Cats are natural predators, which explains their inclination to prowl around, slinking from place to place and pretending to be the king of the jungle. However, for indoor cats, their jungle can feel restrictive and unadventurous.
Getting your cat a cat tunnel is an excellent option for the furry prowler in your life. It gives them a spot to hide in, chase other animals in and around, and sneak up on whatever lies in wait on the other side.
Cats can be silly and fickle pets. Sometimes, a cat toy can provide them with hours and fun and games. Other times, they won’t even look at it twice. Try to figure out the sounds and playthings that your cat already likes and keep those in mind while reading through our reviews. Look into objects such as crinkly paper or hanging feathers.
Some cat tunnels are equipped with things that make rustling noises or extra bells and whistles — literally. Figure out the mystery that is your cat, and then check out these reviews for the best cat tunnels on the market in 2020.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||Frisco Foldable Crinkle||
|Best Value||SmartyKat Crackle Chute Collapsible Cat Tunnel||
|Premium Choice||Feline Ruff 4-Way Collapsible||
|Four Paws Super Catnip Crazy Pants||
|Pet Magasin Collapsible||
The 10 Best Cat Tunnels — Reviews 2021
1. Frisco Foldable Crinkle Play Tunnel — Best Overall
The cat tunnel by Frisco is a cat play tunnel that isn’t just a tunnel. It is 47 inches of pure fun, and it is foldable with a spring-loaded frame to make it easier to store when your cat decides that they are done for the day. This cat tunnel is lined with material that makes crinkling sounds whenever your cat moves through it. Although the cat might love this, it can be too loud for some of their human counterparts.
It is small and equipped with two “windows” for the cat to surprise-attack innocent mouse toys — or your foot — on the other side. The designers at Frisco made the exterior fabric of the tunnel with soft brown suede. The color is meant to be neutral, blending into any pattern you already have in your home. Cats enjoy the tube even more because of a soft toy ball that hangs from the top of the tunnel, tempting them to play.
2. SmartyKat Crackle Chute Collapsible Cat Tunnel — Best Value
Some cats can be picky when it comes to their toys. They are enamored with some but turn their noses up at others for no apparent reason. If you have a picky cat, you may only want to invest in the best cat tunnels for the money, fitting it into a budget. So, even if your cat doesn’t appreciate it, at least it didn’t break the bank.
The SmartyKat Cat Tunnel fits the bill, pun intended. This toy is cheap while still providing many of the attractions that more expensive tunnels do. The interior is lined with a flexible plastic that makes a crackling sound that cats love to run across, even though it is still loud.
The spring-loaded tunnel collapses down to a much smaller size, folding flat for secure storage if any visitors come. The tunnel has a window in the middle for a fun game of hide-and-seek or chase. Some owners of larger cats noticed that it was too small for their cats to fit in comfortably. Keep tunnel diameter in mind with this and any other product in which you are interested.
3. Feline Ruff 4-Way Collapsible Cat Tunnel — Premium Choice
The Feline Ruff Cat Tunnel isn’t only a straight tunnel from one end to the other. The creators at Feline Ruff believe that more is better and have made the tube a four-way path. It is still collapsible, down to the size of a frisbee, for the convenience of homeowners. It does up a great deal of space in a room when it is fully open. It is 12 inches around and made of durable polyester. Although this is a more expensive choice, it is worth it because it comes with a free cat teaser wand.
The tunnel allows for easier entry and exit by having extra-wide openings. The tubes are long, and the middle is made with plastic crinkle material. The material is only in the middle of the toy, which helps prevent twisting of the center so the four tunnels extend back to the correct placement after it has been folded down for storage purposes. In the center of the tunnel, where all four converge, there is a crinkle peephole for kitty friends to check out the outside world. It also includes two hang-down balls, with no sound to keep it quieter for other household members.
4. Four Paws Super Catnip Crazy Pants Cat Tunnel
Four Paws has made a distinctly unique cat tunnel, designed off the basis that cats love to play around in the pants of their favorite person. The tunnel simulates this theory by providing a pair of pants that they can crawl through with a pop-up waist attached to “pant legs.” Even if crawling through pants isn’t your kitty’s favorite thing to do, they will be lured in by the catnip-covered lining throughout the tunnel, as long as the cylinder continues to stay open.
Beyond that, the tunnel is similar to other mainstream cat tunnels. It has crinkly material inside that cats love and is made from durable polyester fabric. The bright colors that the toy is painted with adds to its intrigue. The openings are smaller than some other tunnels and are too small to fit larger adult cats.
5. Pet Magasin Collapsible Cat Tunnel
The Pet Magasin cat tunnel includes two tubes of different sizes. Both tunnels are spring-loaded, making them easy to store away as a flat disk. The longer cylinder features a built-in peephole for cats to determine what is going on in the outside world. Both tunnels include an exciting hanging ball for fun playtime.
This cat tunnel from Pet Magasin includes a crinkly fabric design for them to rustle under their paws, encouraging them to race back and forth. The color scheme of the product can seem fun and engaging, but if you have a distinct decorative theme, it probably won’t fit in well. The company has taken into account the rough playtime that cats can have and has manufactured their tunnel with the highest quality materials to endure the test of playtime.
6. Frisco Peek-a-Boo Cat Tri-Tunnel
Frisco not only has one option for a premium cat tunnel but two! This tunnel is a three-way, featuring all different colors and a peek-a-boo window in the center where they converge. Your feline friend will feel like a cave explorer with all the different avenues they can take. Be sure to double-check the size, as some customers think that it is meant to be bigger and others think that it should be smaller.
