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Old 12-21-2016, 01:33 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2016
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Default Is it normal that my Ham doesn't run in his ball?


So I adopted a hamster about a month or two ago from a friend, he is about 5 months old and whenever I put him into his ball he runs for around 30 seconds and then stops. Then, he will just sit in the ball for as long as I leave him.

He does run on his wheel of a night in his cage, but generally he seems quite inactive. He doesn't usually start to be active until 11pm and then when I wake up for work at 7am he is asleep again.

Is this normal? If not, how can I help him?
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Old 12-22-2016, 05:25 PM   #2
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Default Re: Is it normal that my Ham doesn't run in his ball?

It sounds like maybe he's just not a big fan of his ball? Balls aren't essential hamster kit - there's a school of thought that says that they're not good for welfare.

If you give him the choice, will he go into the ball or not? I find that Inky will usually (but not always) choose to step inside her ball when given the option, and I take that as a sign she enjoys it - she also enthusiastically runs around our flat when she's in it, only occasionally pausing for breath! They shouldn't be in there for more than 10-15 minutes anyway.

Hamsters are meant to be crepuscular (most active at dawn and dusk) rather than nocturnal as is commonly believed. However, I've typically been waking Inky up at about 7pm for playtime - she'll often go back for a nap later in the evening and then wakes up during the night and is in bed by the time I get up at about 7.30am. Have you tried waking him up at all at an appropriate time of the evening? Inky knows the routine now, and given a gentle stroke inside her house and the smell of a milk drop to tempt her out, she's quite happy to emerge.
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Old 12-22-2016, 05:34 PM   #3
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Default Re: Is it normal that my Ham doesn't run in his ball?

This does sound normal behaviour as some hamsters don't like running in balls - I've noticed with my hamster some enjoy running around whilst other would sit in their balls trying to chew out and my Sherbet used to fall asleep inside hers.
I would recommend trying a playpen as he may personally prefer a playpen over a ball - you can fill the playpen with a wheel and some of his favourite toys for him to play with. A playpen like this is ideal for Syrians - Stylish playpen
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Last edited by SKB_Hamsters; 12-22-2016 at 05:51 PM.
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Old 12-23-2016, 01:03 AM   #4
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Default Re: Is it normal that my Ham doesn't run in his ball?

I agree that a play pen would be a better alternative to a ball, it doesn't sound as though your ham likes to be in the ball & many don't even though they will voluntarily climb into one. If you have a play pen you can make things more stimulating & enjoyable to explore with toys etc.
If he's running in the wheel at night he sounds fine, maybe try to find some more things he will enjoy playing with in the cage, try scatter feeding & hiding food or treats in toilet roll toys or small boxes to keep him busy in the cage.
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Old 01-28-2017, 03:01 PM   #5
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Location: Texas (USA)
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Default Re: Is it normal that my Ham doesn't run in his ball?

Don't worry, there's nothing wrong with your hamster
Some hamsters simply don't enjoy their hamster balls. Mine doesn't. All he does when I put him in is sit and look at me.
Instead of a hammy ball, buy or make a playpen! Just a cleaned out bin that has tall enough walls will do. Add in extra toys you may have and let him explore
As for the late-night runs, that's perfectly normal. Your ham might just like staying up later than some other hamsters.
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Old 01-28-2017, 05:55 PM   #6
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Location: Southern United States
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Default Re: Is it normal that my Ham doesn't run in his ball?

I agree with the above answers. This is generally a sign that your hamster doesn't want to run in a ball, and should instead be let out into a playpen or alllowed to free roam in a hamster proofed room.

Every hamster hamster wakes up and goes to sleep at different times so there's no need to worry over that at all! My one hamster wakes up at 6pm and goes to bed at 6am, and another one of my hamsters wakes up at 1am and goes to bed around 7am so it really does depend on each individual hamster
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Old 01-28-2017, 06:30 PM   #7
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Default Re: Is it normal that my Ham doesn't run in his ball?

It is perfectly normal for your hammie to not want to run in his ball. It all depends on the hamter. Just because he likes to run in his wheel/cage doesn't always mean that he will like the ball.

For instance, Kornelia(our Syrian hamster), may she rest in peace refused to run in the ball. She would just sit inside it and shake. She wouldn't move. She was soooo scared. However, when she was inside her cage she loved running on her wheel and exploring her cage setup.

Calypso(another of our past Syrian hamsters) however adored her ball. We always had a hard time getting her out of it. She was totally fine.

Each hamster is different just like us humans. Some of us don't like certain rides at the amusement park but other do. It is just preference. Seeing as the ball is not an essential, I wouldn't worry about it too much. You can save the ball for your next hammie.

As for the hamster waking up late and going to bed before you wake up, that is completely normal. They wake up really late and have their fun during the time we are normally asleep. Then when we wake up, they go to bed. This is normal. My suggestion is you could either stay up later or or wake up earlier. If this is not possible, you could see if your hammie will let you wake it up to play. However, this is not the preferred option as most hammies get grumpy and cranky(ex. Kilian and Leo). Though in some cases (ex. Kornelia & Calypso) are fine with it.

Hope these tips and suggestions help you and your hammie.
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Old 01-30-2017, 02:54 PM   #8
Aisling and hamster
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Default Re: Is it normal that my Ham doesn't run in his ball?

Thats perfectly fine i have two hamsters one likes the ball the other doesn't, i suggest letting your hamster climb into the ball itself so it has the choice of going in the ball or not
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