Cat’s love to climb which makes the Monkee Tree the purrfect fit inside and out.
Whether to explore new and higher places, extend their territory or just get to where they need to go, the MonkeeTree® Scalable Cat Ladder allows your cat to do it all.
- Access an open window,
- reach an elevated door,
- climb up to a second storey.
- Entertain themselves climbing inside on a catio.
There are two models on the market, the classic style and the latest updated version which is even easier to assemble. Let me introduce the classic model first, and then the recently enhanced 2019 design.
NOTE: The latest model does not need the extra piping of the classic model which saves you time. Otherwise, the cat ladder has the same excellent build and constructions specifications. If you want a floor to ceiling cat tree, multi-storey house access or small bedside steps.
Designed and proudly made here in New Zealand the Monkee Tree is a versatile climbing frame has been designed specifically with your cat in mind.
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 and cats love the safety that height brings.
The problem was how could I give my active cats access to a lovely spot in ‘sun puddle central’. The problem had been nibbling at me for a couple of years then I discovered the perfect solution.
Can’t see the video? Play it here!
The Monkee Tree Cat Ladder
This unique idea was inspired, of course, by a cat.
When Smudge, the designer’s family cat could not access an elevated door on their property the family started thinking of ways to make life easier for him. After a Kickstarter to launch their idea the Tree went into production.
How did I discover the world’s best cat tree?
Last year I was filming for Wellington’s first cat café opening. The Monkee Tree is a key part of the indoor cat engagement focus at Neko Ngeru. It also serves as an opportunity for cats to retreat from café life if things get a little busy.
Check the video below which I created for Neko Ngeru. At the 40 seconds point, you can see the Tree in use. The cat ‘branches’ seem almost to float on the pillar but they are sturdy and easily support a cat’s weight.
Can’t see the video? Play it here
What Makes the Monkee Tree Special?
The Monkee Tree is a modular cat ladder that can be configured in different ways. The trunk and branch elements allow you to create a feline jungle gym in your favourite cat climbing location and at the height your cat
Here’s a few examples of how y
- a tall pillar arrangement will allow an active outdoor cat to reach a second story,
- a small setup can create a set of senior cat stairs for climbing on to a bed in comfort,
- an out of reach window becomes the perfect perching spot thanks to Monkee Tree steps.
Security Note: If a human tries to step on the branches/steps they collapse as these have a 22lbs/20kg weight limit.
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.
The Monkee Tree has been designed and made in New Zealand but the one thing pictures can’t tell you is how satisfyingly solid and durable everything is to the touch.
I handled the Monkee Tree parts during our own Tree’s construction and the finished Tree is something I know cats can use with confidence. They will feel safe and have plenty of room to climb as the steps are broad and cat-sized, not cramped and precarious.
What Makes This Cat Tree Different?
From the very beginning, every stage has been carefully thought out for maximum cat comfort and fun.
The Tree can be assembled by anyone with a little DIY experience. The instructions and tool requirements are clear, and the only time the designers recommend professional help is if you want to assemble a multi-story Monkee Tree.
Cats can also rest halfway up the Tree. Our cat Sienna discovered she could wait for Dad to come by with treats!
What Comes in a Monkee Tree Pack?
The Tree is made from tough UV resistant polypropylene that can be used inside and outside, and there are basic units (modules) 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 branches are replaceable if someone does stand on a branch and break it.
- You will get a clear idea of the contents from our video and the illustrations in this post .
Mental and physical stimulation is vital for indoor cats. The Monkee Tree can be sited anywhere indoors to encourage the feline spirit of adventure providing access to a raised walkway or a high window for access to the best in bird TV.
For active outdoor cats, the modular system can be adjusted to reach:
- An elevated cat door.
- Higher level balcony access (see picture above).
- An open window, or cat flap set in a glass door, and
- safe escape areas above ground level.
Assembling the Classic 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 Paul who has some DIY experience. The different elements I describe are clearly labelled in the tall picture below.
You can see the assembly procedure clearly in my video.
The Different Tree Modules
The Stump at the bottom forms a firm base to build on. Then, to ensure stability, your Tree stump is supported and stabilised with a plastic tube called the Pillar Pipe.
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.
Once you reach the height you need, you add the Top Cap.
The Branches (steps) are 8 inches (200mm) wide and 11 inches (280mm) long and designed to allow water to drain away. Our cat Sienna climbs from branch to branch with confidence thanks to their generous size.
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.
There are various step options. You can create a mini spiral staircase or simple cat stairs. You can also set the steps at various heights. The picture below shows there are plenty of placement options.
Plastic Pillar Information – Classic Model
Technical Note: Plastic and metal pillar pipes with outside diameters of 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 pillar is the one item not included in the classic kits. It is not necessary in the newer 2019 model.
The pipe is necessary is because the length varies for each Monkee Tree family, and it 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 Paul and I assembled the Tree without difficulty and are delighted with the result. We believe that some basic DIY knowledge is helpful and we recommend reading the handbook before you start.
The assembled Tree is stable, solid and will take a lot of wear from cat paws. If you place your Tree outside, the material is tough, durable and easy to clean. The custom designed steps also let rainwater drain away.
TIP: I advise you to check the installation instructions to make sure you have the correct tools for the classic model. You may need different bolts for the floor, or a drill if you have a concrete surface.
NEW IMPROVED 2019 MONKEE TREE
If you have the new 2019 model Monkee Tree, you will be delighted to see how easily it all fits together.
Our tortoiseshell Sienna loves the sunny perch and it only took a few treats to tempt her gently up the side steps.
The Tree is a tremendous activity centre for every cat, and the recent redesign of the assembly means that the Monkee Tree can now be put together fast. Steps can be lowered to accommodate senior cats, or raised for your athletic youngster.
The newly developed trunk connector is a great move towards making assembly much easier for cat lovers. The friendly green connector screws into the next unit down and the next one. It’s that easy. No knowledge of DIY or intimidating assembly is required.
- If I can put this together, so can you.
A bonus? The generously sized cat-friendly steps are easy to reposition on the post at any time. 22lbs (20kg approx) of cat is a lot of weight but this is how much the Monkee Tree can take.
The ladder is perfect as an indoor activity centre, or outside as a weatherproof structure. It is perfect on a catio or outside a house and easy to clean too.
Finally, for the cat who has everything
The Scratch Patch has been developed for use with both models of Monkee Tree. It is made from durable Autex carpet and fits easily around the pillar. As it zips on, the Scratch Patch it can easily be removed for cleaning or renewal after much use.
Where do I get my Cat paws on a Monkee Tree?
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. Check the web site because Monkee Tree sometimes offer free shipping with purchases over a set price.
Do My Cats Crew Like The Monkee Tree?
To encourage my first visitors I used treats to tempt the cats to climb. It worked! You can see our first adventurers in the video showing the classic model. After a few tries they gained confidence and now ascend to the top at lightening speed.
This is the perfect addition to any fur family’s home don’t you agree?