“ Manufacturer: Savic / Type: Rodent & Small Pet Cages, Hutches & Runs „
The first time I saw Degus was in a pet store a good few years back. I remember three of them running around on this large wheel in their cage and they just looked very playful, energetic and happy. I spent a good twenty minutes just watching them on this wheel and got much entertainment from doing so! Naturally, when I got my four Degus I wanted to give them a nice big wheel as well.
I originally gave them the big wheel from my old rat cage however it soon became apparent they would need a new one. They tried so hard to run on it bless them but their little feet just kept falling through the metal bars which made this wheel. So I headed off to Pets At Home to find a big solid wheel they could have and enjoy.
I ended up buying the Savic Giant Rolly Wheel as it was the only one in store which met the requirements I needed. I paid £16.99 for the wheel from Pets At Home and it can also be bought from Amazon for £16.14 and most online pet stores for around £15. These are prices I was completely willing to pay for the item as it was clear my Degus would be getting plenty of use out of it thus giving me value for money. Not like the rats that never once used their £20 wheel!
This wheel is 27.5cm in diameter making it a good size for larger 'small pets' such as Degus, Chinchillas, Chipmunks and Rats. The wheel is made out of translucent blue plastic which is screwed onto a white coated metal stand with two plastic yellow panels at the back to secure it. I was a little apprehensive about the wheel being plastic as Degus are such prolific chewers that I was informed they would chew their way out of a plastic based cage in 24-48 hours! Regardless, it was the only solid large wheel I could find so I decided to risk it. Thankfully, in the month they've been using this I've never seen them try to chew it up so that doesn't seem to be a problem.
When I first bought the wheel I decided to place it on the floor of their cage on the stand although it quickly became apparent that this wasn't working out as the wheel, along with the stand, just kept moving further and further forward every time my Degus used it. It would start off at the back of their cage and, over the course of the day, work its way forward so it was slamming into the side of their sand bath whenever it turned. Not only did this make it difficult for my Degus to use the wheel but it also caused a lot of banging and noise! Because all four of my Degus were running on the wheel pretty often I was having to rescrew it back onto the stand every couple of days too because it kept coming loose and hanging off the stand.
So to stop these problems I unscrewed the actual wheel from the stand and secured it as a standalone wheel on their cage wall instead. I do think you should be able to buy the wheel separately to the stand personally (for some reason you can buy the stand on its own but the not wheel) as I imagine a lot of people would probably take this off of the stand as they soon as they got home.
Taking the wheel off of the stand and placing it onto their cage was easy enough to do. At the back of the wheel is a metal screw, you simply unscrew this until the wheel comes loose from the stand and then place the wheel onto the cage wall from the inside and screw the screw back on from the outside. Screwing this in keeps the yellow plastic panels tightly together and prevents the wheel from falling off.
This did solve the problem of the wheel magically moving every couple of hours but also introduced a new problem. It does not matter how tightly I screw the wheel onto their cage it just doesn't feel secure at all. When my Degus are running on it not only does the wheel shake all over the place but then entire cage does too! I will admit this doesn't seem to have put my girls off using the wheel but it does mean that I am trying to tighten the thing up even more every chance I get so it doesn't fall off and possibly injure one of my Degus mid-run. I also get images of the cage shaking so much it will one day completely fall off of the table it is on so I'm constantly readjusting that too!
The wheel does turn easily and my Degus absolutely love it, it's very rare there isn't at least one of them running on this. I, on the other hand, hate it. It's a right pain when it's on the stand and causes me to have a nervous breakdown when it's attached to the cage as it just doesn't look or feel safe. Thankfully nothing awful has happened but I really do think if I went a week without tightening the wheel or moving the cage back properly onto the table it stands on then it would.
I'll give the wheel three stars. I couldn't take this out of their cage despite how much safer it would feel if I did because they do just love having a wheel so much, I'd feel really cruel if I were to take it away! Having said that, I am definitely looking for an alternative and the sooner I get one the better!
The first of these wheels I bought from Pets at Home was cracked when I got it home and removed it from the packaging but I took it back and they replaced it. The second and third wheels were set up inside the cage for my degus to run in about 4 months ago.
The wheel comes with a stand so it can be used freestanding (e.g in a play area) or attached to the cage.
One of the wheels is still fine but one has broken. My degus must have run a bit too enthusiastically and the plastic turning mechanism has snapped. It would still go round but in a really wonky way so I have removed it from the cage. It does seem to me a major flaw that the turning mechanism is plastic. The other wheel is still going but I don't hold out hopes of it lasting for very long.
The plastic surface that the animal runs on is actually quite sturdy. My boys haven't eaten through it yet (which is quite amazing for degus) so it's a shame they don't just improve the turning mechanism.
I'm now looking for another wheel for my boys but definitely won't be buying one of these despite the fact that it is one of the cheaper large wheels on the market (around £20) but overall works out expensive if you have to keep replacing them.
In my flat there is a lovely cage which house three sweet little rats. The three of them are very different indeed, one is hyperactive, always climbing about, gathering food etc, the second is a big lazy rat who hardly moves unless it is for food - or to move neatly arranged bedding about and push it out between the bars; the third a quiet and gentle soul who is very considered in everytihng she does and who likes peace and quiet and calm.
We let them out of the cage as often as we can and have a paddling pool we setup with lots of toys and food and shelter for them so they can feel safe, play and eat and give their little legs a stretch and get some exercise.
However, this is quite a time consuming activity and as such we can't do it everyday as we (and the ratties) would like. As such we were looking for some form of exercise that they might enjoy.
