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4 Hamster Toys to Keep Your Furry Friend Happy and Healthy

When we hear the word ‘toys’ we often think of fun, luxury items – something we pick up as a special little treat. What you may not realize is that purchasing (or DIYing) the right toys for your hamster can actually have an impact on his/her overall health and well-being! Let’s talk about the best hamster toys for your furry friend.

 

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING I WILL EARN A COMMISSION IF YOU PURCHASE THROUGH MY LINKS, AT NO COST TO YOU. FOR MORE INFO, PLEASE READ MY FULL DISCLOSURE.

 

If you share your heart with a pet hamster, you want nothing but the best for your little one. After doing your research, you purchased the best cage, food that you were sure would meet his/her nutritional needs and fun treats that are both healthy and delicious.

Now it’s time for the fun part – Hamster toys! In order for your little buddy to live a long, happy and healthy life, he/she will need the opportunity to play, exercise and explore. By creating a fun hamster-safe environment using toys and cage accessories, both purchased and homemade, you can provide this and more!

Do you need a little inspiration? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!

small light brown and white hamster coming out of a wood hut

Create the Perfect Habitat For Your Furry Friend with These 4 Types of Hamster Toys:

#1 – Hamster Wheels

Arguably one of the most popular and recognized hamster toys, the hamster wheel is a classic for a reason! However, if you’re a first-time small animal owner, you may not realize that there are actually different options available.

The first factor to consider is the size of your hamster. A dwarf hamster may be able to get away with a smaller option, for example, than a full-sized golden hamster. In order to avoid having to replace your wheel down the road, you want to consider the full-grown size of your hamster. He/she should be able to use the wheel without their back arching much, if at all. However, avoid buying a wheel that is too big as it could make it difficult for your hamster to get it moving.

While most people immediately picture the old wire wheel, these are no longer the most recommended option. Plastic solid surface wheels (like the Kaytee Silent Spinner Exercise Wheel found HERE) prevent your furry friend from being injured when little legs and feet misstep landing between the wires. Both self-standing options and options that attach to the side of the cage are available, depending on personal preference.

Finally, you may want to play around and ‘test drive’ that wheel at home. If your hamster’s cage is in or near your bedroom, you may want to make a point of avoiding a wheel that makes too much noise.

 

#2 – Hamster Balls

If you’re looking to encourage your hamster to exercise but also want to break change things up a little, hamster balls are a great alternative. Also known as ‘run-abouts’, these clear balls allow your hamster to explore your home while keeping him/her contained. This prevents your furry friend from getting away (and into a place that you can’t reach) while also stopping your buddy from chewing on things that could pose a serious risk, like electrical cables.

You can purchase a standard clear ball, or add a little additional fun and functionality (or control) by purchasing a ball with its own stand to keep your hamster in one spot, a light-up LED ball (like the LED Kaytee Run-About Exercise Ball found HERE) or even a track for your hamsters ball to keep it contained to a specific pathway.

 

#3 – Houses, Hideaways and Climbing Toys

Another way to allow your hamster to explore is to create an interesting habitat. Many modern hamster cages allow for elaborate tunnel systems that can be changed and built upon, adding to the size of your friend’s habitat and providing an interesting change to the basic 4 walls. These tubes may simply lead out of the cage, around and back again, while others could lead to secondary burrows, wheels, ‘litterbox’ spaces, and more.

You can also add huts, hollowed-out logs and other hideaways within the main cage. This not only gives your hamster a place to explore but also a safe place to build a nest. Wooden ladders both provide climbing opportunities for your furry friend which allows them to explore and also encourages much-needed exercise.

The nesting instinct is a natural behaviour that you can expect from your hamster. You will also need to provide him/her with hamster-safe nesting materials such as chipped materials, shredded paper or processed corn cobs. Avoid cotton batting or cotton balls as it can get caught around your hamster’s feet and nails leading to injuries.

There are also many plastic options available at your local pet store. These should be inspected for damage regularly and removed if you see that your hamster has chewed too much or is at risk of getting pieces off.

