Once you have chosen the most spacious cage for your hamster, the next thing is furbishing your hamster’s new house. This may leave you wondering what your hamster needs in their new castle. Aside from bedding, hideouts, sandbox, wheels, what else should you add?
How about a nail care corner? Maybe you can put some rocks to care for those ever-growing nails, but the question is, how to choose which ones are best? Are they safe? You’re in luck because this article will show you precisely what are the safest and best rocks for hamsters.
Hamsters love anything that resembles their wild nature. I’m sure your hamster will love these rocks we have below. However, without the proper precautions or not verifying the rock’s correct size and shape, placing stones can be a serious concern. Here’s what you need to look for in rocks for a hamster cage.
WHY DO WE NEED TO PUT ROCKS INSIDE A HAMSTER CAGE
What are the benefits of rocks for a hamster cage? This question is what every hamster owner who prefers both a natural look habitat and wants to make sure they give the best environment for their hamster has always asked.
You can’t find a lot of information about this on the internet, but rocks are fine as long as you properly sanitize them before placing them inside the hamster’s cage. Later on, we will discuss the proper way to do this.
Putting up rocks for hamsters’ nails can avoid you having to do the nail trimming and cool their habitat. It also makes the cage look cozy or outdoorsy.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR ROCKS FOR HAMSTER CAGE
The rock must be smooth and without sharp points poking out to avoid injury to your hamster. This must be smooth but not shiny or coated and must naturally be dry or rough. You can always find smoothed stones in the great outdoors. Rocks for hamsters should be unpolished.
Try also finding rocks from ocean beaches, lakefronts, dry wash beds, or rivers. Or you can also purchase rocks for a hamster cage online. Over time, water tends to smooth out rocks into a safer shape.
The rocks must be flat so hamsters can easily stand on them and avoid hurting their feet, which could result in bumblefoot injury. Stones with minor grit are also preferred for an excellent grip, but not the rough ones that can hurt them.
It’s important to avoid piling up rocks that might tumble on your hamsters or place where walking on them creates a V-shaped crevice that can trap their toes or legs.
Anything between half the size of your hamster up to your hamster’s size in length, not in height, it shouldn’t be higher than an inch (2cm). Don’t place super tiny pebble stones that are really tiny. It won’t do the job and can only injure your hamster because it would be hard to walk on small rocks.
Avoid Mineral Rocks and Calcium Rocks
We highly recommend you avoid mineral rocks. Hamsters will most likely try to chew on this rock which means dust will fly all over. Mineral rocks (and chews) become dust-like when broken into pieces which are dangerous for hamsters’ health if they inhale the dust.
You should also avoid rocks with calcium in them. Your hamster will most likely try to gnaw on the rocks and excess calcium is not good for hamsters.
WHERE TO PLACE ROCKS INSIDE THE CAGE
You can either divide the entire cage into 3 parts (bedding, nail care, and running wheel/toy area/feeding area). In this way, your hamster must pass through the rocks multiple times daily to get between playing, eating, and sleeping.
You can also place a nice big rock under the water bottle. Hamsters do love drinking water. Putting the rock right under it will help trim those nails.
THE BEST WAYS TO USE ROCKS AS A DECORATION
As I mentioned before, I’m not the most creative person when it comes to decorating a hamster’s cage. But I’ve seen enough videos and Pinterest photos to share some cool ideas.
Use the corner
It’s best to start building your hamster’s nail care station at a corner of the cage, as the walls will give excellent support when placing the rocks. Using the corner also doesn’t eat up too much space versus building the nail salon in the middle of the cage.
Add some sprays (dried plants)
Sprays (a different meaning… not like bug spray) can be held down by rocks or even glued to the rock if the rock is not heavy enough to hold it down. This will make your hamster’s home look and feel more natural. Sprays are also a good food variety if you pick the right ones.
Use non-toxic glue
If you need to put the stones together, you can use non-toxic glue. A non-toxic option is important if your hamster starts chewing it from the rocks. Your hamster might eat the glue and ruin your decoration plan but at least it is safe!
Change the set-up every 3 months
Hamsters are known as adventurous animals and the same set-up, and toys make them bored. Every three months (no less than that), you should rearrange the nail corner to entice your hamster and explore this area again, especially if you notice that they are using it less. You should also turn the rocks upside down. This makes them more interesting and will help with nail trimming.
BEST ROCKS FOR HAMSTERS TO PLACE IN THE CAGE TO BUY ONLINE
If what you have in mind for their habitat is a natural atmosphere or a caging that mimics a hamster’s natural environment, then these rocks are the best. Hamsters thrive in a better environment by incorporating stones, driftwood, grass, willow, hay, or all-natural materials.
Here are our recommended best rocks for hamsters that will help to trim their nails and make their cage look nice.
Simple Stones (FREE!)
These are just stones or rocks that you can arrange yourself. Free rocks can be the best rocks for hamsters. They are handpicked and carefully searched for on riversides, beaches, or the great outdoors so that they won’t inflict harm on your hamster. But for more safety, make sure to sterilize these rocks first to kill bacteria and fungi.
These stones can be found outdoors or bought online too. We will talk about how to sanitize them properly later on.
Polished Gravel River Pebbles Rocks
These natural stones are non-toxic and eco-friendly river rocks. They are polished for a smooth effect and resist fading for long-lasting beauty. The color of these rocks is very natural. It includes varieties of earth colors and black. These are easy on your hamster’s feet as there are no sharp edges. And because of the shape, these river rocks provide good drainage and are really appealing for the hamster’s habitat.
Ornamental River Pebbles Rocks
Bring an earthen beauty to your hamsters’ habitat with these smooth and black river rocks. These black river rocks range in length; some may be broken out of shape, oval, or round, thick or thin. With naturally lightly polished, the pebbles’ surface is smooth, without rough corners—best for hamster use and nature-themed surroundings.
