Choosing and furnishing your hamster’s cage can seem like an impossible task, with conflicting advice often offered on the internet with a high degree of certainty: “all hamsters MUST have…”, “You should NEVER…”etc. After keeping hundreds of hamsters, the only certainty I’ve found is that there’s always going to be a hamster that goes against the must/always/should. Hamsters will be hamsters, and one of their most endearing qualities is in being uniquely awkward!
My rule of thumb for hamsters and wheel size is to check whether they can run without bending their backs. Different hamsters are different sizes, so a ‘one size fits all’ approach for recommending wheel diameter doesn’t work. I have one tiny Syrian hamster who runs quite happily with a straight back in a 6.5 inch diameter wheel, whereas a larger girl like Tayleur needs an 8 inch wheel.
This is Tayleur in a 6.5 inch (left) and an 8 inch (right) wheel:
I personally have found even my large pedigree hamsters have been able to run well with a straight back in 8 inch wheels, although I know other internet sources can be quite vociferous in saying that Syrian hamsters ‘must’ have 12 inch wheels. Having been around on hamster forums for some years now, it’s interesting to see the ever increasing shift in ‘requirements’ and ‘musts’. I wonder where the internet wheel ‘must’ will be in a few years… 😉
Taken from b3ta (user Barbarossa)
Perhaps a little controversial, but these are my thoughts on wheels.