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As a pet owner, you know the importance of keeping your cat healthy. But, it can be challenging to make sure an indoor cat gets as much exercise as they actually need. Helping a cat get exercise isn’t as easy as taking it for a walk.
Luckily, an interesting solution has started to appear on the market. Now you can purchase an exercise wheel to help your indoor cat get additional exercise. These wheels are essentially large hamster wheels. Your cat can walk on the wheel to burn calories and improve their health.
If you are still skeptical about cat exercise wheels, read on. Although they seem strange at first, these wheels are a great way to help your cat get the exercise they need. In this post, we will look at the best cat exercise wheels on the market to help you feel more comfortable about purchasing one for your pet.
Before we take a deep dive into the best cat exercise wheels, let’s look at some of the most common questions about these wheels.
What is a Cat Exercise Wheel?
Essentially, cat exercise wheels are oversized hamster wheels. These wheels are designed specifically for cats to run or walk. They are a great tool for indoor cats who otherwise don’t run around and burn a lot of energy. Cats can get on the wheel, go for a walk, and burn calories. Some cat exercise wheels are even designed for multiple cats to use at once.
What are the Benefits of a Cat Exercise Wheel?
Cat exercise wheels provide some great benefits to both you and your pet. By using an exercise wheel, your cat will burn calories and improve their health. This is especially helpful for indoor cats who don’t have the space to run around. Adequate exercise can help your cat lose weight, prevent Type 2 Diabetes, improve their joint flexibility, and reduce their risk of experiencing heart disease.
Indoor cats who don’t get enough exercise can also experience mental illness. So, using an exercise wheel can help reduce their chances of experiencing these issues. The right amount of exercise can help improve your cat’s mood and behavior.
Cat exercise wheels can also be beneficial for pet owners. When you give your cat an exercise wheel, you can have peace of mind knowing that they are getting the exercise they need to stay happy and healthy.
Are Cat Exercise Wheels Safe?
Safety is an important issue to consider before introducing your cat to anything new. Overall, cat exercise wheels are considered safe. If your cat is older or has pre-existing health issues, it would be a good idea to consult your vet before purchasing an exercise wheel.
Of course, each cat is different so consider your specific cat’s weight, health status, and personality before purchasing a wheel. Never force them to get on the exercise wheel. Also, most wheels have a weight restriction so pay attention to this if you have a larger pet.
What to Consider Before Purchasing a Cat Exercise Wheel?
Before deciding on an exercise wheel, there are a few factors you should consider.
- Your Cat’s Age: If your cat is older, they might not benefit from the exercise wheel. They might have other health issues or generally not enjoy the wheel. Speak to your cat’s vet before purchasing a wheel if you are unsure about the benefits for elderly cats.
- Budget: Unfortunately, many cat exercise wheels are expensive. Consider how much you are willing to spend before you purchase a wheel. Weigh the pros and cons to determine if the wheel is worth it for your cat.
- Space: Some cat exercise wheels are large and take up a lot of space. Think about where you want to place the wheel to determine if it makes sense for your space.
- Human Interaction: Purchasing a cat exercise wheel does not replace other forms of play and exercise for your cat. You should still spend time playing with your cat each day. If you are planning to buy a wheel to replace this time, your cat could start to experience other behavior issues because they might feel like they are being ignored.
What Should I Look For in a Cat Exercise Wheel?
When you are comparing exercise wheels, make sure you know what to look for.
- Weight Limits: Take notice of the weight limits on each wheel. Wheels are designed to hold a certain weight so make sure the one you purchase will work for your cat.
- Materials: Pay attention to the materials used. You will want to make sure the running pad will be comfortable for your cat’s paws.
- Cleaning: Think about how easy or difficult it will be to clean the specific wheel. This isn’t always the first thing you think but it will be important as you maintain the wheel.
- Assembly: Does the wheel seem easy to assemble or will you need additional tools to put it together? Can it be disassembled if needed?
- Additional features: Some cat exercise wheels feature spokes or feathers to attract your cat’s attention. This might help them use the wheel for longer.
How Can You Help Your Cat Enjoy the Exercise Wheel?
Whenever you introduce your cat to something new, they might be skeptical at first. When you are teaching your cat to use the exercise wheel, be patient. It might take some time for your cat to get comfortable with the wheel. Never force them to use the wheel. Instead, you can gently place them on the wheel to show them how to use it. Pet them and speak in a calm and affirming voice to help them build positive associations with the wheel.
