This article is from the Fall 1997 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.
By Nichole Royer
From Madeline Guzman, Rockville, MD
I have found that a fun activity for my hamsters is to give them one of those small Dole or SunMaid raisin boxes (full of raisins of course!). When they get through tearing the box open, there is a ready-to-eat treat inside. You can replace the raisins with other hamster treats and reclose the box.
On the other hand, maybe I’m projecting. It could be that this activity is more fun for me to watch than for the hamster to do!
Nancy Ferris was kind enough to send in this great rodent activity she found on the Hamsters Mailing List (reprinted with permision from the author). Our rats and mice will have as much fun with this one as the hamsters do. With rats and mice it might be a good idea to open up the box and remove some of the raisins first. Unlike hamsters, our critters are unlikly to store most of the treats for later use, and they might get a belly ache (or worse) if they ate the whole box in one sitting.
Another take on this theme is to give rats and mice (and hamsters) one of those single serving size cereal boxes. Choose a healthy (low sugar, etc.) cereal, and make sure the box doesn’t have a plastic liner. Rats will shred the box, while mice will chew dainty little holes in it, then use it for a nest when it is empty.
My critters loved this one, and the raisins as well. They have decided that any strange box is for their enjoyment. I don’t know who has more fun, the critters playing, or me watching!