A hamster is a nocturnal rodent that is generally considered an exotic pet. Just like humans, a hamster confined to his cage can experience cabin fever. A hamster in a cage should be provided with plenty of toys to keep it occupied and to stave off boredom. If your budget is tight, create your own hamster toys for your pet.
Hamsters love to crawl into tunnels. A tunnel represents a sheltered nook for a hamster to play in. You can easily create a tunnel using the middle section of a 16- to 709ml. water bottle. Cut off the neck and base of the bottle evenly with a pair of scissors. If the ends are sharp, smooth them off with a piece of sandpaper. For a slightly longer tunnel, tape two water bottle midsections together.
If you've ever seen the carnival game Whack-A-Mole, then you know the basic concept for this hamster toy--minus the rodent extermination factor. Take an egg carton and cut the egg cups out of the bottom. Turn the carton on its lid and stuff with bedding. Your hamster can use this as a secure bed or a place to explore.
Hamsters like to climb. In fact, if you have a wire cage, it isn't unusual to find your hamster hanging off the side as if he were Batman. To take advantage of your hamster's climbing urges, build levels to climb using tissue or cereal boxes or an oatmeal canister cut in half crosswise or lengthwise. No matter how high, make sure your hamster's levels are sturdy to prevent injury.
Just like tunnels, hamsters enjoy playing in cardboard tubes such as used paper towel rolls or cardboard toilet paper rolls. Another hamster-friendly toy is a used oatmeal canister. Remove the lid before letting your hamster play with it because hamsters like to chew and plastic is not good for them. Try to tailor the size of the roll to the size of your pet.
A hamster can stay busy for hours exploring a cardboard maze. Create a hamster maze out of old cereal boxes or cardboard and a soda box flat. To make a maze, cut the cardboard in long strips and glue them onto the flat to make the walls of the maze.