“ Brand: Karlie / Type: Exercise Wheel „
All of my pets (except the turtles) are kept in one of the spare bedrooms and it just so happens to be the one right through the wall from our bedroom (also the biggest one though) Therefore, it is common to fall asleep to the relaxing sounds of....metal twangs....scurrying feet....chewing....scratching....and the unmistakable, ridiculously loud squeak of The Wheel. Since nothing keeps me from my sleep, I decided to treat the other half to one of these wheels. It had everything I wanted; a natural and safe wooden construction, a stable base, and what he wanted - the most wonderful promise of all - low noise!
An exercise wheel is probably the most basic, and one of the most important, accessories you can buy for your little friend. Many rodents have a strong desire to run (Syrian hamsters actually travel miles and miles every night in the wild) and of course a little exercise never hurt anyone! This wheel comes in 3 sizes - 15cm, 20cm and 29cm diameter. I got the middle size for my rats. It is pale, untreated wood with a thick and sturdy rectangular base; this allows it to sit securely on the floor of your cage without banging about when it is being used. I think this looks really nice overall, I like wooden cage furnishings best of all. It is also safe for chewing teeth, and if any parts get damaged they can easily be sanded smooth again.
It has bits on the inside for little feet to grip on to, this is a brilliant feature that gives your pet a sturdy foothold, reducing their chances of slipping while doing their marathon. The one thing I don't like about it, is that there are no holes in the back of the wheel. These would be crucial should the wheel fall on top of your pet, trapping it. Now, this wheel truly has a great base so it is very stable and I've never had it happen, but I've seen my rats hyper and I do get paranoid because I know they're capable of upending it if they go off on one!
Thankfully, it does deliver on the low noise promise. When in our bedroom you don't hear the wheel itself, just the rats running about (and all the associated noises!). You can hear a soft, whooshing whir when you are beside the cage though, but this is blissful compared to the squeaking and banging of the last metal and plastic wheel the ratties had. It's not the easiest to clean due to the lip and the fact it's unsealed wood, but my rats use a litter tray so this doesn't really effect me. However, my dwarf hamster consistently makes a mess of his plastic Silent Spinner, so I would not use an unsealed wooden wheel for him.
It's not the cheapest exercise wheel, the 15cm is £9.99, the 20cm £12.99 and the 29cm £18.99 from Zooplus. However, for the 20cm metal and plastic one I previously had, I paid £8 (from a local shop) and think an extra £5 is worth it. Not only is it very quiet, but it's stronger too. The plastic one had various bits broken, and the wheel itself was no longer held to the metal frame by anything other than gravity by the time I replaced it with this one! It was always getting knocked over as well. I've already been using this one longer and it is still as quiet and sturdy as the day I got it.
I would recommend this, but I would advise careful thought as to where to place it if, like me, you get paranoid about accidents. My other half is now happy falling asleep without what sounds like a psychotic mouse in the next room, and I just think this wheel looks lovely!