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Pets at Home Space Pod Runner Ball

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12 Reviews

Brand: Pets at Home / Type: Hamster Ball

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    12 Reviews
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      31.10.2012 13:14
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      Good value product

      Following the death of the final one of our family mice and our one-eyed hamster (called Lucy), my daughter decided upon the idea to purchase another one!!! Yah!

      Don't get me wrong I love the little furry things (after all I went from no mice to 33 in a short few months! Dont ask!) anyway, we plodded to Pets at Home and bought this little grey Dwarf chinese hamster, cute little bundle. Although we had all the right equipment, the hamster ball previously used by Lucy was too big for 'Chip' to move about.

      We bought a blue version of the picture above, the only colour available, we would have got 'Chip' who was a girl a pink one had the stock allowed. We got the ball home and unpackaged it. The ball is made of sturdy plastic, and is quite resilient against bangs and knocks. The ball has small line holes around it to allow breathing space and air in and out of the ball. These slits are the perfect size for a dwarf hamster, as their tiny feet do not get caught in them, unlike the larger sized balls.

      The only one problem I found with it was actually taking the lid off to begin with. There are grooves in which to place your fingers so you can turn the top circle. This lifts off then the hanster can enter and the lid can be replaced. I struggled to get the lid unlocked, although replacing the lid was much easier.

      The ball only cost a couple of pounds so wasnt expensive and was made well for the money.

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      29.10.2012 14:05
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      better space pods can be bought

      ==Pets at Home Space Pod Hamster Ball==

      Little Hammy hamster had a whole ton of items to keep him occupied and the best item that was of course the most handy to have was this Space Pod hamster ball. I always remember having a clear plastic one for my hamsters when I was growing up and I really did want a clear one but it seems that Pets at Home only have these quite brightly coloured balls.

      For £3.99p you basically get two halves of a ball which needs fixing together and once together there are two small circles at the points of the pod where you can unscrew to pop your hamster inside the pod. I find it a little tricky to get the two main halves of the ball together and it is a little fiddly but once its together its fairly sturdy and not likely to pop open again.

      I have bought both the bright green colour and the purple colour from Pets at Home and the reason I have had two is that hammy hamster was a great escape artist and it seemed that these space pods were not strong enough to keep him in. Luckily he escaped when we were in our flat which meant that it was easier to find him and not many little nooks or crannies that he could hide in.

      I found that these space pods were sturdy at first but that the two small circular areas which can be removed to get the hamster in and out would often become loose and it seemed Hammy Hamster also sussed this out. I decided I would sticky tape him in when he was playing in it. However this just meant that when I came to wash the ball out after use there was s sticky load of mess that the sticky tape had left around the ball. After thinking it was a flaw in the first ball I had, I decided to buy a second ball which again Hammy hamster was able to escape from just as easily and therefore I ended up getting a different make from a local pet shop which was made of a thicker plastic and was generally far sturdier after the initial few days.

      Unfortunately it wasn't long after purchasing this new ball for hammy hamster that he passed away and wasn't able to make full use of it. However it is a far better ball that I am sure we will use again should we get another hamster. I think for the price of this Pets at Home Space Pod you can certainly buy a much better product elsewhere that will last well and your hamster will not be able to break free from!

      I think its not a great item and for that reason I will award a generous 2 out of 5 stars and I wouldn't recommend it at all.

      I do hope that this has been of some help/interest to you

      Many thanks for taking the time to read.

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        23.09.2012 09:16
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        A good product to use with your small pet but make sure you are supervising!

        When I bought our hamster Harry back in January this year I had to buy a whole host of new things as my sweet little Jasper had an infection and had to be put to sleep and I was worried that despite lots of cleaning there may still be something lingering in his cage and accessories. When wandering around the aisles of pets at home I picked up a pink space pod ball for Harry simply because it was pink and I love pink things! This is my review of the space pod.

        A space pod is basically pets at homes own version of a hamster running ball. I have looked on their website to see if I can find a current price but I can't seem to find mention of the product at all so I am not sure if they still make it or not. From recollection the space pod was only a few pounds to purchase and so it isn't going to set you back too much should you want one for your small animal.

