In the wild, hamsters are known to run for several miles in a single night. This exercise is necessary for their health. Being locked inside a cage makes it difficult for hamsters to get their necessary amount of exercise in order to remain healthy, this is why an addition of a wheel to your hamsters cage is a must. They can run long distances, some cover several miles through the night. The distance your furry friend covers during the night is beneficial to their health by keeping them fit and making sure that they burn off the relative amount of calories. Another reason for getting a wheel for your hamster, is that they simply enjoy it and it makes them less stressed, which can help to avoid stress related illnesses that hamsters are known for. Wheels also work as a distraction for hamsters, preventing them from nibbling at their cage.
Due to the amount of distance covered during the night (read: Are Hamsters Nocturnal?), it is important to get a silent hamster wheel. Wheels can be noisy, and due to hamsters being nocturnal animals, the last thing you need is to be awoken during the night due to your furry friend running a marathon. Finding a relatively silent hamster wheel is essential for a good night’s sleep because otherwise you will be tempted to remove the wheel from your hamster’s cage at night and this is never a good idea. A wheel is a necessary component to your hamster’s mental and physical health, this is why you can alter the noise you hear by placing the cage far away from where you sleep, and also by paying a little bit more for a wheel that claims to be extra quiet.
Hamster wheels come in different materials, most common are metal or plastic. Metal wheels tend to last longer than plastic wheels and they are less likely to succumb to damage from your furry friend through chewing. A negative to metal hamster wheels is that they tend to be made with rungs, meaning that hamsters can get injured by falling between the rungs. Plastic wheels are more easily damaged and less durable. However, they are much safer as they are made from one piece of plastic and have no gaps that can harm your hamster’s little legs.
Getting the right size of hamster wheel is also incredibly important, if you get a wheel that is too small for your hamster then it means that their back will be arched when running. A hamster running with an arched back is damaging to their health, you want to buy a wheel that is as close to possible as running on flat ground for your hamster. For Syrian hamsters, the recommended wheel size is at least 8 inches, for dwarf hamsters the minimum wheel size is 6 inches. Although in all cases, the bigger the wheel the better. You should buy a wheel as big as possible for the cage that you have, so long as your cage is the right size for your hamster. Remember to take into account the size of the stand, unless your wheel is one that attaches to the cage.
Here are some silent hamster wheels to consider:
Transparent Aerodynamic Treadmill
This wheel attaches to your cage and so takes up less room than a wheel with a stand. It is made of plastic so it is safe for your furry friend’s little legs and it claims to be ‘mute’. However, this wheel is only 5.1 inches in diameter and therefore it is likely too small for your hamster. Despite its positives it is best to avoid this wheel due to its small size.
Plastic Silent Hamster Wheel
The wheel is made from plastic and is therefore safe for your hamster’s little legs, it also attaches to the cage. The wheel claims to be ‘super mute’ and so it will not disturb your sleep. Despite this wheel’s positives, it is best to avoid it due to its small size, being only 4.7 inches, due to the health implications this can have on your hamster.
Silent Hamster Wheel with Stand
This wheel has two different installation methods, it can either attach to the cage, or it can be held up by a stand. The wheel is made from plastic and is therefore safe for your hamsters little legs. The wheel has ‘quiet spinning’ meaning that your hamster can run miles during the night without disturbing your sleep. The wheel is also large in size, 8.3 inches in diameter, meaning that it will be safe for most pet hamsters by preventing their back from arching when running.
Wooden Silent Hamster Wheel
As opposed to plastic wheels, there are also wooden ones that are also a good and safe option. This is a ‘smooth motion’ silent hamster wheel meaning that your hamster can have hours of silent fun while you sleep peacefully. The medium size is around 7.9 inches in diameter, meaning that it is a safe option for most hamsters. Although it does have quite a bulky base due to the chunkiness of the wood.
Plastic Hamster Wheel
This hamster wheel is made from plastic and thus safe and easily cleaned. It attaches to the cage, saving space in your hamster’s cage, and it is ‘super mute’ so you will not have to worry about sleepless nights. Despite its positives however, this wheel is only 5.2 inches in diameter and is therefore not the safest option available to your hamster due to the likelihood of their back arching on this wheel.
Pink Plastic Silent Hamster Wheel
This plastic wheel is a safe material for your hamster, preventing it from sustaining leg damage that metal wheels may provide. The wheel attaches to the cage and thus takes up less room than a wheel on a stand may. The wheel is also ‘super mute’ so your furry friend will not keep you up at night while it exercises. However, the wheel is only 4.53 inches in diameter and so it is not the safest option for your pet. It is recommended to buy a wheel that does not arch your pets back, you should be buying as big a wheel as possible in order to look after your furry friend.