7 Helpful Facts: Caring for Pet Hamsters
Caring for pet hamsters is similar to caring for other types of pet rodents in many ways. In this post, we’ll share things you should know about caring for pet hamsters.
Hamsters are nocturnal, which means they are most active at night and sleep during the day. They also need a clean, safe home with fresh water and food at all times.
While most people only think of getting one hamster at a time, you can actually keep multiple hamsters together as long as you give them separate spaces to explore and plenty of places to hide from each other.
Two males in the same cage may eventually end up fighting over territory. This behavior occurs in the wild as well, so many pet owners choose to avoid it altogether by keeping a single hamster per cage.
If you have an interest in owning one of these small creatures, read on to find out more about their habitats, feeding habits, playing habits, and some useful tips that will help your pet live a longer and happier life. Be sure to read our article about popular apartment pets.
Are Hamsters Good Pets?
Hamsters are small rodents that might be familiar to you from a childhood experience with one of these furry critters. They are common pets for children and adults alike, and several different hamster breeds can be found in pet stores around the world.
How to Take Care of a Hamster for Beginners
While hamsters are generally healthy, caring for pet hamsters is not recommended for families with very small children due to the fact that hamsters are extremely fragile. Even a child that accidentally drops a hamster might be able to seriously injure or kill the hamster due to its small size.
Hamsters also have extremely short attention spans, which means that they might not be a great fit for a child who is easily distracted.
Hamsters are social animals, and they are happiest when they live in groups. This is because they rely on each other for social stimulation and protection from predators.
Many hamster owners choose to keep two hamsters together, but you can also keep a hamster and a mouse together if you want to see them play together.
Hamsters are also nocturnal, so if you are hoping for an animal you can cuddle with during the day, this is not an option for you.
Hamsters are also great for people who are allergic to many other types of pets. They are an alternative choice for people with allergies who might not be able to enjoy having a dog or cat in the house.
Do Hamsters Like to be Held?
Hamsters are generally very curious and playful animals, but they are not cuddly. Hamsters do not like to be held, and most people recommend against trying to hold your hamster.
When caring for your pet hamster, it could bite you as a reaction to feeling threatened or scared, and it could also scratch or claw you if it feels trapped inside your hand. Even if your hamster doesn’t bite or scratch you, holding it improperly could cause it to suffocate.
Hamsters are very delicate creatures, and they are often happiest when they are exploring their habitat and living in their own space. This means that the best way to interact with your hamster is to leave it in its habitat and let it do whatever it wants to do.
If you are concerned about your hamster being lonely, there are a few ways you can interact with your pet without holding it. Hamsters love to eat, and they love to explore. Providing them with plenty of toys and treats will keep them happy and occupied, and it will make your hamster less likely to be bored and hungry when it is alone in its cage.
Hamsters often get excited to see their owners. When you give them a treat, they will eventually associate seeing you with food.
If you give them a treat after seeing them using the exercise wheel, they will eventually associate running on the wheel with food.
What do Hamsters Eat?
Hamsters enjoy eating seeds, but a diet of seeds can be harmful according to Pet Care Veterinary Hospital.
A pelleted diet, with lots of clean water, fruits and vegetables as treats will help keep your hamster healthy and well nourished.
To go along with proper nutrition, clean bedding, a clean water dish / bottle, food dish, etc. is a must. Bacteria thrives in unclean conditions.
Small animals do not tolerate illnesses very well, so it’s best to be proactive and do what you can to help prevent it from occurring in the first place.
Are Hamsters Easy to Take Care of?
Caring for pet hamsters is easy as long as you provide them with a clean and safe environment.
In order to keep your hamster happy and healthy, you need to keep its cage clean, and you need to provide your hamster with plenty of exercise.
How to Take Care of a Hamster Cage
Hamster cages should be large enough to accommodate a hamster exercise wheel and a few hiding spots at the very least.
If you want to give your hamster ample space to move around and play, you should use a hamster cage that is at least 2 feet by 2 feet by 2 feet. For two hamsters, the cage needs to be larger.
A metal cage is best, because hamsters are aggressive chewers. Keeping your hamster in a plastic cage will result in a hole in the cage and, eventually, an escaped hamster.
Hamsters are active animals, and they need to be given plenty of time to explore their cage and run on an exercise wheel in order to stay healthy.
If your hamster is living in a small space, you can expect it to be lethargic and weak. Hamsters are also nocturnal, so you should place your hamster’s cage in a quiet area where it can sleep during the day.
Do Hamsters Let You Pet Them?
Hamsters are rodents, and rodents do not like to be touched by humans.
Most rodents will bite you if you try to pick them up or put your hand inside their cage, and hamsters are no exception.
Hamsters are very fragile animals. Keep in mind when caring for pet hamsters that they can easily break bones if they fall or are dropped. Even if you think you can handle a hamster without hurting it, your hamster might react aggressively and bite you in self-defense.
The best ways to interact with your hamster are to leave it alone in its cage and to provide it with plenty of food, toys, and treats.
There are several different hamster breeds, and all of them have unique personalities.
When choosing your hamster, you should read about the different breeds and also observe hamsters in the pet store to determine which one would be a good fit for your lifestyle.
Hamster breeds include the following:
- Syrian hamsters – This is the most common breed of hamster, and they are also the largest. If you have kids, a Syrian hamster is a great choice.
- Chinese hamsters – This breed of hamster is slightly smaller than the Syrian hamster, and it is also nocturnal. These hamsters are very territorial, so you should only keep one in a cage.
- Dwarf hamsters – Dwarf hamsters are the smallest of the hamster breeds. If you have small children and want a hamster that they can hold, a dwarf hamster might be the right fit for you.
- Campbell hamsters – Campbell hamsters are extremely social and love to be held.
Understanding traits of your new pet’s particular breed will help you when caring for pet hamsters. If you have kids, dwarf hamsters may not be the best choice because they are so small, although all hamsters can be easily squished or dropped.
If you are considering hamster alternatives, read our article Chinchillas Make Amazing Pets
Are Hamsters Friendly?
Hamsters are not generally friendly animals, and they are definitely not suitable to be kept as a pet for a person who is hoping for a cuddly friend.
Hamsters are sometimes aggressive towards other hamsters. Even if you have two hamsters of the same breed, they will likely fight if they are left together in a small cage. When caring for your pet hamster, keep an eye on them and separate them if they become aggressive.
The best solution for aggressive hamster behavior is to ensure you have properly sized hamster cage. A small cage is not large enough for more than one hamster.
Hamsters can be easily frightened by loud noises or sudden movements, and they might bite you as a result. The best way to interact with your hamster is to leave it in its cage and provide it with plenty of food and toys.
Hamsters are adorable and entertaining rodents that make great pets for kids and adults alike. Some dos and don’ts of hamster care:
- They are social animals that need plenty of exercise, space, and attention in order to live a happy and healthy life.
- When you have a hamster, you’ll need to make sure it has everything it needs, including a clean cage, regular food, and lots of toys to keep it from getting bored.
- Hamsters are also nocturnal, so you’ll want to keep its cage in a quiet area during the day.
- When you’re caring for your hamster, remember that it needs plenty of space to run and explore, and it needs a clean habitat where it can feel safe.
- Hamsters are not cuddly animals, so they won’t be a good fit for people who are hoping for a furry friend to snuggle with.
If you are considering other small pets besides hamster, you may want to consider these additional articles: