How to Clean a Cat Tree - Michu Australia

How to Clean a Cat Tree

We will explore the essential steps and best practices for how to clean a cat tree. Keeping a cat tree clean not only ensures a hygienic environment for your pets but also extends the life of the tree. We'll cover the materials needed, the frequency of cleaning, and specific techniques to tackle different types of messes, such as fur, dirt, and accidental spills. This Michu guide aims to provide simple, effective methods to maintain a clean and safe space for your feline friends to play and relax.

Why Clean Your Cat Tree?

Cleaning your cat tree is essential for several reasons, each contributing to the health and comfort of both your pet and your home:

  • Health Benefits: Cat trees can accumulate dirt, pet dander, and other potential allergens over time. Regular cleaning helps remove these irritants, which can improve the air quality of your home and reduce the risk of allergy flare-ups for both humans and pets. Keeping the cat tree free of these particles ensures a healthier environment for everyone.
  • Durability: Just like any other piece of furniture, a cat tree can suffer from wear and tear. Accumulated dirt and grime can degrade the materials of the cat tree, such as fabric and wood. By cleaning your cat tree regularly, you help maintain its integrity and functionality, thereby extending its lifespan. This means your cat can enjoy its favorite perch for years to come.
  • Hygiene: Cats are clean animals by nature, and a clean cat tree is crucial for their comfort. Over time, cat trees can start to harbor odors from oils in the cat’s fur, spilled food, or accidents. Regular cleaning prevents these odors from becoming a permanent feature of your home, helping keep your living space fresh and pleasant.

In summary, regular cleaning of your cat tree promotes a healthier environment, extends the tree’s life, and maintains home hygiene, making it an essential practice for any cat owner.

Materials Needed to Clean Your Cat Tree

When it comes to cleaning a cat tree, having the right materials on hand can make the process more efficient and effective. Here’s a breakdown of the materials needed and why each is important:

  • Vacuum Cleaner with Brush Attachment: This tool is crucial for removing loose dirt, pet hair, and dander from the cat tree. The brush attachment is particularly useful because it can get into the fibers of the carpeted areas and the corners where fur tends to accumulate.
  • Mild Detergent or Pet-Safe Cleaner: A mild detergent or a cleaner specifically designed to be safe for pets is important for cleaning any stains or soiled areas without harming your cat. These cleaners are formulated to be effective without containing harsh chemicals that could irritate your pet’s skin or respiratory system.
  • Soft Cloths or Sponges: Soft cloths or sponges are necessary for applying detergents or cleaners and for wiping down surfaces gently. They help in effectively cleaning the tree without damaging the material.
  • Baking Soda: Baking soda is a natural deodorizer that's great for absorbing odors. Sprinkling baking soda on the cat tree and letting it sit before vacuuming it off can help neutralize stubborn smells.
  • Brush or Comb: These tools are useful for detangling any knots in the roped or fabric parts of the cat tree. They can also help remove embedded fur and straighten out fibers, making the tree look well-maintained.
  • Lint Roller: For quick touch-ups, a lint roller is handy for picking up loose fur and dust from the cat tree’s surfaces, especially on the areas that are harder to reach with a vacuum.
  • White Vinegar (optional): White vinegar is an excellent natural cleaning agent that can be used as an alternative to chemical cleaners. It has disinfectant properties and can be diluted with water to clean various surfaces of the cat tree without leaving harmful residues.

Together, these materials provide a comprehensive set for thoroughly cleaning a cat tree, ensuring it remains a hygienic and enjoyable space for your cat.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Your Cat Tree


  • Begin by using a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to remove loose hair, dirt, and dander from the entire cat tree. Focus on corners and crevices where these elements tend to accumulate, ensuring a thorough cleaning.


  • Following vacuuming, employ a brush or comb to remove stubborn fur that may be embedded in carpeted or fabric-covered areas. This helps to lift and detach fur from the fibers, making it easier to clean.

Spot Cleaning:

  • Prepare a cleaning solution by mixing mild detergent or a pet-safe cleaner with water. Using a soft cloth or sponge, dampened with this solution, gently scrub any stained areas on the cat tree. It’s crucial to avoid soaking the fabric to prevent damage.
  • For more stubborn stains, sprinkle a small amount of baking soda on the stain, let it sit for a few minutes to absorb the dirt, then gently brush off the residue and vacuum the area again.

Wiping Down:

  • With a damp cloth, wipe down all hard surfaces such as platforms and poles. Adding a bit of white vinegar to your cleaning water can enhance the disinfecting power, ensuring all surfaces are clean and hygienic.

Odor Control:

  • Sprinkle baking soda generously over carpeted areas to help neutralize odors. Allow the baking soda to sit for 10-15 minutes to effectively absorb unwanted smells, then thoroughly vacuum it up.

Final Touches:

  • Use a lint roller to pick up any residual fur or dust from the surfaces of the cat tree. This step ensures that every part of the cat tree looks clean and well-maintained.


