Cats love to know what’s going on. You’ve heard the saying that cats have nine lives? Well, there’s a reason for that. Cats are curious creatures and love to investigate, which often gets them into trouble. We can’t always see what they’re up to so we sometimes have to take measures to ensure they are safe, particularly when they are kittens.
A cat enclosure can be a lifesaver for you and your cat. Choosing the best cat playpen for your furry friend allows you to provide an environment that is safe, and will allow your cat to still get some time out in the fresh air.
If you’re in a hurry and want to know our recommendation. In our opinion, the Ruff ‘N Ruffus Portable Foldable Pet Playpen is the pick of the 5 we reviewed.
How To Choose The Best Cat Playpen
It’s helpful to take the needs of both you and your cat into account when deciding upon a playpen. For example, an older cat with arthritis is probably not going to enjoy being in a tiered cage as much as being in a soft portable playpen.
You’ll also want to look at how you’ll be using the playpen. Will you be using it for outdoor time? Will you be taking your cat on a camping trip? Are you just looking to keep a new litter of kittens from wandering around the house and getting lost? Are you physically comfortable with maneuvering the playpen? All these considerations should be addressed when choosing the right playpen.
What Are The Advantages Of Having a Cat Playpen?
Cats are incredibly curious creatures. Cat playpens let your indoor cat safely enjoy the great outdoors without the worry of you having to track down your little wanderer. If your cat needs a place to recuperate from surgery or illness, a playpen provides a nice enclosed feeling that helps them heal in peace.
While some people may feel that it would be cruel to confine a cat to a small space, that’s not necessarily the case. As long as your cat has access to a litter box, fresh water, toys, plus bed & board, he’ll be pretty happy having his own space as long as he can think it’s his own idea.
What Are the Differentiating Aspects?
Some different types of playpens include:
- Metal cage-type tiered playpens with or without wheels to make relocating easier from room-to-room
- Plastic or metal enclosure types with no covers, mainly to provide a boundary
- Portable-type playpens with mesh portals for visibility that easily and quickly set up and fold back down
Things To Look For
You’ll want to make sure that the playpen’s big enough to provide comfort and be a fun environment for your cat.
Portability is also an important factor. One that’s lightweight and easily folded down to a convenient size for fitting into a car would be a good choice.
The right size for your cat is important. Cats come in all shapes and sizes, and playpens come in a range of sizes as well.
Issues Regarding Cat Playpens
Sometimes it can seem like a real convenience to keep a cat confined. Cats are usually fine if they get to choose where and how long they stay put. As long as people work with this understanding, it would be hard to dull a cat’s enthusiasm for having a fun, private place to relax in.
Open enclosures that have no top don’t seem to make good sense, in our opinion, when it comes to cats outside. Most cats are natural Houdinis, and this type of enclosure would be pretty easy for a cat to escape from.
Precautions When Using Cat Playpens
Cat playpens are constructed to allow for good airflow. As long as the playpen is set up in a location that is sheltered from the hot sun, no problem.
Another thing to consider, especially with cage-type enclosures, is hazards from surfaces and construction materials. Everything should be smooth, non-toxic, and sturdy enough to withstand normal usage & the occasional claw. Anything that’s related to safety is key when you’re looking for a good cat playpen. Sometimes metal bars can contain burrs or other surface imperfections that could cause injury.
Bars should be spaced close enough together to prevent your cat from bolting, but not too close, so he won’t wind up getting a paw or his head stuck between them.
While cat playpens offer a good environment for a cat to spend some of its time, it’s smart to never leave them unattended in one for too long. While we don’t like to think of our personal spaces as anything but safe, some of the 10 million pets that go missing each year are taken from yards or porches. While the cat playpen safely prevents your cat from wandering off, it may not be enough to prevent someone else from wandering off with your cat.
Now that you know what to look for and how to pick out the best cat playpen, here are five to consider:
- Ruff ‘N Ruffus Portable Foldable Pet Playpen
- Amazon Basics Portable Soft Pet Travel Playpen
- Amazon Basics Foldable Metal Pet Exercise & Playpen With Door
- Tespo Pet Playpen
- Midwest Cat Playpen
This playpen comes in Medium, Large and X-Large sizes, it is an 8-panel design with reinforced corners. It also includes a bunch of additional items including a matching collapsible travel bowl that can be conveniently attached to the playpen and a matching carry case with straps for easy transport. Setup is quick and easy as it collapses and is put back up within seconds, requiring very little effort. It’s also weather-proofed as it’s made from tough water-resistant fabrics. These also ensure that it can withstand heavy-duty use and wear-and-tear. If you wind up using this playpen a lot, this is a great feature for long life. Its removable zippered cover can be closed or opened to provide shade or sun, or even help keep your cat dry if the weather turns bad.
