Hamster toys are a must-have in your small friend’s cage. Hamsters are active animals and need to have fun items to play with and to get rid of boredom. The happier your pet is, the healthier he or she will be. Moreover, it is a delight for the owner to watch how the small creature plays and jumps around the cage.
Keeping Things Clean
In order to offer your pet a healthy environment, it is very important to clean your hamster’s cage regularly. The frequency depends on the size of the cage and the number of pets but generally, once a week should suffice.
When doing the cleaning, you need to make sure your hamster is safe and secured. It would be ideal to have a spare cage for this specific purpose. If he or she has a favorite toy, you should allow him or her to play with it. Also, do not leave your small friend there for too long.
Now, for the actual cleaning process, first, remove all the toys and wash them using a pet safe cleaning formula. You can find such products in most pet shops. Please keep in mind that you should never use harsh chemicals or household cleaning products. These can irritate your hamster’s respiratory system and make him or her sick.
If you have wooden or fabric toys, keep in mind that they require a different type of cleaning – we will get back to this topic later. One other thing about wooden toys is that you should check them regularly for signs of chewing, and when they are too worn, you should replace them.
The water should be replaced daily, but when you are doing the cleaning, you should also brush the inside of the bottle before refilling it with water.
Another step is to empty the cage’s base and remove all the litter. The easiest method is to put the base into a bin bag and simply shake it. It is essential not just to throw away the litter but also to rinse the base with pet-safe disinfectant. You should give the bars of the cage a wipe over with a damp cloth as well.
After you reassemble the cage, you can add clean bedding, litter, water, toys, and a fresh bowl of food. There are owners that keep a small quantity of the old bedding to offer their pets a safe and secure feeling.
Another aspect to take into consideration is that hamsters are animals of habit and do not fancy massive disturbances. In case you wish to change the layout of the cage you should do so but slowly, over a matter of weeks.
As previously mentioned, hamsters are active animals. Therefore, you need to keep them busy, so they do not get bored cooked up in that cage all the time. Moreover, keep in mind that hamsters are rodents which means that their teeth are growing constantly. Therefore, they need appropriate chew toys to keep their teeth in check.
That is why wooden toys are the best option. Still, you cannot pick any wood and you need to make sure that it is chemical and pesticide free. Other things to consider when buying such a toy is that it is intended for hamsters. Do not get a wooden toy for kids, for example, but one from a pet shop, which was specifically designed for these rodents.
Also, be on the lookout for colors. It is true that your pet’s cage would look much better with colorful toys in it. Be careful though, as paint can be toxic. If you want to get a colored toy, make sure that only natural vegetable dyes have been used.
When it comes to the types of toys, the market has a lot to offer. Depending on your cage’s size, you have many options. A wooden bridge, for example, will allow your hamster to explore and chew on. You can also find toys that are specifically designed for chewing.
Hamster huts are great because they allow your small friend to hide and snuggle in, while a playpen will keep him or her safe. If the space of the cage allows it, wooden tunnels to explore offer hamsters a lot of fun.
Cleaning Hamster Wooden Toys
When it comes to cleaning wooden toys, the task is not too complicated. You can use anything from a simple water and vinegar formula, a gentle, environmentally friendly dish soap and warm water, or even a non-toxic, multi-purpose cleaner which you can dilute with water. Bleach or any harsh chemical can dry out the wood.
The story changes a little when we talk about wooden toys for hamsters. You need to be very careful not to use any type of chemical-containing solutions, or you can make your small friend very sick.
There are multiple safe methods you can use to clean these toys. The first one would be to fill a sink or a large pot with boiling water and a dish soap of your choice. Then, fully submerge the toys in the water. Be careful how you do this, so you do not burn your hands, or splash hot water all over the place.
Leave the toys in the water for 20 minutes and carefully remove them. Place them in an airy space so they can dry. This can take between 24 and 48 hours, but make sure they are completely dry before you put them back in the cage.
As a very important note, you can apply this method for most wooden toys, except for the ones with bark on the outside surface or toys that have been dyed or have a different color than natural wood.
Similarly to the formerly mentioned method, you can use a large pot, fill it with water and wait until it starts boiling. Then, put the toy in, making sure it is fully submerged, and leave it on the stove for 15 minutes. Air-dry it in the same manner as described above.
Another method you can use is applicable for all wooden toys, including the ones with bark on them or that have been dyed. What you need to do is heat up your oven to about 210 Fahrenheit degrees and place the toys inside.
Leave them in the oven for 20 minutes. Afterward, remove and place them somewhere where they can cool down. Again, make sure they are completely dry before you put them back into place.
There are hamster owners who wipe their wooden toys with animal cage cleaners and let them air-dry. You can find such products at any pet store.
Some pet owners like to make wooden toys themselves. For example, DIY lolly sticks constructions should be thrown away once they are too worn. You can easily make others. This is best for your pet because you can never get them completely sanitized.
In case your hamster came in contact with wooden toys while he or she had a contagious disease, it is advisable to throw them as well. Otherwise, you risk your pet recatching the same disease.
The same rule applies in case your hamster died due to some kind of a sickness. Naturally, in case you want to get a new pet, you will use the same cage and accessories. Still, when it comes to the wooden toys, make sure you get your new friend new toys as well and throw the old ones away.