  • Allow the cat tree to air dry completely before allowing your cat back on it. This ensures that any moisture from cleaning has evaporated, preventing mold or mildew buildup.

By following these detailed steps and incorporating the specified materials, you can efficiently clean your cat tree, maintaining a healthy and enjoyable environment for your cat.

Advantages of a Clean Cat Tree

Better Health for Your Cat and Family:

  • Cleaning the cat tree removes things like dust, cat hair, and tiny bits of dirt that can make people and pets sneeze or feel sick. A clean cat tree means fewer allergens in the air, which is better for everyone's health.

Keeps the Cat Tree Lasting Longer:

  • Dirt and oils from your cat's fur can break down the materials of the cat tree over time. Regular cleaning helps keep the cat tree in good shape for a long time, so you won't need to replace it as often.

Keeps Your House Cleaner:

  • Since cats go back and forth between their cat tree and other parts of your home, a clean cat tree means they're less likely to spread dirt and smells around your house.

Reduces Bad Smells:

  • Cat trees can start to smell because of the natural oils in your cat’s fur or from accidents like spilled food or urine. Cleaning it regularly helps keep these smells from taking over your home.

Makes Your Cat Happier and More Active:

  • Cats love clean spaces. A clean cat tree is more inviting, making it more likely that your cat will play on it. This is good for their physical health and keeps them mentally stimulated, which can stop them from scratching furniture or being too noisy.

In simple terms, a clean cat tree means a healthier, happier environment for both your cat and your family, and it keeps your home looking and smelling nice.

How Often Should You Clean a Cat Tree?



Recommended Cleaning Frequency


If your cat uses the tree a lot, it gets dirty faster. More use means more fur, dander, and possibly drool.

Every two weeks

Type of Material

Some materials like carpet or fabric trap dirt and smells more than others.

Every two weeks

Multiple Cats

More cats mean more fur and quicker buildup of dirt.


Local Environment

In places with a lot of dust or during high pollen seasons, the tree can get dirty faster.

Adjust based on dust and pollen

Pet Health

If your cat has allergies or skin issues, keeping the tree clean can help them feel better.

As often as needed (potentially weekly)

Cat Behavior

If your cat starts avoiding the tree, it might be too dirty for them.

Check and clean as needed

Tips for Maintaining Your Cat Tree

Regular Inspections:

  • Explanation: It’s important to regularly check your cat tree for any signs of damage, such as frayed edges, loose screws, or wobbly parts. This involves a quick look-over to ensure everything is in good shape.
  • Why It Matters:
    • Catching issues early prevents them from becoming bigger problems. For example, a loose platform could cause your cat to fall and get injured. Regular checks help keep the tree safe and sturdy.
    • By checking the cat tree often, you can spot small issues before they turn into big problems. This is similar to how you might check your car for low tire pressure or oil levels to prevent breakdowns. It’s all about safety and longevity.

Rotate Usage:

  • Explanation: If you have more than one cat tree or scratching post, try rotating their use. This means encouraging your cat to use different trees or posts at different times.
  • Why It Matters:
    • This prevents any single tree from getting too worn out too quickly. By distributing your cat’s activity across multiple structures, you ensure that all of them last longer and stay in better condition.
    • Just like rotating your tires on a car to ensure even wear, rotating your cat trees ensures that all get used evenly. This makes each tree last longer because they’re not worn out in one spot.

Replace Parts:

  • Explanation: Some cat trees are designed with parts that can be easily replaced, like scratching posts, pads, or toys. When these parts wear out, you can simply swap them for new ones.
  • Why It Matters:
    • Replacing parts rather than the whole tree is cost-effective and keeps the tree looking and functioning like new. This way, your cat always has a nice place to play and scratch, which is essential for their physical and mental health.
    • Think of it like changing the battery in a toy instead of buying a whole new toy. If one part of the cat tree gets worn out, replacing just that part keeps everything else working well, saving money and keeping your cat happy.

What to Avoid

Harsh Chemicals:

  • Explanation: When cleaning your cat tree, it's important to avoid using bleach or other strong cleaners. These chemicals can be too harsh and leave harmful residues.
  • Why It Matters:
    • Cats have sensitive noses and skin. Residues from harsh chemicals can cause skin irritations or allergic reactions. If a cat licks these residues, it can also lead to gastrointestinal problems. Always use pet-safe cleaners to ensure your cat’s safety.
    • Just like you wouldn’t wash your dishes with something poisonous, you shouldn’t use harsh chemicals on your cat’s tree. These can be dangerous if they get on your cat’s paws or fur and are ingested.


