Hamster Ball

A hamster ball may seem like a fun way to let your hamster zip around your home but unfortunately they can be a dangerous and stressful experience for your hamster. Blue Cross and The RSPCA have provided warnings not to use a hamster ball.



Blue Cross Say Hamster Exercise Balls Must Not Be Used


Blue cross say “Hamster exercise balls must not be used as your hamster can quickly become exhausted and won’t be able to escape. They do not allow good ventilation and the hamster cannot access their food, water or a safe hiding place while they’re in them. This can make it a very stressful experience.


Instead, we recommend giving them a safe, secure place to have a run around (like a hamster playpen) for when you want to let your hamster outside of their cage.”


Your hamster may seem happy to climb into the ball from the cage door but research has shown that they are happy to climb into anything i.e. a tea cup, as long as it is a means to get out the cage. Whilst in the ball research shows:


  • A hamster will be stressed in a hamster ball as it’s senses are restricted.
  • It will also be stressed to realise it is trapped with no access to food and water.
  • As hamsters have poor eye sight, they will bump into things such as furniture and have little control.
  • The slits on the ball also make for poor ventilation but whats worse is that claws can get trapped in the slits and ripped out.
  • Depending on the size of the hamster ball it can cause the same back injury as a wheel that is too small.

The RSPCA Believe Hamster Balls To Be Both Dangerous And a Stressful Experience they say:


“Because hamsters’ sight is very poor, the senses of touch, smell and hearing are vital
means of exploring their environment. Being enclosed in an exercise ball could restrict the hamster’s use of these senses and could compromise his/her ability to gain information about the environment, which is likely to be very stressful for the hamster.


Whilst in the exercise ball the hamster will have no control over its environment and will be unable to access any resources he/she may need- for example food, water, bedding/nest area. This may prevent the hamster from being able to perform natural behaviours and could cause considerable stress.


It is also likely to be extremely stressful for the hamster should the exercise ball collide with other objects; for example, furniture.


There is potential risk of injury to the hamster’s paws and/or legs if pinched or caught in the air holes in the exercise ball.”

You might be asking “what should I do?”


Free roam


You can let you hamster free roam using the following:


  • Playpen
  • Dry bath
  • Hamster proof room 


Letting your hamster free roam with the suggestions listed above can be a great benefit not just for the hamster but for you as well!


Free roaming is a perfect way to help you bond with your hamster as it is more direct on a one-to-one level. It is so much fun to see your hamster run around, explore and interact with.


The RSPCA advice on why hamster balls are unsuitable can be seen here:  RSPCA Hamster Balls PDF