Budget, space & functionality will be the main factors when deciding on which Hicat® is right thing for you, your home & most importantly, your cat - the Thumbs-Up section has some amazing feedback on how much cats love our products but even after you've decided to make a purchase there's still lots to consider.
Being bespoke there’s a lot information to digest so we’ve done our best to help customers with their Hicat® purchase across the Overview, Customer Notes & FAQs sections along with detailed Product Pages.
This makes for a lot of reading so we've also put together this Buying Guide to share our recommendations & help you with your decision making when it comes to specifying your Hicat®.
Customers have commented on our Google business page that they’ve owned units for 4, 5, 6, & as long as 10 years & they're still going strong but if your cat is a serial scratcher to help keep your Hicat® looking like new for as long as possible you may want to have additional scratching options available - this will take some of the day-to-day scratching away from the unit so help prolong the life of your Hicat® even further.
Our units start at £220 for a floor-to-ceiling post, our floor-to-ceiling tubes start at £600 & our larger tubes come in at around £1,000 when specified with multiple levels - our pricing page has a full list of prices across our bespoke range.
Positioning Your Hicat®
There's no obvious best place to site your Hicat® but we think they work really well in the room you spend most of your time in - interaction & playing are a big part of your cat's well being so being close to you is important, especially if your cat is your only pet.
Using your Hicat® to exploit as yet untapped vertical spaces in your home is a really good way to broaden your cat’s climbing & playing activity - using a unit as a bridge to span storage units, as a platform to get on top of kitchen units or as a ladder to reach the top of a wardrobe should all be weighed up as far as your cat’s concerned.
You do need to think about how your Hicat® is positioned in relation to building features that you don’t want your cat to get to like windows, beams, high level cills, even suspended lights as your cat might want to take that leap into places that they can't normally get to.
Hicat® climbers are are available in floor-to-ceiling, wall mounted & freestanding versions - units can be customised to personalise your Hicat® to suit your cat’s climbing, playing, lounging & sleeping habits so deciding on the type of unit is the starting point.
Floor-to-ceiling units offer the most climbing in terms of scale & will seamlessly integrate into your home but like all made-to-measure furniture, could be limited in terms of future relocation.
Freestanding units are constrained in height but are obviously best for customers that don’t want to install & who want the freedom to move their unit easily.
Wall mounted units can be specified in height options & do need to be installed but offer a great compromise between floor-to-ceiling & freestanding units.
Once you’ve chosen the unit type things get easier to decide on as we’ve applied some cat common sense rules to our recommended Access Hole Compartment positioning but customers also have the option to fully customised these features.
Having Access Hole Compartments set above head height will give your cat a great climbing experience but they will obviously be out of reach when lounging & sleeping - climbing down from high level Access Holes will be fine but jumping down from a Recessed Top over 2000mm high on top of a unit does take some agility so please bear this in mind when specifying unit heights with this feature.
Interacting with your cat is most comfortable between waist & head height (that’s your waist & head height, not theirs) so having Compartments & Recessed Tops set around 600mm-1800mm will be a great way to play with your cat & fuss them when they are relaxing at these heights.
Access Hole Compartments are shown in their recommended configuration in the diagram above & on product pages - they are positioned at 400mm centres & you have the option of specifying a Climb-Through Compartment if you want to allow your cat to climb between enclosures.
Customers also have the option of being able to customise compartments as shown in the example diagram above - spacing compartments at equi-distance is probably the most popular adaptation but extended, recessed, storage & capped compartments are other variations that can be combined with re-positioning Access Hole Compartments & Climb-Through Compartments.
Polecat can be specified as a floor-to-ceiling or wall mounted unit - it's commonly used as a cat ladder providing a way of reaching high vantage points on top of furniture, building features & shelves to provide that extra playing space and vertical territory that's so important to cats.
Polecat is basically an up & down climber but still lots of fun especially when you can spend time interacting with your cat while it climbs - adding a Cat's Cradle gives another dimension to playing & gives your cat that all important raised level to play & rest on.
If your cat likes throw & chase play you can purchase a Hicatch Toy when you order, or even after from our Accessories page, which will help keep them climbing - the Stick Thingy is a must have toy as far as our cats are concerned for chasing up & around our units.
Installing a Polecat is usually a one person job & it comes with all of the necessary fixings & bits - all you will need is a step ladder & drill.
Tomcat suits small to medium size cats (up to 4-5kg) & will allow them to curl up inside the unit as well as play, lounge & climb - if your cat is on the larger side & you think they will want to sleep in the unit then a Fatcat will be a better choice.
Apart from the difference in diameter between Tomcat & Fatcat units, the climbing experience is very similar inside & out as these units have the same size Access Holes & Climb-Through Compartment apertures.
Lounging & sleeping in Access Hole Compartments is a feature of our products so having one at each cat’s disposal is nice to have & if you have a cat that enjoys sleeping in low level enclosures or an elderly cat that needs somewhere to relax then a compartment at the bottom of the unit should be a consideration.
Climb-Through Compartments work really well as an alternative route up & down the inside of the unit but you do loose the seclusion between compartments - lounging space also becomes a bit limited so we recommend keeping a compartment at mid height without this option so your cat has at least one level where they can curl up comfortably.
In terms of prioritising the number & position of Access Hole Compartments we would recommend having the first compartment at waist-to-shoulder height as this encourages climbing but also allows you to easily interact with your cat.
Your cat would then probably choose an Access Hole Compartment at the top of the unit then additional levels at the middle of the unit - based on our experience the low level Access Hole Compartments towards the bottom are the least used.
Adding Peep Holes between waist-to-shoulder height is also a good move as again this is a comfortable height for you & your cat to play.
