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SmartCat Multi-Level Cat Climber
Size: 4 levels|Change
Price:$46.23+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on July 8, 2015
I purchased this to install on the side of a linen closet to give my cat access to a high tray light shelf. I watched the video on how to put it together, had no trouble putting it together. I removed the metal grooves that are meant to attach to a door and used one of the shelves to provide support. It works beautifully and the cat loves it. This cat tree is attractive and versatile and I would recommend it for anyone with a cat that is always looking for a new adventure.
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194 helpful votes
195 helpful votes
22 comments|Report abuse
on April 21, 2015
I purchased this "Cat Climber" (strange name for a desk?)* a few months back and attached it to a rarely-used door off the living room.

Assembly was a breeze, its a very simple design yet very sturdy once installed. I'd recommend to pay attention to where you're going to install it and make sure the door-knob-level shelf is facing *away* from the doorknob, especially if you have lever-style door handles like we do. It's not the end-of-the world even if you don't, but I wish someone had pointed it out to me before I assembled it.

Installation took a little more effort since we have high ceilings and tall doors to match so it took some elbow grease to fit the tension springs over the door and door handle. It would have been easier if we'd removed the door handle first, but in the end it wasn't necessary. It fits securely on the door and takes up very little space.

Usability is great, the second-from-the-top shelf is perfect for a monitor or laptop, and the self below it is nearly ideal for a keyboard and trackball/trackpad. Each shelf is a hair over 17 inches wide and 9 inches deep, however there rear support is around 1.5 inches thick so you can't use the full depth (only about 7.5 inches).

My laptop protrudes slightly from the higher self, but I've found it to be perfectly stable. I often also use the Aidata aluminum lapdesk to raise it up a little, but its not needed. I have a 17" monitor that would fit well there too, and I've found that the shelves do not sway and in the months I've used it, nothing has fallen off the door even when seeing traffic back and forth.

On the lower shelf I use a Kensington Trackball with Scroll Ring (available here on Amazon) on it and I find I need a wrist rest, but that's mostly due to the design of the trackball - it wasn't made for standing desks - but its easily remedied. I also have a 60% keyboard (no arrow keys, no keypad) next to it which fits very nicely (Matias, Happy Hacking, and others make keyboards of this form factor) . A full-size keyboard is going to eat up a whole shelf, but you can get a mouse tray also from Aidata here on Amazon for a few bucks more if that's your preference.

I put my speakers on the very top shelf, and if you run the cables down the hinge-side of the door there's no worries about the wires getting in the way or pulling anything off the shelves when the door is in use.

Overall I'd say this was a great purchase. The best part is that I don't have to worry about the cat climbing over my keyboard at every opportunity.

* Yes I know this is a door-mounted cat tree, however, the cat didn't like it. Only sushi would get her to even the second shelf, yet she always finds her way up onto the kitchen cabinets. Over the weeks that followed I found that it made a great standing desk, hence this review.
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512 helpful votes
513 helpful votes
66 comments|Report abuse
on October 16, 2011
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.
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1,221 helpful votes
1,222 helpful votes
2222 comments|Report abuse
on January 1, 2016
I've had this up and running for 10 days, so I can't comment on durability, other than seeing no signs pointing to future problems. My hyperactive 12-week-old has been up and down 100 times or so. I still wonder about the durability of the very thin fabric glued to the platforms, but so far I see no signs of tearing, wear or separation from the boards, even after witnessing many instances of my fearless, but still somewhat clumsy, kitten clawing her way back from what looked (to me) like near-death experiences. So she seems to get a pretty good grip on the fabric, good enough to muscle her way up and over the edge of a platform without actually jumping or climbing on the vertical sisal-covered elements. She does however make good use of the sisal to stretch and exercise her claws between platforms.

