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10 Best Cat Tunnels in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on June 21, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

cat playing with a ball and a tunnel at home

10 Best Cat Tunnels in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

cat playing with a ball and a tunnel at home

Cat toys, in general, provide your cat with physical exercise and mental stimulation. Tunnels are popular because they appeal to your cat’s curiosity and demand that your cat squeezes through a relatively confined space, which most cats love. Many are also made of a crinkly material, which is also popular with our feline friends. As well as straight tunnels, you can buy those with multiple branches, as well as curved tunnels and tunnels with corners. Some cat tunnels include additional features like toys and even beds.

Below are reviews of 10 of the best cat tunnels that are sure to entertain your cat as well as a guide to cat tunnels and cat toys in general.

yarn ball divider

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Feline Ruff 12” Premium 3-Way Collapsible Tunnel Cat Toy Feline Ruff 12” Premium 3-Way Collapsible Tunnel Cat Toy
  • 12” diameter means big cats will fit
  • Folds down to disc size for storage
  • Includes hanging ball and wand toys
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Pet Magasin Collapsible Cat Tunnel Toys, 2 Pack Pet Magasin Collapsible Cat Tunnel Toys, 2 Pack
  • Two tunnels for a really good price
  • One tunnel has a clear peephole, both have hanging toys
  • Folds up neatly
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Coziwow by Jaxpety Collapsible Cat Tunnel Bed Coziwow by Jaxpety Collapsible Cat Tunnel Bed
  • Made from luxurious cotton
  • Incorporates a bed as well as a folding tunnel
  • Hanging toys on either end
  • Best for Kittens
    Frisco Foldable Crinkle Play Tunnel Frisco Foldable Crinkle Play Tunnel
  • Two windows
  • Folds down for storage
  • Crinkle noise and plush ball entice play
  • Catit Vesper Cat Tunnel Catit Vesper Cat Tunnel
  • Includes a comfortable cushion
  • Cushion cover can be removed for cleaning
  • 11-inch diameter is suitable for most cats
  • The 10 Best Cat Tunnels

    1. Feline Ruff 12” Premium 3-Way Collapsible Tunnel Cat Toy – Best Overall

    Feline Ruff 12_ Premium 3-Way Collapsible Tunnel Cat Toy

    Material: Polyester
    Diameter: 12 Inches
    Dimensions: 55 x 23 Inches

    The Feline Ruff 12” Premium 3-Way Collapsible Tunnel Cat Toy is a collapsible tunnel toy that has an extra wide 12 Inch opening that should accommodate most cats. It has three entry and exit holes, as well as a peephole in the middle, at the junction, which encourages games of hide and seek.

    There’s also a jingle ball that hangs from one of the entrances, enhancing the play opportunities for your cat. You also get a teaser wand. The wand doesn’t attach to the tunnel, but it is a nice addition that you can use to encourage your cat to play in and around its new tunnel. The whole thing folds down to a disc size and is kept in place with an elastic band.

    The Feline Ruff tunnel isn’t the cheapest on the list but there is a lot of length, it includes extra toys, is wide enough for larger cats, and folds up nice and neatly, making it the best available cat tunnel. The ball is a little easy to rip off and likely won’t last long, but otherwise, it is a good purchase.

    Pros
    • 12” diameter means big cats will fit
    • Includes hanging ball and wand toys
    • Folds down to disc size for storage
    Cons
    • Ball won’t last long

    2. Pet Magasin Collapsible Cat Tunnel Toys, 2 Pack – Best Value

    Pet Magasin Collapsible Cat Tunnel Toys

    Material: Polyester
    Diameter: 10 Inches
    Dimensions: 35 x 10 Inches

    Cat tunnels are an ideal means of promoting adventurous play from your cats. They can charge into and out of the tunnel, and many cats enjoy hiding in the tunnel. A peephole helps encourage this hiding because it enables them to see out and watch you, your other cats, or whatever they like. The Pet Magasin Collapsible Cat Tunnel is a two-pack of tunnels, one shorter and one longer. The longer tunnel has a clear peephole halfway along and both tunnels have hanging toys at the entrance that encourage your cat to use the tunnel in the first place.

