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Cat Exercise Wheel DIY Version

Cat exercise wheels are all the rage these days. More people are having inside cats and lots of people prefer active cats that will engage with them. Problem is that these wheels tend to be expensive. How easy is it to make a cat exercise wheel DIY version that is safe and robust for your cats to play in?

The answer is that you will need some very elementary woodwork skill and a few tools including clamps to glue the treads onto the wheel. You will also need some space for assembly. Beyond that it is relatively simple. Here is a video that show the work involved in making a cat exercise wheel from plywood:

Cat exercise wheel DIY version

Here is another homemade design in action. In this case the rotation comes from a bicycle wheel. This certainly looks good and seems to work well. It also shows how normal house cats rapidly get the idea of these wheels. I love the bit when both cats go in different directions…

Cat exercise wheel DIY version in action

There are other many designs around. It needs a little imagination and the ability to improvise with materials you have around or can easily obtain. If you do build a wheel, or have done so, then please let us know and we will give everyone the details. We would also love to know how readily your cats adopt and use their wheels.

Hopefully cat exercise wheels, including DIY ones, will help to reduce the epidemic of obesity that has arisen in our cats as well as giving them a lot of fun.

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  1. I really want to make my cat one of these but I’m struggling to build the wheel part… I was thinking of using 2 bicycle rims as a starting point for the rolling wheel but my one cat is really big and I know that would be too small for him. I was wondering if anyone had any ideas on materials I could use… Keep in mind my computer at work doesnt have the ability to watch video files so I cant see what was used in that video and manufactured wheels are rediculously expensive.

    I guess what I’m asking is what affordable item could I find/use that is a sturdy circle approximately 3 feet in diameter that would be useful as a starting point to consruct a wheel I could cover in carpet?

    This picture inspired me 🙂

  2. They used a lawn mower wheel, with a solid inside & a long bolt in the middle (this is what will turn the wheel). 4 holes are drilled around the wheel, then anchored, along with the long bolt, into a large circle of plywood (cut this from a square piece). The long bolt also goes through a post (with a flat, carpet base) as the stand. Thinner plywood is wetted down & curved around the circle, with silicone, nails & clamps. Carpet is laid inside the wheel, for traction (can get carpet samples for this) & stapled down.
    Hope that helps, for those who can’t watch the video. I like it, & definitely should do it for my indoor kitty :-).

  3. Debbie Rucinski

    Do you have the plans on this for us to be able to build our own? I am looking for something for my kitties, but am on disability, so my income is low. I really need to build our own. Would appreciate knowing. Thank you.

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