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It’s important for hamsters to have many options when it comes to playtime. This helps to alleviate boredom and keep our furry friends from becoming overweight. Fortunately, there are many toys on the market that you can introduce to your hammy’s environment – and many are quite cheap!
Don’t be fooled into thinking that “inexpensive” has to equal “low-quality.” There are many safe, sturdy and overall high-quality hamster toys available for a surprisingly low price tag. Don’t believe us? Keep reading to see eleven of our favorite selections, all of which are $6 or less.
JW Small Animal Barn
It is a part of every hamster's nature to explore and to find places within their environment that they can safely burrow. The small animal barn by JW facilitates both natural inclinations perfectly. Hamsters may traipse up and down the ramp to get a view from the top. Alternatively, they can go inside to enjoy some solitude or munch on their stash of treats.
The odor-resistant plastic is easy to clean as well as translucent. So all you need to do is clean the little barn when you clean the rest of the cage!
Kathson Suspended Bridge/Ladder
This flexible bridge and ladder toy serves a number of purposes in your hamster's cage - it just depends on preference! The 100% natural wooden construction provides a safe toy not only for climbing and exploring but also for chewing. It's never been easier to give your hamster a more varied terrain within their enclosure!
Owners praise this product for its durability and its flexibility. It'll take you a while, even with the most active chewer, to get to a point where you may need to replace the bridge/ladder toy.
Have a chewer on your hands? Make sure you also read our article about the best chewing toys for hamsters.
Kaytee Carrot Carousel
This delightful carrot-shaped chew toy provides a burst of color and excitement in a hamster's cage. The carousel itself is composed of natural wood that's been colored with a food-based colorant, making it perfectly safe for any hammy. At the center of the carousel is an eye-catching variety of loofah pieces - perfect for chewing and flossing! A variety of textures is a surefire way to ease boredom and keep your hamster happy in their home.
The Kaytee Ka-bob
Another product from Kaytee is the ka-bob, a treat-dispensing, hanging toy. Alongside the fruit-shaped wood chews, owners can hang up treats and other toys, like drilled chews, to refill the string as it runs low. The chews make for a tremendous teeth-filing aid while the bell at the bottom offers a fun sound to reward their hard work. This toy is sturdy and comes in two sizes, so your dwarf or Syrian hammy can reap all of these benefits.
This toy can be hung from any wire cage with ease. It also comes with a suction cup attachment for owners with aquarium-style cages for their hamsters.
Kaytee Layer Cakes
This two-piece set of natural, wooden toys offers a great chewing option for hamsters. It's vital that hamsters have access to chewable toys so that they can maintain a healthy length for their teeth. These pieces are sturdy, capable of withstanding the chewing of even the most aggressive hamsters.
Owners not only love the dental and boredom-alleviating benefits of these toys, but they also love using them as a decorative touch. And who wouldn't? These little toys are adorable!
Kaytee Nut Knot Nibbler
This rewarding and colorful puzzle toy makes for endless hours of entertainment, paired with the added benefit of chewing for your hamster's teeth. Natural wooden sticks, colored with food-grade colorants, interlock around an almond that sits at the very center of this toy. This Kaytee product is sturdy in its construction and can withstand up to months of your hamster's ambitious chewing.
Hanging this toy is a breeze in any wire cage, but you can also simply leave it out and about. Your hamster will enjoy rolling their toy around in hopes of getting to the sweet reward inside.
Kaytee Perfect Chews
This dangling, multi-colored chew toy is the perfect way to alleviate your hamster's boredom. Simply hang the toy from your hamster's wire cage and let them go to town! Different colors and textures make for exciting and healthy chewing that will keep your hammy's teeth in great shape. It adds a colorful touch to any cage, but that's not why hamster owners love it. No, they adore this toy because their hamsters go crazy for it!
Chewing keeps boredom at bay and makes hamster teeth healthier, so it's important to add chew toys to their environment. This toy ticks all of the boxes that you'd want for a chewing item: ease of use, aesthetics, and variety.
Mikey Store Pet Hammock
Hammocks make for a great place to nest and get some quiet time between play sessions. This hammock by Mikey brand offers a cute and cozy spot for your hamster to simply chill. It can be left on the floor of your hamster's cage or be made to hang from the top of any wire enclosure.
