Enrichment and Toys 

Hamsters are very active. Although you may only ever see your hamster sleeping, at night they come out and will often run around 6 miles in one evening.


As hamsters can run so much a wheel is essential. Wheels for hamsters need to be solid, open barred wheels can mean that small, misplaced feet can become trapped and damaged.  It can also damage the sensitive pads on the soles of the hamsters feet.

There are quite a few good brands out there, and it is only on trying you can work out which is best for you and your pet.

Silent Spinner and Wodent Wheel are two of the good ones on the market at the minute.

Syrian Hamster

Syrian hamsters need a wheel with a diametre of at least 8.5 inches.  Your hamsters back should not curve whilst using their wheel, if it does you should consider getting a larger wheel.

Personally I use a Large Savic Rolly, just make sure the pieces that touch are lubricated, I use vegetable oil on a cotton bud, I know other people who use vasaline type products.  Remember a little bit goes a long way.

Most cages that come complete with a wheel, the wheel is often too small for adult sized Syrian hamsters.

Dwarf Hamster 
Dwarf hamsters should always have one wheel each to prevent fighting.  Dwarf hamster wheels can vary in size, from a 4.5 inch for a Roborovski to a 6.5 inch wheel for a Chinese hamster.


There are many toys that are aimed at hamsters, however, I think the best hamster toys are the ones you can make your self.

Cardboard boxes.

Always a big favourite with my hamsters of all sizes.  good for chewing, running around, over and in.  Also good for sleeping.

Grab a large, deep box the next time you are at the supermarket ( a one with no holes, or fill the holes in, otherwise you will have an escaped hamster :( ), and fill with that weeks cardboard recycling.  Your hammy will love you for it.

Egg boxes are always a winner in my house. The tops of the cups can be taken off and create a maze you hamster can jump in and out of, add treats to increase the entertainment. Fill with shredded paper to let them dig through. Imagination is your only limit.

Use smaller, closing boxes as treat boxes.  Create small holes in the boxes, some which allow the treats out some that don't.  Add treats, not too many, you could mix with their normal daily food. and let them find and workk for their food for that day.

Cardboard inners.

From kitchen and toilet rolls. They make great tunnels.

You can also cut them into strips and create treat balls, the more strips you add the hard it is for hammy to get in. They are fab for making a hammy work for his supper. May be start off with 3-4 strips so hammy knows what it is then increase them once they know what it is.

Bath time

Baths make a really great playground for hamsters. 
Or in an empty bath with the plug in and a towel down, you could hid treats and add toys.

Play Boxes

You could make a play cage from a storage box (remember to add breathing holes in the lid!!)  and add  a few inches of substrate (wood chippings, sand, compost or megazorb) for hamster to dig in.  He will love it!  For a change you could save the cardboard boxes from your house for a few weeks.  Replace the substrate ( put it in a bag, and save for later, remember to label what it is so one one uses it though) with the cardboard boxes.  Add some holes in the boxes so hammy can move between the boxes.  Add treats to make it a bit of an adventure!

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