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9 DIY Cat Treadmills You Can Build Today (With Pictures)

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on January 5, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

cat on treadmill

9 DIY Cat Treadmills You Can Build Today (With Pictures)

In the wild, cats are ferocious hunters that rule the forest, jungle, or savanna in which they live. As they have become more domesticated, they have seemingly regressed to be lazier than their wild predecessors. It can be difficult to inspire your cat to exercise if they quickly grow weary of playing with their toys.

One of the great ways to get a cat to exercise is to inspire in them the freedom to run. Making them a DIY cat treadmill can get them exercising without having them tear around the house or be released outside. Most of these DIY designs are similar in style to a hamster wheel but are much larger to accommodate your cat’s more prominent size and stride.


The 9 DIY Cat Treadmills

1. Carpeted Plywood Treadmill

DIY Cat Exercise Wheel
Image Credit: catnoli.blogspot

The overall size and width of your cat treadmill depends on your cat’s size and how many cats you want to be able to use it at one time. Carpeting the plywood that you use to build the treadmill can give your cats a better grip on the wheel. That can be quite satisfying for them and allow them to move even faster, getting more and more in shape with each turn.

2. Almost Enclosed Cat Treadmill

DIY Cat Exercise Wheel Device
Image Credit: Autodesk Instructables

Sometimes simplicity is key. This cat treadmill is mounted onto wheels on the ground, and then set onto two pieces of plywood. The inside of the wheel is entirely covered with carpet to give your cat more grip as they run around. The wheel isn’t as large as some other options, but it mitigates the amount of space that the entire structure takes up in your home.

3. DIY Caster Wheel Cat Wheel

Just because you’re looking to build your cat treadmill doesn’t mean you want the most complicated or fanciest design. This caster wheel cat wheel is a great option that uses a few simple supplies to give you a great product.

Whether you’re an experienced crafter or looking to complete your first project, this is a great choice that comes with both a text and video guide that highlights everything you need to do.

4. Modular Plywood Exercise Wheel

Plywood is an extremely versatile material, and this guide walks you through exactly how you can turn it into an excellent exercise wheel for your cat. Even if you don’t want to build this exercise wheel, there’s a video of a cat running on it, and that alone is worth checking out the link!

5. Galvanized Steel Cat Wheel

DIY Galvanized Steel Cat Wheel
Image Credit: imgur

While most of the DIY options out there use plywood or something similar, this one from Imgur mixes things up a bit by using galvanized steel for a more durable finish.

But if you’re thinking galvanized steel is going to be challenging to work with, don’t overthink it. This guide does a great job of walking you through what you need to do and how to work with galvanized steel to build a durable and dependable cat wheel for your cat.

6. Simple Hardwood Cat Wheel

DIY Simple Hardwood Cat Wheel
Image Credit: imgur

While most of the DIY wooden cat wheels on our list use cheaper materials like plywood to build them, this option goes a little more premium using various hardwoods. It does drive the project’s cost up a bit, but it also ensures it’s going to last much longer, and it provides a better final appearance.

There are tons of pictures to follow with this guide, although it is noticeably lacking a picture of a cat using it.

7. Inexpensive and Easy Cat Wheel

If you don’t have a ton of DIY skills but still want to build your cat treadmill, this is a great choice. It’s pretty easy to build, and it’s durable so you don’t have to worry about replacing it anytime soon. The video guide does a great job of walking you through everything you need to do to build it, and there’s a cute portion at the end of a Bengal kitty running on it!

Finally, another great perk of going with this cat wheel is that it’s relatively inexpensive, allowing you to save some money while building an excellent cat treadmill!

6. PVC Spinning Cat Wheel

PVC is one of the easiest and least expensive materials you can work with, so having a cat wheel that uses PVC as one of its primary materials is a great choice. This PCV spinning cat wheel is pretty easy to build, and the PVC is durable and lasts a long time.

And if you decide you don’t want the cat wheel in the future, you can repurpose the PVC piping into something else.

8. Raccoon/Cat Wheel

So, this cat wheel is technically for Raccoons, but it’ll work just as well for cats. Plus, the video on how to build it shows a ton of cute little raccoons running on it, so we view that as a win-win. Overall, it’s durable and looks great, although we do recommend having some advanced DIY skills before you attempt this project yourself.

9. Low Budget DIY Cat Wheel

If you’re like us, you’re building your cat’s DIY treadmill because you’re on a tighter budget. And that’s exactly why this low-budget DIY cat wheel is such a phenomenal choice. Not only is it a low-cost option, but it still works and looks great, so it’s a real win-win for us.

The video on how to build it is on the longer side of things, but that’s because it does such a great job of breaking down each step you need to do, making it an excellent choice for beginner DIYers.

3 cat divider


Having a cat treadmill is a great way to give your indoor cat some exercise. Daily exercise can help with your cat’s overall health and well-being. Plus, it can be really fun for them—and for you! Nothing beats watching a cat play and run around (literally!).

See Also:

Featured Image Credit By: mariyaermolaeva, Shutterstock

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