Do you have an indoor cat who yearns for the wind on their whiskers, but needs a gradual introduction to the great outdoors? A cat tent could be purrfect!
Whether your feline friend needs a cuddly nook, a chic and stylish hideaway, or a safe outdoor play space, there’s a cat tent out there for both of you.
With our handy tips and thorough reviews, we’ll help you find the best cat tent the first time.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||Outback Jack Happy Habitat Cat Playpen Tent||
|Best Value||Hartz Just For Cats Peek & Play Pop-Up Tent||
|Premium Choice||Purrfect Play Tent||
|P.L.A.Y. Pet Lifestyle and You Teepee Tent Covered Cat & Dog Bed||
|Kitty City Large Cat Tent||
The 6 Best Cat Tents
1. Outback Jack Happy Habitat Cat Playpen Tent – Best Overall
Want to give your cat a safe and spacious place to play outdoors without the worry? The Outback Jack cat tent may be just the ticket. This outdoor cat tent and playpen weighs less than 4 pounds and collapses into a handy carrying bag – set up, break down, and taking your cat wherever you go couldn’t be easier.
It’s big enough for one cat to play and leap, or for two cats to get some fresh air and lounge. And at half the price of similarly designed products you can save a chunk of change too.
The one downside we could see is that the mesh material the Outback Jack is very light and would pose little challenge for chewers. Most cats won’t test this particular feature, however. Particularly wild kittens should be supervised, and it is inadvisable to put other animals in this cat tent.
- Collapsible, quick assembly and disassembly
- Large play area, 30 square feet
- Comes with carrying bag and tent stakes
- Half the price of comparable products
- Lightweight mesh may be chewed through
2. Hartz Just For Cats Peek & Play Pop-Up Tent – Best Value
Folks looking for a reasonably priced cat tent that will keep their feline friends occupied for hours should look no further.
With hanging toys, a peek-a-boo window, and a removable crinkly scratching mat this is less of a cat tent and more of a toy station! It’s surprisingly sturdy as well and stood up to even the roughest kitten play. Indisputably, Hartz makes the best cat tents for the money.
Unfortunately, this toy tent is only sized for smaller cats and kittens. The tunnel is barely big enough for a 10-pound cat to slide through, and one of our medium-sized feline testers got mildly stuck in the side window. Though some may enjoy the cozy fit, we do not recommend this cat tent for adult cats.
Kittens and playful small cats, however, will love this inexpensive little toy tunnel!
- Includes dangling toys and removable scratch mat
- Easy assembly, lightweight, folds flat for storage
- Less expensive than coffee and a doughnut
- Sized for kittens and small cats
- More of a toy, less of an enclosure or snuggle spot
3. Purrfect Play Tent – Premium Choice
For those who want a cat tent that rivals their own camping gear in quality and thoughtful design, check out the Purrfect Play Tent. This cat tent is made from UV resistant, industrial fibers that are double the thickness of other mesh pet tents and the poles are sturdy fiberglass.
The tough design ensures your cat’s safety, comfort, and the longevity of the product. Not even the most exuberant of our cat testers could knock the Puurfect tent down or tear it!
The patented Flashset hub lets you set this tent up in less than 15 seconds, and pack it away nearly as quickly. And it comes with an impressive set of accessories, including a removable waterproof sunshade so that you can spend time outdoors with your cat come rain or shine.
This premium choice cat tent comes at a premium price. The price tag may scare some away, but those willing to make an investment for a quality product will enjoy this cat tent for years to come.
- Rugged and long-lasting, made from camping gear quality materials
- Fast, easy setup and breakdown
- Sizeable play space
- Includes tent stakes, removable weatherproof cover, and heavy-duty carry bag
- More expensive than your next oil change
4. P.L.A.Y. Pet Lifestyle and You Teepee Tent for Cats
Felines that prefer to nap in style are in luck. The P.L.A.Y. cat tent is adorable and comfortable. This indoor cat tent design is simple, lightweight, and compact so you can tuck it away or display it as part of the living room décor.
The classic pyramid shape doesn’t take up much floor space, but leaves plenty of room for your cat to snuggle up. The materials were impressively sturdy for such a cute tent too, and all except the pine supports are washing machine and dryer ready for easy cleanup.
As much as we love the look, and our kitty testers loved the nap-ability, the price may scare away more budget-conscious buyers. It’s also only useful for indoor use, which means most of that hefty price tag is for the aesthetic.
- Roomy inside, but takes up little house space
- Washing machine and dryer friendly, removable cushion
- Colorful and completely adorable
- Indoor use only
5. Kitty City Large Cat Tent
Check out Kitty City if you want a comfy and warm bed for your kitten. Kitty City’s cat tent is soft, easy to wash, and inexpensive.
This cat tent is not large as the name suggests though – none of our adult feline testers could do much more than stick their head inside! But for kittens and teeny tiny cats that like snug hideaways, this squishy little nook could be perfect.
We were somewhat disappointed by the lack of shape to this cat tent, which has no rigid reinforcements and soon flopped over and got squished.
- Costs less than a hardcover book
- Machine washable
- Soft and cozy
- Indoor use only
- No reinforcement to hold shape
- Very small, won’t fit adult cats
6. SmartyKat Kitty Camp TeePee
Another toy-centric cat tent is the SmartyKat Kitty Camp tent. If your cat loves paper bags, they’ll go bonkers for the crinkly fabric and dangling ribbon toys. It is inexpensive and easy to assemble as well.
