Syrian hamsters are such charming and very remarkable pets. They are the biggest domesticated hamster who loves huge spaces, burrowing, and even cuddling (an infrequent treat from hamsters).
The Syrian hamster is also called “teddy bear hamster” or “golden hamster”. Depending on who you ask, some people would say Syrian hamsters are the hardest to tame among all species of hamsters. But one of the best ways to gain your hamster’s trust is to provide the right toys.
Today, let’s discuss Syrian hamster toys. We will talk about everything about toys that is suitable and safe for Syrian hamsters, how to choose the right toy and why Syrian hamsters need so much more than the other species of hamsters. You should also check our top tips for caring for a Syrian hamster and holding a Syrian hamster for the first time.
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE BUYING A TOY FOR A SYRIAN HAMSTER
Before you head to the pet store or order random items online, learn about a few things to keep in mind to avoid wasting your money and time. Not all rodent toys are suitable for hamsters.
For example, rabbits, rats, and chinchillas require very different toys and diets than a hamster.
Why Syrian hamster needs a lot of toys
Syrian hamsters, especially the female ones, are very demanding and pretty much hard to please. Female Syrian hamsters need bigger cages than other hamsters. They get bored easily which means you need a lot of space in the cage to add as many toys as possible.
If a female Syrian hamster gets unsatisfied, they often become aggressive and stressed and even will try to escape (and they are very good at it).
Pet hamsters generally have a smaller area to forage/hoard, burrow, and run around while they have unlimited food compared to wild hamsters who have to go out and work for it.
This means domesticated hamsters can eat as much as they want but have a limited area to burn those calories and be active to stay healthy. Providing plenty of enrichment, such as toys, keeps your hamster moving.
When it comes to Syrian hamster toys, size matters, since Syrian hamsters are much bigger than Dwarf and Chinese hamsters, it’s essential to know what size you should get if you have a Syrian hamster.
A wrong size (usually too small) can cause some problems such as back pain, foot injury, and even getting your pet hamster stuck.
Later, once we start talking about the toys, I will include the correct size you should choose.
All hamsters love to chew on something. When there are not enough chew toys and enrich toys, or your hamster gets bored, they might even start chewing their other toys and cage.
This is the reason it’s vital to consider the toy material first. It should be safe to be ingested and won’t cause problems.
Let’s say you want to give your Syrian hamster chew toys. Ensure that it is not made with calcium minerals or painted with toxic paint. If you plan to make DIY toys, use non-toxic or edible glue and food-grade paint.
BEST SYRIAN HAMSTER TOYS
Regarding toys for Syrian hamsters (or any type of hamster, for that matter), you can’t simply choose one toy and hope it’s good enough. To make sure that your hamster will be happy, healthy, and stimulated all day, providing and setting up plenty of toys is the best way to go.
If you want to have an idea of what safe hamster toys look like, check our list. But if you have a Syrian, the list of hamster toy recommendations is below:
A running wheel is an essential item any hamster needs. When choosing one for your Syrian hamster, look for the following:
- solid platform – meaning no metal, wire, or holes/spaces on the wheel
- size for Syrian hamster: 28 cm (12 in) or bigger if your hamster is a pedigree
Check out our list of best hamster wheels.
A set of tunnels or tubes are another great toy for a Syrian hamster. You can also place it inside a playpen. Most tunnels are too small for a Syrian hamster (especially the plastic ones). When choosing:
- size: 2.5 inches in diameter to ensure that your hamster can fit through
- no poking splinter or screws that can cause injury
Our collection of tunnels and tubes for all types of hamsters.
A climbing platform offers a toy for your hamster and a way to maximise the cage’s space. If done and set up correctly, this is one of the best Syrian hamster toys you can make.
Add a solid ladder and place a running wheel, sandbox, or maze on top of the platform. Don’t make the platform too high since hamsters are not great fallers compared to rats.
We have a list of recommended ladders and climbing platforms for hamsters.
Be generous when chewing toys around the cage – it can never be too many. Have a mixture of soft and hard chew toys. These Syrian hamster toys will allow your pet to be busy chewing on something while trimming their teeth which grow very fast.
Check out our list of safe and healthy chew toys for hamsters.
A playpen is a playground outside the cage. It’s usually massive with lots of toys but doesn’t require bedding or a food bowl. You can create mazes and even sit inside the playpen with your hamster. A 10-30-minute time in the playpen daily will benefit your hamster a lot.
A knot nibbler is basically like a chew toy. There is a big nut inside the nibbler, and your hamster must chew its way to the nut. It’s an excellent time crusher and teeth trimmer.
You can also make yours by making origami or a paper mache with a nut inside as a treat.
Technically not a Syrian hamster toy, but it’s enjoyable to watch your hamster roll on the sand to clean its coat. You can also place the sandbox on top of a platform and add safe stairs. Then your hamster can also get exercise when getting on the sandbox.
Avoid sandbath that is labelled as dust powder, those are too fine. You want something grainy like beach sand. You can also use ReptiSand (choose without calcium minerals)
Ladders are great to combine with a climbing platform. However, remember never to use metal ladders or ladders with spaces between the steps or bar. Instead, use a solid staircase.
Like the climbing platform, don’t place the ladder too high to avoid injury and accidents.
This is another item that is really a toy, but this allows Syrian hamsters who love to burrow to make hideouts and dig food under the bedding – which keeps them active. Make sure to keep the bedding at least 8-12 inches deep. The deeper, the better, but ensure that your hamster cannot touch the cage ceiling when standing on top.
Syrian hamsters love to explore, be busy, and be active – they will appreciate it if you provide plenty of toys to choose from. Every once in five or six months, you can move things around the cage (redecorate) to make your hamster curious again.
I hope that you found this list of the best Syrian hamster toys helpful. If you know other toys that should be on this list, give us a comment below, and we will add them here.