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Hamster Toys

Hamster toys offer pets a lot more than a good time.

Why Hamsters Need Toys

Hamster Toys

Any animal that leads a captive lifestyle can benefit from environmental enrichment, and hamster toys have a lot to offer in that department. Investigating a toy provides mental stimulation, while pushing it around, chewing it or crawling inside of it encourages physical exercise as well. The lack of a stimulating environment can lead a hamster to become one very bored and overweight pet, so it's a good idea to offer your hamster a variety of toys you can rotate to keep his interest fresh.

A Variety of Hamster Toys

Before taking a look at some of the toys available, there is one thing you should keep in mind. The majority of hamster toys you'll provide for your pet won't last a very long time. That's because these little fur balls love to chew, and they will try to chew virtually anything they can get their teeth around. So, be prepared to replace your pet's toys when they become extremely worn.

  • Wheels - Every hamster should have a wheel. In the wild, a hamster would be free to wander at will, but most cages only provide minimal floor space. Wheels made from both metal and plastic are available. The metal wheels last much longer because they are impervious to chewing, but that continual squeaking in the middle of the night can be a bit annoying. Luckily, there are now hamster wheels available that are equipped with ball bearings for a much quieter ride.
  • Cruisers - These adorable vehicles are simply an enclosed plastic wheel set into the shell of a plastic toy car body. When you enclose your pet in the wheel, his movements make the car roll forward and backward depending on the direction he faces.
  • Hamster balls - Enclose your pet in one of these clear plastic, vented balls and watch him safely travel anywhere he wants to investigate. There's no danger of losing him as long as the door is securely closed.
  • Chews - Chewing not only provides hamsters with a sense of well-being, it helps keep their teeth from overgrowing. Chew toys made from fruit woods are usually the safest for your pet, but there are also chew tubes and huts made from vegetable parchment that come filled with fiber or hay for added stimulation.
  • Kong toys – The Kong Company makes a small animal toy made from a highly durable, non-toxic rubber. The center is hollow, and you can fill it with food or other hamster treats and let your pet work them out for a reward.
  • Tunnels - There are a wide variety of tunnels on the market. Some are made of hard plastic, while others are flexible enough to tie in knots. Still others are made from fabric filled with crackly materials for added audio stimulation.
  • Puzzle playgrounds - These toys are an interchangeable combination of tunnels and cubes that allow hamsters to explore and exercise at the same time. Rearranging them provides your pet with a new adventure.

Recycled Toys

You don't always need to spend money to provide your pet hamster with something to keep him occupied. You probably have one or two of the following items in your home right now.

  • Empty tissue box - This makes a great hideaway, and hamsters love to chew them. Fill one with some Timothy hay to create a treat and toy in one.
  • Empty tissue and towel rolls - These cardboard tubes are an inexpensive substitute for those fancy plastic tunnels. Of course, you can't see your pet when he's inside, but most hamsters prefer a bit of privacy to help them feel more secure.

This is just a sample of the many hamster toys you'll find when you visit your local pet supply shop or online pet supply. Remember, rotate your pet's toys so he doesn't become bored, and replace them as needed.

By Kelly Roper