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Old 06-10-2021, 03:33 PM   #1
Imogen
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Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Essex, England
Posts: 215
Question Keeping hamsters happy without extra expensive spending.

Hi there!

I look at my hamster sometimes and wonder if he's ever bored, he only comes out of his house for water, a run and a little play with his boredom breaker ball that I stuff with odd different treats and by the time I check it tomorrow morning they're completely gone!

The reason I feel like he's at a lost of what to do is he just sits there looking up or nibbling on some little bits or wanders around "aimlessly" at times.

I have a lot of toys in the cage, bendy bridge, empty toilet roll as a tube, a wooden carrot chew, a rope with two blocks joined on each end, a swing, a soft cozy "pouch" from pets at home, sand bath, wheel, different sticks, a ladder (that he's peed on, which makes me remember another question: what should you do with peed on wooden toys? keep them or discard them? im pretty sure trying to clean them with water would make them swell?) as well as 3 other things. He also has some millet seed strips that he can pull off and nibble.

But I still feel like he's bored!

I'm currently in the middle of making some toys that I found as a tutorial from YouTube. Not sure if using kids non-toxic glue is ok though? Please let me know!

The toys I'm going to be making are: foraging board, toilet roll filled with healthy treats/food with tissue paper layers to make it more fun, a bridge, sticks covered with a flour and water mix to stick on seeds etc. as well as trying to attempt to make a homemade maze and other hidey houses.

I feel like there's so much more I can add to his environment to stop him being so bored, he's stopped burrowing since I swapped him to a bigger cage (assuming he's more interested in the stuff on top in his surroundings).

At some point I will be purchasing more toys but it's only been about a month where I received all the purchased toys and buying more would make my family fuming (even though I'm 20, I'd be told off for "wasting money").
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Old 06-10-2021, 03:52 PM   #2
Serendipity7000
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Location: North of England
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Default Re: Keeping hamsters happy without extra expensive spending.

In my experience, hamsters generally aren't that interested in toys. They like tunnels, they can have favourite hidey places (round things are popular as favourite hidey places - like a coconut hut or a ceramic hide).

They enjoy some things in their cage - like sitting on a shelf or sitting under a shelf to have a wash. Our previous Syrian had a very routine existence. He would get up - go and sit in his coconut to have a wash - then go and have a drink, have a forage for food - eat his big of veg, then go back to bed. He wouldn't come out much then till lights out.

I have a "hamstercam" so watched both hamsters routines at night and they were similar - running in their wheel for quite a while then going back to the nest. Coming out around 3am and pouching food and nipping around the cage a bit - then back to the nest, then a bit more running on the wheel. They weren't out of the cage all night. They just enjoyed their routine based on wheeling and snacking and a bit of going to different parts of the cage.

So basically I find they like familiar things - they might like walking up a ramp to a shelf, having a favourite place to sit in for a wash, but their basic routines are nest building, foraging and exercise. They seem to like things staying in the same place - so it's familiar.

The only other things they seem interested in are things with food stuck to them! Like chew sticks.

However having plenty of items in the cage and floor toys does give them an enriched environment and variety. They may zip over a bendy bridge just because it's there, and enjoy that.

Your hammy may still be a bit bemused by the wheel change. I think when they come out and don't seem to know what to do, they may be thinking about wanting to come out of the cage - so out of cage time is something that breaks their boredom.

I think the best we can do is provide them with a secure, enriched environment, a good wheel and house and plenty of out of cage time - for a change of scene and some exercise (and bonding).

If you're thinking of making some toys, have you seen the 10 toilet roll tube toys videos by erin's hamsters? Loads of ideas there and all you need is toilet roll tubes and sisal string. There's a really good hammock made out of toilet roll tubes on that video!
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