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13 Best Cat Tunnels

Cats use play tunnels to explore, play, or even take a nap. We pick the best cat tunnels for your pet, from affordable and durable to multi-functional and adorable.

Tara Maurer holding cat smiling

Last Updated: December 12, 2023 | 9 min read

A cat inside a cat tunnel.

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Cat tunnels are among the most popular toys for felines. Playing with a tunnel builds a kitten’s motor coordination and teaches your kitten about their environment. They’ll learn about surfaces and textures, including which objects are safe to land on. For adult cats, playing with a tunnel encourages exercise, reduces boredom, and lets them explore their instinct to hunt, chase, and pounce.

Lack of activity can contribute to weight gain, boredom, depression, and destructive behaviors like scratching and biting. While it’s essential to participate in interactive playtime with your cat (think wand toys, lasers, etc.), solo activity toys like tunnels can up the enjoyment factor in your cat’s daily life. It’s a great tool to use while you’re away to keep your cat happy and healthy.

Consider your pet’s needs before purchasing a toy tunnel. Many tunnels are collapsible, making them great for pouncing and easy storage. You’ll want a roomy tube if you have multiple cats or a larger feline. Finally, some tunnels are multi-purpose, offering space for rest and play. Here are our picks for the best cat tunnels.

LUCKITTY rainbow cat tunnel
Our Rating

Best Overall

LUCKITTY Rainbow

SmartyKat crackle chute
Our Rating

Best Budget

SmartyKat Crackle Chute

Pawaboo five-way
Our Rating

Best Multi-Tunnel

Pawaboo 5-Way

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Best Overall Cat Tunnel

LUCKITTY Rainbow Review

LUCKITTY rainbow cat tunnel
  • Dimensions: 36″ x 36″ x 12″
  • Material: polyester
  • Flexible design: circle, s-shape, or semi-circle
  • Multifunctional tunnel or bed
  • Dangling toy ball
  • Machine washable
  • Collapsible

For a tunnel that has it all, consider the LUCKITTY cat tunnel bed. This multi-functional chute lends itself to various uses and provides environmental enrichment for your feline. With this one toy, your pet can run, play hide-and-seek, chase, hunt, rest, and sleep.

The tunnel comprises three pieces: two C-shaped tubes (one with a hole) and one round cushion for a bed. Connect the sections to form a circle or S-shape. This tunnel is surprisingly large (suitable for adult cats) and has a hole in the side for additional hide-and-seek fun. 

LUCCKITTY’s rainbow tunnel is covered in soft, velvety material with a polyester lining to keep your furry friend warm and cozy. And if TikTik’s cat vision filter is accurate, your cat will instantly be attracted to this tunnel’s blue/green shades. It’s lightweight, durable, and machine washable. Plus, the tunnel’s foldable design makes it convenient for travel and storage. 

Note: If your cat tends to eat string, you’ll want to cut the dangling ball off the toy. 

Best Budget Cat Tunnel

SmartyKat Crackle Chute Review

SmartyKat Crackle Chute
  • Dimensions: 35″ x 9.5″ x 9.5″
  • Material: polyester
  • Lightweight
  • Material makes a crinkle sound to attract cats
  • Large side peephole
  • Collapsible

We know the SmartyKat brand best for making the most irresistible mouse toy ever, but it also makes a fantastic cat tunnel. The SmartyKat Crackle Chute uses a lightweight spring frame covered with a material that makes a crinkling sound with every step. Factor in the additional large side opening, and this is the perfect toy for cats who enjoy pouncing, chasing, and all-out rough-housing.

SmartyKat designed the chute to meet child safety standards, which benefits your furry friend. You won’t find any SmartyKat products with long strings, small parts, sharp points, exposed springs, or magnets. The only con is that this tunnel is on the smaller side. It’s a good choice for kittens and small to medium-sized adult cats, but Maine Coons, Ragdolls, and other large cats might find this chute too snug. 

