How to Clean a Cat Tree

by Véronique Raymond

If you’re a cat owner, then there are several advantages to having a cat tree (or scratching posts) for those who love and keep cats. For one, your kitten or cat can have their own cat furniture and a unique space to have lots of fun. And you won’t have to worry so much about your cat scratching the upholstery or getting into any other mischief with household items.

And while having a cat tree can be fun for your kitten, like with everything else, you have to properly clean the nooks and crannies to make sure it doesn’t become dirty or start to smell.

The question is: how do you properly clean a cat tree? This article will answer that question and show you exactly how it is done.

The cleaning process will depend on how dirty the tree is, how much pet hair needs to be removed, and, of course, the type of dirt you are trying to remove from the perches of the cat tree.

How to Clean a Cat Tree: Removing Stains

Accidents are bound to happen on a cat tree, and these can be in the form of vomit or urine. You will have to clean the scratching posts to remove the stains. Note that this type of dirt or stain requires a lot more effort to disinfect.

Here are the tools you’ll need to do a proper cleaning job:

  • Brush
  • Vacuum cleaner with attachments
  • Paper towels
  • Enzymatic cleaner or cat urine remover
  • Rubber gloves
  • Bucket
  • Warm water
  • Cloth or sponge

You will also have to disassemble the cat tree. We’ll get to that in a bit.

Clean the Exteriors

Find a brush and sweep the exterior to remove all loose dirt from the cat tree. You can use a hand vacuum cleaner to remove any other dirt. When vacuuming, start on the surface, concentrating on the fibres where dirt tends to settle.

How to Clean a Cat Tree: Removing Odours

If the cat tree doesn’t smell too strongly, you can simply remove it and place it outdoors for some time to ventilate. You could also remove odours using cat urine remover.

However, if the odour is especially strong and won’t go away easily by merely ventilating the tree, you will need to disinfect the cat tower using a more advanced method.

women holding cleaning liquid and cloth

Source: Pexels

Using Baking Soda

You can use baking soda as a way to eliminate odours. All you need to do is simply sprinkle baking soda on the cat tree. Let the baking soda seep into the cat tree overnight so that it can absorb any odours. In the morning, you should clean the cat tower using a vacuum cleaner.

Using an Enzymatic Cleaner

First, spray the entire cat tree with the enzymatic cleaner. The enzymatic cleaner will break the stains down, making them much easier to remove. A carpet cleaner can work too.

Let the cleaner soak for about 10 minutes, and then wipe the cat tree down using paper towels. If the paper towels come out dirty, the cat tree must have more dirt on it.

In this case, mix water and dish soap together. Dip a cleaning cloth or scrubbing sponge inside the soapy water. Take the sponge or cloth and run it down the entire length of the tower to loosen any stains and dirt.

How to Clean a Cat Tree: Removing Cat Hair

Depending on the breed and how much your cat sheds, the cat tree can have quite a lot of hair build-up.

Removing cat fur from the tree is relatively easy and shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours. You don’t even need to disassemble the cat tree to remove cat hair.

To clean the fur from the cat tree, you will need the following tools:

  • Vacuum
  • Scrub brush
  • Comb

The first step to removing cat fur from the cat tree is to use the scrub brush to brush the carpeted areas on the tree.

Start at the top of the tree and work your way down. If the scrub brush becomes full and tangled with fur, remove the fur using a comb or your hand.

Continue the fur removal process until the entire area is cleaned. Once done, you can go ahead to vacuum the entire tree.

Make sure to vacuum all the different areas of the tree, especially any hard-to-reach areas. Using a vacuum is the most effective way to rid a cat tree of hair as it does not only completely get rid of the hair but also gets rid of any dirt or litter particles on the surface.

To help you keep a lid on fur build-up, it is important to clean the cat tree every two weeks. For a quicker clean, you can use a lint roller but keep in mind that this will not deep-clean the cat tree.

Taking the Cat Tree Apart

Taking the pieces of the cat tree apart can be done twice a year for routine cleaning. It can also be disassembled earlier if odours and stains have built up.

You want to take out the tower one piece at a time. After removing the pieces, separate and then arrange them to make them easier to clean. Doing this ensures that you do not lose any pieces during the cleaning process.

Reassemble the Parts

Reassemble all the pieces together once you are done cleaning the cat tree. Thankfully, piecing everything together isn’t difficult. You only need to follow the disassembly process in reverse order.


When cleaning your cat tree, make sure that you only use pet-safe and non-toxic cleaning substances. You should also consider your cat’s peculiarity if it has one, such as being sensitive to smells.

If this is the case, you should only use a non-scented cleaning detergent. Doing otherwise might make your cat not use the cat tree after it has been cleaned.

If you are thinking of buying a new cat tree, consider getting the BestPet Cat Tree Tower Condo Playground – one of the best cat trees in Canada.

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