Can Hamsters Eat Fruits ? Safe And Unsafe Fruits For Your Hammy

If you’re wondering about whether your hammy can eat fruit or not, you’re not the only one. My Teddy is always curious about what I have in my hands, and we eat a lot of fruit in this house.

At first I had no idea which fruit was okay for him, or if any fruit was okay to begin with. But let e tell you what I found out, so you’ll know as well.

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So can hamsters eat fruits ?

Yes, hamsters can eat some types of fruits. However hamsters should eat fruits in very small amounts, and not often.

The majority of fruits are okay for hamsters to eat, however citrus type fruits are not. They’re too acidic for the hamster’s gut.

We’ll cover in the rest of the article which fruits are safe for your hamster, and which should definitely be avoided. And also how much fruit you should give your hamster, and how often.

Some differences between Syrian and Dwarf hamsters

There’s a big difference between Dwarf hammies (Roborovski, Campbell, Siberian, and Chinese)  and the large Syrian hammy.

The Dwarf types are prone to diabetes, and need to stay away from very sugary foods and drinks. So that means that they can, in fact eat some fruits, but in a very small amount. And much less often than a Syrian hamster.

This is largely due to the size difference between the two hamster types. A piece of apple, for example, as big as a peanut might be acceptable for your Syrian hamster.

But for a Dwarf, the exact same piece holds much more sugars and carbs, which will lead to unwanted weight gain and the early stages of  diabetes.

Not only with fruits, but with some vegetables as well – like carrots, corn, and sweet potato as well. You can check the article “Can Hamsters Eat Vegetables” to read more about this.

Fruits your hammy can eat safely

Alright, with the difference between Dwarf ans Syrian hamsters in mind, let’s see which fruits your hamster can eat safely.

The most common fruits like apples, plums, cherries and grapes are alright. However all hamsters, everywhere, do not react well to the seeds of a fruit. In most cases the seeds are poisonous.

So it’s best if you never give your hamster a piece of fruit with seeds in it, of any kind.

Then, the very sweet fruits like banana, apricot, peach, mango, pineapple, papaya – most of the yellow fruits – should be given in tiny, tiny amounts.

For us these fruits are amazing and have the best taste and smell. However for hamsters these are just too sweet and savory. So it’s best if your hammy only gets an incredibly small amount of them.

None of these are poisonous so far, they’re just way too sweet for a hamster so you need to be careful.

Now, the berry types – like strawberry and raspberry, these are all alright for your hamster. But, again, without any seeds. So for example a strawberry should be lightly scraped to get all the seeds out, and the green top cut off.

A Raspberry is okay by itself, since the white core will come off by itself when the fruit is done.

Blueberries and cranberries are alright, but in very small amounts as well. As in, one or two berries every week.

Figs are alright for your hamster, but n a very small amount. And Dates are alright too, as long as they have no pit.

Coconut is safe for hamsters, but it should be given in very small amounts and sparsely. Coconut has a higher fat-count than peanuts and can make your hamster gain weight faster than bananas or mangos.

And finally, watermelon is safe for hamsters, if given in a small amount, just the red part, and without seeds. This is partly because of how sweet it can be, and the fact that it has a very high water content. Too much of it can upset your hammy’s stomach.

Fruits your hamster should be kept away from

Kiwi – although it’s great as a fruit by itself, the kiwi is not very safe for the hamster. It can be very sour sometimes, and the seeds are not alright for hamsters to eat.

This applies to Dragon fruit as well, since it has just as many seeds, everywhere in its flesh.

Blackberry – while they’re okay for hamsters by their nutritional value, I put them on the unsafe list because of how many seeds it has, and how hard it is to get rid of them.

There’s no way you can remove the seeds from a blackberry and have it whole. So for this reason, I advise against them.

Citrus – no citrus fruits are alright for the hamster. Actually, hamsters shy away from the smell of oranges and tangerines. You can check for yourself with a citrus fruit.

That includes oranges, tangerines, mandarines, kumquat, clementines, grapefruit (all kinds), lemon, and lime.

Star fruit – not safe for hamsters, since they contain a neurotoxin that can be fatal to hamsters, or other small animals. It can cause kidney problems in some sensitive humans too. Best to avoid it for your hamster.

