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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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Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: London, UK
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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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Join Date: Mar 2016
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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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