Mexican Beach Pebbles
Mexican Beach Pebbles are an inexpensive and easy, low-maintenance option for a hamster’s cage. They have smooth surfaces from years of crashing waves and are harvested with sustainability in mind. Include it in your hamster’s enclosure, and they’d love it for sure. Each beach pebble is unique, except color hues range from grey to charcoal. These are some of the best rocks for hamsters!
Voulosimi Natural Slate Rocks
These are 100% natural Stale Stones perfect for a hamster’s cage. It can be used on some excellent landscaping and terrain building. They can be stacked and glued to form steps, platforms, and bridges. They can be broken to create your designed shapes, but some of these rocks are pointy, choose wisely and only use stones with no sharp edges.
Premium Platform Rocks
Not as creative as me, but want to use the best rocks for hamsters? You can instead opt for these ready-to-use platform rocks. These are premium platform rocks that are already designed artistically. This can be a hideout den, platform, and can be resting spot for your hamster.
Stackable Aquarium Decoration Rock Caves
Adding rocks to your hamster’s spacious house can fill some of the empty spaces while also giving your hamster a place to hide. A cave built from stones makes a beautiful, natural décor element in your hamster’s own world. This natural element will also help your hamster feel safer and more secure in its home environment.
Penn-Plax Reptology Shale Step Ledge
This is a realistic rock formation and is ready to use. The hand-painted details make this hideout a perfectly natural-looking addition to your hamsters’ habitat. It will blend seamlessly with your hamster’s new house while doing its nail-trimming job. It’s definitely one of the best rocks for hamsters on this list.
Jerry Basking Platform
Fine artistry hamster platform to climb, play around, and rest. It’s designed to look and feel similar to real rock, making it a very decorative piece inside the cage. Jerry’s platform is best for nature atmospheres or desert-looking environments. Maintenance for this basking platform is unnecessary as it can be easily cleaned with warm, soapy water.
Penn-Plax Hideout Ledges
If you want to opt for simpler rocks for hamster nails, this ledge is a great choice. It looks terrific, the price is on the spot, and the reviews are just impressive. This choice can never go wrong since the rock has a rough surface but is not sharp, which makes it a safe option.
VERDICT ON BEST ROCKS FOR HAMSTER’S NAILS
I’ve tried using single stone (Mexican pebble stone) and designing a nail salon. However, they ended up sliding down and won’t stay in their places. So, I bought ready-to-use ledge rocks (PennPlax) and they created a better nail corner using both stone ledges and single stones, which are much better.
FAQ ON ROCKS IN A HAMSTER CAGE
These are common questions we have the answer to about putting rocks in your hamster’s home:
Can you put rocks in a hamster cage?
Yes, with a hamster cage, placing a set of rocks inside the cage is vital for the hamster’s health and well-being. However, you can’t just pick up rocks from outside and use them immediately.
You need to learn the type of rocks that are safe for hamsters. Stones in hamster cages must be cleaned appropriately before use.
Are small rocks safe for my hamster?
A big NO. Small rocks are not the best rocks for hamsters. Hamsters can choke on small rocks or chew on them breaking their teeth. It is better to use big flat rocks that can not be bitten. Rocks should be used for nail maintenance, not for teeth maintenance. We suggest a combination of chew toys and rocks. This way your hamster doesn’t have to chew rocks.
Small rocks also can hurt your hamster’s feet because they can move around and trap the foot. Big flat rocks are the safest, big meaning bigger than your hamster. This way your hamster won’t be able to move them or chew on them.
Can I use rocks or stones from outside?
The simple answer is yes. However, getting and using rocks for hamster cages from the outside must be done carefully. You don’t know what kind of bacteria and dirt a stone may bring inside your hamster’s enclosure. Another thing to remember is to make sure you choose the right size, shape, and smoothness so the rock for hamster nails will be efficient.
But don’t worry, we will guide you on how to properly handle rocks for hamsters from the outside.
How can I sanitize rocks for hamsters?
Naturally, you would think you can boil the rocks for sanitation. But it turns out some rocks can explode if boiled. Waterlogged rocks can explode and should not be boiled. This a danger to yourself. At the same time, stones from high and dry places are safe to boil for sanitation because they are not waterlogged. A bubble of water inside the rock will expand with heat and pop.
Next, you can scrub the rocks with light soap and use semi-hot water. Mix them together and use a brush (choose a brush with stiff bristles). Scrub every inch of the stone and ensure you don’t miss a spot.
Then, rinse them with semi-hot water again. Using another brush, scrub the stones without soap and rinse them at least 2-3 times.
For the final stage, dry the stone with a cloth or paper towel and let it dry for a few days. The rocks must be fully dry before using them.
Submerging the rock in alcohol should also work OK but, you need to wait for this to evaporate before putting the rock into the cage.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON ROCKS FOR HAMSTERS
Rocks are optional but certainly a good idea. Placing one means you can avoid taking your hamster to the vet or being forced to learn how to cut its nails yourself.
Your hamster’s welfare should come first, not appearance. A proper habitat will help ensure your hamster feels safe, secure, and entertained. A safe home is the best way to have a happy and healthy pet. All environmental enrichment in their home, like rocks, and herbs should be considered for your hamster’s mental and physical stimulation.
But with all the enrichment items available on the market, you must regularly inspect them for damage and risk of injury. Make sure to smoothen out sharp edges. Repair, discard, or replace any damaged or dangerous items.
We hope that you found this list of the best rocks for hamsters, their cage, and hamster nail solutions useful. If you have other tips to add, if we miss anything, or if you have any questions, let us know in the comment section below.