So you have your cage, what do put in it? Put two hamster-enthusiasts in a room together, and they will debate this topic for hours on-end! There is no “right” way to fill your hamster’s home, but here a few pointers and ideas that will help make your hamster cage a fun and interesting environment for both you and your pet.
Food and Water:
First of all, you will need a bowl to put hamster food in, and either a water bottle or a water bowl to keep your pet’s thirst at bay. Personally, I would strongly recommend buying a water bottle. Water is kept fresh and clean, and is easy to drink from. A water bowl means that water can be spilled all over the cage, and can be polluted with food, dirt, and feces. Most store-bought hamster cages come with a water bottle, and they are very cheap to buy. When buying a food bowl, look for one that is ceramic. These are heavy, and therefore are more difficult to be knocked over. Remember, you don’t have to restrict your hamster shopping to a pet shop. Ikea and other home-stores sell small food dishes (like ones intended for serving dips or olives!) which are perfect for hamster bowls.
- Something like the Living World Green Ergo Ceramic Small Pet bowl, would be great for your pet.
- The Classic Drinking Bottle is the perfect bottle for your hamster.
Toys are some of the most important thing in your hamster’s cage. Visit my page on hamster toys to find out more. Remember, the only toy you need to buy is a hamster wheel. All other toys can be homemade. Make sure you have lots of them to keep your hammy entertained though!
Houses and Dens:
Equally as important, you need to provide a house for your hamster to sleep in! This is their bedroom, their safe place where they can go when they feel threatened or afraid. Some cages come with a house (make sure it can comfortably accommodate your pet, as some houses can be very small) or you can buy one in a pet shop for next-to-nothing. Place their bed on the ground floor of the cage (if your cage has levels) and away from the food bowl. Hamsters are very clean animals and prefer a separate area for each thing, i.e an area for sleep, an area for food, and an area for play. You can fill the house with many different kinds of bedding. I use strips of toilet paper, but you can also use store-bought bedding too.
- The Luka Hamster Castle is a great house/den, as it is made of wood (great for gnawing) and gives your hamster something to climb on!
Tunnels and tubes:
Even though they may count as toys, I think it is important to mention them separately. Every hamster should have some tunnels or tubes in their cage, as this mimics their natural habitat. This is taken care of if your hamster cage has tubes built into it. Don’t worry however, if you don’t have any tubes/tunnels, as you can buy some in your local pet shop
or online very cheaply. They may be designed for another cage, but that doesn’t matter, as you can simply place them on the floor of the cage. Alternatively, you can use kitchen roll and toilet roll tubes, but these will not last long and will need to be replaced frequently.
- The Play Tunnel with bend is a great tunnel, because it is made from natural materials.
A Sand or Dust bath:
Every hamster should have a sand bath in their cage. Take a look here for more information.