Cat playhouses come in all shapes and sizes. They’re designed to give your cat somewhere safe to play and rest – whether indoors or outdoors. From luxury wooden playhouses to simple pop-up tunnels and tents, there are plenty of options to choose from.
We reviewed dozens of cat playhouses to identify the best of the best, based on Amazon reviews, how easy (or not!) they were to assemble, how durable they were, the cost, and other considerations. We picked a super-star top five that will be sure to please your cat (with options for tight budgets and indoor versus outdoor use too).
One playhouse, the Midwest Curious Cat Cube, stood out as the overall winner, with amazing customer feedback, super-easy assembly, and lots of features packed into a small space – like cosy beds to nap on and a big scratching panel.
In This Article
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Cat Playhouses
|Best Overall||Midwest Curious Cat Cube (Brown Double Story)||4.6|
|Runner Up||Parkland Pet Portable Foldable Playpen||4.3|
|Best Budget Buy||Cat Scratcher and Tunnel||4.1|
|Best Outdoor Playhouse||Petsfit Large Outdoor Cat House with Stair||4.8|
|Best Indoor Playhouse||Petmaker Cat Condo 2 Story||4.4|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Our Top Pick: Midwest Curious Cat Cube (Brown Double Story)
The Midwest Curious Cat Cube, in the “Brown Double Story” option, is an excellent cat playhouse at a very reasonable price. It has space for your cats to climb, hide, and even curl up and nap … and there’s a huge scratching panel on the side to promote healthy scratching (and to save your furniture).
It’s a strong, sturdy cat house with three different levels – so if you have two or more cats, they can easily play here together. There are two hideaways on the lower levels so your cat can curl up on the luxurious faux-sheepskin and relax.
Compared with outdoor playhouses and larger cat condos, it’s a good option if you’re budgeting at $48.99. It has a rating of 4.6 on Amazon with over 2,800 people reviewing it – that’s a lot of happy customers! Cat owners mentioned, in particular, how easy it was to put together.
Midwest Curious Cat Cube (Brown Double Story) Key Features:
- Has three different levels so multiple cats can play at once
- Strong and sturdy, but easy to assemble
- Large scratching panel so you don’t need a separate scratching post
Our Runner Up Pick: Parkland Pet Portable Foldable Playpen
The Parkland Pet Portable Foldable Playpen is designed for dogs as well as cats, so it comes in three different sizes: small ($19.95), medium ($29.95) and large ($36.95). If you have several cats, or a fairly large cat, you might want to opt for the medium or large option, but for one or two kittens, the small option should offer enough room.
It’s super fast to set up, and folds down flat when it’s not in use, meaning it’s a great option if you don’t want a playhouse that’s permanently set up in your house or garden. You can move it around whenever you want … and even pack it to take on vacation with you.
You can easily check on your cat when they’re curled up napping in this playhouse, as it’s got mesh panels all around. It’s easy to clean, too – you can just wipe it down with disinfectant.
Most reviewers loved it, too, awarding it an average of 4.3 stars across almost 3,700 reviews. In particular, people felt it was very well made for the price.
Parkland Pet Portable Foldable Playpen Key Features:
- Can be used indoors and outdoors
- Takes seconds to set up and to take down
- Has a zipped top for easy access to your cat
Best Budget Pick: Cat Scratcher and Tunnel
This triangle-shaped Cat Scratcher and Tunnel from Petstages is a great budget choice. Cats can enjoy scratching the walls (making it a great alternative to a cat tree) or running through the tunnel … they can even curl up inside for a nap. It’s very quick and easy to assemble, and it folds flat for storage so that it can be packed away when not in use. At $18.36, it’s a budget-friendly option.
Several reviewers said they’d bought multiple tunnels, because their cats loved them so much. However, as it’s made of cardboard (beneath the fabric outer layers), there were concerns about the tunnel’s durability. Some cat owners felt that it was fair for the price; others felt the tunnel should be a little stronger and more able to withstand wear and tear.
Cat Scratcher and Tunnel Key Features:
- Can be positioned upright as a tunnel or flat on the floor
- Very easy and quick to assemble
- Promotes healthy scratching – and saves your furniture
Best Outdoor Playhouse: Petsfit Large Outdoor Cat House with Stair
Outdoor cat houses don’t come as cheap as indoor ones, as they need to be strong enough to stand up to the elements. The Petsfit Large Outdoor Cat House with Stair is a great option as it’s large enough for several cats to use at once, and is attractively designed – it even has a flower shelf!
Unlike some outdoor playhouses with multiple steps, this large cat house only has a single wide step, so it’s easy for even tiny kittens or older cats to climb into. It’s not insulated, though, so if you live somewhere cold, you’ll want to add some sort of insulation plus a heating pad.
The cat house arrives flat-packed, so you will need to do some assembly. Most reviewers said that they found this pleasingly straightforward and didn’t have any problems putting the house together. Some used it for their own cats; others used it for feral cats that they were feeding.
