A variety of hamster toys can be made using items you find around your house, like cardboard tubes from toilet paper or paper towels, cardboard boxes and milk cartons. Remember that hamsters are like toddlers: they put everything in their mouths. Hamsters need to chew to wear down their constantly-growing teeth. Don't put anything inside their cage that might be toxic. If you need to glue something together, use nontoxic glue like Elmer's or make your own hamster-safe glue.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Small cardboard box, tissue box or milk carton
- Hamster treats
- Cardboard tubes
- Dried herbs (basil, sage, mint)
- Cotton or sisal rope
- Untreated wood
- Nontoxic glue
- 1 cup flour,
- 1/3 cup sugar,
- 1-1/2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
Remove stickers, plastic and tape from a small cardboard or tissue box. Washed 1/2-gallon milk cartons will also work. The box should have very little printing on the sides.
Fold over the ends of the box can be folded over or glue them using hamster-safe glue.
Cut several small holes in the sides of the box for your hamster.
Throw out the box when it becomes soiled or heavily damaged.
Create a House using Cardboard Boxes
Hang a cardboard tube from the top or sides of the cage using 100 per cent cotton rope, sisal rope or strips of non-dyed leather. Make sure it hangs low enough for your hamster to climb on.
Fill a cardboard tube with treats and fold over the ends. This allows your hamster to find the treats.
Place a few treats into the centre of a cardboard tube. Wrap the tube with paper and twist each end like an English Christmas cracker.
Add a branch stripped of leaves, but not bark, of hamster-safe wood like willow, hazelnut, apple, cherry and other fruit tree wood. The wood must be pesticide and chemical free. Do not use pine or cedar branches. Cedar and pine contain phenols that have been linked to liver and respiratory problems in hamsters.
Stuff a cardboard tube or box with branches and dried herbs leafs like basil, sage and mint. Put a few treats inside for your hamster to find.
Create ramps, steps, or mazes by gluing untreated, hamster-safe wood or cardboard boxes together.
Mix together 1 cup flour, 1/3 cup sugar, 1-1/2 cups water and 1 teaspoon vinegar.
Mix the ingredients in a saucepan.
Heat on the stove until it thickens.
Take it off the stove and let it cool before using.
Making a Hamster Safe Glue
Tips and warnings
- Don't use anything unless you are positive it is hamster safe.
- Don't use pine or cedar wood.
- Avoid plastic materials unless they are specifically labelled for hamsters.
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- ASPCA: Hamster Care
- Eco Child's Play; Homemade Glue for Kids Crafts; February 2009
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- "The Hamster Handbook"; Patricia Pope Bartlett; 2003
- "Hamster"; Betsy Sikora Siino; 2007
- "Hamsters: Everything about Purchase, Care, Nutrition, Breeding, Behavior, and Training"; Otto von Frisch; 1998