Why Do Hamsters Enjoy Running On A Wheel?

The first image that springs to mind when you think of a hamster is of him running on the wheel. This gadget is an essential item for his cage. But why are hamsters so fond of running?

What is the purpose of the hamster wheel?

The hamster is a little rodent that sleeps for half of the day and plays for the others. When the light goes down, he becomes energetic and begins to engage in a variety of activities... his favorite? Take the wheel! This stems from his predecessors, who spent their time fleeing predators, transforming them into restless and even neurotic individuals.

The wheel is a tremendous stress reliever for this little animal, allowing him to relax and establish psychophysical balance. The hamster may go several kilometers in a single night by running on the wheel, thus it also serves as a gym and assists the rodent to stay fit by toning his muscles and joints, as well as his heart and other critical organs.

The hamster's health might suffer greatly if it lacks the proper tools in its environment, such as the wheel: it can suffer from sadness, which causes it to bunker up in a corner of the cage and fill up on food, putting it at risk of obesity.

What is the finest wheel for a hamster cage?

Although the hamster wheel's noise can be bothersome at times, this exercise is necessary for the little animal's well-being. What characteristics define a perfect wheel?

When purchasing a wheel for use in a cage, keep the following points in mind:

  • A closed and plastic model is ideal because it is the safest, cheapest, and easiest to clean;
  • The plastic, however, must not be too thin, or the hamster will nibble and destroy it in a matter of days.
  • The spokes must not be too close together so that the animal does not become trapped when running.

These precautions should be taken especially while the hamster is young: as a puppy, its legs are more fragile, but as they grow, they become less delicate and thus adapt more easily to all types of wheels on the market.

If the traditional plastic wheel begins to squeak, try passing a piece of cotton soaked in olive oil through the gears!

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