Coping with a bored cat can be a real issue and keeping them active and mentally engaged matters. Cat’s love to climb and I have the purrfect solution to offer for many bored cats and their frustrated owners.
Whether your indoor and outdoor cats want to explore new places or extend their territory upwards, the MonkeeTree® Scalable Cat Ladder gives them lots of options for kitty fun. Check our unboxing video for basic assembly.
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Designed and 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
I had a problem many cat lovers face. How to keep my cats active and interested while they are indoors and give them new and interesting places to explore.
Our family house has a bright bedroom with a small window which is a wonderful sunny spot. Unfortunately, it is too high for a cat to jump on to. I knew my cats would enjoy this window but 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 and I had no idea what to do.
I Discovered the World’s Best 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?
I was filming for Wellington’s first cat café opening and 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 Monkee 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
The Modern & Classic Monkee Tree Models
There are two models on the market, contemporary 2019
Let me introduce the enhanced 2019 model, then review the earlier version so you can see how rapidly Monkee Tree responds to its users’ needs and improved an already amazing product.
What Makes the Monkee Tree Special?
The Monkee Tree modular cat ladder 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 needs.
Here’s a few examples of how y
- It is the perfect cat ladder for an interior or exterior window.
- Can reach an elevated cat door or window, or
- Let cats climb up to a second storey.
- Offer lots of engagement climbing around a catio.
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 specialist help.
The Monkee Tree is created from top quality materials, but the one thing pictures can’t tell you is how satisfyingly solid and durable everything feels. 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.
Cats will feel safe and have plenty of room to climb and rest as the steps are broad and perfectly cat-sized.
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 no 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 or attach the base to a carpet or wooden floor.
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 elements are made from tough UV resistant weather 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 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
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. The recent redesign of the interior assembly means that the Monkee Tree can now be put together easily and quickly.
A bonus? The generously sized cat-friendly steps are easy to reposition on the post at any time. Steps can be lowered to accommodate senior cats, or raised for an athletic younger cat.
The newly developed 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!
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.
The Monkee Tree Movie
I created a movie for our review of the classic Monkee Tree cat climber and our sponsors are so pleased that it is now featured on their web site! I am are grateful to have such fantastic sponsors to work with. The video includes the unboxing of the parts and then the assembly.
Unboxing video of the Monkee Tree
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.
Our tortoiseshell Sienna loves the sunny perch and it only took a few treats to tempt her gently up the side steps.
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.
Scratch Post Extra! 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.
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.
NOTE: You can also supplement the basic set at a later time.
Review of The Classic Monkee Tree
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 for the classic cat tree assembly. 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.
Thank you to a New Zealand based sponsor who had created an amazing climbing unit that literally takes cat engagement to another level!
Do My Cat 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?