Posted in Hamster
Hamsters need toys for mental and physical exercise. Because they are confined to a small space for most of their lives, it’s very important you give them a variety of toys to make their lives enjoyable. You can purchase toys or make them yourself.
Hamster wheels are a necessity for every hamster cage. Hamsters absolutely love running in their wheels and they can run many miles every night!
Qualities of a good hamster wheel:
- solid surface, no metal rungs (hamster tails and feet can get stuck in the rungs which can cause injuries)
- big enough so that the hamster’s back does not bend when running (this can cause back problems)
- plastic or wooden (metal rungs can hurt the hamster’s feet)
Hamster Wheels for Syrians
Depending on how big your Syrian hamster is, you will need a wheel that is between 8 inches and 12 inches. You will know if you have the right size if your hamster does not have to bend her back to run on the wheel. Here are some recommended wheels for Syrian hamsters:
Hamster Wheels for Dwarf Species
For dwarf species, the hamster wheel should be at minimum 6.5 inches, but bigger wheels also work! Again, the only requirement is that your hamster’s back doesn’t bend while running. Here are some recommended options:
Hamster Chew Toys
Chew toys are another mandatory toy for your hamster’s cage. A hamster’s teeth will grow continuously throughout their lifetime, so they need to wear them down by chewing. This is a toy that will help your hamster stay both happy and healthy. It’s recommended to give your hamster a variety of different options to see which one your hamster prefers the most.
Here are some recommended chew toys for your hamster:
You can also give your hamster raw pasta to chew on, or dog biscuits with ingredients safe for hamsters.
Hamster Toys for Enrichment
It’s important to provide additional enrichment in your hamster’s environment so that your hamster has options on what kinds of toys to engage with. If you don’t have enough toys your hamster may become bored and develop destructive habits that are bad for your hamster’s well-being. Here are some options on how to provide additional enrichment in your hamster’s environment:
- Toilet paper tubes (hamsters love to chew on these and run through them!)
- Egg Cartons (another toy that hamsters can both chew and play with)
Hamster Sand Baths
Some (though not all) hamsters enjoy a good sand bath. Hamsters will roll around in the sand to clean themselves off. This provides a good enrichment activity for your hamster. Sand baths are usually made of ceramic and are filled with chinchilla sand.
Hamster balls are completely optional, but are a very popular pet for hamsters. Some hamsters will love running around in their balls, and others will not. It’s recommended to leave your hamster in the ball for 15 minutes maximum. Longer time periods in the hamster ball can be stressful to your hamster.