Cat trees vary in height with cats preferring ones that are tall enough to allow them to see everything in their environment to smaller ones that cats use as beds, hideaways, and playhouses. Cat trees are usually constructed of wood and then covered with carpet or a similar fabric that encourages and allows a cat to scratch. Cat trees are often used specifically to prevent scratching and lounging on other household items. Cat trees may contain other desirable items to encourage scratching such as sisal rope, and cat toys.
Cat trees are named as such because they typically have several platforms at differing angles that aid in exercise for the cat as well as a means for the cat to reach the top. The term 'condo' is based on more extensive cat trees that contain enclosed areas for the cat to hide and or relax in.