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Considering how many cats I’ve lived with, it’s surprising that I’ve raised only five kittens. Maybe that was because of the advice I got from one of my favorite veterinarians: “Cats’ common sense doesn’t kick in until they’re about two.” With too little common sense and way too much energy, kittens get into every sort of trouble imaginable—and a lot you couldn’t even begin to imagine until it happens. That’s why kitten parents are always putting together homemade kitten enclosures and buying kitten playpens. A kitten playpen is a great alternative to having to kitten-proof every inch of your house or the house of someone you are visiting.
Choosing the Best Kitten Playpen
Unless they’re eating or sleeping, kittens are always at play. And as much fun as it is to watch your little furball cavort, you can’t keep an eye on them all day long. That’s where a good kitten playpen comes in.
Kitten enclosures come in all shapes, sizes, and materials. Some are clearly modeled on cat cages and carriers, while others are play enclosures with high sides (best for very young kittens). They also vary in terms of what play structures are inside them to keep a kitten occupied.
It’s important to pay attention to materials when selecting a kitten playpen. If you’re looking for a portable or outdoor version, it’s best to use mesh pens that can collapse for easy moving and storage. Mesh panels also provide air circulation inside the pen for your furry friend.
A heavy-duty wood-framed model could work well if you’re planning to keep the playpen in your living room, while a metal playpen may be the best bet if your kitten is extra rambunctious and a bit of a climber.
Make sure to also take size into consideration, especially if you have multiple kittens. Some playpens only have enough space for a single cat, while others can fit multiple kittens and a litterbox. Overall, you’ll want to ensure enough space for your cat to comfortably play and move around. You’ll also want to check for any small crevices to ensure little paws can’t get caught, especially if you use the playpen while you’re away.
The 9 Best Kitten Playpens for All Kinds of Cats
Best for a Single Cat: Necoichi Portable Stress-Free Cat Cage
The folks at Necoichi are known for whimsical designer cat products, and this kitten pen is no different. The black-and-white checkered polyester enclosure weighs less than three pounds. The pop-up structure is easy to collapse and close when not in use. It measures 31 x 20 inches at the base and is 20 inches high—which makes it one of the smaller kitten playpens.
Kitten parents report that it is great for keeping your kitten safe while traveling and visiting other households. It even has built-in seatbelt straps for car travel.
- Includes built-in seat belt straps for safe car rides
- Mesh panels make it breathable
- Great for indoors, outdoors, and travel
Best Indoor/Outdoor Use: Frisco Soft-Sided Small Pet Exercise Playpen
This playpen from Chewy’s Frisco label comes in four sizes, ranging from three feet wide and two feet high to four feet wide and three feet high. There’s plenty of room for a small litter box, food and water, and a cat bed. A zip-on top is included, which is great if you’re concerned about a kitten clambering out and running off.
The pen can be used indoors or out, with stakes included to anchor it on a lawn. It’s easy to fold up and store in its carry bag.
- Lightweight and foldable
- Mesh panels allow nice airflow in and out
- Comes with four ground stakes to use outside
Best Tunnel Playpen: Outback Jack Fun Run Cat Tunnel
This versatile zip-together tunnel works well to contain a kitten both indoors and out. Its mesh sides will keep your kittens—and all their toys—safely contained while still giving them room to scamper about. When not in use, the tunnel collapses for easy storage and portability.
If you use the tunnel outdoors, it’s a good idea to keep the kittens under supervision, which includes watching the sun to make sure the tunnel always has a shaded area for them to rest.
- Safe for use indoors and outdoors
- Pop-up setup mechanism
- Easily folds up into carrying bag
Best Tent Playpen: Outback Jack Happy Habitat Cat Playpen Tent
When your kitten wants to get their outdoor on, this mesh playpen tent is the way to go. There’s room for a litter box, a bed, and a water dish—along with some toys. Use it on your deck or lawn—it comes with two stake-down pegs to hold the tent floor in place. Some cat parents report that they use it indoors to keep a kitten out of trouble (and away from larger pets) while they’re at work.
When not in use, the playpen tent folds up into a convenient carry bag (included). Measurements: 74 x 63 x 36 inches.
- Good for multiple kittens with 30 square feet of space
- Zippered door for in and out access
- All-around mesh panels for nice airflow to keep your pet cool
Best for Travel: EliteField 2-Door Soft-Sided Dog & Cat Playpen
Looking for something a bit more colorful? This playpen from Elitefield comes in six sizes and six colors. Perk up the basic beige with your choice of contrasting black, purple, royal blue, maroon, green, or brown. It has a zippered top, zippered bottom, and two zippered entrances.
It’s made of lightweight steel tubing with polyester and mesh fabric and is another great indoor/outdoor option along with the Frisco Soft-Sided Playpen. Carrying case and ground stakes are included.
- Frame is made with lightweight steel tubing; no tools to set up
- Includes pockets for water bottles and accessories
- Washable floor mat
Best for Multiple Kittens: Zampa Extra Large Playpen
If you’ve got a full litter of curious kittens, this extra large playpen should be big enough to keep them contained and entertained. It’s a total of 80 inches in diameter and comes with a bottle holder and storage pockets for extra convenience. It also easily folds up into a thin and compact shape, so you can bring it with you on the go.
- Pop-up design and folds flat
- Good for kittens and puppies
- Reinforced corners and protected seams to protect against chewing
Best Metal Playpen: BestPet Cat Playpen with Hammock
If your kittens need something sturdier than a fabric playpen, this multi-tiered cat cage from BestPet may be the answer. The base is 33 by 22 inches, and it’s four feet high—so there’s plenty of room for that climbing that kittens love. The cage weighs 35 pounds, so it can stand up to even the friskiest kitten without toppling. Four wheels on the base make it easy to move.
- Four-tiered playpen with two front doors
- Wheels lock
- Hammock swing included
Best for Outdoor Use: Kitty Walk Carousel Pet Enclosure
Splurge and treat your little furball to one of the cutest kitten enclosures on the planet. It’s 48 inches in diameter and 24 inches high, giving your kitten plenty of room to scamper—and space for water, litter, toys, and food. It can be used inside and outdoors, and we really like the carousel top that ensures your kittens will have a shady place to relax.
The carousel is heftier than a number of the mesh playpens we’ve seen, weighing in at 19 pounds. It folds up and can be stored in the carry bag that’s included.
- Covering provides shade
- Water resistant fabric
- Comes with carrying bag for easy portability and storage
Best for Closely Supervised Play: Meow&Woof Cat Playpen with Wood Frame
This sturdy, affordable little playpen gets rave reviews from people with small pets, in part because of the wooden frame that adds stability. It’s designed for use indoors or out and offers both a side door and a top opening.
While lightweight, this playpen is not as easy to take apart and set up as the “pop-up” varieties. We think it would be great as a place to park your kittens in your office or family room when you need to make sure they stay out of mischief. Choose from two sizes and two colors.
- Fabric portions are machine washable
- Due to size and weight, better as a permanent fixture
- Removable mesh top for full supervision
How We Chose
The kitten playpens featured here were selected based on a combination of our own hands-on testing and a comprehensive look at customer reviews across various retail platforms. We prioritized safety, usability, quality materials, and visibility. We’re also guided by the experience of living and playing alongside our own much-loved and strongly opinionated pets, who are never stingy with their feedback.