If you’re on a budget, cat trees can seem like a luxury for your feline best friend. With perches lined with faux fur and built-in condos, these are snazzy additions to your home. They also range from barely affordable to cringingly expensive, and although we love to spoil our cats, sometimes our wallets just can’t cope.
Luckily for all cat lovers, there are budget options available, and you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to afford a decent cat tree. We put together these reviews to help you find the best cat tree under $50 that will suit you, your cat, and your existing home aesthetic.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2022
The 11 Best Cat Trees Under $50
1. Frisco 38-in Cat Tree With Condo Perch & Toy — Best Overall
|Dimensions:||23.5 x 14 x 38 inches|
Designed to encourage your cat to not scratch your furniture, the Frisco 38-in Cat Tree With Condo, Top Perch, and Toy is our best overall cat tree under $50. Along with the two sisal scratching posts, this cat tree has a built-in condo for whenever your feline wants to curl up and nap somewhere quiet. This option is available in charcoal or gray.
With three tiers, your cat can tuck themselves away in the ground-floor condo, play with the included hanging pom-pom, or survey their surroundings from the top perch. The bolstered perch cover is removable and machine washable for quick cleaning sessions.
Some owners have complained about this cat tree wobbling when their cat reaches the top perch, and although tools are included, assembly is required and may be difficult.
2. Frisco 20-in Faux Fur Cat Tree — Best Value
|Dimensions:||22 x 22 x 20 inches|
Short and compact, the Frisco 20-in Faux Fur Cat Tree is our best cat tree under $50 for the money. It combines comfort with fun and a space-saving design.
Available in ivory, gray, black, and cheetah print, this cat tree is simple but effective. Included in the design are two sisal scratching posts to convince your cat to leave your carpet alone and two hanging pom-pom toys to entertain your favorite hunter. While it’s not one of the biggest cat trees available, the hammock-style perch is covered in faux fur and is a great place for your cat to take a nap.
As small as this cat tree is, it’s unsuitable for multiple cats, and the lightweight construction may cause it to topple over with more active cats. There’s also no condo built into the design for felines that enjoy hiding.
3. Youpet Fashion Cat Tree With Condo Hammock & Balls – Premium Choice
|Dimensions:||22.04 x 12.6 x 34.84 inches|
Made with high-quality faux fur, the Youpet Fashion Design Cat Tree With Cat Condo Hammock and Two Replacement Hanging Balls offer your cat plenty of options for a relaxing nap or playtime. Designed with three perches, a hammock, and a condo, your feline has space to get out of the way of inquisitive canine noses. The extra spaces also facilitate multi-cat households.
Natural jute covers the scratching posts, giving your cat a durable place to scratch that isn’t the legs of the dining table, and the hanging pom-pom toys are replaceable if they break.
It’s not one of the tallest cat trees available, and it’s best to place it by a wall. Large cats may find that it wobbles as they move between perches.
4. Frisco 28-in Faux Fur Cat Tree — Best for Kittens
|Dimensions:||23 x 19 x 20 inches|
Recommended for kittens and small cats, the Frisco 28-in Faux Fur Cat Tree gives your cat space to play, hunt, climb, and sleep. You can teach your kitten to keep their claws sharp and away from your furniture with the three scratching posts wrapped in sisal rope. One scratching post spins when your feline uses it!
Besides playing with the two pom-pom toys, your feline also has easy three-way access to the tunnel perch for games of hide-and-seek or a cozy nap.
Due to the size of this option, this faux fur cat tree is only suitable for kittens and smaller cats. Adult felines, especially large breeds, may struggle to use this cat tree.
5. TINWEI Cat Tree Scratching Toy Tower Furniture
|Dimensions:||25.98 x 16.14 x 35.43 inches|
TINWEI Cat Tree Scratching Toy Activity Centre Cat Tower Furniture Scratching Posts is four levels of high-quality, faux fur-lined comfort. Your favorite feline can settle in the sheltered condo for a nap or survey their surroundings from the top perch.
All four scratching posts are covered with sisal rope for durability, tempting your cats away from digging their claws into your furniture. Two pom-poms and a rope toy are also included to alleviate boredom.