    These tunnels fold up easily, for storage, are brightly colored, and the two-pack is a really good price, making them the best cat tunnels for the money. However, the 10-inch diameter means that some cats may struggle to get in, so they are better suited to those that really like to get down on their haunches and for smaller cats.

    Pros
    • Two tunnels for a really good price
    • One tunnel has a clear peephole, both have hanging toys
    • Folds up neatly
    Cons
    • Small diameter won’t suit all cats

    3. Coziwow by Jaxpety Collapsible Cat Tunnel Bed – Premium Choice

    Coziwow by Jaxpety Collapsible Cat Tunnel Bed

    Material: Cotton
    Diameter: 10.6 Inches
    Dimensions: 50 x 22 Inches

    The Coziwow by Jaxpety Collapsible Cat Tunnel Bed is a premium cat tunnel that also includes a bed and bed canopy. The tunnel itself is made from a steel spring frame that is covered in cotton material, rather than the polyester and synthetic materials of other tunnels. It also curves around and in the nook of the curve, there is a cushioned bed for your cat to lay on, with a canopy above it to provide privacy and cover. There are hanging balls at either entrance to the tunnel, and the whole thing has a crinkling sound when your cat darts in and out. The use of cotton and the addition of a bed does mean that this is an expensive tunnel, but it is surprisingly well-equipped for a collapsible tunnel toy.

    The tunnel has a 10.6-inch diameter so should be suitable for all but the biggest cats and it is luxurious, but it is expensive and your cat won’t be able to use the canopy or top section of the bed to lay on. It may just end up getting in the way.

    Pros
    • Made from luxurious cotton
    • Incorporates a bed as well as a folding tunnel
    • Hanging toys on either end
    Cons
    • Expensive

    4. Frisco Foldable Crinkle Play Tunnel with Two Windows – Best for Kittens

    Material: Fabric
    Diameter: 11 inches
    Dimensions: 47 x 11 inches

    We all know our little kittens love running around having fun, poking their head out of every little nook and cranny. For these particularly active felines, having the ability to tunnel in the space of a play mat will be super beneficial.

    This Frisco Foldable Crinkle Play Tunnel has two windows on the top that your kitten can poke their head out of, and it also has a plush ball to entice play. The crinkle noise this tunnel makes will also attract kittens, and it folds down when not in use. However, some buyers say that the crinkle noise is very loud.

    Pros
    • Two windows
    • Folds down for storage
    • Crinkle noise and plush ball entice play
    Cons
    • Crinkle noise is loud

    5. Catit Vesper Cat Tunnel

    Catit Vesper Cat Tunnel

    Material: Polyester
    Diameter: 11 Inches
    Dimensions: 19 x 38 Inches

    The Catit Vesper Cat Tunnel has a premium feel to it, with a canvas-like polyester outer and a cushion that attaches in the crook of the tunnel, so your cat has something to laze and lounge around, as well as somewhere to play.

    The tunnel curves in the middle and the 11-inch diameter of the opening means that most cats will comfortably fit inside the tunnel. There is a hanging toy in the viewing window, which is halfway down the tunnel, and the loops at the entranceways could be used to attach more toys, although it is a shame there aren’t more toys included. The cushion can be removed from the tunnel, and it has a removable cover that is easy to clean so you can get rid of hair and cat smell.

    The tunnel is a little bit pricey, but it does have a quality feel to it and the inclusion of the cushion is a bonus.

    Pros
    • Includes a comfortable cushion
    • Cushion cover can be removed for cleaning
    • 11-inch diameter is suitable for most cats
    Cons
    • A little bit pricey
    • Would benefit from another hanging toy

    6. Frisco Foldable Play Tunnel with Mesh Cat Toy

    Frisco Foldable Play Tunnel with Mesh Cat Toys

    Material: Polyester
    Diameter: 10.5 Inches
    Dimensions: 33 Inches

    The Frisco Foldable Play Tunnel with Mesh Cat Toy is a basic folding cat tunnel. It crinkles, thanks to the polyester material it is made from. It also has a mesh window section part way down that you can see in and out of. Its basic design means that it is one of the more affordable cat tunnels on the list, and while it doesn’t come with any toys or hanging balls, it is a modular tunnel. You can buy two or more of the tunnels and connect them to give your cat a tunnel system that they can charge through. It has a 10.5-inch diameter opening, which should be big enough for all but the largest cats.

