As a pet owner you want what’s best for your cat, including what gets them moving and healthy. Cat exercise wheels are increasingly popular among Savannah cat owners as they help them expend some of their energy. But it’s important to get the best exercise wheel for your Savannah cat.
The best exercise for Savannah cats is the G5 Ferris Cat Wheel by Ferris Cat Wheel International. Unlike most cat wheels on the market, the G5 is spoke free and designed for easy assembly. Additionally, the company offers flexible payment plans and multiple shipping options.
In this article we’ll discuss more about the importance of exercise and the potential health risks it can prevent in your Savannah cat. We’ll also provide some helpful tips on what to look for in an exercise wheel, discuss which cats shouldn’t use exercise wheels, and mention some alternatives.
Problems With Savannah Cats Being Overweight
Unfortunately, obesity in cats is not uncommon, even in Savannah cats. This can pose some serious health problems. Some major consequences of obesity in Savannah cats can include diabetes, arthritis, shorter life expectancy, liver failure, depression, and lethargy. All of these can lead to even more serious problems down the line if not addressed.
As you may already know, Savannahs are a high energy breed and require a lot of stimulation to maintain a healthy level of activity. If you live in a small space with little to no enrichment for your Savannah, they can quickly become bored and spend their days eating and sleeping. This may seem pretty normal for a cat, but ultimately little to no exercise can quickly take a toll on their health.
Even if your Savannah doesn’t seem like they are heading towards putting on the pounds, the lack of exercise can still affect them negatively. Less exercise means less blood flow, fewer endorphins, and decreased oxygen exchange. These are all functions necessary for supporting your Savannah’s normal and healthy bodily functions, including maintaining a positive mood.
Arthritis is another major obstacle that your Savannah can face by being less active or by becoming obese. When your kitty is exercising less, their joints and even muscles can become weaker and stiffer over time, which can lead to early onset arthritis. This risk increases if your Savannah is obese, as the extra pressure of added weight can cause increased stress on their joints.
Happy And Healthy
A fat cat is definitely not always a happy cat, and while they may seem happy as they are being spoiled and lazing around all day, eventually it will catch up with them. If your Savannah is less active and not receiving the enrichment that they truly need, they can actually become depressed over time. A healthy lifestyle will support a healthy brain that releases enough endorphins.
These are just a few of the health problems that can arise from lack of exercise and excess weight for your Savannah. So, keep your Savannah cat healthy by providing a proper diet, enrichment, and different exercise activities, including an exercise wheel if they are able. But which cats shouldn’t use an exercise wheel?
Which Cats Aren’t Suited To Use An Exercise Wheel?
If you are thinking about purchasing an exercise wheel for your Savannah cat, you are also probably wondering if it is the right fit for your Savannah. First you want to consider the life stage your Savannah is at. Are they a kitten, young adult, or a senior who may have limited mobility? These can all factor into whether or not they are able to use an exercise wheel safely.
For kittens and young adults, the answer is almost always going to be yes, unless of course your Savannah has a health condition that makes it difficult or impossible for them to use an exercise wheel. Ailments that might prevent a young Savannah cat from using the wheel include early onset arthritis or other joint related issues.
Senior Savannah Cats
Other Savannahs that usually won’t be able to use an exercise wheel are older seniors. While Savannahs just entering their senior years may still be able to use the wheel, it is not recommended for much older seniors. Aging cats develop weaker joints and muscles even without necessarily having arthritis, which can cause injury when using the exercise wheel.
Exercise wheels, no matter the model, are going to be elevated, requiring your Savannah to lift their legs a considerable amount in order to climb into the wheel. This act alone can prove to be a challenge for a senior, making it not their best option for exercise. Additionally, the wheel can spin quite rapidly and as a senior your Savannah may not be able to keep up with it like they once could.
As your Savannah runs in the wheel, they are also putting more pressure on their joints, especially their lower joints that connect to their feet. Your senior Savannah may also find that the wheel adds extra strain to their spine with the shape of the wheel, making it difficult or painful to use.
Overall, there are other ways to get your senior Savannah the exercise that they need while keeping their aging bodies in mind. But remember that although the exercise wheel isn’t the best option, your senior Savannah should still be getting daily exercise appropriate for their age. Daily activity will help maintain healthy blood flow, oxygen exchange, and keep their joints loose.
