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10 DIY Cat Tunnels You Can Make Today (With Pictures)

Written by: Jordin Horn

Last Updated on January 12, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

young kitten in the cave of a cat tree

10 DIY Cat Tunnels You Can Make Today (With Pictures)

Some people would call cats elusive creatures, always lying in wait to attack. We cat owners know, though, that cats just like to hang out in small spaces. Part of it is instinct; they are hard-wired to find an area where they will not be seen in order to observe what’s going on around them. Indoor cats don’t have real prey to hunt, but they still prefer a small box to the entryway rug. But why is this? Many experts think that cats just like to be snug, cozy, and warm.

As much as your cat loves those cardboard boxes or plastic containers, they can be unsightly to look at. If you care about the aesthetic of your home, consider getting a cat tunnel for your cat. You could buy one from your local pet specialty store or online, but that can be expensive. You also might want to show love to your kitty with a homemade gift just from you.

Take a look at these fun DIY cat tunnels to gather inspiration for your next project!

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The 10 DIY Cat Tunnels

1. Kids Pajamas Tunnel

Take a look at this simple kitty tunnel made out of pajama shorts. Grab one or two pairs of kid-sized pajamas, and thread some wire through the waist strap. Sew four straws on four opposing points of the waist strap, then put the two pairs of shorts together. Now your cats have the perfect-sized tunnels to squeeze themselves into.

2. Old Sweater, Foam Tunnel

Here’s another way to upcycle some items lying around in your home. Cut the sleeves off an old knit sweater, and sew them shut. Find a piece of foam and duct tape it into a roll, then put the sweater over the roll, making sure the head hole is over one of the ends of the foam.

This can be a large or small tunnel, depending on how tightly you roll the foam.

3. Knitted Cat Tunnel

DIY cat tunnel
Image Credit: Makedoandmendnovice

Are you more experienced with knitting needles? There are knitted cat tunnel patterns out there too. Yarn and cats are made to go together, right? Your cat will love the way this tunnel is loose around them when they go through it.

4. Cardboard Cat Tunnel

If you recently bought a large appliance, you could use that cardboard box that it came in to quickly and cheaply build your kitty a tunnel. Fold the large, long piece into a long triangle and cut holes out of opposing ends. Hours of entertainment!

5. DIY Felted Cat Cave

The DIY Felted Cat Cave project shows you how to make a shelter for your cat using nothing more than a few different colors of wool and tools that you likely already have around the house, such as a rolling pin. Making it does not take too long, and your cat can use it right away. It’s suitable for all skill levels, and the author provides plenty of tips and tricks to help it come out better.

6. Crochet Cat Cave

DIY Crochet Cat Cave
Image Credit: cateruth

The Crochet Cat Cave helps you create an extremely colorful and attractive cat cave using nothing more than old tie-dye t-shirts. Of course, you can use other shirts to create the color that you want to suit your home. This cave is extremely comfortable and gives your cat an extra hiding place. It’s the perfect project for someone with experience in crocheting or stitching, but the ingredients are clear enough that even a beginner can complete it successfully.

7. Cheap DIY Cat House

DIY Cheap Cat House
Image Credit: smartfundiy

The Cheap DIY Cat House is one of the easiest projects on this list and requires only a cardboard box and an old shirt. You can finish it in a matter of minutes, and cats are more likely to use it faster than many other projects because it will already have your original scent. The shirt won’t be damaged, so you can still wear it later. You can also change the shirt to give the cave a fresh appearance.

8. DIY Cardboard Cat Cave

DIY Cardboard Cat Cave
Image Credit: thecatsite

The DIY Cardboard Cat Cave is the perfect project for someone who likes building things. It’s extremely inexpensive to make and only requires a few cardboard boxes to cut into small triangles and squares. You then combine the triangles to make pentagons that you fit together into an igloo shape for your cat. It’s more difficult than some other projects, but it is a great deal of fun.

9. EZ Cat Tunnel

The EZ Cat Tunnel is a fun and easy project that you can build for only a few dollars. It uses the Ikea Storage PS Fangst, which already has the right size and shape, making it perfect for a tunnel, so you won’t need to do any building, and the polyester material is strong and durable. The instructions to complete it are in video format, so they are easy to follow, and once you have the items, it will only take a few minutes to complete.

10. Outdoor Cat Tunnel

DIY Outdoor Cat Tunnel
Image Credit: chirpycats

If your indoor cat is always looking to go outside, the Outdoor Cat Tunnel is the project for you. This project uses galvanized wire mesh and a few other items to create a tunnel around your yard or garden to let your cat enjoy the outdoors. The finished product is safe, won’t let your cat out or other animals in, and is durable enough to last several seasons without much maintenance. It’s more difficult than some other projects, but it is well worth the effort and will surely be one of your cat’s favorite places.

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How to Get a Cat to Use a Cat Cave or Tunnel

It would be very disheartening to spend a lot of time making your cat a nice tunnel only to find that they are terrified of it! We’ve got you covered with these tips to lure them in. Once they give it a try, they will be sure to love it.

Try these things:
  • Line it with catnip (given they aren’t allergic!).
  • Spray some pheromones in it.
  • Place their favorite treat inside.
  • For tunnels, entice them with a favorite toy at the other end.

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By now you can see that DIY cat tunnels can be extravagant or super simple. We hope these ideas and tips help you, and that your cat appreciates your efforts to give them more comfort and entertainment.

See Also:

Featured Image Credit: OFC Pictures, Shutterstock

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