        What struck me at first with this product was how lightweight it felt in comparison to the ball we had for Jasper. This one is made from a pink coloured plastic but it features a lot of holes around it and certainly many more than the one we had from Wilkinson's for Jasper. Whether it is this fact that makes it appear more lightweight I don't know but it does feel as though it would be less of a chore for the hamster to run around in it.

        There are openings on both the top and the bottom of the ball but I only use one as I like to think if I leave the other well alone it will be more secure whilst Harry is running around! To remove the top you twist and lift it off and then place your hamster in the ball and then replace the lid and twist it to lock it in place. Harry is very happy to go in this ball as he loves to go and investigate and as far as I can tell he likes the freedom that this product allows him to have. Of course we do get him out and let him run riot all over us and the sofa and what not but I am not about to place him on the floor and give him free reign as that is just asking for trouble so at least I can give him exercise this way!

        Harry does seem happy in this ball but I do sometimes get concerned when I see his little toes pop out of one of the holes in the side of the ball which are obviously there to allow adequate ventilation. This doesn't seem to worry Harry though as he really does whizz around at some pace in the ball.

        I am quite happy with the security this space pod provides but the last time I had Harry in the ball whilst I was cleaning his cage out I noticed he seemed quiet and as I looked over the lid had fallen off and Harry was just poking his head out looking a bit bemused as to why he was no longer running around the kitchen! This has only happened once and I perhaps didn't secure the lid properly but I would say make sure you are in the area with your pet as they use this and that you are keeping a good eye on them as well just in case. The space pod is actually excellent for when you are cleaning your pet out as they are being able to exercise yet are secure whilst you give their cage the once over.

        In terms of cleaning this product it really is very simple and I simply pop it in the washing up bowl and give it a good wash and then allow the plastic to dry. The space pod is showing no signs of obvious damage after nine months of use and considering Harry runs in to walls and such like I would have thought it would look quite tarnished but it seems as good as new really.
        I can recommend this product for your small animal because I do think it is nice and lightweight and I am happy to let my hamster run around in it. I would just say make sure you are watching your pet whilst they are in this just in case of any escape attempts!

        Thank you for reading my review!

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        21.08.2012 12:01
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        This seems good quality, but I'm giving it 4 stars because of assembly

        I bought this exercise ball for the hamster to have a little play in. I thought it would be great for when I'm cleaning the cage out. I got this one in Pets At Home for £3.99. They come in different colours pink, green and blue- Ivy's is blue. I would have preferred see-through as I like to see what's happening in there and for Ivy to see where he's driving (yes Ivy is a he, but that wasn't apparent at the time!).

        It seems to be a good quality non-toxic plastic, and doesn't smell. The one I chose was small for our small sized hamster, it's just the right size (their web-site lists four sizes).

        Assembly is abit of a problem, sounds easy- clip it together and place the lids in the top/bottom and turn to lock in place. We found this awkward- not the lid but the body, eventually my daughter got the knack of it, it then makes a secure ball. To clean it I try not to take the body apart, just wash it out then dry with a small cloth.

        There are air holes all over it for the hamster to breathe, that upto now haven't been too big as to trap his feet.

        It's recommended that the ball should only be used for short periods at a time.

        Even after riding around on our hard floor the plastic isn't scratched, it must be quite durable because after being dropped (without Ivy) it hasn't cracked. Admittedly Ivy hasn't had it long, but the last one we had showed wear after the same period of use.

        Once in Ivy can 'run' around everywhere, we have to block the exits in-case he rolls off. Last night he drove into someones foot and went into a spin but got out unhurt, When he hits obstacles he just changes direction and roars off. Apart from the odd spinning incident it's a great way for him to exercise other than in his wheel. He makes no struggle when he's getting in, he's not afraid of it and seems to enjoy his freedom.

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        10.02.2012 14:08
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        A good solution to pet care needs that is longlasting and reasonably priced

        We have owned gerbils for a couple of years and have recently bought a couple of dwarf hamsters too so naturally were in need of something for them to run around in without causing too much havok. As much as I love my pets, they can be destructive little beasts if not monitored constantly so that's why these space pod runners are perfect for a bit of exercise and fun at the same time.

        At first I was trepitious of letting the gerbils run in balls as I had heard their tails can get caught in the air holes. Not wanting this to happen it was a while before we actually bought the balls as we just used to keep them in a cardboard box while we cleaned them out. Clearly chewing critters and cardboard don't mix so we were left with little choice.

