Product: Pet Tree Houses- Sycamore
- In search of the perfect cat tree for felines and for one that meets Groomingdale’s (and our own resident felines’, Princess Caroline and Princess Stefani) high standards, we searched various online retailers and manufacturers over the course of about three months. Our criteria were simple: Quality, Aesthetics, and Durability. After much consideration and debate, we ordered a Kit-Ty Tree Deluxe with Topper (http://www.pettreehouses.com/store/tree-houses/kit-ty-tree-deluxe–with-topper/1-33.html) from Pet Tree Houses (www.pettreehouses.com). This is the do-it-yourself assembly version of their 72 inch high tree house with four levels. At the time of ordering, we were informed by the “Humans” that it would take 2-3 weeks for our tree to “grow” before it was shipped. The price was $499 plus $75 shipping and handling via UPS. An assembled tree of the same size, such as the Sycamore (http://www.pettreehouses.com/store/tree-houses/sycamore/1-6.html), is shipped via LTL motor freight from Orlando at a cost of $165 (plus $50 for option white glove delivery service). An assembled tree takes about 4-6 weeks for “growing” and delivery. Given the extra cost for shipping and incremental cost of the tree itself ($799 for the Sycamore vs. $499 for the Kit-Ty Tree Deluxe DIY), we opted to go the do-it-yourself assembly route. The company’s website indicates that it takes about an hour for assembly and only requires a cordless screwdriver and pliers. In addition, we wanted to see how difficult it would be to put together the tree and if the average person could do so.The tree arrived in a timely manner, much to our excitement and to the curiosity of the Princesses. The box was neatly and safely packaged. It would be too heavy for most people to carry alone and requires either another set of hands and/or a cart/dolly. Assembly was, indeed, easy. The instructions provided were very clear and easy to follow. All parts were clearly identified and marked in the boxes and on the instruction sheets. Even with “help” from Princess Stefani, assembly took about one hour. If you can follow instructions and use a screwdriver, assembly shouldn’t be too difficult for most people. However, we would point out that if this is going to an elderly person, either purchase the assembled version with white glove deliveryor have someone lined up to put it together for them. We can’t see our grandmother putting this together by herself.We found this to be constructed of high quality materials. The tree uses actual limbs from trees with the bark still on them. The base and platforms are sturdy and uses a nice quality beige/light brown carpeting, which can be replaced as needed based on the wear and tear it received from your felines. The limbs have pre-drilled holes for the faux leaves to be inserted. These can also be replaced. Once assembled, the tree is very sturdy. We experimented by placing different weights up to twenty pounds on different levels of the tree (and in different combinations) to simulate actual cats and see if the tree remained balanced or wobbled. We found no combination of reasonable weights that resulted in a tipping or wobbling of the tree. We then experimented with the Princesses to test the tree under conditions that involved their jumping to and from and up and down on it. The tree remained balanced and stable.
We believe the tree is very aesthetically appealing. Unlike other cat tree houses that are covered in carpet and that always seem out of place, this tree reminds us of the faux ficus trees that are found in commercial buildings and residences. However, this tree house is of substantial size, height, depth, and width. It is a piece of furniture for whatever room you decide to put it in. We find the second, third, and fourth levels to be very discreet in the overall design of tree, given the abundance of greenery. Guests haven’t realized that this is a cat tree house until they see the cats hiding in it. Then, the cat tree house becomes a conversation piece, and they are always amazed by it. Before the tree arrived, we were a bit apprehensive regarding how it would blend with our ultra-modern style. The tree has blended in extremely well and much to our satisfaction.
Durability is a test best measured over a long period of time. Given the construction of the tree house, we don’t believe the durability will be an issue. The Princesses have already taken to scratching the limbs, which have proven very durable, as would be expected. In the first couple months, we don’t see any problems that would lead us to question the durability of the tree house. Given our experience with the Princesses’ last carpeted cat condo, We are expecting to replace the carpet in about eighteen to twenty-four months. The carpet would probably last longer, but the Princesses’ have high standards, and we want something that remains visually appealing in the future.
The Princesses were intrigued by their new Pet Tree House from the moment it arrived. Once assembled, they took to it quite quickly. We’re not sure that the catnip we added would have even been necessary to attract them. It does seem to give them a very natural, realistic playhouse that simulates the wild. It gives them both an opportunity to use their natural climbing instincts, and we’ve seen them both a bit more actively climbing since the Pet Tree House arrived. They also seem to be more interested in scratching it than they do their scratching pads and posts or, thankfully, the furniture. They both like to “hide” in the Pet Tree House and look out the window as opposed to climbing on the furniture. Their interest in the Pet Tree House remains strong.
Overall, we can see why the Pet Tree House is so popular and why it has won various awards. Groomingdales and our resident Princesses are thoroughly pleased with the Pet Tree House we purchased.*
*As always, Groomingdales’ reviews are based on actual purchases and use of products. None of our reviews have been based on products given to us for testing and review.