Cats are inquisitive animals and natural hunters. Give them something to spark their wild side. Cat tunnels foster the feline’s natural affinity for stalking and hunting prey. They also cater to a feline’s instinct to stay hidden. Cat tunnels bring your cat back to who he really is, while increasing his exercise level and stimulating his mind. These interactive structures come in a wide variety of sizes, lengths, and configurations. Whether your kitty is just starting out or your senior buddy is getting on in years, a cat tunnel livens up your furry friend’s environment.
We searched through dozens of cat tunnels to find the best. We considered the overall size of the tunnel structure, length and width of the tube, material used to cover the tunnel, and any additional features. From tube tunnels to 5-way tunnels, we looked at various tunnel configurations and designs. Of course, we kept in mind whether or not the kitties approved.
We chose the PAWZ Road Cat Collapsible Tunnel Tube as the top choice for the best overall cat tunnel because it’s large, sturdy, eye-catching, and provides hide-and-seek opportunities for your furry feline. This interactive tunnel allows him to play out his natural instincts.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Cat Tunnels
|Best Overall||PAWZ Road Cat Collapsible Tunnel Tube||4.8|
|Best 3 Way Cat Tunnel||Prosper Pet Cat Tunnel 3-Way Tube||4.8|
|Best Budget Buy||SmartyKat Hideout, Tunnel and Playmat Cat Toys||4.1|
|Best Cat Tunnel for Large Cats||Kitty City Large Cat Tunnel Bed||4.6|
|Best Cat Crinkle Tunnel||Speedy Pet Collapsible Cat Tunnel||4.7|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Best Cat Tunnel Overall: PAWZ Road Cat Collapsible Tunnel Tube
For cats of all sizes and ages, the PAWZ Road Cat Collapsible Tunnel Tube offers a 12-inch diameter opening so even the largest cats can enjoy the tunnel. Whether your kitty is young or your long time friend is aging, the crinkly inside lining will touch upon his inner curiosity. The length of the tunnel is more than 4 feet, but the tunnel has two large peek-a-boo holes your cat can pop in and out of. For added entertainment and activity, he’ll love batting around the hanging furry toy balls.
Covered with a soft plush material, this cat tunnel is constructed with sturdy steel springs, which keep the tunnel open and flexible. It sets up and folds back together easily by hand, making it simple to open or close. The ends of the tunnel and the two window openings are reinforced with extra material for your cat’s safety. The tunnel ends come equipped with hook-and-loop tabs so you can connect multiple tunnels together, giving your furry feline yards of tunnel pleasure. Your kitty will think he’s in the wild with the leopard-print design.
PAWZ Road Cat Collapsible Tunnel Tube Key Features:
- 12-inch diameter opening
- 51 inches in length
- Furry toy balls attached inside
- Portable, and easy to travel with
- Crinkly inside lining
Best 3 Way Cat Tunnel: Prosper Pet Cat Tunnel 3 Way Tube
The best 3-way cat tunnel is the Prosper Pet Cat Tunnel 3 Way Tube. It comes in a wide variety of colors to match just about any cat space. With three tunnels joined as one maze, your favorite furry will have hours of entertaining activity. Each tunnel measures 17 inches, and connect in the middle via an open window. This peek-a-boo hole allows your kitty to play hide-and-seek with you or her other furry friends. This cat tunnel also has an inside lining that crinkles and crackles, sure to catch your kitty’s attention.
The Prosper Pet cat tunnel is made with a polyester covering and a steel spring frame. It’s sturdy, tear-resistant, and durable. The tunnel opening, which is 10 inches in diameter, and the peep hole have reinforced edging for the safety of your cat. Easy to clean, easy to fold, and easy to set up, this 3 way cat tunnel provides you and your cat valuable time together, as well as healthy independent time apart. Attached to one of the tunnels is a hanging bell toy. Or put other toys or catnip inside the tunnel for additional interaction.
Prosper Pet Cat Tunnel 3 Way Tube Key Features:
- Polyester material with steel frame
- Crinkly inside lining
- Peek-a-boo hole included
- Hanging bell toy attached
- 100 percent money-back guarantee
Best Budget Cat Tunnel: SmartyKat Hideout, Tunnel and Playmat Cat Toys
You love your kitty and want to build him a large, mile-long maze. But for now, you only have a few bucks to spend. Our budget pick for the best cat tunnel is the SmartyKat Hideout, Tunnel and Playmat Cat Toys. This cat tunnel crinkles and crackles for just under 3 feet of sensory fun, with a diameter of 9.5 inches. Halfway through the tunnel is a wide window opening so your furry friend can poke his head out to see what’s going on.
