5 Reasons to Install Cat Shelves for Your Cat’s Happiness

If you’re looking to offer your indoor-only cat some variety, enrichment, and a fun playground, then you might want to install cat shelves. We now have two rooms in our house with cat shelves, and today, I will discuss the benefits of installing them.

This is the fifth and final article in our October cat enrichment series.

tortie cat resting on Catastrophic Creations cat shelf
Olives perches on her newly installed cat shelf.

Disclosure: Some links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase. We received the cat shelves free of charge from Catastrophic Creations.

5 Reasons to Install Cat Shelves for Your Cat’s Happiness

If you’ve ever debated installing cat shelves, here are some reasons why they are beneficial and how they will enhance your cat’s living space, making for a happier, healthier cat.

A new area to explore

First and foremost, installing cat shelves will give your cat a new area in the house. Since an indoor cat’s environment doesn’t change often (if ever), cat shelves will give them a new space to explore and relax. Change can be good sometimes, especially for a cat who spends most of their time in the same environment and surroundings.

tabby cat looking up at white cat sitting on cat shelf
Woodrow checks the sturdiness of the new cat shelf (it passed inspection).

Vertical space

Cats are natural climbers, and they will love the new opportunity to climb up (and down). Depending on how many cat shelves you install, spacing them out properly will allow your cat to jump or climb up that vertical space. In one area of our cat wall, our cat shelves go near the ceiling. Use all of that vertical space to your advantage!

Some cat shelves come with poles for climbing – like the Crossroads Wall Cat Scratcher from Catastrophic Creations, and these poles definitely take advantage of vertical space.

Here, Sophie walks along one of the scratcher poles.

white cat walking along wall cat scratcher pole
Sophie looks below to decide which cat to pounce on. (It was Olive. It’s always Olive.)

A place to call their own

In my house, we have a one-year-old dog with lots of puppy energy. One of the reasons I wanted to install cat shelves was to allow our four cats to have a safe place off the ground and away from where the eager puppy could reach them.

And while the shelves offered that safe place to escape to (if needed), it’s also where I put the cats’ feeders, truly making the shelves their own space.

tortie cat looking surprised on cat shelf
Olive watches our dog coming down the hallway. He can’t reach her up on this cat shelf.

Keeping fit

Depending on how many shelves are in the configuration you design, cat shelves can offer your cat a new place for zoomies and to run around. Many indoor cats don’t have as much opportunity for exercise as outdoor ones, so offering them a cat shelf agility course would be a fun way for them to stay active.

Adding scratcher poles and scratching surfaces is also good for deep stretching and claw maintenance, helping to keep your cat’s overall body in good shape.

white cat scratching on cat scratcher wall pole
Sophie sharpens her kitty daggers on the wall-mounted horizontal cat scratcher pole.

Help reduce boredom

And finally, installing cat shelves is a great way to help reduce your cat’s boredom. In addition to offering physical exercise and a place to explore, cat shelves can be a great place to just sit and have a think.

Why not hang the shelves in a place where your cat can look out the window while they relax? Bird watching, squirrel watching, neighbor watching! Cat shelves offer a nice vantage point for your cat to observe the outside world and keep their mind engaged.

tabby cat sitting on cat shelf
Woodrow watches out the window for his pizza delivery.

These are just a few reasons to install cat shelves. But overall, your cat will have a new, exciting area that will offer them enrichment, exercise, and happiness!

Our New Cat Wall Setup

Some blog readers may remember my first cat shelf project from earlier in the year. Hayley Williams from Cat Therapy designed two cat walls in our cat room. One of the cat shelf brands she selected was Catastrophic Creations.

After completing that first project, I got to know the owner of Catastrophic Creations, Mike, and he generously offered to design another cat wall in our house to feature some additional products his company offers.

Of course, I jumped at the opportunity and decided on a wall in my home office, where the cats and I spend a good amount of time (I work remotely from home).

And here is what that cat wall looks like! Mike designed everything above my existing furniture and used the entire width of the nearly 17-foot wall.

tabby cat and white cat on cat shelf wall
The cat wall in my home office. (Don’t worry, that ceiling fan is a good 5 feet away from the shelves!)

Mike incorporated many pieces from the Crossroads Wall Cat Scratcher, which is a pre-designed cat condo set. For those who aren’t good with design or want something already designed and ready to install, the Crossroads Wall Cat Scratcher is a good choice.

And you guessed it…that’s what we’re giving away on the blog today! But first, check out this video of the cats exploring the new cat wall.

Catastrophic Creations Giveaway

UPDATE: The giveaway is now closed.

One winner will receive the Crossroads Wall Cat Scratcher. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents, full details below.

cats playing on the Crossroads Wall Cat Scratcher by Catastrophic Creations
The Crossroads Wall Cat Scratcher, a pre-designed cat condo set.

Requirements to enter the giveaway:

  1. Subscribe to the Cat Lady Alley newsletter via the Newsletter Signup form below. If you’re already a newsletter subscriber, great! You don’t need to subscribe again. If you’re a new subscriber, you must confirm your subscription, so check your spam folder! (Form now removed.)
  2. Leave a comment on this blog post about anything! Example: Do you think your cat would use cat shelves?
  3. Confirm your two required entries via the Rafflecopter widget below. Bonus/optional entries are available as well.

