Have you ever thought about getting inside a human-sized hamster ball? I have never done it, but it sure seems like it would be fun – especially on one that would allow you to run across the water.
The thing is, you or I would get into a hamster ball by choice, because we would think that it was fun. And we would be free to get out any time that we wished. Also, nearly every human-sized hamster ball that I have seen is clear. So it allows you to see outside and know where you are going.
With a hamster-sized hamster ball, it is a completely different story. First of all, hamsters don’t go inside by choice. They are usually put inside by their good-intentioned owners, who think that the hamster will enjoy it.
Though hamsters can’t speak, my guess that is, if they could, they would report that hamster balls are not enjoyable. In fact, hamsters may find them more like torture chambers.
To begin with, the ventilation is poor, and hamsters can’t tolerate the heat. What we would consider to be a nice hot summer day would kill a hamster.
Next, the ball is always sized wrong. It has to be. If the ball is too large, then the hamster simply tries to crawl up the sides and the ball doesn’t move. This probably makes the hamster feel like it is trapped inside a container with infinite walls. All it can do is turn around in a tiny area at the bottom.
If the ball is too small, then the hamster has to arch its back when it goes inside. It moves the ball, but its spine is always curved.
Ahh, so what if the ball is the perfect size for your hamster? He fits in it with a straight back and the ball is light enough to move. Well, in that case, then the hamster is always off balance, as long as he is standing on all four feet. Because if he shifts his weight in any direction, then the ball will move in that direction, and he will have to run or else fall over.
Well, isn’t that the point? For the hamster to run? When is the last time that you tried to run on a surface where you had to challenge your balance? (such as a mattress, on the edges of tires, bosu balls, or across a trampoline?) It’s hard work, and it may be a fun for a few minutes, but after 20 or 30 minutes or longer? I would imagine that is what your hamster thinks too.
Inside a hamster ball, there is no food or water, and no place to go to the bathroom. So the hamster could emerge hungry, thirsty, and covered in his own waste. Doesn’t sound like much fun to me.
Would you forcefully put a cat or dog inside an appropriately sized hamster ball? I think you would agree that neither of these animals would find it enjoyable, so why would you expect that the hamster would?
Finally, once the hamster is inside of the ball, he can’t see outside; the thick plastic muffles sounds and prevents odors from getting through. So the creature has no idea where it is or where it is going. I would think that to a hamster, being inside a hamster ball is comparable to a human being inside a dark closet with shaky floor.
Please don’t subject your pet to hamster balls.