After seeing a video of a friend's cat using the Cat Wheel I decided I needed one for my own cats. I got in touch with Craig Waters at Penrith NSW who has been making the Cat Wheels for the past 2 years. He is a cabinetmaker by trade with over 20 years' experience.
I went ahead and ordered my Cat Wheel, which took approximately 3 weeks to be made.
The wheel arrived in two parts: the stand, and the running wheel; the wheel has a very flat pile carpet for grip. It takes a second to put together, is light weight and sits nicely near a wall or in the open.
At first my cats wanted nothing to do with the wheel, but that's no surprise to me at all, as firstly, they had no idea what the wheel was, and; secondly, they are lazy. I decided to get the treats out and see if I could encourage them.
I put my smallest kitty on the wheel (she is 13 years of age) encouraging her to slowly walk forward to the treat. she was a little unsure and wonky at first but kept going. I did this a few times and in no time at all she was walking on it with confidence, her tail in the air with a real proud strut, meowing as she walked along. The following day I was so excited to see she was now jogging and running, no treats needed and she insisted that she was not getting off the wheel now.
What I love about the wheel is:
- It's helped bring the 'Kitten out in her' and bought a spark back into her life.
- The walking and jogging is good for her joints and overall health.
- They are great entertainment if I am not at home.
- She knows how to pace herself and doesn't overdo it.
- The wheel itself is lightweight, quiet when in use and its easy to move about.
On the downside:
- If you have more than one kitty you may find it hard for the other to try it out. Some quiet time for that kitty may be needed to let the others learn the Cat Wheel.
- Some kitties just get on and play, some need a little encouragement, treats, cat teaser, iPad screen or mice or similar.
- Once kitty finds out how much fun they are, be prepared for midnight kitty workouts. For me, my cats like to announce they are having fun. This is not such fun if you're trying to sleep and choose to set up the wheel up near the bedroom.
Although the wheels are made for cats, I am sure small sized dogs would also find them to be a lot of fun and benefit their health as well.
Contact Craig Waters on 0401 087 320 to discuss. Or check out Toy Tiger Furniture on Facebook.
Written by Sue England
Centre of Veterinary Education
Control & Therapy Series
Issue 288 2017