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Home > Hamsters > 9 Essential Hamster Supplies to Get You Started: 2024 Update

9 Essential Hamster Supplies to Get You Started: 2024 Update

syrian hamster peeking

Adopting a new hamster can be very exciting. However, these pets aren’t exactly traditional, making it hard to know exactly what you need to get them. Of course, you probably know that hamsters need a cage and food. But exactly what cage and food do they need?

To help you, we’ve written this complete list of what items you need for your hamster. We’ll discuss exactly what you need for your new furry friend, including product recommendations.


The 9 Essential Hamster Supplies

Housing Supplies

1. Cage

Ferplast Hamsterville Hamster Cage

Your hamster will need a cage of some sort for them to stay in. Choose a cage with a minimum size of 360 square inches of floor space. Bigger is generally better for the hamster’s well-being.

Something like this hamster cage is a great option. It provides several stories for your hamster to move around and includes several other items you’ll need, like a water bottle and food dish. The top door also provides easy access, which you’ll need for cleaning.

Whatever cage you choose, make sure the spacing between bars is small enough to prevent escapes, usually ½ inch or less for most hamster species.

2. Bedding

Carefresh Small Animal Bedding

You’ll need something to put into the bottom of the cage, too. Your hamster will use bedding to burrow and create tunnels, which they would naturally do in the wild. Choose bedding made from safe materials, such as aspen shavings or paper-based bedding. Avoid cedar and pine, as aromatic oils can be harmful to hamsters.

We particularly recommend this paper fiber option, as it provides odor control while still being very safe for your hamster. Plus, it is practically dust-free, which allows you and your pet to breathe easily.

3. Hideouts and Toys

Kaytee Woodland Get-A-Way Small Pet Hideout

Your hamster needs some way to get some alone time throughout the day. You can accomplish this by providing plenty of hideouts for your hamster. Choose a variety of different hideouts made from hamster-safe materials like wood, ceramic, and plastic, like the Kaytee Woodland Get-A-Way. These give your hamster somewhere to feel secure.

You should also provide a variety of toys. Small wooden balls like these are a great option, especially because they are cheap and can easily be replaced when your hamster destroys them (which they will).


Food & Feeding

4. Water Bottle

Choco Nose No-Drip

Many hamster cages will come with a water bottle, but some will not. If you need to purchase one, we recommend this simple one. It’s inexpensive but completely no-drip, which helps prevent messes.

Ensure the water bottle is securely attached to the cage and positioned at a height that’s easily accessible for your hamster. Clean the water bottle and change the water daily to prevent bacterial growth. Hamsters need water all the time, and it can be hard to tell when the water bottle is empty. Be sure to check it regularly.

5. Hamster Food

Mazuri Hamster & Gerbil Food

Your hamster will need something to eat. Opt for high-quality hamster food pellets or mixes that are specifically formulated for your hamster’s nutritional needs. While hamster mixes are okay, they allow for selective eating, which is where the hamster only eats the things it likes. They may lead to nutritional problems.

This pelleted food is a great option, as it is nutritionally complete and even includes probiotics to support your pet. It encourages chewing and includes tons of antioxidants to support your hamster’s health.

6. Food Dish

You’ll also need a dish to put your hamster’s food in. Choose a bowl that isn’t going to get knocked over easily, like this one. It has a wide base and larger sides to prevent your hamster from tipping it over. Heavier dishes like this one are recommended.

Of course, also ensure the dish you purchase is shallow enough for your hamster to reach its food easily.


Toys & Entertainment

7. Exercise Wheel

Kaytee Silent Spinner Small Animal Exercise Wheel

Some cages include an exercise wheel. But if yours doesn’t, you will need to purchase one separately. While these are often considered a “fun” addition, they help hamsters exercise. In the wild, hamsters would run long distances in search of food, so it’s important that they can “run” in their cage, too.

Choose a solid-surface wheel to prevent injury to your hamster’s feet and tail. The wheel should be appropriately sized—larger for Syrian hamsters and smaller for dwarf hamsters. You may want to consider a silent wheel like this one if your hamster is being kept in a bedroom. The wheel sound can get very annoying very quickly.

8. Chew Toys

Kaytee Nut Knot Nibbler

Hamsters must have chew toys to prevent their teeth from getting too long. Their teeth will continuously grow, and this may cause problems if they aren’t worn down regularly. We recommend choosing several smaller toys, such as this Kaytee Knot Nibbler Small Pet Toy.

Of course, because your hamster is chewing on them, they will destroy them. So, plan to replace them regularly.


Grooming Supplies

9. Sand Bath

Kaytee Chinchilla Bath Sand

You may also want to consider a sand bath, especially for some hamsters. These sand baths should be filled with chinchilla sand, not play sand. These sand baths help your hamster stay clean and reduce excessive oils on their skin.

Not all hamsters need a sand bath, but it can be helpful for many.



Hamsters need quite a few items to thrive. Their cage is the most important, as it is where they will be spending all of their time. However, you also have to outfit their cage with the correct items. Toys, including those for chewing, are important. You’ll also need to provide bedding and hideouts for your hamster to rest in.

Of course, food is also very important. We recommend a pelleted diet, as it ensures your hamster is getting all the nutrients they need.

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Featured Image Credit: Mary Swift, Shutterstock

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