Time and again, I say on my blog that you need to look at cats as these bubbles of energy that need their instincts exercised.
If you do not do that, you invite lethargy, boredom, and even physical ailments into your feline partner’s life.
It’s like cats have made this deal with us humans, I will give you my mysterious existence, but in exchange, you need to let me be a cat once in a while.
Exercise is crucial for a cat’s growth as a well-adjusted pet in a domestic environment.
There are many ways you can play with your cat.
You can get toys created especially for them. Although they are cats, they may enjoy a toilet paper roll much more than that expensive squeaky toy you just got.
In this article, I will discuss a very practical yet seldom discussed cat equipment: an exercise wheel.
By the time you finish, you will hopefully know almost everything about these exercise wheels and how most cats respond to them.
Let’s start with the most frequently asked question.
Do Cats like Exercise Wheels?
While they may take some time to get used to its presence and its use, most cats respond well to exercise wheels. Using positive reinforcement techniques, you can create a station where your cat will get her everyday exercise automatically without you needing to do a thing.
I don’t want you to be satisfied with that information.
I know you may want more comprehensive insights regarding these cat exercise wheels.
By the time you have finished the article, you will have sufficient knowledge to make an informed decision regarding exercise wheels.
Advantages of a Cat Exercise Wheel
So first thing first. Are exercise wheels even worth it?
If your cat is overweight or if you home multiple cats, an exercise wheel is a must-have. If you have just one cat at home, you need to consider that she may not like it, or it will take some positive reinforcement to get her used to it.
But I think it is worth figuring out if your cat will like it or not.
In the upcoming section, I will recommend exercise wheels that are good and affordable.
You can also borrow an exercise wheel for a friend or a relative to see if your cat will like it and then invest in one.
So, what are the advantages of an exercise wheel?
By nature, cats are spontaneous.
Their body chemistry wants them to express energy in bursts. Cats sleep a lot, and sleeping is a way they conserve their energy which will then be used for hunting and stalking.
Of course, our domesticated cats don’t hunt anymore, but this nature is still very much part of their genetics.
So, they need to expend this energy in bursts in activities like playing, scratching, stalking, chasing, running, engaging, etc.
If cats don’t get sufficient exercises that tire them, they risk developing obesity, boredom, and even depression.
So, for cats to develop as well-adjusted pets, they need an active and interactive domesticated ecosystem.
In that direction, I feel exercise wheels are very beneficial.
Exercise wheels help cats maintain mobility and flexibility, which is very important for a cat’s well-being.
One very important query that needs to be addressed here is the size of an exercise wheel in relation to the size of the apartment.
So, can you get an exercise wheel for a small studio apartment?
Well, I would argue a small apartment definitely needs an exercise wheel. Cats like running and chasing, and a small studio apartment may not provide sufficient space to do that. If you can fit a medium-sized exercise in the apartment, it will give your cat the freedom to run and chase in a small space.
Of course, you will have to be mindful of the space that you have in relation to the size of the exercise wheel.
In the list below, I will recommend some exercise wheels for small apartments.
Here are the advantages of having a cat exercise wheel apart from the obvious ones.
- It helps cats develop better blood circulation and bone strength.
- It increases a cat’s body metabolism and eases muscle movement.
- Reduces chances of respiratory and heart diseases.
- Improves digestion.
- Improves joint flexibility and body mobility.
- Your cat can run as hard as she can without worrying about obstructions.
- It keeps the cat mentally stimulated and reduces the chance of stress and boredom.
- It tires out the cat’s body and enables her to sleep well.
- Reduces the chance of developing behavioral issues.
Best Exercise Wheels for Cats
Now that we know how an exercise wheel can potentially benefit cats.
Let me share some of the best exercise wheels you can buy for your cats.
1. PawHut Activity Cat Condo
Best Overall Exercise Wheel for Cats
- Multifunctional Center: Multi-level cat tree features sisal rope scratching posts, a scratching board, perches, a roomy condo, and a rotating runner for endless entertainment.
- Saving Your Furniture: with scratching posts wrapped with durable natural sisal ropes, this cat tree is perfect for your cats to sharpen their claws, while simultaneously saving your furniture from scratching and digging.
- Soft Plush Fabric: covered in a soft and comfortable plush fabric, this cat condo is a perfect resting area for your furry friends. A removable cushion inside the condo offers extra comfort for your cat.
- Sturdy Structure: super solid construction, a well-balanced design, and a strong base mean that cats can easily and securely leap on or off this cat condo. Solid P2 grade particleboard and sturdy wood construction keep the whole cat tower sturdy and stable and pet friendly.
- Rotating Runner: a rotating runner allows your cat to exercise and avoid obesity. The surface of this cat tree covered with grey sisal carpet, that is scratch-resistant and wear-resistant, and the inner with household carpet offers a smooth-running experience for your cat.
- One of the most versatile exercise wheels for cats.
- All in one exercise wheel and cat condo.
- One station for your cat to play, exercise and take a nap.
