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10 cat playground ideas for your feline friend

Cat playing on a cat tree
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Looking for cat playground ideas? If you feel that your cat's a little under-stimulated, setting aside some space in your home or garden as a cat playground can be the ideal way to stave off feline boredom and give your furry little pal plenty of opportunities for exercise and excitement.

As most cat owners know all too well, the devil makes work for idle paws, and investing in some kind of home activity centre for your cat is a great way to avoid things like broken ornaments and scratched-up furniture.

How far you go with your cat playground is up to you; investing in a selection of good quality cat toys is a must for any cat owner, while cat hammocks are an ideal way to get the same idea as a full cat playground whilst saving on space.

However, if the idea of building a proper cat playground appeals to you – and don't forget, watching your cat making the most of its fun new environment should bring you plenty of entertainment too – we've found some great ideas that should bring you plenty of inspiration. Alternatively, check out these catio ideas for giving indoor cats a safe taste of outdoor life.

1. Multi-level cat house

Cats can't resist a good box, and they love multi-levelled environments where they can climb and hide. A multi-level cat house like this one is a simple way to give them plenty to do, without having to give up a sizeable portion of your home to a full-on cat assault course. That said, if you're happy to sacrifice more space to your feline friends then there are plenty of options to explore...

2. The cat wall

If you're fed up of constantly tripping over cat toys left all over the floor, why not turn a wall into your cat playground? This one, built by Catastrophic Creations, provides all manner of opportunities to climb, hide, chase and scratch, as well as plenty of places to settle down for a nap when it all gets a bit too much.

3. A cat tree

Another top option for anyone short on space who doesn't want to get into a big construction project, a cat tree provides kitty with a place to climb, scratch, play and simply settle down to observe you from up on high. They're easy to build – it can help to fix them to a wall if your cat's a little on the larger side – and impossible for any feline to resist.

4. Cat carpentry

This isn't a project for the faint-hearted, but if you're a dab hand at carpentry then a wooden cat wall like this will be a delight for your kitties and quite the conversation piece as well. The benefits are clear: lots of places to climb, tear around, hide and sleep. However the downside is that it won't take long for it to get thoroughly scratched up.

5. The cat room

If you're willing and able to surrender an entire room to be a cat playground, the sky's the limit and your cats will love you for it (that, or they'll just ignore it completely, being cats). This fab example makes great use of ordinary shelving units and ready-made cat trees, demonstrating that you don't really need to be a DIY expert to create an enticing spot for feline fun and games.

6. Rope bridge

Platforms and hidey holes and scratching posts are all plenty of fun, but how about throwing a rope bridge into the mix?

 They'll add an extra level of excitement to your cat playground because they're a lot less predictable than a rigid platform and they're guaranteed to give your cat plenty of mental stimulation as well as testing their sense of balance to the limit. 

You can buy them ready-made, or alternatively follow this video guide to making your own below:

7. Best of both worlds

Here's a brilliant idea for building a cat playground that doesn't look like a cat playground. Mylo's owner used square storage units to create a fun feline play area that looks nicely decorative; such a setup would also work if you don't want to sacrifice storage space to provide your cats with somewhere fun to run around. And on top of that, there's more space for Mylo to play in...

8. Garden playground

As well as a fantastic indoor area to leap around in, Mylo also has a brilliant outdoor cat playground with all sorts of fun spaces to explore. There are ladders, ramps, scratching posts and mats, plus spots for lounging around in the sun and even a special secret area containing a litter tray; perfect for stopping Mylo from digging up the lawn when nature calls.

9. Designer cat playground

For a cat playground with a touch of class, Myzoo makes loads of modern cat furniture that'll keep your kitty entertained without ruining your home décor. We particularly love this modular hexagonal option; it looks great and it's packed with places for cats to leap about, hide or just chill out.

10. The ultimate cat playground

We know. For most cat owners, converting your entire house into a cat playground at breathtaking expense definitely isn't an option, but it's nice to dream. Construction company owner Peter Cohen has 22 cats sharing his California home, and he's spent years (and a lot of money) turning it into the ultimate cat playground complete with tunnels, walkways and even fountains. 

While you wouldn't necessarily want to go to quite his extremes, you can give your cat a taste of it as he sells his own cat playground supplies to raise money for FIP research. Find out more at Zen By Cat.

Jim is a writer, performer and cat-wrangler based in Bath, who last year adopted a pair of sibling rescue cats who turned out to be effectively feral, and has spent a lot of time since then trying to get them accustomed to people (some success) and each other (ongoing project).