Flush $200 Down the Toilet Like a Turd With This Cat Toy Purchase

I rarely (maybe never) publish negative product reviews because I recognize that even if my cats ignore something I’ve lovingly purchased for them, that doesn’t mean another cat won’t go crazy over it.

Resist the Temptation

But if the siren call of a cat exercise wheel beckons, stick in some earplugs and walk away. Seriously. Put down that credit card and step away from the computer. Now.

This has absolutely nothing to do with whether your cat will actually venture onto the wheel and run like the wind, and everything to do with the danger of your cat getting crushed by the wheel when it jumps off the tracks after one rotation.

Which it absolutely will do.

This wheel is manufactured by OneFastCat.com, and it was the first opportunity I found to buy a somewhat reasonably priced exercise wheel for the cats. As much as I’d like Tripper to work off a little of his prodigious girth, I knew that wasn’t gonna happen. But with three rambunctious youngsters in the house, I harbored dreams of them running themselves ragged on the wheel, needing to towel off like prizefighters as they tumbled off, panting and exhausted.

They never got that far.

Let me back up. The wheel is shipped free, which, given its size, it’s a big plus. It’s an assemble-yourself proposition. That doesn’t scare me. I’ve assembled everything from barbeques to IKEA furniture, and though annoying to have to get out the hex wrench and postpone gratification, I’m used to the process.

The box arrives in a smaller form factor than I’d anticipated. The wheel comes in (roughly) one-foot sections that you piece together into a big ring. One look at the pieces you think “piece of cake!” They have notches that you just slide together.

Get Out the Bad Words List

But looks are deceiving. The plastic resists sliding and you have to use a mallet to get them to fit together. And inevitably, a couple of the pieces just don’t want to slip into grooves. This is contrary to the assembly video, which suggests that you just snap the pieces together like Legos. According to the video, assembly takes about 15-20 minutes. My experience: nearly two hours. Part of that time was spent saying a lot of words from The Bad Words List.

The base also resists assembly. And once assembled, it doesn’t sit quite plumb on the floor.

Once assembly is complete, you pop the wheel onto the base and WOO HOO! Cat fun and frolicking supposedly follows.

Dream on.

First, the wheel doesn’t spin freely as shown in the video. You have to put some muscle into it. And then, after a spin or two or three, it jumps off the tracks. Which it did for us with a cat on it.

It Will Kill Your Cat

The wheel is a heavy mutha, and its crashing onto the hardwood floor rattled the dining room slider window nearby. Fortunately, Banzai was able to jump free of it, but if the ring were to fall atop a cat, it could kill the poor critter.

We worked for several weeks trying to get the ring to sit atop the wheels without popping off, to no avail. Customer service was willing to give us a $20 credit for the inconvenience. Big whoop. We’re in the hole $180. If we were to return it, we’d have to pay for shipping ($35-$50) AND a $49 restocking fee.

But that’s not the worst part.

You Can’t Get Rid of It

Unless you have a ginormous truck, you cannot transport it to landfill. Once assembled, you can’t pull it apart, so you can’t get it into a box to ship it back. It’s too big to sit out indefinitely near our trash bins. In the house, one of the cats decided that the foam liner on the inside of the track was the perfect surface for peeing. It is saturated. I can’t give it away…aside from it now reeking of urine, it could kill a cat.

If anyone has a suggestion for how to upcycle this pee-soaked monstrosity, please leave a comment below.


Don’t forget to check out Mousebreath’s Holiday Gift Guide
where you’ll find a bazillion more gift selections, many for $10 and less!


Category: Uncategorized

About the Author ()

Mousebreath Magazine is an award-winning online magazine that celebrates cats and the cat-centric lifestyle. Editor Karen Nichols is a popular conference speaker and writer, whose current project is The Cat Scout Handbook. She is also the denmaster at CatScouts.com.

Comments (11)

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  1. Carma Allen says:

    We have seen videos of that wheel and why a cat would even play on it. I have seen them for dogs too. Thank you for the honest review. Think we will keep our money and pass on buying one.

  2. Kris says:

    You’ve done a great public service. Your feline overlords have taken note.

  3. Metal saw, cut into pieces, throw away bit by bit. That’s what the Man does when he has big things to get rid of. Or you make an offer on Craigslist–haul this piece-o-chit away and I’ll give you $25. Our town has a FB page and people do that all the time…there’s always someone who wants to earn a few bucks and they’ll haul even big things away for someone in town.

    This is definitely a good-to-know review. We wouldn’t have bought one because there’s no place to put it in the house and I’m kinda lazy, but I can see the temptation for someone with a younger cat who wants them to exercise. You may have saved a kitty from being squished.

  4. Connie says:

    $200!!! Oh HBO no.. You should contact your credit card company and ask for a refund for a defective product..

  5. Toffee Ripple Fuzzypants says:

    Wow! Thank you for testing the wheel out!

  6. Dorothy says:

    Thank you for this review. I’ve been so tempted to order this for my Hitchhiker, a kitty always on the move but the cost had kept it on my wish list so far. Now I’ve removed it because the idea of paying so much to put my little devil at risk literally makes my stomach hurt. I see someone has already suggested cutting it in to pieces and throwing it away so my only other idea it to use it as a planter. Folks plant in old tires and the round track looks like it would work the same way, only it will look more upscale since folks won’t need to know it’s something you wish to destroy. You could also put it around a tree if you wanted to make one cut to open it, or plant a baby tree. If you or someone you know use a balled Christmas tree it would surround it nicely. Again, thank you for letting everyone know that this is a real risk to our feline family members.

  7. Mary McKay says:

    Thank you for this review. I have a 4 yr old crazy cats who loves to run and I was thinking of getting this for her. I’ll stick to chasing her her down the hall with the feather toy

  8. Sue Brandes says:

    Thanks for your review. I will save my monies.

  9. Thank you for the honest review! We were considering getting one, but we find the cat-killing feature unappealing. We’re glad none of your cats were injured, and hope the company eventually does the right thing and gives you a full refund.

  10. I’ve been interested in trying one of these, but never willing to fork out $200 for it. We have play times set aside for Gabby and do a lot of good chasing, we also monitor her calories so she’s pretty svelte. Buying one of these would be out of curiosity, but now that we’ve read this, we’ll probably pass.

    As far as getting rid of it: Contact Doctor Matt Carricker in Berne, Texas. He runs two YouTube channels: Demolition Ranch & Vet Ranch. He’s a veterinarian that’s super into guns.

    100% chance he would be willing to help you ship this thing so he could shoot it into pieces with big guns.


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