Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sugar Kitty Gym review

I was going to write this post later, but I am so disappointed that I wanted to share this review right away. I spent a lot of time looking on the Internet for just the right kitty condo. Heath and Cali really like to be inside somewhere, so I wanted a cat tower with a least one sleeping condo. My budget was limited. It is hard to find something big enough for the Coons on a limited budget. (another day I will talk about the huge number of amazing, and expensive, cat trees available!) So when I found the Sugar Kitty Gym on CatsPlay.com I was pretty excited. I should have known better. I didn't really notice until today that they don't allow reviews on their website. That should have been a big warning. I'm sharing my review here.

The Product: I had looked all over the Internet for a condo big enough for my Maine Coons. I was excited to find this one.  Sadly, it has a number of issues that make it not nearly as good as I had hoped. For starters, the dimensions don’t match the specs listed. The exterior of the bottom condo measures 19” x 19”. With the support braces around the inside, the inside measures about 16” x 16”.  It’s just barely useable by my moderately sized Coons. The top condo measures 16”x16” on the outside, leaving barely 14”x14” on the inside. It is too small for the Coons, assuming they could actually get into it.

Which brings us to the second major problem. The Sugar Kitty gym is almost impossible in its design for cats to actually use and climb. There is almost no step up effect from level to level. It is a 19” stretch with 3” of clearance to get from the top of the bottom condo to the door of the middle condo. My Maine Coon girl stretched up to stick her head in, and then gave up the idea. It’s too small, and too difficult to get into. By the way, my Maine Coons are active 9 month- old kittens. The female did manage to climb onto the top shelf. Getting down is tricky. The first time she launched the 5 + feet down to the floor. Ouch! The second time, she banked off the middle condo (it’s not big enough or far enough out to step on to) and dropped to the floor. Still ouch. The only way for my bigger male (he’s 13 pounds) to climb up at all is to use the piano next to the kitty gym. The scratching posts are also poorly placed. There is no way for a cat to stretch out to use them. On the bottom, only the middle post is sisal covered, and it can’t be reached from ground level, so cats have only 15 ½ inches of clearance to use it. Overall, this is a pretty useless piece of cat furniture. If you have a small cat, there are many other options in this price range. If you have a big cat, save up for something better.

Customer Service: I will shop elsewhere in the future. When shipping was delayed, this was not updated on my order status page. The only way to communicate with the company is by email, and my first email inquiry about why my order had not shipped on time went unanswered. My second email was answered, and when they say emails will be answered within a business day, they mean you can expect to wait about 24 hours to hear from them (if you hear from them). If you track down the phone number and call, you will hear a recording telling you to email. My product arrived with no assembly hardware and no instructions on how to put it together. As it turns out, it doesn’t need any hardware. Some instructions to that effect would really have prevented aggravation in figuring that out. I guess you get what you pay for. I’ll start saving up again to get something better.

They are excited to check out the new cat furniture.

Not much room for scratching here.

If all else fails, bite your sister's tail.

Heath contemplates if there is any way up to the top shelf.

And gives up to go back to sleeping in his Sherpa bag. 

Cali squeezes on for a nap. 

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