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8 Best Cat Exercise Wheel Selections For Your Indoor Cat

Last Updated - June 17, 2022

Quick Comparison of Our Top 4 Picks

Best Overall
The Cat Wheel

5/5

  • Handmade
  • Not too heavy
  • Sturdy & smooth spin
Best Handmade
Cat Exercise Wheel

5/5

  • Affordable
  • Easy to clean
  • Mesh keeps pets cool
Best for Value
Wooden Cat Wheel, "Wheel or Purrtune"

4.8/5

  • Removable cover
  • Portable
  • Holds up to 200 lbs
For Adult Cats
Penn-Plax Spin Kitty Cat Exerciser Wheel

4/5

  • Weather proof
  • Durable
  • Covered in Sunbrella®
Best Overall
The Cat Wheel

5/5

  • Handmade
  • Not too heavy
  • Sturdy & smooth spin
Best Handmade
Cat Exercise Wheel

5/5

  • Affordable
  • Easy to clean
  • Mesh keeps pets cool
Best Value
Wooden Cat Wheel, "Wheel or Purrtune"

4.8/5

  • Removable cover
  • Portable
  • Holds up to 200 lbs
For Adult Cats
Penn-Plax Spin Kitty Cat Exerciser Wheel

4/5

  • Weather proof
  • Durable
  • Covered in Sunbrella®

More Top Picks & Recommendations

Do you have a particularly energetic cat? Or maybe you are trying to find a way to help your overweight cat? Maybe you have a cat who gets bored easily and can be destructive at times, and you are looking for something to keep your cat entertained.

Cat exercise wheels can be the answer to all of those issues. These wheels function just like the classic hamster or rat wheel, but they're for cats! To help you shop, we have rounded the eight best cat exercise wheels on the market today. These cat wheels are usually quite large to allow for a natural gait for your cat and are carpeted to allow for a safer and more comfortable experience.

Why A Cat Exercise Wheel?

Domesticated indoor cats need activities to stay healthy, happy, and mentally sharp. Unlike outdoor cats, indoor cats are often not getting enough exercise and stimulation, leading to obesity and other health issues.

It can be challenging for pet parents to find ways to exercise indoor cats, and bundled up energy can lead to zoomies and destructive behaviors. Many cat owners like you are seeking different activities that are beneficial to their cat's physical well-being and stimulate them mentally so it can prolong their cat's life.

Cat exercise wheels are just like a hamster wheel but designed for cats, and they can be beneficial to your cat's health. They are a compact way to exercise your cat and protect your house from destructive behaviors. They work well to workout very athletic and energetic cats and kittens, and for curious cats that are prone to boredom, cat exercise wheels present an interesting challenge. 

Unlike other cat furniture, cat exercise wheels can help trim up overweight or obese felines. These wheels can provide physical activity and enjoyment for larger cats to promote weight loss and maintain optimum health. And perfect for high-energy kittens to stay active physically and burn off energy. 

What To Look For In The Best Cat Exercise Wheels

Size

Most cat exercise wheels are large enough to fit most adult cats. However, you should always double-check the item to ensure the wheel diameter is large enough to fit your cat. And if you have two cats, you may want to find one that allows them to run simultaneously.

Some of the cat exercise wheels on the market can be quite large. If you have limited space in your home, you would want to find a wheel that doesn't take too much space or find one that is combined with a cat tower to optimize your space.

Noise Levels

Cats are more active at night by nature. Therefore, you will want to ensure the wheel you are purchasing is quiet enough without disrupting your sleep.

Style

Most cat furniture isn't exactly blending in with the rest of your home decor. A cat wheel can be quite large and expensive. Therefore, you will want to find one that meets your home style.

Features

The main feature of all cat wheels is, of course, the wheel. This wheel should be large enough for a natural gait that won't hurt your cat's back and should be carpeted with felt, sisal, or other cat-appropriate material. 

