Gerbils & Hamsters/Syrian Hamster


I bought a hamster for my son on 3/19. Everything seemed fine at first now he only sleeps in his wheel. He does everything in his wheel and only comes down to bring food and bedding up. I'm just wondering if this is normal behavior or if we should be concerned? Is there anything we can do to change this? Thank you in advance!

Hi Amanda

Thanks for your question.

Some hamsters do this - for some reason they feel safe in their wheel.  As he is new he may well snap out of this behaviour.  Has he got other places to sleep in his cage?  If not, it might be worth putting in a few hamster houses (try to avoid fully enclosed plastic ones as they can attract condensation). You could also put hamster toys and some cardboard tubes in the cage for him to go through.  Once he has marked his territory he might relax a bit more.

I'm sure he will be fine.


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Sheila Adby


Syrian hamsters are my specialty, however, I have kept Campbells,Winter Whites and gerbils in the past. I can advise on most subjects associated with hamsters, including housing, bedding, feeding, handling, new borns and catching escapees. I have had some experience of various health problems with hamsters and can offer my opinion and advice on basic health issues, however I am not a qualified vet and therefore cannot recommend drugs etc. My website is


I have been keeping hamsters and other small animals for more than 12 years. My favourites are Syrian hamsters and I foster litters and 'difficult' hamsters for a rescue centre. My job is to tame hamsters ready for re-homing, which is extremely rewarding. I also enjoy looking after new litters and raising the pups. I have co-written a book on hamsters with my local vet and have a website:

Hamsters in Sickness and in Health - Sheila Adby and Dan O'Neill ISBN186163218-5 (Capall Bann Publishing)

Educated to A Level standard in the UK.

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