If you have furry feline pals, you probably know that Cat Life is all about sleeping, purring, and a lot of stretching. With all of this lazing around, you may be a bit concerned that your cat is not necessarily in the best shape. Well, there’s a solution to that.
Just as hamsters can exercise on a wheel, cats can exercise on a cat wheel, too. Cat exercise wheels are an excellent option for indoor cats that have limited running space. Just think: as a human, being stuck indoors with minimal activity can get the best of you and cause depression, anxiety, and even some physical ailments. Cats can get the same way.
So if you need to get your kitty moving and provide them with an outlet for their energy, a cat exercise wheel could solve all your problems.
In this guide, we explore the different options available to you, what you should consider, and review the best cat exercise wheels on the market.
What is a cat exercise wheel?
A cat exercise wheel can be likened to a giant hamster wheel. The weight and movement of the cat get the wheel spinning, and the benefits are not only limited to the physical health of your cat but extend to its mental health, as well.
Felines have a natural instinct to run in bursts, and if they have limited space indoors, they may end up harming themselves, the owners, or even breaking a few fragile objects in the process. This is where a cat exercise wheel comes in handy. Vets also recommend the use of cat exercise wheels for overweight cats or cats that are mainly indoors.
What to consider when buying a cat exercise wheel
Buying an exercise wheel for your cat is a big purchase, and unlikely something you have done before. To make our reviews as helpful as possible, we have based them on:
- Is the exercise wheel big enough for your cat to comfortably use for exercise?
- Is the wheel made with high quality materials and sturdy when used?
- Is the wheel durable to withstand heavy use?
- Is the exercise wheel affordable and good value for money?
Best Cat Exercise Wheel Reviews
The following reviews cover some of the best cat exercise wheels on the market. By investing in a proper wheel, you’ll be enriching your cat’s life and health. For safety reasons, you definitely do not want to compensate or attempt to build one yourself if you are not skilled enough. These wheels are made for cats and have their best interests incorporated into their design.
1. One Fast Cat Exercise Wheel – 5th Gen
One Fast Cat Exercise Wheel – 5th Gen
Our Rating: 4/5
This cat-approved exercise wheel has been tested and approved cat-friendly. Developers market this wheel to the energetic cat who just needs to let all that energy out! Because of this, the One Fast Cat exercise wheel reduces your cat’s anxiety and nervous energy, making them more calm and relaxed.
The wheel is made from recycled plastics, with a high-quality EVA foam grip on the run surface. It weighs 10kg, and has a diameter of 122cm, making it on the larger size. Its overall market rating is high, with most individual users rating it at five stars. It is easy to assemble and easy to clean has an open design – meaning your cat can enter from either side. No batteries are required to use this cat wheel; it is entirely cat-driven.
It is one of cheaper models we have reviewed, but is still on the pricier end. Your money goes towards stability and durability.
2. Catswall Design Catwheel II Cat Exercise Wheel
Catswall Design Catwheel II Cat Exercise Wheel
Our Rating: 4/5Check Price
If you want a cat wheel that looks like it belongs in a professional kitty gym, I present to you The Catswall Catwheel! This high-quality cat exercise wheel is built to last, and it should be! This wheel is pretty expensive and is a considerable investment towards your cat’s health. It has a simple and open design, and it is suitable for use by all types of cats, especially by breeds that need to exercise more. The capacity is large enough for three cats to jump onto the wheel at the same time. No assembly is required.
When you purchase the Catswall Catwheel, you’ll enjoy the reassurance of a year-long full replacement warranty. Manufacturers make this cat exercise wheel out of a PVC veneer, an MDF fiberboard, and PVC woven fabric. The MDF board is heavy enough to provide a smooth and controlled rotation, giving your cat a good and safe run. You can increase its stability by changing the position of the loading casters.
3. RCT-Cat Tree Solid Wood Treadmill
RCT-Cat Tree Solid Wood Treadmill
Our Rating: 3.5/5Check Price
The RCT Cat Tree is a little bit treadmill and a little bit cat tree, giving your cat the chance to exercise and explore. It weighs 8 kg, making it easy enough to move from place-to-place, but heavy enough to provide stability. The RCT is suitable for cats of all ages, from adolescent to elderly cats. Made from wood, it is reliable, safe, and environment-friendly. However, you will have to check on the firmness of the product and tighten it regularly.
You may experience an odour after unboxing the wheel, but this can be handled by putting the cat wheel outside for a few days. It just needs to air out due to it being made of wood. The RCT-cat tree treadmill has a silent bearing, enabling it to run smoothly and produce minimal noise.
4. HEI SHOP Cat Scratch Board Cat Exercise Wheel
Catswall Design Catwheel II Cat Exercise Wheel
Our Rating: 3/5Check Price
If you are looking for a cat exercise wheel that is the whole proverbial package, this is the choice for you. Not only is it the most affordable on this list, but it also serves multiple purposes such as a cat exercise wheel, climber, scratcher, and sleeping space. The design contours to a cat’s body as it flexes and stretches. It is made of user-friendly, environmentally-friendly materials, but the durability is questionable. The recyclable corrugated cardboard is safe and will not harm the cat as it scratches itself against the surface. It also includes a toy in the climbing frame to keep cats engaged during playtime.
