If you plan on getting a new kitten in the near future, you might be wondering if a cat wheel is worth all of the hype. Today, I’m going to try my best to answer that question.
Sometimes you’ll have a kitten/cat that just won’t use it. Our first Bengal, Phoenix, won’t touch a cat wheel. They weird him out. However, we didn’t own a cat wheel when he was a kitten. He didn’t grow up using one. So, I don’t know… Maybe it would be different if he had grown up around them and had been taught at an early age. A couple more examples… Echo, our tabby cat, and Perry, my daughter’s black cat, won’t use them. Again, neither of them had a cat wheel growing up.
We bought two cat wheels right before we brought Phoebe (our second Bengal) home as a kitten. She LOVES cat wheels. It is almost all she wants to do. Of course, Tracy at Lunakatz (Phoebe’s birthplace) also has cat wheels for her cats. So, Phoebe was already accustomed to using them.
All of Phoebe’s kittens have been taught to use the cat wheel and they all have enjoyed using them. There are frequent cat wheel wars going on here daily at Echoes Bengals. Our cats love them so much they will fight over them.
Let me elaborate. One cat is running on the wheel. Another cat jumps on the wheel and makes a point to run a little faster than the other cat, in an attempt to hamster wheel toss the other cat out of the cat wheel. Then, the other cat jumps back on and tries to do the same thing. Round and round it goes until eventually someone gives up. Cat wheel wars… battles… whatever you’d like to call them… they are fun to watch!
If you have a cat that gets bored easily, a cat wheel can be an excellent option. You do have to put thought into what cat wheel to buy. There are a lot of options out there. So, where do you start? Let’s start with the most popular option, One Fast Cat Wheel.
One Fast Cat Wheels have been around for a few years now. The first two cat wheels we purchased were through this California based company. The wheels were difficult to put together. You had to use a mallet to pound the pieces into place. I guess we didn’t know our own strength because we broke one of the wheels while putting it together. Luckily, the company sent us replacement parts free of charge. (I’m guessing that wasn’t the first time that had happened.)
For a One Fast Cat Wheel you’re looking at spending $250-$300 depending if you want upgrades added to your purchase. You can add special LED wheels and a training kit with a cat wand and laser pointer if you want to.
***Warning with One Fast Cat Wheel - I’m adding this little note because I don’t purchase this cat wheel anymore at this time. My reason is that this wheel has become well known for it’s instability. It has been known to tip over and injure cats. Sadly, in some cases, it has tipped over and killed some cats. I do believe that One Fast Cat has been working on these issues. They’re selling their 5th Generation on their website now.
I now purchase the Ferris Cat Exercise Wheel through ZiggyDoo.com. The Ferris Wheel is much bigger than One Fast Cat. It’s sturdier and more stable. There was no mallet to put this wheel together. It was still a lot of work and took significant time to assemble. My husband and I put this one together as a team.
The downside to this cat wheel is that it’s going to cost you around $465. That’s significantly more than the One Fast Cat Wheel. Twice the wheel, twice the cost?? The other thing is that you’ll be put on a waiting list. They’ll notify you when your order will be shipped. It took MONTHS for our cat wheel to be shipped… MONTHS!!! I do believe it was worth the wait though. The quality is outstanding!
There are other cat wheels out there. You can buy custom cat wheels through someplace like Etsy. Many of those are beautifully crafted. You can go as fancy or as expensive as you like. My only advice is to consider safety. Please, do your research. Make sure whoever you’re buying from knows what they’re doing.
I’ll have to find a better Cat Wheel War video. This one doesn’t show the “hamster wheel toss” that I was trying to describe. For now it will have to do…