As to suitability for intended use, I might have nicked it one star if I had hung it on a door, per its explicit design, which seemed to me a bit wobbly, as corroborated by other reviewers. But my intent, even before ordering, was to scrap the top and bottom brackets entirely and mount it solidly on my wall. Having done that, and having seen how it performs, I can't begrudge it five stars, given the stability of its shelves, the ease of the wall-mounting, and the reasonable price for this much vertical real estate. If I were to build something of similar dimensions from scratch (even without the fabrics), I might use a single 2"x6"'x8' board for the backbone and four 1"x10"x18" boards for the shelves, mortising the boards into the backbone and securing with glue and screws. Even assuming free access to a table saw or router, to buy, shape and assemble all that would have cost me $20-$30 in materials and overhead, and the better part of a day of my time, so 63 bucks for this unit seems a good deal.

Mounting details: as the photo attempts to show, I fastened the upper 4 vertical elements to a wooden stud behind a plaster wall, using 4 sheet metal screws, #14 x 4", for a little over 2" engagement of the underlying studs. I felt that pan-heads with cross-slots (Phillips) were more decorative, and less likely to disrupt the sisal fabric than flat-heads and straight-slots, and cross-slots also play better with power drivers. I fully assembled and tightened the unit first, then made a magic marker dot on the sisal at the center of each vertical element to be attached (i.e. the top 4). Then I used an Exacto knife to cut through the sisal strands over each site, to prevent the strands catching and wrapping on the drill bit, which would make a mess, ripping them from the length and width of the fabric. I propped the assembly on blocks at the desired height, centering it over my marked stud. Pressing it flat against the wall, I drilled through one of the middle segments and as far into the stud as I could, using a bit close to the minor diameter of the screw. Then I switched to a bit close to the screw's major diameter (for a slip-fit), and enlarged the hole ONLY through the sisal-covered board, finally driving in a screw to secure the assembly loosely to the wall. After removing the support blocks, I checked the shelves for level and adjusted as needed, then repeated the drilling routine for the other 3 holes, working from the middle outward. To finish, I detached the assembly, vacuumed the sawdust, retightened every bolt, and put it back on the wall, fully tightening all 4 screws.
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99 helpful votes
100 helpful votes
22 comments|Report abuse
on November 8, 2015
It did take a few days for my cat to feel comfortable using this, but once she got the hang of it, (with a little help via toys and treats to tempt her up one shelf at a time), it became one of her favorite spots. There's a ledge above my closet door, and this climber lets my cat climb right up to it, which she loves.

Like lots of other reviewers, I had trouble with noise and stability at first. I did follow the tip to pause after each new bolt was tightened, going back to re-tighten all the others before moving on, so the construction itself was tight and as solid as could be. The issue seemed to be simply that the brackets are made to accommodate a much thicker door than mine, so the whole structure was being held out from the door rather than flush against it. I saw a few people had suggested shoving some cardboard back there to fill the gap, but that looked messy to me. My new solution? Hot glue and a couple of wine corks.

I found two wine corks of the same length, and pushed them into the gap behind the climber, mounting them with a dab of hot glue to the inside of one of the middle shelves - one either end. (I only glued them to the shelf; not the door itself.) The corks are actually a tiny bit longer than the gap is, so I had to force the climber to bow just a tiny bit, and this actually means there's a little tension that helps hold the corks in place, even without the glue. This has pretty much solved the whole problem, with no need for ugly cardboard or straps. I've attached pictures to show the results.

The climber does still make just a little noise when the kitty is racing up and down it like a mad thing, but it isn't loud anymore, and no longer moves around while she's climbing.

The only other down-side is how quickly the cloth that covers the shelves gets scratched up and turns fuzzy, but that was probably inevitable. Some day I may need to recover them with something, but for now it's no big deal.

Cat LOVES this thing.
Easy to assemble and attach to door
Easy to remove, or move to a different door, when the time comes
Overall construction seems very durable
With corks in place to brace it, it's both stable and quiet
Great space saver for a small apartment
Cost effective

Needed a little "tweaking" to be stable enough and quiet enough to use
Fabric covering shelves is getting scratched all to fuzz.

Overall: Extremely pleased with my purchase, and would absolutely buy it again.
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123 helpful votes
124 helpful votes
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on September 16, 2012
I read all of the negative reviews and what people are saying makes sense. It would obviously bow on a door without some sort of a strap in the middle. In addition, you would need to secure the door so it doesn't move every time the cat gets on and off of the unit.

