The Best Cat Tunnel — Reviewed and Ranked

Written by Liz Coleman
Updated: December 20, 2022
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Key Points

  • The #1 Best Overall cat tunnel is the Feline Ruff Premium 4-Way Cat Tunnel.
  • A cat tunnel can prove to be a great place for cats to play, sleep, and interact with each other on a daily basis. They are available in a variety of lengths, designs, and materials. The majority of cat tunnels are made of polyester or nylon, which are both durable and good materials for cats who are active. Softer materials like faux suede and felt are also available.  
  • In researching the best cat tunnels on the market, we looked at factors like durability, functionality, cost, accessories, and storage capability. Additionally, we looked at product reviews to see how satisfied owners were with these products.

A cat tunnel can enhance your pet’s environment in an easy and affordable way. As a place to play, sleep and interact with kitties, cat tunnel toys are considered the ultimate accessory by many pet owners. Cat households with multiple cats may find tunnels to be especially fun because they encourage exercise. 

However, cat tunnels are not a one-size-fits-all deal. There is a wide range of lengths, designs, and materials available. A tunnel toy made of nylon or polyester is probably more suitable for an active kitty. The plush tunnel, on the other hand, offers your cat a cozy place to hide.

There are a variety of shapes and materials available for them including single tubes, circular tunnels, and multi-arm tunnels. Tunnels can also function as pet beds which are perfect for cats who like to nap during the day. If your cat doesn’t take to his new toy right away, don’t be discouraged! Your kitty might just need a little time to get used to it. Providing gentle encouragement, like treats, will help him see the tunnel as a positive addition to his environment. Here are some of the best tunnels for cats to keep them entertained and happy!

  1. Feline Ruff Premium 4 Way Cat Tunnel
    • Made from sturdy polyester
    • The 4-way tunnel offers ample room for chasing and stalking
    • Comes with a free cat teaser wand
    • Tunnel folds into a manageable frisbee size
    Check Amazon
  2. 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
  3. Kitty City Cat Tunnel
    • 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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

Top Picks: The Best Cat Tunnels Today

#1. Best Overall: Feline Ruff Premium 4-Way Cat Tunnel

As far as overall cat tunnels go, we found the Feline Ruff Premium 4-Way Cat Tunnel to be the best.

All bases are covered with this cat tunnel toy. The opening measures 12″ and is large enough for larger felines. With its sturdy polyester construction, it should be able to withstand even the most exuberant kittens.

Cat households with multiple cats will love the 4-way tunnel, which offers plenty of space for chasing, rolling, and stalking each other. There is nothing more fun for cats than to swat at the hanging ball and hear the crinkle middle. 

Keeping your cat safe is the name of the game when it comes to the Feline Ruff. Caps are placed around potentially dangerous steel frame wires so your pet won’t get poked. With convenient carrying handles, this tunnel folds into a manageable frisbee size and can be stored easily. A high-quality cat teaser wand is included with all pet tunnel purchases from Feline Stuff.

It may be a drawback for some shoppers that these tunnels are pretty large, especially if you live in a smaller apartment. Alternative tunnel toys might be a better choice if you cannot accommodate such a large cat tunnel.

Pros and Cons of the Feline Ruff Premium 4-Way Cat Tunnel

ProsCons
Most cats can fit through this big tunnel opening, which measures 12 inches in diameter.Small rooms cannot accommodate the cat tunnel’s size.
You get a free cat teaser wand with this tunnel.
The middle layer has crinkle material that is fun for cats to play with.
Best Overall
Feline Ruff Premium 4 Way Cat Tunnel
  • Made from sturdy polyester
  • The 4-way tunnel offers ample room for chasing and stalking
  • Comes with a free cat teaser wand
  • Tunnel folds into a manageable frisbee size
Check Amazon

2. Most Durable: Frisco 47-in Foldable Crinkle Play Tunnel with 2 Windows

This Frisco 47-inch Foldable Crinkle Play Tunnel with 2 Windows is a great choice for rambunctious cats.

The durable cat tunnel stands up to high-energy pets, according to happy reviewers. In order to keep things in place, reinforced entrances have a sturdy and stable design. This tunnel’s length of 47 inches makes it suitable for households with more than one pet. A playful hanging toy provides entertainment for your cat, along with the crinkly lining to appeal to his senses.

It features a small enclosure with two windows, providing your cat with lots of fun opportunities to jump around and play. Frisco made the exterior fabric of the tunnel out of soft brown suede. The soft suede exterior makes the Frisco look appealing anywhere it is placed, and it also makes a cozy place to nap.

