You don't see much evidence during the day, but hamsters are busy little creatures. In the wild they cover miles each night foraging for food. Your domesticated hamster gets daily delivery, but that doesn't mean he's lost his natural instinct to run. To get his exercise, he needs a hamster wheel. Wheels come in all sizes so get the size that's right to accommodate your hamster. Be sure to choose one that's solid, without rungs, so your hamster doesn't injure his little legs when he's running.
Wash, rinse and dry the solid hamster wheel, or spinner, thoroughly.
Take your hamster out of his cage and place him in his carrier while you install his wheel.
Lower the wheel into the cage with the back facing the side of the cage you wish to attach it to. Ensure the knob on the back of the wheel that looks like a key is vertical so it can slip between the bars of the cage.
Press the spinner against the inside of the cage with one hand, securely holding the plastic nut that's located in the center of the inside of the spinner.
Turn the "key" on the back of the spinner with one hand while holding the nut inside the spinner in place with the other hand. Don't over-tighten the connection, as the pieces are plastic and can crack if you apply too much pressure. When the spinner is secure, move the key into the horizontal position so it locks the spinner in place on the side of the cage.
- During your weekly hamster cage cleaning, remove the wheel or spinner, wash and dry it thoroughly, and reattach it. This will keep the wheel sanitary for your little guy and will give you a chance to inspect it and ensure it remains securely connected to the cage.
Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.