Do you have a pet hamster that you love almost as much as you love your own kids? Hamsters are adorable creatures and the perfect pets. If you want your hamster to stay happy and healthy, then you should definitely be investing in toys for your little fur buds.
Just like most pets, hamsters are creatures of the wild. They are used to a certain way of life, but that gets changed when they move into a human’s home. Even if they are bred in labs, they do have their natural instincts in their DNA. The main change they have to face is the lack of activity in domestic places compared to the wild, and also the different habitat overall. Hence, it is mandatory that you provide them with toys which will keep them active and give them a feel of their natural habitat.
If you don’t know where to begin shopping toys for your beloved hamster, we’ve got you covered! Here’s everything you need to know about hamster toys:
Best Toys For Hamsters Buying Guide & FAQ
Things to Consider When Buying Toys For Hamsters
When it comes to buying toys for pet hamsters, you have to remember the main purpose: to keep your hamster active and healthy. Therefore, there are a few things you should consider, such as:
- Is the material chewable?
This is not a major concern for other pets, but when you are taking care of hamsters, mice, gerbils or any other small pets that like chewing, you have to keep this in mind.
Hamsters have 2 pairs of sharp incisors (one in the upper jaw and one in the lower jaw) that continuously keep growing throughout their life. Hence, for their own comfort and well-being, they constantly keep chewing on things so that their teeth are worn down on a regular basis. Hence, when you tame them and keep them as pets, you have to be prepared for a whole lot of chewing on anything and everything they find.
Which is why you have to make sure that WHATEVER you keep near your hamster is chewable and will not harm or hamper their digestion in any way. It is better to have softer items rather than harder ones (their teeth might get hurt) and it should definitely not be toxic in any way.
- Is the material/toy comfortable for them?
Since they love running around and chewing about, you have to make sure the toy does not have protruding or sharp edges that might hurt them in any way. Also, take the size and shape of your hamster into account. Do not make baby hamsters play with toys that have large holes as they might fall through them, and do not make fat hamsters play with toys that have too small holes for them as they might get stuck.
Benefits of Using Toys for Hamsters
Well, first of all, toys will be really beneficial for your hamster’s health. Since they are not living in their own habitats, they are not getting their regular exercise which they would have gotten in the wilderness. In the wild, hamsters are accustomed to hunting for their own food by going huge distances, hence they never get bored nor do they become unfit. But in domestic homes, they do not have that much to do hence the lack of activity might make them fat or diseased.
Moreover, since they are crepuscular, they will be active when you are asleep so having toys will help them stay active even when you are not around. Hamsters love running, which makes them stay fit and not become fat.
Alongside, their incisors are something you always have to think about. Having chew toys around ensure that their teeth are not getting out of control, which would otherwise hurt them and make them very uncomfortable.
Q: What is the best playtime for my hamster?
A: Hamsters are crepuscular, hence their day starts after sunset. It is best not to wake them up before a complete sleep cycle or they might bite. Even if you are very tempted to play with your beloved hamster, you have to understand that hamsters are that way due to their genetics and you cannot change it overnight.
However, if you see that your hamster is staying awake during daytimes, then you can play with it in the daytime too.
Q: How far does a hamster run?
A: Well, a lot. According to Wikipedia and other sources, a hamster can run up to 9 km per night, or 5.5 miles. The reason behind this is simply their nature and instinct. In the wilderness, hamsters run a lot in search of food. They have to go huge distances to find something suitable for eating while not getting eaten by their own predators.
This is why it is quite important to have a hamster wheel in its cage. Running keeps hamsters healthy and motivated, and what better way to achieve this than the good old hamster wheel?
Q: How often should I change my hamster’s chewing toys?
A: Since hamsters are always chewing, their toys will eventually becoming too ragged for them to chew anymore. You will notice that they have stopped chewing on them or are ignoring them completely, and so you will know that it is time to change chew toys.
On another thing you should remember is that chewing a lot on a toy might make it unhygienic at a point. Think about it, the constant chewing is making it wet, which might eventually turn into a breeding place for microorganisms. Hence, in our opinion, you should change the chewing toys at somewhat regular intervals of a few months.
Q: Can I let my hamster play outside the cage?
A: Yes, you can. Just make sure that you are being careful.
Hamsters are tiny creatures that might get lost or even escape if you are not careful with them. When they are out of their cage, make sure they stay in a room under your supervision, and that all sorts of exits such as doors and windows are closed. Also, make sure that there are no hiding places such as vents or coolers around where your hamster can hide and eventually get injured.
Q: How often should I play with my hamster?
A: Hamsters-or any pet for that matter- are like babies who need attention. Having said that, there are no minimums or maximums to how much you can play with your hamster. Hamsters have their own way of telling you that they want to play, so make sure you are there for them then!
Our Top Pick
In our opinion, good old rainbow Play Bridge is the best hamster toy out there.
Not only is it incredibly safe, it is also very easy to assemble. Hamsters can safely climb up and down without worrying, use the bottom part as a tunnel AND sleep in it as well. On a whole, we found no cons of this toy hence it wins our first prize.