Petsfit Large Outdoor Cat House with Stair Key Features:
- Two doors at either end of the house, so multiple cats can get in and out easily
- Bottom floor can be removed for easier cleaning
- Comes weatherproofed – doesn’t require any extra paint or treatment
Best Indoor Playhouse: Petmaker Cat Condo 2 Story
This simple indoor playhouse, the Petmaker Cat Condo 2 Story, is large enough for a couple of cats to play together. It has three levels for your cat to either play or nap on, plus a large scratching panel at the back. It’s made of soft grey fabric that wouldn’t look out of place whatever your decor.
It doesn’t require assembly – so if you want a simple indoor playhouse for your cat, it’s a great option. However, it’s not huge, so if you have a large cat, you may want to choose something different. For a couple of small cats or kittens, though, this could be ideal.
Most reviewers loved it, but a few said that it wasn’t as cushioned as they’d hoped, and others felt that it was too lightweight and were concerned it might tip.
Petmaker Cat Condo 2 Story Key Features:
- Easy to clean: can be spot cleaned or hand vacuumed
- Classic, neutral look that will fit well in any room of your home
- Ideal for smaller cats and kittens
Who Should Buy a Cat Playhouse
Cat playhouses are a great option for any cat: there are so many different types out there that there’s bound to be something to suit your cat, whether you have a tiny kitten or an older, less agile cat.
It’s a particularly good idea to buy a cat playhouse if you want to stop your cat climbing on – or worse, scratching – your furniture. A playhouse gives them somewhere to explore and play.
A playhouse can also be a safe haven for your cat to rest. If your cat seeks out enclosed spaces, like a box or drawer, then they might particularly appreciate a playhouse that incorporates a “cat cave” where they can curl up for a peaceful nap.
Important Features to Consider
A cat playhouse should do several things well. Here’s what to consider when selecting a cat playhouse:
- Suitable size. There’s a wide variation in the size of cat playhouses, from small tunnels and boxes to playhouses with multiple levels. You’ll want to choose a playhouse that’s large enough for your cat or cats, but also one that’s going to fit easily into an appropriate space in your home or yard.
- Durability. While you might be happy to replace a cheap cat playhouse from time to time, you don’t want a playhouse that’s going to fall apart after a few weeks of use … or worse, collapse on your cat. Look for a playhouse made of strong, lasting materials.
- Suitable for outdoor use (if applicable). cat playhouses are designed to be used indoors only. If your cat is allowed the run of the yard, or if you want to occasionally let them out, then you’ll need a playhouse that’s suitable. You could either opt for a playhouse that stays outside permanently (which will probably be made of weatherproofed wood), or one that you can move in and out as required.
- Interest level. Some playhouses are straightforward and may not hold your cat’s attention for long; others have loads of different features and areas to explore. When considering what to buy, think about how your cat is likely to want to interact with the playhouse: do they love familiar, soft spaces to curl up in, or do they like to clamber and explore? Of course, you could always add some cat toys to the playhouse to help them get more out of a simple model.
- Portability. If you want to move your cat’s playhouse around, then make sure you’re getting something that’s light and easy to carry. Many indoor playhouses can be folded up or collapsed when not in use, saving on space – and making it easy to transport them around.
- Exit door. You don’t want your cats to get trapped inside their cat house by a predator – so if you’re buying an outdoor cat house, particularly one for use by feral cats, it’s best to have an escape door. This also makes it easier for two cats to play in the house together, without getting stuck!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a cat playhouse?
There are quite a few different types of cat playhouse out there, from glorified cardboard boxes to elaborate (and pricy!) playhouses with multiple levels and zones to explore. In general, though, cat playhouses are designed to provide two things: an interesting environment for your cat to play, plus a secure and secluded space for them to rest and nap.
Can you put more than one cat in a playhouse?
Most playhouses are suitable for multiple cats – though if you’re putting your cats in an enclosed playhouse that they can’t get out of, do make sure you watch them closely in case of any issues. Smaller playhouses might be toppled or damaged by two or more cats playing at once, so if you’ve got several cats, you’ll want to opt for a large, sturdy playhouse.
Do cats swat when they play?
It’s very normal for cats to swat at you, or at one another, while they’re playing. This mock aggression is especially common among kitten and young cats. So long as they’re both joining in, and they’re not scratching or hurting one another with their claws, then it’s all in good fun.
How do I know when my cat is happy?
There are lots of ways to tell if your cat is happy. Purring is an obvious one, as is a playful attitude (particularly in younger cats, who might even roll around on the floor in glee). If your cat seeks you out and wants to be near you, that shows they’re happy and want your company. Happy cats also show an interest in their environment and love to look out of the window or explore new things … like their playhouse!
Other Cat Playhouses We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other cat playhouses. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best cat playhouses list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your cat. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.
Outdoor Cat Playhouses
This attractive cat house has two stories and an asphalt roof to keep your cats dry on rainy days. There’s an small staircase up to the top floor, and the enclosed lower floor has a front door plus an escape door.
- Made from anti-rot material (cedar) for durability
- Water-based paint to protect the house
- Easy to set up using pre-drilled holes
Trixie Cat Homes and Enclosures (22 x 23 x 37 inch version)
With little doors and windows for your cat to peep out of, this cute three-story cat house has rain-proof roofing and a raised floor to allow air to circulate.
