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In the wild, hamsters are known to run for several miles in a single night. This exercise is necessary for their health. Being locked inside a cage makes it difficult for hamsters to get their necessary amount of exercise in order to remain healthy, this is why an addition of a wheel to your hamsters cage is a must. They can run long distances, some cover several miles through the night. The distance your furry friend covers during the night is beneficial to their health by keeping them fit and making sure that they burn off the relative amount of calories. Another reason for getting a wheel for your hamster, is that they simply enjoy it and it makes them less stressed, which can help to avoid stress related illnesses that hamsters are known for. Wheels also work as a distraction for hamsters, preventing them from nibbling at their cage.
Due to the amount of distance covered during the night (read: Are Hamsters Nocturnal?), it is important to get a silent hamster wheel. Wheels can be noisy, and due to hamsters being nocturnal animals, the last thing you need is to be awoken during the night due to your furry friend running a marathon. Finding a relatively silent hamster wheel is essential for a good night’s sleep because otherwise you will be tempted to remove the wheel from your hamster’s cage at night and this is never a good idea. A wheel is a necessary component to your hamster’s mental and physical health, this is why you can alter the noise you hear by placing the cage far away from where you sleep, and also by paying a little bit more for a wheel that claims to be extra quiet.
Hamster wheels come in different materials, most common are metal or plastic. Metal wheels tend to last longer than plastic wheels and they are less likely to succumb to damage from your furry friend through chewing. A negative to metal hamster wheels is that they tend to be made with rungs, meaning that hamsters can get injured by falling between the rungs. Plastic wheels are more easily damaged and less durable. However, they are much safer as they are made from one piece of plastic and have no gaps that can harm your hamster’s little legs.