        The space pod runners come in colourful colours, ours are purple for the gerbils at a larger size that were bought for about 6 pounds and blue for the dwarf hamsters which were only 3.99. The brilliant thing about the pods is that their colourful design means you can keep an eye on your pets while you are busy doing other things as they are hard to miss. The price too is also reasonable for something that you can use over and over.

        As yet we have encountered no problems with the gerbils getting their tails stuck as the slits in the plastic are quite big. Both gerbils and dwarf hamsters seem to run pretty freely across carpet and stone flooring without getting stuck. It can be like watching an episode of gladiators.

        Now for the negatives. Firstly when you first buy the balls they are deconstructed into two parts which you then have to fit together to form the sphere. This sounds simple but in fact is incredibily frustrating as the moment one side slots into place the other pops out again. Once fitted into place though, the sphere twists around to create a secure ball. Secondly the lids at first are incredibly stiff and it is hard to take them off so you can start using it. In contrast, when the lid is taken off, it can become slack and we have found that we had to put cellotape across the bottom of one lid to keep it secure. However in the many months we have been using this product we have yet to have a critter on the loose so overall we are pleased with it.

        Exercise balls are a good way to give your pets exercise and it is an easy way to get them out and about without having to worry too much.

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        18.01.2012 13:19
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        A fun, safe way for your hamster to get some exercise outside of their cage

        Over the summer I ended up taking in a pet hamster from a colleague who could no longer care for her. The little ham-ham came fully equipped with everything to get me started including a nice roomy cage, and a variety of toys including this Pets at Home Space Pod Runner Ball. The ball is available in a range of sizes including small, medium, large and giant(!) and can be bought from the Pets at Home high street stores, or online at www.petsathome.com, costing from £3.99 upwards depending on the size.

        Product description: "The Space Pod Runner Ball for Small Pets by Pets at Home is the easy way to give your small pet the exercise it needs safely.
        Allowing more flexibility than a wheel, the Space Pod Runner Ball for Small Pets by Pets at Home allows your pet to investigate it's surroundings whilst protecting both your pet and home."

        Funnily enough I had also previously owned one of these Space Pod Runner Balls when I had my first pet hamster, Vladimir, a Russian Dwarf. Because he was a dwarf variety the small sized ball suited him perfectly, but with my new girl Lee-Loo being a Syrian, she has a medium sized ball to accommodate her larger body. The balls are made of transparent, coloured plastic and are available in a range of colours. You can choose from either blue, green, or pink - I have the pink version, but to my eyes I would say it's more of a purple colour. Although the plastic is still see-through I do wonder if it affects the hamsters in any way as it must be confusing for them to suddenly see the world change colour!

        The runner ball is obviously a sphere shaped ball, and it has a removable section at either end. This simply twists around to loosen or tighten it, and it locks in to position firmly keeping the ball sealed with your hamster safely inside. The ball has a series of slots around it to provide ventilation so your hamster is constantly getting a supply of fresh air. I was a little worried that these could be dangerous for little paws to catch on, but my hamster has been absolutely fine using it and moves around easily without the air vents getting in her way.

        The Space Pod Runner Ball is a perfect fun exercise toy which can allow your hamster to get out in the big, wide world (ok, if you're like me then the limits are probably just your bedroom!) and run around safely without having the worry of them getting lost or running into / under something where you can't reach to get them out again. It enables your hamster to run around for as long as they like and this helps to keep them active, fit and healthy. It also stops your pet from being bored and provides plenty of entertainment. It's advisable not to keep your hamster inside the ball for long periods of time, so I tend to just use this for brief spells when my hamster is looking more active so she can get the most out of it. She seems to really love running around inside her ball and picked up the technique to use it straight away. She can run around to her hearts content leaving me happy knowing that there is nothing to cause her harm and she is safe inside her little "bubble". That being said, Lee-Loo can build up quite a pace and often goes shooting into skirting boards, my wardrobes, and the side of my bed. This stops her in her tracks for a short while but the ball has always managed to stand up to this abuse and has not suffered any signs of damage from being knocked repeatedly. I do sometimes wonder if she runs into things because the coloured plastic is obscuring her vision to some extent, but I guess hamsters don't have the sharpest eyesight anyway, and once she's speeding around it can be quite tricky to stop or change course. Generally, the ball seems easy for Lee-Loo to manoeuvre and she can get it moving without much effort, as well as wandering off in other directions if the fancy takes her.

