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Old 01-26-2016, 02:32 PM   #11
climber008
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Default Re: Ball recommendations?

To be honest, I think it depends. Just like some people don't like riding on roller coasters, while others do!

My past hamster, Calypso could never wait to get into her ball! All I had to do was lower it into her cage, and she would practically jump into it!

I can see where other hamsters might feel frightened or even forcefully obligated to run in a ball. I believe that you should just use extreme caution when using any balls, and constantly check your hamster.

As others have stated, there are definitely many different opinions on ball use, just as there are many different hamster personalities.
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Old 01-27-2016, 01:48 AM   #12
Bertiebobbins
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Default Re: Ball recommendations?

Mine have a savic rat sized ball. Nibble never goes in it anymore and Glowy only goes in occasionally if I need him out of his cage for a few mins, as he will try and climb out of the cage whereas Nibble will stay in his neat box while I'm spot cleaning. When they weren't fully tamed they probably used it most days though. Personally I think the ball can be useful if used wisely and safely, as a means of giving them freedom to explore if they aren't tame or you don't have a hamsterproof space.

Regarding then being the same as a wheel, they really aren't. They can always get out of a wheel if they want, whereas they are trapped inside a ball. The wheel has been proven to provide an endorphin release for them, hence they will run and run and run. Mine will even spend time running on a wheel when they're free ranging! running in a ball doesn't provide the same, or hasn't been proven to. In fact I think you would be hard pressed to find any evidence that a ball is beneficial for them in the same way a wheel is.

I think it's up to each owner to make an informed decision about whether to use a ball.
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Old 01-27-2016, 02:39 AM   #13
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Default Re: Ball recommendations?

Cindy loves her ball its a mouse size ball due to her being small, she often refuses to come out of it when I think she's had enough running around on the floor. Lunar tends to just sleep in his, Tank likes to use his and also refuses to come out of it when I think he's had enough. Yummy is exactly the same as Tank and Cindy, opinions on playballs are split in the community. I wouldn't keep putting a hamster in to a ball if they obviously hated being in it.
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Old 01-27-2016, 02:55 AM   #14
Fluffagrams
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Default Re: Ball recommendations?

When I started keeping hamsters again after several years, I bought exercise balls because books and pet shops almost promoted them as a 'must' and to be fair, one of my early Chineseys appeared to like being in his ball as does my sister's hybrid.

My female chinesey was the one that made me rethink the use of exercise balls with that species and they both have a playbox instead now. Her foot actually got stuck in one of the ventilation holes and whilst she wasn't hurt, that had to have been a very scary experience for her.

I've read less issues with Syrians in exercise balls and some people put them on stands to prevent injuries from them bashing into things but it's worth mentioning that they don't have the same option to get out when they've had enough as they would on an exercise wheel so it's down to the owner to ensure that the hamster is not left in one for more than 5 minutes or so.
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Old 01-27-2016, 03:53 PM   #15
herbi7
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Default Re: Ball recommendations?

i think it depends on the hamster. My syrian Willow loved her ball and wanted to get in it, she was an excellent navigator and enjoyed finding her way around places as her main drive was to explore. i didn't use it so much as she got older as she got a bit stiff and I felt she was apt to get a bit sore afterwards. Sometimes she didn't want to get back in the next day and waited a few days before she wanted to go in it again and i guessed she had got a bit stiff or something. But when she was younger it was an essential part of her out time, she needed a lot of variety and always had playpen time and free ranging as well but i often finished off with the ball, because she would always get in willingly so i could catch her, for one thing! She soon let me know when she wanted out, either by coming to rest against my foot or by biting on it noisily so I knew when she'd had enough. It was just the normal pets@home one, 7 inch I think which is quite small but she found a way of using it and manoevering it, really effortlessly. I bought the bigger size but didnt' use it as i thought the slits were too big and it wasn't going to be easy to propel. If you are going to use a ball, check your hams feet can't fit through the slits, that they actually want to go in it, they stop every 5 or ten mins or so to drink, and you dont' over-use it. They get hyper when left in for too long and are prone to dehydration. If your ham is reluctant to go in or seems over-active or distressed in any way during or after, don't use it.
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Old 01-27-2016, 04:01 PM   #16
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Default Re: Ball recommendations?

ps my Chinese hams are a different kettle of fish, I never tried Littlun with a ball as he is timid and doesn't really do exploration, and although Bailey practically lives in his ball on a stand (it keeps it straight so that they don't put their feet where the slits are and he can come and go out of it as he pleases as one end is open, but if you're going to use one check your ham doesnt' push up the bedding underneath or anything as it makes them slope and then there is danger that the feet can get caught), I dont' use a free-rolling ball with him, i think their little feet are too fragile and they are perhaps too timid in nature. I think Russian hams seem to do better with balls from what my friends tell me but I've never had one.
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