The Best Cat Tunnel for 2022—Reviewed and Ranked

Updated: April 4, 2022

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Cat tunnels offer an easy way to enrich your pet’s environment. Many pet owners regard cat tunnel toys as the ultimate accessory, as they provide a place for kitties to play, sleep, and interact. Tunnels can encourage exercise, and they’re especially fun for multiple cat households. If you’re looking for the best cat tunnel or cat tunnel bed, we’ve selected top choices in several categories. 

As you’ll see in our review, cat tunnels are not a one-size-fits-all deal. They vary in length, design, and materials. If you have an active kitty, she’s probably fare better with a tunnel toy made out of durable materials like nylon or polyester. Plush tunnels, on the other hand, offer a cozy place to hide where your cat can feel safe.

Beyond materials, cat tunnels can come in different shapes: you’ll find single tubes, circular tunnels, and multi-arm tunnels. There are also tunnels that function as pet beds, perfect for cats who need a comfy place to take their midday siesta. 

Our team is here to make sense of all the options. No matter your cat’s preferences, we can assure you, there’s a perfect model out there for him. 

If your cat isn’t immediately taken with his new toy, don’t be discouraged! Your kitty may just need time to warm up to this new plaything. It’s best to offer gentle encouragement (think: treats) to help him see the tunnel as a positive addition to his environment. 

A-Z-Animals Top Picks for Cat Tunnels

  1. Feline Ruff 12" Premium 3-Way Collapsible Tunnel
  2. Feline Ruff 12" Premium 3-Way Collapsible Tunnel
    • Made from sturdy polyester
    • The 3-way tunnel offers ample room for chasing and stalking
    • Comes with a free cat teaser wand
    • Tunnel folds into a manageable frisbee size
    Check Chewy
  3. Frisco 47-in Foldable Crinkle Play Tunnel with 2 Windows
  4. Frisco 47-in Foldable Crinkle Play Tunnel with 2 Windows
    • Reinforced entrances are sturdy and stable
    • Lightweight design
    • The playful hanging toy provides entertainment
    • Spring-loaded frame
    Check Chewy
  5. Kitty City Pop-up Cat Cube
  6. Kitty City Pop-up Cat Cube
    • Can connect to additional tunnels and cubes with velcro
    • Dangling catnip plushie and jingle ball
    • The 11” diameter of this tunnel is large enough for most cats
    • Comes in attractive neutral gray 
    Check Amazon
  7. Speedy Pet Collapsible Cat Tunnel
  8. Speedy Pet Collapsible Cat Tunnel
    • The entrance diameter of nearly 12" can fit larger cats
    • Hanging ball encourages bigger cats to exercise
    • Can attach to additional tunnels
    • Folds down for easy storage
    Check Amazon
  9. Kitty City Large Cat Tunnel Bed
  10. Kitty City Large Cat Tunnel Bed
    • Large entry windows make it suitable for larger cats
    • The plush bed is removable and machine-washable
    • Includes hanging catnip toys to swat
    • Two entryways for multiple cat-households
    Check Amazon
  11. Best Friends by Sheri Oxford Cat Tunnel
  12. Best Friends by Sheri Oxford Cat Tunnel
    • An affordable option that won’t stress your wallet
    • Features a crinkly center peephole
    • Collapsable and portable
    • Water and dirt-resistant bottom
    Check Chewy Check Amazon

#1 Best Cat Tunnel Overall: Feline Ruff Premium 3-Way Cat Tunnel

In our review, the best cat tunnel overall is the Feline Ruff Premium 3-Way Cat Tunnel.

This cat tunnel toy covers all the bases. It has a large 12” opening that can accommodate larger felines. And it’s made out of sturdy polyester, so it should hold up to even the most exuberant kitten.

Multiple-cat households will love the 3-way tunnel, which offers ample room for chasing, rolling, and stalking unsuspecting “prey” (ie: each other). Most kitties will delight at the sound of the crinkle middle, and they can swat at the hanging ball to burn off steam. 

With the Feline Ruff, safety is the name of the game. Potentially dangerous steel frame wires are capped to keep them from poking your furry friend. If you’re concerned about space, this tunnel folds into a manageable frisbee size and offers convenient carrying handles to make storage a breeze. 

Some shoppers may dislike the fact that these tunnels aren’t detachable and you can’t connect them to additional tunnels. If you’re looking for a more customizable tunnel toy, there are other options that might suit you better.

