Those lovely little rodents that hamsters are are amazing pets too. Of course, if you have one as a pet, you should know that one of its basic needs is having a wheel nearby. But what is the main reason why your hamster runs on the wheel? We talk about it.
Why does a hamster run on the wheel?
Whether you have a hamster at home or not, you surely know that these animals spend a lot of time a day running on the wheel.
It is true that sometimes the noise produced by these “races” is not entirely pleasant, but you must bear in mind one thing: you must not deprive the animal of that important element.
The reasons for this and that explain why your hamster runs on the wheel are three, mainly.
1. Instinct and need
These rodents are the hunting target of many predators in the wild.
Generation after generation on the run, has turned them into beings who are constantly alert and nervous all day, trying to escape the slightest hint of danger.
Now, despite the fact that many are safe as family pets, they still have all this in their DNA. For this reason, it is essential that they have an “escape route” within their own cage to calm that nervousness.
But it’s not just about escaping.
Also in freedom they move very quickly to look for food. But in the cage, having food served does not mean that they do not have to release that need prior to feeding. For this they also use the wheel.
2. Physical exercise
Like most pets, physical exercise is essential for optimal health.
Hamters need it too. We must remove them from the cage every day and offer them a wide and safe environment so that they can move freely.
As you well understand, in nature they already exercise enough daily looking for food, fleeing, digging …
However, at home, most of the time they will be inside their cage, so the wheel becomes essential not only to calm their anxiety, but to exercise.
It seems that another reason why your hamster runs in the wheel is simply for fun.
This theory is deduced from a study carried out a few years ago by a neurophysiologist.
She, in her own garden, set out a plate with some delicacies to catch the animals’ attention and set aside a cage with an open door inside of which was a wheel.
He placed a camera and through it he was able to observe how mice and other rodents approached the food plate and then got on the wheel and started running, without any apparent objective.
Later, the food plate was removed and many animals continued to climb on the wheel and run, despite not being attracted to any type of food.
What if we remove the wheel?
That would not be a good idea.
You can guess that the benefits of the wheel for your hamster , after what has been said, are:
- Cover your survival instinct .
- Provide emotional balance.
- You will stay in good physical shape , helping your muscles and organs.
- Offer you fun.
That is why under no circumstances should you take it off your hamster.
You also have the option of acquiring hamster balls for him in which the animal can be introduced to run out of the cage. Of course, that this element provides a bit more security than if we just let the rodent loose, it does not mean that it does not require surveillance.
And you who have a hamster as a pet , do you like to see him run on his wheel?