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My cats are in love with this wall-mounted furniture that's basically an elaborate obstacle course

Two cats sit on Catastrophic Creations wall-mounted furniture, which has black shelves, a furry bed, a bridge, and a scratching post.
My two cats instantly fell in love with Catastrophic Creations’ wall-mounted cat furniture.
Jenny McGrath/Insider

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  • Catastrophic Creations makes eye-catching wall-mounted furniture for cats.
  • My two cats can't get enough of multi-level shelves and scratch post. 
  • Though pricey, it's a great alternative to a cat tree for homes without a ton of floor space.

My apartment isn't huge, and my two cats' furniture takes up a fair amount of space. They have a cat tree, window-mounted scratcher-bed combo, and a scratching post that one uses as a lookout spot. 

Catastrophic Creations offered to send some of its wall-mounted furniture for me to review. I was interested to see if my cats would love it and use it as frequently as their beloved tree, which is admittedly a bit of an eyesore and tough to clean.

Catastrophic Creations furniture can be accessorized with hammocks, feeding bowls, bridges, and beds. 

A gray cat looks through the hole in a black Catastrophic Creations shelf.
The “escape hatches” in the Catastrophic Creations shelves allow cats to move between levels.
Jenny McGrath/Insider

Catastrophic Creations' wall furniture is made from bamboo and canvas. The bamboo comes in three neutral colors (English chestnut, natural, or onyx), and the canvas, either regular or waterproof, is available in natural or charcoal. 

You can purchase a pre-designed "condo" or create your own. For the shelves, bridges, and scratching posts that you mount on walls, the layouts fit either 16- or 24-inch studs. Be sure to determine the spacing of your wall's studs before you order because some configurations may not work for you.

My walls have 24-inch studs, and Catastrophic Creations' owner Mike Wilson helped me figure out a custom design that would fit across three studs. Anyone can email customer service for information on products that work best with their stud spacing, and people making larger orders can get a little more hands-on help selecting items that work well together.

My setup includes two shelves, a canvas bridge, a wood bridge, and a scratching post. 

I have to say, setup is not quick, and it's definitely a 2-person job.

A black Catastrophic Creations plank shown from below, attached to a black shelf.
The plank, shown from below, attaches to the shelves, bridges, and other pieces of Catastrophic Creations furniture.
Jenny McGrath/Insider

The measuring and planning are what took up the bulk of the five-hour assembly. There are videos to help you with each step, and the printed instructions are straightforward. The mounting planks are the building blocks of the furniture, and the shelves, bridges, and scratching posts all attach to them. You attach the planks to the wall with screws, so you'll need a drill for the job. 

I had to plot each piece to align with my wall's studs. I also needed to ensure my cats could crawl through the "escape hatches" in the shelves and reach the other platforms. I wrote directly on my walls as I mapped everything out, but it's probably better to use painter's tape. 

My husband — whom I've corralled into helping me assemble other furniture for review — was impressed with how well made and designed everything was. The shelves are very sturdy and hold up to 85 pounds. 

From almost the instant we'd assembled everything, our two kitties started battling it out for top cat.

A brown-gray-and-white cat stands on a black shelf that’s part of a Catastrophic Creations cat furniture design.
I was worried my older cat wouldn’t be able to make use of the shelves, but he loves climbing on all the levels.
Jenny McGrath/Insider

The highest point of the configuration is the top of the scratching post, which attaches to the wooden bridge. Both of my cats love lounging on it, and a few minor altercations have taken place over it. For the most part, though, they can each hang out on separate parts of the furniture, out of paw's reach. 

At first, I was worried my senior cat wouldn't be able to enjoy the shelves. We put the canvas ladder low to the ground so he'd be able to climb it. The problem is neither cat seems to trust the structural integrity of the canvas. Instead, they both use the console table next to the shelves as a launch pad. Or the younger cat will do a "Mulan"-style climb of the scratch pole to haul himself up. 

One of my favorite parts about Catastrophic Creations' furniture is that it's easy to clean. Even the furry cat bed velcros on and has a removable cover (though the company suggests you hand wash it). 

There are some drawbacks.

A furry gray cat bed that’s part of the Catastrophic Creations setup, lifted to show the velcro underneath.
It’s simple to remove the cat bed from the Catastrophic Creations shelf, making it easier to clean.
Jenny McGrath/Insider

These aren't cheap. Even a basic setup is $89, and the most elaborate ones, like the Juggernaut, are nearly $600. However, the design is very modular, so you can always add to it later if your cats fall in love with the furniture. 

It's also not the most-rental friendly option for cat owners. My setup has eight mounting planks, which require drilling three holes each. That will require quite a bit of patchwork for anyone who plans on moving. 

Also, even though the furniture design is quite nice, it tends to dominate the room it's in and may not be to everyone's taste. 

The bottom line

A gray cat sits on a sisal pole that’s part of the Catastrophic Creations setup.
In feats of daring-do, my cat loves to climb the sisal pole to get to the top of the perch.
Jenny McGrath/Insider

Catastrophic Creations makes well-designed cat furniture that actually looks good on my wall. While it took a while to assemble, it's easier to maintain than a cat tree I need to constantly vacuum. 

Most importantly? My cats love it.

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