Hamster toy DIY: 10 great ideas
Making hamster toys yourself is fun, can save money and provides important employment.
Hamsters living as pets need variety and challenges, because boredom can lead to aggression and behavioral problems. This has a negative impact on their health.
We’ll show you what materials you need and what to look for in terms of safety with these 10 creative ideas and additional tips.
In this article you will learn how and from what you can make toys and activities for hamsters. We’ll also tell you why the activities are so important for your pet and how they can be combined with feeding.
Are toys and activity important for hamsters?
Yes, because hamsters in nature are constantly busy during their active phases looking for food, checking the environment for possible enemies and moving a lot.
This not only brings physical benefits due to the demand on the muscles.
If your hamster’s senses are constantly stimulated in different ways, it also keeps the mind busy.
This makes keeping your hamster in a cage or hamster home more species-appropriate. Your animal is more balanced and health problems can be better prevented.
Important prerequisites for this are that:
you only use safe materials for making hamster toys
variety is offered again and again
cleanliness is maintained
In order to know how to implement these details, just take a look at our creative and easy tips.
In addition, you get warnings at the end to expose your beloved hamster to no risk.
Hamster toy 1: The filled cardboard roll
You don’t have any craft materials at hand, but you still want to give your hamster a treat?
Cardboard rolls are ideal for this. They can be used in many different ways.
A simple and inexpensive variant is to combine nest building material and food and use this mixture as filling.
Cotton flowers and mealworms, hay or straw and dried apple cubes are ideal for this.
Your hamster can work out his food at the same time and gets more exercise by pulling out the soft stuffing material.
Hamster toy 2: Empty cardboard rolls
Actually, you don’t have to tinker with these. They are nevertheless suitable for playing and moving.
Whether your hamster runs through them and you make mazes out of them, hang them horizontally or your hamster rolls them through the run – they offer numerous possibilities for activity.
In addition, they can be used to build towers or make corridors that lie under the bedding.
Hamster toys 3: Food towers and food trees
With wooden sticks and a square base you can build wonderful feeding towers or trees. For a more natural look, use thicker twigs instead of sticks.
Design these toys so that your hamster has to stretch or even climb a little bit. This is also ideal for fitness.
Now stock the tree so that treats entice the animal to move around and grab the food in the process.
Hamster toy 4: Climbing park
Stairs, ladders and ropes invite the hamster to climb and exercise its muscles.
All you need are twigs, small boards or strips, thin and thick ropes of sisal or hemp.
Wooden discs with bark can also be used if they are of different heights. If you place them directly next to each other, they become a staircase.
You can build ladders from comparatively straight branches by connecting two long pieces as frames and several short sections as rungs. Tie the short branches to the frame with thin string.
You can turn the thick ropes into toys in two ways.
First, you can tie them to a frame made of sturdier branches. Make sure that the branches are attached to a wooden plate or put into flower pots and the containers filled with plaster.
Otherwise, there is a risk that the “pillars” will fall over under the slightest stress and injure your hamster.
On the other hand, you can tie knots in the ropes at regular intervals and let them hang down from the top as climbing ropes.
Hamster toy 5: Sniffing floor
Do you happen to keep a dog? If so, you may also be familiar with sniffing rugs for employment through nose work.
The principle of a sniffing floor for your hamster is the same.
However, instead of textiles, you use natural materials for this. What you need are:
a shallow bowl
bark or pieces of twigs
Bark mulch for small animals
Treats or food
You can divide the bowl into different sections and thus provide many scents. Likewise, you can always change the filling and thus provide variety.
Adding twigs and wood to the selected material is an extra challenge.
If you hide food or treats in it, your hamster will have to dig for them and rely on his nose, just like in nature.
Hamster toys 6: seesaws and balance boards
Do you want to find out how brave your hamster is and train his coordination and balance at the same time?
Then seesaws and balance boards are ideal. For a seesaw, a small, elongated board or a wide strip and a round piece of wood are sufficient.
With wood glue you can make a connection between the round wood and the support.
To prevent your hamster from slipping on it, you can also glue thin wooden sticks to the surface of the board.
For a balance board you use a circular wooden disc and a hemisphere or a section of a sphere as a base.
For example, you can use a Styrofoam ball, from which you cut off a piece.
Gluing the disc to the sphere does not work here, because the disc still has to move.
It is therefore better to use a rod, a nail or a screw. Choose these as large as possible to effectively prevent the hamster from pulling it out and swallowing it.
Hamster toy 7: Wheels
Two round disks and a stick plus connections are all you need for a wheel. Your hamster can place his front legs on the stick and let the wheel roll.
Again, natural wood is especially suitable for this. Cuttings from thin branches are suitable.
As a connecting rod you can use for example a thin round wood. Use thin screws to attach the discs to the rod.
Wood glue is an alternative for fixing.
Hamster toy 8: Playground or obstacle course
Suspension bridges, food balls, tunnels and even swings can not only be used as hamster toys, but can also be arranged into a playground for your pet.
To do this, you should first test individual elements and then combine them with each other.
Start very simply: You can make holes in a cardboard roll of kitchen paper or toilet paper.
Does your hamster accept them well and use the holes curiously as lookout points, run through and on the rolls or hide in them and run playfully? Perfect!
Because then you can, for example, create an entire playground by combining cardboard rolls, willow rolls or variants made of cork and laying them next to each other.
Make a wire food ball or roll by cutting mouse wire into rectangles, bending them into the desired shape and removing the excess ends with wire cutters.
You can lay or hang these on the ground, add different fillings, or even incorporate them into the course as creative and individual obstacles.
With mouse wire or tightly woven rabbit wire, you also have the right basis for hanging bridges or hanging baskets. However, line the spaces between the wire with sturdy fabric or use papier-mâché as a covering.
Hamster toy 9: wrapped treats.
Hamsters are adept at retrieving coveted food from hiding places or small alcoves.
Therefore, if you want to make a toy for your hamster but don’t have much time, just a small box or a box folded from paper will do.
Put an aromatic smelling treat inside and close the container only enough so that your hamster can still open it by scratching and pulling.
Hamster toy 10: Food swishes and swings.
Catching food when it swings in front of your hamster’s nose and your hamster has to stand up for it – it’s not easy.
It is precisely because of this that it can be a special incentive. Swings or swings just above the ground can be made, for example, by coarser and natural fibers that you braid.
You can also use the aforementioned wire, which you can wrap and pad accordingly.
Hang the swing or swing with threads that do not pose a danger when gnawing through.
Selection of materials
This is where safety comes into play. Ideal are:
Surfaces without points or sharp edges
natural, unsprayed wood
special bark mulch for small animals
wire without sheathing
Precautions when making hamster toys
If you want to craft toys for your hamster yourself, you need to pay attention to safety.
This means among other things:
do not use needles or metal clips
pay attention to the height of the toys
Stability is important
you have to remove splintering materials immediately
only use adhesives that are safe for children and animals
clean or replace regularly
The height is also important. Hamsters can injure themselves considerably even if they fall from low heights.
The hamster toys you make for climbing should therefore be as low as possible. It is also recommended to place a thick layer of soft litter around them.
This way you can prevent injuries even if your hamster should fall while climbing.
Make your own hamster toys
As long as you take care of safety, clean or replace the toys regularly, and consider your pet’s preferences, both you and your hamster can enjoy them.
In addition, you provide employment, which is extremely important for the small rodents.
It keeps the animal mentally and physically fit, prevents boredom and can even prevent obsessive-compulsive disorder and aggression.
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