The Hamster Wheel

The wheel

The proverbial hamster wheel.  Yes, these animals really do love to run on it,  which is because they need as much exercise as they can get.  So, in anticipation of this let’s just say you’ll want your hamster’s cage somewhere in the home where you won’t hear the wheel turning at 2:30 in the morning.

Don’t be too shocked if you discover that your Hamster begins to gnaw at his plastic exercise wheel.   If it does, please remove it as soon as you notice this is occurring. Plastic – even well-chewed plastic – is not the stuff a hamster’s diet should be made of.  You’ll want to switch to a metal wheel if this happens. And this could cause you some problems.  You may have problems finding just the right metal wheel.  Most of them, after all, have rungs. There are several brands out there that don’t have rungs, among them Fern Cage and Quality Cage.  These both have solid surfaces suitable for your tiny friend.  Both of these companies produce exercise wheels that are essentially “gnaw proof.”

If you’ve never bought an exercise wheel for a hamster before, you may not realize that they actually come in varying sizes. You can easily buy a small wheel for your dwarf hamster.

By the way, if you have more than one hamster in the cage, don’t expect them to be considerate.  They will not devise a schedule so that one hamster can use the cage from 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. and then the other can use it from 3 a.m. to 5 a.m. We have a hard enough time getting humans to share, how can we possibly expect hamsters to do this? You know exactly where this is going.  Each of your hamsters needs his own cage.  You need as many wheels as you have hamsters.  Then each individual hamster will choose his exclusive “hamster-wheel domain.”

Squeaky wheels

When you go to the pet store to buy your wheel, let me give you one piece of advice:  Check out the noise factor. Right about now, you may smirk a little thinking this is silly.  But when you have to listen to a loud wheel at 3 am in the morning, you’ll realize that your lack of research may be keeping you up at night. Don’t be shy about asking the pet store clerk to spin that wheel before you buy it.  I’m sure you won’t be the first customer who has asked to do this. If you do happen to come home with a squeaky wheel or the wheel you buy develops a squeak after some use, you can try lessening the noise.  A little dab of vegetable oil should help.