Hamsters spend most of the day locked up in a cage, so you must supply them with simple objects that will keep them entertained. There are many ideas for hamster toys, though you must avoid certain materials such as plastic because it's toxic.
Last update: 24 July, 2020
Hamsters are one of the smallest pets you can keep at home. Unfortunately, they’ll probably spend most of their lives in a cage. However, that shouldn’t be an impediment to play with them and have fun as you would with a larger animal. You can always begin by creating a few hamster toys.
Hamster toys – safety above all
As usual, we must make sure toys won’t harm an animal before giving it to them, be it a hamster or a horse.
Find out which types of food are toxic and try not to make these toys out of plastic. Also, do your best not to include glues, varnishes, and paint. This is because rodents tend to gnaw on things and such materials could be toxic when ingested.
A hammock is a great addition to any rodent’s cage. It provides a place to rest, but it also functions as a fun ladder to climb.
To make a hammock you’ll need a fabric rectangle – make sure it’s the kind of fabric that doesn’t fray — such as cotton or fleece. Stitch four ribbons at all four corners to hand it with. You may opt for a different hanging method if you please, it’s up to you.
Grain bar for gnawing
Gnawing is one of a hamster’s basic needs. If you don’t give them something to gnaw on, they’ll do it in places you may not want them to. For example, they’ll gnaw on their toys, house, and they may even begin to bite the bars of their cage. So, providing a cereal bar is the best way to fulfill this need.
To make a gnawing bar for your hamster, you’ll need the following ingredients:
Seeds, nuts, and grains (there are so many you can choose from, nuts, flax, corn, sunflower seeds, wheat bran, oats, sesame …)
The latter must be raw so you shouldn’t try to roast them. Also, don’t add extra flavorings such as honey and salt. Artificial sweeteners are bad for animals, so adding them could lead to indigestion. Mix the flour and water until your dough is similar to how you would make it for bread. Then, add the rest of the ingredients to this dough and mix it well.
To finish, divide the dough into bars and put them in the oven at 390ºF until golden. The baking time will depend on the thickness of your bars. Do keep in mind that a rodent as small as a hamster needs to be able to take chunks out of it. Obviously, you should make sure they’ve cooled down completely before you hand them to your pet. The seeds and grains accumulate a lot of heat and could burn the animal’s mouth.
A new little house
Surely your hamster already has a house with a bed where they can sleep, but you can always improve it. You can also build more than one house and let them move around at their own whim.
Hamsters like small places to hide, but making a mansion wouldn’t be an outrageous thing to do. You can make it several stories high and link it with ramps. They’ll love it! Try making a little house with many windows so they can amuse themselves going in and out through a different one each time.
Your imagination is the limit when it comes to making a little house for your tiny darling. You can make it out of cardboard, wood, or paper pulp. Also, wooden sticks are quite popular as a construction material. If you must use glue then use as little as you can, and don’t paint it even if you don’t like the bare look. This is because most paint is toxic.
Tunnels are great hamster toys
A cardboard tunnel may be one of the least expensive hamster toys to make, even if you’ll probably have to replace it at some point. It’s as simple as placing a cardboard tube in the animal’s cage. You can use a toilet tube or one from the kitchen paper towels. If you don’t have them handy, you can always make it with any thin cardboard you may have lying around.
Of course, the rodent might gnaw on the cardboard. But don’t worry, you can easily replace it if they destroy it. In fact, if there’s enough space in the cage, you can place many of these tubes around it so your hamster can enjoy different tunnels and use them to nest or hide things.
Platforms and ramps
These can turn any container you use to house your rodent friend into a real amusement park. Adding platforms will increase the area so that the animal has more room to move around. They love to climb so they’ll really, really love them.
The easiest way to add a platform to a cage is to hold it in place with some legs. Choose a wooden board and add some legs to it. If you have small wooden boxes, just simply place them inside the cage.
Don’t forget to add ramps to go up and down the platforms. You can make them with wood and wooden sticks or even with sturdy cardboard. Your hamster’s cage will have a larger surface area to place more toys, houses, or just for them to move around.
Homemade hamster toys are a simple, inexpensive, and fun way to add variety to your rodent’s life. Keep in mind they also need fun and novelty in their life. Make them a couple of toys or hiding spots and you’ll have a happy hamster.