There are times when it is safest and most convenient to keep your cat contained in some way. You might be outside, for example, where it’s not safe for her to roam. Or you might be having a worker in and out of your home and you’re afraid kitty will slip out the door. Another possibility might be that your cat recently had surgery and needs to be kept quiet but you don’t want to put her in a small carrier. Whatever the reason, a cat playpen can be the answer that you’re looking for.
We have examined dozens of cat playpens and have found some of the best ones out there. We looked at the size, whether they’d be likely to keep a cat contained and happy, how sturdy they are, and how Amazon reviewers feel about them.
Our top pick goes to the AmazonBasics Large 3-Tier Cat Cage. This playpen can hold several cats and offers them various height options with four levels, including the floor of the cage. With the addition of a few toys, a cat bed, a litter box, and food and water dishes, this playpen will give your cat (or cats) a fun and restful place to stay when you need them safely contained. Check out a great selection of cat amusements on our list of the best cat toys.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Cat Playpens
|Best Cat Playpen Overall||AmazonBasics Large 3-Tier Cat Cage||4.7|
|Best Foldable Cat Playpen||Zampa Portable Foldable Pet Playpen||4.3|
|Best Budget Cat Playpen||Parkland Pet Portable Foldable Playpen||4.3|
|Best Cat Run Playpen||Outback Jack Outdoor Cat Enclosure||4.1|
|Best Open Top Cat Playpen||IRIS 24” Exercise Playpen Panels||4.5|
*Ratings are from Amazon and may change over time.
Best Cat Playpen Overall: AmazonBasics Large 3-Tier Cat Cage
The AmazonBasics Large 3-Tier Cat Cage made our top spot in our list of the best cat playpens. This is a solid, sturdy place to keep your cat when you need her out of the way. With three platform levels, you can put several cats in the cage at once. Thanks to its tiers, your cats will have the option to sleep, play, and rest up high or down low. The shelves are made of plastic and can be removed to clean.
This cage has two easy-to-open doors that latch closed securely. The black-coated wire is rust-resistant, and the bottom of the cage is leakproof, so you can use it to hold your cat’s litterbox or food and water dishes without worrying about the floor underneath. The entire playpen is on wheels for easy maneuvering throughout the house. It also folds down for transport.
AmazonBasics Large 3-Tier Cat Cage Key Features:
- Three platforms for kitty to lounge or play on
- Plastic shelves, easy to wash
- Washable, leakproof floor
- Two easy-open doors
- Secure latches
- Has wheels for moving
- Folds down
- Weighs 37 lbs
- Measures 36 x 22 x 51 inches
Best Foldable Cat Playpen: Zampa Portable Foldable Pet Playpen
If you are looking for a foldable playpen that can be used indoors or out, we suggest the Zampa Portable Foldable Pet Playpen. This cat containment system requires no assembly; just pop it open and put your cat inside. It’s that simple! This is an octagonal playpen that offers lots of room to keep your cat happy and content while outside in the yard, on the porch, on a camping trip, and so on. The playpen is water-resistant, so it will stay dry inside even if the ground is damp.
The playpen is 45″ in diameter and 24″ high, so that will give your cat plenty of room to lounge. If you need a suggestion for a cat bed to make it comfier, you can find one on our list of the best cat beds. There are pockets on the outside for your personal belongings (or for cat treats!). The mesh top can be zipped open if needed, and it comes with four metal spikes to keep it from blowing or tipping over. The corners are reinforced for longevity.
Zampa Portable Foldable Pet Playpen Key Features:
- No assembly required
- Measures 45 x 24 inches
- Has pockets and a water bottle holder
- Mesh top
- Includes four metal spikes
- Corners reinforced
- Includes carrying case
Best Budget Cat Playpen: Parkland Pet Portable Foldable Playpen
The Parkland Pet Portable Foldable Playpen is our top choice for a budget-friendly cat playpen. It can be used indoors or outdoors, and it’s a low-cost way to keep your cat safe and in one place without putting her in a small cat carrier. It folds up and pops open easily and weighs only a couple of pounds, so you can easily stash it in your car to use the next time you travel.
This cat playpen is 27 inches in diameter and 17 inches tall, so it’s best for one cat; there will also be room for a cat bed or some toys. If you have a litter of young kittens, it would also work for them. You can unzip the top if needed, but there’s also a zippered door to let kitty back out again. The top is partially solid and partially mesh, so there’s great airflow as well as some shade when the sun is overhead. There are straps for tying it down for safe outdoor use.