The standard Black Twist Pile finish on the inside makes for a really cosy & soft interior but if you want an even softer lounging area for your cat then you can add Pad cushions inside the Access Hole Compartments - Pads can also be placed over Climb-Through Compartments.
Tomcat installation can be a one person job but it's easier with two - like Polecat it comes with all of the necessary fixings & bits - all you will need is a step ladder & drill.
Fatcat is the unit of choice for bigger cats (5kg+) that want to curl up & sleep in their Hicat® or for cats that love sleeping together - it can be specified as a floor-to-ceiling, wall mounted or freestanding unit.
The same basic Tomcat principles apply to Fatcat in terms of specification & functionality noting that the larger diameter Fat Pads cushions replace Pads & Climb-Through Compartments work best on this size unit because of the larger diameter area in relation to climb-through aperture.
Again, finish options are the same as Tomcat so the only other thing to note is that Fatcat units can weigh up to 50kg so installation is definitely a two person job.
Bobcat makes for a great day bed & petting platform on its own but as noted above it also complements taller units when used as a landing pad when jumping down - it can also be customised as a storage unit.
Adding a Peep hole to encourage play & a Fat Pad cushion finishes off the unit nicely.
There's no installation with these podium units but you will need to add some sand bags as ballast - a couple of 5kg silver (silica) sand bags should do the job.
Wall Mounted Units
If you are planning on moving in the near future rather than purchase a floor-to-ceiling Hicat® you may want to consider a wall mounted version - units are usually specified between 1820mm-2220mm & with one, two, three or four Access Hole Compartments.
Choosing a wall mounted Polecat, Tomcat or Fatcat unit means that you'll never need to worry about your Hicat® not fitting into your new home - also, it gives you the flexibility to move it around your existing home as you won't need to worry about differing ceiling heights.
Lounging on top of a Hicat in the Recessed Top is a great way to relax & take in the view - Fatcat is the preferred choice for doing this because of its larger diameter but going above head height will mean that you will be missing out on some contact & you may choose to position your unit next to furniture to give your cat a way of jumping down more easily.
We recommend specifying Tomcat & Fatcat units 300-400mm shorter than your ceiling height for head, tail & ear clearance.
As an option to a wall mounted unit we also make a freestanding Fatcat - units can be specified up to 1830mm high & with one, two, three or four Access Hole Compartments.
If you are interested in a freestanding unit then you should definitely checkout our Catapilla™ range of cat furniture with a twist.
More Bespoke Options
There are a variety of bespoke features, units, finishes to enhance your Hicat® even further & even fabricating a one-of-a-kind Hicat® for your cat so it is worth flicking through these pages - here are some of most popular enhancements.
Peep Holes can be repositioned around the unit up to 80º to the left or to the right of their standard position opposite the Access Hole - you can advise on any adjustments in the Makers Notes section when placing an order.
Additional Access Hole Compartments & Shelves can be added to your unit - a popular option is to add a Shelf below a Climb-Through Access Hole Compartment to create a private chamber.
A popular bespoke adaption fro our Bobcat unit is increasing the height to 1000mm as this will allow two Access Hole Compartments to be specified along with a Climb-Through Compartment.
Bobcat, Wall Mounted & Freestanding units can also have a Deep Recessed Top that increases the standard 60mm depth to 120mm.
Our Cat Nap Bed is becoming a must have lounger to pair with our climbers or even just as a stand alone-purchase.
Tibet Wool or Slate Coir finishes are a very popular bespoke options which, add another level of exclusivity to our products.
Combining Hicat® units works really well in multi-cat households & can be set up in lots of different ways but the more obvious combos are multiple Polecat units, Polecat-Tomcat/Fatcat-Bobcat combos & Polecat-Wall Mounted Tomcat-Fatcat combos.
Adding a Polecat alongside a Tomcat or Fatcat makes for some great unit-to-unit jumping & gives your cats an alternative way to climb down from the higher Access Hole Compartments on Tomcat or Fatcat. As already mentioned Bobcat can also be a useful platform to land on from the higher Access Hole Compartments as well as being a great place to sleep in & on.
If you want to give your cat the opportunity to climb & have that all important raised level then a Polecat with Cat's Cradle or a wall mounted Tomcat or Fatcat with Recessed Platform Top & single Access Hole Compartment are well worth looking at.
Also, remember if you don't mind rolling your sleeves up you can also make your own DIY Polecat.
Upside Down Units
Another thing to consider when positioning Access Hole Compartments on floor-to-ceiling units is that you do have the option of installing them either way up - this is a neat trick if you want to give your cat a change in climbing options.
If you think you will be inverting your Hicat® at some point it’s best to specify Access Hole Compartments without the Climb-Through option - this means that your cat will always have a place to lounge in the Access Hole Compartments whether the unit is upside down or not.
Our Cats' Set-Up
Our cats have had their fair share of Hicat® units but the current set-up seems to be their favourite to date.
Centre stage is a 2220cm Wall Mounted Fatcat 4 finished in bespoke Tibet Wool - it's specified with Climb-Through Access Hole Compartments & Recessed Platform Top along with Peep Holes & provides them with a large play & exercise area.
The Recessed Platform Top gives them a great high lounging & sleeping level (just within stroking/petting height) & is also used to jump across to our kitchen wall cupboards.
As mentioned above we think it's important to give your cat options for scratching so we also have a collection of Scraaatch™ units around our home - we have a Stool with bespoke special shaggy pile carpet top & bespoke scratching decks finished in a sisal-coir mix.
The latest addition to our cats' set-up is a Bespoke Wool Polecat with two Cat's Cradles, located next to our home office area & used as a stage by our cats for playing with their Stick Thingy.