One of the first things you’ll want to do after getting a new hamster is let it play in a ball or wheel. They’re great ways for a hamster to exercise and have fun! But how long should a hamster be in a ball before it becomes unsafe?
A hamster should spend between 15 and 30 minutes in a ball, and the precise amount of time a hamster should be in a ball depends on how active it is. They can get dehydrated easily, so it’s essential to supervise them at all times. Spending more than 30 minutes in a ball is usually not necessary.
This article will explain in greater detail how to care for your hamster when it’s in a ball or a wheel, as well as point out the differences between the two pieces of exercise equipment. It’s essential to understand ball safety, so be sure to read the valuable information below to learn more.
How Long Can a Hamster Last in a Ball?
A hamster can generally last up to 30 minutes in a ball before becoming thirsty and tired. However, some hamsters may last longer, and some may not last as long as 30 minutes. It’s best to ease your hamster into the ball; start with ten minutes, then go up to 15, etc.
You shouldn’t put a hamster in a ball for 30 minutes or more if it’s the first time. Since the hamster likely won’t be used to exercise, it might get dehydrated or even worse.
Since hamsters are fully enclosed in the ball, they usually can’t get out; this means they don’t have water or other necessities if they get tired or thirsty.
If your hamster is in a ball and you notice it seems exhausted, take it out immediately and place it near a water supply.
Always be sure to keep an eye on your hamster when it’s in a ball, no matter how much experience it has.
Read How To Keep a Hamster Warm
Are Hamster Balls Safe?
Hamster balls aren’t entirely safe, so it’s essential to supervise your hamster and ensure it’s not near any stairs or other dangerous places. Using hamster balls in direct sunlight is also unsafe, so make sure your hamster stays in a shaded area.
Here are some tips on how to ensure the safest ball experience for your hamster:
- Don’t use a hamster ball upstairs. If your hamster is in a ball upstairs, it may fall and get injured. Hamsters have limited eyesight, so they can easily fall down a set of stairs when running in a ball.
- Only use a ball on flat surfaces. Your hamster is likely to get injured if it runs around in a ball on an uneven surface. Examples of uneven surfaces include grass or a hill. To give your hamster better control, keep it on a flat surface.
- Use a ball in shaded areas only. Most hamster balls are made of clear plastic, so they get hot in the sun; this can get dangerous quickly because your hamster will overheat. Overheating can lead to death, so always make sure your hamster uses the ball indoors or in an area with little sunlight.
- Always supervise your hamster. Whether it’s your hamster’s first time or 100th time in a ball, you should always watch it. All it takes is one second to get injured or go off course, so this is highly important.
- Time your hamster. Always time your hamster when it’s in a ball. Fifteen to 30 minutes daily is more than enough time for your hamster to exercise.
- Ensure the ball is the correct size. If you have a dwarf hamster, it’ll struggle to move in a large ball because it won’t be strong enough. And if you have a large Syrian hamster, a small ball won’t be comfortable or big enough.
Check out, How Much Does a Hamster Cage Cost?
Can a Hamster Use a Ball Every Day?
A hamster can use a ball every day. A hamster ball is suitable for exercise, and exercise is essential for the health and wellbeing of a hamster. A hamster ball also keeps your hamster entertained and occupied, which is good for its mental health.
Other things that are great for daily hamster exercise and for keeping your hamster occupied include:
- A wheel. You can incorporate a wheel into your hamster’s cage, which means it has access to it 24/7; this is a great way to keep it occupied.
- Climbing. It’s possible to incorporate bars in your hamster’s cage, which allows it to climb and explore; this is a fun way for your pet to exercise!
- Toys/items. You can give your hamster many different things to play with, which will keep it occupied. Giving your hamster some small stones is a great way to keep it busy and active. Since hamsters are so tiny, stones are heavy for them. They’ll carry the stones around the cage, which builds their strength.
- A hamster tube. A hamster tube is a fun way for your hamster to stay occupied. It allows your hamster to explore and exercise at the same time.
- Leaving hidden bits of food in the cage. Hiding small pieces of food around your hamster’s cage is a great way to keep it entertained.