(If you like this article so far, you can pin it to your Pinterest board by clicking the image below. The article continues after the image.)

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You can use fruits as a treat for your hamster

Since your hamster can’t have fruits very often, you can use it as a sort of treat. Particularly, you can use it as a very special treat when you’re taming your hamster.

That means that your hamster should not get this treat very often. But he cans till get a small piece of apple, or maybe a cube of mango, depending on whatever you’ve got lying around.

Simple treats like fruit chips – slices of fruit that have been carefully dried and made sure they’re not moldy – can be great for hammies.

I’ve used banana chips for my Teddy, and he loves them. It’s something he gets a kick out of. Probably the crispy, crunchy texture gives him a lot of incentive to nibble and nibble.

However these are banana chips, so they’re still sweet. Not as sweet as regular banana slices, the taste is a bit different. But do not go overboard when feeding your hammy these chips, since they are in fact real banana slices.

In this respect, the whole bag will last your hamster probably a year. If you get into the bag, that’s another story and completely up to you.

You can check the Amazon listing here, and see the reviews as well.

Do not give your hamster too much fruit

Whether you have a Dwarf or Syrian hamster, they can both develop health issues if given too much sugary foods. While a slice of apple does not compare to a cube of chocolate when it comes to sugar and fats, they are both still sweet.

Especially for your sensitive hamster’s taste buds. So it’s best to keep an eye on how much fruit and sweets you give your hammy.

A hamster that’s had too much sugar will become overweight, and develop diabetes. Both conditions can be life-threatening. Especially for a creature as small as a hamster.

If your hamster’s already overweight, you can read this article to see how to get him to a healthy, safe weight.

A word from Teddy

I hope you know now which fruits are okay for us hammies. I love banana chips, and I sometimes get bits of apple. But maybe your friend is into mangos more, you could try it out.

If you want to know more about us hammies, you can check out the articles below. You’ll find info on things like how big a cage we need, and how much food we need in a day.

