Why do Hamsters run on wheels?

Hamsters are the cute little animals everyone wants to pet. In fact, they are among the top choices of kids who want to adopt their first pet as well as adults who find them lovable to keep around. 

There are so many traits that Hamsters show, and running on wheels is one of them. Usually, it is considered that they like to run on the wheels just for entertainment.

Why do Hamsters run on wheels?

But that is not the case with them every time. There are multiple reasons why Hamsters run on the wheels continuously. 

If you own a Hamster and want to learn about its running habitat, then keep on reading further to know everything about it.

Why Do Hamsters Run On Wheels?

Hamsters run on wheels to burn off excess energy. Hamsters consume highly nutritious and energy-producing foods like sunflower seeds, making them hyperactive.

Though it is normal for Hamsters to run on the wheels, it is advised to pay attention to its behavior regarding running to detect any unexpected issues early on. 

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Is It Good That Hamsters Run On Wheels?

Yes, running on wheels is actually a good exercise for Hamsters. Plus, they are known to be highly energetic creatures that need to dissipate their energy doing something physical. 

However, too much running can cause foot lesions resulting in scabbing on their paw pad. 

What Are The Reasons For Hamsters Running On Wheels?

Hamsters love running on wheels to keep themselves entertained. However, there are multiple other reasons why Hamsters run on the wheels. Let us learn what they are: 

Due to their natural instinct

Running is Hamsters’ natural habitat, normally a Hamster can run up to 5-6 miles per day. Hamsters come from rodent families and have a fast-running capacity so that they can save themselves from becoming prey. 

They might be bored

Hamsters get restless and bored while being in their cage all day long. Hence if you have set up a wheel into their cage, they will probably entertain themselves by running on wheels for the longest time. 

Eating high energy diet

Hamsters eat a high-energy diet that makes them get very active throughout the day. Hence, running is one of the best ways to use their energy. 

No other toys to play with

Hamsters choose to run on wheels if they don’t have any other options to play with. 

They might be just exercising

Exercising releases endorphins within the body of Hamsters, which makes them enjoy running as exercise. 

They might be developing addiction to running on wheels

If they have only one piece of equipment to play with. It is natural to develop an addiction to it. 

In the case of wheels, if Hamsters are climbing to wheels every now and then, it might be a sign they are getting addicted to it. 

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Is There Anything That Can Be Done To Stop Hamsters From Excessive Running?

Though running is good for Hamsters, doing it excessively can be harmful to them; hence it is essential to make them stop once in a while.

If your Hamster is showing an unusual interest in running, here are a few things you can do to stop it: 

  • Buy a bigger cage for your Hamster, so it gets more space to roam around. 
  • Offer it different toys to distract him from running on wheels; such toys include ladders, tunnels, tubes, blocks, and chewing toys. 
  • Scatter its food in different places within its cage as well as on different cage levels. You can also put some under its bedding. They are naturally food foragers; making it search for its own food will burn off some of its energy. 
  • Let Hamsters out of the cage once in a while to run around in the house. However, it is advised to do this under your supervision only. 
  • Temporarily remove your Hamster’s wheel from the cage.
  • Play with your Hamster often.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Do Hamsters Run At Night?

Hamsters run at night due to their nocturnal nature. It is totally normal for Hamsters to spend the night running on their wheels or digging burrows. As they are going to stay awake the whole night to find something engaging to do. The exercise wheels are their choice most of the time. 

Do Hamsters Run On Wheels When Stressed? 

Not really. Running on wheels is a natural activity for Hamsters. Usually, they cover 5-6 miles running on the wheel. If it’s unusually quick on the wheels, constantly trying to climb its cage or is seemingly more alert than usual are signs of it being stressed out. 

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Why Do Hamsters Run So Much On Wheels?

Hamsters are genetically runners and can run on the wheels for an extended period of time constantly. Running is a way to exercise, burn excess energy, or a way to tackle boredom. Hence, there is nothing to worry about until you notice something unusual about it. 

Can Hamsters Run To Death?

Yes, the Hamster may run to death. When Hamsters run excessively on the wheels, they physically exhaust themselves beyond necessary. This practice leads to hyperthermia or dehydration in Hamsters. Without being properly hydrated, your Hamster can collapse and might die if left unattended. 


It is OK to let your Hamster run on the wheels, given that you engage him in other activities as well throughout the day.  Many Hamster specific toys are available online!

Make time to play with your Hamster every single day. This way you can bond with it in a better way. Plus, you will help it burn off its energy. 

Hamsters tend to get themselves injured running wildly on the wheels and will likely have scratches in their leg area. Hence keep a check on its physical well-being when it runs on the wheels.

Hamsters are solitary animals and can easily find ways to keep themselves engaged while not being attended by their owners. Please make sure to spend time with your adorable Hamster; they are lovely pets to own in every way.