Cats enjoy showing off their natural predatory instincts to their owners, slinking around our homes, hunting imaginary prey, and jumping at shadows to show us how fiercely they can hunt. Sometimes our favorite hunters need help in exercising both their instincts and their bodies. Enter the cat tunnel- the perfect tool for stimulating our feline friends. Cat tunnels encourage games of hide-and-seek, a good chase between cats, or just a safe place to take a well-deserved nap.
Cats can be fickle in the toys and materials they choose to interact with during playtime. The sounds, such as a crinkly paper toy, or plush toys your cat already likes may help point you in the right direction when purchasing a cat tunnel. We’ve compiled reviews for the best cat tunnels in 2021 to help you figure out the best tunnel to purchase for your favorite furry friend.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
The 10 Best Cat Tunnels – Reviews & Top Picks 2021
1. Frisco Peek-a-Boo Cat Chute Cat Toy, Colorful Tri-Tunnel – Best Overall
|Dimensions:||18”L x 9.5”H|
The Frisco Peek-a-Boo Chute Cat Toy, Colorful Tri-Tunnel is our best overall cat tunnel pick. This brightly colored tunnel has three 18-inch separate tunnels to provide hours of fun for your cats There is a window in the middle where the three tunnels converge for cats to pop in and out of, as well as two hanging toys for the cats to play with in the tunnel. Any cat will enjoy running in and out of the tunnels or hiding inside for a quiet nap.
When your cat is done playing for the day, simply fold the tunnel down and tie it with the included strap. The tunnels are roughly 9.5 inches in height, so larger cats may have some trouble fitting within the tunnels. The material is also lightweight, so rough play may cause tears in the fabric.
2. Frisco 47-Inch Foldable Crinkle Play Tunnel with 2 Windows – Best Crinkle Cat Tunnel
|Dimensions:||47”L x 11”W x 11”H|
The Frisco 47-Inch Foldable Crinkle Play Tunnel with 2 Windows is our best crinkle cat tunnel choice. This tunnel is large enough for multi-cat households due to its length and it has two windows for cats to pop in and out of during playtime. Cats will enjoy batting around the hanging toy ball at one end of the tunnel and running in and out of the tunnel to make it the crinkle sound as they chase each other.
The tunnel is made of soft brown polyester suede, which is perfect for napping when the cats need a rest from their antics. When your cats are done playing with the tunnel for the day, simply push it flat to compact it down and button it closed. The crinkly noise of this tunnel can be a bit loud, so it may take some time for both you and your cats to get used to it.
|Dimensions:||33”L x 23”L x 10”H|
|Material(s):||Plastic and Polyester|
The Frisco Plush, Teaser, Ball & Tri-Tunnel Variety Pack Cat Toy with Catnip is the best value for the money. It’s not always easy to ensure your cat gets the exercise and mental stimulation it needs each day, but the Frisco Plus Tri-Tunnel helps solve this problem easily with a 20-count variety pack of toys to entice your kitty to play. This package comes with fuzzy mice, a wand, rolling balls, feathered toys, and the tri-tunnel with a window in the middle to entice your cat during playtime. Some of the toys also have catnip for an added boost during hide-and-seek time in the tunnel.
This is a good variety pack to help you figure out which toys your cat may like best, as well as introduce them to the joy of a tunnel made just for cats. The tunnel is roughly 10 inches in diameter, so larger cats may not be able to fit inside easily. It is also made of lightweight material so it may not hold up to rough play by many cats.
4. HDP Pop Open Collapsible Cat Tube & Tunnel Set – Premium Choice
|Dimensions:||78”L x 15”W x 13”H|
The HDP Pop Open Collapsible Cat Tube & Tunnel Set is the premium choice for the best cat tunnel on our list. The tunnel in this set is 48 inches long with a 13-inch diameter opening suitable to larger cats. The two play cubes pop open to 15 inches with 11-inch diameter circular openings that attach to the tunnel, which features a built-in Flexi frame to keep the tunnel open. The cubes also feature an easy popup Flexi frame and can be attached using the connector tabs on each cube. The cubes and tunnel can be arranged however you want to encourage your cat to play. When playtime is over, collapse everything down for easy storage.