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Can Hamsters Eat Meat – Here’s What Your Furry Friend LikesWhen I first got my Teddy I wondered if he can eat meat, and what I should feed him. As it turns out, hamsters can eat many different things. Some of them are actually in your pantry or fridge ! In this article I’ll be talking about whether hammies can have meat, and if so what kind, any why, and how much, and so on. Table of Contents ToggleSo can hamsters eat meat ?Hamsters can only eat light meatHammies can have:Hamsters can’t have:How hamsters find their protein in the wildCommercial food gives hamsters vegetable proteinYou can supplement your hamster’s diet, yes.A word from Teddy So can hamsters eat meat ? Yes, hamsters can definitely eat meat ! Not much though, since in the wild their diet consists of grains, seeds, veggies, and meat. So, they’re not particularly carnivores, like cats, or dogs. 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Always make sure that the meat you give your hamster is completely bland. So that means unsalted, unspiced meat. It needs to be either boiled, or baked. No added oils, or fried meat, or even lunchmeat or coldcuts, even if they’re made of the meats I just mentioned. Hammies can have chicken, any meaty part of it. The fish should be a very light fish, that was only baked, and they don’t need garlic or lemon to go with it. Be very careful to remove any small bones your hammy might choke on ! As for the shrimp, hammies can have a bit of shrimp as well, since it’s not a very smelly kind of seafood (hamsters have very sensitive noses). Other kinds of seafood like surimi, crab meat, octopus, and calamari rings are probably not a good idea. This is mainly because no one has tried it before, so there’s no info that can be trusted, only assumptions. 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Are European Hamsters Endangered? What About The Other Ones?
Are European Hamsters Endangered? What About The Other Ones?Wondering if your pet’s wild siblings are endangered ? Hamsters in the wild lead a difficult life, and not all of them survive. Let’s see whether each hamster species is endangered or not, starting with the largest one, the European hamster. If you’ve never heard of European hamsters before, don’t worry this is because they are not domesticated, but we will discuss this in more detail in this article. I want to discuss in this article about all hamster species out there since some of them might be considered endangered but they are too common as pets to disappear. Table of Contents ToggleAre European hamsters endangered ?Are Syrian hamsters endangered ?Are Dwarf hamsters endangered ?Are Chinese hamsters endangered ?Do hamsters reproduce fast ?Conclusion Are European hamsters endangered ? European hamsters are classified as Critically Endangered by the IUCN. 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A hamster mother will even attack the father if they come close to their babies, so a female hamster has quite a difficult and lonely life when it comes to raising their little babies. Conclusion Sometimes you might be thinking we shouldn’t keep hamsters as pets, but the truth is for some of them a pet life is better than wildlife, at least for the endangered ones. I know I sometimes looked at Eggwhite, my tamest Syrian hamster, and tried to imagine him foraging for food then an owl swooping in to try and grab him. If you want to learn more about hamsters’ life in the wild, I have an article about what hamsters eat in the wild and how their diet differs from the ones that we have as pets. This is something that happens regularly in the wild, but at home ? I was so glad he was safe, had plenty of food, and a nice cage and toys to keep himself entertained. I hope this article helped you understand the actual situation with the hamsters in the wild and your hamster friend is doing well at home. [...] Read more...
All About A Hamster’s Ears – Common Problems And Hearing
All About A Hamster’s Ears – Common Problems And HearingHamster ears are some of the cutest ears. My Teddy has his folded when he wakes up, and he’s always listening for some thing or another. But we need to know everything about our hamsters’ ears, hearing, and ear problems if we want to give them a happy life. So read on here to find out more, starting with the basics. Table of Contents ToggleDo hamsters have good hearing ?How wild hamsters use their hearing to surviveYour hammy will learn every sound in the houseYour hamster’s ears can change colors as they ageFolded hamster earsHamsters can develop several ear problemsEar infectionEar tumorEar mitesEar wax and/or dischargeLoss of fur around earsA word from Teddy Do hamsters have good hearing ? Yes, hamsters have very good hearing. Hearing is actually one of the main ways hamsters navigate their habitat, and avoid predators. Hamsters rely on smell to ‘see’ their environment (smells, pheromones), and on hearing to listen for potential predators or other sounds of danger. That being said, a hamster won’t react to sudden sounds as badly as sudden movements. A sudden movement will scare the hamster, while a sudden noise will be investigated and learned. How wild hamsters use their hearing to survive In the wild hamsters are hunted by almost every creature possible. As such, they’ve had to develop very good survival skills. Hamsters sleep for much of the day, when most of their predators are out and hunting. Once evening sets in, hammies wake up, and perk their ears up. Listening for a fox’s paws, a swooping owl, a slithering snake, anything that could be dangerous. If he hears nothing out of the ordinary, he’ll come out. Once he’s out of his labyrinth of tunnels and burrows, the hammy will start foraging for food, and will cover lots his territory. He’ll literally stop to check every few minutes, to make sure there’s nothing chasing him, or to smell for another food source. Hearing is the hamster’s first line of defense, since he can hear before he can smell a predator. Even a very quiet and sneaky cat won’t be able to fool a hamster too easily. This trait has been passed down to your pet hamster too. He’ll be very curious about sounds and will have the instinct to listen for absolutely anything odd. Your hammy will learn every sound in the house A pet hamster is still very much like a wild hamster. Aside from variations in the colors, pet hamsters have largely the same personalities they had as wild hamsters. Granted, hammies haven’t been pets for more than a century now. You can find out more about how hammies came to be pets, and where they (all) come from, right here. For example my Teddy (a Syrian male, golden) used to stop and listen for everything when he was young. 