Best Multi-Tunnel Cat Tunnel

Pawaboo 5-Way Review

Pawaboo 5-Way
  • 2 sizes available
  • Material: polyester taffeta
  • Five tunnel entrances
  • 1 peephole in center
  • Dangling ball and bell
  • Collapsible
  • Connects to other tunnels

A single straight tube might not be enough for multiple cats (or one incredibly rambunctious kitty). Pawaboo’s 5-way tunnel is the ultimate toy for endless hours of fun thanks to its five tunnels and peekaboo center hole. Watch your kitties play hide-and-seek, bounce, and chase without worrying about damaging their new toy. The tunnel uses a strong spring-steel frame and scratch-resistant polyester taffeta, so you don’t have to worry about the tunnel tearing.

The coolest part of this toy is that it connects to other tunnels in the Pawaboo line of tunnel toys. And since it’s affordable, you might feel inclined to build a super tunnel maze to keep your cats engaged. The tunnel also features a dangling ball and bell. You should remove these pieces if your cat tries to eat string during playtime. 

Best Plush Cat Tunnel

Hipipet Winter Plush Review

Hipipet Winter Plush
  • Dimensions: 30″ x 30″ x 11.8″
  • Material: plush
  • Multifunctional bed or tunnel
  • Available in 7 colors
  • 2 entrances
  • Dangling toy balls
  • Collapsible

If your feline is more likely to nap than practice their hunting skills, they may prefer a cozy, donut tunnel over your standard chute. This tunnel comes in three pieces. Connect the two tube sections via wooden toggles, and place the round puff cushion in the center for a bed configuration. You can also assemble the tunnel into a S-shape or semi-circle.

The Hipipet Winter Plush is covered in a soft, shaggy material that looks and feels very cozy. It might be your cat’s regular bed or an additional place to take a nap. Its attractive design goes with any decor, and reviewers say it’s more sturdy than your standard pop-up tunnel. Choose between seven colors: black, white, grey, light brown, blue, pink, and rainbow.

Keep in mind that some reviewers complain about the durability of this tunnel, so if your cat tends to put their full force into playtime, consider a different option. This tunnel also has two dangling ball toys at each entrance. You know the drill—if your cat is a chewer, remove the string before giving this toy to your cat.

Best Cat Tunnel For Large Cats

Kitty City Large Review

Kitty City Large
  • Dimensions: 39″ x 39″ x 12.5″
  • Material: polyester
  • Flexible design: circle or semi-circle
  • Available in 4 patterns
  • 2 entrances
  • Dangling catnip toy
  • Collapsible and washable

Designed with a 12.5-inch diameter opening, the Kitty City tunnel bed suits cats of all sizes, including larger breeds like the Bengal and Maine Coon. Its size also makes it great for multi-cat households.

Configure the pop-up toy into a circle bed or moon shape in just a few minutes. The middle cushion makes an excellent napping spot. It comes in four patterns—three neutral-toned and one a red and blue plaid. 

Each tunnel section has an entryway that features a catnip-filled heart pendant. Reviewers praise this toy for its sturdiness and durability. It zips together for easy assembly and collapses for easy travel. 

Best Cat Tunnel Bed

PLIISLUP Donut Review

PLIISLUP Donut
  • Two sizes available
  • Material: wool
  • Scratch resistant
  • Multifunctional bed and tunnel
  • Available in 4 colors
  • Detachable, non-collapsing top
  • Comes with 3 small toys

Sturdy and scratch-proof, this dual-purpose cat cave is made to last. It features a circle play tunnel and a non-collapsing donut bed for usability throughout the day. The two donut halves zip together and unlink for easy cleaning. The bed is washable, though not machine washable.

The bed itself is made of non-pilling felted wool. Wool is an excellent choice for a cat bed for a few reasons: it’s non-toxic, durable, easy to clean, and odor-resistant. It’s soft and comfortable—the material is fantastic for regulating temperature and can be used in all seasons. It’s also a sound insulator in case your cat needs a quiet space to nap.

This tunnel bed gets bonus points for its modern, stylish design. It’s available in four colors: dark grey, light grey, pink, and blue. Choose between the medium size (19.7” x 19.7” x 8.7”) or the large size (23.6” x 23.6” x 11”).