The giveaway is open to residents in the U.S., 18+ years of age, except where prohibited by law. One winner will be selected randomly by Rafflecopter and contacted via email on Sunday, November 5, 2023 after 5:00pm Pacific. The winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize through email. Failure to do so will result in forfeiture of the prize, and a new winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter. The Crossroads Wall Cat Scratcher will be sent to the winner from Catastrophic Creations. The winner can choose from the available colors in stock. The giveaway closes on Sunday, November 5, 2023 at 5:00pm Pacific.

Bonus entries through the Rafflecopter widget below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
tortie cat grooming paw on cat shelf
Pretty Olive always ensures she looks her best.

Earlier posts in this October enrichment series include:

Other posts about cat shelves:

pretty white cat with blue eyes sitting on cat shelf
Sophie just having a think. Knowing her, it’s not a deep think.

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  1. I adopted 2 10-week old kittens last week and I would love to see them climbing all over. They’re so much fun and would love this!

  2. I just got a new kitten I named Silver Belle and also call her Sylvie. I think she would love walk shelves!

  3. Our three cats would absolutely love these shelves and scratchers! They love climbing and pouncing onto areas they shouldn’t be, so this would be a welcome addition. Our cats are outdoors most days, but come nightfall they are all brought inside for safety sake. They would definitely like an indoor cat space of their own and we have the perfect spot for this.

  4. I have 8 cats. And I just trapped a kitten that was under my house. She’s slowly getting used to the other cats and they are being very gentle with her. She has doctor’s appointment next week. My cats would love these shelves. I have 4 cat trees and they all use them.

  5. I took an old shelving unit that was originally for the garage, a heavy duty kind and repurposed it. Cut holes on each shelf , for the cats to go to the next level, had them sanded down so there were no sharp edges, attached carpet to the tops … my cats loved it.

  6. We have two kitties, Phoebe and Willow, that just turned 7 months. They are sisters and have quite the personalities.

  7. My fur baby…Freckles…would love this!! She came to our house as a stray kitten. We took her in and she is so sweet and cuddly! Thanks for the chance!

  8. My dude would be in heaven with cat shelves! I think he’d be especially excited about a wall-mounted scratcher. He loves climbing the sisal scratch poles on his cat tower, and he recently discovered the top of the fridge is a great vantage point for supervising the household. Making shelves myself seemed a bit daunting (I made his cat tower and that was a LOT of work), but installing pre-made shelves seems doable!

  9. I am so enjoying your pictures and thoughts on cats. I have three cats ranging from 4 months to 171/2 years. I would love to know some tricks for getting them to be more friendly with each other,

    1. Hello, good question! Hanging these would be the same as hanging other wall-type shelves. When you remove them, you would need to fill in the holes in the wall and paint over them. But overall damage would be typical to hanging other wall shelves.

  10. My foster kittens would love to be able to climb and jump. Wondering how to disinfect it between foster groups…

    1. Hi Jennifer! I asked the owner Mike if he had any suggestions. Here’s what he said: The bamboo can be wiped down with a disinfectant, and the cotton fabric is washable but needs to be hung to dry. For shelters and cat cafes, we’ve been suggesting the clear vinyl sections so that everything can be easily wiped down rather than needing to pull the canvas sections off the wall. This is a link to what those would look like: https://www.catastrophicreations.com/product-category/invisible-cat-hammocks/.”

      He is checking with shelters to see how they handle scratching post type materials. I’ll let you know when I hear back!

  11. I’ve been considering these shelves for a while but haven’t had a chance to jump on it yet. My two resident cats and countless fosters would LOVE a wall dedicated to their enrichment 💙

  12. I have two kitties that would love this wall scratcher set up! Giving them a chance to escape the pup every once and a while!

  13. My cat Maple would have so much fun on these shelves! She loves to climb on our kitchen cabinets so this will be a much safer option for her!

  14. I have a Manx and a Lilac Siamese, both just showed up at my door as kittens. They would LOVE a cat shelf. The Siamese kitten already climbs the walls (he’s a weirdo)

  15. Oh my goodness, my kitties would love this -especially my kitten!! She is into EVERYTHING and attempts to scale the doorframes when she gets bored!

  16. What a blessing this would be for my willow bean and sassy. In a one bedroom one bathroom apartment things can get pretty boring. Love the enrichment qualities this would provide. Excited to learn more through your blog!

  17. My sweet kitten Karma would love this! She’s always looking for new places to climb up and watch over us from !!

  18. Both of my cats love to scratch and one of them wants to be as high as he can get. So yes, I’m sure they would use this and enjoy it.

  19. I have 2 calico kitties. MAMA kitty who we named Moosey and her daughters name is Little. They are 3 and 2 years old.

  20. My cats like to climb, especially the younger one. She likes to escape the dog. I think both of them would love this!

  21. I have 5 cats and we have a few cat shelves and they love them! It gives them a great way to get some distance from one another.

  22. I really like the Crossroads Wall but I don’t have walls that can be used. I live in a camper and there’s either a window or appliance on every wall. I would love to have a Crossroads Wall Cat Scratcher that came with a base or frame to hold it stable. Then I could replace my current cat tree with the Crossroads Wall.