Parkland Pet Portable Foldable Playpen Key Features:
- Use indoors or outdoors
- Pops open instantly with no tools or assembly
- Weighs just two lbs
- Measures 27 x 17 inches
- Zips closed at the top and side
- Top is partially mesh, partially solid
- Straps for tying down are included
Best Cat Run Playpen: Outback Jack Outdoor Cat Enclosure
The Outback Jack Outdoor Cat Enclosure is our favorite cat run playpen. This is a great way to give your cat the outside time that she craves without putting her in danger of getting lost, running into the road, or encountering a predator. The mesh material lets her see all around her while running, jumping, and pouncing and provides the same airflow as simply being outdoors. Be sure to add a few toys, fresh water, and perhaps a covered area for shade if you are putting it in a very sunny spot.
The playpen is very lightweight and easy to move. You can set it up indoors if you need to give your cat a contained place to play and lounge. The cat tent and tunnel can be used separately; if you are short on space, just use the cat tent and zip it closed without adding the tunnel. It includes a carrying bag so you can take it with you wherever you and kitty may roam.
Outback Jack Outdoor Cat Enclosure Key Features:
- Provides 30 square feet of space
- Made of mesh
- Tent with attachable tunnel
- Lightweight and easy to move
- Can be used indoors or out
- Includes carry bag
Best Open Top Cat Playpen: IRIS 24” Exercise Playpen Panels
If you are looking for an open-top playpen for your cat, check out these IRIS 24” Exercise Playpen Panels. This will not contain an adult cat who can simply jump over the panels; it is meant to give your cat a place to go where she can get away from other pets or children who won’t jump or climb over the panels. It’s also a great option for kittens, with or without their mother. An older or sick cat who won’t try to jump over would also be a good candidate for this type of playpen.
This product consists of four panels that are snapped together to form a rectangle. Additional panels can be purchased and added for a larger play or resting area. It has an easy-open door to let the cat or kittens out. The panels are portable, so you can use it on vacation or at someone else’s house where your kitty might need a peaceful place to get away from it all.
IRIS 24″ Exercise Playpen Panels Key Features:
- Provides eight square feet of room
- Not to be used to contain a cat who can jump over
- 24″ high
- Easy-open door
- Additional panels can be purchased and added
- Great for kittens or convalescing cats
Who Should Buy a Cat Playpen
There are quite a few reasons that it might be a good idea to have a cat playpen on hand. If you have a kitten, a corral of some sort can keep her safe and contained when you can’t supervise her. An older cat who has recently been spayed or neutered might need to be kept in a smaller area for a few days to heal. If you are adding a cat to your current cat family, you might need to keep one contained but accessible for a little while so the new kitty can settle in. Also, if you’re traveling with kitty or going camping, a cat playpen gives her a safe place to play and sleep.
Important Features to Consider
When looking for a cat playpen, there are a few important features you should keep in mind. Here are some things to consider:
- Size. If you are keeping more than one cat in the playpen, you will want to be sure it’s large enough for both to move around comfortably and for them to retreat to opposite corners if they so choose.
- Portability. Are you taking your cat playpen with you traveling? A lightweight foldable model will fit in your car easily and you can set it up quickly when you get to your location.
- Security. You will want to look for a playpen that your cat won’t escape from. This means that an adult cat should be in a pen with a top. (A young kitten will usually do fine in a playpen that is not closed at the top.) You should also make sure that your cat can’t squeeze out between the slats.
- Safety. Be sure that your kitty won’t get her head stuck between the slats. Also, ensure that there are no strings or other pieces that she could choke on.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you keep a kitten in a playpen?
Yes, you can keep a kitten in a playpen when you can’t watch her. You should not keep her in the playpen for long periods of time, however; she needs to be able to get used to your house and explore.
How do you keep a kitten in one area?
When you get a new kitten, it’s best to keep her contained in a small area for the first few days. Usually, putting her in one bathroom or a bedroom with a washable floor is best. She might hide the first day or so; that is normal. Gradually give her more access to the house. You can use a cat playpen or set up a gate that she can’t jump over (or squeeze through) to keep her away from potential dangers such as cords or a resident dog.
Is a playpen better than a crate?
A playpen gives your cat more room than a small cat carrier or crate, so many cat owners (and cats!) prefer them.
Can I let my cat play outside in a playpen?
Yes, you can use a cat playpen outside as long as it is portable enough for you to bring it out. Always watch your cat carefully when outdoors; do not leave her unattended.
