Gift Guides & Reviews

New Zealand Best Cat Tree – Monkee Tree

Indoor cats can easily become bored and inactive, which can lead to health issues. To keep your cat happy and engaged, consider investing in a Monkee Tree. This climbing frame, designed and manufactured in New Zealand, is specifically tailored to meet the needs of cats. With its versatility, cool design and colours, the Monkee Tree is the perfect solution for keeping your cat active and mentally stimulated. [Updated November 2022]

Cat’s love to climb and I have discovered the purrfect solution that will help 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 of the cat tree NZ.

Monkee Tree Pinterest

Once Upon a Time, There was a Window

Monkee Cat Tree NZ. Cat at the top of the assembled tree
Miranda the tuxedo kitty on our high window ledge © Dash Kitten

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 Monkee Tree 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.

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 you could use the Monkee Tree:

  • 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.

How did I discover the world’s best cat tree?

I was filming for Wellington’s first cat café opening and the Monkee Tree was 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.

Monkee Tree Neko Ngeru Interior
Monkee Tree at a cat cafe

Check the video 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

Monkee Tree Short

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 Unique?

From the very beginning, every stage has been carefully thought out for maximum cat comfort and fun.

Interior Monkee Tree Cat Ladder

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!


If you have the latest model Monkee Tree, you will be delighted to see how easily it all fits together. The redesign of the interior assembly means that the Monkee Tree can be put together even more easily. 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 DIY or intimidating assembly required.

2019 Interior Monkee Tree Constructions
2019 model cat ladder trunk connector

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 now comes in a stylish ‘noir’ colourway that fits with contemporary decor. It looks stylish, modern and has all the benefits of the original Monkee Tree including adjustable steps, and space for the Monkee Tree wraparound scratch patch.

Modern cat tower in a black colourway
© Image credit Monkee Tree

Coming Soon To a Monkee Tree near You!

This will be totally irresistible when it launches. The Monkee Tree cat bed is coming soon. How cute is this!

Cat bed on the monkee Tree assembled cat climber
Currently in Research and Development!

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:

Monkee Tree Verandah option
Monkee Tree exterior
  • 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 from my video.
Monkee Tree steps
The generous branches (steps) give a cat plenty of room to climb.
Monkee Tree Elements
The Monkee Tree elements

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




Indoor Cat Furniture

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.

Cat Ladder demonstration image

Outdoor Cat Climbing Frame

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 Attachment

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.

Monkee Tree Scratch Post
Image Credit © Monkee Tree

Find the Monkee Tree Here

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.

Cat Toy News

The world’s best contemporary cat tree now has it’s own Cat Fish!

Made in New Zealand by a small New Zealand company. The handmade fish is packed with organic catnip and, as you can see in the video, very popular at the Catnap Cafe, Christchurch.

The price is to be confirmed but, at the moment I am told it is $22.50NZ and $21.50AUS.

  • Check out the full range here including the Cat Fish!

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.

Monkee Tree Step

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.

Monkee Tree Pillar set up

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:

  • concrete;
  • wooden floors;
  • decks;
  • 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?

32 thoughts on “New Zealand Best Cat Tree – Monkee Tree”

  1. What a wonderful concept turned into a real workable situation for cats to climb to where they want to be! Glad it was just the thing for access to your up on high window!

  2. What a fun toy for cats! It’s so practical but gives them a chance to exercise and enjoy themselves at the same time.

  3. I think my kitties would love this! I would have to think of somewhere to put it. I wonder if I could make a little cat loft in my office somewhere.

  4. Believe it or not but Brûlée loves to climb on top of cat trees. This would be something she may be interested in.

  5. Monkey Tree looks great. Catification complete! Great video demonstration too Marjorie! I like that this cat tree can be used both indoors and outdoors so it’s versatile and durable.

  6. The Monkee Tree looks like a great item. I’ll have to mention it to my nephew since he has cats and I do not.

  7. I have no doubt that cats will love this…they may need a traffic guard if one is going down and one is going up…lol. Great solution for exercise and stimulation.

  8. I think a lot of cats would love something like this. My cat was not very agile, so I don’t think it would have been a good choice for him.

  9. I’ve never heard of this before! How neat! Glad your kitties enjoyed it and are now able to access the window for sunbathing! 🙂

  10. Oh my cat! This tree would be purrfect for indoors in the spare room. We can be such monkeys sometimes, well, most of the time, climbing up stuff where we don’t belong.
    That’s impurressive that they ship worldwide!

  11. WoW!
    My Mom thinks that is one terrific cat climber! What a unique concept and so furry handy. Jo Jo and Kozmo could use one in Midway, outside the bedroom sliding door (that has no deck and is 5 feet off the ground).
    Great video of the “staff” putting it together too. I think my Mom could actually assemble one.
    Thanks for all the information!


  12. That looks great and looks like everykitty’s enjoyin’ it. We luv to climb, but livin’ in a ‘pawrtment means we can’t secure it to the ground. They’d have a conniption ifin we drilled a hole in the floor. Glad ya’ll can enjoy yours. Big hugs

    Luv ya’

    Dezi and Raena

  13. This looks amazing for cats, I’m sure it won’t be long before they are leaping all over it and getting to all those places they couldn’t before!

  14. This is my 3rd try leaving a comment then I give up. Brother Simon needs one, he could climb up and visit Sister Precious. Oh, not a good idea, never mind!

  15. Brother Simon needs one, he could climb up and visit Sister Precious. Oh, neveer mind, not a good idea!

  16. Wow, what a clever–and practical from cats’ point of view–fantastic idea. Nothing better than coming up with a way to allow them safe access where they want to or need to go.

  17. Wow – this is a fantastic tool! I love how creative companies have gotten with helping to enrich the lives of pets. It looks so sturdy and flexible!

  18. I love it and love that you reviewing something from another country – pawsome 🙂 It looks like so much fun and am sure many cats will have wonderful times climbing it.

  19. I’ve never seen a cat tree like this one before! I like that it’s suitable for indoor and outdoor use, very handy. My cats loved nothing more than jumping onto the counter, than the fridge than the tops of the cupboards to survey their kingdom. I think they would have loved this.

  20. What a cool product! I love the versatility of this cat tree – it’s genius! thanks for sharing – Tweeting & Pinning.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  21. Great review. Loved the video that you showed. The cats are having so much fun and it looks easy to put together. Hope a lot of cat parents see this for there little ones. Thanks for the share. Have a great weekend.

  22. That is a fantastic, practical idea! I’ve seen the setups for fun and free roam but this, being adjustable, actually serves a purpose. I can picture my dog trying to get in on the action (until Goose (cat) knocks Henry off). It was fun to be reminded of cat café Neko Ngeru. My heart melted when I read your post featuring it.

  23. That Monkee Tree sounds awesome! My human loves that it’s named after a band that once featured some guy named Mike Nesmith who she used to fancy when he was working in film.

  24. Great review, thanks for sharing this awesome product. I love seeing this being assembled, and in use too, in your videos at the cafe and at home.

  25. I have four cats that would love to have a Monkee Tree looks like a fantastic sturdy cat tree. Need to order mine soon. I would use the trick of the treats sounds like a great idea too!


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