Most hamster owners will install a wheel in their hamster’s cage. But why do hamsters run on their wheel? How long do hamsters run on their wheel? What wheel should you buy? And, can a hamster run too much on a wheel? Keep reading to find out more.
1. Why do hamsters run on their wheel?
In their natural habitat, hamsters can run for up to several miles every night. This behavior is normal and natural and is great for their health and fitness.
However, if a hamster is kept in a cage, it will not be able to run as it would in the wild. This can have negative effects on its health and wellbeing.
This is the reason that many people install a hamster wheel to keep their cute pet fit and healthy without having to let it run free and risk it getting lost somewhere in the house.
A hamster wheel will ensure that your pet can get all of the exercises it needs without you having to worry about losing it. Some pet hamsters are known to run for over five miles a night on their wheel.
Running on a wheel provides the perfect amount of exercise for your hamster, to ensure it stays fit and healthy.
Hamsters also really enjoy running and a hamster wheel helps to replicate the exploring that they would normally do in their natural habitat. It can help to relax your hamster and release any stress that may lead to certain illnesses.
If you have noticed that your hamster has begun to gnaw or chew at its cage, try installing a hamster wheel and see if it makes a difference. Without a wheel, your hamster may have become bored or stressed.
2. How Long Do Hamsters Run on Their Wheel?
Hamsters usually run between 4-6 hours every night. Depending on age, gender, and physical condition. Some hamster owners report running times up to 12 hours. Even these extended running times are unproblematic, as long as you take the necessary precautionary measures.
3. What hamster wheel should you buy?
Both metal and plastic hamster wheels are available to purchase at most pet stores. There are both advantages and disadvantages to both styles.
Metal hamster wheels tend to last longer than plastic ones as it is a more durable material that is more likely to withstand chewing.
However, metal hamster wheels are often made from separate rungs rather than one piece of material. This can often cause injuries to delicate hamster legs.
Plastic hamster wheels usually comprise one single piece of plastic, which is often safer and will prevent the hamster’s legs from falling through.
4. What size hamster wheel should you buy?
You must purchase a wheel that is big enough for your hamster. If the wheel is too small, your hamster will have to arch its back. A bigger hamster wheel will more closely replicate the flat ground a hamster runs over in its natural habitat.
If a hamster has to run with its back arch, it can be bad for its health. If you notice your hamster’s back is arching when it’s running, make sure to buy them a new wheel that suitably fits.
What size wheel should you buy for a Syrian hamster?
If you own a Syrian hamster, it is recommended to purchase a wheel that is at least eight inches in diameter.
What size wheel should you buy for a dwarf hamster?
If your hamster is a Dwarf or Roborovski buy a wheel that is at least six inches in diameter.
The bigger the wheel, the better it is for your hamster. Always try to buy as big a wheel as possible for your hamster. The major constricting factor is often the size of the cage, so make sure you purchase a wheel that does fit in the cage.
5. Are hamster wheels noisy?
Hamsters are usually most active during nighttime, so if you buy a noisy hamster wheel, you will likely hear it running when you are trying to sleep.
However, not all hamster wheels are noisy, it depends on each individual model.
It is also not a good idea to remove a hamster wheel even if it does get too loud. The lack of a wheel can cause the hamster stress physically and mentally.
Rather, consider carefully where to put your hamster’s cage and try to place it as far as possible from where you sleep at night.
When purchasing a hamster wheel, also make sure to look for one that runs quietly. It is often paying slightly more to ensure you get a quieter wheel.
If the wheel is still too noisy at night, try lubricating it with some oil to reduce the amount of squeaking noise.
One of the best hamster wheels is the Wodent Wheel Senior. This wheel is big (to ensure your hamster doesn’t develop any back issues, it is quieter than most other models, and it is safe.
6. Can a hamster run too much on a wheel?
Perhaps every time you walk past, your hamster is running on its wheel. You may be wondering, can a hamster run too much on a wheel? or can hamsters run themselves to death?
Hamsters enjoy being active and naturally want to use their wheel. This explains why it seems as if your hamster uses its wheel a lot. However, a hamster generally can’t run too much on a wheel, they just naturally enjoy a lot of exercises.
As long as your hamster is properly hydrated, fed, and rested, there is nothing wrong with your hamster running on its wheel for a long time. Hamsters usually know when they are tired and it is time to stop running.
Problems occur if you notice that your hamster spends a lot of its time running on his wheel, but it doesn’t eat, drink or rest enough. If this is the case, you must step in and control how much time they spend on the wheel.
If your hamster is not eating or drinking enough while spending a lot of time on the wheel, it may be necessary to take the wheel away and only replace it at certain times every day. Continue this until your hamster resumes its normal eating and drinking routine.