Best Scratching Post Cat Tunnel

TRIXIE Cuddly Condo Review

TRIXIE cuddly condo
  • Dimensions: 43.3″” x 15″ x 11.8″
  • Material: sisal
  • Interior lined with plush
  • For playing, scratching, and hiding
  • Peephole on side of tunnel
  • Dangling pom-pom toy

While many tunnels are made from lightweight, collapsible material for storage, the TRIXIE Cuddly Condo is made to be a permanent room fixture for your feline. The product features two condos joined by a long, soft-sided tunnel. The tunnel is a cozy, dark space for rest but also has a peephole for hide-and-seek. Each condo is covered with sisal—great for scratching. They also have a dangling pom-pom for play. 

We are huge fans of TRIXIE products; the cat activity fun board is a favorite in my house. TRIXIE makes its products thoughtfully and intended to last. In the case of the Cuddly Condo, while it isn’t ideal for travel or compact storage, it does collapse into itself to portability and storage. 

Best Outdoor Cat Tunnel

Kitty City Outdoor 3-Way Play Review

Kitty City Outdoor 3-Way Play
  • Dimensions: 72″ x 15″ x 15″
  • Material: nylon mesh
  • Indoor/outdoor
  • Steel stakes secure tunnel to ground
  • Zip doors atop each cube
  • Able to connect additional tunnels via zippers
  • Multi-cat friendly

Cats are curious creatures forever fascinated by the world around them. Unfortunately, the outside world can be a perilous place for our furry friends. Danger from other animals, vehicles, chemicals, parasites, and diseases can significantly impact a cat’s life expectancy. An indoor cat may live 10 to 15 years or more. In comparison, the life expectancy of outdoor cats is 2 to 5 years, according to research from the University of California-Davis. Is your indoor cat obsessed with going outside? Purchase an outdoor tunnel. It keeps them safe while also letting them enjoy the great outdoors. 

The Kitty City Outdoor 3-Way tunnel is a fully enclosed space made of nylon mesh. It lets fresh air in and allows for unobstructed views. The cat-proof zippers cannot be opened from the inside, making this a safe space for your furry friend. Once you set up the tunnel, use the provided steel stakes to secure it to the ground. 

The best part about this outdoor kennel? It’s expandable. Kitty City sells various other modules to create an outdoor cat fortress. 

Best Novelty Cat Tunnels

A cat tunnel shaped like a rainbow? Yes, please! View these top picks for the best novelty cat tunnels because if you can get a dopamine hit from purchasing one of these functional cat tunnels, it’s a win-win. 

Funny Fuzzy Rainbow Bed Review

Funny Fuzzy Rainbow Bed
  • Dimensions: 49.6″ x 25.3″ x 11″
  • Materials: velvet and PP cotton
  • Multifunctional bed and tunnel
  • Hanging moon and star pendants
  • Fluffy cotton padding for comfort
  • Machine washable
  • Collapsible

Want your cat to have a dreamy day? This Funny Fuzzy tunnel bed features a velvety rainbow tunnel, fluffy cloud cushion, and hanging star and moon pendants at each tunnel entrance. Each piece of this multi-functional cat tunnel can be used individually—a solo tunnel or cat cushion—or attached to create a multi-purpose space.

We love that the double-padded sleeping mat is extra fluffy to support your feline as they nap the day away. Do you have company coming over and need more space? Funny Fuzzy fitted the tunnel with fasteners at both ends to store it away easily. It’s also machine washable for easy cleaning.

LUCKITTY Luminous Review

LUCKITTY Luminous cat tunnel
  • Dimensions: 47.2″ x 9″ x 9″
  • Material: polyester
  • Glows in the dark
  • Plush-feeling exterior
  • Dangling ball toy
  • 2 vents at top of tunnel
  • Collapsible

If you embellished your bedroom ceiling with glow-in-the-dark stars as a kid, you (and your cat) will love this photoluminescent tube toy by LUCKITTY. Exposing the tunnel to light during the day will allow it to glow for 3 to 5 hours at nighttime.

Other features include a soft plush material on the tunnel’s exterior and two ventilation holes at the top of the tube for added fun. Linking buttons on the tunnel lets you connect multiple tubes to form a super tunnel. Finally, the steel spring structure allows for portability and easy storage. 

