155 of 155 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sturdy enough for wild kitties to scale it!
Published on October 16, 2011 by bekalekah
850 of 866 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great idea, but not ready for prime time
What I great idea! I thought. A multi-level cat tree that does not take up half of the living room. And the picture of the kitties on it is so cute. Well, hold on before you click on the Buy button. The company needs to tweak this design. The darn thing refuses to lay flat against the door; it bows outward and the unit will actually sway when a cat jumps on it. The spring...
Published on February 28, 2009 by LAS
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850 of 866 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great idea, but not ready for prime time,
This review is from: SmartCat Multi-Level Cat Climber (Misc.)What I great idea! I thought. A multi-level cat tree that does not take up half of the living room. And the picture of the kitties on it is so cute. Well, hold on before you click on the Buy button. The company needs to tweak this design. The darn thing refuses to lay flat against the door; it bows outward and the unit will actually sway when a cat jumps on it. The spring on the adjustable bracket is noisy and not sturdy enough to do the job. Combine swaying with noise, and guess what? Yeah, the cats act like the tree is a product from Cat He**. We're talking non-stop fluffed tails, ears pinned back and finally, avoidance of the tree at all costs. If you want to take your chances with this, go ahead. But it is really pricey to return, due to its weight. I'd wait until the 1.0 model is available, and pass up the beta that the manufacturer obviously has released.
334 of 340 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great concept, poor execution,
Secondly, the platforms are not that large. I have two adult cats weighing 9 and 14 pounds. Both cats looked rather oversized for it. As titled, it is a great concept, but nothing that neither me nor my cats cared for.
155 of 155 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sturdy enough for wild kitties to scale it!,
This review is from: SmartCat Multi-Level Cat Climber (Misc.)
I know there are a few complaints about this product not being sturdy enough for cats jumping on it so I wanted to post this short video of my foster kitty climbing it. She and her sister play fetch and we throw the toy up on the climber, then they scale it like this or climb it from the front like a ladder. We have 8 cats here and all but 2 use it regularly. Granted most of our cats are well under 10 lbs but a couple of them are 12-14 lbs and still climb it.
Ours turned out to be incredibly sturdy. After reading the reviews I took extra time when putting it together - each time I attached a new section I went back and tightened the previous sections, then at the end I tightened them all, then had my roommate tighten them after me! Also as another reviewer recommended I kept one of the long pieces of cardboard from the packaging and wedged it between the backing and the door. I'm not sure if that was necessary but I did it anyway. This thing doesn't budge when they climb it, and they will even stay put when we open the door to get something out of the closet. There are no additional bolts or anything securing it to the door.
The ONLY complaint I have is the material each of the landings are covered in. They were torn up within a day or two. I guess that's my fault for putting cat nip on it! It is very cheep material, but the sisal on the backing is good quality and sustaining their scratching. I'll still give it 5 stars because for the price it can't really be beat in terms of the amount of use it gets and the entertainment it provides us watching the cats on it! We've had it for a couple months now and even if it broke tomorrow I'd buy another one.
244 of 249 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for kittens,
The review critiquing the construction is correct. The unit would benefit from a solid back (after I move, I will be looking into a way to create my own backing for the climber), and the platforms, while large enough for two small kittens to sit on with each other, may be too small for large cats. The climber does sway a bit when the kittens initially jump on it - this is not for skittish cats. If you have a cat that would have no issue climbing a tree branch, then they'll have no problem with the climber. Unless you have a very well oiled door, the climber works just as well with an open door as with a closed one.
The actual material (sisal rope) is great for the cats to scratch, although they will not be able to stretch out to their full length to scratch when they get bigger. I would highly recommend the Smart Cat Ultimate Scratching post for that.
Declawed cats may have issues getting up and coming down from the climber, and due to their more precarious situation (missing the last joint of their paws - think of it as loosing your finger from the last joint up), may feel more nervous about the non-rigid nature of the climber.