Some cat exercise wheels feature climbing trees and scratching posts, so choose carefully and consider what your feline friend needs in an exercise wheel. 

Material

When it comes to cat wheels, the cat's safety should always be the priority. Most cat exercise wheels should be made of durable wood or sturdy plastic to ensure that the wheel doesn't tip over.

8 Best Cat Exercise Wheels For Your Feline Friend

The Cat Wheel

Best Overall

overall 

5/5

Price

$$$$$

Ease Of Use

Durability

Noise Level

The Cat Wheel

The Cat Wheel is the best all-around exercise wheel for durability, size, and practicality. The Cat Wheel currently comes in two size options and also comes with the option of adding an inlay to the base for personalization.

This cat wheel toy is handmade of wood with a base that can be custom-colored to match whatever room or space you put it in. The wheel is perfect for cats who need to exercise to stay healthy or lose a few pounds. With a little training and coaxing, most cats can be taught how to use this best cat wheel and learn to enjoy the workout. 

Material

Wood

Size

41" Wheel diameter, 43" H x 7.5" W

Weight Capacity

N/A

What We Like

  • Handmade
  • Sturdy and spins smoothly
  • Not too heavy
  • Two size available 
  • The color of the base can be customized to your liking without any additional charge

What We Don't Like

  • Expensive
Watch How This Cat Wheel Is Made

Cat Exercise Wheel

Best Handmade 

overall 

5/5

Price

$$$$$

Ease Of Use

Durability

Noise Level

Cat Exercise Wheel

This wheel is perfect for cat owners wanting a homemade cat exercise wheel. This cat treadmill is wider than some exercise wheels making it ideal for bigger cats. This wheel will take up a lot of space, so be sure to clear some extra room for this exquisite exercise wheel. This wheel is handmade with quality materials like lightweight, laminate MDF, felt, and silent ball-bearing wheels. It is sure to last a long time even with lots of use. 

Material

Wood

Size

79Cm wheel 30cm wide

Weight Capacity

N/A

What We Like

  • Handmade
  • Lightweight
  • Quiet spin
  • Felt covered wheels

What We Don't Like

  • Expensive
  • Long delivery time

Wooden Cat Wheel, "Wheel or Purrtune"

Best for Value

overall 

4.8/5

Price

$$$$$

Ease Of Use

Durability

Noise Level

Wooden Cat Wheel, "Wheel or Purrtune"

This sleek, sophisticated cat wheel provides more than just a wheel for exercise. The Wheel of Purrtune is a multi-purpose cat exercise wheel made of quality birch and felt. Not only does this toy have a wheel for running and scratching fun, but it also sports several climbing edges and a cute little cat house for napping.

For an all-in-one experience, a cat food bowl and water bowl are also attached so your furry friend can move from exercising and sleeping to eating without ever having to leave the room. This is the perfect cat playground with a tasteful design that will compliment your home. 

Material

Birch, felt, wood

Size

44.8" H x 55.5" L x 14.1" W; 34.6" D

Weight Capacity

n/a

What We Like

  • All in one design. Allow your to nap, enjoy dinner and play
  • Handmade
  • Made of high quality birch

What We Don't Like

  • Expensive
  • Long delivery time

Penn-Plax Spin Kitty Cat Exerciser Wheel

Best for Adult Cats

overall 

4/5

Price

$$$

Ease Of Use

Durability

Noise Level

Penn-Plax Spin Kitty Cat Exerciser Wheel

The Penn-Plax Spin Kitty Cat Exerciser Wheel and Tree is a great choice to start your cat when it is still a kitten. Unlike the other exercise wheels, this one is not only great for running and spinning but provides fun with scratching, climbing, and napping options too. This wheel is great for energetic kitties who just need to get that energy out constructively.

