A good cat wheel can be a smart investment for high-energy cats who don’t have a lot of space to run and play. If your cat is prone to midnight zoomies and spends a lot of their days running, jumping, and zipping up and down furniture, they might like to take one of these wheels for a spin.
But not all cat wheels are a good choice.
After hours of research and trying three cat wheels with my two cats, I’ve learned that many cat wheels are poorly-designed and, most likely, unsafe for cats.
That’s why I’ve chosen the Ferris Cat Wheel as the best cat exercise wheel you can buy. This wheel is well-built, spins smoothly, and gives your cat plenty of room to stretch out. It’s a strong choice for energetic cats who need a place to run.
Keep reading to learn more about the Ferris Cat Wheel and my other top five recommendations.
At a Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Cat Exercise Wheels
We highly recommend looking at the comparison table we have below where we highlighted the features of each product. You’ll also find more detailed information about each product later in the article.
Top Pick Explained
Why Should You Trust Us?
To find the best cat wheels on the market, I spent hours researching the world of cat wheels, learning about the qualities of a good wheel, the different products available, and what regular users did and didn’t like. After learning about the options available, I ordered three cat wheels—each representing a different price tier—and tried them out with my cats.
Before we review our top recommendations, let’s talk about what to look for in a cat wheel.
It’s large enough for your cat to use comfortably.
I found that the best cat wheels measured at least 40” across on the inside, allowing the cat to comfortably reach and run. Small wheels take up less space in the home, but they can feel awkward for adult cats.
The track is lined with a non-snagging material.
Some cat wheels are lined with carpet, which your cat’s claws can catch and snag. Ideally, the running surface should be smooth, so that your cat’s claws can’t catch on it.
It’s thoughtfully built from high-quality materials.
A great cat wheel should last for your cat’s lifetime. It should be made from rugged, long-lasting materials and sturdily-constructed. Whether it comes pre-assembled or in pieces you need to put together, all of the parts should come together securely, without gaps or weak spots. And if you’re the one assembling the wheel, it should come with detailed instructions and all the parts you need.
It spins smoothly and quietly.
When your cat is running on the wheel, it shouldn’t make a lot of noise. The best cat wheels make a quiet whirring noise without a lot of clunks and creaks. Additionally, the wheel should spin smoothly, with just the right amount of resistance to make your cat comfortable.
After researching cat wheels and reading customer reviews, I chose the following three for paws-on testing.
To get a sense for the performance of cat wheels from every corner of the market, I tried three cat wheels in my own home.
One was a very pricey enthusiast-recommended cat wheel, the second was an ultra-popular wheel at a moderate price, and the third was Amazon’s top wheel recommendation, a smaller exercise wheel with a lot of scary negative reviews.
Those three products were:
I was only able to test three wheels for this review, but I used my experience with these products to select an additional three to recommend. While the Ferris Cat Wheel and One Fast Cat Wheel made it into my final roundup, the Penn-Plax wheel was eliminated for its small size and uncontrolled movement.
After Receiving the Cat Wheels, I Subjected Them to a Series of Tests.
Ease of Assembly
I put together all of the cat wheels and took notes on how long it took me to assemble them, how clear the instructions were, and how many assembly supplies were included in the package. I also evaluated the wheels’ build quality during this phase, evaluating the strength of the materials and how well all of the parts came together.
Enlisting the help of my two cats, Wessie and Forest, I tried out each of the cat wheels, inviting my cats to sit, walk, and—unsuccessfully—run on them. I took note of how comfortable my cats seemed to fill on and in each wheel, whether or not their claws snagged, and if they seemed afraid of the wheels.
Smoothness & Spin
Better wheels span smoothly with just enough momentum to move with your cat, never spinning too slowly or too quickly for the feline user. This made them more comfortable and fun for the cat using the wheel and also reduced the amount of noise they produced.