The HDP Pop Open Collapsible Cat Tube & Tunnel Set needs a large space in which to set it up and you will need to stretch the tunnel out fully to prevent collapse. Additional cubes can be purchased to make a larger play space for your cat.
5. Catit Vesper Cat Tunnel – Best for Kittens
|Dimensions:||37.79”L x 11”H; Cushion: 15.74” in diameter|
The Catit Vesper Cat Tunnel is the best cat tunnel for kittens due to its sturdy design and cozy detachable cushion. The tunnel is made of snag-resistant material for those sharp kitten claws and has a plush ball on a string hanging from one opening to encourage kitten play. The tunnel has an 11.02-inch diameter window in the middle for kittens looking for a quick exit while playing. Pet owners can curve the tunnel around the cushion to fit in small spaces, or they can separate the two and stretch the tunnel straight. The whole setup is collapsible and can be easily stored, making it ideal for small spaces.
The cushion is not thickly padded, but the cushion cover can also be removed for cleaning if needed. Enthusiastic kittens may detach the plush ball from the string fairly quickly.
6. Feline Ruff 12″ Premium 4-Way Collapsible Tunnel Cat Toy
|Dimensions:||56”L x 56”Wx 12”H|
The Feline Ruff 12″ Premium 4-Way Collapsible Tunnel Cat Toy is ideal for larger cats due to the large diameter of the tunnels. The tunnels are made of polyester and the middle intersection is made of crinkle material to prevent twisting of the tunnels. The middle of the tunnels also has a window for your cat to peek out of when playing hide-and-seek. Two of the tunnels have a quiet plush ball to entice your cat to play in the tunnels and it comes with a free feathered cat teaser wand. The tunnels easily collapse down and can be tied with the included elastic band when you need to store it.
The Feline Ruff Premium 4-Way Collapsible Tunnel is one of our largest tunnels on the list with a total length measuring 56 inches from end to end. This is not a tunnel for pet owners with limited space in their homes. The plastic crinkle middle is also very loud during play, so those sensitive to noise may want to look at a tunnel without crinkle material inside.
7. SmartyKat Crackle Chute Collapsible Tunnel Cat Toy
|Dimensions:||35”L x 9.5”Wx 9.5”H|
The SmartyKat Crackle Chute Collapsible Tunnel Cat Toy is the perfect toy for cats that love a tunnel to zoom through during playtime. This tunnel is 9.5 inches in diameter and has a large side window for hide-and-seek play. The interior of the tunnel is made of plastic material, so it creates loud crackling sounds as your cat plays. The exterior is made of nylon fabric for easy spot cleaning.
The tunnel is spring-loaded for easy release and collapse for storage. Be careful when releasing the tunnel so you don’t poke yourself with it. The tunnel diameter is 9.5 inches and may not be big enough for larger cats.
8. Frisco Peek-a-Boo Cat Chute Cat Toy
|Dimensions:||33”L x 10.5”H|
The Frisco Peek-a-Boo Cat Chute Cat Toy is a blue-colored tunnel that has a wide 10.5-inch diameter opening so even larger cats can join in on the tunnel fun. This tunnel has a mesh window for cats to peek out at their surrounding while preparing to ambush a toy (or your ankles). When your cat is finished playing for the day, simply collapse it down and tie it closed with the provided Velcro tabs.
This tunnel has wires to keep its shape and to help it collapse easily. The wire may push through the fabric over time, so it’s something to keep an eye on as your cats play in their tunnel.
