Hamsters are adorable little creatures who live on chewing leaves all day. However, you must be wondering, why do hamsters run on wheels?
Maybe we have seen them in a movie or at a laboratory, it is indeed true that hamsters love running on wheels.
Hamsters are very active and lively creatures who cannot stop themselves whenever they are able to run free.
If you are wondering why hamsters love running on the wheels, you have reached the right place to quench your curiosity!
If you are intrigued by this knowledge and looking to learn more, keep reading until the end!
Why Do Hamsters Run On Wheels?
The most obvious reason is that hamsters love keeping themselves engaged in something. Once they see a wheel, they cannot resist getting on a wheel!
The second reason is their genetic composition. Hamsters are tiny creatures which makes their metabolic rate higher. This is the primary reason behind their high energy.
Reasons why Hamsters Love to Run on Wheels
Hamsters naturally have massive sprinting capacity. If they are left in the wild, they might have to run for miles in search of food or to keep safe from predators.
Let us take an in-depth look at all the reasons why hamsters are addicted to their wheels!
Naturally Active Species
The biggest reason why hamsters love running on wheels is due to their inherent activeness and energy.
Hamsters are tiny creatures and their metabolism is quite high. Due to this, they are constantly loaded with energy, contributing to their active nature.
Every hamster, be it a pet or a wild one, is accustomed to at least 5 miles of running on a daily basis. Caged hamsters have only one way to fulfill this requirement – through wheels.
Intense running for long hours can have grave effects on the health of pet hamsters.
High Energy Consumption
High energy consumption can be another reason why your hamster is addicted to its wheel.
Hamsters consume a variety of veggies and leaves. A part of their diet can be rich in proteins or carbohydrates. These foods contain high energy which makes the little hamsters hyperactive.
In order to burn off the excess energy, they keep spiraling across their wheels.
Lack Of Activity
Hamsters are genetically composed to be lively creatures. Sometimes, living in a cage can really become monotonous for these little beings.
In order to get rid of the boredom, they choose to run on the wheels.
If your hamsters are glued to their wheels all day, it’s time you get them out of their cages and let them run around in the open!
Owing to their tiny size, make sure you keep them under constant supervision when they’re out of their cages.
What Can Happen Due to Constant Running?
Although hamsters look pretty cute while they jog on their wheels, the sad truth is, running so hard can be detrimental to their health.
Several things can go wrong with health if they constantly keep running in the wheel. Take a look at the health problems that hamsters may face due to excessive running!
Blisters in the Feet
If you have a hamster, you must know that running all day can be bad news for their tiny feet.
Constant running can result in sore feet and blisters. The chances of this increase manifold if the wheels installed inside their cage are made of iron rods.
If you notice blisters in the feet of your hamster, immediately provide a cardboard covering on their iron wheels.
Cardboard is soft, it minimizes friction and reduces the chance of sore feet and blisters.
If this does not solve the problem, remove the wheel for a while until the blisters heal completely.
Running on wheels all day tends to cause complete physical exhaustion for these little creatures.
Hamsters are very active beings. This is why they tend to be addicted to their running wheels. However, constant runs can deteriorate their health quite massively.
When they keep running, they tend to even ignore food and water. This leads to dehydration and even complete exhaustion.
Constant running can also lead to hypothermia, which can be fatal to their existence.
Just like they tend to ignore their food, adult hamsters who have just given birth also tend to ignore their children.
Adult hamsters can spend almost 8-10 hours a day running on a wheel. During this time, they completely forget to feed or nurture their new litter.
This can be really harmful to the health of newborns. In case you notice your hamsters ignoring their newborns, remove the wheel from their cage.
This will remind them to engage in other activities such as nurturing their litter.
However, completely stooping physical activities can be detrimental to the hamsters. Limit their exercising time by letting them exercise for 15-20 minutes under complete supervision.
Best Ways to Reduce Your Hamster’s Wheel Addiction
If your hamster is constantly on its wheel and you can notice its health deteriorating, you need to act promptly.
Start by cutting out high-energy food from their diet. Having less energy content will keep them away from the running wheel.
Secondly, limit their exercise time. Allow only supervised running make sure they don’t exceed their time limit.
If you have a pet hamster in a cage, try to shift them to a bigger cage that is spacious and gives them room to walk around.
To bring out their foraging instincts, place food items in every corner of the cage. This will make them walk around the cage looking for food, providing adequate exercise.
You can also release them from their cage and allow them to run around in an open space, under thorough supervision of course!
Facts dictate that if hamsters were to be left in an open field, they could be faster than racehorses. Can you imagine how fascinating that would be?
In this article, we have covered everything about hamsters and why they love running on their wheels. This will help you keep your favorite little creature safe from exhaustion and pain.