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Then, if you’ve got a Syrian hamster know that the ears might turn a dark grey as the hamster turns into an adult. For example my Teddy is a golden Syrian hamster, the soft/blended variety. So no stark lines or patches of color. When he was a baby he was all cream, and had a bit of white on his belly and paws. Once he started coming close to the 3 month mark (when hamsters become adults) he started getting all of his markings. Which included darker, grey ears, and a few grey markings on his forehead, and shoulders. And the tips of most of the hairs turned dark grey, like he’s a bit smoky. So it could be that your Syrian might develop grey ears too, or a darker color all over his fur if he’s got the gene. This can apply to all hamster breeds, since they only become adults around the 3 month mark. This is where they reach their ‘final form’, so to speak, and won’t change very much. Only when they become old, will there be any other changes. For example my Teddy is a year and a half at the time I’m writing this article. His snout’s got a bit whiter, and the fluff around his ears got whiter as well. He’s not very old yet, but he’s getting there. Hamster’s don’t live long, Syrians can reach a maximum of 3 years, the same way us humans reach past 100 years. Folded hamster ears Ears are an important part of your hamster’s body language. Knowing what your hamster’s ears are saying is about as important as knowing what a dog’s ears are saying. So for example hammies can have their ears folded, in several situations. If he just woke up, his ears will be folded, and you will notice he moves slowly, eyes half open, fur a bit ruffled. No one looks great in the morning. It could be that your hamster’s folded ears mean fear, when he’s also shying away from you or another hamster, and making himself appear to be very small (curling in on himself). This fear can be dangerous, depending on the hamster. Some hamsters flee, some fight. 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Make sure you isolate the sick hamster from the other hamsters, since most of these conditions are contagious. Whatever the case, sometimes you will have to help your little friend. Here’s why and how. Ear infection An ear infection can come about in many ways, even if the cage is clean. You can tell your hamster has an infected ear by the fact that it’s possibly become red, swollen, hot to the touch, and your hamster might be scratching at it. He might carry his head to the side/tilted, and you might actually see some discharge. If you think this is the case, don’t panic. An ear infection is bad, but treatable. It does require you to reach a veterinarian, though. The best vet to ask for help is an ”exotic” vet, since they have experience with rodents. The vet will prescribe a round of antibiotics for your hammy. He might keep your friend for a couple of days, or he might give you the medicine to administer at home. It depends on the vet and how bad the infection is. Ear tumor Ear tumors can grow in older hamsters, and will require surgery. The tumors usually grow very fast, and will send you to the vet a few times in the same week. If you think your hamster’s got a suspicious growth, keep an eye on it for the next 48 hours. Take pictures of it every few hours, to compare the growth. Know that tumors can be both under and on the skin, so you might have to pick up the hammy and feel him. I’ve heard of hamsters getting tumors removed and survived, but this isn’t something that happens every day. Still, I found at least one example of a Dwarf type that needed a surgery for an ear tumor, and survived. I’ll link you to the vet’s site, and be warned that there’s a few pictures from before and after the surgery. No worries, the hamster is safe and he made a full recovery. Many thanks to the veterinarian for showing us that it’s possible to help the hamster. Ear mites This can be tricky to tell with black hamsters, or those with very dark ears. Ear mites are a type of tiny parasites That settle in the hamster’s ears, and they’re black. They look like tiny black dots moving in and around your hamster’s ears. Your hamster is probably scratching himself furiously. The mites can extend to the hamster’s face and paws, even some parts of his fur. Bring the hamster to the vet immediately, so he can give your friend the proper treatment. The treatment can extend over a few weeks, but your hamster will be fine. Ear wax and/or discharge Excessive ear wax can be caused by a possible infection, or can lead to one. Hamsters usually don’t have a lot of ear wax, so if your friend suddenly has a build-up, it should be checked. A discharge from the ears can also be a sign of an infection, one that’s actually ruptured. This is a case you should bring your hamster to the veterinarian for a treatment. Loss of fur around ears Fur loss can be caused by excessive scratching, and if your hamster’s got an infection or mites, his ear will itch. 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Hamster Reproduction – From Birth To First Litter