Other Cat Playpens We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other cat playpens other than the ones listed above. While these did not make our top 5 list, they’re still great options for your cat. The information you’ll need to compare them is included with each listing.
Wire Cat Playpens
Ladders and platforms give your cat plenty to do while being contained. This is an impressive 67″ tall and can hold up to three adult cats.
- Sturdy wire construction
- Assembles in 15 minutes
- Washable slide-out bottom
This cat or kitten playpen is made out of powder-coated wire for sturdiness. It has wheels on casters for easy maneuvering indoors.
- Durable molded base
- Wheel stoppers to lock in place
- Measures 24 x 36 x 70 inches
This cat playpen comes with three adjustable platforms, a cat bed, a removable plastic pan, and four caster wheels that lock into place.
- Includes a free cat bed
- You can adjust the platforms
- Measures 36 x 24 x 50 inches
This cat playpen has everything you and kitty need for a relaxing time: Ladders, a cat hammock, grooming gloves, and more!
- Three platforms
- Caster wheels that lock
- Measures 36 x 24 x 54 inches
Kitty will have several options for relaxing on two solid platforms or in the kitty hammock that comes with this cat playpen.
- Includes soft cat hammock
- Rust-resistant metal construction
- Measures 43 x 25 x 45 inches
Your kitty will feel right at home in this cat condo/playpen. She can climb the ladders, perch on the platforms, and rest in the hammocks.
- Can accommodate 4 kittens or 2 adult cats
- Has three locking doors
- Does not include pans for floor
Portable Cat Playpens
Keep kitty safe, comfortable, and entertained with this complete set, which includes a litter box, feeding bowl, toys, carry bag, and more.
- Measures 32 x 19 x 19
- Holds one or two cats
- Pops up instantly
This pop-up playpen has a fold-down design that allows you to store it just about anywhere. Waterproof, breathable material.
- Installs effortlessly
- Measures 48 x 25 x 20 inches
This is an easy-to-clean open-air tent that is perfect for bringing your cat outdoors or on vacation. Folds down easily and quickly.
- Easy to store
- Easy to clean
- Measures 51 x 44 x 30 inches
This is a large, roomy playpen with an eight-panel design. You can remove the zippered top, and there’s also a door that unzips.
- Made of waterproof oxford fabric
- Side storage pockets
- Measures 45 x 45 x 24 inches
Your cat will be able to see all around her in this pop-up tent made of mesh fabric. It sets up instantly and comes with a storage/carry case.
- Great for travel
- Appropriate size for one cat
- Measures 43 x 23 x 18
This cat playpen can be used in the car; it has seatbelt straps, so your cat will be securely contained when going for a car ride to the vet or on vacation.
- Good size for one cat
- Washable and waterproof
- Measures 32 x 20 x 20 inches
Cat Run Playpens
With a tent area, a tunnel, and a climbing space, your cats will have plenty to keep them occupied with this amazing cat run playpen.
- Portable, great for travel
- Lots of zippered areas to open and close
- Includes ground stakes
Set this up on your balcony, deck or patio to let your cat see all of the action while keeping her safely contained. Completely enclosed.
- Rip-stop netting
Three hammocks, 30 cubic feet of play space, and a fun tunnel give your cats lots of room for lounging and playing. Perfect for outdoors.
- Weather-resistant canvas roofing
- Compatible with other Kittywalk products
- 4 hammocks
Open Top Playpens
This is a playpen with eight interlocking panels. Great for mama cats with kittens or cats who need a self-imposed break away from another pet.
- Heavy-duty plastic construction
- Hinged, lockable door
- 28″ tall
This playpen has no door, so your cat will need to jump in (or you could lift a kitten over the top). You can add additional panels.
- Comes in various colors
- Add more panels if desired
- 24″ tall
Give your cat 16 square feet of space in this large cat playpen. This one is 24″ tall, but they have varieties up to 48″ tall.
- No tools needed for assembly
- Includes 8 ground anchors for outside use
- Durable black finish
Cost: Cost: $35
This six-panel playpen has small spaces so even tiny kittens won’t be able to squeeze out or get their heads stuck. You can remove panels to make it smaller.
- Made of strong, durable plastic
- Has a pet door so kitty can leave easily if desired
- Skid-resistant pads
You can configure the 10 panels into just about any shape; you can even make it a two-story cat playpen to prevent jumping over.
- Can be used indoors or out
- Anti-slip bottom legs
- Easy to assemble