Being a Bengal cat lover, I know, just as you too probably know, the health and happiness of our Bengal cats is very important. Sometimes, however, as pet parents we can get really involved in our busy lives that we might forget that our Bengal cats need the kind of exercise that is going to keep them in shape and in a good mood, much like us.
There are many things one can do to offer them such as an exercise wheel, interactive toys and so on.
I realized that I couldn’t let my Bengal just go outside any time, especially when I wasn’t home and that eventually turned into a problem for my feline friend.
Like most of you reading this, I have a full-time job and am not always able to be home with my Bengal cat and take her outside. Because of this, I'd usually get home after a long day of work to a Bengal full of energy that was frantically begging me to play with her.
In addition, there was also weight gain because she hasn't been able to exercise appropriately. This weight gain started to make me feel guilty because, after all, it was my responsibility to keep my Bengal healthy and happy.
In an effort to do so, I purchased the FerrisCatWheel from ZiggyDoo. It was a little pricey, but much less than other more expensive wheels that can run you over $1000+ USD.
Problems with Bengals Being Overweight
Like people, Bengals and all pets need to be kept at a healthy weight or there could be a variety of health issues that could pop up. These health issues can be severe enough to even shorten their lives and you know we don’t want to see that happen to our Bengals.
Here are just a few problems that might pop up if your Bengal is overweight:
- Diabetes – This is one of the most common problems your Bengal can run into if they are overweight. Overweight or obese cats are two to four times more likely to develop diabetes. This is because obesity can cause an increase in the production of insulin in response to the increased blood sugar levels that are found in cats that are overweight. Insulin is also more in demand because there is a greater amount of tissue in a cat that's overweight.
- Liver Disease – The liver is an organ that stores fat when a Bengal is overweight. When they are overweight, the fat builds up in their livers. This is most commonly known as hepatic lipidosis and is extremely common in obese cats.
- Arthritis and Lameness – If they are overweight they are more likely to develop arthritis and lameness than cats who are at their ideal weight. This can cause them a lot of pain and injury when they try to jump up and down from furniture and other places that are up high.
- Increased Anesthetic and Surgical Risks – Vets often have to take extra precautions when it comes to anesthetizing obese cats or performing surgery on them. A lot of anesthetics are taken up by the fat in their bodies. Also the anesthetics are broken down by their liver and if a cat has a “fatty liver” it might not be able to efficiently break down the anesthetics or other drugs. Recovery from surgery may take longer in an obese cat. On top of all of this, it might make surgery a lot more difficult when a cat is obese. It can be a lot more difficult to find or get to what the vet is looking for by obscuring the surgical area.
- Lower Quality and Length of Life – When cats are overweight it makes it more difficult for them to groom themselves and to be active. They can even become irritable because being overweight can make them uncomfortable and even be painful. Of course being overweight can also shorten the length of their lives, something none of us want to see that happen.
- Bad Behavior - This can typically be brought on by boredom and an overly lethargic lifestyle.
I Knew Something Had to Be Done
Once I noticed my dear Bengal was really putting on the pounds and sometimes misbehaving in attempts to get more attention from me, I realized that something needed to be done... and soon. Since I really didn’t have the time to take my cat for a walk every day and the toys I had set up didn’t seem to be the answer, I realized I needed to try and find a different solution. Change of Diet
The first and immediate thing that I decided to do was to change my Bengal’s diet in hope that this would solve the problem of the extra pounds. There are a lot of different foods out there and I had to do a lot of research on the best cat food for my overweight Bengal.
Even though a change of diet was a good idea and did help some, it became apparent that more than a change of diet was going to be needed to help my Bengal shed those unhealthy pounds and burn all the excess energy that she had. That’s when someone mentioned to me about considering getting a cat exercise wheel.
This was not something that I had even thought of before nor did I realize that there was such a thing for cats.
Who is the Cat Exercise Wheel Not Suited For?
Age, health and weight are factors to consider when thinking of getting your cat an exercise wheel. Not all cats, including Bengals may be suited for a cat exercise wheel. For example, a cat exercise wheel may also not be well suited for some elderly cats or ones that may have joint problems. If you have any doubts, always ask the vet first.
Almost all cats have the potential to enjoy using a cat exercise wheel. Since Bengals are so active and intelligent, they are more easily trained to use the wheel. If you’re lucky like I was, you may not have to train your Bengal at all. Some will need a modest bit of play to get going. And some may need more teaching from you over several days to help them feel comfortable and confident on the wheel. (ZiggyDoo provides great after service for any help or tips you may need for your cat).
What to Look for in a Cat Exercise Wheel
Once I realized that my Bengal was in need for more exercise I started looking into the idea of finding a cat exercise wheel. After doing research I discovered there were a few things that were important that you need to look for and want to share that information with you here:
- It needs to be large enough in size so that it protects the cat’s back. This means it should be at least 48” in diameter.
- The cat exercise wheel should be able to support at least 25 pounds
- It needs to be easy to assemble
- Your Bengal should be able to get on it from either side
- Needs to be lightweight, but safe and sturdy at the same time
- Stays on the wheel track while cats use it
The Cat Exercise Wheels I Discovered and Their Prices
When I was searching for cat exercise wheels, there are a handful of options but I noticed that many of them were extremely expensive.
I found four of them that cost over $1000 and to be honest, that just wasn't in my budget.
So, I continued to shop.
When looking for wheels under $500 USD, there were two options that came up on my radar.
1) The OneFastCat exercise wheel
2) The FerrisCatWheel from ZiggyDoo
In terms of the cost, the OneFastCat wheel costs about $200 while the FerrisCatWheel from ZiggyDoo costs just under $400.