Designed, constructed, and tested by the child safety standards for products, the SmartyKat cat tunnel is sturdy and durable. Easy to open and set up, the steel springs keep the tunnel from collapsing when in use. But when it comes to time to put it away, just fold the tube in on itself, and tie it closed for easy storage. This tunnel is lightweight, easy to clean, and comes with a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.
SmartyKat Hideout, Tunnel and Playmat Cat Toys Key Features:
- Tested to child safety standards
- Folds in on itself for compact storage
- Large peek-a-boo hole
- Crinkly Mylar paper
- 34 inches long, with a 9.5-inch diameter
Best Cat Tunnel for Large Cats: Kitty City Large Cat Tunnel Bed
The best cat tunnel for large cats is the Kitty City Large Cat Tunnel Bed. It’s not just a tunnel. It’s also a bed. Your kitty will love running circles around the loop, playing hide-and-seek with the two door openings. When she gets tired or needs a break, she can hop right into the center of the loop and take a nap on the plush bedding. The diameter of the tunnel is 12.5 inches, leaving enough room for even the plump kitties. The door openings are spacious as well. A hanging catnip toy graces one of the entryway doors, creating an interactive environment for your furry friend.
Keep the tunnel as a loop, or detach the two ends to create a long tube-type tunnel or a half moon tunnel. Alternatively, unzip both tunnels and create two smaller tubes. The bed is also removable and washable, so you really get three multi-functional pieces. When the tunnels are connected in a loop, the entire structure measures 39 inches across in diameter. Made with a soft fabric, this cat tunnel has a comfortable look, giving it a homey feel.
Kitty City Large Cat Tunnel Bed Key Features:
- Made from soft fleece
- 12.5-inch diameter openings
- Hanging toy attached
- Two ways to enter or exit
- Three useable pieces in one
Best Cat Crinkle Tunnel: Speedy Pet Collapsible Cat Tunnel
For the cat who likes the crinkle, we chose the Speedy Pet Collapsible Cat Tunnel for the best cat crinkle tunnel. At more than 4 feet in length, with a 12-inch diameter, this cat tunnel offers your kitty a lot of crinkle. Suitable for most cats, the spacious tunnel has two peep holes for your furry feline to check out as well. The tunnel ends and window openings are reinforced with a plush material, adding both decoration for your home and safety for your cat. For your kitty’s enhanced enjoyment, a hanging plush ball is attached to one end of the tunnel.
Covered in a faux suede material, the crinkly paper that intrigues your cat is built in to the tunnel’s structure. Encourage his stalking and hunting instincts by placing other interactive toys inside the tunnel for a multisensory interaction. Speedy Pet cat tunnels are equipped with hook-and-loop attachments on the ends. Build your own one-of-a-kind kitty maze by connecting multiple tunnels together. They are easy to set up, quick to take down, and store in a compact space.
Speedy Pet Collapsible Cat Tunnel Key Features:
- Collapsible and easy to store
- Hanging plush toy ball
- Two peek-a-boo holes
- 12-inch diameter opening
- 51 inches long
Who Should Buy a Cat Tunnel
Maybe you’re living in cramped quarters, or perhaps you are spread out in a big house. Either way, there are a variety of cat tunnels in different shapes and sizes to fit your needs. Cats are active creatures that require regular exercise, both physical and mental. A cat tunnel provides a playful, but secure, environment where he can hone his instinctual skills and sharpen his hunting intellect.
Most cats will love to use a tunnel, and most cats will benefit from using one. Tunnels encourage your cat’s natural prey behaviors, like stalking, hiding, and chasing. They also encourage different types of movement, as well as mental stimulation.
Important Features to Consider
A cat tunnel should have a few important features for your kitty to like it, use it, and be safe. Here’s what to consider when selecting a cat tunnel for your favorite furry friend:
- The diameter of the tunnel and openings. It’s important to consider the size of your cat, and what tunnel diameter suits him best. Choose a size that gives your kitty ample room to move through the tunnel. Choose a larger size if your kitten isn’t full grown yet so he can use it as he grows. Tunnels come in varying diameters, ranging from around 7 inches to upward of around 17 inches in length.
- The desired length of the tunnel. How long do you want the tunnel? How much space do you have available? Cat tunnels are available in different lengths – from as short as 2 feet, to as long as 6 feet. Most cats love tunnels, but some may need a little coaxing or training to conquer their fear of the unknown. For timid or shy cats, a shorter tunnel might make a better beginning tunnel than a longer one. For the confident kitty, longer tunnels may prove more challenging and rewarding.
