Cat exercise wheels are somewhat of a new concept for owners, but they are really starting to catch on. It seems like we should have thought of this a long time ago. Many owners report their cats having the time of their lives spinning on this wheel. After all, why should hamsters have all the fun?
As you might guess, the prices of premade cat exercise wheels can get quite steep. Even though this won’t be a cheap project, making a DIY cat exercise wheel is a good alternative if you’re looking to save a little bit of money. You have to consider that it will take some time, but this could be an enjoyable project for a crafty person with spoiled felines.
The 10 DIY Cat Exercise Wheels
1. NoLi Cat DIY Cat Exercise Wheel
Not only does this video go step-by-step through each part of the process, it also contains a YouTube tutorial so you can visually see what’s happening. In the video, the teacher shows you how seamless the process can be—plus, you can pause to reflect on each part as you go.
It helps to watch someone else, especially if you aren’t as experienced in woodworking.
Note that even though they write down the measurements and supplies, there is a section in the tutorial that you should look at in section three called “Things to Improve.” They explain what they would change if they did it over again to make a more functional design.
For instance, the wood they used initially was a bit too heavy, replacing the 15-millimeter boards with 12-millimeter boards. It would help the entire design move swiftly without too much heaviness or lag. You could save yourself the trouble and do the post-updated product tips the first time around.
2. Instructables Living Cat Exercise Wheel Device
As usual, Instructables Living came up with perfectly detailed DIY instructions for a cat wheel. You can follow each step easily, reflecting on the process as you go. Not only does this explain step-by-step how to make a terrific cat wheel, but it also goes over some extra dos and don’ts that you can avoid along the way.
All of the instructions are incredibly thorough, so you don’t have to fill in the blanks yourself. There are also images showing you exactly what you’re talking about so you won’t get lost in transition. There is an in-depth PDF file you can download on the webpage, so printing is an option, too.
This design does get quite intricate, using tools that might not be familiar to everyone. So make sure to brush up on every aspect of this wheel before you dive in. They use tools such as Dremels and specific bolts and screws. Always be sure that the tools and materials are within your price range.
The author and creator have a highly comical way of explaining something otherwise somewhat tedious. You will be entertained by the explanation alone.
3. Ideas2Live4 Cat Exercise Wheel
The Ideas2Live4 blog shows a variety of cat wheels in images. The writing then explains why cat exercise wheels are a fantastic idea on how you can make one of your very own. Unlike some of the others on our list, there is a bulleted list of materials and tools you’ll need to complete the project.
If you’re looking for a bit more of a direct explanation, this is an excellent choice. This concept is slightly different, as it uses a yoga mat and other things you might have lying around your house. It can be quite a money saver if you already have some of these materials on hand.
Rather than reading so much material, they have a detailed 30-minute YouTube video on the web page that shows you exactly how they made this cat wheel. You can reflect on it as you go making sure that you’re doing everything in alignment with the video.
They also provide different images so you can tailor the cat wheel specifically to your style. It’s a lengthy project, but having a more concise list and visual guide can make things much more straightforward.
4. Cat Toy Lady Running Wheel
The Cat Toy Lady Running Wheel is a fun project that the author claims costs only $34 to build and results in a 4-foot-wide wheel that your cat will love. You build it out of foam boards, glue, caster wheels, and a few other items, and the author walks you through each step of the process in video format, so it is easy to follow along. It’s a great project for a beginner, and you can likely complete it in only a few hours. The finished product is lightweight, durable, and easy to disassemble, so you can store it away when the cat isn’t using it.
5. PetDIYs Plastic Cat Wheel
PetDIYs Plastic Cat Wheel is another great project that uses thin plastic sheets to build the wheel instead of wood, like many other wheels on this list. Flexible piping helps add stability while also helping to make the project look more attractive, and the finished product is durable and waterproof, so it’s good for indoors or out. The author provides some tips for getting your cat to use it, but the instructions aren’t as clear, so it might be better for builders with a little experience.
6. Ralph TipDIY Cat Wheel
The Ralph TipDIY Cat Wheel is one of this list’s more attractive cat wheels. The author built it right into the wall so it doesn’t take up any space, and there is also a design light that helps it stand out. A video shows the wheel in operation while text instructions below it describe the build. One of the interesting things is that this is one of the few that uses a center axle instead of caster rollers. Since this wheel requires a lot of construction to complete, we recommend it only for advanced builders.
7. CHEEZburger Exercise Wheel
The CHEEZburger Exercise Wheel is a very low-cost project that is great for beginners. It’s primarily cardboard, and you can recycle old cardboard boxes or purchase sheets from your local home improvement center. When you finish building, you can apply a base of shelf paper or carpeting to help make it more attractive, and the finished product is surprisingly durable and will let you see if your cat might enjoy something more permanent.
8. Rocket Fabrication DIY Exercise Wheel
The Rocket Fabrication DIY Exercise Wheel is an advanced project using a bike tire axle to build a large, durable cat wheel that is lightweight and portable enough to move around so your cat always has somewhere to play. Not many materials are required, but you will need to do a little welding, so you will need access to those tools to complete it.
9. Evan & Katelyn Exercise Wheel
Evan and Katelyn Exercise Wheel is a moderately difficult project to build that requires some special tools to complete, but if you have them, it isn’t too difficult, especially since the authors do a great job of explaining each step. The instructions are in video format, so following along is easy, and there is a list of tools and supplies under the video with links to where you can purchase them.
10. Custom Cez Hamster Wheel for Cats
The Custom Cez Hamster Wheel for Cats is more than just an exercise wheel. Completing this project will provide your cat with a shelter and jungle gym that will help keep them entertained for years. It’s extremely durable, and you can use it indoors or out. The author takes the time to explain each step in the process and even covers staining and protecting it. It’s an involved project with many steps, but if you follow along closely and don’t try to rush it, you can likely build it even if you don’t have much experience.
Buying Premade Cat Exercise Wheels
If you do it correctly, creating your own cat wheel can be relatively inexpensive compared to buying one outright. Of course, time is precious. If you don’t have the time to create one, you can always search the web for premade options as well. Websites like Chewy and Amazon are getting full of cat exercise wheel options since they are ever-growing in popularity.
If you’re having trouble deciding, weigh your pros and cons to see what works best for you.
If you’re up for the challenge, making your own DIY cat exercise wheel at home is definitely possible. It might be a little bit aggravating at times, especially if you aren’t so construction-savvy. But once you have your finished product, you have something you can be proud of—and your cats can enjoy. Creating your own cat wheel gives you a sense of accomplishment, knowing you made something special and exciting for your beloved kitties.
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Featured Image Credit: Dmitri Ma, Shutterstock
- The 10 DIY Cat Exercise Wheels
- 1. NoLi Cat DIY Cat Exercise Wheel
- 2. Instructables Living Cat Exercise Wheel Device
- 3. Ideas2Live4 Cat Exercise Wheel
- 4. Cat Toy Lady Running Wheel
- 5. PetDIYs Plastic Cat Wheel
- 6. Ralph TipDIY Cat Wheel
- 7. CHEEZburger Exercise Wheel
- 8. Rocket Fabrication DIY Exercise Wheel
- 9. Evan & Katelyn Exercise Wheel
- 10. Custom Cez Hamster Wheel for Cats
- Buying Premade Cat Exercise Wheels
- Final Thoughts