With this wheel, your kitten will be able to run, climb, scratch, and play without ever causing any damage to any of your furniture or getting underfoot. This durable cat wheel is easy to clean and is made from wood and sisal. This wheel will be able to grow with your kitten since its maximum weight capacity is 20lbs! 

Material

Wood

Size

29.5" Diameter, 29.5” (W) x 13” (D) x 35.8” (H)

Weight Capacity

Up to 20 pounds

What We Like

  • Can hold cats up to 20 pounds
  • Sisal carpet construction
  • Easy to clean
  • Double as a scratcher
  • Quiet
  • Sturdy

What We Don't Like

  • May not be wide enough for overweight cats or long cats

Penn-Plax Spin Kitty Cat Exercise Wheel Running Spinning and Scratching Fun

Best for Kittens

overall 

4/5

Price

$$$

Ease Of Use

Durability

Noise Level

Penn-Plax Spin Kitty Cat Exercise Wheel Running Spinning and Scratching Fun

The Penn-Plax Kitty Cat Exercise Wheel gets you the best value for your kittens for an exercise wheel since it boasts a two-tiered sisal cat tree which provides a fun place for your feline friends to climb, scratch, and sleep. Unlike the other cat exercise wheels, this is not only a wheel but a cat tree as well. The tree comes with three removable plush pillows for comfy napping and three integrated sisal-lined posts for safe scratching.

The tree holds up to 15lbs. The wheel is 20" in diameter, making it just the perfect size for a kitten. This two-in-one wheel and tree combo will keep your kitten busy for hours of fun. This exercise wheel is made of wood and sisal carpet, easy to maintain, and keep clean. You can spot clean the wood with a damp towel and vacuum the sisal to keep it looking fresh.

Material

Plush, Sisal

Size

20" Diameter, 20” (W) x 35.75” (D) 35” (H)

Weight Capacity

Up to 15 pounds

What We Like

  • Can hold cats up to 15 pounds
  • Two in one activity tree
  • Removable plush resting pads
  • Sturdy and solid

What We Don't Like

  • Best for kittens or younger cats

RSTJ-Sjef Cat Exercise Wheel Cat Scratcher Cardboard Wheel

Best with Scratcher Wheel

overall 

4/5

Price

$$$

Ease Of Use

Durability

Noise Level

RSTJ-Sjef Cat Exercise Wheel Cat Scratcher Cardboard Wheel

As pet parents, we know how quickly cat things can take over our home. If you are looking to optimize, check out this scratcher wheel. The RSTJ-Sjef Cat Exercise Wheel serves as a great exercise wheel and is also the best wheel for cat scratching. This wheel is made of corrugated paper for an environmentally friendly and cat-safe toy. It is durable and will be able to withstand all your cat's activities, including running, scratching, climbing, or even napping. 

This wheel is great for keeping your indoor cat in shape and their mind engaged. 

Material

Wood, Paper

Size

20.8" H x 17.7" L x 13.3" W

Weight Capacity

n/a

What We Like

  • Made of corrugated paper
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Two in one as a wheel and scratcher
  • Easy to set up

What We Don't Like

  • Expensive
  • Can leave shredded paper mess

Cat Running Wheel

Best for Larger Cats

overall 

3.8/5

Price

$$$$

Ease Of Use

Durability

Noise Level

Cat Running Wheel

One fast cat wheel is the Cat Running Wheel has a 12.2in width, making it the perfect size for larger cats. This wheel can provide exercise for your cat, which can keep its body in shape and its mind healthy. This wheel is solid and durable, with a silent pulley design in the bottom shaft so that it runs quietly. 

Material

Wood

Size

35.8 in D x 12.2 In W

Weight Capacity

n/a

What We Like

  • A silent pulley design in bottom shaft
  • Easy to put together
  • Roll smoothly

What We Don't Like

  • Make sure you check the dimension

GoPet TreadWheel For Small Dogs

Best for Cats and Dogs

overall 

4.5/5

Price

$$$$$

Ease Of Use

Durability

Noise Level

GoPet TreadWheel For Small Dogs

The GoPet TreadWheel For Small Dogs is a great wheel for dogs and cats. This wheel has the capacity to hold pets up to 25lbs and has a 40" tread width. This is a great way to exercise overweight or very active cats from the comfort and safety of your home.

