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Pet Peeves: My Hamster Hates Her Wheel!

Q: My hamster, Nibbles, doesn't ever seem to want to go on her wheel. I never hear it squeaking at night and I'm constantly watching her during the day, and she hates it. When I try to coax her on, she hops right off – my mice were always on their wheel, what's wrong with this hamster of mine?

A: My first tip would be to test out some new wheels. If you own the plastic or wire version with rungs (or this grid pattern), it could be turning off your hamster – these can be painful for small pets because tiny feet can get stuck between the rungs or in the gaps so some animals will hesitate to hop on. I'd recommend testing out a solid plastic type (such as this one) to see if you have any more success.

If you're not into buying a new wheel, though, create a quick fix by removing the existing wheel and weaving a sheet of paper in and out of the rungs or securely attaching it around the outside, making the surface flat and creating a solid wheel instead.

Lastly, some pets prefer different forms of exercise, just like people – you couldn't catch me on a treadmill! If you feel your furry friend isn't getting enough exercise, try giving her more space to roam or even a Run-About Ball instead.

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amers230 amers230 8 years
definitely get the wheel that petsugar recommended, it's the only kind i've used with success. just don't submerge it in water when cleaning it, that makes it squeak horribly lol. just wipe the wheel part down. and i would try the ball too, my old hamster would happily roll around for an hour at a time in it.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 8 years
Oh definitely try the run-about-ball. Our hamsters loved those balls. They would spend hours inside there roaming around the house. Definitely also try different wheels. One of the hamsters we had "Sonic" she hated the wire wheel. So we bought a in habitat with a completely enclosed plastic wheel that she reached via a tube. She saw that thing and camped out in it when she wasn't running her butt off.
Ellenora Ellenora 8 years
Both of my hamsters hated wheels. We got a cage with plastic tubes and such and they would run around those constantly. Cleaning them was easy as they were dishwasher safe!
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