“ Manufacturer: Woodlands / Type: Rodent & Small Pet Cages, Hutches & Runs „
Imagine being stuck in a cage all day, with nothing to do other than pace the walls, how boring must that be? Because we love our little hamster, Spot, so much there's no way we would want to leave his home looking like a prison or have him bored, so we make sure he has lots of toys to play with and explore. Being a hamster, Spot likes to chew, which also helps grind his teeth down, so all of his toys have to be safe and preferably edible, so we find the Woodlands range of small pet toys ideal as they are made of natural materials such as wood or grass. One of Spot's favourite toys is his Woodlands Small Grass House, a hollow ball formed of dried grass that is woven around a willow frame with two holes that allow access for the hamster.
While small and definitely aimed towards smaller pets such as hamsters and mice, the grass house is a good size with an exterior diameter of approximately 15cm. Strangely the label that was attached to our house stated that this is also suitable for guinea pigs and rabbits and while I would imagine that they would have fun playing with and eating it, certainly would not make a good house for them. The house is very light and has a good amount of give, meaning it can easily be squished to fit through almost any cage door and then it puffs back out afterwards. The two access holes are quite small at about 5cm diameter, being a baby, Spot can just about manage to push his way in, but older Syrian hamsters will struggle.
I bought this ball (I cannot call it a house any longer, we call it the grass ball), about a week ago from our local garden centre for a very reasonable £2.49, but it is also available from Pets At Home for £2.89. When I first put it in Spot's cage he was a little wary and spent quite a while sniffing at it and deciding whether it was safe or not. When I feed Spot, rather than simply filling his food bowl, I hide about half the food in various spots and toys around his cage so that he forage a little like he would in the wild and at his next feed I hid some inside the ball. This gave Spot the incentive to fully explore the ball and he had a whale of a time, crawling in and out of the holes, climbing on top, pushing it round his cage and having a chew for good measure.
In the last week Spot has certainly had more than our money's worth out of this simple grass ball, and can be seen climbing on it, hiding in it or having a munch. The ball has stood up pretty well to this play, only really starting to unravel and collapse after a week. Due to the fact some of it has been eaten, the ball has lost it's shape and the holes are now twice the size they originally were, but Spot still loves it and there's still just enough integrity for me to hide food in it. I would hope that it will be at least another week before we need to replace the ball, and I will definitely be replacing it.
If you have a small pet such as a mouse, hamster or gerbil then I can't recommend the Woodlands Small Grass House enough. Although I would call it a ball rather than house because it will not provide a permanent nest for your small pet, it is a toy that Spot has enjoyed both eating and playing with. It's great for hiding food or treats, provides a great climbing frame and helps prevent over-growing teeth whilst distracting your pet from chewing on the bars of their cage. While significantly more expensive than many plastic toys, the small grass is far safer being edible and still doesn't break the bank. So I'm giving the Woodlands Small Grass House five stars out of five, simply because it is a delight to watch Spot enjoying it.
One night I had a brain wave. What I was missing was a pet from my life. Now in my flat pets are not allowed though when I begged my landlord that at the very least he should allow a hamster he laughed at me and said go on then if you really want one why not lol.
Although I had the go ahead I didn't rush out and get a hamster. I still had to consider if I wanted the responsibility and any pet (even small one's) can tie you down and be dependent on you and on your purse.
However I went to pets at home and thats when I met Boris. It was love at first sight, I already had a cage that my flatmate had bought me (trying to get me to agree to said hamster) and she bought him for me. I rushed around the store purchasing everything hamster-wise I could and one of things I got him was this.
Boris soon became Colin however as he simply reminded me of my favourite actor Colin Firth! Hes just as cute...anyway I was excited to make up his cage with all the bits and pieces I had bought and thought this would act as a playhouse and bed.
However I was wrong...my Colin shows no interest in this at all, so much so that eventually I took it out cos it was too big and he never ever used the thing!
What it is:
Its a round sort of thickish material made house made with natural fibres. it has two holes, one to the top of it and one to the side and is designed for hamsters, mice, rats to chew on, nest and rest in. It's measurements are H15 x W15 x D15cm and it weighs 68g. Its a beigy brown colour and looks attractive enough and very natural.....which of course it is.
Like I say though my Colin hated the flipping thing. I'm not sure if its cos hes addicted to his wheel and has no room in his imagination to do anything other than spin all night long or whether he is a bit too fat for it cos when I tried to encourage him into it he did struggle in and out!
This took up a lot of room in the cage, course you can tie it up with a bit of string or something (which I did try) but basically for me the size small was too big and for poor old Colin with his podgy belly it was too small!
Not for us this one!
Available from Pets & Home costing £2.69.