Have you ever wondered whether your hamster balls or exercise balls as they are commonly known are safe for your pet hamster? Or are they simply not the safest thing for the little guy?
In fact, there are actually some risks that come with owning a hamster ball. To prevent your hamster from getting hurt, here are the top 8 reasons why you should not use a hamster ball for your little hamster.
Let me preface this by saying I am not trying to start any hamster ball fights, but there is a lot of information out there about them, and a lot of misinformation as well. So I decided to put together a list of what I think are the top 8 reasons people should avoid hamster balls if they want their pet to stay healthy, happy, and safe.
Hamster balls are small
The hamster balls on the market are too small for dwarf hamsters, and most balls for hamsters are much smaller than the minimum wheel size recommended by breeders. These small balls also restrict your hamster's movement, and hamsters tend to get injured from running in such an unnatural position.
Bigger balls, however, are not suitable either, as they can cause serious injuries to your hamster, especially dwarf hamsters, due to their smaller body size.
Hamster balls cause trauma
Hamsters are prey animals in the wild, so their instinctual reaction, when placed in an unfamiliar closed space, is to attempt to escape. When placed in a hamster ball, this instinct causes the hamster to climb up the ball, causing them to bounce up and down inside the ball.
This can cause serious injuries, as the hamster is bouncing around inside the ball, hitting the sides, and getting bruised. This can cause long-term problems, such as hamster paralysis, as the hamster will be unable to move its limbs, and it may also cause injury to its organs.
Hamster balls provide less air
As you may know when we run or exercise we breathe more deeply and need as much fresh air as possible. But if we are trapped in a ball that does not have enough ventilation,it would make it much harder for us to breathe. The small ventilation slips it does have are big enough to get a hamster’s feet or hands caught in it. This has resulted in many hamster injuries that are pretty serious.
Hamster balls get dirty
Yes, hamsters will often poo and pee in the ball, and this dirt can be very harmful to them. This can lead to many health problems, such as skin infections and respiratory problems. As they will constantly live and run in dirty exercise balls, they will also be exposed to a higher risk of bacteria and infections.
Hamster balls cause boredom
Hamsters are known to be very curious creatures. When you place them in a hamster ball, they will find it very interesting to play in and will spend a lot of time exploring the ball. This is great for them, but it can also cause them to become bored and overstimulated. This can cause them to become restless and can lead to other health problems, such as hyperactivity.
Hamster balls can bump into walls
This is the most common reason why hamsters are injured. Hamsters are very curious and are often trying to explore their new surroundings, and the hamster ball may bump into the walls and the hamster may get hurt.
Hamster balls can heat up
As hamsters are very active and will be running around in the ball, they will also be creating a lot of heat, which can be very dangerous for them. Otherwise, ventilation in the ball is also very poor, so the temperature inside the ball can rise to dangerous levels.
Hamster balls can be hard to clean
Hamsters will often eat and poop inside the ball, and it is very difficult to clean the ball. This can cause them to get sick, and it can also make it hard for you to keep your hamster clean.
So if you want to keep your hamster healthy and happy, I would highly recommend that you avoid hamster balls.
In my opinion, this is sufficient enough to ditch the idea of a hamster ball. Instead, you can use a safe option like a playpen or even a dry bathtub.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
What is a hamster ball?
A hamster ball is a spherical cage that keeps a hamster or other small rodent inside. It is used to limit the space a hamster has to move around. It is designed to keep them from getting bored and to prevent them from chewing their cage.
How long should hamsters stay in their balls?
Hamsters need to be removed from their balls after they’ve been in there for about 30-40 minutes. You should make sure that you supervise the ball once they are in their exercise ball to check for overheating or any injury.
How do you clean hamster balls?
Step 1: Empty the Ball: Take the ball outside and empty it. Shake it out so that all of the dirt and debris fall out.
Step 2: Wash the Ball: Wash the ball with warm water and soap. Use a brush to remove any loose debris.
Step 3: Dry the Ball: Let the ball dry for at least 12 hours. If it's still damp, put it in the sun.
Do hamsters need their balls every day?
When a hamster spends too much time in his ball, he is likely to lose his sense of balance and become injured. So hamsters should not be kept in an exercise ball for more than 30 – 40 minutes every day.
Why does my hamster poop in his ball?
Once a hamster is frightened and does not have space to escape, it poops in the ball. If you see your hamster doing this, just take him out of the ball and give him some time to calm down.
Do hamsters need a lot of space?
A hamster needs to have a lot of space to move around. If you want to keep your hamster happy, you should provide him with at least a square foot of space to move around in.
What is the difference between a hamster ball and a hamster cage?
A hamster ball is a spherical ball of mirror or plastic that keeps a hamster inside. However, a hamster cage is a rectangular cage that has a mesh top and a wire bottom. The mesh top allows the hamster to climb around.