Key Features:

  • Comes with a free cat teaser wand
  • Center window for extra play
  • Long tunnels (55 and 23 inches)
  • Large 12-inch opening
  • Affordable price
Best Overall
Feline Ruff 12" Premium 3-Way Collapsible Tunnel
  • Made from sturdy polyester
  • The 3-way tunnel offers ample room for chasing and stalking
  • Comes with a free cat teaser wand
  • Tunnel folds into a manageable frisbee size
Check Chewy

Most Durable: Frisco Foldable Crinkle Play Tunnel

For the more rambunctious cat, the Frisco Play Tunnel makes a solid choice. Happy reviewers report that this durable cat tunnel stands up to high-energy pets. To keep things in place, reinforced entrances are sturdy and stable. 

The longer length (47 inches) makes this tunnel suitable for homes with more than one cat. The crinkly lining will appeal to your cat’s senses, and a playful hanging toy provides entertainment.

Covered in a soft suede exterior that looks attractive anywhere you put it, the Frisco also makes a cozy retreat at naptime. 

Key Features:

  • 2 lookout windows
  • Spring-loaded frame
  • Lightweight design
  • Folds flat for easy storage
  • Neutral brown color
Most Durable
Frisco 47-in Foldable Crinkle Play Tunnel with 2 Windows
  • Reinforced entrances are sturdy and stable
  • Lightweight design
  • The playful hanging toy provides entertainment
  • Spring-loaded frame
Check Chewy

Best for Multiple Cats: Kitty City Pop-Up Cat Tunnel

It’s a party with Kitty City’s Pop-Up Tunnel Toy! The 11” diameter of this tunnel is large enough to squeeze in most cats. With three tubes, there’s ample space for multiple feline roommates. This tunnel encourages your menagerie of felines to stay active, and the middle window is perfect for playing peekaboo.

As a bonus, this model can connect to additional tunnels and cubes with velcro. So there’s no stopping you from creating the kitty tunnel of your dreams.

Key Features:

  • Dangling catnip plushie and jingle ball
  • Customizable attachments available
  • Attractive neutral gray 
Best for Multiple Cats
Kitty City Pop-up Cat Cube
  • Can connect to additional tunnels and cubes with velcro
  • Dangling catnip plushie and jingle ball
  • The 11” diameter of this tunnel is large enough for most cats
  • Comes in attractive neutral gray 
Check Amazon

Best for Large Cats: Speedy Pet Collapsible Suede Tunnel

Cats come in all shapes and sizes, and so do cat tunnels. On average, most will have an entrance diameter of 9.5-10.5 inches. But the Speedy Pet Tunnel can fit your larger feline with an entrance diameter of nearly 12 inches. 

The understated gray suede won’t clash with your decor, and it folds down for easy storage. There’s also a hanging ball to encourage heavier kitties to exercise. 

Key Features:

  • Attractive and inviting faux suede 
  • Steel frame has protective ends 
  • Long 51” length 
  • Two peepholes
  • Can attach to additional tunnels
Best for Large Cats
Speedy Pet Collapsible Cat Tunnel
  • The entrance diameter of nearly 12" can fit larger cats
  • Hanging ball encourages bigger cats to exercise
  • Can attach to additional tunnels
  • Folds down for easy storage
Check Amazon

Most Versatile: Kitty City Cat Tunnel Bed

A cat tunnel that doubles as a cat bed? Yes, please! Your cat can play to her heart’s content in this circular tunnel by Kitty City. And when it’s time for a well-earned snooze, she can take a nap in the cushioned center to recoup. 

This tunnel is great for letting your cat be a cat. It gives them a place to pounce, play, scratch, jump, climb, and of course, nap. If you have multiple cats, they can chase each other around the circular curve of this unique tunnel. The large entry windows make it suitable for larger cats, multiple-cat households, and active kittens.

Assembly may take a few minutes: you’ll need to zip the two half-moon shapes together to form a circle. We’re big fans of the fact that the plush bed is removable and machine-washable, simplifying clean-up. 

Key Features:

  • Large 12.5” opening 
  • Hanging catnip toys to swat
  • Available in two styles: plaid and diamond pattern
  • Two entryways
Most Versatile
Kitty City Large Cat Tunnel Bed
  • Large entry windows make it suitable for larger cats
  • The plush bed is removable and machine-washable
  • Includes hanging catnip toys to swat
  • Two entryways for multiple cat-households
Check Amazon

Best Value: Best Friends by Sheri Oxford Cat Tunnel Toy

If your budget is a little tight, or if you’re unsure whether or not your cat will even like a tunnel toy, this affordable option won’t stress your wallet.

It features a crinkly center peephole, which is great for playful kitties who like to play peekaboo. However, the rest of the tunnel isn’t crinkly. Pet owners who prefer quiet might consider this a bonus, but cats who love the sensory addition might be displeased.

This tunnel is collapsable and portable, so you can take it anywhere you and kitty go.

