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Old 03-14-2019, 05:14 PM   #1
halloumi
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Default Safe toy materials for inside cage - fleece, etc.?

Hi! I know that the market for hamster things is very vast, and often times probably not very safe.

I'm quite a protective ham mum, and I am always a bit wary of the things pet shops sell that are 'suitable for hamsters'. I have listed a couple of things as sort of examples that I am hesitant to trust. If anyone could let me know if they are safe and I'm overreacting, or if there are actually any other sorts of toys that are marketed for hamsters but are unsafe, please do!

I like the idea of having something quite fleecey in the cage. Is this a problem if the hamster ingests any? Assuming I should remove it if I see they are chewing it? (Not necessarily this toy, but something made of similar materials)
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Trixie-Susp...WFRR4HFQJDA22J


I saw a unicorn wood chew in Pets at Home and the paint on the wood really didn't look like it's overly natural or non-toxic? (Can't find it listed online)


Are the strands on this/other sissal-y toys dangerous at all?
http://www.petsathome.com/shop/en/pe...colourful-corn


I've also heard about some of the wooden climbing frames having very bad glue. Are there any in particular I should actively avoid purchasing?



Aaaaand overall, you can see that I am a very rusty hamster owner who is very overprotective in her imagination! Please do remind me that they are hardy things and that most things are safe, if I am overreacting
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Old 03-14-2019, 09:52 PM   #2
cypher
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Default Re: Safe toy materials for inside cage - fleece, etc.?

Fleece isn't advisable for most hamsters as there is a risk of them chewing it which can be dangerous if ingested, some hams are ok, Chinese hams almost always are but Syrians are far more likely to chew it.
That suspension bridge definitely shouldn't be used, open rung ladders & small chains are just an accident waiting to happen, they can fall from or through open rung ladders & get feet trapped in small chains.

Paint on toys from P@H should be safe if sold for small pets but if in doubt it's best to avoid things.

Sisal is safe & I would think that coloured toy from P@H would be safe for them, not sure it would be of interest to a ham though!

Wooden climbing frames generally don't tend to be safe, some wooden toys do seem to have way too much glue but the glue should be safe but it's not always something you can be sure of, also be aware of tiny tacks or nails in some natural wood toys & always check things over to make sure there's nothing like that which could hurt a ham.
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:25 PM   #3
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Default Re: Safe toy materials for inside cage - fleece, etc.?

What Cypher said Definitely not the hanging ladders etc. A good safe hammock is the grass one.

https://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/small...es/mats/204595

After some expensive mistakes, my view is that just about all hamster toys are dangerous or not suitable for a syrian (too small usually). Except for tunnels and hidey places/houses. The colourful hanging sisal will be fine - cheers the place up!

The only things our hamsters have shown an interest in are if they have food attached or are dark inside like a tunnel or a large house. I have the Rodipet labyrinth house for our Syrian and he loves it. It's not cheap though. And you can make one out of cardboard. I also like the large cork tunnels as floor toys - it's light so doesn't sink in the substrate if they dig underneath it - makes a nice large tunnel and also something to climb over, plus it's an interesting texture.

I have this one - I had one for our robo too and he really liked it. It helps fill all the open space in floor area as well.

https://www.rodipet.co.uk/accessorie...-diameter.html

Nothing fabric should be used though. Some fleece hammocks are safer and well made (Fuzzbutts make good ones) - but there are still issues with chewing and also with attaching them so a hamster doesn't end up hanging by a broken leg from the eyelets that fasten them up. But the kind of material on that Trixie one is dangerous as the cotton threads if chewed could wrap round a leg and stop circulation etc.

Assume you know about no fluffy bedding? Plain white toilet paper torn into strips is good for nesting and safe.
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Old 03-15-2019, 12:20 AM   #4
halloumi
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Default Re: Safe toy materials for inside cage - fleece, etc.?

Thank you again guys for your help! Very interesting, as when I was typing up my original post it seemed in my head like I was being very overly cautious. But in fact it is literally just that difficult to trust pet shops these days hahaha. It’s great to hear what your hamsters like, too

Yep, I learnt about the fluffy bedding too! It really is shocking what a pet shop will continue to sell that has been so detrimental to hams...

Edit: This is so cute and I was wondering if the height/location of the hole would be suitable for a ham? Maybe for a hideaway, maybe for a sand bath, maybe just as a cool area to sit! https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bright-Intl...ateway&sr=8-39

Last edited by halloumi; 03-15-2019 at 03:00 AM.
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Old 03-15-2019, 06:12 AM   #5
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Default Re: Safe toy materials for inside cage - fleece, etc.?

I agree what others have said about Syrians and fleece... my sister bought a lovely hammock for one of her Syrians after seeing how much my Chinese love them. It was in the cage for a couple of days and still managed to get destroyed whereas I've used them with dozens of Chinese over the years and they've always stayed in almost pristine condition.

The Chinchilla House is very similar to something I tend to use mainly for baby Chinese but I can't see why a Chinchilla sized one wouldn't be suitable for a Syrian.
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Old 03-15-2019, 06:35 AM   #6
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Default Re: Safe toy materials for inside cage - fleece, etc.?

That chinchilla house looks great! I use the small ones for my Chinese too, it really is big though so you'd need to check it would fit in your cage & not take up too much space, if it would fit it would make a good sandbath or hideout.
If you find the height of the entrance to something is a bit high you can just put a bendy bridge in front.
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Old 03-15-2019, 09:05 PM   #7
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Default Re: Safe toy materials for inside cage - fleece, etc.?

Those natural toys from P@H with the different textures and stuff are great! My hamsters love them, especially if I hide treats in parts of them. The painted P@H chews are safe but hamsters don’t seem to like chewing them, i think the paint makes it harder to grip their teeth around. The best chews are whimzees and actual willow or apple twigs (tou can buy them at P@H too)
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Old 03-16-2019, 07:16 AM   #8
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Default Re: Safe toy materials for inside cage - fleece, etc.?

Agree the chinchilla house is great. It is very large though - it would take up quite a bit of space and be heavy. It probably wouldn't fit on a shelf space wise, so best place would be on the base of the cage with the substrate piled around the outside of it, so it's stable and can't be tunnelled under.

I suspect a ham would fill it with substrate anyway to make it cosy, and possibly hoard in it too. It could make a good sandbath although I find sand in a potty is enough sand for Syrians - they don't seem that bothered about sandbaths generally. Both ours have just kicked all the sand out (trying to dig to the bottom to see if there's a way out!). It would be good for a cool place to go when then weather's hot as well.

Only thing is it's quite expensive and you may end up finding there isn't room for it - surprising how a cage fills up! But it could then be good just to put in during hot weather eg.
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