 

#4 – Chew Toys

A hamster’s teeth are constantly growing, which means that you need to provide your hamster with something to chew on in order to prevent unnecessary dental problems down the road.

There are SO many commercial chew toys available. Some mount on the cage, hanging down for your friend to access while others are built to climb and play on. There are balls, rope toys, toys with bells and more. Feeling overwhelmed? Not sure where to start? Why not pick up a value pack with a variety of different wooden toys like the Zalalova Hamster Chew Toy 10 Pack HERE.

The most important thing to remember when selecting a chew toy for your hamster is that you need to find something that is completely safe, both pesticide- and chemical-free. For this reason, it is recommended to avoid cedar or evergreen woods. If you aren’t sure of the wood an item is made of or if it is safe for your friend, don’t be afraid to ask. If a vendor can’t give you a definite answer, err on the side of caution and choose something else.

 

DIY Hamster Toys

If you’re looking for an easy and cost-effective option, there are many options just laying around your home. For example, hamsters LOVE cardboard tubes like those found inside of paper towels and toilet paper. These not only provide a chew toy but can also be used to construct hideaways. As your hamster chews on the tube, he/she may also choose to shred the tube in order to create additional nesting materials.

Other options for building hamster-safe DIY homes include coconut shells and organic ropes, such as hemp. Always choose thicker rope options to reduce the risk that your hamster could become entangled in the toy.

Please Note: Rope toys or toys hung using rope should never be left in your hamster’s cage to be played with unsupervised.

Do you have fruit trees in your hard? Both hardwood and the branches of fruit trees make great chew options. You can also use the branches to construct tunnels and huts. Just remember – NO cedar or evergreen and NO chemically treated wood.

two pictures of light brown and white hamsters with the title 4 hamster toys to keep your furry friend happy & healthy

What hamster toys are the most popular in your house? Do you have any ideas or suggestions for fun DIY options? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!

About Author

Britt Kascjak is a proud pet mom, sharing her heart (and her home) with her ‘pack’ which includes her husband John, their 3 dogs – Daviana, Indiana, and Lucifer – and their 2 cats – Pippen and Jinx. She has been active in the animal rescue community for over 15 years, volunteering, fostering, and advocating for organizations across Canada and the US. In her free time, she enjoys traveling around the country camping, hiking, and canoeing with her pets.

32 Comments

  • Ren from DesertdogsCalifornia
    March 17, 2020 at 3:35 am

    Great ideas! Thank you. 🙂

    Reply
    • Britt
      March 17, 2020 at 2:17 pm

      Thank you for reading!

      Reply
  • Ana
    March 17, 2020 at 3:43 pm

    These are some great ideas! And, like you said, necessities for our pet’s well-being. We have a guinea pig and she loves her climbing/walk-thru log and her little hut. The kids call the hut her RV because she travels around the cage in it! Pets make everything better 🙂

    Reply
    • Britt
      March 18, 2020 at 1:02 am

      I love that she travels around the cage in it lol You should catch that on video!

      Reply
  • Marie Phillips
    March 17, 2020 at 4:45 pm

    That hamster is so adorable! I love hamsters but I already have 2 cats and not enough time to take care of another pet. These are also great ideas for keeping hamsters happy. I love that you had a DIY part too.

    Reply
    • Britt
      March 18, 2020 at 1:01 am

      I was just saying the same thing to my husband the other day – with 2 dogs and 2 cats in our house, we don’t have room for any more pets.

      Reply
  • Julia Hess
    March 17, 2020 at 6:47 pm

    Oh how I miss having a hamster. Maybe when my boys get a little older to take care of one, we can have another one. Such a great list of toys and items to keep them busy.

    Reply
    • Britt
      March 18, 2020 at 1:01 am

      We had hamsters when I was younger. We were old enough to feed them, clean the cages, etc. ourselves, so it as a great way to learn responsibility.

