are cat treadmills worth it

Are cat treadmills worth it?… Will my cat ever use the exercise wheel? It’s safe to use? And…how much does a cat treadmill cost? Those are common questions you may think about if you want a cat wheel for your kitty!

In this post, we are going to answer all your questions; highlight the pros, cons, the cheapest cat treadmill, and other alternatives to consider that are more affordable than the usual prices of the hamster wheel version for cats.


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Key points:

  • Some cats will use the cat wheel for hours, others may not even notice its existence. In short, its usage will highly vary from cat to cat.
  • It’s more likely endless energy cats (or cats that love to run) such as Bengal cats will use cat treadmills
  • If your cat suffers from boredom or obesity cat other affordable alternatives are taking your cat for a walk or playing chase with your cat; this will improve its mental health physical health, and burn calories!
  • Pre-made cat running wheels will cost you around $250 -$800, but if you DIY it may cost only $50 or even less
  • The Best Cat Treadmill Alternatives in the market right now are taking your cat for a walk ( yes, this is possible) or for some cats using the K·1 D.Ball Cat Toys Ball ( is a cat shell that Bengal cats and active cats love, it is soft but works as a cat tunnel too.

Are Cat Treadmills Worth It? 6 Pros And Cons – Summary

Improves healthExpensive
Reduce cat zoomiesTakes space
Good for cats to play alone Could require training

Best Cat Wheels Alternatives

As an alternative, we think there are other toys and activities that can tire out your kitten and make them run, jump and chase like nuts, without having to spend too much.

K·1 D.Ball Indoor Cat Tunnel Portable & Foldable

The Best Cat Treadmill Alternative in the market right now is the K·1 D.Ball Cat Toys Ball ( is a cat shell that Bengal cats and active cats love, it is soft but works as a cat tunnel too

The other 2 best alternatives are

  1. Cat toys that wear out your cat! Here 9 Best Cat Toys To Tire Them Out (Self-Play Options Too! we have made a curated list of top unique cat toys that work both for self-play or also for interactive play time when you want to spend time with your cute fur ball
  2. Or take your cat out for a walk, if you love outdoors you can get a good and simple cat harness and start making this a bonding and fitness activity both for you and your kitty!

Finally, we recommend taking a look at our article How To Tire Out A Kitten – 5 Secrets For Tired Cat Owners to get an idea of all the different tactics and activities you can do to tire out your kitten.

Related articles:

Are Cat Treadmills Worth It? 3 Reasons To Buy One

are cat treadmills worth it

Cat Treadmills Benefit #1 – Improves Your Cat’s Health

Cat exercise wheels are an ideal way to improve your cat’s physical and mental health. According to various expert sources, cats need an average of 30 minutes of exercise each day.

In addition to this, expert veterinarians mention that cat wheels, such as the One Fat Cat Wheel are incredible exercise equipment for indoor cats that need mental and physical stimulation in order to evade obesity or other health problems.

Sadly, many indoor cats suffer from boredom. But, besides protecting your cat from obesity or other diseases, cat wheels can also improve mental health; by reducing depression, anxiety, or boredom as a side effect of the exercise your cat does.

Disclaimer: Do remember this is not medical advice, you need to check with your vet what type of exercise and medications does your cat need in case your cat suffers from medical conditions like arthritis, diabetes, or is a senior cat with pre-existing conditions.

Cat Treadmills Benefit #2 – Reduce Cat Zoomies

We needed to give a special space to this benefit….because a lot of cat owners suffer from their kitten zoomies and are desperate to lower their kitten’s energy levels. Using cat treadmills could be a way to make it, if you combine them with interactive play and other types of games.

If you want to know more information about how to tire out a cat, we invite you to read How To Tire Out A Kitten – 3 Tips For Tired Cat Owners where you can get some cool ideas that will help you reduce your kitten’s energy the right way.

Cat Treadmills Benefit #3 – Good Play Alone Cat Toy

Not all cat owners can stay at home 24/7 taking care of their kitties and playing with them all the time.

This is when automatic toys or cat toys that are safe for cats to play alone come along and cat treadmills are one of those toys that can aid you if this is your case.

Are Cat Treadmills Worth It? 4 Reasons Why Not And What You Should Do Instead

are cat treadmills worth it

Cat Excercise Wheels Are Expensive!!!

The average cat wheels price goes from $250 to $700. This is far from the common budget pet owners have for their kitty toys. You could buy 10 to 30 cat toys for $700! This means you could save big bucks for other toys or cat food instead of spending it all on a cat wheel that you are not 100% sure your cat will use :/

Cat Wheels Are Not Small Space Friendly

If your space is small you should think twice before buying cat treadmills, the dimensions will vary based on the manufacturer but the overall dimensions could be:

Cat Treadmill Size Dimensions (Average):

  • Height: 43 -50 inches;
  • Width: 40-47 inches;
  • Wheel diameter: 7.5-12 inches;

So, for small apartments cat wheels may not be the best option, unless you buy or build a cat wheel on the wall.

Cat Wheels Could Require Training

Some cats will quickly get on the cat wheel as soon as they see it….while others may require more motivation. Though not impossible, you may need to train your kitty to use the cat treadmill, and in some cases, owners just don’t have too much time or patience to do this.

But, if this is not your case and you want to train your kitty the best strategy is to apply to the hunt-cat-eat and sleep natural cycle of cats plus positive behavior reinforcement through food.

How do you get a cat to use a cat wheel?

  1. Let you cat smell and get familiar with the cat wheel
  2. Lure your cat with a laser or feather toy
  3. Reward your cat with a treat after it starts running on it, (even if it was only some seconds)
  4. Take some rest
  5. Repeat after a while (but stop if your kitty feels insecure or anxious)

Cat exercise wheel for under $100 – DIY Option

If you think cat wheels are way too expensive, then DIY!

Here you can see different videos we recommend you check out to find inspiration and know-how to build a cat exercise wheel for your cat for less than $100 bucks!

Best Cat Wheels Brands

If you have the budget and have a high-energy ball of fur ( or a Bengal), some of the best high-quality pre-made cat wheels we have found are from:

  • Ferris Cat Wheel (with different distributors across the globe), sturdy materials and not loud which is a great plus for customers
  • The Cat Wheel made by TTBuild store on Etsy, a wood craftsman that creaters high quality wood items, including quite, beautiful and safe cat wheels.

Are Cat Treadmills Worth It? – FAQ’S

Are Cat Wheels Loud?

Cat Wheels can be loud based on the brand you purchase, for example, some customers report One Fast Cat wheel is pretty loud whereas The Ferris Cat Wheel is very quiet.

Are Cat Wheels Safe?

Yes, cat wheels are safe but you always have to check the specific brand reviews and check if the materials are of high quality in order to ensure good support for your kitty while running.

Why Are Cat Wheels So Expensive?

Some owners wonder why are cat treadmills so expensive? This could be because of variables such as shipping sales tax, cost of production, number of items sold per year, and other reasons.

Also, cat wheels are a premium cat toy, meaning the materials must be sturdy and of high quality to be safe for your cats, these variables could explain why cat wheels are so expensive, however in the end it will also depend on the % of profit each seller sets for their product.

Is One Fast Cat Worth It?

One Fast Cat is one of the most affordable brands to offer cat wheels; at approx. $250, lots of Bengal and high energy level cats use it, however, various customers do not like how loud this cat wheel is and that is difficult to assemble.

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