Can You Paint a Cat Tree? See How to Add Personal Touches

Creating a cat tree that not only provides hours of playtime and exercise for your furry friend but also blends seamlessly into your home decor can be a rewarding project for any pet owner. While there are various ways to customize a cat tree, one question that often arises is, can you paint a cat tree? The answer is yes, with a few precautions in mind to ensure your cat's safety and wellbeing. To give your cat tree a fresh and vibrant look, you can opt to glue fabric over the exterior of the cube structure and then paint it with non-toxic paint. Alternatively, you can cover it with carpet using glue or staples. However, it’s crucial to bend over any staples that protrude into the box to prevent any potential injuries to your furry companion. Furthermore, it’s vital to make sure that any glue or paint used is completely dry before allowing your cat to use the tree tower.

Is It OK to Get a Used Cat Tree?

When considering whether it’s okay to get a used cat tree, there are a few factors to consider. According to Dr. Truitt, the odor of the previous cat can linger in the tree, which may cause the new cat to start urine marking it. This can lead to territorial issues and stress in your pets.

Furthermore, used cat trees may come with other potential problems, such as hidden damage or worn-out parts. Cats love to scratch and climb on these structures, so it’s important to ensure their safety. It’s always better to invest in a new cat tree that can provide a safe and sturdy environment for your feline friends.

Additionally, used cat trees may have been treated with harsh cleaning chemicals or have accumulated dirt and bacteria over time. This can put your pets at risk of allergies or infections. It’s always best to start with a clean and sanitized environment for your cats to ensure their health and well-being.

Not only can paint fumes irritate your cat’s eyes, nose, and respiratory system, but they can also pose a serious health risk. Cats are more sensitive to certain chemicals found in paint, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can lead to long-term health problems and even toxicity. It’s important to take precautions when painting in order to keep your feline friends safe and healthy.

Are Paint Fumes Toxic for Cats?

Inhaling these fumes can lead to symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, sneezing, difficulty breathing, and watery or red eyes in cats. Cats have a more sensitive respiratory system than humans, making them more vulnerable to the harmful effects of paint fumes. Additionally, certain chemicals found in paints, such as formaldehyde and toluene, can cause long-term health issues in cats.

Furthermore, cats are known for their grooming habits, and if they come into contact with recently painted surfaces, they may ingest paint residue while grooming themselves. This can lead to gastrointestinal problems and even poisoning in severe cases.

When painting, choose low-VOC or zero-VOC paints that are specifically designed to be non-toxic and safe for pets. These paints have lower levels of harmful chemicals, minimizing the risk of exposure to your cat. Always follow the manufacturers guidelines for drying and curing times to ensure that the fumes have completely subsided before allowing your cat back into the painted area.

If you suspect that your cat has been exposed to paint fumes and is showing symptoms such as respiratory distress or gastrointestinal issues, it’s important to seek veterinary care immediately. Prompt treatment can help prevent further complications and ensure the well-being of your furry friend.

Tips for Safely Painting Your Home With a Cat Present

Painting your home can be a fun and creative project, but it’s essential to ensure the safety of your cat throughout the process. Here are a few tips to keep in mind while painting with your feline companion nearby:

1. Create a safe space: Set up a separate room or area where your cat can stay during the painting process. This will help prevent any accidental contact with wet paint or exposure to harmful fumes.

2. Ventilation: Open windows and doors to improve air circulation and minimize the concentration of paint fumes. Keep the painting area well-ventilated to reduce any potential risks.

3. Choose pet-friendly paint: Opt for low- or zero-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints, as they release fewer harmful emissions. These paints are generally considered safer for both humans and pets.

4. Keep an eye on your cat: Even if your cat is in a separate room, periodically check on them to ensure they’re comfortable and not showing any signs of distress. Monitor their behavior for any potential issues.

5. Secure paint supplies: Store paint cans, brushes, and other materials securely when they aren’t in use. This helps prevent accidental spills or ingestion of harmful substances by your curious feline.

6. Clean up promptly: After painting, clean any spills or drips immediately to prevent your cat from coming into contact with wet paint. Dispose of used paint cans, brushes, and other materials properly.

7. Monitor drying time: Keep your cat away from freshly painted surfaces until they’re completely dry. This prevents them from accidentally smudging the paint or ingesting it.

Remember, the safety and well-being of your cat should be a top priority while painting your home. By following these tips, you can enjoy your painting project while keeping your furry friend protected.

Source: Are Paint Fumes Harmful To Cats? – ECOS Paints

Another option is to mix 1/4 cup of bleach with 1 gallon of water for a stronger disinfectant solution. Whichever method you choose, be sure to thoroughly spray the cat tree, paying extra attention to any areas that your cat frequently uses or touches. Allow the disinfectant to sit on the surface for a few minutes before wiping it away with a clean cloth or paper towel. Regularly cleaning and disinfecting your cat tree will help keep it hygienic and safe for your feline friend.