Key Features:

  • Water and dirt-resistant bottom
  • Available in rose and blue colors on Amazon
Best Value
Best Friends by Sheri Oxford Cat Tunnel
  • An affordable option that won’t stress your wallet
  • Features a crinkly center peephole
  • Collapsable and portable
  • Water and dirt-resistant bottom
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Choosing the Best Cat Tunnel: What to Look For

As you can see, there are all kinds of cat tunnels available. So, what makes one better than the next? There are several things to consider while shopping.

Size

Do you have a huge cat? A larger pet will need a larger opening, so it’s important to look at the entrance diameter size. Most cat tunnels have windows between 9.5 and 10.5 inches wide. But there are wider tunnels that offer more leeway.

It’s also wise to consider the tunnel’s length when fully extended. A tunnel that fits awkwardly in your space could be pose issues. If you’re short on floor space, look for a tunnel that collapses for easy storage.

Durability

Most cat tunnels are made with polyester or nylon, which are strong and durable. Others are made with soft materials like felt or faux suede. Look for materials that can stand up to your cat’s level of play. Generally, nylon and polyester hold up best to active cats. 

Multiple Openings

Tunnels with more than one window are fun for interactive playtime. They give your cat a place to escape, and they’re great for playing peek-a-boo. Extra windows also increase ventilation, so your precious pet won’t overheat. 

Easy to Store

Your cat won’t be playing with his cat tunnel toy all day. Since they take up a lot of space when fully extended, look for collapsible tunnels that are easy to store when playtime is over.

Extra Perks

Pamper your pet with fun bonuses that will appeal to her feline instincts. Some models feature crinkly crackling materials that cats love (although some nervous cats—and owners—won’t like the additional noise.) You’ll also find bells and hanging catnip toys for swatting. If you want to customize your cat’s tunnel, there are models that attach to additional tunnels or play cubes. A cat tunnel bed with cozy cushions is another option.

The Different Types of Cat Tunnels: Pros and Cons Compared

As you’re shopping, one of the key things you’ll be looking at is material. While the majority of cat tunnels are made out of polyester or nylon, some are constructed with soft materials like felt or faux suede. Which type is best for your cat? We’ve laid out some of the pros and cons of both types below.

  • Nylon and polyester: The majority of tunnels you’ll find are made with nylon and polyester. Generally, these durable materials are successful standing up to active kitties. Nylon and polyester tunnels are best for energetic cats who like to run, jump, roll, and play.
  • Felt and faux suede: Plush materials offer a cozy place for cat naps. They’re ideal for older senior cats who need a gentle place to play as well as get some peaceful shut eye.

Verified Review: User Experience

Some users reported frustration with tunnels not holding up to their cat’s destructive tendencies. It’s important to bear in mind that no cat toy is ever truly 100% indestructible, and extra-active cats will wear a toy out sooner than quieter felines. 

Some reviewers complained about safety issues with various models, including the Speedy Pet Tunnel, reporting pet injury caused by exposed metal wires. 

To avoid the heartache of an unused pet accessory, focus on your cat’s individuality while shopping. Does she like swatting? Go for a tunnel with dangling toys, like the Kitty City Tunnel Bed or The Best Friends by Sheri model. For older kitties who mostly need a peaceful place to rest, a soft tunnel like the Frisco Foldable Tunnel is a smart pick.

About the Author

Liz is a freelance writer who loves putting pet owners in touch with top-rated, life-enriching pet products. She shares her home in Western New York with 2 cats, 2 zebra finches, 1 husband, and an animal-loving daughter. Visit her at Lizwritesforyou.com.

The Best Cat Tunnel for 2022—Reviewed and Ranked FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Are play tunnels good for cats?

Yes! They provide an outlet for pent-up energy and encourage an active lifestyle. They’re great for homes with multiple cats that like to chase and play hide-and-seek together. They also provide a cozy hideaway for sleepy kitties. That said, not all cats will like them. If your cat seems hesitant to engage with his new play tunnel, you may need to encourage him with treats and praise.

What are the best cat tunnels?

We love the

Feline Ruff Premium 3-Way Cat Tunnelfor its durability, versatile use, and affordable price. But the best cat tunnel for your particular feline will depend on your pet’s needs and your own personal preferences. (Crinkly toys, for instance, aren’t everyone’s cup of tea.) 

Circular tunnels or multi-way tunnels are fun for kitty roommates who like to play together. If your cat needs a safe place to relax, a simple tunnel made with soft materials offers a place to rest and play. Some tunnels even double as a pet bed. 

Can I wash my cat tunnel?

This will depend on the material. Metal frames present a challenge, and attached toys probably won’t fare well in a washing machine. If you’re worried about potty accidents or other messes, most cat tunnels can be spot-cleaned. Tunnels with attached beds, like the Kitty City Tunnel Bed, can be removed and thrown in the wash.

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