“ Pets at Home / Type: Pet Treat „
When we bought a new cage for Miss G the Syrian hamster, we also ended up treating her to this hut from Pets at Home. We paid around a fiver for it. It comes in two sizes, one for small rodents, such as hamsters & gerbils, and another for larger ones like rats and guinea pigs.
It's moulded out of a mixture of alfafa and honey, so it is an edible home meant to keep your pet occupied, as much as provide a hidey-hole. The walls feel quite rough and dry, and are shaped to give the effect of a wooden hut.
We made space in Miss G's cage and plonked it in. Her first reaction was to tackle the thatching. All the outer ring was carefully snipped off and taken into her tunnel, leaving just the central point - and that was hanging off crazily. Since the first few days, the hut is just a place she clambers over really. She gives the walls an occasional thoughtful gnawing, but I wouldn't say it's been a massive success. She has neither eaten much of it, nor moved into it from her plastic house.
A few days after we'd given it to her, I woke up in the night remembering belatedly that I'd read hay & straw aren't recommended for hamsters. It can sometimes pierce their pouches, which can be lethal and I had a bit of a cold sweat about the roof. But perhaps it is a different, safer(?) type. Having read the list of ingredients available online from the Pets at Home web-page, I'm none the wiser. Miss G has suffered no ill effects, at least. I'm not sure whether she tried to pouch the thatch when she carried it or whether she just dragged it along. Presumably Pets at Home wouldn't sell the Tiki hut as suitable for hamsters if this was an issue. Still, if I was doing it over again, I'd probably choose the moulded log tunnel (that has no thatched element) from the same range for her, instead.
Overall, I quite liked this product - it's a bit different - a beach hut that says exotic lifestyle for small rodents! Theoretically it provides something to gnaw & eat, making the small critter work for its snack and break the boredom, while also being a shelter or hide-out. In practice, our Miss G isn't that fussed on it.
If you've got a spare fiver (tenner for larger version) with your pet rodent's name on it, then you could do worse. I think the log-tunnel version would be better for hamsters, because of my worry over the roofing, but it'd be good for other species such as gerbils and mice.