What Can I Spray Cat Tree With?

Alternatively, you can use a diluted bleach solution by mixing 1 part bleach with 32 parts water. This should effectively kill any germs or bacteria on the cat trees surface. Just be sure to thoroughly rinse the tree after using bleach to avoid any potential harm to your furry friend.

Another option is to use a natural disinfectant, such as tea tree oil. Mix a few drops of tea tree oil with water in a spray bottle and mist the cat tree. However, be cautious as some cats may have sensitivities to tea tree oil, so it’s best to test a small area first and observe your cats reaction.

If your cat tree has a fabric covering, you can use a fabric-friendly disinfectant spray like Lysol or a mixture of baking soda and water. Apply the spray or mixture evenly over the fabric and let it air dry. This will help eliminate any odors and disinfect the fabric surface.

It’s important to remember that whichever method you choose, always follow the manufacturers instructions and test any new solution on a small, inconspicuous area before applying it to the entire cat tree. Safety should always be a top priority when it comes to your cats health and well-being.

Additionally, incorporating treats or catnip onto the cat tree can create a positive and rewarding experience for your cat. By associating these pleasurable activities with the cat tree, your feline friend will be more inclined to spend time on it and view it as a fun and appealing option for play and relaxation.

How Do I Make My Cat Tree More Appealing?

You can also use treats and catnip to create a positive and enticing environment around the cat tree. Sprinkle some catnip on the different levels of the tree or hide treats on the various platforms to encourage your cat to investigate and climb. This will create a positive association with the structure and make it more appealing for your cat.

Additionally, consider the placement of the cat tree in your home. Cats enjoy being up high and having a view of their environment, so try to position the cat tree near a window or in a corner where your cat can see everything happening around them. This will make the tree more appealing as it serves both as a play area and a lookout spot for your feline friend.

Another way to make your cat tree more appealing is to provide comfortable resting spots. Cats love to lounge and sleep in cozy spots, so ensure that there are soft cushions or blankets on the different levels of the tree. This will make it more inviting for your cat to climb up and relax. You can even consider adding a small, enclosed area or a hammock for your cat to curl up in.

Incorporating scratching posts and surfaces into the cat tree is also important. Cats have a natural instinct to scratch and mark their territory, so having scratching areas on the cat tree will make it more appealing. You can attach sisal rope or invest in scratching pads that can be attached to the different levels. This will help prevent your cat from scratching your furniture and provide a designated space for them to satisfy their scratching needs.

Lastly, don’t forget to regularly engage and play with your cat on and around the cat tree. Spending time playing with feather toys, strings, or laser pointers won’t only keep your cat active and entertained, but it will also create a positive association with the cat tree. By actively engaging with your cat and encouraging them to play on the tree, you’re making it more appealing and ensuring that it becomes a favorite spot in your cats environment.

Once the strong odor of paint dissipates, it’s generally safe for cats to be around painted surfaces. However, certain types of paint may still pose a risk if ingested or if the cat comes into direct contact with wet paint. It’s important to take precautions and ensure your feline friend’s safety when introducing them to painted areas.

Is It Safe for Cats to Be Around Paint?

Additionally, it’s important to note that certain types of paint can be toxic to cats if ingested. Oil-based paints, for example, contain solvents and chemicals that can be harmful to feline health.

In some cases, cats may also be at risk of physical harm while a painting project is underway. Wet paint can, for instance, stick to their fur or paws, leading to possible ingestion or irritation if they try to groom themselves. Paint cans, brushes, or other painting equipment left unattended can also pose a risk for curious cats, who may knock them over or even get trapped inside them.

To ensure the safety of your feline friend, it’s best to keep them in a separate, well-ventilated room away from the painting area during the project. This will reduce their exposure to fumes and potential accidents. If youre unable to provide them with a separate space, consider temporarily relocating them to a friend or family members home until the paint has dried and the odor has dissipated.

Ultimately, keeping your cat away from paint and it’s fumes is the best way to ensure their well-being. It’s always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to the health and safety of your furry companion. If you’ve any concerns or questions, it’s advisable to consult with your veterinarian for professional guidance.


In conclusion, transforming a plain cat tree into a vibrant and personalized space for your feline companion is completely possible. By gluing fabric over the exterior or utilizing non-toxic paint or carpet, you can add color and texture to the structure. Ensuring the safety of your cat is paramount, so bending over any staples and allowing sufficient drying time for any glue or paint is essential.

Scroll to Top