Quite often, people choose a hamster as a pet. It should be borne in mind that this animal lives in cages in humans, so it is very important when buying a hamster to choose the right housing for it. The choice of accessories for the cage is no less important, and the running wheel deserves special attention, because it is with its help that the animal can expend energy while in the cage. It is worth considering in more detail the types of wheels for running, the basics of their choice, as well as accustoming a hamster to a wheel.
Hamsters cannot be classified as centenarians, since on average they live only 3 years, so 1 year can be compared with 25 years of a person. Only dwarf hamsters can live a little longer – 4 years. The hamster is a nocturnal rodent that loves to be active at night. If your pet makes a lot of noise when you sleep, you should buy a hamster wheel, because this accessory is silent, and the pet will be able to be active all night long without disturbing anyone. Hamsters run around a lot. Under natural conditions, this animal runs about 10 km per night, so you simply cannot do without a silent wheel. If you wish, you can make such a ring yourself.
If the hamster does not know what to do with it, then it can be trained.
If you decide to make such a simulator for your pet on your own, then you should take into account that its surface must be flat, while remembering the presence of small gaps, because it is with their help that the hamster will be able to run without slipping. Corrugated cardboard is an excellent choice, as its surface is presented in the form of ribs. If you make a wheel from a slippery material, then you will have to sheathe the simulator with an additional cotton cloth.
A running wheel for a hamster should be characterized by the following qualities:
- right size;
- vibration-free operation;
- light weight, which contributes to rapid rotation;
- the presence of serifs on the inside;
- wheel fasteners must be reliable and durable.
When choosing a ready-made wheel, you should pay attention to several requirements that are put forward to it.
- The dimensions of the structure must be correctly selected, since a lot depends on this. If for Syrian hamsters wheels with a diameter of 18 cm are usually made, then for dwarf breeds or for children it is better to buy an accessory with a diameter of 16 cm.
- If you want to buy an option on a stand, then you should consider that the space between the stand and the wheel should be at least 1 cm.
- The wheel mount must be safe and secure as it is attached to the cage this way. The best choice is to fasten between the bars of the cage. It is better to refuse to buy a design with a stand adjacent to the wheel, because such designs often cause injury to hamsters, as their paws get stuck between the stand and the wheel.
- The working surface of the wheel must be safe for the animal. A good choice is plastic with special notches that prevent the paws from slipping while running.
- It is worth abandoning the wheels that have a mesh treadmill, because the paws will constantly get stuck, leading to injury to the animal.
Modern hamster wheels come in a wide variety. Many make such an accessory on their own. In any case, you should initially familiarize yourself with the design options in order to make or choose the best option. So, let’s take a closer look at the types of wheels for a hamster, depending on several criteria.
Wheel size plays a big role. If you purchase a small wheel, then the hamster will have to bend while running, which will negatively affect the posture of the animal and may even result in injury. A very large accessory is quite difficult to rotate, so the hamster may even refuse it.
If you need an accessory for a Djungarian hamster, you should take a wheel with a diameter of 12 to 16 cm. But for a Syrian hamster, it is better to take a wheel with a diameter of 18 to 20 cm. fall out of it constantly. So, for Syrian hamsters, the ideal width is 7 cm, but for dwarf representatives – 5 cm.
Important! The correct wheel size affects not only ease of use, but also safety.
If the gap between the attachment of the accessory and its rotating part is less than 1 cm, then there is a high probability of injury to the animal. If the dimensions of the wheel are chosen incorrectly, then dislocations and fractures can be expected.
Based on materials
This attraction can be made from several materials.
- Natural wood. The safest is a wooden wheel, but, unfortunately, it is characterized by the highest cost. If the hamster wants to taste the simulator, then nothing bad will happen.
- Metal. After some time of operation, the metal wheel will begin to make loud noises. Usually, the use of the wheel is accompanied by a squeak, which is doubly unpleasant, because the hamster uses the attraction mainly at night, since he sleeps during the day.