Hamster Reproduction – From Birth To First LitterIf you’ve got a pair of hamsters you’d like to let reproduce, then this guide will help you with knowing how the babies develop, how the mating happens, and how to make sure the babies survive. We’re going to follow the life of the hamster from the moment he’s born, to the moment the first litter is delivered. Table of Contents ToggleWhen the hamster is bornWeaning and separating the baby hamstersComing of age – when the hamster is an adultWhen it’s best to let the hamsters mateStarting the reproductive process and introducing the pairThe gestation period in hamstersThe birth of the baby hamstersCaring for the young hamsters and their motherA word from Teddy When the hamster is born Hamster babies (also known as pups) are born hairless, blind, and with their ears folded. They rely completely on their mother’s help and milk. They will grow up remarkably fast, being able to consume solid food by about 10 days of age. Hamster pups are born with their front teeth in place, so they will begin chewing fairly young. However for the first 3-4 weeks they will rely on their mother’s milk. In that time their mother will clean them, and they will learn everything there is to know about being a hamster. How to clean themselves, how to eat, how to walk, what is good food and what is not, and so on. Hamsters can have litters of any size, as small as 3 and as large as 15 in some cases. Whichever case, there will always be smaller pups, who haven’t developed very well. The runt of the litter, so to speak. They will need a bit more time with their mother, or extra nutrition after they’ve been separated. Weaning and separating the baby hamsters Once the hamster pups reach 3-4 weeks of age, their mother will begin weaning them. By this time they are able to eat solid food, but the comfort of their mother’s milk will make them try to nurse still. However the mother will start physically pushing them away once she decides they’ve been weaned, and in a few days the pups will be alright. They might still try to nurse, but they will fail. This is also the time when the pups will be able to start reproducing. A very dangerous period, since female pups can become pregnant at 4 weeks of age. This is not advised, since they will not survive the pregnancy, being so young. So, you must separate the pups. For more exact into on how to do this you can check this article, on finding the hamster’s gender. But in short, here are the difference between male and female hamsters: Male hamsters have their genital and anal opening quite far apart, and there is fur between the two openings. There are also no teats present on their abdomen. The will be a third spot on their abdomen, the one for the scent gland. For Syrians, the scent glands ale located on their hips, not the abdomen Female hamsters have their genital and anal openings very close together, they’ll look like they’re the same opening. The opening will be a bit hairless. You’ll be able to find 2 rows of teas, running down the female hamster’s abdomen. Separating the hamster pups into male and female enclosures will make sure there are no unwanted pregnancies. Sometimes breeders or pet shop employees mistakenly tag a male as female, and put him in the female cage. This can lead to baby hamsters in about 2-3 weeks, so you must be very careful when selecting your first hamster to bring home. More on picking out your first hamster here. Coming of age – when the hamster is an adult Once the hamsters have been weaned and separated into groups, they can now be given up for adoption. They are alright with being away from their mother. Most hamsters are adopted before they become adults, though some exceptions do exist. A hamster is a full adult when he’s 12 weeks of age. This means that once the hamster is 3 months old, he will start to show his personality more, be energetic (even more than a baby), and his fur marking will become very clear. For example my Teddy was about 5 weeks when I go him. He’s a Syrian male, golden pattern. At first he was just creamy/orange, with some white. But as he came close to his 3rd month, he started to show a bit of faint grey markings over his other colors, and the orange became more vibrant. This will happen to all hamsters, regardless of species. Their final coat color will become apparent only when they’ve become adults. Djungarian Dwarfs will change their color in winter though, but only in the wild. Djungarians (also known as Siberian or Winter White) are famous for turning nearly white once winter comes, to better blend in. But, pet Djungarians do not need that camouflage, and also do not sense winter from inside their cozy, warm cage. When it’s best to let the hamsters mate Now you might wonder when it’s okay to let the hamsters mate, if they’re not allowed to mate as young as 4 weeks. The best time to let the hamsters mate is between the ages of 3 months and 15 months. This is when the hamsters will be at their peak, and will be able to withstand both the courting ritual, the mating process, and the ensuing pregnancy. Hamsters bred younger than 12 weeks can still carry a pregnancy, but the survival rates are lower. You’ll notice with females that they come into heat (estrus) every 4 days. They might start to develop a smell, a musky kind of smell, and will be willing to receive a male. You can test this by trying to pet the female, and she will flatten herself on her belly, and expose her rear-end. Any attempt at trying to reproduce the hamsters should be observed, since there can be complications. The female, while willing to mate, will become a bit irritable and aggressive. Starting the reproductive process and introducing the pair Once you’ve noticed the female is in heat, and is responsive to being stroked, you can begin the reproductive process. In a separate, clean cage, place both the male and the female. This should be done at dusk, when the natural light is fading, to mimic the natural habitat in which the two would meet. Once the two have met, the female will decide of the wants to mate with the male, or  simply fight him. Females in heat become very aggressive, especially towards the males. This is why the mating should be observed, so