  • Explanation: Be cautious about how much water you use when cleaning. Avoid soaking the fabric or padding on the cat tree.
  • Why It Matters:
    • Excessive moisture can penetrate deep into the materials, leading to mold and mildew growth. This not only creates a health hazard but also weakens the structure of the cat tree, causing it to wear out faster. Over-wetting can also cause bad odors and make the cat tree less appealing to your cat.
    • Imagine spilling water on your couch and not drying it properly—it would get moldy and start to smell. The same thing can happen to your cat’s tree if you use too much water. It can ruin the fabric and make the tree unsafe and uninviting.

Skipping Regular Cleaning:

  • Explanation: It might be tempting to put off cleaning the cat tree, but this can lead to bigger problems down the road.
  • Why It Matters:
    • Dirt, fur, and allergens can build up over time, making the cat tree much harder to clean later. Regular maintenance keeps the cat tree clean and prevents allergens from affecting your cat’s health. Consistent cleaning also keeps the cat tree looking nice and ensures it remains a pleasant place for your cat to play and rest.
    • Think of regular cleaning like brushing your teeth. If you skip it, plaque builds up and it becomes much harder to clean later. Regular cleaning prevents dirt and allergens from becoming a big problem and keeps the cat tree healthy and pleasant for your cat.

By avoiding these mistakes, you can ensure that your cat tree stays safe, clean, and long-lasting, providing a better environment for your pet.


Maintaining a clean and well-kept cat tree is crucial for the health and happiness of your cat. Regular cleaning helps eliminate allergens, extend the life of the cat tree, and keep your home fresh. By performing regular inspections, rotating usage, and replacing worn parts, you can ensure your cat tree remains a safe and enjoyable space for your pet. Avoid using harsh chemicals and excessive moisture to protect both your cat and the cat tree’s materials.

For cat owners looking to provide the best for their furry friends, consider Michu AU’s range of high-quality cat trees. Our cat trees are built to withstand regular use and cleaning, offering both durability and comfort. Visit Michu AU today to find the perfect cat tree that not only fits your home but also ensures your cat has a healthy and stimulating environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I assemble a new cat tree?

Most cat trees come with detailed instructions and all the necessary tools. Start by laying out all the parts and organizing them according to the instructions. Follow the step-by-step guide provided, ensuring each part is securely fastened. If you're having trouble, many manufacturers offer assembly videos online.

2. What should I do if my cat refuses to use the new cat tree?

Introduce your cat to the tree gradually. Place it in a familiar spot and encourage exploration by placing toys, treats, or catnip on the tree. Be patient and give your cat time to get used to it.

3. What do I do if parts of the cat tree start to wear out?

Many cat trees have replaceable parts such as scratching posts or pads. Check with the manufacturer or pet store for replacement parts. Regular maintenance and prompt replacement of worn-out parts can extend the life of your cat tree.

4. How do I stop my cat from scratching the furniture instead of the cat tree?

Make the cat tree more appealing by using catnip or placing your cat's favorite toys on it. Place the cat tree near the furniture your cat likes to scratch. When you catch your cat scratching the furniture, gently redirect them to the cat tree.

5. Is it safe for my large cat to use a smaller cat tree?

Ensure the cat tree is sturdy and can support the weight of your cat. Some cat trees are specifically designed for larger cats, so check the weight limit and stability before purchasing. If your large cat looks uncomfortable or the tree wobbles, it might be time to upgrade to a larger, more robust tree.

6. How can I make my cat tree more engaging for my cat?

Add interactive elements like hanging toys, climbing ropes, or treat dispensers. Rotate toys regularly to keep things interesting. Creating multiple levels and hiding spots can also make the cat tree more enticing for your cat.

7. How do I get my cat to use the new cat tree?

To encourage your cat to use the new cat tree, place it in a location where your cat already likes to spend time. Add some of their favorite toys, treats, or a bit of catnip to make it more inviting. Patience is key; let your cat explore and get comfortable with it at their own pace.

8. How can I stop my cat from chewing on the cat tree?

To prevent your cat from chewing on the cat tree, ensure they have plenty of appropriate chew toys. You can also apply a pet-safe bitter spray to the parts of the cat tree they like to chew. Regularly check and replace any damaged parts to keep it safe.

9. How do I clean a cat tree that has a bad odor?

To clean a smelly cat tree, sprinkle baking soda on the fabric parts and let it sit for about 15 minutes before vacuuming. You can also wipe down the surfaces with a mixture of water and white vinegar. Make sure to let it dry completely before your cat uses it again.

10. What should I do if my cat stops using the cat tree suddenly?

If your cat stops using the cat tree, check for any changes in the environment that might have caused this behavior, such as a new pet or loud noises. Inspect the tree for any damage or smells that might be off-putting. Encourage your cat to return by making the tree more attractive with toys and treats.

11. Can I repair the cat tree myself if it gets damaged?

Yes, you can repair many common issues yourself. Tighten any loose screws, and for fabric tears, you can use a heavy-duty fabric glue or a staple gun to fix it. For more extensive damage, you may need to replace parts like scratching posts, which are often available from the manufacturer.