Some owners have expressed confusion over the included assembly instructions. The height also requires this cat tree to be placed against a wall or in a corner for extra stability.
6. Catry 28.5-in Felt Cat Tree & Tunnel
|Dimensions:||16.9 x 13 x 28.5 inches|
The Catry 28.5-in Felt Cat Tree & Tunnel appeals to playful cats that prefer racing through tunnels over napping in enclosed condos. Covered in neutral gray felt to match any décor, this cat tree has a built-in tunnel for your cat to play or nap in, along with three perches to give them their own space out of the way. Easy to assemble, the design includes two hanging pom-pom toys for felines that love to hunt.
For cats that enjoy scratching your furniture, the built-in scratching posts give them a place to keep their claws in pristine condition, without ruining your new rug.
Although there is space for multiple cats, this cat tree might be too small for large felines.
7. Frisco 28-in Faux Fur Cat Tree & Condo
|Dimensions:||23 x 17 x 28 inches|
Available in a neutral cream color, the Frisco 28-in Faux Fur Cat Tree & Condo matches most homes’ aesthetics. Built with two perches placed at an easy jumping height, this cat tree and condo is designed with kittens and smaller cats in mind. Unfortunately, it’s too small for large cats.
Two sisal scratching posts keep your feline’s claws cared for, and the hanging pom-pom toy keeps their hunting instincts sharp. Three tiers give your cat plenty of space to play or keep to themselves while watching over their domain.
For safety reasons, the hanging pom-pom toy is designed to pull off under a certain amount of force. However, there is no way to reattach or replace broken toys.
8. TRIXIE Valencia 27.75-in Plush Cat Tree
|Dimensions:||17.3 x 13 x 28 inches|
The TRIXIE Valencia 27.75-in Plush Cat Tree is designed to be both durable and comfortable. Both available scratching posts are wrapped in sisal for longevity and to coax your cats to scratch. For additional comfort, the perches and built-in condo are lined with faux fleece and felt, creating a cozy getaway where your cat can relax.
Like many other cat trees, this one is designed with a hanging pom-pom toy to reduce boredom. However, there is no way to replace the toy when it breaks.
As a relatively small option, the TRIXIE Valencia Cat Tree will fit into most spare corners but may be unsuitable for large cats.
9. Pet Adobe 3-Tier 27.5-in Cat Tree & Condo
|Dimensions:||19.5 x 19.5 x 27.5 inches|
Constructed with three tiers and a “cheese wheel” gameboard-style perch with included jingle balls, the Pet Adobe 3-Tier 27.5-in Cat Tree & Condo can keep several cats occupied at once. This option also has a unique hanging mouse toy, rather than the ubiquitous pom-pom.
The jingle balls are encased in the middle tier perch, with several holes for your cat to reach inside the “cheese wheel” to play without losing their toys or requiring human input.
Despite the three supporting pillars, only one section is wrapped in sisal rope to act as a scratching post. The 12-inch diameter perches are also too small for large cats.
10. Go Pet Club 25-in Faux Fur Cat Tree
|Dimensions:||16 x 16 x 25 inches|
Go Pet Club 25-in Faux Fur Cat Tree is small enough to fit in most spare corners, particularly apartments with cats. A purr-fect size for kittens, this cat tree is simple but gives your feline a space of their own. They can rule the room from the highest perch or curl up on the faux fur lining for a long nap.
Out of the four supporting pillars, only one is suitable as a scratching post and is wrapped in sisal rope, but the construction is sturdier than some other taller cat trees available. Unlike other designs, however, there are no attached toys, and the size may be too small for large cats to use comfortably.
11. Frisco 24.8-in Heavy Duty Faux Fur Cat Tree
|Dimensions:||19.29 x 19.29 x 24.8 inches|
Available in cream or gray, the Frisco 24.8-in Heavy Duty Faux Fur Cat Tree focuses on stability and comfort over complexity. Made to last, it is constructed with a double-layered baseboard to ensure that the tree remains stable as your cat jumps on and off or uses the sisal-wrapped scratching post.
A great size to place by a window, the bolster-style perch is lined with a removable faux fur cushion for extra comfort. An included pom-pom toy encourages your feline to hone their hunting instincts.