What To Look For In A Cat Wheel For A Savannah
Remember that not all exercise wheels are made the same. Some wheels may be specifically designed for kittens or small house cats rather than a Savannah that can weigh as much as 25 pounds. This is why it is important to always read the description and not just the price tag.
Most cat wheels that are worth anything are not going to be cheap and for good reason,as they will be made from high quality materials, built to last, and most importantly safe for your pet.If you purchase a cat wheel made of cheaply assembled materials you can count on it lasting less than half the life time of a quality wheel.
Higher Quality Means Safer
Better quality materials also provide a safer experience for your Savannah, as the last thing you want is for their wheel to come apart while in use. Cat wheels are meant to pick up speed as your Savannah runs in place, and this can be dangerous with a cheap wheel causing it to derail, potentially causing injury.
Even cheap wheels may be heavy, increasing chances of injury if it falls on your cat during derailing. Even if your Savannah avoids a collision with a derailed cat wheel, the sudden stop or alteration in movement can cause them to lose their balance.
This loss of balance can in turn cause them to fall, injuring their neck or back, or in most cases sprain the joints in their legs and feet. So, don’t chance it with a low-quality wheel as it can cost you more in the long run – both emotionally and financially.
Size Of The Wheel
Once you have established that a wheel is made of the right materials, take a look at its design, including its size. You want to have an accurate measurement of the wheel size so that it can be matched appropriately to your Savannah. Some Savannahs can weight as much as 25 pounds, so checking the weight limit is also important.
Another great reason to check the size of the wheel is to also ensure it will fit where you want it to go in your home. It should come as no surprise that a giant cat wheel is going to take up some space and make a statement in whatever room you place it in. For some, this means choosing the right size as well as color to match their personal lifestyle.
Practicality Over Aesthetics
Just remember that, while you want to pick a wheel that fits your style preferences, you also do not want to lose sight of the most important factor: your Savannah. So yes, pick something that will match your home, but make sure it’s also going to be the best choice for your Savannah. Practicality should always come first when caring for your pets.
Keep in mind not just the quality of the materials but also the durability and suggested guidelines. Most wheels are going to be made for indoors and should not be stored outside such as in a catio or other enclosure. With that said, occasionally moving your Savannah’s wheel to the patio for a short time won’t hurt. However, most cat wheels are considerably heavy and inconvenient to move.
The diameter of your cat wheel will also factor into your decision in order to best support your Savannah. A wheel with too small a diameter actually has a negative effect on your Savannah’s spine and can ultimately cause future health problems. If your cat’s spine is curved in a U shape while using their wheel it is too small and putting unnecessary pressure on their spine.
While this type of pressure is not healthy for a Savannah of any age, it can be extra detrimental to kittens and middle-aged Savannahs nearing or entering senior age. For a kitten, constant pressure on the spine and being forced into a U shape can actually cause their spine to curve inwardly, potentially developing into scoliosis.
For a middle-aged cat, it can cause similar problems, but it also increases the chances of them developing early onset arthritis in the vertebrae. Additional problems can include pinched nerves or even ruptured discs if allowed to persist. So, to be safe, always opt for the wheel that has a diameter of at least 47 inches. This measurement will usually suit any Savannah, both small and large.
Finally, you want to look for something that is easy to assemble and has little to no risk of derailment. Many cat wheels on the market are supported by a spoke system which can become weaker over time and not provide a lot of support. You want to look for a spokeless model that uses a sturdy base and rollers for easy spinning.
The roller system is essentially a base equipped with wheels similar to roller blades. These wheels are what allow the main cat wheel to spin, while at the same time the rollers are safely secured inside the legs away from paws and tails. With this combination you should have a strong sturdy base that won’t allow derailment or harm your Savannah’s extremities, while allowing for smooth movement.
The Best Exercise Wheel For Savannah Cats
Currently the best exercise wheel you are going to find on the market is the G5 Ferris Cat Wheel, the newest and most up to date wheel from Ferris Cat Wheel International. This wheel is praised for being easy to assemble without having to sacrifice on quality. It uses a spokeless system built on a sturdy base equipped with six roller wheels, giving both stability and dependability.
The makers of the G5 Ferris Cat Wheel boast on their site that they built their latest wheel with your cat’s safety in mind above all else. The wheel itself is made from two high-quality ABS plastic half circles that easily fit together and are reinforced with the included bolt assembly hardware. The base is crafted with three wide legs that house the rollers safely out of reach of your cat.
