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View Full Version : How to clean a cat tree?



snoopy
10-13-2011, 03:52 PM
I googled this and got conflicting advice. Some said donít use water as the underlying wood might not dry out, some said use water and bleach. Some said NO to carpet cleaners, some said use carpet cleaners. Some said just vacuum it and go (er, but it is kinda dirty). Anybody have any tips on this?

Satellitegirl
10-13-2011, 03:54 PM
"Cat Tree" conjures some funny images in my mind.

Jenny
10-13-2011, 03:55 PM
If it's dirtier than a vacuum can take care of, then I'd throw it out and get a new one.

Angelskates
10-13-2011, 04:46 PM
If it's dirtier than a vacuum can take care of, then I'd throw it out and get a new one.

ITA. Is you're a 100% carpet on, or does it have scratching posts that are kind of rope like?

taf2002
10-13-2011, 04:50 PM
I would clean it with a stiff brush & soap & water, maybe cat shampoo to be sure it won't be irritating to the cat, & set it outside to air out & dry. If the wood eventually rots, you can throw it out then. I wouldn't throw it out with at least trying to clean it.

overedge
10-13-2011, 11:28 PM
It depends on what the cat has done to it, and what it is covered with.

At the shelter where I volunteer, most of the cat trees are wood covered with carpet. If the cats have just shredded it with their claws, it gets cleaned with water and bleach. If the cats have shredded it down to the wood, then it usually gets tossed. I suppose they could be rehabbed with some new carpet stapled or nailed on top, but this isn't always feasible time-wise.

Some of the cat trees also have boxes and enclosed spaces for the cats to hide in. These are always lined with blankets or towels, which are washed and changed regularly. But sometimes the hiding cats are too scared to come out to use the litter boxes. So if the cat tree smells bad because of cats messing in/onr it, then it gets tossed too. Even water and bleach won't get that smell out permanently.

danceronice
10-13-2011, 11:41 PM
I use a cat comb or wire brush to get the excess hair off, and a vacuum for the small stuff. For major issues (vomit), I usually just use the same carpet cleaner I'd use when they throw up on the carpet. If it's urine, forget it, get rid of it.

Silver Lining
10-14-2011, 12:21 AM
At this cat shelter in Ohio they had volunteers shampoo the cat trees last week:

http://www.ustream.tv/ffrc

Artemis@BC
10-14-2011, 12:24 AM
At the shelter where I volunteer ...

Just wanted to say :respec: and :cheer2: for this!

GarrAarghHrumph
10-14-2011, 02:45 AM
I thought you were talking about trees of the outdoor type, which got me wondering what made one tree a "cat tree" versus another which was not. ;)

Jenny
10-14-2011, 02:33 PM
At the shelter where I volunteer, .

Ditto what Artemis said - bless you. :)

snoopy
10-14-2011, 03:48 PM
There are no bodily fluids but there is actual dirt on the tree (the cat was out with me while I was planting fall bulbs). The tree itself is in good shape still so I will try the shampoo/water route. Then I will line his laying space with a towel or blanket so I can wash that more frequently. Thanks everyone!

DarrellH
10-14-2011, 06:32 PM
I thought you were talking about trees of the outdoor type, which got me wondering what made one tree a "cat tree" versus another which was not. ;)

It's that special time of year when the kittens are in bloom!

overedge
10-14-2011, 07:19 PM
Ditto what Artemis said - bless you. :)

Aw, thanks. It's really as much fun for me as I think it is for the cats. It's a no-kill shelter (I couldn't handle one that wasn't) and the unionized staff do all the really hard work. So basically I go for a hour once or twice a week and have cats sit in my lap and climb all over me :)