Written By Laura Grace
March 7th 2020
I purchased Beanie’s first cage from a buy and sell website, and it came with several other items, including a wheel. The wheel was a navy blue, eight inch mesh wheel. I had done my research and knew very well mesh wheels caused Bumblefoot, so I had my solution all planned out.
I measured the circumference and width of the wheel and cut a piece of cardboard to fit it. Then I got a wet paper towel and rubbed it on the top layer of the cardboard. I then carefully ripped off the flat top layer of brown paper from the cardboard. That left me with a perfectly fitted, wavey, grippy cardboard liner for the wheel.I was very pleased with my work. I got some black electrical tape and taped the liner into place on the wheel.
Throughout the month and a half I used that wheel I only needed to replace the liner once. It worked like a charm, and Beanie showed no signs of foot pain. Eventually Beanie outgrew the wheel, as expected, so I began to search for an upgrade.
Finding an Upgrade
I had a few criteria I wanted to meet for the wheel:
- Ten inch
- Solid surface
- $20 or less
- Decent reviews
I couldn’t find anything to meet my requirements, and I’d almost given up hope when a friend said, “Why don’t you get a twelve inch?” And to this day I don’t know why having a ten inch was such a huge deal to me. I looked once more, and finally ordered a twelve inch Comfort Wheel. I’d heard good things about it, and unlike Silent Spinners, I’d never heard of one falling apart.
Upgrades For Beanie
About two days before the Comfort wheel came in the mail Beanie moved into the 410 square inch aquarium. She was bathing in space, and I was delighted when her wheel came a few days earlier than expected. I hurried out of the post office with the box and ripped it open as soon as I got to my car; I knew I didn’t want the burgundy wheel, anything but burgundy. To my delight the wheel turned out to be a medium blue, and I couldn’t be happier.
That night I took out the second hand, mesh, eight inch wheel and replaced it with the brand-new, medium blue, solid surfaced Comfort wheel. Beanie came over to see, sniffed it, hopped in and began running. She seemed very pleased with the upgrade, and I’m glad I got over myself and got a twelve inch; I believe the two inches make a big difference.
Fixing Clattery Wheels
Getting a cheaper wheel was a risk I was willing to take, noise wise. I’d read several reviews on the wheel, and it was known to be a bit loud. I’d have lost many nights of sleep if someone hadn’t commented on it and suggested tying yarn or fabric around where the wheel and the stand meet; it fills the extra space and then the wheel doesn’t have anything to clatter against.
It worked like a charm. Of course, it still makes noise, but I was used to some noise since Beanie’s old wheel was even worse quality. I’ve used a few things to make it quieter, and all have worked quite well.
For the first eight or ten months I’ve used the wheel I’ve used strips of fabric tied around the empty space, but I’ve recently started using some thick yarn, which has been easier and made it quieter. Just be careful that your hamster isn’t getting a hold of the yarn; the fibres and strands can be lethal if consumed.
And that’s all my experience with hamster wheels! I know I don’t have a whole lot of experience with different wheels, but either way I hope this was helpful for those who are looking at wheels for a future or present hamster, or already own a wheel that is unbearably loud.
If you’re interested in more hamster-related content be sure to like this post and follow the blog, and I’ll be back on Tuesday with more small pet care, DIYs, recipes, cage setups, stories and more, have a ham-tastic day!
- Get a large, solid wheel from the start so you don’t have to spend more on an upgrade.
- Some smaller, younger hamsters cannot push a large wheel, so in those circumstances it is okay to get a smaller starter wheel.
- If you have a clattery wheel tie some fabric strips or thick yarn around where the wheel meets the stand on the back, just don’t do it too tight or it’ll be too hard for your hamster to push.