Wide And Stable
The depth of the wheel and base legs both measure 12.5 inches, creating a nice stable base as well as a wide enough track for your Savannah to safely run on. The wheel’s inner diameter measures 48 inches, making it safe to use and gentle on the spine. Additionally, the overall height of the wheel plus the base measures 56 inches, allowing for plenty of room and comfort.
Each wheel also comes with a full set of instructions both written with photos as well as in video form, making it a breeze to assemble. If you find that you are still having problems even with all the provided materials, Ferris Cat Wheel International offers great customer service to help guide you through the assembly process.
Although the G5 wheel is quite heavy, it is suitable for kittens as young as five weeks who will easily be able to rotate the wheel with the assistance of the smooth-running rollers. At the same time, your highly active adult Savannah can comfortably go full speed without having to worry about the wheel derailing.
Neutral Color Scheme
Aesthetic features of the wheel include the standard white color of the outside of the wheel and outer lining being white, complimented by the all-black base, making it a fairly neutral color scheme. This makes it easy to pair the G5 wheel with nearly any room in your house. If you do enjoy a splash of color, the inner wheel pad comes in five different colors: teal, blue, yellow, pink, and black.
As far as price goes, the G5 falls on the high end of the spectrum. On average you can expect to pay between $400 and $600. You also must order the G5 through a Ferris Cat Wheel International online distributor, and you can find a distributor near you via their website.
While the price is high for the G5, they are also not the most expensive cat wheel on the market. When compared to some of the higher priced cat wheels they are actually of higher quality and more up to date than some other options. This means you get excellent value for money with the G5.
- Well-suited to Savannah cats
- Built with safety and durability in mind
- Easy assembly with guided instructions and videos
- An expensive choice
- Only available through select online distributors
Alternatives To Using A Cat Exercise Wheel For A Savannah
Not every Savannah cat will be suited to an exercise wheel, especially if they have health conditions that prevent them from using one safely. Other Savannahs may just not enjoy an exercise wheel. However, in general, most Savannahs take to a wheel easily, but there are always exceptions.
It’s important to keep your Savannah active even if they can’t use an exercise wheel or if your budget simply doesn’t allow for the investment. A great alternative is to train your Savannah to walk on a harness, which is actually quite common for Savannah owners. Many Savannah cats go for daily walks even if they do have an exercise wheel.
Walking Your Savannah
Routine outings, whether it is in the back yard, around the block, or a local park, walking your Savannah is a great opportunity to get some exercise and bonding time in all at once. Plus, not only is your Savannah getting some exercise, but you are too! Going for walks is a great way to stretch the legs, get fresh air, and expose your Savannah to other enriching textures and smells.
Savannahs are known for their ability to learn how to walk on a leash and harness quite easily and tend to really enjoy the experience. Training typically takes about a month for most Savannahs, sometimes shorter and sometimes longer, depending on your particular Savannah and training technique. Consistency is key in harness training and will ensure fast results.
Provide Plenty Of Enrichment
Another great option for getting your Savanah active is to have plenty of cat friendly spaces and furniture around. Cat trees, shelves, and scratchers help promote your Savannah’s natural urges to jump, climb, and scratch. Added textures and accessories such as dangly toys or cardboard scratch pads can increase the amount of enrichment and keep your Savannah thoroughly entertained.
Of course, classic play time is an excellent source of exercise too, whether it’s playing fetch with their favorite toy, using a wand toy, or even a laser pointer. Interactive play between you and your Savannah keeps them active while also serving as bonding time between you both. Savannahs are extremely loyal and routine playtime further solidifies that bond.
Lastly, if you have the space, setting up a small catio or even a full enclosure can help keep your Savannah entertained, active, and healthy. Outdoor stimulation is a great way to introduce new textures and sounds to your Savannah’s enrichment routine. Enclosures and catios can include additional climbing spaces, small pools for swimming, and even tunnels.
All these additional stimuli can help keep your Savannah entertained while also staying active by climbing, jumping, and running around. This all goes a long way to keeping your Savannah cat happy and healthy.
The best exercise wheel for your Savannah cat is the Ferris Cat Wheel G5. Exercise is of utmost importance for your cat’s health, regardless of how you keep them active. Daily exercise can greatly improve your Savannah’s overall mood too, and the G5 is a great way to keep your Savannah moving.