- One Fast Cat
- Go Cat Wheel
- Cat In Motion Running Wheel
- Phasuk Cat Exercise Wheel
We all know how important exercise is for humans and it’s just as crucial for cats both indoor cats and house cats. But unlike dogs, you can’t snap on a leash and take your feline friend for a stroll.
Well, you can try, but I can tell you it won’t go the way you expect. I bought a leash and harness for my house cat Shadow. I thought it would be an excellent way to burn off his excess energy because his idea of burning it off was to tear around the house in the dead of night.
We wrestled the leash and harness onto him which was no mean feat. He instantly dropped to his belly, started making strange guttural noises and refused to move. That was the end of that experiment.
[tweet text=”Cats randomly refuse to follow orders to prove that they can.”]
This was years before the cat wheel craze struck. A cat exercise wheel can be an excellent tool to help your cat get the exercise he or she needs when you can’t be around to perform your cat toy or laser pointer aerobics instructor duties.
It’s also super cute to watch your cat running on what looks like a big hamster wheel. Maybe you can even video your cat going through their paces, go viral, and start raking in some Youtube bucks. It’s about time the cat started pulling his weight. Although there will be less to pull after a couple of weeks on the cat exercise wheel!
Time to Hit the Gym
Cats need exercise just like humans and for a lot of the same reasons. Indoor cats can easily become bored cats. It’s safer to keep them indoors but it does prevent them from exhibiting a lot of their natural instincts including getting plenty of activity.
When a cat is bored, it can lead to behavioral problems like aggression towards other animals and humans in the house and destructive behaviors like furniture scratching that even a scratching post won’t curb.
If a cat becomes overweight, it can have health consequences too.
A cat that is overweight may not be able to jump to his favorite spots and can’t play as much as he might like. Obesity is also associated with several medical problems, including an increased chance of arthritis, ligament damage, diabetes mellitus, breathing difficulties, liver problems, surgical risk, and urinary tract disease.
If you’ve ever gained twenty or thirty pounds, you know how much it can negatively affect your quality of life. But what we feel after those twenty or thirty pounds, a cat can feel after gaining just a couple of pounds. And even high energy cats might not be able to burn off all of the calories given to them by well-meaning pet parents through normal play.
Exercise is important for all pets. That’s why we have dog parks and dog runs. But there are no cat parks or cat runs. Cats have cafes where exercising is not really on the menu. Instead, the cats lay around like lazy royalty getting pettings and drinking kitty cappuccinos while wearing fairy wings. (As is my understanding and my dream life). That might be fun and it’s definitely cute but it’s not very active.
There are cats that will deign to wear a leash and go for a walk outside but you have to get them used to that really early. When we tried it with Shadow, he was already five or six years old. And there are good reasons not to stroll your cat along the sidewalk. They might encounter a dog and if the worse happens, your cat could be attacked and injured.
So pet parents, especially parents of indoor cats, have to find a safe outlet for their cat’s exercise needs.
A Cat What?
A cat exercise wheel! It’s a pretty simple concept. A cat exercise wheel, also known as a feline-powered treadmill, is pretty similar to a hamster wheel, only bigger. The catwalks or runs inside the wheel and it moves under their weight.
Cat wheels are appropriate for cats who show moderate to high levels of energy. According to user reviews, some cat breeds take to the wheels right away, including Bengals, Maine Coons, Egyptian Maus, Toygers, Russian Blues, Siamese, Savannahs, and Abyssinians. If your own cat is not one of those breeds but is food motivated, it may require some training or coaxing on your part to turn your cat into a fitness monster.
It’s best to choose a cat wheel with an open design; otherwise, the cat might feel trapped and less inclined to use it.
The Best Cat Wheels
While cat wheels are a great way to exercise your cat, they aren’t exactly cheap. We checked out some of the best designs so you don’t waste money by trying to trial and error wheels your cat will like.
You know One Fast Cat is serious about their cat wheel game because all they sell is cat wheels and cat wheel replacement parts! It’s lightweight made from recycled plastic and sturdy so a high-quality product but still easy to move around.
The One Fast Cat wheel requires some simple assembly but the website has an assembly video for the Generation 4 model that is very detailed and easy to follow. The running surface is made from EVA foam which allows cats to run at their natural gait without snagging their claws.
The wheel has an open design and can be cleaned with a wet towel or sprayed down with a hose. It comes in two colors, black and cheetah print.
The Go Cat Wheel comes partially assembled and assembly doesn’t require any tools. So if DIY is not your specialty, this will be a good choice. The base is heavy so if you have a particularly energetic cat, there won’t be a danger of the base tipping over. The wheel itself though is lightweight to the whole thing is easy to move around.
The wheel also starts fast and stops fast so it is a good choice for a less chubby cat. They don’t need to be zaftig to make the thing start and stop. Sealed ball bearing rollers allow for a smooth rotation, a benefit for cats who might be made skittish by jerks and bumps. The wheel can be cleaned with a sanitizing wipe. The base wheels come in five colors.
The Cat In Motion Running Wheel is designed to ensure that no strain is put on a cat’s back while they’re running on it. It’s one of the lightest weight cat wheels so easy to move around. The EVA foam protects a cat’s claws from snagging and also reduces the noise made as kitty gets his exercise during your Netflix binge. The ball bearing rollers also reduce noise.
The wheel has an open design and the cover can be easily removed and put back into place after cleaning with a wet towel or antibacterial wipe. The wheel comes in several colors including gray, maroon, and red.
The Phasuk Cat Exercise Wheel has an open design and is sturdy but lightweight and easy to put together. The running surface is made from EVA foam to prevent claws from snagging and to cut down on noise.
It’s made from recycled plastics and has a maximum weight capacity of 30 pounds. But if your cat weighs more than 30 pounds, you should probably look into gastric bypass! It can be easily cleaned with a wet towel or antibacterial wipe.
Cat Wheels Are Great
Cat wheels are a great product, especially for a cat lover who is out most of the day and concerned that their cat is bored while they’re away. But they are not a substitute for interactive exercise with your cat and because they’re pricey, not the only option for getting your cat the exercise they need.
Cats and all pets need human interaction and stimulation on a regular basis, especially high energy breeds. A cat chasing a laser pointer is funny for us to watch and fun for the cat. A feather tipped cat toy is also a good choice.
Whatever you choose, make sure your cat gets the exercise they need to live a long and happy life. Because while a chubby cat is a cute cat, it’s not what’s best for your feline friend.