Essential Cat Furniture

You may be asking yourself, “What is Essential Cat Furniture?”

Tom Westerhold, owner of Feline Design Cat Furniture in Downingtown, explains that essential cat furniture is furniture that allows cats and humans to coexist. After years of experience with his own cats, he recognized that cats have “deeply ingrained instincts” which don’t always align with their human family’s idea of good behavior.

Over 30 years ago, Westerhold identified a need for sturdy, quality, American made cat furniture. He set out to bring his idea to fruition and has been creating essential cat furniture ever since. Westerhold believes that there are two pieces of cat furniture that each cat lover should own.

Essential Furniture #1 Scratching Post:

Tom Westerhold understands that scratching is the number one problem a new cat owner encounters. He believes that if you understand that scratching is a natural action as well as a “defensive reaction,” you can then decide how to curb that behavior.

Westerhold posits that scratching posts can benefit both the cats and the humans. Feline Design offers a variety of scratching posts; however, Westerhold recommends that you consider some specific criteria when choosing your scratching post.

His ideal scratching post is relatively tall – 24″ to 30″ or more. It should have a base which is wide enough to keep the whole thing from tipping over, and it should to be covered with something on which your cat will be attracted to scratch. Westerhold personally prefers sisal rope – specifically, 3/8″ diameter Brazilian or Mexican sisal rope (due to its longevity). He believes that if you expose your cat to this rope at an early age, she’ll always prefer scratching it and will leave that chair alone. While a great scratching post is essential, Tom recommends one in each area of the home where your cat will spend time.

Essential Furniture #2 Cat Tree

Another piece that Westerhold finds important to strike a balance between cats and humans is a cat tree or condo. Since cats love to stretch, scratch, jump, climb, and sleep, a cat tree is perfect. Cat trees or condos should offer a wide, stable base with two or more levels and a soft, carpeted bed or perch on top. There are taller, multi-level cat trees which are suitable for households with several cats. Feline Design’s tallest trees stand at about 53” and have at least three beds or perches. Their beds & perches are designed to allow large breed cats, such as Maine Coons, which can weigh up to 18 lbs. at maturity, to stretch out or curl up and have a long, cozy nap.

So, if you are considering purchasing any “Essential Cat Furniture” in the near future, stop by Braxton’s and check out our large selection of Feline Design Furniture.

If you are interested in reading more about Feline Design in Tom Westerhold’s own words, click here.


  1. I appreciate being asked to provide some tips from my perspective, and you have sumarized the (much) longer version here very well. The link to my original article wasn’t necessary, but of courae I went there to see what I wrote ( as if I needed to), If it helps your customers decide on what their critters want, that would be a positive outcome. I may have neglected to provide a link to my taller cat trees, so that is shown below. Not that you need to change anything here, but just for your own reference. Warm regards, -tommy catman

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