Cat exercise wheels are a lifesaver for indoor cats, regular exercise will not only prolong your cats life but it will also make them much happier and will minimise the risk of any potential mental health problems associated with being confined indoors.
Click here to read our guide to all things related to the cat wheel.
- Table of the Best Cat Exercise Wheels:
- The Cat in Motion Running Wheel Review
- One Fast Cat Exercise Wheel Review
- The Maclaw Cat Wheel
- Our Guide to Cat Wheels
Table of the Best Cat Exercise Wheels:
Cat exercise wheels are a relatively new product to the catosphere but they are slowly becoming more popular, particularly with owners of indoor cats. Below is our table of the very best cat exercise wheels available and where to buy them from:
|Exercise Wheel Name||Our Score||Price||Diameter & Weight|
|Cat in Motion||9/10||131cm & 12.2kg|
|One Fast Cat||9/10||122cm & 10kg|
|The Maclaw Wheel||9/10||Varies depending on customisation options||Depends on material used|
The Cat in Motion Running Wheel Review
The Cat in Motion Running Wheel is an incredibly well designed exercise wheel which caters for all cats from the most athletic to the more aerobically challenged cat. The size and curvature of the wheel is designed specifically so that no strain is placed on your cat’s back while using it.
Weighing only 12.2kg It is easy to move around, and also very simple to deconstruct which is handy because it does take up a good bit of space measuring 131cm x 144cm x 31cm (the wheel diameter is 131cm, 144cm is the total height including the stand).
The tread is available in a range of different colours including; anthracite, grey, maroon and chestnut red. It comes cushioned with EVA foam which means your cat’s pounding feet won’t make much noise. This cover can easily be removed in a matter of seconds should it require washing, and once it is washed and dried it is very simple to fit back into place.
Unlike other cat exercise wheels it has a completely open design so that your cat will have no trouble leaving the wheel when he decides he has had enough. The wheel is thoughtfully mounted on ball bearing rollers which help keep noise levels low, these are hidden encased within the stand of the wheel so that there is minimal danger of anyone or anything getting caught in the wheels while your cat is running on it.
One Fast Cat Exercise Wheel Review
The One Fast Cat exercise wheel is the industry leader with over 20,000 sold!
It uses a hubless design without spokes to keep your cat safe. The four supporting wheels allow the wheel to move freely and stably. While there’s not a great deal of difference between the One Fast Cat exercise wheel and the Cat in Motion wheel at first glance, the thing you may notice is that the stand is slightly different. It uses two flaps to cover the ball bearing rollers that it runs on which prevent any potential snagging in the wheel. This gives it a slightly different appearance to the Cat in Motion wheel, however the noise levels and general levels of performance and durability are much the same.
It is available with a range of different treads available including leopard skin, blue (as shown in the image above) and black (as seen in the video below).
The wheel measures 132cm x 122cm x 30.5cm (the wheel diameter is 122cm, 132cm is the total height including the stand) the wheel diameter is 9cm narrower than the Cat in Motion wheel so if you are struggling to work out where to squeeze your cat’s wheel into your home the One Fast Cat Wheel will give you a bit of extra wiggle room.
The One Fast Cat exercise wheel should happily last a couple of years with regular use, the one part which is most likely to need replacing eventually is the aluminum bar thread which connects the wheels stands together to provide stability to the wheel. This takes the brunt of the movement which is why is it likely to be the first piece to wear out. All parts can be purchased separately from One Fast Cat if required.
How to Put it Together
The One Fast Cat website claims that it will take 20 minutes to put together, we think that is a bit of a generous information which fails to take into account the fact the most people will have no experience putting this sort of product together so we would say 35 minutes is a more realistic amount of time.
We would give it a score of 7/10 for difficulty of assembly (10 being very easy).
To put the One Fast Cat Wheel together you first clip all the curved interconnecting rails together to form two circles.
Then take the centre track and push it into one of the rails, ensuring that all four clips are clipped into the rail. Continue clipping all the centre tracks in until you have completed the circle.
Then take the second rail circle and lay it on top of the rails, lining up the seams with the track and carefully clip it in all the way around the wheel.
Now take the parts for the base and connect them together by slotting the aluminium rod into them both firmly, ensuring that the completed base is firm, flat and stable.
Then simply place the wheel on the stand and your wheel is almost complete. The final thing to do is add your running track covers (leopard skin, red, blue or whatever colour you chose to get), these are simple to attach, simple peel off the back and stick to your wheel.
Now you are ready for your cat to have it’s first run!
