Hamster wheels and treadmills are kinda funny – all that running and going nowhere. So of course when I heard about the One Fast Cat Excercise Wheel, I laughed and laughed and laughed.
I can just imagine the conversation: “Hey Sparrow, I’m thinking of buying you something. It’s kinda like a hamster wheel, but a giant one for cats. You can run in it! What do you think?”
Sparrow: “Are you f*cking kidding me? You think I want to run like a rodent or a douchebag, going nowhere? Go away and don’t come back until you’ve had a good idea”.
Maybe this isn’t what he would say, but he does have problems – namely feline asthma and a chip on his shoulder – maybe he’s just inherited my rebellious attitude. I have witnessed with my own eyes two different cats having the time of their lives running on the spot in this thing, so I figured it would be worth a closer look.
At a Glance
- What: Cat Exercise Wheel
- Who: One Fast Cat
- Best Price: Amazon.com
- Does Sparrow Approve?: I really don’t think so
One Fast Cat Exercise Wheel: Kickstarter Success
This is not the first cat ‘treadmill’ wheel on the market, but it is definitely the most well designed. I’m a sucker for great design. I’m also a sucker for a great bargain and this is the most affordable cat wheel out there, too. Designer Sean Farley had these things in mind when he developed One Fast Cat’s exercise wheel, which he then took to Kickstarter and crushed his $10,000 goal within seven hours of launching. Sean’s goal was to make an affordable, lightweight cat wheel and keep shipping costs to a minimum. Cat friends clearly wanted his product. By the time the One Fast Cat Kickstarter campaign ended, over $320,000 had been pledged for the project – more than enough to fund many rounds of production to come.
Here’s the 3 minute Kickstarter video if you want to check it out:
How do Cats Exercise?
In the wild, cats are both predator and prey. They get their exercise hunting and avoiding being hunted. There’s lots of running, jumping, stalking and pouncing involved. Here’s a more detailed rundown on how to exercise your cat. An ideal world would be one where our feline friends were safe to carry out their cat business in the great outdoors, but sadly this isn’t so. There are many good reasons for choosing to have an inside-only kitty – busy roads, nasty dogs and careless drivers, to name a few. Asthma cats are often required to be confined to the indoors, particularly in high pollen seasons and times when their asthma symptoms are just not behaving. This doesn’t stifle kitty’s natural instincts though and there are heaps of toys and accessories you can get for your inside cat to mimic the hunting/climbing/stalking/pouncing part of play time. But running? This can be a little tricky, especially if you’re living in a small space – this is where technology and great design really come into play.
Does my Cat Really Need One?
There’s a growing number of studies that suggest cats who need to be kept inside can develop depression or other psychological issues due to boredom and inactivity. Anybody who has had a cat destroy their couch or curtains can attest to this. Enriching kitty’s environment with stimulating toys and an outlet for all that energy is the best way to keep your feline friend happy and your furniture in one piece. And of course, physical exercise is essential for any kitty who has stacked it on and wants to be ready for swimsuit season. You could try taking fatty for a walk, but cats are mostly not into that – I guess they don’t like being lowered to a dog’s level. Inside exercise is a must for any cat who doesn’t go outside.
What’s Good About it?
A lot of time and effort has gone into designing an exercise wheel for cats that works well and looks great. The smart industrial design allows for the wheel to be shipped in a smaller box and assembled easily at home. The wheel itself is made of recycled plastics and features a surface made of closed cell EVA foam, allowing cats of all sizes to run naturally without snagging their claws. A great design and solid construction keep the wheel in place and rolling on the base.
- Lightweight and sturdy – easy to move around.
- Easy assembly – rubber mallet included!
- Easy to clean – take it outside and hose it down, or simply wipe with a wet cloth.
- Open design – allows your cat to enter from either side.
- Strong enough for fat cats – weight limit of 25 lbs.
- Wheel diameter – 48″
- Base – 34″ x 12″
The base is not recommended for use on soft or thick carpeting – an easy workaround for this is to put a wooden board on the carpet, under the base. The wheel is designed to wobble a bit when in use – this provides a shock absorbing quality – but could be disconcerting for some customers. It’s quite a large thing to be introducing into kitty’s environment, which could cause some initial anxiety for your cat. And then there’s the matter of cats – some of them just can’t, or won’t, be trained. Patience and repetition will be required before your cat gets the hang of it, but just in case you have a stubborn couch potato for a cat and he doesn’t get into it, One Fast Cat allow for returns up to 60 days after purchase.
Does Sparrow Approve?
Here’s the thing about Sparrow: he doesn’t know when to stop. Thus far my efforts to turn him into a dog haven’t worked, so I guess he wouldn’t want to be a hamster, either. I frequently have to end our play sessions because he forgets that he can’t breathe properly. He’s asthmatic, but he’s also an energetic young cat who keeps his eyes on the prize. While I think an exercise wheel is a great idea for inside cats who have fully functioning lungs, I’m going to wait until Sparrow’s asthma is completely under control and he’s learned to pace himself a bit. And I will be keeping the receipt and half expecting to return the thing when he rejects it. Until then…I guess he’s just going to have to keep chasing me.
What do you think of the One Fast Cat exercise wheel? Head to the comments and let us know.
One Fast Cat Exercise Wheel$199
Safe For Cats9/10
Easy to Assemble8/10
Easy to Clean8/10
Sturdy & LIghtweight8/10
- Made From Recycled Plastics
- Great For Indoor Cats
- 60 Day Return Policy
- Strong Enough For Fat Cats
- Requires Training
- Your Cat Might Not Like it
- Too Big For Small Apartments