- -Originally, most hamsters are from Syria (A middle-eastern country that is mainly desert), but some are from Russia or China.
- -Whether in the wild or in an exercise wheel, hamsters run at least 5 miles per day! -
- -Baby hamsters are born blind, pink, hairless and helpless- about the size of your fingernail!
- -Aquarium or cage with narrow bars to prevent escape
- -Litter, such as Carefresh, Cellsorb, or aspen wood shavings -Pelleted or seed mix hamster food
- -Food bowl
- -Water bottle with fresh water provided daily
- -Exercise wheel
- -Chew toys to satisfy gnawing instinct
- -Exercise ball
- -Tubes or other cage additions
- -Hide-away house or igloo
- -Fruit/yogurt treats, to be fed sparingly
- -Small premium dog biscuits to wear teeth down
- -Hay or other material for nest-building
Basic Hamster Care:
- -Do not handle your new pet for the first 48 hours in its new home. It may take a little while for your hamster to get used to you and your family. With daily handling, the hamster should get used to human sounds and smells.
- -There are a few different types of hamsters to choose from. Syrian (or “teddy bear” hamsters when they have long fur) are typically the friendliest and are recommended if buying for a child (normally 6yrs and up). Other types such as the Roborovski or Russian dwarf hamster can be more stand-offish, but personalities will vary.
- -Syrian/teddy bear hamsters are independent creatures and often will fight if caged with another hamster. It is best to keep these hamsters alone. Russian dwarf and Roborovski hamsters are sociable and are fine kept with multiple hamsters, as long as ample cage space is provided.
- -Your hamster’s cage should be cleaned weekly.
- -It is natural for your hamster to make a nest and also to bury its food. Make sure you only give a few tablespoons of food per day, because the hamster has most likely made a “stash” somewhere in its cage where it is hiding its other food!
- -Hamsters are nocturnal and can sometimes be grumpy if woken up during the day. Be prepared for the hamster to make some noise on its exercise wheel at night.
- -Your hamster’s teeth never stop growing, so it is important to provide chew toys to wear them down. Small premium dog biscuits (such as SOJOS) are also good to provide weekly, to help with this process.
- -On average, hamsters will live about 2 years.
- -Always supervise children when handling your hamster as they are very delicate and can easily be crushed.
Possible health problems:
- -“Wet tail”, or dysentery, is a common cause of hamster death. It is normally caused by unsanitary cage conditions, a poor diet or extreme stress.
- To prevent this problem, make sure to clean the cage weekly and feed treats very sparingly.
- If you notice your hamsters rear end appears wet and dirty, clean the cage immediately and add the treatment “Dri-Tail” to your hamster’s water.
- If the condition is caught early enough, hamsters can recover fully.