Read About Hamster Care

Hamster care involves feeding, cleaning, handling and keeping your hamster healthy. Hamsters live for about 2 years Imageand require daily attention. Hamsters are nocturnal creatures so will be active at night when you are sleeping. You should purchase your hamster from a reputable pet supplier. Look for a hamster that is young (4-8 weeks of age), the cage should be clean with fresh water and food, eyes and nose should be without discharge, eyes should be wide and alert and the hamster should seem friendly.

There are different types of hamsters including Syrian and dwarf hamsters. Syrian hamsters make a better small pet than other types of hamster since they are larger in size so easier for young children to handle. Syrian hamsters tend to become territorial as they mature and will need to be housed separately. Dwarf and other smaller varieties of hamsters are social (same sex should be housed together to prevent breeding) but can be hard for small children to handle and can be more jumpy than Syrian hamsters.

A very important part of hamster care is taming. Taming of a hamster is easier at a younger age and can be accomplished by gentle holding and stroking. While handling your hamster, talk to it in a calm voice. Hamsters will only nip when handled roughly. Try feeding your hamster while holding it. Make sure that you are holding the hamster close to the ground or a table top so if the hamster tries to jump out of your hand it will not be hurt in the fall.

Feeding your hamster correctly is essential to proper hamster care. Hamsters are vegetarians. You should feed your hamster a commercial diet made especially for hamsters. Commercial mixes that provide a variety of seeds and dried vegetables are sometimes better accepted than the pellet type of food. Only add a small amount of food to the dish each day so that your hamster will eat most of it before you refill the food dish. Fresh fruits and vegetables should be given only in small amounts.

Your hamster’s cage should be escape proof. Make sure that the spaces between the metal bars are close enough together so that small hamsters can not squeeze out. A larger cage will provide more room for your hamster to run around and get plenty of exercise. An exercise wheel is a must for good hamster care and fun! All cages should have a fresh supply of water (water bottle) and food. Other types of hamster housing are aquariums with a screen top and habitrails (the plastic enclosed cages). Aquariums are easy to clean, but limit climbing and exercise. Image The habitrails can be hard to clean and ventilation is more limited. Hamsters are also able to chew through plastic so habitrails should be checked often to make sure that the hamsters are not chewing their way to freedom. All cages should include a deep layer of plain, non-cedar, unscented wood shavings, Nesting boxes can be provided and nesting materials should be made of paper (not newspaper which has inks that can get on the fur and you and can make the hamsters ill).

If you follow good hamster care, you should change the shavings weekly to prevent odor from feces and urine. Generally, hamsters will use one portion of the cage for bathroom purposes and this area can readily be cleaned more frequently. You should change the water and clean the food dishes daily. Keeping the cage clean, out of drafty areas and providing exercise will help to keep your hamster healthy and happy. Proper hamster care is relatively easy and with adult supervision children can learn to perform most of the duties.