The Maclaw Cat Wheel
Our final exercise wheel is the Maclaw Cat Wheel.
These are very special bespoke wheels handmade in the UK by Allan Hodgson (Mr Maclaw), who crafts the wheels by hand, and Jacqueline Hodgson (Mrs Maclaw) who decorates each one.
Mr and Mrs Maclaw are involved in every single step of each wheel’s construction from initial order to the product being finally delivered to a very happy cat! These wheels are without a doubt a huge labour of love, you can tell this just by having a look at some of the incredible designs that they put together on each one.
Most cat wheels simply allow you to change the colour or pattern of the wheel’s tread but with the Maclaw wheel there is no limit on how your wheel is decorated thanks to Jacqueline’s incredible talent!
It differs to the previous two wheels in the way it is constructed. Instead of sitting on a set of wheel the wheel is designed so that it spins on an axle in the middle of the wheel. This axle is covered so that there is no danger to your cat.
One of the benefits of running a wheel on a central axle like this is that the wheel hangs on a frame which the axle runs through, this not only ensures that all moving parts are well out of the way of your cat but it also provides the wheel with extra stability making it impossible for it to accidentally fall over.
Another feature that the previous two cat wheels mentioned don’t have is the backboard. This is necessary with the central axle system (otherwise the wheel wouldn’t work!) but it also provides a great space to be filled with beautiful stylish decoration which will really make your Maclaw cat wheel stand out even more!
Prices vary depending on how you choose to customise it, to get a price head over to their website.
Our Guide to Cat Wheels
What is a Cat Exercise Wheel?
Cat exercise wheels are a new product so you probably haven’t come across one before. The concept is fairly simple though; it does the same thing as a hamster wheel but obviously is significantly bigger so that it can cater for an adult domestic cat!
These cat treadmills (the ones we review on this page at least!) also are engineered to a much higher standard than the average hamster wheel so thankfully won’t squeak infuriatingly in the middle of the night!
Would Your Cat Benefit From One?
It depends on your cat, however it is safe to say that if your cat is an indoor cat then an exercise wheel would be a brilliant addition to it’s life. Indoor cats are more prone to boredom, depression, weight gain and problems associated with weight gain.
An exercise wheel helps cats expend excess energy and contributes to much better overall mental and physical well-being. Studies have been conducted which show that cats who use exercise wheels become much less anxious as well as developing increased muscle tone and strength.
Will Your Cat use it’s Wheel?
It is worth noting that not all cats will take naturally to a cat wheel, some will require a few weeks of practice before they are confident using it. High energy cat such as Bengal cats will typically adapt to an exercise wheel far more quickly than more sedate cats, however even the most sedentary of cats can be coaxed into using in with the help of a treat of a laser pointer.
If you are still worried that your cat will not use a cat wheel make sure you keep your receipt as most cat wheel sellers do provide refunds if your cat really doesn’t get on take to their wheel at all.
How to Train Your Cat to use it’s Exercise Wheel
To train your cat to use a cat exercise wheel you will first need either a toy or treat (maybe some chicken) which they are very enticed by, you can also use a laser pointer however a treat is preferable as your cat will be rewarded for it’s efforts. Using a treat or toy will ensure that they will follow your hand up the cat wheel.
Use the treat to encourage your cat to get on the wheel, reward them for getting on the wheel, and then reward them for getting off the wheel. Do this for about 15 minutes until they are comfortable getting on and off the wheel.
Next encourage your cat to take a couple of steps on the wheel by holding the treat partially up the wheel. Reward your cat for taking it’s first few steps and continue reinforcing this behavior however slowly increase the number of steps between rewards.
Repeat this process for about 15 minutes.
For some cats 15 minutes of training may be sufficient to get them comfortable with it, however for most cats regular training (daily if possible) will be necessary before they are comfortable using it on their own.
It is also a good idea to reward them with treats for walking on the wheel once every month just to reinforce the idea that walking on the wheel is a good thing to do!
How Many Calories Does An Exercise Wheel Burn?
There is actually very little research into the amount of calories pets burn doing exercise. What we do know is that the average cat weighing roughly 4.5kg will need to consume 200 calories a day to maintain a healthy weight. If your cat is overweight then reducing its calorie intake while encouraging your cat to do some extra activity on an exercise wheel will help massively.
One thing worth noting is that it is very common to underestimate calories and overestimate the value of exercise when it comes to weight loss (in both humans and cats), carefully controlling your cats diet and introducing some moderate exercise is the best way to get results for your pet.