The size is perfect for even hefty Syrian hamsters. Your pair of dwarf hamsters could share this space, too, if they felt so inclined! For the size and the price of this sweet-looking hammock, you can't go wrong!
PanDaDa Wooden Swing
It takes all kinds of physical activities to keep hamsters fit and happy. This swing by PanDaDa lets your hamster live the high life and get a view from the top with ease. It's easy to hang from your wire cage and offers endless opportunities for safe swinging or simple climbing. The wooden and metal-chain construction is sturdy, so you know that this toy can handle whatever your hammy weighs.
Prevue Grass Tunnel
This tunnel toy, composed entirely of 100% natural black grass, provides a nice and cozy area for your hamster to burrow, nest and generally relax. There are numerous holes where your hammy will pop out of or dive into. Many owners have observed their hamsters making nests inside of the tunnel and witnessed plenty of energetic playtime sessions between paired dwarf hamsters.
The entirely natural components of this toy make it a safe option if your hamster is prone to nibbling their surroundings. Even the largest of Syrian hamsters can sprint through the tunnel and enjoy it with as much ease as their dwarf cousins.
Tangc Wooden Playground
This house-slash-playground makes for an abundance of exploratory and playtime opportunities. Its wooden construction is painted with food-grade coloring agents, ensuring the safety of your hammy as they sprint through and around the many ports of this playhouse. For dwarf hamsters and slightly smaller Syrians, this toy is a perfect place to climb and get a view from the top!
In addition to the boredom-busting benefits of such an engaging toy, owners love the design! It is an eye-catching feature that is sure to liven up any hamster cage. Your dwarf hamsters will love chasing each other through and around the playhouse, making it a great way for those little guys to expend their energy.
The Importance of Variety When Choosing Hamster Toys
Hamsters, just like any other animal, have a wide assortment of natural instincts that they must flex if they are to remain happy and healthy. Climbing, chewing, exercising, burrowing, and nesting are all intrinsic hamster behaviors that owners should do their best to facilitate. By creating a variety of entertainment options within your hamster's enclosure, you are doing exactly that. And your hamster is undoubtedly grateful for it!
The combination of toys above highlight different aspects of hamster behavior, from chewing to nesting. Not only should the types of toys you buy be varied, but you should provide a variety of toys within one subset. For example, hamsters benefit from having different textures to chew on. For this reason, you should make sure to have different types of textures available for them to sink their teeth into.
Of course, safety and sturdy construction are important. Fortunately, you don't have to sacrifice any of these traits to get a wide assortment of toys in your hamster's cage. The items above are simply some of the best and least expensive options that hamster owners have come to love. Feel free to expand your search and experiment with all types of toys to keep your hamster happy and healthy.
Homemade Toys That are Safe for Hamsters
It is entirely possible to make homemade hamster toys that are safe and enjoyable for hamsters. It's a great way to repurpose some of the "trash" around your home and save some money if you're trying to provide variety on a strict budget. You don't even need to be especially crafty to do it, either! Some of the most common elements used in the creation of homemade toys are:
- Empty cardboard boxes, like tissue boxes
- Toilet paper rolls
- Popsicle sticks
- Non-toxic glue
- Natural, untreated wood
- Hand-woven grass, hay or straw
- Lengths of wire, such as the wire from a coat hanger
You can create a house of popsicle sticks, tunnels fashioned from toilet paper rolls, create hanging chews with wire or yarn and wood. The possibilities are as endless as your creativity, so get to work and have fun! Homemade hamster toys are a great way to save money and get more hands-on in the direct care and activity of your hamster.
Great Hamster Toys Don't Have to be Expensive
While it might be your first impulse to splurge and buy your hamster(s) the most expensive items on the market, this just isn't always practical. Nobody hates saving money, but everyone hates spending too much on items that break down easily or don't stand up to the trials their hamster will put it through. These toys are durable, affordable and safe for your hamster to use - which is what really counts!
If you're thinking about an alternative choice? You should check out What Should You Put in a Hamster’s Cage? (An Owner's Checklist) this will give you an alternate choice aside toys to hamsters.