Umm..don't seal the branches. I did that and I even scored them before sealing to give added grip and he still couldn't grab them. I ended up having to wrap vines around them just so he can climb. I also only used one coat thinking that even if it smoothed out the branches having only a thin layer would still allow the roughness of the branch through...it didn't. I also highly recommend the fast drying stuff. For the actual cage I used regular poly and stayed up an entire night to get all 4 layers done (if ou wait days in between each coat you have to lightly sand before applying a new layer so that each layer adheres but if you do it all at once no need to sand) and I was exhausted. Also I built the cage before sealing(don't do it it is a hassle, cut all the peices then seal then assemble, it would have been so much easier). On the branches and extra shelves and door I used the thick drying and as soon as a layer was on each peice I was able to immediately go back and do another layer so it only took an hour instead of an entire day.