The instructions were poor, but in reality there's only 3 basic parts and anyone should be able to figure it out. The material on the platforms themselves looks like a padding material and is not carpet. The top and the bottom of the unit are capped with wood. The corners are not sharp as some people suggest. They are squared off corners covered in the padding material. There's nothing on the unit that would cut or injure the cat. I have one cat that weighs 14 lbs and he can go from platform to platform just fine. It would be easier for him if the platforms stuck out a little more. The other cat which is about 8 lbs, and loves climbing, goes up and down with ease. At first both cats looked confused and awkward going up and down the tree, but they quickly adapted and now they do it without effort.

I planned on improvising the unit and mounting it to the wall and not a door. Because improvising it was in my plans, I ignored many of the negative reviews regarding it being wobbly. I drilled 3 holes, one on the top, one in the middle and one on the bottom of the unit. I secured it to a stud in the wall with a lag bolt on the top and the bottom. In the middle I used a lag with a loop on the end and then attached a toy to the loop. On the second platform there's now a toy dangling that the cat's can play with. See the pictures for more detailed information.
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354 helpful votes
355 helpful votes
33 comments|Report abuse
on October 2, 2012
This is a fairly decent piece of cat furniture. I believe it is structurely sound and can hold the weight of my cats. However, there are a few things that you must know about it.

1) I have an older house and my doors are 83.5" tall... so this doesn't fit... And there is no information on the max/min height adjustment... The manufacturer should put this info on the packaging and their website, which I did not see.

2) Wanting to fit it on my door, I unscrewed the brackets on the back and took out the spring-loaded mechanism, measured my door, and then put the bracket back on to match the height of my door. While this made it fit my door, this cat climber bows out from the door. I think I remember someone else reviewing that said the same thing.

3) Assembly instructions are not great, but this is fairly easy to put together... if you have two people. It is much hard to put this together with one person as lining up the screws, using the wrenches to tighten it up, and holding the pieces up at the same time was a bit frustrating. Just a logistic issue.

4) Seeing that I really could not use it on the door I planned it for, because it was the door to our bedroom (probably works best on a closet door where less traffic is happening)... I took it off the door, removed the metal brackets, and screwed it into the wall next to my armoir... It actually looks great on the wall and the cats love it! Besides, now they can get to the top of the armoir and hangout up there.

If they advertised this piece for attaching it to the wall, it would sell well. I can attest that it looks great on the wall, very sturdy, and my cats are enjoying it right now.
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161 helpful votes
162 helpful votes
66 comments|Report abuse
on December 26, 2012
We have had this for a few years. It is nice at first and can handle quite a bit of jumping and climbing from our rambunctious kitties. After awhile it started to fall apart and seem not so sturdy. We decided to disassemble it and reconstruct it in a permanent and more study way. I really love what we were able to do with it. It's gotten a second life and our cats love it. It was a great buy for the price. Also, if you sprinkle a little catnip on it your cats will climb and play all night!
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151 helpful votes
152 helpful votes
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on July 25, 2017
 I would love to give this product 5 stars because we enjoy it immensely but it did require an important hack. We wall mounted the unit into drywall (no stud) with average anchors and wood screws which provided plenty of stability. However kitties just couldn't navigate the narrow steps - especially coming down. Our solution was to drill one new hole on each shelf and shift shelves approx 3 more inches past their already offset position. This is exactly what was needed! See video of kitty coming down climber with no fear. Good luck!
27 helpful votes
28 helpful votes
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on July 18, 2017
New hardware. Old instructions.

I got the updated model with newer hardware. But, it came with instructions for an older model. So I went to their website, so see the instructions there. They not only still have the old instructions up, they add a disclaimer that the new hardware is different. But they don’t have a link to new instructions, or to a new video (the video they have is also for their older model).

I’ve called the manufacturer multiple times, but there has been no resolution – (this is NOT a review of the seller, it is a review of my experience with the item... the item does not work with the instructions included by the manufacturer, so this absolutely meets amazon review standards.)

When the manufacturer updates their instructions so I can properly build the item, I will re-evaluate my review then.
1 helpful vote
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