We got it on super-clearance ($65) from a PetSmart, but, if you are concerned about space issues or appearances (it looks great!), the climber would be worth the Amazon price. If you live in a larger home or have larger or older cats, you might want to look into getting a similar priced cat tree instead.
As it is, I couldn't imagine leaving our kittens at home without this climber to help entertain them. We'll keep using the climber for the rest of our cats hopefully very long lives.
We also have the Smart Cat 3835 Bootsie's Bunk Bed and PlayRoom, and can say that Smart Cat makes very nice looking and (generally) sturdy cat furniture.
Update 2/1/10: My cats are larger (about 1 year old and 11 pounds) and they still love to use the climber. Acclimating cats when they are young might be the trick to this thing. Again, if you don't have a lot of space or are planning on moving a bunch (as we did), it is worth the $85 and better than a larger floor climber. If you hold on to the box, it is a cinch to pack up and move, and sturdy enough to toss all your other belongings on top of.
I never did end up putting a backing on the climber. Some cloth wedged behind it prevented most of the noise issues while allowing the climber to easily be packed and moved. Another issue you might have, however, is if the door itself does not tightly close. If this is the case, then when the cats jump on the climber it can make a racket. Again, some cloth padding to create a soft seal on the door took care of that for us, but again, we don't have to open the door often.
Surprisingly the cats are still using it as a scratching post despite my earlier assumption that it would be too short. While their legs hang off of the climber when they are lounging on the steps, it doesn't bother them. One of our cats has taken to leaping straight up to the third platform.
In summary, if you live in a small place and space is important to you, then this climber is definitely worth 4 stars and $85. If, however, your cat is older, declawed, or overweight then buy something else.
51 of 51 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, just needed a little help. Here's how I did it:,
This review is from: SmartCat Multi-Level Cat Climber (Misc.)Ok so I think we can all agree this is a great idea, however the execution does need a little help. I bought this having already read the bad reviews.. so I was expecting to have to make a few adjustments.
- 1st there was a broken piece where a connecting corner of a sisal section had broken off/in-half. With some gorilla wood glue and a clamp overnight (atleast 3 hours) it was find.
- Next the directions say to hang it with the spring end facing the ceiling... I didn't see that until I'd already hung it with the solid side up. I tried it both ways and having the solid end on the top of the door worked best for my fat kittys.
- A lot of other reviewers mentioned the whole thing bowing in the middle quite a bit. I saw this problem immediately upon hanging the climber up. I took it down and retightened all the wing-nuts until I thought they were gonna snap. I also made sure that the metal washer bar was lined up correctly. This helped ALOT but there was still a little bowing when I put it back up. I used some thick ribbon to tie each section around the whole door. This fixed it with out leaving any holes in my door!
- After 2 weeks the carpet on the ends of the platforms was starting to fray. I used the same ribbon as before and a hot glue gun to hide/protect the edges of each shelf. It actually looks really nice, and it matches my color scheme :)
Now that I've had my climber up for a few months the cats still love it. I've got an adult female tabby and a young male bengal who are up and down that thing constantly. I would suggest choosing the door you put it on wisely. It does move around a bit and can make some noise doing so. I've got it on a seldom-used closet door and it works perfectly. If you're willing to do a little work it is worth it.
70 of 74 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Screw it to the wall; doesn't work on door,
This review is from: SmartCat Multi-Level Cat Climber (Misc.)When I saw the photos of this, I thought it was a wonderful idea. When it arrived and I gave it to my spouse to assemble, he just laughed and asked me where I thought it would work. Oddly enough, most door jambs are snug enough that there is no space for the over-door bracket to fit and still be able to close the door. It's also hard to tell from the photo that there are many pieces involved. Every time you add another piece, it gets wonkier and less stable. We finally ended up screwing it to the wall at the top, bottom and middle. It is now reasonably stable and the cats like it. They really don't use the scratching parts because the design is not conducive to a cat being able to reach up and stretch out to scratch.
