You and Your Hamster

Cardboard Tree House Maze

Things You'll Need:
  • Paper towel tubes
  • Toilet paper tubes
  • Small tea boxes
  • Shoe boxes
  • Shirt cardboard
  • 1 cup syrup
  • 2 cups flour
  • Paintbrush
  • Clamp style clothespins
  • Tissue paper or newspaper
  1. Step 1

    Collect paper towel tubes, toilet paper tubes, small tea boxes and cardboard shoe boxes. The tubes will be used as access tunnels and the boxes will become stations.

  2. Step 2

    Make glue by mixing one cup syrup with two cups flour. Thin your glue with a very small amount of water if needed. Tear newspaper into thin strips and dip it in the glue. Using the round end of one of the tubes for a template, cut a round hole in the bottom of each of the small tea boxes. Insert the end of a tube into the hole, and seal the joint with tissue paper or newspaper strips dipped in the glue. Leave the other end open and allow it to dry overnight.

  3. Step 3

    Once they are dry, assemble your stations so that each one has at least one access tube going into it. Occasionally, cut a second hole so that one tube is coming from below and another from the side. Near the bottom of each vertical tube, make a little semicircular cut so that your hamster can get inside it more easily. Arrange stations in your hamster's cage so that some of the stations require climbing and others simply require going in and coming back out. Make windows in a few stations so that your hamster can pop his head out for a look-see. Don't worry if your hamster chews on the maze, as the glue is non-toxic.

  4. Step 4

    Make a burrowing station from a shoe box with a lid. Make holes in each end of the box just large enough for your hamster to get in and out. Fill the station with hamster litter. Clean the box and replace the litter once a week or more often as needed.If any stations get wet or become badly chewed, simply take them out of the cage and make new ones. Your hamster will never be bored again!

  5. Step 5

    Be sure your cage has a tight fitting lid that cannot be chewed through, so that your hamster does not use the vertical stations to escape. Place treats such as apple slices or baby carrots in one of the towers. Remove any uneaten treats daily.Fill at least one of the vertical stations with a seed-based hamster diet, so that your hamster has to climb to eat.


Hamster Mansion

  1. Step 1

    Provide them with rooms. Spending their time in a rodent equivalent of a one room apartment is not very exciting for your hamsters. Find an enclosure that you can connect with secure tubes and provide several different enclosure areas.

  2. Step 2

    Watch the architecture. It's tempting to go overboard with tubes. While they're great for the natural burrowing instinct of the hamster, they don't provide ventilation so it's best to keep them to a minimum. Think more rooms, less hallway.

  3. Step 3

    Offer specialized areas. Provide a spa with specialized hamster sand for bathing. Offer them a snack bar with plenty of healthy food, water and treats. Give them a gym with a plethora of toys and an exercise wheel.

  4. Step 4

    Be a good butler. Even the most luxurious mansion needs upkeep. Make sure you clean up waste, freshen up their food and change their bedding on a regular basis.

  5. Step 5

    Remember that hamsters are chewers. While plastic enclosures and tubing do provide a lot of options for layout, they're also chewable. Monitor the mansion for any escape possibilities and replace any tubing that shows signs of wear or chewing.

Cardboard Box Maze (Small)

Things You'll Need:
  • Box
  • Large sheet of cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue
  • Hot glue gun
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Several appliance boxes
  • Duct tape
  • Utility knife

    Small Maze

  1. Step 1

    Set your cardboard box so that the open top is facing up, as if you were going to pack it with something.

  2. Step 2

    Draw the solution path for your maze on the bottom of your box with your pencil.

  3. Step 3

    Draw misleading paths now on the bottom of your box, around the solution path so the solution isn't too easy to find.

  4. Step 4

    Measure the lines that you have drawn with a ruler so you will know what you need to cut from your cardboard sheet.

  5. Step 5

    Cut walls for all the lines that you have drawn on the bottom of your box from your cardboard sheet.

  6. Step 6

    Hot glue the maze walls in place.

  7. Crawl Through Maze

  8. Step 1

    Gather several appliance boxes, the more boxes the larger the maze. Boxes from refrigerators, washers, dryers, or dishwashers would all work.

  9. Step 2

    Decide on a solution path and tape boxes together to create this solution path. The boxes at either end of the solution path should be open so that the start and the end of the maze is clear.

  10. Step 3

    Cut openings along the solution path to attach more pathways to with your duct tape. These pathways can wind around back into the solution path or they can lead to a dead end--a closed box.

  11. Step 4

    Connect some of the pathways by cutting holes into some of the pathways boxes and duct tapes them together.

Zig-Zag Tube

A fun way to save money and use your imagination is to make toys at home for your hamster. Remember that nothing should have sharp edges or toxic substances. You also never want to use things that could suffocate your pet (like a plastic bag) to construct a toy. Keep in mind that hamsters love to burrow, nest, and use their boundless energy while playing. So the following are some things you can use to make your own original toys:

Paper bags
Shoe boxes
Toliet paper tubes
Wrapping paper rolls
Old slippers

Since hamsters love to exercise and explore their surroundings, you can satisfy this need by making mazes using these supplies. So be creative, and have fun! You can use non-toxic glue to connect the ends of the rolls/boxes together. But you should let the finished product dry completely and air out before you give it to your hammy. Also be sure to make the toy big enough so that your hamster can fit through it easily.
Another fun toy for climbing and hiding can be made out of facial tissue boxes with different sized holes cut into the sides. You can glue the boxes together and place them side by side or stack them on top of eachother. The possibilities are endless! You all are always welcome to email me with your different ideas, or perhaps your hamsters' reactions to your ingenious creations.
Here is a specific hamster toy that you can place right in your hamster's cage! :)
How to Make a Zig-Zag Tube

You will need:
2 toilet paper tubes or a paper towel tube cut in half
sheet of white paper
non-toxic glue

How to Make It:
Push the point of the scissors through the cardboard tube about 1/2 inch on one end.
Cut along an imaginary slanting line from that hole to the rim of the opposite side of the tube. Make a similar slanting cut in the opposite direction, allowing a piece of cardboard to fall off.

Cut one end of the other tube in the same way.
Glue the cut ends of the tubes together so that they form an angle.
Let the tunnel dry completely and air out before presenting it to your hamster. :)

When your hamster gets used to playing in this zig-zag, you can make a longer one with three or even four tubes.

Some Other Ideas

  • swinging toilet tube rolls - dangle these and watch your little hamster swing off their new toy like Tarzan (or Jane)
  • if you are fortunate enough to have an apple tree in the backyard, you can snap off a branch and put it in your hamster cage - your hamster will enjoy using it as a climbing frame and gnawing on the branch - great to keep those incisor teeth in shape!
  • use a shorter branch from the apple tree and make a trapeze and watch your hamster swing off it!
  • empty egg cartons make lovely nesting boxes for dwarf hamsters - just cut holes on either side and watch your hamsters burrow into them - great hamster toy!