The Best Cat Tunnel Picks: Top 5 Reviews of 2020

Best Cat Tunnel
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If you’re wondering how to keep your kitty stimulated, you might want to think about getting a cat tunnel. Not only are these simple toys a great way to keep cats entertained, but they also help hone their natural instincts of hiding, seeking, and hunting.

With our boys getting older and spending more time indoors, we were worried they weren’t getting enough exercise. So when our vet suggested a tunnel, we thought we would give it a go. Needless to say, our cats love theirs and spend hours at a time playing, or catnapping, in it.

Take a look at our top picks, as well as the reviews, to find the best cat tunnel for your favorite feline. There is something to suit every budget, as well as the most fastidious feline.

Overall Winner As Voted For By Oscar and Joey

If you are looking for a cat tunnel to amuse your cats and yourself, then the Four Paws Super Catnip Crazy Pants Cat Tunnel is just what you need. Not only does it make that crinkly sound cats absolutely love, but it looks they are actually wearing a pair of pants. Yes, it’s as funny as it sounds.

The legs of the brightly colored pants provide two tunnels for curious kitties, and the polyester material is extremely durable. We love that it is lined with catnip, which encourages even the shyest of felines to explore. The tunnel is collapsible for easy storage, but to be honest, Joey and Oscar play in it so often, we have never had to pack it away. It is easy to see why there are so many positive reviews for the Catnip Crazy Pants.

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The Best Cat Tunnel for Large Cats

The Frisco 47-in Foldable Crinkle Play Tunnel with 2 Windows is the perfect choice for larger cats or multi-cat homes. As far as cat toys go, this activity center is one of the best options around. There is ample space for your furry friends to run through, and the hanging ball adds an extra element of play. Joey and Oscar loved peeking out of the two windows, and when playtime was over, they happily napped inside the tunnel. Oscar cleverly turned the tube on its side and peered out at us through the windows.

The foldable tunnel is made from a high-quality suede material but still has that crinkly sound cats love. The neutral brown color fits in perfectly with any type of home, and when your cats aren’t running through it or jumping over it, it folds away easily for convenient storage. The only negative with the Frisco Play Tunnel that we can see is that it isn’t waterproof.

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Best Value for Money Cat Tunnel

When it comes to value for money, you can’t beat the Pet Magasin 2-Pack Collapsible Cat Tunnel Toy. It’s basically two tunnels for the price of one. Both tubes come with a hanging toy, as well as that all-alluring crinkle sound. Like the other cat tunnels already reviewed here, these are collapsible and can be folded up and stored out of the way when not in use.

The long tunnel has a window for serious games of hiding and seek, and they are perfect for pouncing on or running through. For added fun, we connected the two tunnels into a T-shape. The two-pack, although a little small for Joey and Oscar, is durable and will stand up to daily wear, tear, and general tom (cat) foolery.

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Best Mesh Cat Tunnel

The Jackson Galaxy Cat Crawl Mesh Tunnel Cat Toy is ideal for cats that don’t like the dark or get ‘claustrophobic’. It holds its shape well, and we loved that we could see Oscar and Joey all the time. The lightweight toy has been designed and created for Jackson Galaxy, cat whisperer, and host of the popular TV series, My Cat From Hell. Although it doesn’t have the crinkly sound, the mesh fabric ensures plenty of ventilation, so cats can play for hours at a time, or have a quick nap. The mesh is waterproof, making it perfect for use indoors, outside, and if you are traveling with your furry friends.

The only downside to this particular tunnel is that it catches on cats’ claws, so you might want to clip them before the fun starts. It’s available in two colors, and best of all, it folds flat in a few seconds.

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Do you know how cats love laser pointers? Well, combine that popular toy with another, you have the Petlinks Twinkle Chute Lighted Tunnel Cat Toy. Not only does this collapsible tunnel crinkle, but it also lights up or twinkles, depending on the setting. We love that this is one of the more interactive cat toys on the market with its motion-activated lights. But admittedly, it was a bit of a snug fit for our big boy Oscar. If yours is a full-figured feline, we suggest looking at the Frisco collapsible tunnel instead.

The Twinkle Tunnel is well made with a steel frame, and when untied, it measures 33 inches. It is spring-loaded, so no assembly is required, and it is perfect for travel, as well as indoor and outdoor playtime.

One thing to keep in mind is that motion-activated lights aren’t particularly sensitive and will need a good swat to light up. However, as soon as your cat figures this out, it is an excellent way for him to release pent up energy. The tunnel includes two button-cell include batteries, but you might want to purchase spares separately.

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Essential Things to Consider When Buying a Cat Tunnel

In case you haven’t noticed, cats sleep a lot, which is why they need to exercise regularly. Unless you are taking your kitty for a walk, a tunnel is one of the most effective ways to get him active. It is also a good alternative to an enclosed bed and a safe place for skittish cats.