- Plastic. Convenience and noiselessness are the main advantages of a plastic wheel. Be sure the inner side of the wheel must be equipped with ribs, which will prevent slipping while running.
Combined models, which are created from several materials, deserve special attention.
For example, a plastic wheel presented on a metal stand will be an excellent choice, because plastic parts are characterized by lightness and noiselessness, and a metal stand guarantees the power and reliability of the whole structure.
Another thing to consider when choosing a treadmill. It should be non-slip, especially if we consider a model made of plastic or wood. It will be uncomfortable for the hamster to run, and at high speed he may simply fly out. If the mesh is made of metal, it is worth giving preference to a fine-mesh one, because the paw of the animal can fall into a large cell.
According to the method of fastening
Depending on the method of fastening, it is worth distinguishing three types of wheels for hamster.
- On the cell wall. In this case, special holders or strong wire will be required, depending on the type of cage. Using this mounting method, you can save space, but it is worth remembering that this option involves tapping while running on the hamster house itself. The mounting option is often used on bearings.
- To the bottom of the cage. This wheel is presented on a special stand. It is she who guarantees the safety of the use of products. The stand must be fixed to the bottom of the cage. The disadvantage of such fasteners is that the design cannot be called reliable and safe.
- standalone device. The wheel is made on a stand, so installing it will not be a problem. This option minimizes the possibility of tipping the wheel.
In addition, it is worth noting also the running disc. This option is equipped with an additional stand, which gives it stability, since the hamster cannot fall out of the structure. When choosing types of construction, you can also mention a walking ball.
Rating of the best manufacturers
The hamster wheel is simply an indispensable accessory. Today, it can not only be purchased at a specialized store, but also made by hand, which significantly expands the range of this accessory. If you still consider ready-made wheel options, then you should pay attention to several manufacturers that are the best today.
- Ferplast is an Italian manufacturer that offers luxury options for hamster wheels. The Gym Gym model is very popular. The size of the structure is 32x23x26 cm. It can become either part of the cage or a separate device. The design is represented by a wheel with a ladder and a plastic box. And also it is equipped with holes for ventilation. Its advantage is the possibility of expansion with the help of tunnels and additional modules. The price of the product is 2000 rubles.
- Trixie is a popular brand that offers a wide range of products for animals, including hamsters. The best choice would be a solution with a metal stand. Its diameter is 28 cm. Additionally, attachments to the structure lattice are presented. And the price is 1000 rubles. This option is characterized by brightness and noiselessness. The undeniable disadvantage is the high cost.
In addition, well-known companies include Darell, Beeztees and Triol.
How to choose?
Before choosing a particular wheel for your pet, it is worth identifying the following selection criteria:
- convenience and safety;
- suitable sizes;
- the material from which the structure is made;
Basically, the cost of the product is greatly influenced by the material from which the structure is made. On average, it varies from 100 to 3000 rubles. Plastic wheels are the cheapest, but you should understand that they fail quite quickly. It is better, of course, to use a wooden model, because it does not creak, which cannot be said about a metal wheel.
An important selection criterion is also the opinion of the animal itself. First of all, the hamster should like the wheel. If he does not like the wheel, then it will be almost impossible to teach him. You can lure your hamster onto the treadmill with a favorite treat. To get to the next piece, the animal will have to go forward a little, thereby setting the mechanism in motion.
It is worth noting that some people buy a wheel with a generator. To prevent the possibility of night noises from using the new design, it is worth buying models with integrated bearings.
Natural wood is the best choice when it comes to hamster wheels. It is characterized by naturalness, as well as an attractive appearance and, of course, a pleasant aroma. The model is complemented by a wooden stand, which allows you to use it separately from the cage.
The plastic wheel looks stylish, because it is presented in several colors. The wheel has a wall mount, a comfortable track with bumps to prevent slipping.
The metal wheel is durable. Black color gives the model sophistication. In appearance, it resembles a fan, which allows you to harmoniously fit this accessory into the interior design. The stand is also made of metal, but it does not look very reliable.
How to make a hamster wheel with your own hands, see the following video.