Hamsters are very active and run and play all the time inside or outside the cage. They use exercise balls and wheels to cover a few miles each day, which is good for their health and fitness.
When hamsters run with their balls outside the cage they are happy because they have more space in their room to enjoy and play.
But sometimes we can see the hamsters just sitting inside the ball and not running.
Why is my hamster sitting in his ball?
Hamsters sit in the balls because sometimes they don’t want to run when they are sick, when they have fear, or if the hamster is new then he may not know how to use the ball.
That is why we need to train our hamsters how to use the ball because it is an object for running and not for sitting in it.
In today’s article, you will learn why hamsters sit in balls, how long they can be in balls, and similar questions related to balls and hamsters.
Why is my hamster sitting in the ball?
When hamsters sit in their balls it can be for several different reasons.
It is much more important to know if the hamsters sit in the balls on purpose or maybe they don’t know how to use them yet.
When you buy a hamster he won’t know how to use the ball at first, and he will just sit inside it, which is completely normal until he learns.
We have to train the new hamsters to learn how to use the ball so they can run in it.
If the hamsters used to run in the ball, and suddenly they stop doing that, then we need to find out what is the reason for this behavior.
What do you need to know about the hamster ball?
Hamster balls are specially shaped and designed so that the hamster can run in them without escaping or getting hurt.
Running balls are great when you let your hamster out of the cage to run and have fun in your room or anywhere around the home.
The advantage of these balls is that you can calmly watch your pet running in them without having a chance to escape.
If you just let the hamster out of the cage, then he can hide somewhere, and then it will be difficult for you to bring him back, so the balls are a great solution.
What are the 6 most common reasons why hamsters sit in their balls?
There can be several underlying reasons why a hamster just sits in its ball and does not use it to run. So let’s read in detail about each of them.
When they are hungry and tired
If the hamster suddenly stops using the running ball and just sits on it, it may be a sign that it is hungry and thirsty.
They then have no more energy to run in the ball and sit still, this can happen after 20 minutes of running in the ball.
That is why it is recommended not to use it for more than 20-30 minutes because they will get exhausted and need food.
When hamsters have fear
When hamsters are afraid they don’t want to run in their balls and just sit inside without doing any activity.
Hamsters are by nature very timid animals because when they are in nature they are often prey to predators due to their small size and most of the time they run away and hide, fearing for their lives.
Hamsters that we keep at home, although they do not really have such a threat, have preserved their natural instinct and are afraid of different things.
They may fear:
- talking loudly
- other pets in their environs
- unknown people in their surroundings
- a change in the environment where he lives
All these reasons affect hamsters to be afraid and not want to run in their balls.
When they get used to and adapt to the new environment or when there are no loud noises and other potential dangers they will start running in their balls again.
Hamsters refuse to run in the balls when they have vision problems
Hamsters will not want to run in their balls if they have vision problems, blindness, glaucoma, or cataracts.
Hamsters naturally have very poor eyesight compared to other rodents, as they can only see a few inches in front of them, nothing more.
As hamsters get older, their eyesight gets weaker and weaker and they can see even worse, which may be the reason why they don’t want to run in their ball.
If you notice that the hamster used to always run and play with the ball, and suddenly doesn’t want to anymore, then you should take it to the vet to examine it and check its vision.
The disease prevents the hamsters from running in the ball
When hamsters are sick they don’t want to run their ball.
When hamsters are sick, they don’t want to engage in physical activity at all, they avoid using the exercise wheel, or the ball, they don’t want to climb through the cage and they don’t want to do any physical activity at all.
They then become lethargic and hide more for fear of predators not taking advantage of their current weakness.
If you notice that the hamster is sitting in the corner of the cage all the time, or hiding in its shelters, then take it to the vet to be checked, because it is obviously sick.
When the hamster recovers he will be as active as before and will love to run in his ball.
If you wake him up from sleep
If you wake the hamster from sleep he may not want to run in his ball.
When you wake up the hamster from a deep sleep, he will not be able to start running right away and it will take him half an hour to be able to move and adapt, and only then he can start running in the ball.
Sometimes if you wake up your pets, they may not want to run in the ball as a sign of revolt, and will just sit quietly for a certain time.
When the hamsters wake up, they can’t run right away because they might be bored, they might want to eat and drink water first before they start running in the ball, so don’t put it right away, wait at least half an hour.
They just don’t want to run into the balls
Sometimes there is no particular reason why hamsters refuse to run in their balls.
Some hamsters do not like to use running balls, although most of them still use this practical toy.
Hamsters may hate the running ball and therefore just want to sit inside without doing any activity.
If your hamster does not want to use the running ball due to boredom, hate, or similar, then it is best to leave them and wait for a certain time until they express a desire to use it themselves.
How long can hamsters run in their balls?
No matter how happy the hamsters seem when they run in their ball, after a certain time you have to get them out of it.
It is enough for them to be in the running balls for 20 – 30 minutes so that they can have physical activity and be happy.
If you leave them for a long time they may get bored or hungry and thirsty, so don’t practice leaving them in their ball for a long time.
You can also set an alarm to let you know when the 20-minute time is up, then return them to their cage.
Should Hamsters Use Running Balls?
Using running balls for hamsters has both pros and cons, so we should know them before we decide to buy a ball for our pet.
Hamsters using their running ball become more active, have better fitness and better health,
Hamsters using their running ball are happier because they have more space to move outside the cage, it is much more interesting and fun for them, which breaks their monotony.
Hamsters using the running ball can become stressed and disoriented which prevents them from being free to run when in danger.
Because the exercise balls are small they can work on their back and cause problems with their back and other parts of the body.
Running balls on uneven surfaces can cause turbulence and injury to hamsters when running. Hamsters can use the running ball to pee and poop in it and get infections.
Is it dangerous if you put the hamster in the ball for too long?
Yes, if you leave the hamsters in the ball for too long it can be dangerous for their health.
When hamsters use the ball for too long they can overheat because there is no water in the ball to drink.
That’s why you should always keep an eye on the time your hamster spends in its running ball.
Read more: Why Does My Hamster Always Run Away From Me?
Why are hamsters sometimes still in their balls?
Hamsters are quiet in their balls when they have a momentary fear or are surprised by something happening in their environment.
Since hamsters are very easily frightened they will sit still and freeze in their running balls.
This situation when they suddenly sit still can last for several seconds or minutes until the danger the hamster is afraid of passes.
Read more: Do Hamsters Sleep Sitting Up? Let’s Discover
How to maintain hygiene in hamster balls?
Since the hamsters are running in the ball, they will surely pee and poop in it, it is completely normal behavior of the hamsters because they have a fast metabolism.
However, with proper and regular hygiene and cleaning of the balls, they will be clean and ready for your pet.
When you need to clean the running ball, first take water and soap, make soapy water, and then clean the ball. Wipe each part of the ball with a damp cloth to completely remove all dirt such as feces and urine residue.
Finally, rinse the ball again with water and let it dry before putting it back to use.
Hamsters sit in their ball for many reasons such as illness, fear, boredom, or if they are sleepy.
Sometimes hamsters refuse to use the running ball because they just don’t want to, for no particular reason.
You can give them the running ball for the hamsters for 20 – 30 minutes, and then return them to the cage to eat and drink water.
Hamsters usually like to run with the ball, it makes them happy, but sometimes they just don’t want to do it.