Cage Accessories and Toys for Hamsters
Hamster Cage Accessories
When setting up your hamster cage, you may think that the small animal doesn't need that much room or things to do, but hamsters are very active, especially at night. They need plenty to do and keep them entertained.
You want to give your hamster plenty of out of the cage play time, but in all reality, your hamster will always spend more time in the cage than outside of it. You want to make sure that your hamster's quality of life is stimulating.
The most important thing that you can do is to ensure that the hamster has a cage that is plenty big enough. Even just one hamster needs a decent size cage. You may want to consider connecting two cages using the different tunnels that are available.
A happy and stimulated hamster is one who is easy to handle and train.
With the above statement in mind, consider adding plenty of tunnels, a wheel, and maybe even different houses. Variety is the key, even if the only thing you're doing is giving your hamster an empty paper towel or toilet paper roll to play with for a day or so.
You can rearrange the furniture once in a while, but don't get too carried away because hamsters are creatures of habit and they have a place for everything. Leave the potty, food dish, main sleeping, and water bottle as is, but you can change the fun stuff around and add/remove toys to keep the hamster guessing. Just keep an eye on your hamster when you change anything because some hamsters will get quite irritated if you change anything in the cage.
The wheel is a very important aspect of your hamster's entertainment. You want to be careful about which wheel you purchase though because the wire wheels have a higher potential for harming your hamster. Your hamster's feet may get caught between the wires and break a bone.
The best wheels for hamsters are the plastic wheels. Good examples are those listed to the right.
You want to keep an eye on the plastic wheel, though, because some hamsters will bite at it, and you don't want your pet swallowing any of the plastic, as he won't be able to digest it. If your hamster is doing major damage to the plastic wheel, try to find a metal wheel that doesn't have any rungs and large gaps between the wires.
When choosing a size, find a wheel that isn't too small or too large. Small wheels cause the hamster spinal damage trying to fit into a wheel that isn't big enough, and large wheels can be hard to run on and move.
It's not ideal to change the house all the time, but once in a while adding a new house will help stimulate your hamster. He will love running around and sniffing out the new house.
Try to purchase wooden house or a chewable house so that if your hamster gnaws on it, it will be safer than a plastic house.
There are some hamster houses that can also act as jungle gym pieces such as seesaws, tunnels, and other accessories. These can be entertaining as well. Just search for the right house for your hamster. Just make sure that you have room in the cage. You don't want to clutter the hamster cage so that the hamster can't move around with ease.
Hamster Cage Tunnels
Using tunnels are a great way to add onto the hamster cage. This is the best way to securely attach a second cage so that your hamster has more room to run and play around.
There are many different tube sets and accessories that you can buy ranging from different lengths, curves, and lookouts. You can purchase tunnel accessories that add another wheel, lookout, or potty.
Make sure that you have room in your house for the tunnels and accessories that you may want to add to your hamster cage. Sometimes if you build to high, the cage can become unstable, which is why sometimes it's better to build out than up. You never want to risk the safety and health of your hamster.
The hamster balls are great for out of the cage playtime. You just want to make sure that when your hamster is in his ball, everyone in the house knows to look out for him. You don't want someone to be walking and accidentally kick your hamster across the room or hallway. Watch out for stairs and pets as well.
There are different sizes of balls and cars that you can purchase for your hamster. Just keep in mind that your hamster is small but if you purchase something too small, you can potentially cause spinal concerns.
Make sure that you give your hamster a good break after running around in his ball. You don't want to leave him in there for hours, as the heat will build up, and you don't want your hamster to have a heat stroke while playing in his ball.
Other Toys to Consider
- PVC pipe
- Toilet paper or paper towel roll
- Cylindrical boxes
- Unused, white paper (computer paper, paper towels, tissue paper, etc.)
- Small clay flower pots
- Wooden bird ladders
- Wood bird toys
No matter what you add to your hamster's cage to provide stimulation and fun, make sure that it is stable so that it doesn't tip over and hurt your hamster. Make sure that all items are firmly planted on the floor of the cage.
Try to set up different activity centers to keep you hamster busy. The more varied you try to keep things, the less bored your hamster will be. Try taking out old toys and reintroducing them a few weeks later; they'll be like new. Just remember not to get too carried away moving things around, and always watch for signs of stress in your hamster.