Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

9 DIY Cat Tunnel Plans You Can Try Today (With Pictures)

Ashley Bates

By Ashley Bates

Cat Tunnel

Our kitties enjoy tons of different fun activities, and there’s certainly no shortage of DIY projects you can find while scouring the web. If you’ve been wanting a new cat tunnel for your four-legged buddy but don’t necessarily want to rely on a store, you might try your hand at making one yourself.

We took the liberty of looking around for you. We found five nifty cat tunnels that will keep your cat busy. Most of them are easy as pie, but some require tools or mildly advanced skills. It’s up to you which would make your kitty the happiest. Let’s get into it!


The 9 DIY Cat Tunnels

1. Outdoor Kitty Tunnel by Roeshel

Cuckoo 4 Design – DIY Cat Tunnel
Image Credit: diyshowoff
Materials: Chicken wire or hardwire cloth, wood, nails, stain
Tools: Hammer, drill, saw
Difficulty Level: Advanced

Does your kitty crave the outdoors? If you want your pet to be safe out there but also have some free reign of the backyard, the Outdoor Kitty Tunnel by Roeshel. It is a very complex design and will only work for specific skill levels—and living situations.

You can make this your own and simply follow her instructions as a guideline—or follow exactly, it’s up to you. She has a wooden fence that her tunnel attaches to, so it might not be feasible for every living situation. However, if you have the space, your little adventurer will surely love to explore it.

This is a perfect DIY for folks who can’t let their cats free roam but still want them to have some freedom. Most cats will absolutely love watching wildlife and checking out all the neighborhood goings-on.

If you have the grit and the time, it’s definitely a cat tunnel that will serve as entertainment for years to come.

2. DIY Cat Tunnel by NoLi

Materials: Old pants, clear straws, needle nose pliers, wire, thread
Tools: Needles, needle nose pliers
Difficulty Level: Easy

The DIY Cat Tunnel is such a fun project to make that is inexpensive and ideal for beginners. NoLi goes over each step in a time-lapse in this YouTube video tutorial. It’s very simplistic and straightforward. Plus, we love that it’s a video, so you can follow along at your own pace—pressing pause as needed.

If you have an old pair of pants you aren’t using, it can turn into a cat tunnel that is cozy, dark, and soft—perfect for them to hide away or play. At the end of the video, you even get to watch her kitties explore their new creations.

Since this DIY works for any experience level, you could probably make it today with scraps at home today!

3. DIY Cat Tunnel by Haupanther

DIY Cat Tunnel
Image Credit: hauspanther
Materials: Chicken wire or hardwire cloth, wood, nails, stain
Tools: Hammer, drill, saw
Difficulty Level: Advanced

If you’re looking for a DIY tunnel that is super easy and inexpensive, this one by Hauspanther may be a good option for you. It is incredibly cheap, if not free to make (permitting you have the materials on hand).

Using an old or cheap shower curtain, you can round up a few items and go to town. Depending on how hard your cats play, it will likely hold up for a while. However, extremely rough kitties might tear into it pretty quickly.

But this is another project on the list that is for everyone—no special skills needed. After gathering your materials, you simply follow the basic instructions, and you can have a new cat tunnel in just a few hours.

4. DIY Cardboard Kitty Cottage by Meeoow

DIY Cardboard Kitty Cottage
Image Credit: meeoow
Materials: Cardboard shipping tube, cardboard box, sisal rope, twine, cat toys
Tools: Scissors, tape, box cutter, safety pins, wood glue
Difficulty Level: Easy

Do you need a use for those Amazon Prime boxes laying around your house? Your cat will take a good cardboard hideout. This isn’t a traditional tunnel, per se, but it definitely works as one. It also doubles as a lounger, play place, and safe haven. Introducing the DIY Cardboard Kitty Cottage.

Considering how inexpensive it is to create, you can make a new one each time one wears out. This gives your cat somewhere to sharpen their claws—so depending on their scratching potential, the life of this DIY will vary from cat to cat.

