Can Hamsters Run to Death On The Wheel? Let’s Discover

Hamsters are very active animals that are constantly moving and running in their cage, especially on the exercise wheel.

Seeing my hamster run on wheel, made me wonder if my pet could die from running on the wheel.

Can hamsters run to death on the wheel?

No, hamsters can’t run to death, although they seem to expend too much energy using the wheel. Hamsters cover 5 or more miles on the exercise wheel every night.

In today’s article, you will find out if hamsters can run to death, possible health problems, and similar questions related to the topic.

Can hamsters run to death on the wheel?

No, hamsters cannot run to death, they know very well how long they have to run on the wheel. Hamsters have a lot of energy to expend, so they actually use the wheel.

Running on the wheel allows them to be in good shape, this is especially important for hamsters in the wild who need to be in good shape to be able to run away from predators.

Running on the wheel can create problems for their health only if they run too much and don’t eat enough and drink water.

Then something is wrong with your hamster and you should take him to the vet because he may be dehydrated or get sick due to poor nutrition.

If this situation occurs, you need to remove the exercise wheel for a certain period of time, until the hamster starts eating normally and drinking water again.

When all is well with his appetite for food and regular drinking of water, put the wheel back in their cage.

Is it okay if the hamster keeps running on the wheel?

Yes, it is perfectly fine if the hamster is constantly running on the wheel, it is completely normal behavior that should not worry you.

There are several reasons why hamsters keep running on their wheel, so let’s read more about them all.

Running is fun for hamsters

Running on the wheel is fun for hamsters, it helps them feel better and they just love running.

Running on the wheel also helps them not to be nervous, because it reduces their stress.

Hamsters will always enjoy their run on the wheel, only if they are sick then they may avoid or run with less intensity.

A natural need to run

Hamsters have a natural need to run, as they run at least 5 miles on the wheel every night.

Hamsters living in the wild do not have a running wheel, so they run every night to find enough food or escape from predators and run again after several miles.

Your pet, apart from the need to run, does the same for pleasure, they never get bored.

When hamsters run they are happier

When hamsters run on the wheel it makes them happy and they then have more endorphins which is the hormone of happiness.

This means your pet feels happy both when he runs and when he stops running.

That’s why the natural need to run along with the feeling of happiness makes running an essential habit for your pet.

How do I know a hamster is running too much?

If your hamster is not eating enough and drinking water then running on the wheel can create problems, and then we can say that he is running too much.

The hamster may become dehydrated or begin to lose weight leading to injury or illness.

Hamsters have very delicate health, so any disturbance in their diet can have a bad effect on their health and life.

Another situation when the hamster runs too much is if you notice any injury on its body, especially on the feet, because if the wheel is with metal wires, then too much running will lead to injuries.

Blisters may appear on the feet, which then lead to problems even with the usual normal movement of your little friend.can hamsters run to death on the wheel

Need to stop your hamster from running too far on the wheel?

Yes, you should stop the hamster from running too much on the wheel only when he is not eating enough and drinking enough water.

While under normal conditions and regular eating, you should not interrupt the hamster and you should not reduce the running of the wheel.

If the hamster is injured or sick then you should not allow your hamster to run on the wheel, as running in such a condition can only make it worse.

In any case, you as the owner should judge for yourself whether your hamster is okay to run on the wheel all the time.

Why Hamster Run On Top Of His Wheel?

Hamsters can use the wheel and try to escape from the cage.

This can especially happen if the wheel is stuck and they will then climb on top of the wheel to try and get to the roof of the cage and escape.

So pay attention to the wheel, it should always be functional, because if it does not turn, then it is a chance for the hamsters to escape from the cage.

Can stress cause hamsters to run on their wheels?

Yes, hamsters can run a lot on their wheel as a way to relieve stress.

This happens if the hamster does not have enough activities in its cage, there is not enough:

  • toys
  • climbing stairs
  • hiding places
  • tunnels
  • sand bath

Hamsters should run on the wheel, but if they do it constantly then you as the owner should check if something is missing in the cage.

Therefore, always enrich the content in their cage, so that the hamster can have different activities, it should not only run on the wheel.

How long can my hamster run on a wheel?

When everything is fine with the hamster, then he can run on the wheel for about an hour, but it can be more or less depending on the temperature in the room.

However, hamsters enjoy running and for them, it is a pleasure that always makes them happy, and satisfied and reduces their stress.

We must mention that as hamsters get older, they reduce the time spent on the track, younger hamsters certainly run more and faster than older ones.

Read more: Why Does My Hamster Always Run Away From Me?

How much is normal for a hamster to run?

On average, hamsters run about 8 kilometers every night, sometimes a little more or less.

But you must be careful that their wheel corresponds to the size of the hamster because if it is too small, it can cause a back injury.

If the wheel is too small then the hamster will not be able to run with the same momentum as when the size is right for its body.

The size of the hamster wheel should be:

  • for Syrian hamsters at least 8 inches in diameter
  • for dwarf hamsters at least 6 inches in diameter

So make sure when buying a wheel that it always matches your breed of hamster.

Read more: Can I Let My Hamster Run Around My Room? Find Out Now


Hamsters cannot die from too much running on the wheel.

They can only have health problems if they don’t eat enough and drink water properly.

In any other situation, the hamsters can freely run as much as they want on the wheel because they know when they are tired and when to stop.

The wheel allows them to expend energy and have good fitness and health throughout their lives.

Read more: Why Do Hamsters Run In Circles? All You Need To Know