- A safe bet to invest in because even if your cat isn’t a fan of the exercise wheel, she will have sisal fabric posts to scratch and a platform to rest and nap in.
- Highly recommended for owners who don’t know if their cat likes exercise wheels and for multi-cat homes.
- The exercise wheel is relatively small and, therefore, perfect for owners with small apartments.
- The disadvantage is that the wheel is small and not suited for big cats.
2. One Fast Cat Cat Ferris Wheel
Best Premium Exercise Wheel for Cats
- Industry-grade Ferris wheel that can be assembled and disassembled.
- I recommend this wheel more than any other one, provided you know your cat likes exercise wheels or if you have multiple cats.
- It is lined with foam, giving cats a soft footing and preventing their claws from latching on the wheel.
- Very sturdy and reliable construction.
- Baseboard is strengthened by battens which give cats(even heavy ones) freedom to gallop at full speed.
- It comes in neutral tones, so it easily integrates with home decor.
- Created using 100 recycled plastic.
- One disadvantage is that it can get a little wobbly for overweight cats. The maximum recommended weight by the manufacturers is 22 lbs.
- Assembly can take some effort.
3. Penn-Plax Spin Kitty Cat Wheel
Best Value for Money Cat Exercise Wheel
- AROUND AND AROUND WE GO: When it comes to our kitties, we learn to either live with their random zoomies, or purely laugh as they skid around the floor while losing traction at high speeds! With the Spin Kitty Exerciser Wheel, your pet is free to run as fast as they want and for how long as they want!
- DOUBLES AS A CAT SCRATCHER: In addition to being an exerciser wheel, the Spin Kitty also serves as a cat scratcher. The 29.5” diameter wheel is lined with sisal carpet on both the inside and outside. This lining not only provides a secure grip for running, but it’s also suitable for scratching as well!
- DURABLE & EASY TO CLEAN: The Spin Kitty Exerciser Wheel can safely hold cats up to 20 lbs. Due to its wood and sisal carpet construction, the wheel is super easy to clean! Simply spot clean the wood with a wet rag or sponge, and vacuum the sisal carpet when necessary.
- MEASUREMENTS: Overall = 29.5” (W) x 13” (D) x 35.8” (H) / Wheel = 29.5” (Dia) x 8.7” (D) / Base = 23.6” (W) x 13” (D) x 5.9” (H) / Max Weight Capacity = 20 lbs.
- SHOP PENN-PLAX FOR ALL YOUR PET’S NEEDS: PENN-PLAX is a manufacturer and distributor of top quality pet supplies, who specialize in creating excellent pet products for animals both great and small.
- Created using wood and has sisal fabric lining on the inside and the outside.
- Sisal fabric makes for a better grip and allows the cat to spin the wheel and scratch it to remove the husk from her claws.
- Very durable, sturdy, and easy to maintain.
- You can spot clean with a wet rag and vacuum to clean the sisal carpet whenever required.
- Ideal for cat parents that live in small apartments owing to its compact size.
- Large cats may find the running space to be narrow.
- Ideal for energetic cats like Bengals and Siamese.
4. PawHut Hamster Wheel Cat Tree
Best Exercise Wheel for Kittens
- Double-Sided: The double-sided design features a sisal exterior that lets cats stretch out their claws to keep them from scratching the furniture. The interior features carpet, which is comfortable and easy on your pet's paws. Offer your furry friend two satisfying surfaces.
- Long-Lasting: The durable and solid construction is long-lasting to keep your baby healthy over many years.
- Long Lifespan: Exercise will lengthen your cats lifespan, and this cat exercise toy offers numerous health benefits. Give your kitty the healthiest lifestyle by enabling mentally and physically positive entertainment.
- Easy to Clean: Because the cat condo is wood and carpet, it's super easy to clean. Simply give the wood an easy wipe down, and grab your handy vacuum for the carpet.
- Cat Treadmill Exercise Wheel Information: Overall Dimensions: 29.5" L x 13" W x 36.5" H. Recommended for Cats Less than 9 lbs.
- Perfect for small adult cats or multiple kittens.
- Users agree it’s a tad bit small for fully grown adult cats.
- Neutral colors and cute cutout fish patterns make it blend perfectly with interiors.
- Quiet operation, easy to assemble and disassemble.
- Sturdy and reliable.
5. TWW Treadmill Ferris Wheel
Best Exercise Wheel for Big Cats
- [Sturdy and stable] The structure is stable, no need to worry about pressure, the base can be enlarged. The 176-pound load test is not stressful. Excellent stability ensures that cats like to play games.
- [Low noise] With 8 silent bearings, even when playing at night, the cat can run more quietly, comfortably and smoothly without affecting the owner's sleep.
- [Promote pet entertainment] Shaping the cat's ability to bend and stretch its body will help you enjoy an active lifestyle with your pet. Provide your cat with hours of entertainment and exercise opportunities while reducing potential furniture damage.
- [Safe and reliable] High-quality loop blankets fixed with Velcro can be easily replaced. All corner details are chamfered to avoid scratches.