What we really like about these products is that they are affordable and can fold away quickly for easy storage. When Oscar and Joey aren’t stalking a toy carefully hidden inside the tunnel, or waiting to attack unsuspecting prey walking past, they are pouncing on it, running through it, or dragging it around the room. Never have we got such good value for money from a pretty basic looking toy.

But deciding on the right one isn’t easy, especially with all the choices available. We have listed the most essential features to look for when choosing on the perfect tunnel for your cat.

1.The Type

Although our reviews are all singular tubes, there are also three and four-way tunnels available. Some products can be attached to make them longer or change the setup so that your cat gets to enjoy a different kind of maze from one day to the next. Many have windows or places to peek through, which are suitable for cats that like to ambush their ‘prey’.

2.The Size

Because cats like hiding in small spaces, cat tunnels are smaller than you might expect. If your feline is a little more well-rounded, it is worth checking the diameter of the tube.

3.The Durability

Cat tunnels with a steel frame are the most durable, as are those made from polyester, suede, or faux fur. As we mentioned earlier, mesh tunnels are prone to tearing, especially if your cat’s claws get hooked.

4.The Material

We have already discussed the different types of material used for tunnels, including polyester, mesh, suede, and faux fur. But there are also cardboard and wood products available which are eco-friendly. Depending on your personal taste and budget, you have a wide variety to choose from.

5.Added Features

Depending on your cat’s ‘purr’ sonality, it’s worth looking at tunnels that come with extra features. Simple additions like hanging balls, motion-activated lights, and crinkle sounds will make the cat toy interactive, which means a lot more playtime.

3 Reasons Why Cat Tunnels are Popular

There’s a couple of reasons why the best cat tunnels are so much fun. Let’s take a look at the top 3.

1.Provides cats with mental and physical stimulation

Your cat, regardless of whether he’s an indoor pet or spends lots of time outside, needs to be stimulated mentally and physically. And the best way for him to do this is through play. Cat tunnels provide new spaces to explore and are especially useful if space is limited in your home, or if you’re worried that your kitty isn’t as active as he should be.

2.Quells a cat’s curiosity

Cats, as you know, are curious, and when they aren’t sleeping, they’re more than likely exploring their surroundings. The great thing about a tunnel is that your cat gets to enjoy an exciting new space every day, depending on where you place it. For even more fun, get a few and join them together to create an a-maze-ing experience for your kitty.

3.Hones a cat’s hunting skills

Cats are natural hunters, and even they play, you’ll see them stalking potential prey. Tunnels provide them with the perfect opportunity to hide away and ambush feet, other cats, or whatever else catches their eye.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cat Tunnels

Can kittens use cat tunnels?

Absolutely. Kittens are as curious as older cats, and a tunnel gives them a safe place to explore, gain much-needed confidence, and sharpen their predatory skills. For your kitten’s safety, we suggest that you watch them while playing, and replace the tunnel as soon as there are any signs of damage.

Hanging balls could be a potential choking for cats, regardless of their age, so keep this in mind when choosing a tunnel for a kitten.

Can cat tunnels be used outdoors?

Yes, most cat tunnels can be used outdoors as well as inside. Some great outdoor options are made using weather-resistant materials, including industrial strength fishnet, ripstop netting, canvas, or stainless steel. Often, they are fixed to a catio or large enclosure.

The products we’ve reviewed can be used outside; however, we suggest you don’t leave them there overnight or unattended. They’re all pretty lightweight and will get damaged or blown away by the wind.

Where can a cat tunnel be placed?

Ideally, you should place it where you know your cat plays and is the most active, but out of the way of humans. If you have a timid cat, you can place it in the middle of the floor to get him out from wherever he’s hiding. Similarly, you can place tunnels in quieter areas around the house if you have a lot of cats needing their own space.

Is a homemade cat tunnel safe?

Cat tunnels are a really affordable option to enhance your cat’s environment and encourage him to play more, and there are products to suit every type of budget. However, if you check if your pet enjoys it, you can always use a few cardboard boxes you’ve got around the house. These are safe and will do the trick.

Joey and Oscar took to their tunnels straight away, while some cats might need a little more time. And don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles. What do you think of our top picks? Do you have one that your cat particularly enjoys? Leave a comment below and tell us all about it. Or, if you have a great photo of your cat in full tunnel mode, post it below.

Carmen Scott
Carmen Scott
I’m the “Mom” behind The Cat Mom. I adopted my two kitties back in 2014 and since they’re the heart and soul of our home so we decided to share our experiences and tips with everyone who share the same love for their furry friends as us.

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