        Amazingly enough this ball is one of the few items that has remained un-nibbled. It is made from non-toxic plastic and has proved to be hardwearing and still looks in great condition. Lee-Loo is pretty well behaved with her toilet habits and there have never been any accidents when inside the ball, but it is easy to clean if needs be and can be washed out with hot water or wiped down with pet-safe disinfectant.

        I think that this is a very good pet product that is well designed to be safe, secure and adds a lot of fun and variety to ham-ham play time. I would recommend this Pets at Home Space Pod Runner Ball, especially as there are different varieties with sizes to suit all breeds of hamsters.

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          10.01.2012 17:52

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          great value for money and a must have for all hamsters

          i have had my Syrian hamster for 2 months now and i have to say i think he would be very miserable if he didn't have his much loved ball which he goes in every night. this ball is an excellent way to exercise your hamster without them getting lost as they cant get out, or trodden on if they are running around on you floor. it entertains them for hours which is better than them just being stuck in their cages all the time fed up. however because there are small holes on the ball and if you hamster decides to go to the toilet while in the ball then it can escape through these holes making a mess on your floor. when i open my hamsters cage and put the ball in for him to climb into he always jumps straight in because he loves it so much. i would definitely recommend this ball but especially for people with hard floors because you do need to go round and clean up after your hamster while they are in the ball.

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          16.10.2011 21:10
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          The hamsters seem to love going in these and are reluctant to come out

          My little boy and I have 2 very small hamsters which are known as Roborovski Hamsters. They are dwarf hamsters and very small. The are very friendly and easy to look after and my little boy likes them because they don't bite. The only problem is I am trying to teach him how to look after them properly as well as just how to handle them carefully as it's all part of having pets. He gets the good and the bad parts.

          Our biggest issue is what to do with them when we are cleaning out their habitat. We have tried large trays on the floor or a card board box just for the brief time it takes to clean their home out but then we are constantly watching them just in case they can find a way out which is not helping me to teach him how to care for their home.

          Then at the pet store we saw these space pod runner balls. We bought 2, one for each hamster as it would be too confined and unfair to put them both into one. These are perfect for keeping them safe while you clean their home out.

          When you buy these they are in 4 pieces all made of see through coloured plastic. 2 halves of the ball and 2 small circles which are the lids. They are quite fiddly to put together. There are lips on the top and the bottom half where they join to make the ball. You have to pull the top edge back and the lower edge forward, then the other way round ie lower edge back and top edge forwrd to slot the 2 halves together. This repeats four times to complete the ball and there are 4 slots on the bottom ball that a piece on the upper ball slots into. It is very obvious when you see them but this did take some time. I am not very dextrous when it comes to things like this but in the end we managed it and it was actually entertaining seeing who could do it first. I lost. It took a good half hour to put them both together and the instructions on the box were not very helpful at all.

          Once the ball shape is complete the 2 circles fit one on the bottom then one is the lid for the top. These are put on by slotting the piece into place on the ball then twisting to the side to slot them firmly into place. To undo them just turn them back the other way and the lid comes off. You may need to pull the lid off with your fingers. As the plastic is see through you can see when it is locked or open.

          All you need to do to use them is ensure the circle is on the bottom and the ball is connected together properly and securely, then hold the hamster on the flat of your hand with the opening to the ball in front . Our hamsters took a little while to sniff and nose the entrance to the ball before they went in but have patience they get there when they are ready.

          I had very big concerns about them being kicked across the floor in these while cleaning out their habitat or that it would be cruel to the hamsters because they cannot go where they want to they are effectively trapped. However i was wrong on both of these. Firstly to keep the balls to where we want them to travel too far we check all of the immediate surroundings to make sure they cannot go anywhere we don't want them to or anywhere they could get hurt or stuck. Because the balls are of a good size even the small ones are easy to watch while cleaning out and far easier than trying to keep track of 2 very small hamsters. Secondly the hamsters love the balls. They run back and forth for ages (we do this in the evening when they seem to be very energetic) they explore and the ball has holes all around for air to get in so they can smell everything and quite often we laugh at them sitting up and sniffing then running to the next part of the room.

