Hamsters are the eighth most common pets in the USA, and it’s easy to see why. Hamsters are great pets: they’re cute, fluffy, usually friendly, and mostly quiet. However, while they are typically quiet creatures, their toys can be noisy-especially their wheels!
Here are 6 tips to make a hamster wheel silent:
- Oil the wheel.
- Upgrade to a higher-quality wheel.
- Soundproof the cage.
- Place a mat under the wheel.
- Play with your hamster regularly.
- Add other toys to the cage.
By reading this article, you’ll learn various techniques to make your hamster wheel quieter. Therefore, your hamster can still run and get important exercise and enjoyment without any annoying noise!
1. Oil the Wheel
This is a simple solution to the problem of a noisy wheel. All you’ll need is a cotton pad and some non-toxic vegetable oil.
I always have these Simply Soft Cotton Rounds from Amazon.com on hand in my house for various purposes. I like these because they are 100% natural and they have a 4-layer design for extra absorbency. Not only that, but they’re more durable than other cotton pads I’ve used.
It’s important to use vegetable oil because it’s non-toxic and won’t harm your hamster if it consumes some of it. I like the AVO Organic 100% Vegetable Oil from Amazon.com because no harmful chemicals are used in the extraction process. Therefore, I know it’s safe to use not only for cooking, but also on my hamster’s wheel.
Additionally, AVO is committed to reducing its environmental impact, and the oil is made completely in the USA.
After you have your cotton and oil, the rest is simple. All you need to do is:
- Remove the wheel from the cage and take it apart.
- Put some oil on the cotton pad.
- Rub the oily pad all over the axle until it’s completely lubricated.
- Reassemble the wheel and return it to the cage.
Additionally, you can use butter instead of vegetable oil if you prefer.
You’ll need to repeat this process every time the wheel gets squeaky again, but it’s minimal effort for some peace and quiet as your hamster runs.
2. Upgrade to a Higher-Quality Wheel
One of the main reasons hamster wheels squeak so badly is that they’re typically made from cheap plastic material. Consider upgrading to a higher-quality and quieter wheel if your wheel is bothering you.
I highly recommend the Niteangel Super-Silent Hamster Exercise Wheel on Amazon.com. This wheel comes in a bunch of fun colors (I love the pink!), and it’s made with a double-bearing design that’s specifically designed to reduce noise.
The wheel is also available in three different sizes, so you can choose the small size for a dwarf hamster and the large size for a big teddy hamster.
Wooden hamster wheels are quieter than their plastic alternatives, and they’re more durable. As a bonus, your hamster will enjoy chewing on the wood (which is not harmful to their health at all).
My favorite wooden hamster wheel is the Small Pets Exercise Wheel available on Amazon.com. The wood is eco-friendly and non-toxic. Additionally, the widened and thickened base provides a stable mount for the wheel, so you won’t worry about your hamster running the wheel off the axle. And the best part- the wheel is completely noiseless!
3. Soundproof the Cage
The openness and airiness of hamster cages are one of the reasons the noise from the wheel is so audible. One way to silence this noise is to insulate your hamster cage.
This may seem like a big undertaking, but soundproofing a hamster cage is a relatively simple process that anyone can do.
The first thing you can do is place a thick blanket underneath the cage. This blanket will absorb the impact noise of the wheel, and it will also collect any bedding or food that the hamster flings from its cage!
Impact sound is the noise that occurs when an object hits another object, such as the hamster wheel hitting the side of the cage, and placing a dense material where the noise originates from is an effective way to reduce the noise. You can use a thick towel instead of a blanket if you prefer, as any thick fabric material will suffice.
You can also put the cage on soundproof pads, such as these Mitef Self-Adhesive Acoustic Panels from Amazon.com. These panels are made of polyurethane, a high-performance material for noise reduction and sound absorption. These panels will perform the same task as a blanket underneath your cage, but perhaps a bit more effectively.
Another way to soundproof the cage is to cover it with a blanket. This will muffle the sound that comes from the wheel. Just make sure that there is enough open space for fresh air to get in.
Read How To Make a Bin Cage for a Hamster
4. Place a Mat Under the Wheel
Sometimes the cause of noise on a hamster wheel is the wire base repeatedly hitting the bottom of the cage as the hamster runs. All you need is a small mat underneath the wheel to eliminate this noise.
However, you must make sure that whatever material you use is safe for hamsters to consume. Hamsters are curious and hungry animals, and they’re likely to chew on whatever you put in their cage. Therefore, using a material that isn’t safe for consumption, such as rubber, is bad for your little bundle of fur.
I recommend using a hemp mat, as hemp is completely safe for hamsters. In fact, some hamster bedding is even made out of hemp! Therefore, putting a hemp mat underneath the wheel will block out the noise from the wheel hitting the bottom of the cage, and it won’t damage your pet if it takes a nibble.
5. Play With Your Hamster Regularly
If you can’t adjust the wheel itself to make it quieter, one way to lessen the annoyance of a noisy wheel is to try and minimize how much your hamster uses the wheel at night.