You can give your cat treats when they use the wheel but remember that it is an exercise tool, so this might be counterproductive. Once your cat gets comfortable with the wheel, you should monitor their behavior. Make sure they don’t develop a compulsion and start to use the wheel too much. You can always consult your vet if you have additional questions about using the exercise wheel.
Best Cat Exercise Wheel Reviews
Now that you know more about cat exercise wheels, let’s look at the best options on the market. We will discuss the 6 best cat exercise wheels so you can determine which one is perfect for your cat.
Each of the wheels mentioned on our list is a safe and high-quality option for your cat.
#1: One Fast Cat Exercise Wheel
The One Fast Cat Exercise Wheel is designed to provide stimulation for bored cats. The wheel is powered by your cat and doesn’t require batteries or electricity to run. The wheel is made with a soft cushion that is comfortable on your cat’s paws. This material also prevents their claws from catching, so you don’t have to worry about any accidental injuries.
This is a lightweight wheel that is made from recycled plastics. It is built to hold up to 25 lbs and is 48″ in diameter. It can be easily cleaned by spraying it with a water hose or wiping it down with a cloth. As with any other wheel, you will need to train your cat to get used to this exercise tool. Once they get familiar with the One Fast Cat Wheel, they can use it to burn calories and boost their mood. Some assembly is required to set up this wheel. One Fast Cat offers a full refund within 30 days as long as it is returned in the original packaging. This wheel comes in black or green, so you have the option to choose the color that works best for your space.
- Lightweight wheel that can support 25 lbs
- Easy to clean
- Full refund within 30-days
- Somewhat difficult assembly process
- One of the more expensive options on the market
- Can get loud when used at high speeds
To get an idea of how this wheel works, check out this great video of multiple cats using a One Fast Cat Wheel.
#2: Cat in Motion Running Wheel
The Cat in Motion Running Wheel is a large and lightweight wheel. This wheel features an EVA foam pad which supports a sturdy grip for your cat and is comfortable on their paws. Unlike other wheels on the market, the Cat in Motion Running Wheel has ball-bearing rollers that help cut down on loud noises when it is in use.
This wheel is easy to assemble and simple to clean. The open design is an added safety feature. This wheel is available in three colors: chestnut, grey, and red. As with most other wheels on the market, the Cat in Motion Running Wheel comes at a high price point.
- Ball-bearing rollers make this a semi-quiet wheel
- Easy to assemble and clean
- Multiple colors available
- High price point
- Some users complained that this wheel broke easily
- Not all cats will enjoy using an exercise wheel
Here you can see a cat enjoying their Cat in Motion exercise wheel.
#3: Ferris Cat Exercise Wheel
The Ferris Cat Wheel is a deluxe exercise wheel created to hold up to 25 lbs. This wheel features an advanced wheelbase with six skate wheels to provide added stability. With these, you don’t need to worry about the wheel tipping over or shaking. The skate wheels are placed out of the way so there is no chance of your cat’s paws or tail getting caught in these wheels.
The running track features an EVA foam which is very comfortable for your cat’s paws. When you purchase the wheel you can select the specific color you want for the track. Your options include black, yellow, blue, and green. If you want to get more creative, you can even create a multi-colored wheel (just contact Ferris Cat Wheel before purchasing). This wheel is simple to assemble and clean. You don’t need a mallet for assembly. To clean the wheel, you can easily wipe it down with a cloth.
- Track is available in multiple colors
- Advanced wheelbase adds stability
- Easy to assemble
- Returns are only available on unused wheels
- Not all cats will enjoy using the wheel
- There is no mention of an attachment that will attract their attention while running
In this video, you can see one of the available multicolored tracks.
#4: The Maclaw Wheel
If you are looking for a custom-built cat exercise wheel, consider The Maclaw Wheel. These wheels are fully customized and each wheel is unique. The Maclaw Wheels are created by a small family-run company that designs, builds, and tests each wheel to ensure their efficiency. The company also designs the graphics for each wheel. After the wheels are built, a laser-precision inspection takes place to make sure everything is perfect. Before the wheels are shipped, two Maclaw family felines test the wheels to give the final approval.
The Maclaw Wheel features a wide surface that allows two cats to use the wheel side-by-side. The 48″ diameter wheel is designed with a rubber track, which is safe and comfortable for your cat’s paws. This wheel also includes multiple spokes to attract your cat’s attention and keep them moving on the wheel. These wheels are built to support about 25 lbs of weight. This wheel has been approved by a veterinary surgeon with a cat-only practice.
- You can customize the design of the wheel
- The rubber track is safe and comfortable for your cat
- Spokes help attract your cat and keep them moving
- One of the more expensive wheels on the market
- Not an off-the-shelf product therefore lead times could vary depending on your requirements
- Large exercise wheels take up a lot of space in your house
Be sure to check out this video if you want to know more about The Maclaw Cat Wheel.