- Large hinged door at the back for easy maintenance
- Slatted plastic flaps in the side doorway to keep out wind and rain
- Tall narrow design – great for small spaces
With a staggering number of reviews, this portable tent, tunnel, and playhouse combo is perfect for giving your indoor cats a chance to enjoy being outdoors – safely.
- Safe environment for cats to run around and explore
- Breathable mesh allows airflow while keeping insects out
- Lightweight and easy to set up
This two-storey cat condo includes balconies outside for your cat to climb and enjoy perching on. It has an asphalt roof to keep the house dry even on the wettest days.
- Interior hole between upper and lower levels
- Top opens so you can easily clean inside
- Easy to assemble with pre-drilled holes
If you really want to treat your cats, this large multi-story cat home offers lots of space and several levels to explore. It’s an attractive grey and white design, with little balcony fences.
- Holes between levels so your cat can climb easily
- Raised floor to keep moisture out
- Very sturdy and suitable for lots of cats (up to five) at one time
This budget-friendly outdoor cat house has a sheltered lower level with a wire door plus an open balcony, reached by a short staircase.
- Made from sturdy but light solid fir wood
- Large door makes it easy to clean
- Easy to put together in under 30 minutes
Another budget-friendly option, this pet house is similar to the Tangkula model, but in a natural wood colour and without a wire door.
- Open doorway for cats to come and go with ease
- Raised feet to keep the cat house dry
- Sturdy fir wood, treated with natural color stain
This well-reviewed cat house is available heated or unheated, and has two exit doors. The hook and loop fasteners mean you can assemble it in minutes.
- Roof overhang protects the doorways from rain
- Large enough for multiple cats
- Fits together quickly without any tools needed
Cost: $85 (heated option)
This huge pop-up playpen is suitable for several cats to play together, and allows indoor cats to safely experience life outdoors. You can even take it camping or on vacation.
- Components zip together in modular design
- Tall triangular tent is large enough to hold a scratching post
- Loads of space for cats to run and explore
Indoor Cat Playhouses
This attractive condo with rooftop comes in two color options: grey/white and unpainted. It’s designed for indoor use, and if you opt for the unpainted version, you can paint it however you like to fit in with your decor.
- Small staircase (three steps)
- Solid wooden construction
- Easy to assemble using instructions and pre-drilled holes
This large playpen is a cage with shelves for your cat to clamber on. It’s ideal for times when you may need to keep your cat contained – perhaps when introducing a new cat to resident cats.
- Has lockable wheels for fast and safe repositioning
- Pan floor slides out for easy cleaning
- Includes an ultra-soft chenille bed
This four-in-one playhouse includes a cat bed, activity tree, scratching post, and hanging toy. It’s a rugged, durable option that should last for a long time.
- Hideaway areas for napping and resting
- Lots of places to climb and explore
- Easy to assemble – tools are included
This cute bunk bed for pets has a simple staircase plus a ground-level step, and two safely fenced bed levels. It’s made of sturdy, solid wood and suitable for large cats.
- Ideal for two-cat homes
- Well made and easy to assemble with pre-drilled holes
- Comes unpainted
As well as using this pet house for your cat to play it, it makes a great side table. It’s made of durable wood, but it’s designed for indoor rather than outdoor use.
- Easy to wipe clean
- Soft thick mat for comfy napping
- Simple, contemporary, and versatile style
This large playhouse has multiple levels and features, including four scratching posts, four dangling ball toys, two cat caves, and a top level. Many reviewers said their cats loved this.
- Modular design to suit any space
- Lightweight: easy to assemble and move around
- Suitable for several cats, and large cats
This versatile playhouse is made from modular heavy-duty cardboard cat cubes. You can buy as many as you like and easily fit them together to create the perfect playhouse for your cat.
- Tough, durable heavy duty cardboard
- Available in a variety of patterns and designs
- Two cubes (plus clips / bridges) provided in each kit
Constructed from fibreglass poles and different fabric levels, this cylindrical cat tree is easy to set up and take down. Cats can climb up the inside from platform to platform.
- Comes with carry case that it folds into
- Three levels and lots of play value
- Small circular holes for added play value
Small Cat Playhouses
If you only have the space or the budget for a small playhouse, this fun cardboard cube has a gorgeous and unusual design, with a couple of peepholes for your cat to pop their paws through.
- Made of cardboard – indoor use only
- Creative, artsy design to brighten your home
- Comes with a guide to playing with your cat
This simple, wide playhouse can be positioned horizontally or vertically for your cat to explore. You can stack several on top of one another for multiple cats.
- Sturdy metal frame plus woven rattan
- Comes with a cushion pad for cozy napping
- Large enough for big cats to be comfortable inside
For a super-cheap option, this two-tier playhouse is perfect for indoor use. It’s constructed from fabric and poles (some reviewers found this tricky).
- Two story design, with half-canopy over the top
- Lower cube has small entry hole
- Best for smaller cats