Pet Boutique Furniture Koi Review

Pet Boutique Furniture Koi
  • Dimensions: 49″ x 15.75″ x 10″
  • Materials: nylon and PP cotton
  • Multifunctional bed and tunnel
  • 3 colors available
  • Collapsible
  • PP cotton cushion for extra comfort

Another cute novelty tunnel bed combo—this time, a koi fish. This hand-designed tunnel was created and finished by a small studio team, and reviewers say the craftsmanship is top-notch. The tunnel is made of nylon to prevent scratches to the toy’s surface, giving it a long life. The cushion is stuffed with PP cotton for extra comfort. Choose between three colors: red, orange, and blue.

Like many other tunnels on this list, the koi tunnel is foldable for easy storage. It also has a dangling fluffy ball for your cat to pull and bat.

Petlinks Twinkle Chute Review

Petlinks Twinkle Chute
  • Dimensions: 35″ x 9.5″ x 9.5″
  • Material: polyester
  • Touch-activated lights
  • Battery-powered (batteries included)
  • Material makes a crinkle sound to attract cats
  • Collapsible

Petlinks says the Twinkle Chute satisfies a cat’s independent streak and need to hunt. The touch-activated lights grab your cat’s attention, while the crinkle of the tunnel’s fabric mimics the sound of moving prey. The additional side peephole gives your cat more chances to attack their prey. Bonus: the lights will hopefully prevent you from tripping over the toy in the dark.

What’s not to like? Unfortunately, this toy isn’t washable. To clean up messes, you’ll need to wipe the toy down with a moist towel. (As someone whose cat has puked in their tunnel, it’s nice to see machine-washable as an option.)

Hipipet With Bed Review

Hipipet With Bed cat tunnel
  • Dimensions: 50″ x 22″ x 11″
  • Material: microfiber
  • Multifunctional bed and tunnel
  • 5 styles available
  • Scratch-resistant fabric
  • Collapsible
  • Machine washable

Hipipet’s cat beds will take your cat on a journey. Choose between four themes: coffee, sakura, bar, matcha, or deer. The hardest part is deciding which one to buy. Do you want your cat hanging at a coffee shop, sleeping among the cherry blossoms, enjoying tunes at the jazz bar, meditating at the matcha tea shop, or keeping cozy at the winter lodge?

Hipipet designed the tunnel for play and rest, with an attachable cushion and tent feature for a cozier feel. The non-skid bottom with rubber bits prevents slipping on the floor. It’s excellent for both kittens and adult cats.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are questions we’re frequently asked regarding cat tunnels. Don’t see yours? Ask us in the comments.

Are Cat Tunnels Safe?

Tunnels are a great tool to keep cats active and let them indulge in natural behaviors like running, playing, hiding, and pouncing. Unfortunately, these toys have potential dangers. Many tunnels include string, ribbon, or other dangles that are dangerous if swallowed. Eating string can lead to intestinal obstruction, which could require X-rays to locate and surgery to remove.

If your tunnel uses a steel spring frame, ensure no exposed metal pieces could stab or injure your cat. We recommend supervising playtime, especially with kittens, to ensure they don’t break the toy, exposing themselves to dangerous or sharp elements.

Finally, always purchase a tunnel that’s the appropriate size for your feline.

My Cat Won’t Use The Tunnel, What Can I Do?

Don’t give up too quickly if your cat acts disinterested or scared to use their new tunnel. Your pet might require extra encouragement before they fall in love with their new toy. First, consider the placement of the tunnel. You want your cat to feel safe using the tunnel. Try placing the tube in the center of the room so that there is plenty of room to explore while feeling safe.

If your feline has a favorite toy, try placing it in the tunnel to encourage them to enter. If your cat is looking through the tunnel at one end, dangle a toy in front of the other so they can’t resist running through. You can also place treats inside the tunnel or use catnip to entice your furry friend further. Keep the tunnel out throughout the day and night—your cat may prefer exploring the tunnel under the cover of darkness.

Never force your cat to use their tunnel. Some cats play with tunnels immediately; others need more time to adjust.

Shop Other Gear

Now that you’ve explored the best cat tunnels, are you looking for other tools to keep your cat busy during the day? View our picks for the best interactive feeders, exercise wheels, and climbing steps. Don’t forget nap time. We’ve selected our picks for elevated cat beds and hammocks to help your cat snooze in style.

Grey cat laying on the ground eating catnip.

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