How Many Miles Does A Hamster Run At Night

How Many Miles Does A Hamster Run At Night? (And 5 Fascinating Reasons Why)

If you have recently purchased a wheel for your hamster, you may have noticed that it uses the wheel a lot, especially at night. You are likely wondering how many miles a hamster runs at night. Hamsters love to exercise and can run up to six miles a night.

You may be able to hear your hamster’s wheel squeaking all night long as you are trying to sleep. Some hamster owners report running times up to 12 hours.

You may have not realized before you brought your hamster home how active these creatures are. But exercise is crucially important to the health and wellbeing of your hamster. 

Keep reading to find out more.

How many miles does a hamster run at night? 

Hamsters can run up to six miles every night on their exercise wheels. Make sure that your hamster’s back is not arched when it is running as it can cause lasting damage. Also, ensure that your hamster has a flat area on the wheel to run that is free of rungs to prevent its legs from becoming caught and getting injured. 

Hamster Wheels

Running on its wheel makes sure that your hamster stays fit and healthy. However, the sound of a hamster wheel can be somewhat loud, especially if you are trying to fall asleep at night.

Try to keep the hamster cage as far from your bedroom as possible, so that you can sleep undisturbed while your hamster runs. Avoid taking your hamster’s wheel away at all costs as this may cause it stress, which might result in an unhealthy chewing pattern.

Ensure your hamster always has access to fresh food and water so that it is always fed and hydrated while running on the wheel. 

Hamster Balls

You can also purchase your hamster a ball, that allows it to exercise outside of the cage. You can place your hamster in the ball without risking losing him. However, make sure that the hamster ball’s lid is tightly secured and that the ball is on a flat surface from where it cannot fall.

Do not leave your hamster in the ball for longer than thirty minutes as it can cause dehydration and overheating. 


If you keep your hamster in a cage and do not provide a hamster wheel or any form of exercise, it can result in paralysis. If a hamster is unable to exercise or run, it may lose its ability to move freely. If a hamster becomes paralyzed it will likely sit in a hunched position and struggle to move its legs.

If you catch it early, place your hamster in a bigger cage and provide an exercise wheel and toys, to reverse this paralysis. 

How many miles do hamsters run in the wild? 

In their natural environment, hamsters spend most of their time active and running. In the wild, hamsters usually spend the whole night running to gather food and dig its burrows. In the wild hamsters can run up to six miles a night. 


Despite that your hamster does not have to spend hours every night finding its own food, it is naturally active and energetic. Because your hamster is in a cage, it can’t run around as it would in the wild. Hamsters need an exercise wheel to make up for the lack of exploring and running around. 

Hamster Breeds

Hamsters can run up to six miles per hour. However, the speed varies depending on the breed of the hamster. A Syrian hamster has longer legs than a Dwarf hamster so it can run further. However, a Dwarf hamster is more agile than a Syrian and takes fewer breaks when running.

A hamster’s running ability comes from instinct and energy, allowing them to cover a long distance in a single night. 


In the wild, hamsters are used to dodging and hiding from obstacles and prey. They are also great climbers because of their strong grip. Hamsters’ predators are the main reason that they run. Through instinct, hamsters have a quick reflex and can run extremely quickly. 

When running in the wild, a hamster will often take breaks to listen out for predators nearby. Hamsters need to look out for wild cats and dogs, foxes, owls, and snakes. So, they need to be able to run quickly, dodge possible attacks, and frequently change their direction.

If you have tried to catch your own hamster, you likely know that it has extremely fast reflexes.


Hamsters also have to cover a lot of areas in the wild to find all of the food that they need, a mate, and to look after their territory. A hamster gathers its food, so it has to run around every night looking for it. 


Hamsters have a high energy level that needs to be used. In the wild, that energy is used up, however, in captivity, a hamster will need to use up that energy through running on a wheel instead.



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