9. HDP Collapsible Tunnel Cat Toy
|Dimensions:||54”L x 11”H|
The HDP Collapsible Tunnel Cat Toy is one of the longest tunnels on our list coming in at 54 inches. The tunnel contains five steel rings to support the length and the tunnel is 11 inches in diameter, so even large cats should fit in this tunnel. It has a window for cats to peek out of during play breaks and has an attached poof toy in the middle to entice cats to play.
This tunnel collapses easily for storage when your cat is done playing for the day. If you take your cat on your travels with you, the tunnel easily collapses to take with you for your cat to have something familiar in new surroundings. The tunnel has a brown exterior and a green interior, so it may not be pleasing to those looking for a tunnel that blends in with their décor.
10. KONG Active Nylon Tunnel Cat Toy
|Dimensions:||25”L x 9”H|
The KONG Active Nylon Cat Tunnel is made of durable polyester material and expands out to 24 inches, making it the perfect size for smaller homes. The diameter of the tunnel is 9 inches, so it’s best for smaller cats and kittens. The tunnel has a crinkle sound while your cat plays in it and has a window in the middle to encourage hide-and-seek play. The tunnel collapses for quick and easy storage.
KONG Active Nylon Tunnel Cat Toy has a crinkle interior, and it makes this tunnel louder than some of the others on this list. If you don’t want a tunnel that makes noise when your cat plays in it, this is not the tunnel for you.
Cat tunnels are uncomplicated in their design and purpose- they are usually straight tunnels with a toy to entice your cat to play in it. Purchasing a cat tunnel that is right for your cat should be simple if you consider a few things before purchasing a cat tunnel.
The diameter of the tunnel is one of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a cat tunnel. Kittens and smaller cats will have no problem with tunnels that have a smaller diameter of 8 to 9 inches in diameter, but larger cats will likely not be able to play in tunnels that are so narrow. There are larger tunnels available, ranging from 10 to 12 inches in diameter, which is much wider and more comfortable for larger cats.
The length of the tunnel is also an important fact to consider when purchasing a cat tunnel for your home. While some of the longer tunnels with multiple offshoots may be appealing and look fun, they take up a large amount of space in a room. If you have a smaller home, these tunnels will just end up in the way and you’ll end up keeping them stored away, which means no playtime for your kitty. A shorter tunnel may not look like much fun to us mere humans, but if space is a consideration, your cat will still enjoy a shorter tunnel and not know that she’s missing anything by not having a longer tunnel.
Many cat tunnels are made of nylon, polyester, and plastic. Nylon and polyester are durable and should hold up well to your cat jumping in and out of the tunnel, as well as rolling around in it. The plastic in most of these tunnels is usually used for that fun crackle noise that is so appealing to kitties while playing in their tunnels.
Many cat tunnels also have some sort of toy attached by a string to one of the entrances to the tunnel, or a middle window, to entice your cat to play in the tunnel. These are usually some sort of plush, feather, or toy with a bell in it. Many users find that their cats quickly pull these down, so these attached toys should probably not be a large consideration in your purchasing decision.
A cat tunnel usually takes up a large amount of space in your home. How easily the tunnel collapses for storage is something to consider when purchasing a cat tunnel. If the tunnel does not collapse for easy storage, it will always be in your way in your home. The good news is that many of the tunnels collapse down easily and come with tabs or ties to keep them flat for easy storage.
Cats are notoriously picky, so your cat may not show interest right away in the tunnel you pick out for her. Curious cats will love to explore the many tunnels of the Frisco Peek-a-Boo Cat Chute Cat Toy Tri-Tunnel. For cats that love to zoom in and out of tunnels, the Frisco 47-Inch Foldable Crinkle Play Tunnel with 2 Windows is the perfect length for a sprinting kitty. The Frisco Plush, Teaser, Ball & Tri-Tunnel Variety Pack offer the best value and product for cats new to tunnels as it comes with a variety of toys to entice your cat to play in the tunnels. We hope our reviews of these cat tunnels help you find the perfect tunnel for your favorite feline.
Featured Image Credit: Chewy
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.