Indoor cats tend to get very fat, very quickly. Diet is not enough, so why not add a cat exercise wheel to your feline friend's weight-loss plan?
Unlike the cat's canine counterpart, we as pet parent's can't just take Kitty for an extra walk around the block to get her back in shape. Plus, cats tend to sleep a lot more, which only adds to packing on those added pounds.
With the best cat exercise wheel, your pet will want to run and play, while the weight just melts away! Cat wheels are also mentally stimulating, too, so Kitty won't be bored, frustrated, or depressed!
Let's "run" through the best cat exercise wheels on the market today. Then read on for our buying guide to help make your purchase the perfect one for your pet, home, and budget. Plus, some helpful tips on how to train your cat to use the exercise wheel toy.
Best Exercise Wheels for Cats
One Fast Cat Exercise Wheel
Perfect for high energy breeds, One Fast Cat Exercise Wheel now has generation four wheels with fewer parts and modified rollerblade wheels which provides greater stability. This unit is made from 100% recycled plastic, so you know it’s good for the planet. It’s also lightweight, and sturdy, so your cat will be safe running on it.
This unit comes with EVA foam, which covers the running surface and cushions your pet’s feet with every step. Plus, Kitty's claws won’t get snagged on it.
- Lightweight and sturdy
- Made from recycled plastic
- Updated wheels are more efficient
- EVA foam provides both cushioning and snag-free running.
- Less handy folks may need assistance in assembling this exercise wheel. Refer to the company’s video for further instructions.
- Shipping fees will apply for returns done out of the country.
- Only supports up to 25 pounds.
GoPet Treadwheel Toy Small (<25lbs)
This exercise wheel is being sold as a dog toy product. However, it is suitable for cats, as well. The GoPet Treadwheel measures in at 44 inches high, 30 inches deep, and 40 inches wide. It features an optional “brake” that adjusts the tension, so your pet can have a light to heavy workout. A durable, cushioned mat provides comfort for those soft paws, and the unit is available in two sizes to suit all pets.
- Tension brake allows for lighter or heavier “workouts.”
- Cushioned running surface protects your pet’s paws.
- Comes in two sizes accommodating animals up to 150 pounds, so it’s suitable for dogs, as well.
- Comes with a training dog door to help keep the pet from falling off.
- Shipping is not included in the price.
- May be considered pricey compared to other units.
- The large size will require more house-space.
Creation Core Multi-Level Cat Wheel Toy
This product is designed with function and scratchability in mind. This non-toxic and biodegradable cat exercise toy is sure to please any feline. The Creation Core Multi-Level Cat Wheel not only provides a place to exercise, but it has two resting spots (one inside the unit on the wheel, and one on top platform). The corrugated cardboard design is sturdy, so cats will love to stretch and scratch on this unit (which saves your furniture). It is also available in two sizes, small and large.
- Less expensive than other products.
- Provides exercise and rest spots.
- Comes with all-natural catnip.
- Great for apartments and other small living spaces.
- May be difficult to assemble for some buyers.
- May not be suitable for larger cats.
- Since it is made with cardboard, the wheel does not rotate as easily.
- This product will not last as long as those made from plastic.
- May be considered pricey for a cardboard unit.
Mishap Cat Climbing Wheel
If your floor space is minimal, then why not try the Mishap Cat Climbing Wheel? This product is designed (with a sturdy bracket) to hang on the wall. It measures just over 31 inches in diameter and features a durable, bold, and scratch-resistant design. Your cat will spend hours climbing, running, and exercising on the Mishap Cat Climbing Wheel.
- Hangs on the wall, so it takes up less space.
- Large diameter can support adult felines.
- May be considered pricey.
- May be difficult for those less handy to set up.
What to Look For in the Best Cat Exercise Wheel
The cat exercise wheel is going to be an investment in your feline's health. These units are pricey, so you will want to make sure you are getting a quality item. Here's what to look for in the best cat exercise wheel for your pet.
Warranty - make sure your cat exercise wheel comes with a warranty. If your feline refuses to use the toy, you will want to be able to get your money back. This product is also prone to wear-and-tear, so be sure the main parts of the exercise wheel (like the bearings) are under warranty for at least one year.
Proper Wheel Dimensions - The size of your cat will determine the size of the wheel you purchase. Measure your cat's height, length, and weight to ensure the product can handle your cat's body-type.
Product Placement - these wheels are large and will need a substantial amount of space in your home. Be sure you have a place to put this unit where your cat can use it daily.
Stability of the Wheel - Ensure the cat exercise wheel is well-built and not easily tipped. These products are most stable on thin carpeting and hard surfaces. If you plan on placing your cat exercise wheel on a plush carpet, use a wood slate beneath it to give it stability.
Assemble it Properly - For the safety of you and your pet, always assemble the cat wheel according to the product's instruction manual.
Tips on How to Train a Cat to Use the Best Cat Wheel Toy
Cats, unlike hamsters, may not know what to do with the exercise wheel once you have it situated. Here are some helpful tips on how to train a cat to use the best cat wheel toy.
Step #1 - Food Rewards
If your feline is food driven, then use small bits of cooked chicken, tuna, or cat treats to entice Kitty onto the wheel. You may also gently place your feline onto the wheel, immediately giving him a treat. Repeat this action for 15 to 20 minutes, allowing your cat to become accustomed to this new toy.
Step #2 - Teach to Move Forward
Once your cat is used to the wheel, hold a treat in front of your cat's face (about a quarter of the way up the wheel). When your pet moves towards the treat, the wheel will move with him. Reward your cat with the treat. Gradually, move the treat further away, so your cat will have to propel the exercise wheel to get the treat. Don't rush this process! Patience is vital, so your cat won't be frightened of this new toy.
Step #3 - Reward Often
Reward your cat every time he jumps on the wheel or starts walking on it. This will encourage him to use it on his own. Remember, to use only small bits of food, as you don't want to make your cat fatter.
Step #4 - Use a Wand Toy
If your cat loves feather toys, use a feather wand to entice Kitty onto the exercise wheel. Start by shaking the feathers close to the wheel, slowly moving it until Kitty jumps onto the exercise unit. Move the feather toy off and on the toy to get Kitty used to the wheel. After your cat is comfortable with being on the wheel, move the feather toy up the wheel, so your pet has to move the wheel to capture the feathers. Reward and repeat the process as long as it takes.
Step #5 - Use a Laser Pointer
If your feline can’t resist that elusive spot produced by the popular laser pointer, use one in the same manner as you would the feather toy. Be sure to start slowly and praise and reward when your cat walks on the exercise wheel.
Step #6 - Use Catnip
If catnip enhances your cat's activity levels, try sprinkling some along the inside surface of the exercise wheel. You can also hold a catnip toy in front of her nose, slowly moving it up the wheel to encourage your pet to walk on the exercise unit.
Cats and the Cat Exercise Wheel
Choosing the right cat exercise wheel is the first step to getting a quality product. Be sure to measure your feline, then purchase the exercise wheel accordingly.
Although some cats are naturals when it comes to the cat exercise wheel, other breeds, or older cats may take extra time (up to one month) to get the hang of this device. Work with your cat each day to encourage play and exercise on the cat wheel, so Kitty will be comfortable using it. Once this is accomplished, your pet will have hours of enjoyment on this cool new product.