outdoor cat to reach a second story balcony. It’s definitely a versatile modular cat tree.
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 and 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 I feel your cats will use. They will feel safe and have plenty of room to climb.
Cats can also rest halfway as our Sienna discovered. She started waiting for Dad to come by with cat toys and treats!
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 skilled help.
What makes This Cat Tree So Special?
From the very beginning, every stage has been carefully thought out. The Tree can be assembled by anyone with a small amount of DIY experience. The instructions and tool requirements are clear.
The one time the designers recommend getting professional help is if you want to assemble a multi-story Monkee Tree.
The Monkee Tree is made from tough UV resistant polypropylene that can be used inside and outside. Who needs a cat exercise wheel when you can have this much fun.
What Comes in a Monkee Tree Pack?
There are basic units which can be assembled in different ways:
- There is an adjustable base stump that can accommodate flat or sloping floors
- Trunk elements to make the Tree height adjustable.
- 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.
- Individual steps are replaceable if someone does stand on a branch and break it.
- You get an idea of the package contents from our video and illustrations.
Mental and physical engagement is important for indoor cats. The Monkee Tree can be site anywhere indoors to encourage the feline spirit of adventure or use it to provide access to a raised perch, walkway. or a window like ours.
The versatile climbing frame can form part of your indoor cat’s 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 (see picture above);
- Safe escape areas or a raised area well above ground level.
Assembling the Modular Climbing System
The helpful Monkee Tree handbook pdf tells you everything you need to know, but I know you will appreciate hearing about our experience. I was helped by my partner who has a little more DIY experience than me. You can also see the assembly procedure very clearly in the video.
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 Different Monkee Tree elements
The Trunk sections slide on to the Pillar Pipe and small wedges ensure these sections remain in place. These wedges can be clearly seen in 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 want, 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.
There are various step options. You can create a mini spiral staircase, simple cat stairs, and set the steps at various heights. The picture below shows there are plenty of placement options.
Plastic Pillar Information
The pillar is the one item not included in the kits. This is because the type and length vary for each Monkee Tree family, and also depends on where your tree will be sited. Each setup and height is unique and the designers realised that you can select the best plastic pillar after assessing your own needs.
Helpful advice on the best kind of pipe for you can be found here.
The rigidity of the pipe you use and the distance between the attachments to the wall influences how much flex the trunk will have. The pipe you need can be easily purchased from a local hardware store.
How Was Our Assembly Experience?
Using the instructions we managed to put the Tree together and are delighted with the result. We agree some basic DIY knowledge is helpful and we recommend you read through the entire handbook before you start.
The assembled Tree is stable, solid and will take a lot of wear. If you place your Tree outside, the material is tough and durable and the custom designed steps also let rainwater drain away. There will be no wet paws or slips as kitty climbs.
TIP We advise you to check the installation instructions to make sure you have the correct tools, and you may need different bolts for the floor, or a drill a concrete surface.
Where do I get my paws on a Monkee Tree?
The company order page is here!
They ship worldwide. Shipping is included in the price.
Price range from $57.00 to $317.00 NZD [$40.00 – $318.00 USD] depending on how tall you want your Monkee Tree to be. You can also supplement the basic sets at different times.
Do My Cats Crew Like The Monkee 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 and when we added a sleeping perch sun puddle central was in business. There will be plenty of activity and competition for the new sunny spot.
This is the perfect addition to any fur family’s home don’t you agree?
Marjorie and the
Dash Kitten Crew