Cats are unique animals, and they should be treated as such when planning for their recreation. It’s important to first recognize that cats are one of the few species that are both predator and prey-hunters and hunted. Therefore, it’s critical for pet parents to provide proper resources for cats that address associated normal behaviors, such as hiding and escape routes when they feel threatened, or even when playful! Cat tunnels may offer that sense of security for some cats.

Jane Brunt
Cat Hospital At Towson
6701 York Road
Baltimore, MD 21212
(410) 377-7900

In addition to owning Cat Hospital At Towson, the first feline-only veterinary practice in Maryland, Dr. Brunt serves as executive director of CATalyst Council, a non-profit coalition of animal health and welfare organizations working together to improve the health, welfare and value of America’s most popular pet. Not only do Dr. Brunt and the staff at Cat Hospital treat your pet, but they work to foster the bond between pet and owner. Dr. Brunt founded the Cat Hospital in 1984 and is still providing enthusiastic and empathetic service to pet parents and their feline companions today. It’s safe to say she’s a “cat person.” If you too are a cat person, Dr. Brunt encourages you to call or visit the Cat Hospital at Towson, where she says they “speak purr and are bark-free!” Here are a few suggestions Dr. Brunt has for constructing cat tunnels.

Cardboard Construction Cylinders 

Used to pour concrete, these cardboard tubes may be located at almost any hardware or home improvement store. While you are in the store, ask for a roll of sisal rope, which makes for a nice double-hack. If you wind the rope around the cardboard tube and stand it upright, you’ve just created a scratching post!

Foldable Laundry Hampers

Most laundry hampers these days are made of a wire frame and either cloth or nylon fabric and are extremely affordable. If you buy several of these and cut the bottoms out, you can attach them together, and you’ve created your cat tunnel! Look for the kind made of nylon that are already cylindrical for that perfect tunnel effect.

Dog Agility Training Tunnels

Yes, believe it or not, dogs have their own tunnels. But as mentioned before, cats are animals that sometimes want their space. If you’re having trouble coaxing your cat to use a cat tunnel, consider the possibility that your pet may feel a bit too confined with the space you’ve provided them. It might be time to move to plan B and upgrade to a larger tunnel. Dog agility training tunnels come in a variety of lengths and complexities and are easy to find online, giving you lots of variety from which to choose.

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Carpet Pieces

If you’ve done any recent remodeling, you’re certain to have several of these lying around. What you’ll want are carpet pieces with a jute backing. Roll the pieces up, making certain that the carpeted part is on the inside. This will create a tube you can secure with colorful duct tape or tie with sisal rope. Bonus: the outside can provide a scratching surface!

Cardboard Boxes

If your budget is a little tight and you don’t happen to have any of the above items already lying around, you’re certain to have a few cardboard boxes. Or if not, you can easily get some without paying for them. Firstly, cats love to play in boxes, period. Google “cats and boxes,” and see for yourself. However, keeping with the tunnel theme, acquire several boxes of about the same shape and size, pull the bottom apart, lay them end-to-end and secure them together for a quick and easy tunnel your cat is sure to enjoy!

*Please note: many cats prefer height and good visibility where they can see who or what is preying on them, where they can keep a safe distance at the same time. Cat shelves, perches and “trees” can be linked together with ramps, roads and yes, tunnels made from sturdy construction materials that are supported if they are elevated.

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Joel Furches is a freelance writer and researcher for The Examiner and Logos Software, and also manages his own catalog of writing on Hub Pages. Joel is on the board of directors for Ratio Christi. He has a bachelors in Psychology and a Masters in Education.