Exercise is an important aspect of daily life for many animals and can be key to maintaining good overall health. This is especially true for hamsters, but being cooped up in a small cage is not always ideal for burning off those excess calories. Therefore, as a hamster owner it’s good practice to ensure your furry companion is getting the correct amount of exercise, and there are a few tips and tricks you can follow to make sure you’re getting it right. So, How Much Exercise Does A Hamster Need?
Hamster Activity In The Wild
There are more than 20 species of hamster in the world, of which around 5 are common as pets. In the wild, hamsters are incredibly active creatures and maintain territories that can be several square kilometres in size. They will often cover much of this area during a single night, with some individuals running distances of 10 kilometres or more.
These long excursions are mostly spent foraging for food and defending their territories from other hamsters. Being a prey animal, hamsters also need to be quick and agile in order to avoid being eaten by predators such as foxes.
How Often Should I Exercise My Hamster?
Hamsters are generally nocturnal, meaning they prefer to be up and about at night or during the evening. Therefore, it’s best to exercise your hamster during these periods when they are already awake. Try to avoid waking a sleeping hamster to exercise them, as they probably won’t enjoy this (who can blame them?).
While hamsters will get some degree of exercise while inside their cages, it’s important to allow them daily opportunities to play and explore outside their cages as well. If you can, allow your hamster between half an hour to an hour of exercise out of their cage per day. This will ensure they stay happy and healthy, just be ready to return them to their cage if it looks like they’re becoming tired.
Best Exercise Methods For Hamsters
There are several great ways to keep your hamster active. Within their cages, a hamster wheel is a must-have piece of equipment. This allows your little furball the freedom to exercise whenever they like and keeps them busy during the night.
When letting your hamster out of their cage, an exercise ball can be an ideal option. Not only does this give them the chance to explore at their leisure, it also keeps them safely protected from any dangerous household objects. You can also let your hamster run around freely as well, just make sure to wall off a section of floor or use a playpen, and keep an eye on them at all times.
If you enjoyed this article you might also like to read about: