Cats are built for movement.
On the flip side:
Getting them to move, let alone run, can be hard. (sounds like us humans.)
Let’s face it:
There isn’t much for our indoor kitties to do.
So when your cat decides to nap rather than humor you, nothing will change his mind.
Trying something new.
Enter The Cat Wheel:
Well, they look like a giant hamster wheel but for cats.
They tend to be better engineered for your cat’s safety and won’t squeak in the middle of the night when kitty decides to go for a run.
Why would my cat want an exercise wheel?
Exercise wheels can help your cat with:
- Health and staying fit
- Fight obesity
- Keeping active (even while you’re at work)
Let’s talk about this scenario…
Say you live in a busy town.
You think about letting your cats out, but you’re really worried…
From the busy street to the possibility of them being scared off by something, to not coming back.
It can be really hard to feel at ease and let your cat roam outside.
It’s a bit different if you decide to put a harness on your cat and take her for a walk (which I’m sure she would love!)
But letting your cat out without keeping track of where she is (and isn’t) allowed to go can be daunting.
So, you keep them inside.
And they seem happy (after all, there are so many ways to keep your indoor cat happy).
But over time you notice your cats getting bigger (ahem – fatter) and just all around less active.
Why Choose A Cat Wheel?
We’ve talked about some of the positives to having a cat exercise wheel in the bullet points above, but what are other reasons for investing in this “wheel of fun” for your cats?
Well, for one thing…
It may help get rid of all that extra energy they use dashing around like lunatics in the middle of the night while you’re trying to sleep. (My husband can attest to how much more sleep we would get if the cats weren’t bouncing up and down the stairs in the night).
The other big reason I’m considering an exercise wheel for our cats (once we move into our new home) is that while we’re out of the house or on vacation, the cats have unlimited access to exercising.
Instead of just doing this all day:
Cat Exercise Wheel FAQs
Let’s talk questions, because with something this new, strange and amazing – there’s bound to be some questions!
Here we go…
⚙ Where can I get one?
What a great question!
You can purchase cat exercise wheels from a few different online retailers or specialized pet stores such as:
- Pet Planet (UK)
⚙ Are they expensive?
Depending on your needs (size, indoor/outdoor) they can be an investment – but that’s how you have to look at it. You’re investing into keeping your cat agile, healthy and happy.
To give you an idea, we’ve found wheels that range from about $600(USD) to about $1800(USD).
⚙ What sizes do they come in?
I bet the question you really wanted to ask is “how much of my living room will this take up?”
Well, cat exercise wheels come in a variety of sizes and styles.
Normally, cat wheels range from small (single cat wheels) to large (multiple cat or dog wheels) – but I was surprised to see just how much customizing you can do here.
⚙ Do they need to attach to the wall?
Don’t you worry!
Although there are wheels that fasten to a wall, there are also free-standing wheels!
(So tell your husband to rest easy, you don’t necessarily need the drill and you won’t exactly be fastening a giant hamster wheel into your living room wall.)
Incredible Indoor Exercise Wheels For Your Cats
Really, it depends what you’re looking for.
So we’re going to talk about the biggest wheel, the smallest/easiest for you wheel and the “top rated” wheel!
Let’s get started…
The One Fast Cat Exercise Wheel
? Large Wheel
? Freestanding Wheel
- it’s freestanding
- very stylish design to fit well with indoor spaces
- it’s rather large
- really for indoor use only
- might be difficult to put move locations (heavy)
The One Fast Cat is the top selling cat wheel on the market with over 20,000 sold.
A hubless design (without spokes) is safer for the cat to run in while four supporting roller blade wheels allow the wheel to move freely. With an EVA foam to cushion your cat’s steps, the 48-inch inner diameter of this wheel should be large enough for the cat to run comfortably without arching its spine.
These wheels can be expensive but require a high level of construction to make sure it is safe for your cat to use.
**The manufacturer recommends you don’t purchase the wheel unless you are willing to spend time training your cat to use it.
Cat’s don’t really like being told what to do any more than humans do, but with a little practice – you can show your cat how much fun this is!
Large exercise wheels for cats like the One Fast Cat are more suited for indoor use only and its stylish design will complement the most home decor.
But if you want a giant cat exercise wheel, you are probably going to have to look for an outdoor one designed for large dogs.
Watch a video (review, set up and initial thoughts) of the One Fast Cat Wheel below:
? Runner-up for Best Large Wheel
? Best Outdoor Wheel
(normally for dogs, but can be used for cats – see the specs here)
- if you have more than one cat, they go use it together (and really, that’s so adorable that it’s priceless!)
- it’s freestanding
- it can be used for dogs, too
Cons: MAD EXPENSIVE.
- it’s best suited for outdoor use, not able to use inside (too large)
- this takes up a lot of space
- a bit more expensive than other smaller models
Our second choice for the larger sized wheels would have to be something like the Gopet Treadwheel.
So why would you want an even bigger wheel that was actually built with dogs in mind?
Well, if you have room to spare (like outside) this provides lots of fun AND if you have two cats, getting a bigger wheel could even enable your cats to run together on the larger wheel.
At almost double the price of the One Fast Cat exercise wheel, this giant wheel requires some serious investment.
But don’t let that scare you!
You could do with getting all the neighborhood cats running in it and attaching to a generator–kitty power, anybody?
In your garden, this could prevent your cats from running or venturing too far, with all their exercise where you can safely watch them.
You can buy cat wheels from many of the usual online retailers, but searching the internet you will find suppliers that will custom build a cat exercise wheel for you.
Watch a video of two cats playing on a Gopet Treadwheel together (seriously cute)!
I found this other cat wheel call the Ziggydoo that’s for indoors and the cost is ok too:
When I emailed the company about how loud this was, she assured me it wasn’t too loud.
Here’s what she said:
The G5 FerrisCatWheel is very smooth and quiet.
You’ll find many videos on both my facebook page and the ZiggyDoo facebook page
(pls note that the most recent video post is with an older G4 model wheel – the newer G5 model moves a lot less and is more quiet as well)
Also bear in mind that the sound of the wheel is related to the contents of the room it is position within. If the room is bare and empty – it will be louder than a room with carpet and furniture etc…
Let me know if you have any more questions – Nikita and I are always happy to help
Elizabeth Gujdan & Nikita
DIY Exercise Wheel Cat Solutions
As long as you have some basic tools, you should be able to construct something for around $50. There are many designs you could try, even using an old bicycle wheel and mounting it to the wall (like this)! When designing a cat wheel, bear in mind the size you need, where you will put it in your home and how the cat will use it.
Training Your Cat to Use an Exercise Wheel
So, you’re interested in buying a cat exercise wheel…but how do you know if your cat will like it and how do you get your cat used to the idea?
- Don’t be too upset if your cat doesn’t jump in the wheel and start running as soon as you unbox it.
- Not all cats will adapt to using these wheels.
- Some may take several weeks to build up their confidence before using it.
Training your cat to use the exercise wheel can take patience.
- Start by luring your cat to the wheel using a treat and reward them when they get on or off the wheel.
- Try repeating, for about 15 minutes, until your cat is comfortable getting into the wheel.
- Holding the treat a little higher up the wheel will encourage your cat to take a few steps.
- Keep rewarding your cat as it takes more steps. Continue to increase the number of steps for each reward.
- For more playful or energetic cats, 15 minutes of training may be all they need.
Other Forms of Exercise for Cats
- Small activity center
- Cat tower to keep your cat amused and active
- Scratching posts
- Wall mounted climbing systems