If you think your cat would enjoy it, you might be able to whip this up in an evening without even leaving your house.

5. Simple Outdoor Tunnels by Chirpy Cats

simple diy cat tunnels in backyard
Image Credit: Chirpy Cats
Materials: Galvanized wire mesh, black vinyl tubing, zip ties, 90° elbow PVC fitting, spring snap hook carabiner steel clips, steel tent pegs or garden stakes
Tools: Hammer, pliers, wire cutters
Difficulty Level: Moderate

This outdoor tunnel is a relatively easy project that uses wire mesh bent into a tunnel shape and anchored with vinyl tubing and tent pegs.

You can make it as long as you want and put in as many corners as you like, which is where the elbow fittings come in. The author attached their tunnels to an outdoor catio that they had already constructed.

This tunnel gives your cat the opportunity to explore your backyard safely, including investigating bugs and other critters hiding in the grass. Since it’s easy to install, you can quickly remove the tent pegs and tunnel for lawnmowing days.

6. DIY Cardboard Cat Tunnel by Jacinia Perez

Materials: Cardboard, chipboard, or bookcase backing
Tools: Box tape, utility knife
Difficulty Level: Easy

This cardboard cat tunnel is quite easy to make. The cut-out triangles on the sides add a decorative component and extra playing opportunities for your cat, but these are optional.

You can create this tunnel in a matter of minutes, and even if your cat destroys it, you can just make another one. You can also customize it by using colorful duct tape or peel-and-stick tiles or wallpaper.

7. The Knitted Cat Tunnel by Make Do and Mend Novice

Kitten lying in the knitted cat tunnel
Image Credit: makedoandmendnovice
Materials: Bulky yarn, plastic tubing, two wooden plugs or parcel tape
Tools: 10mm circular knitting needles, 10mm crochet hook, tape measure, scissors, utility knife
Difficulty Level: Moderate

If you’re a knitter, you might enjoy making this knitted cat tunnel, which the author states can even be accomplished by a beginner.

They do state that you should know how to:
  • Cast on and off
  • Be familiar with the knit stitch
  • Knit with circular needles

This will be a floppy tunnel compared to the others, but you’ll be able to choose any color that you want, and your cat’s tunnel will be quite cozy!

8. Recycled Sweater Cat Tunnel by DIY for CATs by Hohentwielbirmas

Materials: Old sweater, 25.6 x 35.4-inch piece of foam
Tools: Sewing machine or thread and needle, duct tape, scissors
Difficulty Level: Easy

The instructions are in German, but this recycled sweater cat tunnel is so easy to make, that it transcends language barriers. You can use any old sweater, cardigan, or sweatshirt. Cut off the sleeves, sew up the sides, and slip it over a rolled-up piece of foam. The sweater should sit snugly on the foam with the neck hole on one side. It should prove a comfy tunnel for your cat, and recycling is always a good idea!

9. Double Cat Tunnel

double cat tunnel
Image Credit: Instructables
Materials: 40 PVC pipe, three-way PVC elbow fittings, four-way PVC tee fitting, five-way cross PVC fitting, heavy-duty cardboard tube for concrete, remnant carpet
Tools: PVC cutting tool, rubber mallet, tape measure, marker, utility knife, handsaw, carpet knife, liquid nails adhesive
Difficulty Level: Advanced

This unique double cat tunnel might work best for homes with two cats, so each one will have their own tunnel. In any case, your cat will have a neat space to explore and lounge in.

This project is kind of like a double-decker, with two tunnels on top of each other, and the tunnels can be covered in remnant carpet. While this is considered an advanced project, it’s likely to be quite easy for some people.



So, are you gathering up your supplies as we speak? No matter which of these projects caught your eye, we have complete confidence you can make it a reality. These tunnels are fun and primarily simplistic, and each one will work better for particular cats—and particular humans.

Which one was your favorite, and how did it turn out?

Related Reads:

Featured Image Credit by tookapic, Pixabay

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database