Hamsters enjoy climbing in their cage and playing in tunnels and mazes. They also enjoy chewing things, and hiding, which helps them feel secure.
When setting up a hamster cage, you can create an interesting environment for your hamster to explore and play in. A basic hamster cage contains bedding, a food bowl, water bottle and hamster home, but hamster cages can include a range of large toys for hamsters to scramble over, under and through, making navigating the cage stimulating.
Place rocks and unpainted, untreated hardwood blocks small enough for your hamster to climb in his cage. As well as enriching his environment, rocks and hardwood wear down his claws and teeth in the same way they would naturally erode in the wild.
Hamsters love to climb to different levels in their cages. If your hamster cage is one level, place a cardboard box, clay flower pot or other object in the cage to provide another level. Make a ramp up to the new level from the ridged inner lining of a cardboard box. Pull the surface layer off the cardboard to reveal the ridged area, and cut the cardboard to the right size to provide a ramp.
Tunnels and Mazes
Hamsters love to play in plastic and cardboard tubing. Place 3-inch PVC plastic tubes, which are durable and easy to clean, in your hamster's cage. Join plastic tubes with elbows to add fun to the tube-crawling game. Add paper towel or bathroom tissue inner tubes, which hamsters may chew but do them no harm.
Create a maze of tubes for your hamster by joining together PVC plastic tubing, or cutting tube-sized holes in cardboard tubes, and slotting them together. You can cut holes in a cereal box and attach cardboard tubes for a more elaborate maze.
Hamsters love to chew. Add a range of homemade chew toys to their cages, including small pieces of untreated, unpainted hardwood, hard dog biscuits and twigs. Give your hamsters small pieces of napkins or paper towels, which they will shred and use to make a nest.
Don't give hamsters chew toys made of soft plastic.
Hamsters enjoy finding new places to hide. Place paper cups and clean, dry glass jars in your hamster cage, and cover them with bedding to provide your hamster with new hiding places to discover.
Only use paper cups, glass jars or other containers that are large enough for your hamster to turn around in as hiding places.