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The Best Cat Exercise Wheel (Review) in 2021

Last Updated July 8, 2021

Research undoubtedly points towards the fact that all cats should be indoor cats. Given that animals rights organisations such as PETA have warned against the dangers of the concrete jungle for our beloved felines, we’re inclined to trust the experts. Now, it’s time for cat lovers to figure out how to make our indoor environments mentally stimulating for our cats.

Thankfully, you won’t have to come up with inventive solutions so your cat doesn’t become bored all on your own. Cat exercise wheels are loved by cats everywhere and provide them with the physical and mental exercise they crave. What’s more, so you don’t become disorientated by the heaps of exercise wheels on offer, we’ve compiled the safest toys on the market. Browse below and you’ll surely find the ideal exercise wheel to suit your little furball.

The Best Cat Exercise Wheel

1

Penn-Plax Spin Kitty Cat Exerciser Wheel & Tree

Though it may be more costly, you get what you pay for with the Penn-Plax cat tree and exercise wheel. It has been constructed using heavy-duty wood that makes it a stable climbing frame for your cat to climb over. With multiple tiers and three removable resting pads for your cat (or cats) to relax on, it’s the perfect space for your cat to call their own.

 

The exercise wheel is 20”, and is great for smaller cat breeds to get some extra exercise. Training your kitty to run on the wheel is easy, with the use of a laser pointer and treats for positive reinforcement. Not only that but the wheel is also lined in a durable sisal carpet inside and out, to provide extra grip and allow your feline friend to explore it in confidence. The sisal carpet also extends to the tower lets, so they have a choice of several scratching posts.

A two-in-one activity center that includes platforms and an exercise wheel.

The 2-tiered cat tree includes 3 removable resting pads.

The 20” diameter wheel is lined with sisal carpet inside and out.

Specification:
  • Brand: Penn-Plax
  • Model: CATF61
  • Weight: 15 lbs.

2

We urge you to ignore GoPet’s product name that states it’s a treadwheel suitable for small dogs. It’s true – small dogs like Jack Russells will simply adore this exercise wheel. However, our feline friends will enjoy this wheel just as much! This lightweight product comes pre-assembled and boasts a quiet design that allows cat owners to sleep peacefully while their furry housemates play away to their heart’s content.

The cushioned matted surface protects cats’ paws as they tread on their workout wheel. Plus, if you have the space for your cat to safely play outside in the yard, then they can bring their Treatwheel with them – after all, this motion wheel is UV-resistant. Available in black, blue, red, and green, GoPet’s product is the key towards your cat’s wellbeing.

Included running surface mat is comfortable on a cat’s paws

Product can be used outdoors thanks to UV resistant design

Item comes pre-assembled to avoid a time-consuming set-up

Specification:
  • Brand: GOPET
  • Model: CG4012
  • Weight: 42 pounds

3

PawHut Cat Tree Activity Condo Luxury Pine Wood

Not only does the PawHut activity condo give your kitty a wheel to run in, but it also provides them with a hideout to call their very own. The wooden hut located halfway up the tower is the perfect size for your kitty to climb in and curl up. After all – if they fits they sits! It is quite a tall design, however, it includes an anti-toppling device to prevent your kitty from accidentally knowing the tower over.

The PawHut activity condo is ideally suited to cats no heavier than 9lbs in order to get the full benefit of the anti-topple design. Each platform is lined with a soft sisal carpet, to keep your cat comfortable and snug. Furthermore, the wheel itself is lined with the very same carpet material, as well as the tower legs. So no need to worry about your kitty clawing up the furniture, when they’ve got an entire condo to sharpen their claws on!

Includes three platforms with a hideaway hut.

Each platform leg can also be used as a scratching post.

A well-balanced design.with super solid construction.

Specification:
  • Brand: PawHut
  • Weight: 54.34 Pounds

4

Can’t make up your mind whether you’d rather buy a scratching tower, a new cat bed, or a running wheel for your precious pet? With Creation Core’s product, owners now won’t have to choose. This innovative design, constructed to resemble a waterwheel, is invented to keep mischievous cats from destroying your furniture. Instead, they’ll most likely play with the cat scratcher board positioned on the top of the waterwheel. When they become tired of this, they’ll surely jump down to operate the waterwheel, providing them with some much-needed exercise.

The smaller design is the perfect size for lighter felines in smaller living spaces, whereas the larger model is able to serve multiple cats at once. And just in case customers don’t know whether the company care about their pets, the organic catnip that Creation Core throw in alongside their multi-level product will be sure to go down a treat!

