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Old 02-23-2019, 05:20 PM   #1
Charlie82
Newborn Pup
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 13
Talking Entertaining Hamsters...

Any advice on entertaining hamsters please?
I have a Syrian. She doesn't mind her ball but she prefers to wander off without it.
Problem is, we have a dog. I need a cheap version of a play area/centre. Any ideas?
My little Russian boy hates going into his ball. He is very cuddly and he also prefers to wander around.
My little Russian girl loves her ball so she seems happy enough.
Thanks all.
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Old 02-23-2019, 06:26 PM   #2
mikatelyn
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Location: AZ, USA
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Default Re: Entertaining Hamsters...

I've had my hamster for over 2 months now, and here are the play area ideas we've tried:

1. Bath tub. This is our go to. I close the sliding doors, Hammie can run all over and I don't have to chase him down or watch him like a hawk because it is completely enclosed. I put a big pillow and a blanket down so it's nice and soft for me to sit on, and if he jumps off the edges of the tub it's a soft landing.

2. Commercially available small animal fence play pen. I do NOT recommend the 9 inch tall ones made for hamsters, at least not for a Syrian. My hamster figured out how to scale the fence within 2 play sessions.

3. ~18 x 18" Plastic tub or small (10gallon) aquarium. This is more for hand training. My hamster seemed to get bored of this quickly. Also, he figured out how to climb out of it pretty fast, using the toys I had in there for a boost.

4. Tent. We already had a tent for camping, so we set it up in our living room. Works great, is totally enclosed. You do have to watch to see if your hamster is nibbling a hole out of the tent. Luckily my hamster doesn't seem to be much of a chewer, so no probs on that front for me. Drawback: takes up a lots of space, kind of a pain to set up and break down regularly if you don't have a designated area for it.

5. Home made play pen. I had planks of wood from a disassembled shelving unit. I essentially set up a 3'W x 3'L x 1'H enclosure on the sofa and sat in it with the hamster. This was pretty good, but the hamster used me to launch himself over the wall, so you have to watch him pretty carefully.
I put a tarp down underneath so if he peed it wouldn't stain the couch.

5. Home made play pen idea from Serendipity7000 (Serendipity, I hope you don't mind I'm posting a link to your video!):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=AvXJ-Jbo0CM
She used sheets of correx secured with clips to surround the hamster's cage, then just opens the door to the cage and the hamster can decide whether or not to come out. I really like the idea because if the hamster ever gets loose from the play pen, theoretically eventually it'll get tired and want to go home, so it might just go back into the cage to its nest on its own (so I've read in on threads related to escaped hamsters). I have an aquarium, so I can't quite do the same, but I'm considering building some kind of ramp system in and out of the aquarium into the play pen.

6. Some people free range their hamsters. I'm pretty sure I'd never see my hamster again, so I don't do that, but I suppose if you hamster proofed a room and made sure there were no cracks where (s)he could escape, and got rid of any electrical wires that it could get a hold of, that could be an option.

Hope this helps!
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Old 02-23-2019, 06:37 PM   #3
mikatelyn
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Default Re: Entertaining Hamsters...

Oh, I forgot one.
I've been considering getting a pop up play pen made for dogs:

https://www.amazon.com/Ruff-Ruffus-P...ruffus+playpen

I'm just worried that the mesh portion comes down too low. I feel like the plastic portion would be fine, but my hamster does seem want to try to chew mesh. I would love to hear if anyone has tried this play pen, and how it went.
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Old 02-24-2019, 02:15 AM   #4
Serendipity7000
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Location: North of England
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Default Re: Entertaining Hamsters...

Good ideas there! No problem sharing the link . It depends how tame they are and their personalities. Our current hamster used to be quite happy just being out on the sofa as we have a few cushions and a fleece throw and he liked climbing over and under the cushions. Have a little house on the sofa for him to retreat to and the odd tunnel or toy. He was always too nervous of the height to jump off but now he’s older he has more confidence and scales down the front onto the floor. So he now free ranges in that room as I’ve blocked off places he shouldn’t go. But he is slower now so I can keep an eye on him easily.
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Old 02-24-2019, 02:16 AM   #5
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Entertaining Hamsters...

Playpen is the best option as mentioned above.
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Old 02-24-2019, 03:19 AM   #6
Charlie82
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Join Date: Feb 2019
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Default Re: Entertaining Hamsters...

Thank you both.
I think I will get the pop up tent and fill it with toys. I feel bad that I can't afford 100x100 cages for them as they're so energetic xx
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