          You won't kick them as the colours of the balls are very bright and you can mix and match them. We swapped the lids so our balls are mulitcoloured which looks quite amusing. The only problem i did find the second time we used them was the hamsters didn't seem to want to come out. We left them in them a little while longer and they continued running back and forth.

          To get them out of the balls i found that you can hold the ball level with their bedding area or food bowl and after a minute or two they will clamber out sniffing as they go. We use these a few times a week. Once to clean them out and the others to give them a change of scenery. They have a lot of play things in their home so they don't need these purely for exercise but as soon as they see them they go straight in and start running so i'm assuming they enjoy it.

          As for price these are not expensive - we paid less than £5 each and they have been well worth it. There are different sizes depending on the size pet you have and they are very easy to clean just wash with warm water.

          I would recommend checking them before every use to make sure they are still holding together fully but I have not had any problems with them coming apart except for when we wash them. And they worked. I can now clean out their homes safely with my little boy and keep an eye on them as with the bright colours you really can't miss them.

          The balls are see through which means you can see the hamsters inside them at all times. Overall i would recommend these as they make my life so much easier and the hamsters really seem to like going in them.

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            30.06.2011 19:29
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            Worth the price for sure

            I have 2 of these hamster balls, one for a regular Syrian hamster and a small one for a Chinese dwarf, and both have had plenty of use! They are essentially the very same thing except for their size, so this review applies to both. My hamsters really enjoy these, and they are an invaluable toy to provide exercise, entertainment and exploration opportunities while keeping your pet safe, and not requiring constant supervision (for example you could watch TV/do the dishes while they potter about in the same room). Though of course you should ensure the room they are in is safe, away from stairs and any other dangers such as other pets (and small children who could easily fall over them).

            Both of these balls came to me with the hamsters (I rehomed both) so I did not actually pay for them. Although I certainly would, as they are a decent price. The balls themselves come in a selection of attractive colours, making it possible to tailor the colour to the sex of your pet somewhat (if you are as sad as me!). They are composed of two main sections and finished by two completely removable door sections. The plastic doesn't feel particularly strong or thick, although it is sufficient for its purpose and price. I have had no damage to the balls through bumping into furniture etc. It doesn't feel too brittle either so I would say these are not overly susceptible to cracking.

            The two large parts clip together pretty securely to form the body of the ball, but the doors feel notably looser. They are easy enough to use, turning them to line up the tabs with the gaps to open, and turning so the tabs are not near a gap to lock. However, I feel the doors move far too easily within their holes and don't think it's beyond the realms of possibility that the door would move enough during use to come away from the ball, resulting in an escapee! Though this has never actually happened to me. Saying that, opening them is a bit tricky, as the bits you put your fingers in (not big enough to truly be called handles) are very shallow, and I find it hard to grip; more often than not I will let gravity help me open them by turning them so the hamster plops out onto my hand. It's worth pointing out that I don't have large hands either! For this reason, I find it irritating that there are two doors when one would suffice. Though having two does make thorough cleaning without fully dismantling a bit easier

            These exercise balls do however have excellent ventilation, which also doubles as foot holds. The air holes are rectangular in shape and evenly spaced, making the ball a pretty safe place for your little furry friend (so long as he doesn't escape!) They are super easy to clean with warm water and a little scrubby sponge (my weapon of choice) although the scourer sponges will mark them if you use the rough side. However, if you rinse it after each use then you probably won't ever need to really scrub it.

            Overall these exercise balls are a brilliant choice for the price and though I have a couple of gripes, I would certainly buy them as all in all they offer good value for money. I am considering buying the huge ones for my rats!

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            14.05.2011 17:15

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            great fun for you and your hamster

            I have only recently bought 2 dwarf hamsters and thought getting a hamster ball each to keep them stimulated. The hamsters seem to absolutely love these and they run around like little nutters, bashing into tables and chairs.

            The ball is basically 4 pieces of plastic put together. Once you have put it together, all you need to do to put your hamster in is to open one of the 2 little hatches. You just twist to open, then twist to close. The ball has plenty of breathing holes and they made long thin holes in it so they can more easily grip it when they run.

            It says not to leave your hamster in for more than 15 minutes, but as long as you keep an eye on the hamster it´s no problem. One of my hamsters can run aroud in there for 40 minutes, where as my other one gets bored after 10. So get to know your hamster and see what works best for it.