You might not be able to use this one if you have a serious noise aversion. During play time in the tunnel, your pet can make a lot of loud noise because of the crinkled interior fabric. You won’t find a quieter tunnel here, so if you want something quiet, look elsewhere.

Pros and Cons of the Frisco 47-in Foldable Crinkle Play Tunnel with 2 Windows

ProsCons
Playtime is made more enjoyable with two lookout windows.The interior fabric makes loud noises due to its crinkle.
The brown suede color complements many different decor styles.
The hanging ball makes it more fun for cats.
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

3. Best for Multiple Cats: Kitty City Cat Tunnel

Cat owners who own several cats will love the Kitty City Cat Tunnel as it serves as a great entertainment option for all of them.

With Kitty City’s Cat Tunnel, every day is a party! The diameter of this tunnel is 11 inches, which makes it large enough to fit most cats. This spacious tunnel has three tubes, so you can have several feline roommates at once. You can play peekaboo with your feline friend in the middle window of this tunnel, which encourages them to stay active.

Additionally, this model can be connected to additional tunnels and cubes with Velcro. There are no limits on how far you can go when it comes to building your cat’s dream kitty tunnel. You’ll also find the dangling catnip plushie and jingle ball on this item, as well as customizable attachments and a neutral gray that will go with almost any interior design.

Due to its capacity to accommodate many pets, this tunnel has some downsides, including its size. As a result, you’ll need to be prepared to accommodate a much larger tunnel than some of our other listed options. There is a possibility that this may not be the best option for you if you have a small space. Moreover, some customers find the neutral gray color unattractive.

Pros and Cons of the Kitty City Cat Tunnel

ProsCons
A jingle ball and catnip plushie hang from the tunnel.It is a large item, so people with smaller spaces may have difficulty using it.
Multiple cats can be accommodated in this tunnel at the same time.There are some customers who do not like the neutral gray color.
It is possible to expand the playing area by using customizable attachments.
A diameter of 11 inches makes it suitable for a wide variety of cat breeds.
Best for Multiple Cats
Kitty City Cat Tunnel
  • 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

4. Best for Large Cats: Speedy Pet Collapsible Cat Tunnel

The Speedy Pet Collapsible Cat Tunnel is an excellent choice if you have an adult cat that is on the larger side.

There are many types of cats, and there are also many types of cat tunnels. In general, most of the tunnels will have an entrance diameter of 9.5-10.5 inches. The Speedy Pet Tunnel, however, can fit your larger feline with an entrance diameter closer to 12 inches. Gray suede blends seamlessly with your decor, and it folds up easily for storage. To keep heavier kitties active, there’s also a fun hanging ball. 

In addition to the attractive and inviting faux suede, the steel frame includes protective ends, a long 51″ length, two peepholes, and the ability to connect to additional tunnels. A crinkling sound is also produced by the tunnel, which many cats seem to enjoy.

Despite being wide, this cat tunnel is a bit on the short side in terms of length. This won’t be the best choice if you want a long cat tunnel for your cat to run through. In order to make it longer, it can be attached to other tunnels, but this would require the investment of multiple tunnels.

Pros and Cons of the Speedy Pet Collapsible Cat Tunnel

ProsCons
This tunnel is wide enough to accommodate larger cats.You must buy additional pieces to make the tunnel longer since it is not very long.
Your cat’s safety is ensured by the steel frame’s protective ends.
Cats are kept entertained with a hanging ball.
To become bigger, it can be attached to more 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

5. Most Versatile: Kitty City Large Cat Tunnel Bed

Featuring both a play area and a cat bed, the Kitty City Large Cat Tunnel Bed is an ideal choice. 

What if your cat tunnel could be used for more than just play? The circular tunnel by Kitty City allows your cat to play to her heart’s content. She can also take a nap in the cushioned center to recoup when it’s time to snooze. A tunnel like this is perfect for letting your cat play like a cat. It provides them with a place to pounce, play, scratch, jump, climb, and, of course, nap. This tunnel has a circular curve that can be used to chase cats around if you have more than one. It is an ideal choice for cats who are larger, live in multiple cat households or are very active kittens.

Putting this together may take you a few minutes: you will need to zip the two half-moon shapes together. The removable and machine-washable plush bed simplifies clean-up thanks to its detachable and machine-washable design. In addition to the large 12.5″ opening, the two entryways are equipped with catnip toys for swatting. A plaid pattern and a diamond pattern are also available.

There have been reports by some cat owners that their cats are able to unzip the shapes. The zipper may come apart more often than you’d like if your cats figure out how to open it.