Organic catnip included for free alongside wheel

Waterwheel treadmill made from non-toxic material

Cat scratcher board provides surface for pets to claw to satisfy their natural instincts

Specification:
  • Brand: Creation Core

5

AWYLL Cat Exercise Wheel

Sleek and sturdy. The AWYLL cat exercise wheel cuts straight to the point. It is an extra-large wheel 117cm in diameter, designed to give your kitty the chance to stretch out as they run. The super stable design placed the center of gravity towards the bottom to prevent the wheel from toppling over.

The clean, minimalist design makes this an easy thing to fit in most homes presuming you have a section of wall large enough to accommodate it. Whilst it may be tall, it is not particularly imposing on a room unless you choose to have it facing inwards rather than flush against the wall. It’s high weight capacity and cleverly balanced design means this wheel can accommodate multiple cats, though we wouldn’t recommend more than two.

Superior soft carpet material to protect your cat’s claws.

Sleek, minimalist design is easy to fit into most homes.

Super stable and sturdy design built to last.

Specification:
  • Brand: AWYLL
  • Model: AWYLL
  • Weight: 35.2 pounds

6

Our first impression of Mishap’s adorable cat treadmill is that if it operates as good as it looks, cats everywhere won’t be able to get enough of this innovative purchase. Boasting natural, reinforcing pillars to hold it upright, Mishap’s provides your cat with a perfect space to have fun running around their treadmill to their heart’s content.

This wheel roller for cats is made of jute, beating out the most common material for scratching posts, carpet, by virtue of its sturdiness, durability, and long-lasting nature. Plus, this type of natural fiber feels soft against a cat’s paws – running on their treadmill will feel as soft as running on air. Paired with the frame made of luxury solid wood, pine, and natural sisal, Mishap’s treadmill constitutes a premium buy for cats who deserve the world.

Cat climbing frame made with natural, reinforcing pillars to allow cats to enjoy a comfortable space

Water-resistant product features jute so cats’ paws stay protected when running

Stable base eases owners’ anxiety that their cat may hurt themselves

Specification:
  • Brand: Mishap

7

SUPFAKE Cat Treadmill

SUPFAKE’s exercise wheel is one of the new on our list available in a variety of sizes to accommodate all kinds of cats weighing anywhere from 8 to 20 kilograms. The adorable design stamped into the wheel and its base make it a sweet addition to almost any proud cat owner’s home.

It is a simple design that is extremely easy to assemble – though be sure to take your time with it, you don’t want the wheel to fall off whilst your cat is on a run! This wheel is made using durable wood and contains carefully selected silent bearings to allow your kitty to run to its heart’s content whilst making minimal – if any – noise. This is a fun, neutral, aesthetically pleasing exercise wheel to suit any kitty.

Available in three sizes to suit almost all cats ranging from 8-20kg.

Easy to assemble with clear instructions provided.

Selected silent bearings make running more quiet and smooth.

Specification:
  • Brand: SUPFAKE
  • Weight: 8-20kg

Best Cat Exercise Wheel Buying Guide & FAQ

Now that you’ve browsed our five fantastic products, it’s hard to know what wheel your cat would prefer. After all, are these wheels even safe for cats to enjoy, and are they really worth the money?

These niggling doubts are why we’ve put together a comprehensive buying guide and FAQ containing everything you’ll ever need to know about buying and owning a cat exercise wheel.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Cat Running Wheel

Have you set your heart on owning a cat exercise wheel but are completely daunted by the prospect of choosing the correct kind for your kitten? We’re here to help. We’ve compiled a list of questions to keep yourself on the right track when researching the ideal running wheel.

How quiet is the running wheel?: Owners who cannot cope without their beauty sleep won’t fare well with owning a noisy cat running wheel. Personally, we can’t think of much worse than lying in bed eager to rest so you can tackle what’s bound to shape up to be a busy day, only to hear the hollow, rumbling sound of your cat’s running wheel start up. Many cat wheels have been effectively designed to minimize noise levels, so do your research by scrutinizing customer comments before you make your final decision.

How big is the running wheel?: You may be so excited by the prospect of a running wheel that you completely forget that these wheels are cumbersome in any small living space due to their size. On average, a running wheel takes up the amount of space of a 42-50 inch TV. That’s why it’s recommended to measure the amount of space you have available before purchasing such a large item.

Does my running wheel include any other toys: You’d be right when saying that a cat exercise wheel is an investment – these desirable products certainly don’t come cheap. However, the price tends to seem justifiable with cat running wheels that include other ways for your cat to amuse themselves. One prime example is Creation Core’s Waterwheel that features jute wood in order for cats to satisfy their instinctual urge to scratch, a comfortable spot to rest and feel safe, and a running wheel all in one. For cat lovers who live in smaller apartments, you won’t feel as though you’re tight on space.

