a number of people have contacted me with inquiries about wheels, and here are a few words from my personal experience with the wheels.
jean mill used to make them, and years ago i bought 4 of them from her. as far as i know she no longer sells any.
these big metal wheels get going real fast and the big cats love them. i have found that leaving the tread surface a little "rough" (as in not glossy smooth) and then painting each wheel with rust-proof paint works the best. i love these wheels and my cats exercise frequently.
i also have a plastic one that jean had created as a training wheel for kittens. they can get on it and walk fast, but the wheel is not heavy enough to get lots of momentum and slows right down when the cat slows down.
once the kitten has learned the wheel and grown a bit, the metal ones are way more interesting to them. when the kittens are first learning, if a bigger cat had a metal wheel going real fast and a kitten tried to get on, the kitten could get injured, which is why i keep the training wheel separate for the kittens.
over the years i have seen various people manufacture wooden wheels that look like nice furniture, and i have always wondered how these wheels have worked out for people, if the cats like them, if they can go fast, if they are easy to clean. when i first got one of the wheels from jean, it had a kind of tread surface glued on to the track but eventually i took that off and the cats seem to like the plain surface. it is easy to clean, scrubbing with a little soap and water. i don't know how carpeted tracks work for some people, i think my cats would try to go fast and then get their claws stuck in the carpeting. the smooth surface works for them.
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