Hiding Hamster

Hamster as Pets

Hamsters are cute cheeky nocturnal rodents that make a good pet for everyone. Since they are nocturnal they usually sleep 14hr/day and will be very active during the night.

There are many species of hamsters but only a few are kept as pets. Hamsters are originated from central Europe and Asia but now they are spread across the globe.

In Russian or Old Slavic the word hamster means “chomestoru” which is eventually termed into German team ” Hamstern” meaning “to hoard”.

The Appearance of Hamster

Though Hamsters belong to the rodents category we can easily differentiate hamsters from other rodents. Hamsters have short tails, stubby legs, bold & shiny eyes with small ears.

Hamsters have thick, sleek hair all over their body except in the stomach region. They have four toes and a thumb in their front leg and five toes in their back leg. They have sharp claws in which they used to climb and dig.

Their back leg is very strong compared to the front leg but their front and back legs are quite short. Since they are rodents their teeth grow throughout their life span. So it is important to give them chew toys to grind their teeth.

The size of the hamster differs according to the species, the European breed can grow up to 13.5 inches, the dwarf hamster can grow up to 2 – 4 inches, the Syrian hamster can grow up to 6 inches.

Cheeky Hamster

Cheeky Hamsters!!

The most important and unique feature in hamsters is their cheeks which act as a pouch to store food. When their cheek pouch is full, the hamster’s head will be twice as big as its original form which can be scarier sometimes.

Their cheek pouches are located on their shoulders, neck, and head and are not connected to their digestive system. when they want their food out of their check they use their paws to push the food from the pouch.

In wild, before the winter season starts, hamster starts storing their food in their cheeks and survive the cold.

How to differentiate Male and Female Hamsters?

The male hamster is called a boar, the female hamster is called a sow and the baby is called a pup. It is easy to differentiate the male and female hamsters. Female hamsters are heavier and lengthier than male hamsters.

There are paired glands over their flanks and we can see a dark spot in their coat. In male hamsters, it is more obvious than in females. By using these glands hamsters mark their territory.

Apart from their by observing the anogenital distance i.e penile opening in male and vaginal and urinary openings in females, we can differentiate the sex. The distance in females is much shorter than in males. If you are unable to distinguish the sex you can always seek a vet

Hamster Pets

Is it legal to have Hamsters?

It completely depends on where you live. Owning Hamster as a pet is illegal in the following countries,

  • Australia
  • Queensland
  • New Zealand
  • Hawaii
  • California

Hamster is not native in these countries so they are considered pests that can change the food cycle in their country and so they are illegal to own hamster in these countries.

Are Hamster good pets?

Yes, Hamsters are the most adorable pets you can have. They also love to socialize with you. You can handle them every day and they will be affectionate if you handle them.

But when they come in contact with other pets, they panic and may even get injured. Never try to introduce them to other pets like dogs or cats.

Hamsters love to be handled and doing so will make them more affectionate. You can even allow them to freely roam in your house but you have to be cautious as they are easily injured. Some of the types of popular pet Hamsters that come in a variety of colors are,

  • Syrian Hamster
  • Dwarf Hamster
  • Chinese Hamster

Do they bite?

Hamsters are docile creatures and they bite only if they are threatened to protect themselves. Sometimes when you handle, they try to eat your fingers just to see whether you are edible or not. Their bite doesn’t hurt and they are not aggressive at all.

  • Aggression: When Hamsters are in pain or experiencing a disease, they will bite you.
  • Boredom: yes, they may also bite when they’re bored.
  • Fear: Avoid frightening them.
  • Playing: As mentioned before, biting and chewing is part of their game, so it is normal.
  • Eating: While feeding by hand, your Hamster may bite you accidentally
Cute Pet Hamster

Hamster’s Diet

Hamsters are omnivorous which means they eat meat apart from all vegetables and fruits. Whatever the meat you provide should be fully cooked and you can also use them as treats to provide to your pet. The protein content is very important in their diet. They should get 16% percent protein and 5% fat in their diet daily.

In the wild Hamster eats seeds, grains, nuts, cracked corn, fruits, and vegetables. They also eat insects, frogs, lizards, and other small animals. Foods that are toxic to Hamsters are,

  • Onions, garlic, chives, and leeks
  • Chocolate and caffeine products
  • Beans and potatoes
  • Citrus fruits
  • Potato chips
  • Celery
  • Avocados
  • Apple seeds
  • Raisins or grapes
  • Almonds
  • Canned foods
  •  Spicy and seasoned foods
  • Kidney beans
  • Light green leafy veggies
  • Tomato leaves and stems
  • Plants treated with pesticides
  • Seeds
  • Plants high in oxalic acid
  • Dairy products
  • Foods with high fat content

Always have a dripper at a fair height with a bowl under that dripper. The water should be changed every day and never use distilled or any mineral water.

Enclosure for Hamster

Hamsters need a cage that makes them feel safe and happy. We need to provide them with a comfortable cage where they can sleep, eat, play, and run around. Hamsters have a habit of chewing. Secure the cage to prevent an accidental escape. The cage should also be kept out of direct sunlight and away from the drafty area.

Hamsters can easily adapt to indoor living. This makes them very easy to care for. They do not need much room or sunlight. Their cage must have a large wire mesh cage with a solid base. The colorful plastic cages will attract your Hamster pets but they are difficult to clean.

Bedding

It is better to provide your Hamsters with fine bedding. Their bedding should be a few inches above the bottom of the cage. Your pets use the bedding to burrow, dig, and build nests.

Their beddings are available in many varieties. They are made up of recycled paper, wood, and corncob work well. Do not provide your Hamsters with pine, cedar, or corncob; these will harm your pets. Other types of safe bedding material include wood pulp/paper, wood pellets, and hemp bedding. Clean their bedding once a week.

You need to place the following in your Hamster pet’s cage

  • Nonwood-based bedding (straw or shredded white paper, chew toys, and an exercise wheel).
  • Wooden ladders and toilet paper rolls (they make great toys for your Hamster pets).
  • Use only solid exercise wheels for Hamster pets. Because their tails can become entangled in the wire wheels.
Bedding Hamster

The lifespan of Hamsters

If properly cared for, Hamsters will live 3 – 4 years. They won’t survive if the temperature is too hot or too cold. Their preferred temperature is about 65°F to 75°F, and the relative humidity level should be below 40 – 60%.

Final Thoughts

Hamsters are the cutest and the most amazing pet you can have. Like cats and dogs, they love to cuddle and play all the time. They can express their love towards you by hopping up and down whenever they see you. You should take care of them properly by providing a proper nutritious diet to them because they can easily be prone to many kinds of diseases.

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