This exercise wheel is easy to clean, mildew resistant, and UV resistant, making it great for indoor or outdoor use.

With this exercise wheel, you can exercise any size cat or a small dog to keep your pets healthy, happy, and well-exercised. 

Material

PLASTIC W/STEEL TRAINING DOOR RUBBER MATTED SURFACE

Size

19 l x 41 w x 45 h Inches

Weight Capacity

up to 25 pounds

What We Like

  • Running Area: 40" D x 12" W
  • Training Door Included
  • Running surface mat for added comfort
  • Safe & Stable
  • Easy to clean
  • Mildew resistant
  • UV resistant allows for outdoor use

What We Don't Like

  • Expensive

How to Train Your Cat to Use a Cat Exercise Wheel

Not all cats will use exercise wheels right away. And if you introduce an exercise wheel incorrectly, your cat could actually become afraid of it and never use it. Here are a few tips for helping to train your cat to use an exercise wheel. 

Start Slow

You will want to introduce the cat exercise wheel gradually. Let your cat explore the wheel with the wheel secured first so that it isn't suddenly surprised by the wheel moving. This process may take a few days, but it is much more likely to use the wheel if you let your cat get comfortable at its own pace.

Use Treats

Once your cat is accustomed to the wheel itself, use treats to encourage the cat to walk on the wheel gently. Keep a hand on the wheel at all times to ensure the wheel doesn't start up too fast and scare your cat. Use a treat or toy to invite your cat to move on the wheel calmly. 

Use Laser Pointer

If you are trying to avoid giving your overweight cats treats, use a laser pointer instead. Use the laser pointer and help guide them to run on the wheel.

Stay Calm and Supportive

Throughout the whole process, you will need to remain calm and supportive of however fast or slow your cat learns. Praise your cat as it learns how the wheel moves and how to use it. Don't try to rush your cat, and DO NOT force your cat on the wheel and then rapidly spin it yourself to make it run.

Most cats can be taught to use and enjoy a cat exercise wheel with some patience and gentle encouragement. 

FAQs

Are cat exercise wheels safe?

If the exercise wheel is installed correctly, made from durable materials, and your cat meets the size and weight requirement, a cat exercise wheel is safe for your cat.

What are the benefits of using a cat exercise wheel?

The biggest benefit of a cat wheel is to get your cat to exercise. This is particularly hard to achieve for indoor cats, but a cat exercise wheel can offer cats to go for a run or even a sprint.

Here are some of the benefits of using an exercise wheel:

  • Increased metabolism, strength, and muscles movement
  • Improved joint flexibility and cat's motility
  • Improved muscle tone, muscle mass,
  • Better blood circulation and high bone strength
  • Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, heart and respiratory disease
  • Helps in weight and arthritis management
  • Regulates digestion of cats
  • Boosts mental stimulation
  • Maintains emotional well-being
  • Reduces stress, depression, and anxiety
  • Helps in maintaining regular sleep patterns
  • Reduces unwanted behavioral issues

Do cats like exercise wheels

Not all cats will use or enjoy using exercise wheels. Therefore, it is entirely possible your cat won't use it at all. However, it is possible to get your cat to use it with the right training and motivation. Cats who are easily trained and food or reward-motivated are great candidates. And cats with moderate to high energy levels who like to race through the house are more inclined to use it.

lara grisko the pet staff

About the Author

Lara Girsko

Doctor of veterinary medicine with extensive experience in animal welfare with a strong interest in feline medicine and plans to pursue ABVP-Feline specialty board certification. A key member of many local veterinary associations and avid reader of animal related science journals and studies.

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