- The durability to withstand active kitty play. What’s the tunnel made of? Kitty’s have claws, and if they’re running around in the tunnel all day, it needs to stand up to their tough nails. Most cat tunnels are tear-resistant for this very reason. Made from polyester, nylon, or plush materials like faux fur, fleece, and flannel, cat tunnels should be able to handle the active nature of your kitty. Likewise, the frame holding the tunnel up should be sturdy and stable, and shouldn’t collapse when the tunnel is in use. Most cat tunnels are made with a steel or wire spring or frame.
- The configuration and overall package. Not all cat tunnels are just one long tube. Some cat tunnels offer more than one tube joined together – referred to as 3 way, 4 way, or 5 way cat tunnels. These tunnels spread out the maze, and are typically connected in the middle with an open window feature where your cat can pop his head out. Some cat tunnels feature additional items, like hanging toys, crinkly paper, attached condos, beds, and scratching platforms.
- Caring for a cat tunnel, and adding on to it. When selecting a cat tunnel, read the manufacturer’s directions for maintaining and cleaning it. Pets are often messy, and washing their things is a regular habit. Knowing ahead of time what type of effort is involved may help you select the best cat tunnel for you and your cat. On the chance your cat loves the tunnel, you might want to consider looking at those that can be attached to other tunnels or cat structures.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a cat tunnel and how does it work?
A cat tunnel is an enclosed tube, with a solid or mesh covering, that varies in length and size. It’s made with a flexible material, such as nylon, polyester, or a plush fiber, that encases steel or wire springs, which are cylindrical and keep the tunnel open. Cat tunnels are available in short to long lengths, and from narrow to wide diameters. Some tunnels have more than one tube, others have attached toys, and other cat tunnels are coupled with a condo or bed.
Most cat tunnels are open on both ends. And most have one or two open windows throughout. Your cat enters either one of the tunnel ends or the open windows, and can exit out any of the others. Tunnels foster confidence, growth, dexterity, and mental acuity.
Do cats like tunnels?
Cat tunnels are a tool that help elicit behaviors from your cat that mimic her natural behavior in the wild. When a cat uses a tunnel, she enacts her instinctual stalking, hiding, and chasing behaviors. Most cats like tunnels. However, your kitty may need time to acclimate to the tunnel. Reward her with toys or treats when she’s near or in the tunnel.
How do you make a cat tunnel?
Making a cat tunnel can be a simple or more complicated task. Do-it-yourself projects can result in small, simple tunnels, or complex, outdoor tunnels, and everything in between. To create a small, simple tunnel for your kitty, choose from cardboard or PVC piping. The average diameter for a cat tunnel is roughly 10 inches. If you have a large cat, look for a diameter of at least 12 inches. Customize your tunnel with carpeting, Mylar paper, treats, or toys.
Where should I put a cat tunnel?
A cat tunnel should be placed where your cat is active and playful, but not where there is too much human foot traffic. If you have a shy or timid cat, place the cat tunnel in the middle of the room, away from distractions, to coax her out of her hiding spot. Choose to put the tunnel near her other toys or cat-specific furniture.
Other Cat Tunnels We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other cat tunnels. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best cat tunnels list, they’re still great options for entertaining your kitty and increasing her sensory experience. The information you need to compare each one is included with the listing.
- Single Tube Cat Tunnels
- 3 Way Cat Tunnels
- 4 and 5 Way Cat Tunnels
- Cat Tunnels Plus Condos
- Other Cat Tunnels
Single Tube Cat Tunnels
Colorful and bright, the Ace one cat tunnel crinkles and crackles, engaging your cat’s senses. For use indoors or outdoors, this tunnel can connect to other Ace tunnels to create one super long tunnel.
- Two peek-a-boo windows
- Diameter opening is about 10 inches
- 45 inches long
Just like your cat’s favorite paper bag, this cat tunnel is a long, crinkly paper bag. Designed by a veterinarian, this tunnel is just under 33 inches long.
- Folds like an accordion and stores easily
- Made in the USA
- Environmentally friendly and biodegradable
The colorful rainbow design gives this cat tunnel a fun look, especially when doubled with the soft flannel material. Your cat will love the crinkly texture inside, and the soft hanging toys.
- 47 inches in length, with a 12-inch diameter opening
- Two peek holes in a steel frame
- Can be connected to other Luckitty tunnels
At 47 inches in length, this cat tunnel can be used straight or bent into an S-shape. It’s made from a polyester material, and houses a steel frame.
- Makes a crinkly sound
- Just under a 10-inch diameter
- Two peek-a-boo holes included
The bright green color of this cat tunnel catches your kitty’s attention. And it can be used with other Jackson Galaxy products, such as the Carrier or Base Camp Hub.
