How to make outdoor cat tunnels

Written by kasandra rose
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How to make outdoor cat tunnels
Some cats long to be outside. (WPA Pool/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

Cats like to play outside but it's not a very safe place for them. Cars, neighbourhood dogs, coyotes and the always tempting tree offer dangers for your feline companion. By building outdoor cat tunnels, you provide a safer adventure for your cat. Tunnels, a play space in their own right, connect larger play areas together, or lead from the house to a cat enclosure. A good tunnel will allow two cats to pass each other, and allow the cat to turn around and go the other way. A 1-foot-square tunnel provides enough space for most cats to turn around but a large cat would need a larger tunnel.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • 1-inch-square 8-foot lumber
  • Saw
  • Drill with screw bit
  • 1 3/4-inch galvanised wood screws
  • 4-foot wide roll of chicken wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Zip ties

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  1. 1

    Measure the distance you want to run the tunnel. Divide the distance by eight and multiply by five to calculate how many sections of 1-inch-square 8-foot lumber you need.

  2. 2

    For each 8-foot section of tunnel, cut eight 1-foot sections of wood from the 1-inch-square 8-foot lumber using the saw. Create a square with four 1-foot pieces of lumber by screwing through one side of one piece and into the end of the next piece. Make two of these squares per 8-foot section of tunnel, plus one extra for the end of the tunnel.

  3. 3

    Stretch the chicken wire out along the path of the tunnel. If the chicken wire is too long, cut it to the desired length with the wire cutters.

  4. 4

    Wrap the chicken wire around the square wooden frames you've built so that when you're done you have an open square tunnel supported by square wooden frames at either end. Secure the chicken wire to the wooden frames using zip ties. Use at least two zip ties per side. Place a wooden support frame every four feet along the length of the tunnel.

  5. 5

    Close the chicken wire seam along the length of the tunnel with small zip ties every few inches.

  6. 6

    Weave any loose wire ends of the chicken wire back onto itself to prevent injury to the cat.

Tips and warnings

  • If your tunnel must go over an obstacle, like a fallen tree trunk, line the inside of the wire tunnel with nylon carpeting or a rubber mat to prevent the cat's foot from going through the wire.
  • Cover a section of tunnel with indoor-outdoor carpeting with holes cut in the side for the cat to peek out of. It provides them a hiding spot.

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