Pros and Cons of the Kitty City Large Cat Tunnel Bed

ProsCons
The cat tunnel doubles as a napping area for your cat.Some cats have figured out how to undo the zipper and take apart the tunnel.
A plaid pattern and a diamond pattern are available.
There are catnip toys hanging in the tunnel for swatting.
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

6. Best Value: Best Friends by Sheri Oxford Cat Tunnel

Check out the Best Friends by Sheri Oxford Cat Tunnel if you’re looking for an affordable yet great cat tunnel.

Whether you’re on a budget or unsure if your cat will even enjoy a tunnel toy, this affordable option won’t strain your wallet. It has a crinkly peephole in the center, which is great for playful kitties who love to play peekaboo. Although part of the tunnel is crinkly, the rest isn’t. This may be a bonus for pet owners who prefer quiet, but cats who enjoy the sensory addition may not appreciate it.

Collapsible and portable, this tunnel will go wherever you and your cat go. There are two colors available on Amazon: blue and rose. It is also made of water and dirt-resistant material on the bottom. Cat owners have noted that this tunnel moves around easily, which is one of its downsides.

Pros and Cons of the Best Friends by Sheri Oxford Cat Tunnel

ProsCons
This cat tunnel is an affordable option if you are on a tight budget.There is a tendency for the tunnel to move around a lot.
Its collapsible design allows you to store it away when not in use.
It is made of a material that is resistant to water and dirt on the bottom.
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

How to Choose the Best Cat Tunnel

It’s essential to have a cat tunnel in your home if you have an energetic cat. Keeping cats entertained for hours is easy with tunnels for cats! Cat tunnels provide a safe, fun place to play for pets. Since cats love stimulation, a cat tunnel system can keep your frisky friend entertained and out of trouble as he follows his curiosity. As you can see, there is a wide range of cat tunnels to choose from. The question is, what makes one a better choice than another? When shopping, there are several things to keep in mind.

There are five main factors to consider when choosing the right cat tunnel:

  • Size 
  • Durability 
  • Number of openings 
  • Easy to store 
  • Extra perks 

Here are some more details on each of these factors:

Size

Are you the owner of a huge cat? A larger pet will require a larger opening, so it’s vital to look at the diameter of the entrance. In most, the windows are between 9.5 and 10.5 inches wide. There are, however, wider tunnels that provide more flexibility.

Additionally, the tunnel’s length should be considered when fully extended. Tunnels that fit awkwardly in your space could cause problems. Look for tunnels that can be collapsed for easy storage if you don’t have much floor space.

Durability

Cat tunnels are usually made of polyester or nylon, which are strong and durable. There are also some that are made with soft materials such as felt or faux suede. You should choose materials that can stand up to the level of play your cat will put forth. The best material for active cats is nylon or polyester.

Number of Openings

Interactive playtime is made more fun by tunnels that have more than one window. Besides providing a place for your cat to escape, they’re also great for peek-a-boo. By adding extra windows, you can also increase ventilation to keep your precious pet cool.

Easy to Store

It is unlikely that your cat will spend the entire day playing with his cat tunnel toy. As tunnels require a lot of space when fully extended, you should look for collapsible tunnels that are easy to store when they are done playing with them.

Extra Perks

Make your pet feel pampered with fun bonuses that will appeal to her feline instincts. A lot of models have crinkly crackling materials which cats love (although some nervous cats will not enjoy the additional noise.) There are also bells and hanging catnip toys for swatting. There are models that allow you to attach additional tunnels or play cubes to your cat’s tunnel if you want to customize it. Another option is a tunnel bed with cozy cushions for your cat.

The 2 Different Types of Cat Tunnels

During the shopping process, one of the primary things to consider will be the sort of material that the tunnel is made of. In most cases, cat tunnels are made of polyester or nylon but there are some tunnels that are made with soft materials such as felt or faux suede. The question you need to ask yourself is which kind of cat is the best for you? 

Listed below are some of the pros and cons of both types and how they compare to each other:

  • Nylon and polyester. — Nylon and polyester are the most common materials used to make tunnels. In general, these durable materials can withstand the stress of active kitties. For active cats that like to run, jump, roll, and play, nylon and polyester tunnels are the best. However, this material tends to heat up the quickest.
  • Felt and faux suede. Cats can take a nap in comfort thanks to plush materials. Older seniors who need a peaceful place to play as well as sleep will benefit from them. Faux suede and felt tend to not last as long and aren’t as durable.

Up Next…

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 — Reviewed and Ranked FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Are play tunnels good for cats?

Yes! Taking part in them releases pent-up energy and encourages an active lifestyle. Multiple cats who love to chase each other and play hide-and-seek together will love these toys. 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 Tunnel for its durability, versatile use, and affordable price. However, 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 pet beds.

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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