    The tunnel is foldable and comes with Velcro straps to keep it folded, when not in use, although the Velcro doesn’t hold very well, and it may be easier to simply twist the ends of the tunnel sections.

    Pros
    • Multiple tunnels can be connected to make a large tunnel
    • A 5-inch diameter is reasonable
    • Inexpensive
    Cons
    • Velcro straps don’t hold it closed well
    • No toys included

    7. Smartykat Crackle Chute Collapsible Tunney Cat Toy

    SmartyKat Crackle Chute Collapsible Tunnel Cat Toy

    Material: Plastic
    Diameter: 9.5 Inches
    Dimensions: 35 Inches

    The Smartykat Crackle Chute Collapsible Tunnel Cat Toy is a 35-inch-long cat tunnel that is made from a naturally crackling material to bring interest and intrigue to your feline friend. It has 9.5-inch diameter entrances at either end and a large open section in the middle of the tunnel that presents opportunities for hide and seek and acts as another entrance. The diameter of the tunnel means that it will be a tight squeeze for larger cats, and even some medium-sized cats may not enjoy being so heavily constricted.

    There are no toys or added extras, so while the price is reasonable, there may be better options if you want to provide as much fun as possible for your cats. Once you fold the collapsible tunnel back up, it has ties that keep it in place and prevent it from springing back open, but these hang loose when the tunnel is being used and that will be a temptation for the majority of cats to scratch and chew it.

    Pros
    • Reasonable price
    • Good crackling noise
    • A large middle opening is good for hide-and-seek
    Cons
    • The ties are a temptation for cats
    • No toys

    8. HDP Pop Open Collapsible Cat Tube and Tunnel Set

    HDP Pop Open Collapsible Cat Tube & Tunnel Set

    Material: Nylon
    Diameter: 11 Inches
    Dimensions: 70 Inches

    The HDP Pop Open Collapsible Cat Tube and Tunnel Set is a little different. It does have a cat tunnel, with an impressive 13-inch diameter opening that should be big enough for most cats to get in and out. But rather than having toys at either end, the tube connects to two 15-inch play cubes. Unfortunately, the play cube entrance has a slightly narrower opening, with an 11-inch diameter, but the whole thing has connectors so you can add more cubes and more tubes, making a massive play area for your cats.

    It does take up a lot more room than a simple tunnel, especially if you start connecting multiple tubes and cubes, and it is quite expensive, but if you have a cat that loves tunnels and cozy, quiet places, then it is a good set that they will likely enjoy. And, the size of the opening means that it should also be suitable for bigger cats.

    Pros
    • Entrance is wide enough for big cats
    • Connects cubes and tubes for more fun
    • Multiple sets can be connected
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Takes up a lot of room

    9. Petlinks Twinkle Chute Lighted Cat Tunnel Toy

    Petlinks Twinkle Chute Lighted Cat Tunnel Toy

    Material: Nylon
    Diameter: 9.5 Inches
    Dimensions: 35 Inches

    The Petlinks Twinkle Chute Lighted Cat Tunnel Toy is another cat tunnel that offers something a little different. The tunnel is fairly standard. It is made from a material that crumples and it has an open window section in the middle for your cat to pop out of. The entrance is a little small, with a diameter of just 9.5 inches meaning that larger cats will struggle. It is a collapsible tunnel, plus it can be easily opened and closed and there are ties to close it, although because these hang loose they can be a real temptation to your cats.

    Where the Petlinks differs from other tunnels, though, is in the “twinkle” section of the name. The tunnel has touch-activated LED lights that blink when your cat runs through the tunnel, keeping their attention and encouraging them to keep playing. It is more expensive than standard cat tunnels, but the lights are a useful addition.

