Kittens in Hamster Balls

By Elisa Black-Taylor

Hamster ball fun for kittens

Hamster ball fun for kittens

My friend Jennifer had a YouTube video posted to her wall today, showing several kittens playing inside of hamster balls. I’m not sure how many of you have ever owned a hamster, or a gerbil, but they enjoy running around on the floor inside a ball. The ball may be clear, or any number of colors. The important thing is the pet inside can see where it’s going.

I’m not sure whether or not I like this toy as a form of entertainment for a kitten. Take a look at a few of the videos available on YouTube. All you have to do is Google “kittens in hamster balls.” This use for the hamster toys appear to be enjoyable for the kittens using it. A kitten may play alone inside the ball, or a littermate can push the ball around with another kitten inside of it.

The idea has been around for at least a few years, as Huffington Post reported on it back in June of 2011. Michael did a story on it back in February 2012. There were only a few comments on his story, and there are a lot of new friends to the PoC website here.

The idea seems to have grown a lot in popularity since both the PoC and Huffington Post articles. With the number of exploited cats now being marketed on YouTube and other websites, I thought this a good time to bring up this topic again.

Maybe I’m being a bit melodramatic in worrying about a kitten becoming stuck inside. It would definitely be a toy that would require supervised play. I picture the kitten turning it’s body in such a way to become trapped. If the kitten can’t get air, how long would it take to suffocate inside the hamster ball? If memory serves me, the ball can be twisted apart, so if the kitten runs into a problem, it’s easy to free it from the ball.

The hamster ball reminds me of the glass jar photo that was passed around a few years ago. The one with a kitten curled up inside a jar and possibly trapped. A lot of my friends thought that one was funny, but just as many found it upsetting and in bad taste. Exploiting the cat, if you really care to critisize the online photo.

Then there’s the reasoning behind getting your kitten a hamster ball. Are you doing it to entertain the kitten, or to entertain yourself, while having an opportunity to put something really cute on YouTube. People are YouTube crazy these days. Enthusiasts are always on the lookout for the next thing likely to go viral.

The kittens in the videos appear to be having lots of fun. It gives them something interesting to do. Hopefully, the kitten involved soon learns to escape the ball before it gets dizzy or injured. Maybe there’s nothing wrong with hamster balls for kittens, providing people don’t start pushing kittens down staircases or using them as soccer balls.

As far as dogs wanting to play inside a see-through ball, I don’t see it happening. Cats are much more curious about their toys. They investigate, where dogs tend to sniff and then walk away.

Have any of the readers purchased a hamster ball for their kittens? How do you feel about all the YouTube videos showing kittens in these balls? Are you nervous, or do you clap your hands and laugh?


Associated page: Homemade cat toys

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Kittens in Hamster Balls — 18 Comments

  1. My thoughts are (a) it is a good toy for kittens because they seem to get endless fun from them. I think they are safe and (b) a kitten must have the same preferences for a toy as a hamster!

    I haven’t researched this but I presume these balls are made for hamsters to play in or have I got that wrong.

    I wonder if an adult cat would be equally interested in a giant hamster ball.

  2. We always had one of these back when we had a hamster. The hamster would roll all over the house in the thing. We had a little dog then too and she loved to push the ball with the hamster in it.

    • If I was lucky enough to have kittens at home I would totaly go out and get a hamster ball for them. Kittens are so much fun and they can have fun with anything. They are so incredibly curious and alive – it’s enchanting.

        • lol – well you got the ‘living in Switzerland’ part right 🙂

          Kittens are really amazing. I just get hooked one them – I want to spend all the time with them. They are so ready to play and explore – so much fun to be with. I really get lost in kitten world if they are around 🙂

  3. The hamsters are on their feet walking inside of the ball – in control. The kittens have no control, and end up being pushed all around while their body is in a curved position, upside down, sideways, etc. I can’t imagine an adult laying down in a ball and being pushed and rolled every which way until they were so dizzy that they begged for the laughing person to stop and let them out. I can see where the type of person that likes to tease kids and animals would think this was hilarious. I don’t like it at all.

    • Doreen I think you make an excellent point. I would never push them around myself. I would give them the ball more as a toy for them to explore and play with. But you are right to show concern for the fact that people could just roll them around and really confuse them and make them dizzy. In the wrong hands you are correct in saying that there is totally a potential for certain kinds of people to treat the kittens badly, all the while laughing about it, using these hamster balls.

    • At first reading, I tended to agree with you, Doreen. But, after watching the video and seeing the kitten get into it voluntarily over and over, I decided that she really liked it.
      I love the pattern of these kittens. What’s up with the ears on the camera hog kitten?

  4. You don’t need to buy entertainment for kittens, just utilise what you have lol
    When our two cats were kittens they had great fun with the small waste paper basket we had in the living room, Jozef used to climb into it and Walter would roll it around and we would play ‘goal’ too with a ball using it as the goal
    It also made a good base to hang little cat toys on and swing for them to chase, the pic is of Babz wearing it lol
    I think hamster balls would be safe as long as the kittens weren’t left alone to play in case they became trapped.
    At events we’ve seen kids get zipped into big plastic balls and then try to walk on water in them, fascinating to watch but Id never have liked to do that, I’d have felt claustrophobic.

    • I’ll have to find name for that “thing”, the latest cat toy. It is a unique cat toy, the largest cat toy and the most bizarre cat toy. It is as good as the hamster ball, though.

      • Yes Babz invented the waste bin hat game, Walter was the most hyperactive kitten we have ever had lol we had to invent new ways to amuse him so Ebony and Jozef got some rest. See the little round tablemats on the floor, we’d bowl them for him to chase. He used to run up the net curtains and swipe the wind chimes and poor little Jo was so tiny he couldn’t manage it so we had to lift him up to swipe them lol
        Oh they were great fun but such hard work!

    • Now I’ve seen everything Ruth. The basket is your protection for when the kittens jump on your head? I like to string empty toilet paper or paper towel holders thru a shoestring and make a knot about every 3 inches. Then attach the string to a doorknob or nail it under a bar and the kittens use it as a swing.

      • lol that swing is a good idea Elisa! Toys for amusing kittens don’t have to cost money do they, you just need a bit of imagination 🙂

  5. i think it seems like a lot of fun for the kittens but as has already been said, some people would find it funny to push and spin the ball to amuse themselves rather than the kitten, so it is a bit worrying, but i think as long as they are supervised by responsible people it should be harmless fun. of course not everyone who has a kitten is responsible!! you can also get these balls for pet rats which are quite a bit bigger than the hamster balls, maybe these would be better, as far as the kitten becoming trapped i mean.

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