Hamster Care Sheet

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Info

Hamster, photo by cdrussorusso
Hamster, photo by cdrussorusso
  • Scientific Name: Cricetinae
  • Lifespan: Usually 2-3 years.
  • Handling: Any time after he/she gets use to you. He/she may bite if frightened.
  • Size:Care: Easy
    • Syrian: 6-7 inches long
    • Campbells: 3 – 5 inches long
    • Winter White: – About 4 inches long
    • Roborovski: About 4 inches long
    • Chinese: 4 – 5 inches long
    • Dwarf: 3 – 5 inches long
  • Community: Dwarf hamsters are the more known hamsters to be housed together, as most of the other hamsters do not do well being housed together because they usually become territorial as they get older and will fight. The syrian hamster is the number one hamster that does not get along with any type of company. Syrian hamsters are known to be very territorial and will fight other hamsters, sometimes to death, which is why the Syrain hamster should not be housed with any company whatsoever.
  • Lifestyle: Nocturnal, active at night.
    • The majority of the time, hamsters are only housed together to mate. Having that in mind, if you have a male and female hamster together, be ready for BABIES!! They produce a significant amount of offspring when together housed together.

Enclosure

  • Wire Cage

A wire cage is a good choice, as it creates great ventilation, causing no humidity issues also avoiding respiratory infections. When choosing a wire cage, make sure you choose one with the bars being close enough, that your hamster can’t wiggle right through. They are known to escape wire cages, only because the bars are too separated. Also, when using this type of enclosure, make sure the doors are securely closed. Hamsters are also known to use their teeth to open these types of cage doors

  • Aquarium (Tank) Cage

A tank cage is another good option as it is pretty much escape proof, due to the fact that there are no doors, bars, or openings, except for the top, which a hamster cannot reach.

  • Tube Cage

Also known as a hamster playground, a tube cage is a wonderful choice for a hamster to live in. They are usually expandable, letting you add many features and add-ons as time goes on. They are very fun for your hamster to explore, also very fun for you to watch him/her explore all the aspects of the cage. However, they are usually much harder to clean when it comes to that time of the week/month, having you to dissemble the whole enclosure, cleaning it out, and then re-assembling it. If you do not have the time to spend cleaning this type of enclosure, I would not recommend getting this type of cage because it will not be fair to you having to clean it all the time, nor the hamster having to live in it being dirty.

Furnishing

The more, the better, but also give him/her room to roam around the enclosure. Add 1-2 hides per hamster for sleeping in, a wheel for exercising, and a few toys to play with like pipes, tubes, chew blocks, wooden toys, and balls.

Temperatures

Temperatures must stay between 65 – 78 °F. If you cannot maintain these temperatures naturally because it is too cold, try using a ceramic heat emitter or red heat bulb for night time, and a regular daily house bulb for the day time. Up the wattage if the temps are still not getting reached. However, most houses reach these temperatures naturally, not having you to buy any lighting or heating.

Feeding/Diet

Most hamster food can be bought online or at a pet store. Hamster food consists of:

 

  • Pellets

Which are ingredients grounded up, crushed, and mixed together to make a special pellet diet for your hamster.

  • Mixed seeds & Grain

It’s exactly what the title says, mixed seeds & grain. This is normally fed to birds as well as hamsters. You may also buy a mix which includes dried fruits, nuts, & etc. This will allow for your hamster to have a variety while choosing what to eat in his food bowl.

  • Timothy Hay & Alfalfa

This type of food source isnt that really well chosen by hamster owners, due to the fact that some hamsters won’t eat it. In the wild, most hamsters eat grass and this is equivalent to what they eat in the wild, but since they are captive bred and born in captivity, they usually will prefer the basic hamster food diet (seeds, pellets, etc)

  • Fresh Foods

Fresh foods are a good addition to your regular hamster food diet. This may include: bananas, oranges, peas, spinach, kale, broccoli, apples, green beans, and carrots. Only offer this type of food in small quantities due to the size of the hamster. Most of the time, hamsters will only eat a piece or what you offer, and any leftover fresh food will only go bad which can cause mold and bacteria build up. Remove any leftover food you see the next day to avoid problems.

  • Treats

A good way to reward you hamster for good behavior (not biting you), on holidays, or even birthdays is to offer him/her treats. Treats should only be fed once in a while. Too much treats can lead to bad health. Treats include: seeds, nuts, dried fruit, wholewheat bread, uncooked pasta pieces, and your regular pet store hamster treats that you may buy. And for you live food handlers an occasional mealworm or two will be good to feed as well.

 

Note: For every type of dried food you buy which includes seeds, nuts, grains, and etc… make sure to store any unsued foor in the fridge or freezer. Failure to do so, will result in unwanted pests. People have had moths, mites, and other bugs hatch from these types of foods. So make sure to store in the fridge or feezer to avoid these problems.

Hydration

Water must always be available to your hamster 24/7. You can either place a water dish in the enclosure which should be cleaned and replaced every other day or have a water bottle specifically made for hamsters placed on the side of the enclosure which should be re-filled weekly. If you do not see your hamster drinking, try offering fresh fruit to help with hydration.

Substrate & Bedding

Hamsters usually like to burrow, so the bedding should be a few inches deep. The substrate should be changed out weekly to avoid bacteria build up from the hamster using the restroom daily.

 

Bedding can be:

Aspen Fresh, Aspen Shavings, Aspen Supreme Pelleted Pet Bedding, Carefresh, Cell-Sorb Plus

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