- [After-sales service] Thank you for using our products. If you have any questions after receiving our products, please contact us via email as soon as possible. We will use our services to provide you with the most intimate experience.
- Perfect for big-size adult cats.
- Very sturdy and reliable to handle big cats that like to gallop fast.
- It’s costly, but the features make up for it.
- The operation is very quiet and perfect for owners whose cats prefer creating chaos at midnight.
- Open on both sides allows for easy access to cats from both sides.
- It’s quite huge and bulky as it is designed to accommodate big and heavy cats.
- I recommend this exercise wheel for owners with relatively big houses with multiple cats.
How to Choose the Best Exercise Wheel for Cats?
Those were some of the best exercise wheels for cats that you can get right away.
These aren’t the only exercise wheels out there.
You won’t go wrong by choosing any of the wheels mentioned above.
I have taken my time and put a lot of effort into choosing them.
But I still think I need to give you the tools to find one for yourself if, for some reason, the above options don’t appeal.
Here are the things to keep in mind while choosing an exercise wheel.
As you must have noticed, exercise wheels are costly. Therefore, the budget has to be one of the top aspects you need to pay attention to.
Like everything else, you get what you pay for.
If you home multiple cats, most of them adults, then going with relatively expensive ones makes sense.
Because with some reward techniques, if you get even one of them to start using the wheel, the other will most likely follow.
If you are getting an exercise wheel for the first time, for a single cat, get one like this one that has bothPawHut 56" Cat Tree Activity Condo Luxury Pine Wood with Hamster-Wheel, Sisal Scratching Posts, Elevated Perches, & Roomy Interior.
A very important aspect obviously that most people miss without any fault of their own.
Some manufacturers deliberately don’t mention the noise factor associated with their products.
It doesn’t need to be said, but you need to get one that produces little to no noise.
You should want your cat to have fun but not at the expense of your inconvenience. So, always check reviews and listings showing how much noise the wheel produces before buying it.
You also need to be mindful of what material the exercise wheel is made up of. The material used influences certain factors like weight, assembly, and durability of the wheel.
Generally, four types of materials are used: wood, plastic, metal, and cardboard.
Metal types will come at a cost but have room to incorporate many features. I find wooden wheels have a nice balance of features and reliability. Plus, most of them come with scratch-friendly fabric like sisal, which the cats can scratch their claws on.
You need to consider the size of the wheel in relation to the size of your living space.
You want to avoid being stuck with a big wheel in a small apartment.
The wheel size also determines what size cat it can accommodate.
Kittens and small muscular adult cats like Bengals will probably be fine with a small to medium-sized one.
But for cats like the Maine coon, you need bigger wheels that can accommodate their gallop without wobbling.
How to Get a Cat to Use the Exercise Wheel?
Okay, so you just bought a cat exercise wheel, but your cat ignores it like no tomorrow.
Are you and your investment doomed? Not at all.
Here is the thing. Cats are very finicky creatures. They have a very strict sense of likes and dislikes.
But with some positive reinforcements, you can change their curiosity and dislikes into likes.
But beware, the same holds in the other direction as well.
If you don’t make the introduction correctly or are in a hurry, you can scare them off for good from things you want them to like. And of course, this includes exercise wheels too.
Here are some pointers to get your cat to use the exercise wheel you just bought for them.
- DO NOT plop your cat on the wheel and spin it immediately. This is a surefire way to get her terrified of the wheel, and she will never go near the thing again.
- Resist the urge to see your cat run like the wind. Patience and positive reinforcement is the key here.
- First, place it on firm ground, so the arrangement doesn’t wobble or topple.
- Place a comfortable cat bed near the wheel with some of her favorite treats so that she becomes familiar with its presence.
- Basically, you want your cat to see it as another weird-looking cat tree or a cat condo.PawHut 56" Cat Tree Activity Condo Luxury Pine Wood with Hamster-Wheel, Sisal Scratching Posts, Elevated Perches, & Roomy Interior which will be good here.
- Once she is comfortable with its presence, remove the surrounding items and lure her into standing on the wheel using treats or catnip.
- Don’t start turning the wheel just yet; use your hand to ensure it doesn’t move.
- Once she gets comfortable and trusts it, allow the wheel to move slightly as your cat plays on it.
- Take her favorite toy to lure her on the wheel, allowing it to turn slowly as they walk on it.
- You can also use treats in front of them to encourage them to walk on the wheel as it moves but only slightly.
- If they do walk on it, reward their behavior and bravery immediately.
- Always control the wheel speed during this training period so as not to spook them.
- Build up slowly on this exercise to more and more movement, and hopefully, in the coming days, your cat will jump on it on her own accord and actually run like there is no tomorrow.
I hope you enjoyed this article on cat exercise wheels as much as I enjoyed writing it.
I have covered almost everything there is to know about exercise wheels and how cats respond to them.
If there is anything more you wish to know about exercise wheels and any surrounding topic, let me know in the comments.
You can even email me directly with any query you may have.
Take care of yourselves and your feline baby, and I will see you around!