The smaller-sized wheel is suitable for cats that weigh 5 kg and under and measures 61 x 29 x 58 cm. The large-sized wheel fits cats that weigh below 7.5 kg and measures 73 x 36 x 70 cm. This cat wheel is easy to assemble, and detailed instructions are included.
Will My Cat Use an Exercise Wheel?
Getting your cat to use an exercise wheel will require your continued effort at introducing it to the wheel itself. In other words, you have to train it to get accustomed to the cat wheel. It’s already difficult to get cats to do what you want them to do, but with some dedication and proper training techniques, you should have no problem.
You can figure out if your cat will use the cat wheel by determining its natural energy levels. If your cat races around the house, it has moderate to high energy levels and will most likely adapt to using the exercise wheel. Cats that are lazy, shy, or older may not take to the cat exercise wheel with ease.
Understandably, you may be concerned if your cat is overweight with low energy levels. First, check if the cat meets the weight limits for which the cat wheel was designed. You will then have to motivate the cat to exercise in the cat wheel. Cat wheels have been effective in getting heavier cats to lose weight and in shape. If this is the solution you are choosing to help your cat lose weight, you will have to make an effort to get it to use the exercise wheel.
Are They Safe?
A cat exercise wheel is the safest option to keep your cat moving indoors.
To ensure that the cat wheel itself is safe to use, follow the manufacturer set-up instructions in the manual. Also, place it in a safe, stable, and level space with plenty of room around it. You can put it on a carpeted floor. However, carpets that are too thick or too soft may reduce the stability of the wheel. You can place wood slats under the cat exercise wheel to improve its stability on carpeting. Bare floors are ideal.
Training Your Cat to Use The Wheel
All breeds of cats are known to take to the exercise wheel. However, some may immediately adjust to it, whereas others may take a while. If your cat follows instructions with ease and loves exploring new things, it will be easier for you to train it to use the cat wheel. If your cat is sceptical of the exercise wheel, place it in a safe spot in your house and encourage the cat to go closer to the wheel, touch, and explore it. You can also introduce a reward system whereby you give your cat a treat every time it uses the cat wheel and steps onto it. Training your cat to use it will require a lot of patience and continued engagement.
What to Look Out For When Buying an Exercise Wheel
One of the best decisions you can make for your cat is to enhance its health by getting it to exercise. You have many options in the marketplace, but you have to weigh your options as to which cat wheel will be best for your cat and your budget. As you shop for an exercise wheel, consider the following qualities.
Size of the Wheel
The diameter of the exercise wheel is one of the main factors that you should consider when buying an exercise wheel. For instance, if you have more than one cat, you may want to find a cat wheel that can accommodate two cats in it at the same time. This way, your cats can exercise together. Go for a large-sized cat exercise wheel.
The cat wheel ought to be designed using materials that are friendly to the cat. Look for BPA-free and/or non-toxic materials should your cat suddenly start to lick or chew on the wheel. It should also have an inside surface that can help the cat grip with ease, even when the wheel is in motion.
Safety and Sturdiness
The cat exercise wheel should be safe for your cat to use. Also, ensure that the wheel is designed to be beneficial to a cat’s spinal health. Reading testimonials and looking for certifications can definitely help you determine the safety level of a cat wheel before you find out the hard way that it’s not the safest thing you’ve ever purchased.
Expect your cat to use the cat wheel frequently. Therefore, look into a cat wheel that is durable and long-lasting. Read which materials from which it is made and the sturdiness those materials offer. Another factor to consider is the availability of the parts that wear and tear quickly in case you need to replace them.
Though it is not a requirement, having the freedom to change the colour of the exercise wheel or the tread pattern on the wheels is something you may like to have. Being able to change certain parts also allows you to adjust the wheel to your cat’s preferences.
You should check if the manufacturer or seller offers a warranty period over in case you encounter any issues with the cat wheel. Most companies would require that you contact them within 30 days after purchase should you encounter any problem. Also, check if there is a trial period.
Sometimes, the best cat wheel may be one that is not available locally. It’s not like cat exercise wheels come in the smallest of boxes, either. There will be additional costs associated with international shipping. Factor in these costs before you click the “buy” button. They may change your mind as to whether that particular wheel is worth it or not.
The Bottom Line
The saying goes that cats have nine lives and always fall on their feet (which is a proven fact). However, a sluggish and drowsy life is not good for cats and can pose many health risks to them. This can possibly shorten their lifespan.
A cat’s health can be easily enhanced with exercise. It will boost its energy, improve its mental state, and possibly lengthen its life. A cooped-up lifestyle is not good for anyone of any species! But a cat exercise wheel is the best gift, or should we say purr-fect gift, that you can get for your cat.