Hamsters are nocturnal creatures, so they will always be more active at night than you are (unless you’re nocturnal, too!). However, if you play with your hamster right before you go to sleep or in the late afternoon, you might be able to tire it out enough that it doesn’t want to run on its wheel at night.
Playing with your hamster is of utmost importance. It provides your hamster with the stimulation it needs to live a healthy and happy life, strengthening the bond between you and the animal. Additionally, playing with your pet is one of the best parts of pet ownership!
Here are some ideas for how to tire your hamster out before your bedtime so it doesn’t run on its squeaky wheel all night:
- Let it run around in a hamster ball. If you let your hamster run in a ball, it may be less inclined to run on its wheel later on. Hamsters typically only need 20-30 minutes of exercise a day, so letting your little guy roam in its ball while you get ready for bed is a good way to allow it to get its exercise without driving you crazy. An open space is preferable, so your hamster doesn’t encounter too many obstacles.
- Teach your hamster some tricks. Hamsters can be trained to perform certain tricks just like a dog. Common tricks for hamsters are stand, jump, and roll over. To get the hamster to stand, hold a treat over its head and say, “Stand!” Once the hamster stands, give it the treat. Hold the treat higher to get it to jump, and place the treat on the hamster’s back to get it to roll over.
- Play with climbing toys. Hamsters like to climb. You can purchase climbing toys from your local pet store or Amazon. I like the KATUMO Hamster Toys from Amazon.com because it comes with multiple toys, including two ladders. The toys are made from natural dried coconut shells and wood that’s safe for the hamster to chew.
- Make a maze. You can make a maze with used cardboard or other material from around your house. A maze is a good brain-stimulating exercise for your hamster, and it will get tired from running around trying to find the exit. Make sure that you use non-toxic glue if you’re gluing the pieces together.
- Scatter food and make your hamster find it. You can scatter food all over your hamster’s play area and watch it run around and stuff the food in its cheek pouches. Did you know that hamsters can carry up to half of their body weight in their cheeks? Additionally, make sure that you only give your hamster food that’s safe for it to eat.
Foods that are not safe for your hamster include the following:
- Salted peanuts and other salted nuts
- Apple seeds
- Red meat
Here are some foods that are safe for hamsters:
- Unsalted sunflower seeds
- Carrot tops
- Timothy hay
If you play with your hamster late in the day, there’s a good chance that it’ll still be tired from all of the activity from running on its wheel when you’re trying to sleep. You’ll also get some quality time with your beloved pet!
6. Add Other Toys to the Cage
If the wheel is the only option for entertainment in your hamster’s cage, it will want to run on it all the time, and you’ll never get any peace and quiet.
However, if you fill the cage with lots of options for fun and exercise, your hamster can entertain itself without making a ton of noise.
Here are some ideas of what to add to your hamster’s cage:
- Branches: Hamsters love to climb and chew on wood, so they can entertain themselves for hours if you add some branches to their cage. If you’re bringing in branches from outside, make sure that you wash the branch with soapy water and bake it for 45 minutes at 200 °F (93.3 °C) to kill bugs that may be hiding on it. Furthermore, avoid branches from willow, pear, apple, cottonwood, pecan, and mulberry trees.
- Cardboard tubes: Don’t throw that cardboard tube away every time you go through a roll of toilet paper or paper towels! Instead, add it to your hamster’s cage so it has some fun tunnels to run around in.
- Swings: You can buy swings for hamsters at the pet store or make your own with string and a used roll of tape. All you need to do is put the string through the roll and tie it to the top of the cage and watch your hamster swing away!
- Shoelaces: Shoelaces are safe for hamsters to chew on as long as you remove the plastic aglets.
- Cardboard boxes: Hamsters love to chew and play with cardboard, so feel free to add any small cardboard box you may acquire to your hamster’s cage.
- Popsicle sticks: You can glue popsicle sticks together with non-toxic glue to make a little fort for your hamster. If you don’t go through enough popsicles to support a fort, you can buy the sticks at Amazon. I like the KTOJOY Craft Sticks Ice Cream Sticks from Amazon.com because they’re made with non-toxic wood, and the rounded edges lessen the chance of your hamster hurting itself on a sharp edge.
If your hamster has other options for play in its cage, it may not run on its wheel as much, making it less of an issue for you.
If you’re one of the 1% of households in the USA that own a hamster, you may have encountered a noisy wheel at one point or another. While this is certainly an annoying issue, it can be easily fixed by the following methods:
- Lubricating the wheel.
- Purchasing a noiseless wheel.
- Soundproofing your hamster cage.
- Putting a mat underneath the wheel.
- Playing with your hamster before you go to sleep.
- Giving it other toys to play with.
With these tips, you can quiet your hamster’s wheel so it can get the exercise it needs without driving you crazy!
You may like the following hamster’s articles:
- What To Feed a Sick Hamster?
- How To Pick Up a Hamster When You’re Scared
- Why Is My Hamster Rolling On His Back?
- What Is the Average Weight of a Hamster?
- How To Put a Hamster Out of Its Misery
- How to Change Hamster Sleep Cycle
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