“ Brand: Kitty Kidz / Type: Cat Entertainment „
This piece of cat furniture attempts to fulfil most of your cat's needs in one. Cat wants to scratch? There are not one but four posts to choose from. Cat wants to climb? This has two platforms to get to. Cat wants to play? There are three dangling balls and a snaggable mousie in a mousehole. Cat is exhausted from all this climbing, playing and scratching? There's a comfy raised bed from which it can view its domain disapprovingly.
The Kitty Kidz scratching post and climber is available from Pets At Home online and in-store for £29.99. Some assembly is required, but it's a reasonably straight-forward job with a screw-driver. It doesn't need any special tools or great DIY knowledge: the instruction sheet is clear and easy to follow.
When constructed, it comes to about 3 foot high (92 cms), which is around hip-height. It seems intended to fit into the corner of a room with its triangular base. It's sturdy, particularly the middle platform and base, while the upper level is slightly wobblier. (I think it may need the occasional check-over and tweak to tighten any loose connections). It weighs about 7 kilos, so can be moved around the room easily, should you wish to, and there's no sense that it's going to fall apart in your hands. It is free-standing and is hard to tip over: despite having two loco moggies and the same number of children hurtling around it has never yet toppled.
It's described as being in "lifestyle colours" (apparently, we cat-owners have a beige and chocolate lifestyle). On the ground-floor there's a small paw-print design and this theme is carried on with the top-level padded bed with a larger version. A soft fur fabric covers the activity centre, while the scratching posts have sisal rope wound firmly around them to please a cat's claws.
The toys are three soft furry balls on strong elastic, attached to a flexible but firm prongs on a trunk attached to the mid-level platform. The tips of the prongs are a durable plastic. There is also a mousie on elastic in a hole on the single pillar.
I have two young cats, brother and sister, who are very playful, boisterous and curious. They are rescue cats who had been kept in the animal rescue centre with similar cat furniture, so when introduced to this they knew exactly what to do. Both use the scratching posts, sleep and play on the climber a great deal every day.
It's great for when they play together as they can grab each other from the different levels. It's particularly hilarious to watch one sneak up on the other while sleeping, foolishly or teasingly dangling their tail. The cats also enjoy playing with the hanging balls, batting them from above or leaping from below as they swing seductively.
The plastic tips to the prongs are a great success with the boy, who is a bit bitey and likes to gnaw.
The mouse toy was less successful: it was ripped off its elastic by the second day of having the climber and so we have a sadly empty mousehole. I sometimes put other cat toys in there for them to hoik out.
The padded bed is only big enough for one cat, and the larger boy looks like he could do with more surface area when he's up there, but the smaller girl looks very comfy indeed. Sometimes she sleeps above, while he snoozes on the lower platforms.
So far, apart from the mouse, the climber has stood up well to some heavy-duty catty punishment. The sisal rope is hairier looking than it was, but well-attached and providing plenty of claw fun. It pretty much looks the same as it did when we first put it together several months ago. It is designed for a corner of the room, but unfortunately if it's too close to the walls, the toys on the prongs are obstructed, so it needs to be pulled out slightly.
It's been a good buy for our cats who get a lot of use out of it. If you have the space and a lively playful cat, this could be ideal.