There’s something to be said about the joy we feel when buying our hammie a new toy. But is this giddiness we experience from the act of kindness or the anticipation of seeing the produced results once we present the toy to our hamster? It kinda makes you go, “hmmm”. This guide explains what hamster toys are gimmicks and which ones help your buddy stay healthy and well entertained.
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Do Hamsters Need Toys?
In short, yes. It may surprise you to know that a hamster dramatically benefits from having toys. According to a research article from Liverpool John Moores University including toys for cage enrichment not only made hamsters happier but also more inclined to be trained.
In the research study, hamsters with and without toys were carefully studied. There is no denying these little creatures do better with things that stimulate their mind while encouraging a form of passive or active physical activity.
With this in mind, imagine how your hamster may be easier to tame just by adding a new toy here and there to the cage?
How Many Toys Should a Hamster Have?
We can easily find ourselves overstuffing our hamster’s cage with toys. We see one in the pet store — we buy it. We see something new online — we head to check out too. Before we realize it, our hamster has to traipse over toys to get to the water bottle.
So, how do you know the appropriate number of toys to place in the hamster cage? Well, the answer is simple: don’t have so many in there that your hamster can’t comfortably move around.
Do Hamsters Get Bored Of Toys?
Too many toys overstimulate a hamster. It’s like a child opening gifts on Christmas morning. They hone in on one or two toys leaving the rest behind. Before you know it, they grow bored of the toy(s) and lay it down.
Many parents put toys into a closet and rotate them so the kids don’t grow bored. It’s comical how you can put the same teddy bear in the closet and bring it out every few months, and the child reacts to it as if it’s something new. This same principle is great to apply to a hamster.
Put a few toys in the cage and the rest in the closet. Rotate them out every so often to keep your hamster from getting bored with them.
What Kind Of Toys Are Best For Hamsters?
Syrian hamster toys should be large enough to accommodate their larger size. Likewise, if you have dwarf hamsters, their toys should be scaled to be small enough for them to comfortably fit in or play with.
Best Hamster Toys and Accessories: Our Recommendations
Let’s get down to business and take a look at some uber nifty toys that hamsters love and hamster parents are buying. We have picked out hamster toys that are trending, rated good, unique, and satisfy your furry buddy needs.
1. Hamster Playhouse
How about a miniature playhouse to put in your hamster’s cage? These playhouses are made of wood or plastic. A playhouse can double as a place to nap or sleep. Note that wood playhouses may be a bit more challenging to clean compared to plastic.
2. Chew Toys
Hamster chew toys are a must because hamsters are natural chewers. Chewing is one of the most satisfying activities rodent animals enjoy (rabbits, hamsters, mice, rats, guinea pigs, etc).
The materials used to make chew toys are important because the last thing you want is to get something that can harm your hamster.
- Critter Pops are very popular and provide hamsters with something pleasurable to nibble away at.
- Vitakraft Slims are ideal for hamsters, although they may be marketed as a rabbit chew toy. These carrot-like chewies are edible.
- Applewood sticks are a favorite of hamsters. When looking for these, you want to make sure they are organic and natural.
- Kaytee Perfect Chew is a skewer of wood delights that will keep a hamster busy for hours.
These toys are intended to be eaten, so expect to refresh/replace them as needed.
3. Climbing Toys
Hamsters love exploring vertically and horizontally! Ladders and ramps provide them a way to go up and down, which for them may be like reaching for the sky even though it’s only a mere inch or two up.
- Niteangel Suspension Bridge is a great addition to a wire cage that provides your hamster access into the upper realms of their cage, which is otherwise unused space.
- The Niteangel Wooden Bridge triples as a bridge to go up and over, a hideout, and a chew toy!
- For an all-in-one ladder, chewing toy, and climber, the Zakynuye Climbing Platform is perfect.
Hamster playgrounds are fun to play on, run through, climb up on, and chew on. Let’s see what there is for this trending all-in-one fun!
- The TRIXIE Natural Living Frida Tunnel System is marketed as a tunnel system; however, it has a more “playgroundish” appeal.
- SAKKNY on Etsy.com has a unique system to completely outfit a cage from top to bottom with a vertical playground kit.
- Walmart has a whimsical wooden playground system that might catch your eye!
5. DIY Hamster Toys and Playgrounds
A hamster’s playground can be a small version of one placed inside their cage or a large-scale version built within a pet playpen or something like a jumbo plastic tote.
For a DIY playground, you can get super creative and make your own one-of-a-kind wonderland. There are numerous ways to make fun toys and items that you can place in your hamster’s cage.
Many DIYer’s use popsicle sticks to make all kinds of playful toys. If you do make your own hamster toys, use caution with the type of glue you use.
6. Foraging Toy
We stumbled across something rather intriguing to try with your hamster. Hungry Hammies Shop on Etsy.com makes a 3D wooden foraging toy that provides entertainment while satisfying the natural need to forage.
7. Tunnel Toys
Hamsters love the Niteangel Hollow Tree Trunk Tunnel Tube. They can hide, climb on it and through it and even chew on it! Toys with tunnels in them can be easily placed inside the cage. A playground-tunnel maze combo provides fun and doubles as a hideout.
Tunnel systems are typically placed on the outside of a cage to allow them to explore beyond the limits of their cage. Don’t forget to check out our article on tube systems.
8. Edible Toys
Chewy toys are not limited to just sticks or pieces of wood. Retailers are now marketing something to chew on and serve an extra function or two.
9. Cagescaped Toy Creations
It’s difficult to try and imagine how some toys can be comfortably and creatively placed inside your hamster’s cage. The cage is not the limit because you can build a playpen area outside of the cage. To help you visualize how creative you can get with toys, we’ve selected some ingenious and innovative cagescapings.
If you have time and the budget, you can build a forested cage complete with integrated natural wood toys. The multi-level forest mimics underground burrows wild hamsters live in.
We found a great way to rotate your hamster’s toys by creating play bins. Simply pull a different out each day or every other day for outside of the cage playtime. Your hamster will never grow bored with this bit of creative planning!
Cleaning Woes Of Hamster Toys
A toy will only be as good as the materials it’s made out of and how clean you keep them. Some toys may contain materials such as wood or fibers that tend to absorb urine. These toys will present a challenge in cleaning them to keep them fresh smelling. Damp woody-type toys are places where bacteria can thrive.
How to Clean Wooden Hamster Toys
- Fill the sink with hot water and a squirt of dish soap.
- Add 1 tablespoon of bleach.
- Place the wooden toys into the hot soapy water.
- Allow the toys to soak for 15 minutes. During the soaking period, fill the other side of the sink with cold water.
- After the soaking time is over, place the toys into the sink of clear water.
- Allow the toys to soak for 5 minutes.
- Remove the toys from the water and rinse thoroughly with warm water.
- There are two methods to drying:
- If the wooden toys are not glued together, you can use the oven-drying method.
- If the toys do have glue, you will need to place them out in the hot sun to dry for at least 12 hours.
- For the oven-drying method, preheat the oven to 200.
- Place the wooden toys on the rack and bake for 2 hours.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool before placing back in the hamster’s cage.
How to Clean Plastic Hamster Toys
Cleaning plastic toys is much easier. Disinfecting wipes or warm soapy water is best. Avoid using scented cleaners or spraying with disinfectant. Be sure to dry the toys before placing them back into the cage to avoid wet bedding.
We can honestly tell you that you can over spoil your hammie with toys as long as you don’t put too many in the cage at one time. Be careful because toy buying for your hamster becomes a passion, and you may find yourself in the hamster aisle of the local pet store more than you anticipated.