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Creating a safe enriching space for your hamster is crucial. Our furry friends love to roam and keep busy - and the best way to help them do so is with a diverse collection of toys.
Picking toys to occupy your hamster is the fun part of creating a suitable environment for them. Once you have an appropriate cage ready to home your hamster, it’s time to start filling it with all the essentials to ensure a happy, healthy hamster.
Where to start? According to the Blue Cross: “Hamsters love to be able to explore, dig tunnels, create nests and forage for their food. Providing deep bedding material with a variety of textures will make your hamster's environment more interesting. Wide tunnels, safe tree branches and low wooden items, such as cork logs and grapevine branches will all create an interesting space for your hamster to explore.”
It’s imperative to purchase non-toxic toys when shopping for your hamster’s new home. These are typically crafted from natural materials featuring no artificial colouring or pesticides as hamsters like to gnaw. Edible or wooden toys are preferable as they help to keep your hamster’s teeth in check. Portobello Pet Shop emphasises this, noting: “Preferably don’t buy plastic toys. Wooden toys and wicker toys are best.”
- Pesticide/chemical-free objects
- Non-pressure-treated or painted objects
- Wood from cedar or evergreen trees due to their aromatic oils, which can cause respiratory irritation
- Wood from citrus (e.g. lemon, orange, grapefruit, lime) and stone fruits (e.g. cherry, peach, plum, nectarine, apricot) species
- Softwood made from pine and yew trees which can splinter when chewed
- Man-made boards such as plywood as the glues used to bind the boards are toxic
- Rubber or foam chew toys which create an intestinal blockage if your hamster swallows the material
- Metal toys or wood toys that are fastened together with metal pieces as metals are toxic when ingested
- Ladders with metal rungs may injure the feet. A narrow gap between the rungs will help prevent injuries such as a slip or fall (organic ropes made of hemp, sisal, and cotton are safe to use, however)
It’s important to stress that hamsters have notoriously bad eyesight and use their whiskers, or vibrissae, for detection while mapping their environment. However, they love to climb so when it comes to buying climbing toys, be sure to check the toy is solid without any large gaps that may cause injury.
For owners not wanting to use wooden toys, it’s safe to DIY your hamster’s home with recycled cardboard tubes from the centre of paper towels or toilet paper. You can also get creative and make a fort from ice lolly sticks, provided the glue is completely non-toxic.
Create your hamster’s dream house and browse the best toys for the cute creatures below.
Niteangel Multi-Chamber Hamster House Maze
Provide your hamster with a spacious hideout with a multi-chamber maze to fill with plush bedding. According to the Blue Cross: “Hamsters should have an enclosed hide to sleep in. Ideally, this should be a 'multi-chamber' hide as they prefer to sleep away from the entrance to their hide.” Position away from bright lights and noise to ensure your pet’s enclosure is snug and serene.
Trixie Hamster Wheel Large (28cm)
Let your hamster run wild with a non-toxic wooden hamster wheel featuring no gaps or obstacles for your hamster to trip over. The Blue Cross advises: “A suitable wheel is one that is large enough for your hamster to run in with a straight back and without having to raise their head, but small enough that they can rotate the wheel easily. It should be upright and have a solid running surface.”
Species-appropriate wheel sizes include:
Nature First Large Willow Tube for Small Animals
Hamsters love to tunnel, and this willow tube is a safe, natural choice for your pet.
Rosewood Boredom Breaker Edible Play Log
Rosewood’s edible log is a great boredom buster for small furry friends. Depending on the size of your pet, you can pick from smaller and larger sizes, both of which are made from edible wood, vegetable extracts and alfalfa without artificial colouring. There’s also no trace of honey binding which is not healthy for hamsters to ingest.
Niteangel Hamster Desert Bath Sand
Hamsters love a good bath. Including a sand bath in the hamster’s cage will allow them to keep their coat clean and treat them to different textures to explore. Niteange’s fragrance-free bathing sand is designed to help keep small rodents clean and comfortable. Not only does it promise a dust-free sand bath that removes oils from their skin, but it also stimulates their natural digging behaviours. A large area of sand is especially important for Roborovski hamsters who are naturally desert dwellers.
Bucatstate Cactus Ceramic Nest
A popular pick among hamster Instagram accounts, this ceramic cactus is the cutest nest around. Choose from two sizes to suit your hamster and fill with soft natural bedding for them to nestle in. A ceramic exterior is an easy-clean pick but one that isn’t gnawable, so be sure to provide ample toys for your hamster to chew on to benefit its dental health.
Rosewood Naturals Hide ‘N’ Treat Maze
Exercise their minds with Rosewood’s Hide ‘N’ Treat Maze. The item is made from a scrumptious edible parchment board coated with hay and features prefilled rings saturated with a hard carrot mixture and marigold petals. Fill the other rings with your own treats and serve up a mouth-watering spread for your hamster.