Naturally our minds soon went to the image of the small pet running like made on a wheel. After careful consideration and research we decided to give this wheel a try. It is suitable for rats as it is a closed design so their tails won't get caught as would be the case with a typical open-barred wheel, and also it is large enough for rats - smaller wheels can lead to back damage!
The other deciding factor was the "whisper-quiet operation", having spent many an hour being driven mad by noisy hamsters in wheels as a child, my girlfriend assured me this would be a godsend!
When the wheel arrived, we were quiet impressed with the build quality of the wheel, it feels nice and sturdy, enough to take our big lazy rat without a problem. The wheel is translucent plastic with ridges around the inside for the little ratties to grip on when running so they don't slide about.
The frame that the wheel is mounted on is nice and simple to attach in place in the cage so it doesn't get moved around - if there is one thing rats do enjoy, it is moving things about!!!
We put the wheel in the cage and left the rats to it to see what they would make of it... First impressions...it's might be food, give it a quick chew...it's not food sniff it all over...I can get in this bit...argghh it moved...run away!!!
This cycle continued for a few minutes until the bravest and most active of the three jumping into it and had a bit of a run, only for matter of moments but it was certainly a run!
My girlfriend and I looked at each other and felt the warm glow of satifaction...we had provided something the rats would like.
The next morning we looked into the cage and there was the wheel with a pile of food in it, our gathering rat had decided this would be a perfect food store. Over the course of the day we moved food out of the wheel three or four times and noticed that the rats really didn't seem too bothered by the wheel, our glow of satisfaction was fading fast!
Two weeks on, we have removed the wheel from the cage as it takes up quite a bit of space and frankly we are fed up with moving food from it on a regular basis. The rats have decided it is not as fun as we had hoped and now it is reserved for the play pen sessions whenit might get the odd cursory sniff and that's about it. Naturally we are rather disappointed but the blame lies not with the wheel but with our naughty ratties!!!
There is one thing I would say, whisper-quiet...maybe in comparison to other metal wheels etc...but in reality it still would drive a person mad in the middle of the night...luckily our rats didn't use it enough for this to cause us a problem...
Overall a decent product but you might find your rats/pets are not so keen as you might hope.
I got the Savic Giant Rolly Wheel and Stand for my daughters chinchilla to exercise in its cage when she is out of the house - and I'm terrified of the chinchilla and so I most certainly won't let it out when she's not there! This wheel came highly recommended from the staff at Pets At Home who assured me that it was suitable for chinchilla use and that it was the best wheel design. It cost me £16.99 from the store (which was reduced from £20.99 at the time).
The dimensions of the wheel are 27.5 x 27.5 x 27.5cm which is fairly large and so its important that you make sure the cage is big enough. Our cage was plenty big enough .
Attaching the wheel was very easy and involved screwing the wheel directly onto the bars of the cage. This allowed for a firm and secure fit and it ensured that the wheel did not move or topple over. However, if you prefer, there is a stand that comes with the wheel which allows the wheel to be free-standing, but having initially tried this, we found that it kept getting knocked over as the stand is a bit light and flimsy - especially for bigger pet rodents.
Once the wheel was attached to the bars it was ready to go. Now, I have to admit that the wheel felt a bit stiff at first, but Derek the Chinchilla did manage to move it, and over the course of a week or so, the wheel loosened up. The only annoying thing about it was that it does have a tendency to squeak from time to time, and so my daughter has actually needed to dislodge the wheel from the cage bars when the squeaking has got too much - like at 3 am!
Derek does seem to like the wheel....and he certainly does use it for multiple periods throughout the day. Although it doesn't move as freely as I feel it probably should, it doesn't seem to bother him and he just plods on. I have even found him on several occasions stretched out asleep on the wheel.
It is made of plastic and so its easy to clean - which we do regularly whenever the cage is cleared out (about once a week). It has got a little scratched, but these scratches are superficial and the don't affect the functioning of the wheel at all.
I would recommend this wheel to anyone with with a heavier rodent, although I do concede that, with a bit of research, it probably is possibly to find a better rodent wheel.
I bought this wheel from Pets at Home in the hope that it would allow my rats to get a bit of exercise on the days when I wasn't able to let them out of their cage. Unfortunately it hasn't exactly been a resounding success!
The wheel cost £16.99, and was the only wheel they had in stock that was a suitable size for rats (if the wheel is too small, it can damage their backs). If I had been sensible I would have done some research online first and probably would have made a different choice, but I was impatient!
The wheel is 27.5cm in diameter, so if you still plan to buy it after reading this review, make sure you have a space in your cage where it will fit comfortable. You need a bit of clearance around to avoid trapped tails and underneath it so that ratties don't don't bump their heads!
The wheel was very easy to attach to the cage. There are two options, a stand that is included in the price or you can attach it straight to the bars. The second option is more safe and stable as I felt the stand was a bit flimsy and could easily be knocked over by energetic rats.
Once I had attached the wheel to the bars of the cage though, I realised that it was so stiff that it barely moved. A rat would have to be incredibly strong, the Arnie of the rat world in order to move it! I tried loosening the screw that attached it to the bars but this resulted in it being too loose and the plastic back plate rattling around.
My rats have barely looked at this wheel, occasionally they will sit in it to eat a treat or have a quick sniff on their way past. Even if they do show a bit of interest, their weight isn't enough to move it so it doesn't do the job it is designed for.
If you are planning to buy a wheel for your rats (and its always a bit of a gamble, some of them will love it, others just won't see the point) I highly recommend being a bit more sensible than I was. Do a bit of research online, read some reviews and buy one that isn't the Savic Rolly!