So, your hamster can undoubtedly use a ball every day. However, other than using a ball, it can do many other things. Giving your hamster different ways to exercise and keep busy is essential for its overall wellbeing.
Read Why Does My Hamster Poop So Much?
How Long Can a Hamster Be in a Wheel?
A hamster can be in its wheel for hours at a time, especially at night. Many hamsters are nocturnal and highly active, so they can run up to five miles (8.05 km) a day on average. Since wheels aren’t as intensive as balls, it’s safe for hamsters to use them for longer.
Read How Long Can a Hamster Go Without a Wheel?
What’s the Difference Between a Hamster Wheel and a Hamster Ball?
Hamster wheels offer more freedom because they’re not enclosed. Hamster balls, on the other hand, are enclosed. There’s no way for a hamster to escape from a ball unless it’s set free. Additionally, hamster balls are always made of plastic; wheels can be steel or wood.
Another difference between hamster wheels and balls is that wheels are stationary, and balls move around.
Wheels can be incorporated into your hamster’s cage, allowing it to come and go as it pleases. Many hamsters enjoy running on a wheel for hours every day, so it’s an excellent method of exercise.
You can’t incorporate a hamster ball into a cage because its function is to roll around with the hamster inside; it also requires a decent amount of free space.
Generally, it’s good to have both a wheel and a ball for your hamster. Having the wheel will allow it to exercise whenever it wants, and having a ball will enable it to get out of its cage for a change of scenery every once in a while.
Check out, What Does a Dead Hamster Look Like?
Do Hamsters Enjoy Being in a Ball?
A hamster will enjoy being in a ball if you didn’t force it into the ball and if it’s in a safe environment. Once your hamster is comfortable and not too hot or exhausted, it’ll enjoy being in a ball for short periods. Take your hamster out of the ball if you notice it isn’t enjoying the experience.
You’ll know if your hamster enjoys being in a ball by how it’s behaving. Some signs that mean your hamster isn’t enjoying itself include:
- Hissing. When a hamster hisses, it means that it’s scared. Take it out of a ball very gently if it begins to hiss. I must stress how important it is to remove it gently because it may try to bite you if it’s scared.
- Teeth grinding and shaking. If your hamster is shaking or grinding its teeth (or both), it’s a sign that you need to remove it from the ball carefully. It indicates that it’s not enjoying itself, so you must pay attention to this behavior.
- It’s running more than usual. If your hamster seems to be running more than usual, or if it seems out of control in the ball, it may have lost control or gotten scared. Try to catch the ball as gently as you can, and allow your hamster to calm down before removing it from the ball.
Once you follow all the safety tips I mentioned earlier, your hamster shouldn’t have any issues while playing inside a ball. As long as you’re keeping an eye on it, it should be safe.
Related Hamster articles:
- How To Tell if a Hamster Is Pregnant
- Why Is My Hamster Biting Me
- How To Tame a Hamster
- Why Is My Hamster Biting the Cage
- How Long Can a Hamster Go Without Water?
- Why Is My Hamster Drinking So Much Water?
- How Much Water Does a Hamster Drink?
- Why Is My Hamster Losing Hair
- Why Is My Hamster Wobbling and Falling Over?
A hamster generally doesn’t need to be in a ball for more than 30 minutes. Anywhere between 15 and 30 minutes is plenty of time, depending on your hamster’s fitness level and other traits.
The most important things to take away from this article are:
- Always supervise your hamster when it’s in a ball.
- Don’t put your hamster in a ball upstairs.
- Keep the ball on a flat surface.
- Ensure your hamster is in a shaded area.
- Watch out for signs of stress when your hamster is in a ball.
My name is Everly. I am a Milwaukee-based mom of 2 and have been a proud owner of many hamsters throughout my life. Like many of us, my introduction to hamsters happened when I was very young. My family saw several hamsters come and go through the years, and I enjoyed playing with them, but I never fully appreciated them until I grew up and my own children decided to jump on the hamster bandwagon. At that point, I was determined to learn all I could about caring for these adorable pets. Read more