    Pros
    • Touch-activated lights add excitement
    • Open window allows for hide and seek
    Cons
    • 5-inch opening is narrow
    • Ties are a temptation when open
    • Expensive

    10. SunGrow Hide & Seek Collapsible Entertainment Cat & Ferret Play Tube & Pop-Up Tunnel

    SunGrow Hide & Seek Collapsible Entertainment Cat & Ferret Play Tube & Pop Up Tunnel

    Material: Polyester
    Diameter: 9.8 Inches
    Dimensions: 48 Inches

    The SunGrow Hide & Seek Collapsible Entertainment Cat & Ferret Play Tube & Pop-Up Tunnel is a polyester cat tunnel that, at 48 inches long, is a decent length. It has an entrance diameter of 9.8 inches, which is reasonable but could be bigger, and the collapsible tunnel has ties that hang loose when not in use. There are no toys, and as this is a fairly basic tunnel, it is quite an expensive option.

    However, it is long, and the extra length allows for two large open windows for your cats to peek and leap out of.

    Pros
    • Long tunnel
    • Two large open windows
    Cons
    • A bit expensive
    • Ties hang down and are easily chewed
    • No toys

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    Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Cat Tunnels

    Cats need toys because they provide enrichment and fulfillment. They also enjoy squeezing in and out of confined spaces and are renowned for their desire to explore and check out new places and new situations. While you will undoubtedly need a good selection of cat toys to keep your cat entertained, a tunnel is a good choice to add to that list.

    The Benefits of a Cat Tunnel

    The cat tunnel is just one of a wide range of different types of toys from toy mice to laser pointers. Some of the benefits of offering a cat toy include:

    Somewhere to Sleep

    Some cats love to sleep in confined spaces. It gives them a sense of security and safety that they can’t get when sleeping on a bed or a sofa. Some cat tunnels are not only confined but they are also dark inside and this boosts a cat’s sense of safety. Some tunnels are curved and include a cushion or bed in the curve of the tunnel. While these beds aren’t covered, they do give your cat a choice of whether they want to nap inside the tunnel or outside on a cushion.

    Somewhere to Hide

    Whether they are preparing to jump out at you, or they just want a little privacy, some cats like to explore and find quiet little spots hidden away from the hubbub of the house to sit and relax. The tunnel’s covered and confined space is ideal for this kind of hiding spot, and you may find that it becomes one of your cat’s favorite places.

    Somewhere to Play

    Whether they play with you, another cat in the house, or even the family dog, cats like to have items to hide behind and places to run into while they play. They may also take some of their favorite toys into the tunnel with them and use it as a sort of toy storage tunnel.

    Somewhere to Chase

    If your cat is the kind that likes to steam around the house at full pace, it is sure to enjoy running through the tunnel. If you have two cats, you will hear the crinkle of the tunnel followed by another crinkle as they give chase to one another. When cats play fight, they take turns to be the play aggressor so the tunnel presents them both with an opportunity for fun.

    White cat playing inside cat tunnel
    Image Credit: habunman, Pixabay

    Entrance Diameter

    When buying a tunnel, one of the most important considerations is the diameter of the tunnel. This is especially true if you have a portly cat or a large breed. A Maine Coon is going to struggle to fit into a tunnel with a 9-inch diameter. Whereas kittens might find a 13-inch diameter entrance less appealing if they want a confined tunnel space.

    Tunnel Dimensions

    The dimensions of the tunnel refer to the length of the tunnel. Longer tunnels provide more space, but they also take up more room. Shorter tunnels may not provide the kind of play space that your cat wants, though.

    Collapsible Tunnels

    Most of the tunnels on the list above are collapsible. This means that you can fold the tunnel back up and fix it closed so it can be stored easily and conveniently in a small package. Some tunnels use ties to secure them closed, but these can be tempting as a toy so you may find that they get destroyed. Velcro is less likely to be chewed and chased and can help keep the tunnel closed when not in use.

    Windows

    Most, but certainly not all, tunnels have windows in the side, usually around halfway down the tunnel. Some have a mesh or clear window, while others are just open and act more like an additional entrance. Tunnels are great for hide-and-seek and peek-a-boo style games, and windows add an extra bit of interest to the tunnel.