The other problem my spouse pointed out is that IF it does fit on a door, it would have to be a doorway where the door could swing all the way open, not 90 degrees like many doorways. Otherwise, the shelving would block a portion of the doorway or the shelving would crash into the wall (depending on whether it was hung on the outside or inside of the door).
The only real wood on this thing is the very top and bottom pieces. The remainder is cheap pressboard.
In short, I would not recommend this product to anyone. Something else would work better.
44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kitties Love It and the Noise Problem is Fixable...,
This review is from: SmartCat Multi-Level Cat Climber (Misc.)I have 17 cats (that is not a typo) and 14 of the 17 love this. The three that don't are older and fat and just too lazy to climb on anything.
I have two of these units hanging on closet doors. They are easy to put together and are fairly easy to lift and slide onto the door. When the cats jump on it, it does make noise by bumping against the door but I found an easy solution. I simply took a very long self drilling screw and drilled right through the center post into the door. Now, if you have very expensive doors this might not be the solution for you but since I have this hanging on my closet doors and my cats use this constantly, it was well worth to me.
I added a photo of my cats using the climber. Click on the "customers images" link below the photo of the product.
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Assembly video available on youtube,
This review is from: SmartCat Multi-Level Cat Climber (Misc.)After reading the mixed reviews on this cat climber, I managed to find the manufacturer's instructional video that they have posted on youtube. I watched the video and decided to give the climber a try. Assembly looked annoying, but it looked like the components were pretty straightforward, and there were only 8 bolts. The find the video, just type smart cat climber on youtube. [...]
Two days later(thanks Prime!) I assembled it myself. It would have been handier to have a 2nd adult to help, but the instructions say to just set it on the box it came in and that worked just as well as having someone hold it while I tightened the bolts.
Assembly took about 20 minutes. Anyone that doesn't have a three year old "helper" assisting them could probably do it much faster than I did. It easily installed on my door - hook the bottom black thing on the bottom of your door and then stretch the top black thing over the top of your door. It doesn't bow at all. In fact it is very sturdy. I do have a door that has an uneven decorative surface, so I do plan to add a couple of rubber bumpers to the areas that the climber isn't flush with the door. This is due to my door's design, not the design of the climber. Without the bumpers it vibrates a bit when jumped on. It does however wobble significantly when I close or open my door. I don't plan to open and close the door while the cats are on it, so for me, it's a non-issue.
I like that it doesn't take up much space. I like that it isn't a huge eyesore - a tower of carpet in my modern decor wouldn't have worked.
I have two 7-lb cats. They fit fine. I would imagine a very large cat might not fit as well as they do.
49 of 56 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars dont waste your money,
I have tried it on every door in two different houses (wish i had returned it prior to moving). the metal piece that goes over the top and bottom of the door is not adjustable and is to deep. the "lip" piece on the back side of the door is perhaps only 1/8 inch (estimate)
i can fit my entire hand between the door and this piece. once the cat jumps on it it falls forward from the top, bows out and wobbles. besides scaring the cat, that lip is so small on the back that i thought it was going to come off the door.
$160 in the trash
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad design = Scared cats,
This review is from: SmartCat Multi-Level Cat Climber (Misc.)Didn't fit any of my doors very well. The climber bows away from the door (very far away in the middle) and really should come with a way to bolt it to the door in the center. It fits so poorly that when I put each of my cats on it (one at a time) when they jumped off, it shook wildly and made a terrible loud noise. The perches/platforms are way too small for adult cats. I have three cats all different breeds, sizes, and ages. All hated this climber. I sprinkled it with catnip and left it installed for three weeks and still the cats didn't even try to jump onto it once on their own. Luckily, I had purchased this climber from a local retailer and I returned it.
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SmartCat Multi-Level Cat Climber by SmartCat