Unfortunately, it’s also easy to knockdown. The structural design is severely lacking in this cat tent, and rather than sit in it, our cat testers were most delighted to topple it over!
If you aren’t looking to spend much money on a cat tent and don’t mind needing to make some at-home adjustments, SmartyKat is a decent option.
- Crinkly fabric and hanging toys
- Less costly than lunch out
- Indoor use only
- Poor design, falls over easily
- Cheap materials, cheap look
Features to Consider for a Cat Tent
Indoor or Outdoor Use
One of the first things you should consider about a cat tent is where and how it will be set up. An indoor cat tent won’t need weatherproofing, or especially strong materials. Softer and lighter materials may be the way to go, like cotton and fleece.
But if you are using a cat tent to allow your indoor kitty to slowly acclimate to the outdoors, or just to get some fresh air, you’ll want something a bit tougher. Nylon, canvas, and polyester are sturdy and often water-resistant or waterproof.
A note on outdoor cat tents: unless specifically designed to house a cat outdoors, most cat tents are not sufficient to protect your pet from wild animals or extreme weather. Do not leave your cat alone outside in a cat tent if they are indoor-only kitties.
Is your cat’s new tent meant to be ensconced in your living room, or do you want one that you can easily move about the home or take on trips?
Many cat tents are designed with portability in mind, and pop-up to shape or are simple to assemble. Some even come with their own carrying case or have built-in handles to make tent toting a breeze.
Size and Space
The size of your cat tent is especially important for those you plan to use indoors. Don’t fall prey to the classic “oh no, this is bigger than my living room” dilemma!
Carefully note the manufacturer’s listed size of the cat tent. Take a moment to consider where it will be placed in your home and compare the item’s dimensions to the space.
- Related Read: Best Cat Tree for Small Apartments 2020: Our Top Picks!
Care and Cleaning
No matter how clean your cat is, chances are you will want to wash the inside of their cat tent at some point. Consider the “washability” of an item before you have to try and figure out how to get cat pee out of it. Because let’s get real, no one wants to try and take their cat tent to the dry cleaners.
Some cat tents can go right in the washing machine! Further features to note: Does the cat tent have a cushion, and is it removable? Are the materials weatherproof, or do they need special care?
This one may sound strange, but the type of door on a cat tent could make a big difference in how much your cat enjoys their new tent. Because felines can be picky creatures, take a closer look at their habits so that you can avoid buyer’s remorse.
Does your cat prefer completely enclosed spaces to nap? A cat tent with a curtained entrance may make their day.
Some cats don’t mind pushing past a door to get to a cozy nook, but others disdain even the thought. If your cat is of the latter variety, consider a cat tent that simply has a hole in the side for a door that they can easily step in and out of.
It is also wise to learn the dimensions of a cat tent’s door prior to purchase. Portly cats need a bigger entrance, while a feline fleeing from their canine sibling may like a tighter squeeze.
And to add to the fun, cat tents these days can come with a variety of bonus features. If your kitty cat is rambunctious, there are tents with enticingly crinkly walls or built-in toys and tassels.
For older, more lounge-happy cats there are features such as memory foam cushions and fleece linings.
Frequently Asked Questions about Cat Tents
Where should I put my cat’s new tent?
That’s all up to your cat!
For indoor use, consider where your cat likes to hang out. Young and spry cats may enjoy a hanging cat tent that they need to climb to reach. Under the corner of your bed can be a good comfy hiding spot for shy kitties.
The location for an outdoor cat tent should be chosen with a bit more care. Choose somewhere shaded from direct sun and within your range of sight or hearing. Near a busy street, on an anthill, or next to a neighbor’s doghouse won’t do and will probably just stress your feline friend out.
And don’t forget, if your cat tent is easily portable you can try out all kinds of spots for it until you find the perfect place for your cat to set up camp.
Are cat tents only for cats?
Certainly not! Any creature small enough to fit inside a cat tent may enjoy a comfy little campout.
For example, rabbits love having an enclosed space all to themselves because it simulates their natural burrows. Other pets that may enjoy a cat tent include guinea pigs, ferrets, chinchillas, very small dogs, rats, degus, and other rodents.
However, letting small animals play in a cat tent outdoors does pose some danger. Do not ever leave your pet unattended outside, especially if they are an indoor-only pet or prey animal. Most cat tents are not designed to keep predators out or protect from extreme weather.
You got our item by item breakdown and reviews, and now here’s the roundup: when it comes to outdoor safety and space, the Outback Jack Happy Habitat Cat Playpen Tent is the best cat tent out there. With this convenient tent, you can take your cat anywhere!
And as for our more budget-conscious cat owners, take a peek at the Hartz Just For Cats Peek & Play Pop-Up Tent. It has toys galore and will keep your cat happily occupied for less than the cost of a six-pack from your local brewpub.
Whether you’ve got an adventure cat or an indoor nap-a-thon champ, we hope our reviews of the best cat tents will help you find the best one on the meow-ket!
Featured Image: SmartyKat Kitty Camp TeePee Cat Toy
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023
- The 6 Best Cat Tents
- Buyer’s Guide