Despite the heavy-duty design, the pom-pom toy might not last long under enthusiastic attacks. Like some other tree designs, the built-in toys aren’t replaceable. Multiple cats, particularly large breeds, may struggle to sit together.
Buyer’s Guid: Finding the Best Cat Tree Under $50
Beyond searching for a decent cat tree that you can afford, there are several other factors to consider before you make the final decision to buy a cat tree for your best feline friend.
Cat trees under $50 tend to be smaller than the more expensive options on the market. It makes them more suitable for smaller homes and apartments. If you’re short on space, sticking with a budget option might be your best chance to save space and give your cat an area to call their own.
Due to their size, cheap cat trees often don’t come with wall attachments. Large cats or those that are particularly active may make the tower topple over as they play or use the scratching post. Kittens and smaller cats will fit on the available space better than their larger siblings.
Most owners prefer putting their cat tree in a corner. If your cat tree does wobble when used, the walls will help keep it sturdy. If you don’t have a spare corner, though, a shorter cat tree might be a better solution. Or you could stretch your budget a little more to find an option with wall ties to keep it in place while your cat plays.
What Does Your Cat Like?
Regardless of how well the colors suit your décor or how cute your feline looked batting at the attached pom-pom the one time they got close enough to investigate, if your cat doesn’t like the features of the cat tree, they’ll never use it.
Bear in mind how your cat reacts to things. If they prefer bolster-style beds or hammocks, they might not enjoy napping on the flat perches that most cat trees have. Likewise, if your cat hates being enclosed in a condo, the snazzy cave included in a tree’s design won’t see much use.
Space is also a factor here. If your cat is too big for the cat tree, not only will it be worryingly unstable — to both you and your cat — your feline will never be able to get comfortable. They’ll much prefer stretching out on the back of the couch instead.
The same goes for older or disabled cats. There aren’t many budget cat trees with ramps or ladders for your cat to use to climb between levels. Jumping between perches may be easy for young cats, but felines with arthritis may prefer their old cat bed on the floor.
Between naps and scratching, cats get bored just like we do. If you want them to use their cat tree, having a variety of toys stands more chance of keeping their attention on their new play area. Kittens in particular will enjoy having toys to play with to expel their energy.
Simple designs can also work if your cat enjoys napping more than playing. Sometimes, keeping your feline interested is as simple as adjusting the orientation of your cat tree and letting the sunlight catch a different perch.
Whether your cat is an expensive pedigree from a breeder or an abandoned stray, their safety is your responsibility. Knowing what your cat tree, even a budget one, is made of is essential.
Wood is always better. It’s weighty, durable, and sturdy. As for the covering, pay attention to the type of carpet or faux fur used in the construction. Generally, if the manufacturer has used high-quality carpet, the rest of the cat tree is likely good quality too.
Even the scratching posts can tell you how good the construction is. Sisal is the best rope material for cat trees because it’s tough and hard-wearing. Jute and seagrass are common alternatives, though, and they’re long-lasting enough to keep your cat’s claws in good shape.
Is a Cat Tree Worth The Money?
Regardless of how much you’re planning on spending, you may wonder whether a cat tree is a necessary addition to your home. In the end, it depends on you and your cat.
Most felines love having their own space, especially if they can get up high and watch everything going on around them. Also, most cat trees have built-in scratching posts. These are lifesavers when it comes to cats that adore scratching everything they see, whether it’s your plush carpet or leather sofa.
The hanging toys included with most cat tree designs also serve to entertain most cats for hours. If you’re away from home frequently or are busy working in your home office, providing opportunities for your cat to amuse themselves can keep them out of mischief.
These reviews are our choices for the best cat trees under $50. The best overall cat tree is the Frisco 38-in Cat Tree With Condo, Top Perch, and Toy because it has pom-pom toys and a machine-washable perch cover. For an even cheaper budget option, the Frisco 20-in Faux Fur Cat Tree and its simplistic, space-saving design will keep your cat entertained and comfortable without taking up too much room.
Whichever option you choose, cat trees can be nice additions to your décor. They will keep your favorite feline entertained and better yet, won’t break the bank.