#5: Catswall Design Catwheel
The sleek Catswall Design Catwheel is large and can fit three cats side-by-side for group exercise. The wheel has a 120cm diameter. The running pad is made with an athletic mesh that is comfortable for your cats and easy to clean. You simply need to wipe off the track after use to keep it clean. This cat exercise wheel was recently redesigned and is quiet and very stable.
The wheel ships in one piece so no assembly is required. It is available with an orange or a green running track. This wheel works well for both large and small cat breeds. This wheel also features a feather attachment that moves as your cat runs on the wheel. This helps keep your cat moving on the wheel, which allows them to burn more calories. The wheel can only be returned if it is unused and shipped in the original packaging.
- Features a feather attachment to attract your cat’s attention
- No assembly required
- Multiple cats can use the wheel at once
- Only comes in orange and green colors
- One of the most expensive options on the market
- Not all cats will enjoy using an exercise wheel
Here is a quick video of a cat using the Catswell Design Catwheel.
As you’ve been looking at the options you’ve probably noticed that cat exercise wheels are expensive. Unfortunately, there are not many affordable options on the market. If you are looking for another option, you could consider building your own cat exercise wheel. That way you can customize the wheel to be perfect for your cat and your space. Designing your own wheel could also help you save some money.
This project from Instructables.com costs less than $100 to create, which is much less than most of the other wheels on the market. Building a cat exercise wheel isn’t exactly a simple DIY project. But, if you have some building experience, this could be a great project for you to tackle.
This short video gives a quick visual overview of the process of creating your own exercise wheel.
Before building your own wheel, gather your supplies. You will need:
- A Jigsaw
- A caster wheel
- Bolts & Screws
- Wood Glue
- Wood Stain
STEP 1: Build the Backboard
The first step to creating your own cat exercise wheel is to build a backboard. Ideally, it should be between 110cm – 140cm in diameter. Cut this out with a Jigsaw to make sure it is accurate.
STEP 2: Build the Track
Next, cut the track out of plywood. You should make this about 35cm wide. For extra stability, you will want to double up the plywood for the track.
STEP 3: Secure the Wheel
Use plenty of wood glue (and nails where needed) to secure the wheel. You want to spend enough time on this step to ensure it will be stable. Clamp everything together and let it sit for at least 24 hours. This is also the point where you can stain the wheel if you want.
STEP 4: Make the Base
Use a sturdy piece of plywood to create the base. Securely attach this to the wheel to ensure it won’t tip over.
STEP 5: Add the Caster
To make the wheel spin, use the caster. Take off the wheel and attach the remaining portion to the support beam on your exercise wheel with a bolt. Test it out and let your cat start using it!
- Much cheaper than other cat exercise wheels
- You can customize it to your cat
- Get the enjoyment of building a DIY project
- Difficult to build for beginners
- Can get expensive depending on the materials you use
- Time-consuming project
Best Cat Exercise Wheels Round-Up
#1 One Fast Cat Exercise Wheel
- Supports 25 lbs
- Comfortable running track material
- Can be loud
#2 Cat in Motion Running Wheel
- Easy to clean
- Comfortable running track material
- Available in multiple colors
#3 Ferris Cat Exercise Wheel
- Supports 25 lbs
- Advanced wheelbase
- Tracks available in multiple colors
#4 The McClaw Wheel
- Built by a family-owned company
- Fully customizable design
- Veterinarian supported
#5 Catswall Design Catwheel
- Can be used by three cats side-by-side
- Only available in orange or green tracks
- No assembly required
- Fully customizable
- Can be a challenging project
- Depending on the materials it can get pricey
Cat exercise wheels are a great way to keep your indoor cat entertained. If they get bored, they might exhibit bad behavior or get depressed. Without enough exercise, your cat can also gain weight and have an increased risk of developing a disease. By using an exercise wheel, your cat can get mental and physical stimulation that is essential for their health.
All of the cat exercise wheels we discussed are a great option for your cat. They all offer a fun and unique way for your indoor cat to get exercise. After reviewing all of the options on the market, we selected the One Fast Cat Exercise Wheel as the best. It is lightweight and comfortable on your cat’s paws.
Ultimately, you get to decide which wheel is best for your cat. Of course, consider your budget since these wheels are very pricey. You can consider creating your own DIY cat exercise wheel if you want to cut down on the cost.
We hope this post helped as you consider cat exercise wheels. Feel free to share your thoughts about cat exercise wheels in the comments below.