            My hamsters often poo in the balls, and because they are made of plastic its dead easy to clean.

            I think if you got a hamster - you need a hamster ball.

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            09.02.2011 22:08
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            A good little ball

            II first purchased my hamster ball from Pet at Home around 4 and half years ago when I first got a hamster. The ball is quite small but as I have only had dwarf hamsters it is a perfect size for them.

            The balls were available in pink as shown above and I think there was a blue one also the ball cost around £4.

            For hamsters exercise is important to keep them healthy our hamster does have a wheel in his cage however if you are a hamster owner who keeps your hamster in the living room you will know how frustrating it can be when they start running on their wheel usually as the soaps start every night. The answer to this is pop him in his wheel and let him run round in that for half an hour instead and burn off some steam or move them to another room.

            The ball is made off plastic and is of course ball shaped it has long holes along the side of it to let air in to the ball and has a twist function lock to the ball. You twist to unscrew the lid pop your hamster in then pop the lid back on twist making sure it is locked then away you go. The ball is small enough for dwarf hamsters to be able to move in them I have had Russian and now have a Roborovoski hamster and I have had no problem with either of these hamster types and the wheel. I will however say it is important that you put the lid on properly I am usually the one who checks it is on but my boyfriend put it on tonight and I looked down to see my hamster strolling across the floor free of ball and you will know that if you have a Robovorski hamster they are not easy to catch so 45 minutes of catching has had to happen before returning him to his cage. I have picked the ball up since and nothing is wrong with it so I think the answer is someone did not put the lid on the ball properly though of course that someone will say they did lol.

            I give these hamster balls 5 stars no problems until tonight which I believe was human error anyway we have had these balls years now and they are a good as new.

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            23.12.2010 09:28
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            An average hamster ball

            This is Pets at Home own branded hamster exercise ball. My hamster orginal ball after a year of use was very scratched and I was beginning to think the poor thing couldn't see out of it so I went in search of a new ball. This proved alot more difficult than I first thought - where are all the hamster ball?! The only one i could find was this Pets at Home Space Pod Runner Ball. They are cheaply priced at under a fiver and they are bright in colour. They are fairly small which is ideal as my hamster is of a dwarf variety.

            This hamster ball has a lid at both the top and bottom of the ball allowing access from each end (not entirely sure why this is needed but it doesn't effect the ball usage so I dont mind). I found the limited carboard packaging was not adequate for this type of ball, it was like a carboard shell. I found on taking my home when I went to use it I only had one lid. The other lid had fallen out which is not suprising as if the lid came loose it would just fall straight through the large gaps in the packaging. I took it back to Pets at Home the next day and they had found a lid on the shop floor which was presumingly from mine so they gave it to me no problem and didn't even ask to check the receipt. They were quite willing to replace anyway without receipt but they found the lid before they needed to do this. I thought this was really good customer service, however, the fact is they wouldn't have needed to do this if the product was packaged well in the first place, so please be careful to check this product when you buy it.

            The 2nd thing I noted upon using the ball as the plastic seems very thin and bendy. The lids don't quite fit on securely enough for my liking as they have gaps round the edge where they don't quite fit. My hamster is very quick and if the lid was too fall then i would never catch her again so this was a worry. My other worry is we have a cat who likes to watch the hamster and the last thing I wanted is an escapee hamster, the cat might not be so well behaved should the hamster be free from its ball. However, having used this product now for a good number of months the lid has never fallen off or showed signs off so it seems to be secure even if it doesn't look it.

            The 3rd point I noted is the air holes in the ball are quite large and my hamsters little legs come out should she happen to place them wrong. It doesn't seem to bother or stress the hamster out at all that this happens but I just feel that this is a bad design and the holes could be smaller, esp if it is aimed at dwarf hamsters. Also a point to note that if your cat is not as well behaved as mine then these gaps would allow a cat claw through into the ball. Also the hamster can pick up any small bits from the floor via the holes should they happen to align up with the correctly.

            Overall its not a bad product, bit flimsy for my liking but it is doing the job and the hamster doesn't seem to mind.

            I just wanted to add for any one who is worried on reading this review that my hamster is safe, in fact the cat seems more scared of the hamster at times who will quite happily roll full pelt into the cat who sits their normally watching from afar.

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