What does every hamster need in its cage?
A wheel of course!
It gives all small rodents the opportunity to exercise in its cage as well as keep its owners awake at night with the monotonous patter of ickle paws on plastic!
As Dexter is proving in this picture, the exercise wheels provided in some cages are not sometimes up to scratch!
The cage I have for both of my hamsters, is the basic starter kit offered in most pet stores.
It consists of a plastic base, a plastic food bowl, a bottle, a wheel and a bog-standard house. (It also comes with free sawdust, bedding, food etc. if bought at Pets at Home)
The wheel in this cage has several flaws:
- Its too small for a full-sized Syrian hamster – Dexter didn’t fit in the wheel without practically folding himself in half the wrong way! Definitely not a comfy fit!
- It is too stiff. So stiff that Eve, who is a lightweight little hamster, cant even turn it despite being pushed up against one side of it. How can I expect her to run in it when it doesnt move for her?! Even podgy Dexter over there can sit on it without it rolling!
- Its not held high enough off of the base. I understand this can be adjusted if you look close enough but even so, when its held onto a flimsy plastic post a heavy hamster has no trouble bending the plastic when sat in it so that it scrapes the base floor.
So, after a restless hamster made it obvious he needed something to stimulate him, we bought a ‘stand-alone’ wheel.
This is from the same company who made the completely pants ‘indoor/outdoor playpen’ (http://hamsterdiaries.wordpress.com/2012/06/04/theres-no-escape-oh-wait-yes-there-is/) so I cant say I had high hopes.
The wheel itself was £9.99 (rather EXPENSIVE for what it is but one of the only options available). It can be fixed to a wire cage if you so please, but works particularly well on its metal free-stander-thingy-ma-jiggy.
It solves all of the problems I had with the original wheel!!!
It moves with the lightest touch (ideal for lightweight hamsters), it is held at the perfect height above the base and is considerably larger so fits full-grown rodents like Dexter in.
It even has a flashing rudolph-nose thing in the middle which lights up when the wheel is spun – neat eh!!
Fabulously entertaining when showing off the hamster to guests; slightly annoying however when the entire room lights up at 3am because the hamster decides to go for a quick run!
So we have ended up taking out the original plastic wheel and put in its place the new flashy awesome wheel.
He didn’t stop running on it for at least 3 hours… Making up for lost time perhaps?
And when I say ‘running’ I mean sprinting. His legs move so quick they are a mere blur beneath him. Kinda impressive for a furry thing.
Im secretly hoping that this new wheel will help trim Dexters tubby tum in as hes gotten a wee bit chubby over the last couple of weeks – we’ve been indulging him, guilty.
As its quite an expensive purchase, Eve will have a wait till payday to get her flashy new wheel.
In the meantime, I have a new video for you all to view of Dexter in his flash new wheel.
I know a few readers have the same cage
so what do you guys think of the wheel provided?
Have you got new ones or are your pets happy with the original wheel??