How Do Hamsters Know To Run On The Wheel? Mystery Explained

Hamsters are not only exotic pets. They are unique as well. You get to learn a new thing about them every now and then. Even from the beginning of their, hamsters are full of surprises. One of the first things that astonish hamster owners is their pet’s passion for running on the wheel. But the question is, how does this passion develop? Stay tuned until the end to find out how hamsters know to run on the wheel.
How Do Hamsters Know To Run On The Wheel

Are you one of those hamster owners who are surprised to see their hamsters running on the wheel for the first time? Well, there’s no sorcery in this. Hamsters’ bodies are naturally designed, and their minds are programmed to run. The urge to run comes instinctively in them. 

Many first-time hamster owners consider the behaviors of their pet hamsters weird. However, these mysteries can be easily solved by looking at the history of wild hamsters.

Hamsters’ Relationship With Running Wheels

The answer to this question lies in the life of our pet’s ancestors. Wild hamsters are well known for covering large distances in a short duration of time. Their bodies are perfectly designed to run at high speeds. 

Here are some points explaining hamster’s relationship with running wheels:

Life Of Wild Hamsters

The lives of hamsters in our homes are directly related to their wild cousins. Learning the life of hamsters in the wilderness will explain all the weird actions of your pet. One thing we all know is that hamsters love food. 

However, this food is not as common in the wild as in the cage of domesticated hamsters. In fact, in most places where hamsters live in the wild, food is scarce. It is why they have to travel a lot every night searching for food. According to the studies, hamsters cover up to 5 miles of distance only to find food each night.  

If you imagine the size of the hamsters, this is not less than climbing a mountain. Evolution has played a great role in this. Hamster’s bodies are perfectly evolved to be perfect marathon runners.

Although hamsters in our homes don’t need to run that much for filling their bellies, their bodies need good physical activity to stay in shape. It is why hamsters instinctively feel the urge to run. 

Killing Boredom

Put yourself in the place of your hamster. Living in a cage can be mentally disturbing for those who love exploring. Hamsters are some of the best explorers of the wilderness. These little critters kill their need for enjoyment by running. 

The same is the case with domesticated hamsters. For most pet hamsters, the main source of entertainment is running on the wheel. It is how they not only keep themselves fit but also joyous. 

How Do Baby Hamsters Come To Know About Running Wheels?

Running is in the instincts of the hamster, and rest is done by exploration. As a hamster owner, you must’ve noticed that hamsters are fond of exploring everything. When you put them outside their cage, you will see that they inspect everything. 

Hamster’s urge to explore everything will lead them to the running wheel, and then their running instinct kicks in. Once hamsters realize that they can use wheels for running, they will start enjoying it. After that, it will become a routine, and the hamster will keep doing it for fitness and enjoyment.

Benefits Of Running On The Wheel For Hamsters

Running on the wheel for the hamsters is the same as running on the treadmill for us. There are multiple advantages of running on the wheel for the hamsters. Above all, running keeps your hamster away from obesity which can be fatal in hamsters. 

Other than that, it is also one of the activities that your pet enjoys. Pet hamsters are more prone to stress, anxiety, and depression than wild hamsters. It is due to the limited space they are confined in this. In such a situation, running wheels provide your furry friend with a good platform to keep his mind busy.


Some questions relevant to the topic are quoted below with their answer so that you can understand the concept in a better way:

Do Hamsters Need Training To Run On The Wheels?

No, although hamster wheels are a man-made thing but running on them comes naturally to the hamsters. You don’t need to give any special training to your hamster for this purpose.

At What Age Hamsters Start Running On The Wheel? 

You will be amazed to know that hamsters start running on the wheels from a very young age. Typically, you will see your hamster start practicing on the wheel from the age of around 16 days. 

Hamsters Running On The Wheels Mystery Solved

Hamsters are very active animals. They indulge themselves in a lot of activities. One of these ventures includes running on the hamster wheel. It comes naturally to the hamsters due to their body structure and running instincts. 

They will themselves learn that they can run on the wheel by simply exploring it. Moreover, running on the wheel is beneficial mentally and physically for your hamster. 

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a little about me
Hi, im Sofia
Hi, im Sofia

I'm a mother of 2, hamster enthusiast, animal lover, and blogger. I have had five hamsters in my life, each with their own personality!

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