The tunnel is not only made for the fun of the kitties but also for the convenience of their owners. The tunnel easily pops up whenever you bring it out for playtime. When they are finished or it is time to clean up for visitors, simply fold it down into the size of a frisbee and store it away. Although there is no crinkly fabric inside the tunnel, which some cat owners will actually appreciate, there are hanging balls throughout the tunnel to interest your cat.
7. KONG Active Nylon Cat Tunnel
KONG is primarily known in the pet world for its snowman-shaped dog toy that can be filled with treats for hours of occupation. However, this isn’t the only product it manufactures. It has made a cat tunnel, although part of what you are purchasing might just be the brand name.
The tunnel is straight and allows the cats to run straight through or sit in the middle and nap. There is a peek-a-boo window right in the middle of the tunnel for cats to peek out at the world or jump out for a surprise attack. The tunnel collapses down quickly to make storage quick when needed. The entire tunnel is 24 inches long but only 9 inches in diameter, making it too small for large adult kitties. The inside does have fabric that makes a crinkle sound, enticing most cats to run back and forth to hear the noise.
8. HDP Collapsible Cat Tunnel
The HDP Cat Tunnel gives your kitty extra space to run through, hide, or sleep in because five steel rings expand to extend the tunnel to 54 inches lengthwise and 11 inches wide. It has a brownish-green color that some customers find visually displeasing. There is a window in the center of the tunnel that can roll to the side to act as another entry or exit. There is an attached hanging ball that hangs down by the window.
Cats who are traveling companions can have their toys come right along with them. Even though the tunnel is longer, it still collapses down tightly to an 11-inch circle. You don’t have to expand it as far if there isn’t enough space. For a smaller kitten or a smaller space, keep it shorter. Although it is not as loud as other tunnels, the fabric interior does crinkle when cats run through it.
9. Ware Nylon Fun Cat Tunnel
Ware has deviated from the cat tunnel trend when it comes to the material of the tunnel, using nylon instead of the typical polyester. It is another longer tunnel to occupy multiple cats or give them more space to run through or nap inside, depending on their activity level. The tunnel has the typical inclusion of a window in the middle and a hanging toy that can be detached if desired.
Ware has crafted its cat tunnel to encourage cats to play around and get more exercise. When they are done, you can easily collapse it down for quick storage and take it along if you are going on a trip with your fuzzy friend. It is not reported to be the most durable cat tunnel, and the size is not easy to adjust to make it any smaller.
10. Jackson Galaxy Cat Crawl Mesh Tunnel
Jackson Galaxy has gone for a different approach to the typical solid-colored hidey tube that other cat tunnels become. The Cat Crawl Mesh Tunnel is made to fit smaller cats better than large adults.
It is made out of a soft mesh nylon material. Instead of having a window in the center or any other place, the entire mesh makeup is see-through so the cats can see out at all times. Since many kitties like to feel like they are hiding, some cats might prefer more private tunnels. This tunnel doesn’t have any hanging toys. It is made from a durable material that has metal wiring to give it extra support. It folds away easily for quick storage.
Cat tunnels are straightforward in their overall design. This aspect makes it easy to figure out what you are looking for, but it can still be useful to get an idea of what makes the perfect cat tunnel for your kitty.
If you are looking to buy a toy for a 10-month-old kitten, you will want something sized differently than one for a full-grown cat. Pay attention to the size of your cat and the size of the openings of the tunnel.
Most cat tunnels are about 9.5-10.5 inches in diameter, but some are 11 inches or wider. It isn’t only about the width either, but the length. Too long might mean that it isn’t easy to fit in any room in the house. Too short means that your cat can poke out at both ends and won’t have enough space to run through it.
The typical materials used to create cat tunnels are polyester and nylon. These are the most common due to their overall durability and the crinkly nature they can have when bunched up on the inside.
Bells and Whistles
Cats can get bored quickly if they don’t have the right kinds of things to hold their attention. Cats appreciate being able to peep out from their hiding places and watch what happens around them. Many cat tunnels also come with one or more toys that hang down from the top of the tunnel. If this is something your cat would enjoy, check to see if your potential buy includes such toys to get more bang for your buck.
Cat tunnels are not the most space-friendly pet toy. If you won’t have space for the tunnel to always be around the place or if you want to be able to clean up when guests come over, ensure that the product can fold up. Many of them fold down to the size of a frisbee.
Even if you buy the best cat tunnel currently on the market, that doesn’t guarantee your cats will fall in love with it. Most cat owners are already aware of how picky feline friends can be, but it is still good to keep in mind.
The biggest recommendation we can give is to experiment with your cat to test what they might like before investing money in it. Give them a chance to try dangling objects, see if they want to hide in things, and then invest in the perfect tunnel for them.
There are so many options to consider with pet toys. We hope that after reading through our product reviews for the top 10 best cat tunnels, you find the best choice for both you and your fur baby.
Featured image credit: KONG Active Nylon Tunnel Cat Toy, Red, Chewy
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 10 Best Cat Tunnels — Reviews 2021
- 1. Frisco Foldable Crinkle Play Tunnel — Best Overall
- 2. SmartyKat Crackle Chute Collapsible Cat Tunnel — Best Value
- 3. Feline Ruff 4-Way Collapsible Cat Tunnel — Premium Choice
- 4. Four Paws Super Catnip Crazy Pants Cat Tunnel
- 5. Pet Magasin Collapsible Cat Tunnel
- 6. Frisco Peek-a-Boo Cat Tri-Tunnel
- 7. KONG Active Nylon Cat Tunnel
- 8. HDP Collapsible Cat Tunnel
- 9. Ware Nylon Fun Cat Tunnel
- 10. Jackson Galaxy Cat Crawl Mesh Tunnel
- Buyer’s Guide