    Cat playing inside cat tunnel
    Image Credit: Daga_Roszkowska, Pixabay

    Hanging Toys

    Some tunnels have a hanging toy at one of the entrances. Some have toys at both entrances, and some have them in the middle. A lot of cats can’t resist chasing a hanging toy or ball so these can encourage your cat to get in the tunnel in the first place and to keep returning to play with it. However, if the tunnel is quite flimsy and your cat pulls at the hanging toy, it may cause the tunnel to collapse. And it is difficult for manufacturers to securely fix a hanging toy string to a nylon tunnel.

    Cushions and Beds

    A few of the cat tunnel models available have additional features like cushions or beds. These are usually found on the outside of the tunnel so your cats can still play inside unimpeded. Look for cushions or beds that have removable covers, because these will be easier to clean and keep them smelling fresh.

    Crinkle Material

    Tunnels are made from materials including nylon and polyester. Most are made so that they crinkle when they are used. It is believed that the crinkling noise mimics the sound of chattering birds and rodents, which are natural prey to cats. So, when your cat jumps on the tunnel and then reacts to the crinkling noise they are likely imagining themselves chasing prey.

    Lights

    Cats have incredible eyesight. While they can’t make out colors as well as people, they can see in much darker conditions, although they can’t see in total darkness. Their eyes can use any small amount of light in the surrounding area and use this to get a clear, illuminated picture. But, as anybody that has seen a cat chasing a laser pointer will attest, many cats love to chase and watch lights. Although rare, you can find some tunnels, including one on our list, that have small LED lights. These are generally used more as an attractive toy, rather than to illuminate the tunnel, but they do add another feature for your cat to enjoy.

    Modular Tunnels

    As well as straight tunnels, you can get some with curves and even those with three branches that provide additional internal space and don’t really take up much more room than a standard tunnel. If you have the space and you want to provide a tunnel complex that is more like a rabbit warren than a single tunnel, look for those with a modular design. You can buy two or more of these and connect them, often at perpendicular angles and not just in straight lines, so your cat can have plenty of tunnel space.

    cat looking inside the tunnel
    Image Credit: tookapic, Pixabay

    Do Cats Like Tunnels?

    Every cat is different, and even if your cat usually enjoys confined spaces, it is almost impossible to say for certain whether it will enjoy playing in a tunnel. With that said most cats do enjoy playing in and around crinkle tunnels. If yours is reluctant, you can try putting some catnip inside the tunnel or putting their favorite toy inside.

    What Toys Do Cats Like Most?

    Every cat really is unique and has its own unique preferences.

    • Some will love their tunnel more than any other toys but there will be others that prefer wand-style toys, which are great for interactive play between you and your pet cat.
    • Others might prefer small toy mice or other small soft toys that they can pick up, throw around, and chase. These simulate hunting skills, burn off energy, and you can get involved by throwing them around.
    • Laser pointers are popular, too, but they are somewhat controversial. Proponents point to how much enjoyment cats get from chasing the small red dot, but opponents say that users are setting their cats up to fail and that they can become obsessed with the dot.
    • You can also get puzzle toys. These usually contain treats, and they require your cat to figure out the puzzle and gain access to the treats within.
    • Scratchers are not just toys but an essential part of your cat’s indoor life. Cats not only enjoy scratching, but they need to because it helps maintain their claws, burns off energy, and helps them stretch.
    • Catnip toys are similar to small stuffed toys but they contain catnip so they will instantly draw your cat’s attention and you may see them rolling around and rubbing their head, face, and body on the catnip toy.

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    Conclusion

    Cat tunnels are just one type of cat toy, but they are popular. They provide somewhere to hide, something to chase through, and they can even offer a private space where your cat can go and hide out. They tend to be inexpensive, too, although some tunnels have additional features like comfortable beds or flashing LED lights, which can push the price up.

    Above are reviews of 10 of the best cat tunnels including the Feline Ruff 12” Premium 3-Way Collapsible Tunnel Cat Toy which is reasonably priced, and its three-way design offers plenty of private space for your cats to enjoy. The Pet Magasin Collapsible Cat Tunnel Toy is really good value for money and contains two tunnels of different sizes, both of which have hanging toys and one of which has a clear viewing window.


    Featured Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

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