Hamster Car: Is It A Good Hamster Toy

hamster car

There aren’t too many hamster cars on the market. We were hard-pressed to find more than one brand, which piqued our curiosity. What we discovered is something you’ll want to read about, especially if you’re a hamster parent.

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What Is A Hamster Car?

A hamster car is simply a mobile hamster wheel. The wheel is positioned within the framework of a car body. As the hamster walks on the wheel, it causes the car to move forward or backward (depending on what direction the hamster is facing.) 

Although the concept of a cute little car with a hamster inside of it is what drives sales, are these cars safe and functional? Before we put a hamster behind the “wheel” of one of these cars, let’s take a close look at the safety and functionality of a hamster car.

Choosing A Hamster Car

As we mentioned, we could find only one brand of hamster car on the market. The hamster car is limited to four colors and has the option of a track that can be purchased separately for the car to run on, similar to a train.

We found a hamster race car from the U.K. however; it is no longer on the market for sale. If we think of mobility, a hamster ball car comes to mind for some. After all, it moves, right? Well, a hamster ball doesn’t quite qualify as a hamster car. 

Things To Think About Regarding A Hamster Car

If you are considering a hamster car for your hamster, remember that it’s actually a hamster wheel with a car body built around it. Because of this, we have to think in terms of a hamster wheel rather than a hamster car.

Size Matters

Sizing is the first thing to point out. A hamster wheel doesn’t come in a “one-size-fits-all.” What may comfortably fit a dwarf hamster is far too small for a Syrian hamster. The hamster car doesn’t come in different sizes but rather one size. How do you know if your hamster will fit comfortably in a hamster car (i.e., hamster wheel?)

While in the hamster car, a hamster’s back should never be arched while running inside it but should always be straight. Arching of the back indicates the hamster car (wheel) is too small. A lot of hamster parents may not even be aware of how painful it is to run on a hamster wheel in a severely arched position.  

Dwarf hamsters require 6-8 inches of running space without arching of the back, where Syrian hamsters need 8-12 inches of the same. The wheel component of the hamster car is about 6” wide. This wheel has roughly 4 inches of runnable space without back arching on the hamster. 

Test Driving The Hamster Car

Let’s think of the hamster car (wheel) as an actual car that seats one. When we go to test drive cars, we take into consideration how the interior looks and feels. One of the main driving forces behind our decision to buy a car is how comfortable we are in a particular car. Things like seat comfort and interior space are at the top of our list of “must-haves” in a car. 

Now put yourself in your hamster’s place and imagine the interior of a hamster car. It’s confining and tight and impossible to see out of while in motion. To get into the hamster car, a side opening about two inches wide at best makes it challenging to get through, especially for those full-figured hamsters such as Syrians. Once in, there’s a drop to the bottom. There’s very limited airflow because tiny little vent holes on the side, which aren’t really all that great to allow air in, so it may get rather hot in here.

The Hamster Society of Singapore provides a few things to carefully consider regarding enclosed structures such as hamster balls (and yes, the hamster car.) Hamsters can easily become disoriented, be subjected to fecal matter and urine within the structure, not have adequate air ventilation, and suffer from arched back injuries. 

Pros And Cons Of The Hamster Car

Because there is only one hamster car on the market, it’s relatively simple to take an in-depth look at the advantages and disadvantages of the car. We have researched reviews, customer comments, and ratings on this particular hamster car to provide you with a 380 degree understanding of what you can expect.

Cost: $$-$$$

Pros And Cons

  • The car has a cute and fun appeal.
  • It comes in different colors.
  • The car can be paired with a special track to keep the hamster semi-confined to one area.
  • Watching a hamster in the car is entertaining.
  • A hamster car provides both exercise and a chance to explore outside of the cage.
  • The car is a bit pricey.
  • It is not large enough for some hamsters.
  • The air vents are small, which may prevent adequate airflow.
  • A hamster inside the car cannot see where it’s going and may feel tightly confined. 
  • Many view a hamster car as cruel and lacks the assumed enrichment it provides to hamsters. 
  • Many hamster owners claim a hamster car is nothing more than a form of entertainment for humans.
  • The entrance opening located on the outer rim of the wheel component is very small. When coaxing a hamster into this opening while it is located at the top of the car, the hamster will fall to the bottom. 
  • There are customer comments about how the car doesn’t stay on the track that is purchased separately.
  • Cleaning the inside of the wheel component of the car is difficult because of the small opening.
  • Customers commented that the hatch opening failed to stay shut while the car was in motion causing the hamster to escape.
  • A caution message clearly states it is not designed for dwarf hamsters, yet it is too small for Syrian hamsters.
yellow hamster car

Do Hamsters Really Need A Car?

A hamster has a ton of energy, and with that energy comes a natural need to be constantly in motion. A hamster is born with the innate behavior to be a perpetual runner. This behavior serves as a survival mechanism for foraging and escaping predators. 

During the night, they come out from their burrow to seek out sources of food, and this foraging can take them many miles from their burrow. When these little guys have long distances to travel, they have to be agile and fast to move stealthily in the dark and be back before the sun comes up.

As hamster parents, we must ensure that we provide them with a means of burning off the instinctual need to run. This is where a form of an exercise wheel comes in; hence the hamster car being a form of the wheel. So, no, a hamster does not need a hamster car if it has a wheel inside its cage. Most who put a hamster in a car do so to provide their hamster with a supplemental form of enrichment. Various toys satisfy their curiosity and give them a means to having a bit of fun.

What Kind Of Toys Can I Give To My Hamster?

There are numerous toys on the market designed for hamsters. The hamster wheel is the leading toy, followed by tube systems, chewing sticks, ladders, hideouts, bridges, multi-level houses, and more. Fresh veggies and fruits also entertain and satisfy their need to chew. 

Readers get stumped, wondering, “How do I entertain my hamster?” especially if they are first-time hamster parents. Along with toys, provide them deep bedding to tunnel and burrow in. Hide food or treats for them to find while foraging. Lastly, hamsters who are nurtured and loved don’t require someone to entertain them.

A “Wheel” Is A Wheel No Matter How It’s Packaged

The hamster in car concept has the bones there to build something even bigger and better upon. But no matter how you look at the hamster car, it’s a hamster wheel. So, it might be better for the hamster and our wallets if we just stick to getting our hammies a decent wheel.

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