- More than 35 inches long
- Diameter opening is about 10 inches
- Non-crinkly material
The Weebo cat tunnel is 20 inches in length, and has a crinkly material to intrigue your kitty.
- Comes in three different lengths
- Carrying bag included
- Peek hole at the top
3 Way Cat Tunnels
Built for indoor play, the All Prime Cat Tunnel provides hours of play with tough durable nylon, covering a strong steel frame. The 3-way tunnel offers a peep hole where the tunnels meet so your kitty can poke her head out.
- 100 percent money-back guarantee
- Interactive toys included
- Tubes are each about 14 inches long, with roughly a 10-inch diameter
With a wide 12-inch diameter, this 3-way cat tunnel gives your cat physical and mental stimulation. The longest tunnel measures almost 5 feet, and the shorter tunnel measures 35 inches.
- Polyester material with a crinkly inside lining
- Peek-a-boo hole and hanging toy included
- 6-month warranty
This 3-way cat tunnel offers almost 45 inches of length for each tunnel arm, and an 11-inch diameter. Create an enhanced environment by attaching other Kitty City products.
- Hanging cat nip toy attached
- Peek-a-boo hole in the middle
- Jingle ball toy also included
4 and 5 Way Cat Tunnels
Four tunnels converge together to create a mini maze for your favorite feline, with a bonus peek hole in the middle. Made from polyester and steel, each tunnel arm is just over 25 inches long.
- Diameter opening is almost 10 inches
- Comes with a feather wand and hanging toys
- Carrying case included
Made with polyester taffeta, the Pawaboo 5-Way cat tunnel features five tunnels connected in the middle, with a peek-a-boo hole at the top. Each tunnel is just over 15 inches long, with just under a 10-inch diameter.
- Hanging toys attached, including a ball and bell
- Steel frame
- Easy to fold and store
A 4-way tunnel gives your cats multiple entries and exits, with a peek-a-boo hole in the middle. It’s constructed from a polyester material that covers a steel frame, and is lined with a crinkly texture.
- Hanging ball with bell attached
- Each tunnel is 21 inches in length, with a 9-inch diameter
- Folds and stores easily
Cat Tunnels Plus Condos
Colorful and playful, the eenk cat tunnel includes a pop-up tent on each end for added fun and mental stimulation. Use each piece separately or attach them all together for one big cat-friendly structure.
- Tunnel has a 10-inch diameter
- Tents have roughly 12-inch diameter openings
- Tunnel includes peek holes
Liven up your home and give your cat a wild space to play with a jungle motif cat tunnel and tent combo. The tunnel is 36 inches in length, and each piece can be used separately.
- Made from polyester, and features a mesh window
- Easy to set up and take down
- Play cube has play tassels
Attached to a 35-inch long tunnel is a pop-up cube tent that your kitty can lounge around in. Made from polyester and steel, the tunnel also features a large mesh window. Use the items together or separately.
- Just over 10 inches of diameter space
- Cube is just over 15 inches high
- Comes with a carrying case
The Trixie scratching tunnel is made from soft plush, and features two solid ends that double as cozy beds. The ends of the tunnel are covered in a sisal scratching surface, and the middle flexible tunnel has a convenient entry or exit way.
- Just over 43 inches long
- Two condo beds with hanging soft toy
- Slides together to fold for storing
Other Cat Tunnels
Choose to shape this cat tunnel in to a loop, or stretch it out to its full 98 inches in length. When it’s looped together, it encases the attached plush bed, creating a cozy get away spot.
- Diameter opening is shy of 10 inches
- Hanging furry toy
- Soft material
This Kitty City cat tunnel is made from a soft polyester fabric, and includes a cave and scratching pad. Two feet in length, half of the tunnel is solid while the other half is a soft fabric shoot.
- Open at both ends
- Cave is covered with woven sisal
- Each end is just over 14 inches wide
Suitable for indoor and outdoor use, this cat tunnel is a mesh material so your furry friend can see the environment around him. Each end has a zippered mesh door in order to contain your kitty while outside.
- More than 5 feet in length
- 17-inch diameter opening
- Can attach to the play tent
The Pawaboo cat tunnel is designed like a pair of jeans and made from polyester taffeta. Put treats and catnip in the pockets, or tie a toy to one of the jean loops for additional interaction. Made with a crinkle texture in the pant legs and hanging toys attached, this tunnel is multisensory.
- Pant leg diameter is just under 10 inches
- Waist diameter is just over 11 inches
- Each pant leg measures roughly 25 inches in length