- Folds flat for easy storage
- No assembly required
- Portable and lightweight
- Comes in multiple sizes
- Includes added extras
- Made from tough water-resistant fabrics.
- Can be covered or uncovered
- Does not have a locking mechanism to prevent collapse
- Some customers reported a chemical smell when delivered
This 8-sided soft playpen is extremely portable due to its lightweight structure. Reinforced construction for durability, it’s ideal for indoor or outdoor use. It comes with a matching carry case and has velcro pouches for toys and treats. This product easily collapses for storage and we think its great quality at a very economical price.
- Lightweight and durable
- Folds flat for easy storage
- Can be spot cleaned
- Includes an enclosed mesh top
- Comes with a carry case
- Reinforced structure
- Some customers reported that the zippers could be unreliable due to malfunction or breakage.
This 30-inch playpen can be used either indoors or outdoors. Made from durable iron metal with a rust-proof black finish. It includes ground anchors for stability. Quick, easy setup that takes seconds with no tools required – just decide the shape you want it to be and connect its 8 panels. This playpen has a door for access to its 16 square-foot play area.
- A large area that can be configured to multiple shapes
- Made from durable rust-proof metal
- Sets up in seconds
- Comes with 2 secure-locking slide-bolt latches
- Not so practical for cats, especially outdoors
This playpen has multiple setup options. It has attractive clear panels that can be combined into different configurations so you can get the shape to fit into various locations. The panels are easy to put together and give you the choice of either a 21” or 28” high playpen.
- Easy assembly
- Multiple setup configurations to fit multiple room layouts
- Ideal for many different types of small animals
- Because of its height, it would probably function best as a kitten-container and boundary-setter
- Plastic construction
The Midwest Cat Playpen is a roomy space that can accommodate 2 adult cats or at least 3-4 kittens. Its design includes a slide-out plastic tray for quick cleaning, The sturdy construction has a rustproof coated heavy-gauge wireframe; smaller-gauge wire fills each section of the frame, allowing for maximum airflow, visibility, and security, both inside and out. Set on wheels for easy movement from room to room, your cats can enjoy a variety of locations. Its plastic perching shelves are removable for washing. The Midwest playpen includes a sized cushion that attaches to the cage’s frame. With its heavy-duty casters and collapsible frame, it folds down flat and shallow to easily roll under a bed or shelving. Two large doors, one over the other, make transitions smooth between its inside and outside.
- Can accommodate multiple cats
- Quick clean tray
- Good airflow and visibility
- Casters offer portability across a flat surface
- Folds flat for easy storage
- Difficult to move on an uneven floor
- No protective cover from direct sunlight
Which Playpen Wins The Roundup?
The winner of the roundup is the Ruff ‘N Ruffus Playpen. We found it best in terms of versatility and value for money. It meets the requirements for safety and durability that cats need in a playpen while giving your cat enough space, visibility, and comfort to enjoy your company while maintaining an adequate degree of isolation in situations when it wouldn’t be wise to have him free to wander or interact directly with others. The RUFF ‘N RUFFUS PLAYPEN is ideal for new moms with their litters. It allows easy movement when you want to have them nearby so you can keep an eye on things if necessary. By the same token, it allows the option of added privacy to help reduce surrounding stimuli or feelings of vulnerability if they’re feeling a little stressed.
If you’re someone who likes to take your cat on camping trips, its collapsible matching travel bowl makes mealtimes easy. No looking for bowls because this one snaps right onto the playpen and folds right down with it for storage, ensuring that it doesn’t get lost. Its compact design makes it quick and easy to transport with the rest of your camping gear. It folds up to a convenient shape and size that allows it to fit easily into the back of your car. The reinforced construction makes it tough enough to weather the vagaries of camping as well as those of your kitty’s own excitement upon seeing a butterfly outside of its claw-proof mesh. Its attractive matching carry case, which is included, helps ensure ease of portability, setup, breakdown, & storage and make it top-notch
We especially liked the fact that it offers the option of leaving the ‘roof’ on for protection during outdoor use, in case it rains or the sun gets too bright. Even though Ruff ‘N Ruffus Playpen has plenty of room to make your cat happy, it also allows you the option of three sizes in case you want a little extra room for your cat or have multiple cats.
Overall, we felt that this had the most features. While no playpen fits everyone all the time, the Ruff ‘N Ruffus Playpen came closest.