I bought this cat tree for $39.99 in store and thought it was a pretty good deal. I had read reviews previous to purchase, and understood it wasn't going to be a great item. I figured I would hedge my bets and purchase this before putting down over $100 for a comparable tree.
My first problem with this tree was that the carpet covering the tubes came off very easily once my cats used it as a scratch post. It definitely is a bit shaky and moves when the cats are climbing. Other than that, it seemed to be a nice tree. My cats hung out on it without breaking it (biggest is about 16lb) and seemed to enjoy it.
After the carpet started pulling up, I decided I was going to remove the carpet and wrap all the posts in sisal rope (found in hardware section, $5 per rope with a total of 4 needed) and hot glue it down. The carpet was stapled onto the cardboard tubes with a strip of glue up each tube, so removal was fairly easy. It took about 2 hours to glue/wrap the sisal around the tubes, which made a huge improvement in eye appeal.
As I was putting the tree back up, my biggest cat jumped on it before I had secured it to the roof. The tree then tumbled down ane the plastic end caps on the tubes pulled loose, meaning it was not going back together. If I hadn't just spent a few hours of my life wrapping it in sisal, I might have thrown it away, but I decided I needed to fix it. I bought deck screws (50 pack) and screwed down all of the plastic end caps so they would not pull out in the future (these were also just stapled on like the carpet). I also ended up using the screws to firmly secure the base, as the hex screw that came with it stripped when I used a real hex to tighten the base and I could not get it back off. This means that the bottom piece and the bottom tube are forever joined, but every other section comes apart as originally intended.
Total, I have probably spent $60 including the original purchase to improve this tree. Definitely a nice investment and my cats are thrilled their tree is back up!
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