Any cat wheel is an investment, and wheels will be more pricey than typical cat toys, but I decided I was committed to giving my Bengal cat the exercise she needed, and the wheel was the best solution. So, I figured it would be worth comparing the two.
What Did People on Social Media Think?
To compare the two wheels, I joined the BengalCatClub Facebook group to see what people had to say.
I figured I'd just let the consensus speak to understand if the FerrisCatWheel from ZiggyDoo was worth the extra money in comparison to OneFastCat.
Here's what people said, direct screenshots from the Facebook group. I removed the names of the people so that they can have their anonymity.
At first, OneFastCat seemed like a good idea. From what I saw, there were a few people who bought it and I figured to save an extra $200, sure.
But then I saw numerous comments like these about safety and quailty...
I then went and searched and was able to find this video. It's terrible quality, but basically this is the owner of the OFC (OneFastCat) wheel explaining how the wheel keeps falling over and has even jumped the track a few times.
I love my Bengal and an extra $200 for her safety of her is well worth it to me. That being said, moving forward here I am only going to talk about the FerrisCatWheel from ZiggyDoo as that is what I choose to get.
Here's what people were saying about the Ferris Cat Wheel in the Facebook group.
Pros and Cons of the FerrisCatWheel From ZiggyDoo
- Good size at 51” in diameter (Full 48" inner diameter) and has a 12.25” wide running track
- Designed for pets up to 25 pounds
- Easy to put together - comes with everything you need and also has easy-to-follow YouTube videos prepared by ZiggyDoo.
- Latest model G5 is really easy to put together – the white wheel pieces slide into position ( no hammering mallet is needed) and then reinforced with bolts which makes the wheel strong and sturdy.
- Lets your cat enter from either side
- Sleek modern design that's lightweight which makes it easy to move wherever you want and it looks great.
- 6 different skate wheels positioned WITHIN the wheelbase legs for safety (not exposed)
- Some cats don’t seem to like it and ignore it, you'll need to train them (but ZiggyDoo will provide help and advice as needed)
- More pricey than OneFastCat (but built differently in design and materials and also much less expensive than other wheels)
Here’s a picture of the Ferris Cat Wheel from ZiggyDoo.
And here's a quick video showing you the wheel in action. I think this is a good video because it's short, but it shows you one cat going fast on the wheel, and the other cat walking on the wheel. As you'll see, it can handle both situations:
And if you have multiple cats, here's a video of three cats using the wheel at the same time:
Features and Benefits
When considering the FerrisCatWheel from ZiggyDoo, you want to know that your Bengal is going to benefit from it. Here are a few of the benefits that your Bengal will reap by using a cat exercise wheel:
Although the cat exercise wheel is a simple design it does have a few features you and your Bengal may like:
- The 48” inner diameter ensures no spinal curvature while walking or running
- Supports all pets up to 25 pounds
- Has open design so your cat can enter from either side
- Very easy to assemble – the white wheel pieces slide together (no mallet needed) and reinforced with bolts. Makes the wheel very strong and sturdy
- Running surface is lined with closed cell EVA foam tiles which provide a comfortable surface for cat paws and also reduces impact on joints (especially important for older or disabled cats)
- Easily cleaned by wiping down with a wet towel or spraying it off with a hose (it's also possible to spray the running track with sealant to make it moisture resistant – important for cats who like to mark or spray)
- Has a deluxe wheelbase which includes 6 skate wheels for additional support in the center of the wheelbase.
- Wheelbase skatewheels are positioned within the wheelbase legs (not exposed) for safety of cats and children on and around the wheel
- Smoothness of the wheel motion handles fast adult running cats, as well as young kittens
- Running track is wide enough for two or even three cats
- Brings so much enrichment and stimulation to the lives of indoor cats.
It will keep them from being bored and a bored Bengal cat generally means an unhappy and potentially destructive cat
- Burns off excess energy, which can cut down on destructive/aggressive behaviors by channeling their energy to running instead
- Burns off excess energy, keeping them out of trouble
- Burns off excess calories, keeping them more fit, happy and healthy and helps to control their weight
- Brings lots of happy giggles for you and your cats as they perform for you and you play with them – strengthening the bonds
- Bengals just love to move and run – and the wheel lets our indoor Bengals do this in safety any time they choose
- Wheelbase includes additional support in the center of the wheelbase. With 6 skatewheels, the wheel is even more sturdy than ever to provide maximum possible support for strong runners and heavier cats
Alternatives to the Ziggy Doo Exercise Wheel
If you're not sure that a cat exercise wheel is the right product for your Bengal cat, there are other things that you can offer them to encourage more exercise, here are just a few things:
- Walk Your Bengal – If you have the time, you can always train your Bengal to a harness and leash so the two of you can both go outside together and enjoy a good walk. This is probably the least expensive way to give your Bengal their needed exercise. The benefits you'll reap from this exercise is that not only will both of you lose weight but you'll enjoy a closer bond with your Bengal.
- Cat Trees – Providing your Bengal with a good cat tree will give your Bengal a variety of options such as clawing, climbing, and jumping. All of which provide them with ways to get rid of excess weight and energy.
- Interactive Toys – There are a large variety of toys you can buy for your Bengal that require them to interact. There are toys that have moving parts that will get them up and moving. Cat teaser toys also work well to get your cat active. Even balls that have catnip or bells in there are a way to get your Bengal up and exercising.
It's important to remember that the health of your Bengal is very important if you want them to live a long and happy life. Understand that if you allow your Bengal to become overweight and you don't do anything to reverse it your Bengal could end up with diabetes, joint problems, arthritis, live problems, and more.
A cat exercise wheel could be something that could help you avoid or even solve these problems.If you want to learn more about this cat exercise wheel and you want to see more info feel free to Click Here. Shipping is usually free – depending on where you live.