A cat tree (also referred to as a cat condo or cat stand) is an artificial structure for a cat to play, exercise and relax on. Cat trees vary in height with cats preferring ones that are tall enough to allow them to see everything in their environment. Cat trees are usually constructed of wood and then covered with carpet or a similar fabric that encourages and allows a cat to scratch. Cat trees are often used specifically to prevent scratching of other household items. In addition to carpet, trees may contain other desirable items to encourage scratching of the tree such as sisal rope, and cat toys.
Cat trees are named as such because they typically have several platforms at differing angles that aid in exercise for the cat as well as a means for the cat to reach the top. The term 'condo' is based on more extensive cat trees that contain enclosed areas for the cat to hide in.