How To Hamster-Proof A Room? [Hamster Free Roaming]

by Hamster Care
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How to hamster-proof a room?

In our previous article, we have touched on why hamster exercise balls are not safe for your hamsters.

Using playpens, or allowing your hamster to free-roam in a safe space are much safer options as compared to using hamster exercise balls.

What is free roaming? Why should I allow my hamster to free roam?

Free-roaming, like its name suggests, is when you allow your hamster to move freely around a big enclosed space such as room. Free-roaming allows your hamster to have sufficient exercise and explore spaces other than its own cage. 

It is generally okay for Syrians to free roam in a room, but it is recommended for dwarves or roborovskis to roam in a smaller area like a playpen because they are smaller, quicker and thus can be harder to keep an eye on. There is also a higher possibility of them getting stuck in gaps such as in between cupboards, or underneath furniture. However, as long as your hamster is easy to handle, or your room is hamster-proofed, it is okay to let your hamsters free roam regardless of species. 

How to free roam?

Here are rules you can follow when your hamster free-roams in your room:

  1. Supervise your hamster’s movement at all times. Syrians have the dexterity to climb into closets, windows and other enclosed spaces. They also have the strength to climb onto high platforms such as chairs and up curtains. Some hamsters will also try to bite wood or fabrics such as curtains. Keep a lookout for your hamsters in order to keep them safe. 
  2. Choose a well-ventilated room or unused bathroom with all doors shut.
  3. Add toys, tunnels, hideouts and treats around the room. You may add a sand bath as well (if your hamster is potty trained) as they may pee during free-roam.
  4. Add hideouts just in case your hamster gets overwhelmed by the large space.
  5. Add a wheel or flying saucer for your hamster to run on for extra stimulation.

Safety:

  1. Remove the following items from hamsters’ reach:
    • Electrical and telephone wires;
    • Medications, plants, food and cleaning products;
    • Anything you don’t want your hamsters to get in contact with.
  2. Block off any areas that you don’t want your hamster to go into:
    • Using any heavy object to block areas such as closets, gaps, or areas that are dangerous.
  3. Prevent other pets in the house from entering the room.

How to playpen?

Choose a well-sized playpen. Here are some recommended playpens: 

FOLDABLE PLAYPEN – 95CM X 95CM X 40CM ~$5 – $10

Pros: 

  • The cheapest option available
  • Escape-proof. It is harder to climb on
  • Good for taming/bonding. You can sit inside the playpen and bond with your hamster. Because of the limited space, your hamster will be close to you, making it more used to your scent and presence

Cons:

  • Difficult to clean if hamster pees on the fabric

GEX GRILL PLAYPEN – 90CM X 90CM X 23.3CM ~$20 ++

GEX PETIT CIRCLE – 56 CM X 23CM ~ $20 ++

Pros: 

  • Grilled playpens are good because they come in frames. Not only can you link up the frames and use it as a playpen, you can also use the frames as barricades to block off areas you don’t want your hamster to go into
  • Good for taming/bonding. You can sit inside the playpen and bond with your hamster. Because of the limited space, your hamster will be close to you, making it more used to your scent and presence
  • Easy to clean

Cons: 

  • Syrians can easily climb the grills
  • Prone to biting. Dwarfs and Syrians can bite on the metal grills which is not good for their teeth
    • To prevent this from happening, you may put a plastic sheet/acrylic sheet on the inside of the playpen

Points to take note of:

  • Limit free roam time. The recommended time will be about 15-30 minutes for the first few times. Your hamster may get disoriented in a bigger environment and prolonged free-roam may stress it out 
  • Dwarves, when given a large space to free-roam, may find a comfortable spot to unpouch and sleep after exercising. Monitor its behaviour and return it back to its cage when necessary
  • Syrians naturally need more mental stimulation and thus need more free-roam time. Syrian pawrents should be give them the time to free-roamn every night

If you want more helpful advice on looking after your hamster, including tips on food, toys, accessories and accommodation, add a comment below to let us know!

Waiting for our next post here.

By HamsterCareTip.Com

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