      Reply
  • Tara Pittman
    March 17, 2020 at 7:12 pm

    To be a hamster without a care in the world. Toys always are a good thing

    Reply
    • Britt
      March 18, 2020 at 12:59 am

      It would be the life, wouldn’t it? lol

      Reply
  • Amber Myers
    March 17, 2020 at 7:17 pm

    These are some great picks! We have guinea pigs so some of these might work for them. They do like to play!

    Reply
    • Britt
      March 18, 2020 at 12:59 am

      Yes, a lot of these will work for nearly any small animals – hamsters, guinea pigs, rats, mice, gerbils, etc. They all need exercise and play in order to be happy and healthy.

      Reply
  • Kristen V
    March 17, 2020 at 11:20 pm

    I never owned a hamster before, this is good information.

    Reply
    • Britt
      March 18, 2020 at 12:49 am

      Thank you!

      Reply
  • Lisa
    March 18, 2020 at 12:54 pm

    What an adorable post! I don’t have hamsters, but if I did, I’d definitely get a few of these toys for them, especially the climbing toys.

    Reply
    • Britt
      March 19, 2020 at 12:49 am

      The climbing toys are so cute, aren’t they?

      Reply
  • Carrie E Rundhaug
    March 18, 2020 at 1:36 pm

    Hamsters are so cute. I’ve never had one though and I don’t think I will allow my kids to have one. They remind me too much of mice and rats. 🙁 maybe if we had one I would think differently

    Reply
    • Britt
      March 19, 2020 at 12:48 am

      I have friends who used to have the same thought until I had one. I think the absence of the long mouse-like tail helped a lot in not seeing it as the same.

      Reply
  • Krysten Quiles
    March 18, 2020 at 2:07 pm

    I used to have a couple of hamsters and they were AWESOME. I had all these items for them. Thanks so much for sharing this with all of us!

    Reply
    • Britt
      March 19, 2020 at 12:46 am

      They are such cute little characters, aren’t they?

      Reply
  • Blue to Bliss
    March 18, 2020 at 2:56 pm

    Awww now I want to go out and buy a hamster. I really enjoyed your diy section for making your own hamster toys. What great ideas!

    Reply
    • Britt
      March 19, 2020 at 12:45 am

      I used to have hamsters and writing this made me want to get another one 🙂 so I totally understand that thought!

      Reply
  • Lyosha
    March 18, 2020 at 4:14 pm

    Hamsters are SO cute! Great tips for the owners, health is above all

    Reply
    • Britt
      March 19, 2020 at 12:44 am

      Health is definitely the top concern for any pet!

      Reply
  • Nyxie
    March 19, 2020 at 3:12 pm

    When we had hamsters we always had them out in their balls and ensured that the Syrians had big enough wheels to use. Reading this makes me miss my hamsters but with two cats around it wouldn’t be ideal to get more.

    Reply
    • Britt
      March 25, 2020 at 10:21 pm

      I hear you! Writing it made me miss my hamsters too! I have a soft spot for dwarf hamsters but I just couldn’t trust Pippen – she’s a good mouser, which was great when we were living on a farm but would be less than great with any small animal IN the house.

      Reply
  • Cristina Ioana
    March 19, 2020 at 11:21 am

    I had two hamsters when I was younger. They are cute fur-balls. But now, I don’t think our cat would approve.

    Reply
    • Britt
      March 25, 2020 at 10:19 pm

      I had them when I was younger too but I really wouldn’t trust our one cat now. Otherwise, I’d love to have them here again! We lived in a farmhouse for 5 years where she did a GREAT job of keeping the mice out of the house, but that’s got her trained to be less than okay with smaller animals like that…

      Reply
  • Natasha
    March 20, 2020 at 2:54 am

    I’ve never had a hamster but if I was going to buy one this would be super helpful! Thank you!

    Reply
    • Britt
      March 25, 2020 at 10:21 pm

      Thank you for reading!

      Reply
  • Monidipa
    March 20, 2020 at 1:23 pm

    I have never owned a hamster but it sounds so cute and adorable.

    Reply
    • Britt
      March 25, 2020 at 10:22 pm

      They really are adorable 🙂 Great pets for someone in a smaller space!

      Reply

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