Young Abyssinian cat in action

Benefits of Exercise Wheels for Cats

Your cat will become motivated to exercise: Given that 44% of cats across America were found to be obese in 2019, managing the feline obesity epidemic should be cat lovers’ top priority. Cat exercise wheels won’t only ensure formally obese pets enjoy a higher quality of life, you’ll notice that your cat is more engaged and mentally stimulated, too.

However, is it mere speculation that a cat would exercise if presented with a running wheel? Actually, there exists definitive proof that cats wouldn’t leave their running wheels to gather dust. A study conducting research into whether having access to a running wheel increased voluntary physical activity in domesticated cats of both sexes at the University of Illinois determined that female cats’ voluntary physical activity resoundingly increased, with the voluntary physical activity of male cats increasing in the dark cycle.

How to Train Your Cat to Use the Wheel

Although the University of Illinois’s study discussed above alluded to cats using their running wheel by choice, your cat can be trained to start using their running wheel immediately. First of all, hunt around your home for your cat’s favorite toy. Moving the cat toy around in front of your cat will get them engaged to the extent that your feline will be so fixated on retrieving their toy that they won’t even notice they’ve just jumped up onto their new exercise wheel. Now that they’re happily perched on their new exercise wheel, give them a treat to show them that this good behavior will be rewarded.

Only now that your cat has familiarized themselves with the feel and smell of their new running track can teaching them how to use the wheel commence. First and foremost, tactically hold up cat treats to encourage your cat to jump on and off their new wheel, rewarding them with these treats once they step onto the wheel’s surface. After you notice your cat’s doubts beginning to subside towards their new toy, hold a treat up the wheel to push your cat to take a couple of steps on their wheel. Although progress will most likely be slow and steady at first, keep on trying – we promise this training will pay off eventually! As you notice your cat beginning to improve, challenge them by increasing the number of steps required to receive a reward.

If your cat is strictly following a no-treat diet, this training can also be carried out with the help of a laser pointer. Laser pointers provide them with the encouragement to move about, as their natural predatorily instincts kick in as soon as the laser point light provides them with something to chase. Remember that your cat’s laser pointer should never be pointed towards their eyes, as this may wreak havoc on your furry friend’s delicate retinas.

The pace to which cats acclimatize themselves to a cat wheel is extremely different: some cats will take to their exercise wheel like a fish takes to water whereas some felines will require numerous training sessions to even get them onto the wheel’s surface, never mind running on it. Just be patient with your furball and training will be a positive experience for both parties.

Best Cat Exercise Wheel FAQ:

Q: Are cat wheels safe?

A: Although a cat wheel may appear to be intimidating to owners who don’t know much about them, just think about the crazy stuff cats will attempt of their own accord – whether that’s taking a leap of faith from a high storey building or climbing to the top of the Christmas tree. Cat wheels for exercise that boast running wheels operating inside the groove protect our furry felines’ paws and tails. Plus, the width of reputable cat wheels mean that cats won’t go flying off the wheel, hurting themselves in the process. As long as you’ve done your research and chosen a wheel from a reputable company, your cat wheel will be safe for use, having been subjected to various quality checks throughout the design process.

Q: How often should I exercise my kitty on the wheel?

A: We recommend exercising your cat for fifteen minutes in total on their kitty wheel. Be mindful that top cat behavior experts recommend that a cat’s total playtime should be close to an hour, so split your playtime sessions with your cat up into chunks throughout the day in order to support their mental wellbeing.

It’s also important to note that although your cat may love running on their exercise wheel, the forty-five remaining minutes of playtime should be devoted to other games. Although time on the cat wheel can be an interactive affair, your cat will ultimately become bored of running if they aren’t engaged in other games such as cat and mouse or hide and seek.

Animals at home - red cute little cat pet kitty on floor

Our Top Pick

All five of the cat exercise wheels in this buying guide are capable of meeting your cat’s exercise requirements. However, if we had to consider all the fundamental aspects that constitute an exercise wheel – that is, durability, aesthetics, and safety – One Fast Cat’s Exercise Wheel beats out all other contestants. Boasting a sleek run surface made of recycled closed cell EVA foam, a cat’s claws and paws will be protected. The set-up is simple if you follow the detailed YouTube video One Fast Cat put together, and becomes even simpler if you make use of the rubber mallet that the company provide customers with. Once you’ve succeeded in setting up the wheel, your cat can enjoy running around it to burn up their pent-up energy from indoors. Want to know our advice? Although One Fast Cat’s wheel is often unavailable simply by virtue of its demand on the global marketplace, waiting a while to buy one of these cat wheels will be worth it.

Eloise Hands
Eloise is the owner of a Malamute/Akita cross, a first-time mum, and an animal enthusiast from England. She comes from a family which has never gone a day without a pet (or 3!), and over the years has learned all the best tips and tricks to raising a difficult pet. A knowledge that she has put to good use, to help others navigate the limitless world of pet care.
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