Hamsters are playful little pets that have a lot of energy. They are nocturnal animals and they can play all night long keeping you awake as they run in their wheel.
They have become quite common in many families because of their adorable nature. Due to their small size, you may be at a fix on how you can play with them.
Should you just wag a finger at them? Should you only give them your hand to climb on? Or is all you can do sit and stare as they run in their cages?
Well, that’s not half of what you can do with your hammy. There’s more you can entertain them with. Keep reading to learn all about it.
How should you play with your hamster?
You can play with your little friend by providing them with play toys and chew toys. You can offer them an exercise ball, a running wheel, tubes, tunnels, and mazes. You can also provide chew sticks, twigs, or mineral blocks to keep them busy as they wear down their teeth at the same time. Also, make sure that they can burrow in their cages and have hideys to hide in whenever they feel like it’s necessary.
Steps to playing with your hamster
As you prepare to play with your hamster, there are things you should keep in mind and do, so that the tiny pet will be comfortable to play too.
Wash your hands
First, always wash your hands. This will get rid of any smells you may be carrying with you after touching something.
You could have been in contact with food or another hamster making your pet think that you are one of those things and they could bite you. Washing your hands will also get rid of any perfumes and strong smells you may have touched.
Make sure that you are using a mild soap and rinsing properly. Dry your hands afterward because you shouldn’t touch your pet with water.
Rub your hands in hamster bedding
This step is especially important for new hamsters. They have not yet learned your scent and they cannot recognize you.
Rubbing your hands in their bedding makes your hammy feel safe as they smell something familiar and begin getting used to you as they sniff your scent.
Take them out of their cage
Because your pet probably spends a lot of their time in the cage, take them out during playtime for a breath of fresh air and to exercise better.
Hamsters cannot see well and they won’t be able to know that it’s you coming to them. So whenever you go to pick them up, always approach them from the front so as not to startle them.
Try not to grab them too. Pick them up gently and hold them firmly to avoid dropping them.
If they bite you as you try to pick them up it’s because they are scared. First, put them down for a moment then pick them up again.
Where to play with your hamster
There are several ways to play with hamsters and now we’ll look into each one of them.
Place them in a hamster ball
A hamster ball is a safe toy that your pet will enjoy but ensure that you observe caution at the same time. Avoid using the ball on tabletops or at the top of stairs as it can topple over and injure your pet.
Carefully put your pet inside the ball and secure the lid on it tightly. You should always watch them as they are in the ball.
They will roam your house safely in the ball while exercising. You can use this time to clean up their cage too. Do not keep them in the ball for more than half an hour to avoid dehydration and exhaustion.
Put them in a playpen
You can take them out of the cage and put them in a playpen for some fun time out. The playpen can be a closed out part of your house or a big box.
Keep toys inside it for them to enjoy. You can hold out used toilet paper rolls to create tunnels for them to run through. You could also make mazes with household items and watch as they run around them.
Let them climb on you
A hammy is very tiny and you will be like a giant to them. Another way of playing would be to lie down or sit somewhere and let them come to climb on you.
They will sniff you out and get on top of you while exploring and getting to learn your scent. Make sure you are not in a highly raised place so that there’s no risk of them falling.
How to have your hamster play in your absence?
Your hamster will get to bond with you in no time and they will enjoy your presence. But you can’t always be available to play considering they are mostly active at night when you need to rest.
It will be essential to ensure that they can keep themselves busy in your absence. Their active nature demands regular exercise and mental stimulation for them to be healthy and happy.
For this, you will need to enhance their cage with tunnels, toys, and chew toys. You can buy them or create them yourself.
You can put a wheel inside the cage. Ensure that the wheel is solid without rungs to avoid accidents.
Because hamsters love burrowing, you can set a side of the cage for their burrowing needs. Raise it high with more bedding while placing tubes within it to ensure that your pet can run through whenever they like.
What not to do while playing with your hamster?
- Do not provide all toys at once to prevent them from getting bored.
- Always keep other pets away when playing with your hammy.
- Do not play with them when they are not in a mood to play.
- Do not wake up a hammy to play as they could bite you.
- Don’t leave your pet unattended during playtime as they could get lost.
- Do not play on raised surfaces as your pet can fall off and get injured.
What you should do
- Play with your pet in the evenings when they are most active.
- Ensure they have somewhere to hide away whenever they don’t want to play anymore or they feel threatened when playing.
- Provide enough toys but leave enough space for them to still run around their cage.
- If they are two or more, provide each with their toys.
- Always check on their toys to ensure that they are in good form and not having any sharp edges sticking out.
- Remember to close their cage door properly when you put them back in.
You can play with your hamster by letting them out of their cage, providing them with toys, having them climb you, or putting them in a playpen. Always play with them only when they are in the mood to play.
Hamsters are naturally very active and you should ensure that they still get to exercise even in your absence. They require regular mental and physical stimulation to remain healthy and happy.
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