you can intervene and remove the male if the female is just itching for a fight and nothing else. Trying again, with a more aggressive male who can hold his own against her would be an idea. However the two need to be balanced, the male becoming too aggressive with the female isn’t good either. Normal signs of tussling and mate-fighting include scruffing (where the male is biting the female’s beck of the neck, holding her in place), rolling, a bit of squealing, occasional biting. Blood should not be drawn, and the fighting should subside after a while. The female will be fairly aggressive, but mating should indeed happen. If the pair manages to mate, then it can be safe to leave them alone in the cage overnight. You will need to reintroduce them for the next 3 nights (so 4 in total) to make sure that the female has become pregnant. However you should make sure that the male has where to hide, if he needs to. This is because one the female decides she is done, she’ll perceive the male’s advances as a threat, and fight him. Even after they’ve just mated. The gestation period in hamsters Once the female has become pregnant, she will start the gestation period. Usually this lasts between 16 to 22 days. The Dwarf types have a gestation period on the longer side, while the Syrian has the shortest period. During this period the female should be kept separate from all the other hamsters. This means she will need a separate, clean cage, where she will start building her nest. She will eat increasingly more food, and will exercise less. The cage she will live in during the gestation period, as well as the first few weeks after giving birth should be simple, with a hideout, food bowl, water bottle, lots of places to hide, and a generous amount of bedding and nesting material. As she gets closer to her due date, she will become even more irritable and restless. Her abdomen will be larger, and she will look much bigger and fluffier. She will move more slowly, and will spend more time building her nest. Give her much more nesting material – like paper towels, toilet paper squares, toilet paper cardboard (the rolls) and she will use all of that to make a very large and warm nest for her and her babies. (If you like this article so far, you can pin it to your Pinterest board by clicking the image below. The article continues after the image.) The birth of the baby hamsters Once the birthing starts, the mother will stand up right, and deliver the babies every few minutes. You won’t know she’s done until a few hours later. This is because between each baby she will clean the nest, or take a short nap, and continue to deliver until every baby is born. The mother will clean and tend to the babies on her own, with no help from you. This is crucial, because it means that you should not disturb the mother and her pups in any way for the first 2 weeks after the birth. Once the babies are born, you should keep away from the mother. Don’t try to peek at them or prod the mother. Provide her with lots of food, daily, and make sure her water bottle is full so you don’t have to change it every day. Hamster mothers, especially the young ones or the ones who have their first litter, are very skittish. If they perceive something as a possibly threat (which could be anything, in their position) they will resort to eating their young or abandoning them. Even if the stressed mother doesn’t eat the babies, she might still stuff them in her pouches, as a way of hiding them. Unfortunately sometimes she keeps them there for too much, and the pups end up suffocating. This also means that the cage the mother and her babies are in needs to be in a calm, quiet, warm room, away from the other hamsters. Be careful, because the mother can become pregnant again immediately after finishing birthing her babies. While this pregnancy can happen, it’s unsafe and is very stressful for the mother to be both gestating and rearing her new babies. This is one of the reasons the male needs to be kept away from the mother immediately after mating has ended. Another one of the fact that the male will try to get the female’s attention, and will hurt or kill the babies to have no competition. Caring for the young hamsters and their mother If the mother has given birth successfully, and the pups survived their first 2 weeks, you will only need to assist here and there. After their first 2 weeks the babies will be able to eat some solid foods, and soon will be weaned (at 1 month old). You’ll be able to see and hear the babies, but handling them is not recommended just yet. Once the babies are weaned and need to be separated into gender-specific groups, you can handle them and from there on can be given for adoption. Any extra caring or steps aren’t necessary, because the mother will take care of all of that. As long as you do not disturb them too much and let the mother rest after she’s done giving birth, everyone should be fine. A word from Teddy I hope you found what you were looking for in this article. Us hammies can make babies  very fast, and very often. It’s important to know how to handle us if you want to let us have babies, and make sure everyone if fine in the end. If you want to know more about us hamsters you can read the related articles below, and see how to care for us and keep us happy. [...] Read more...
How To Potty Train A Hamster? 4 Easy Steps
How To Potty Train A Hamster? 4 Easy StepsPotty training a hamster is just as important as it is for the other common pets we keep at home. since it will help you have a cleaner cage and a nicer smell in your home However, a hamster is not a dog or a cat; potty training your little furball can be quite challenging, so that’s why I decided to make a step-by-step guide. Before getting into this topic, it is important to know that hamsters are quite clean, and their cage doesn’t smell as bad as other small animals/rodents like rabbits or guinea pigs. Generally the smell doesn’t come from their poo or pee, but from marking their territory.  Table of Contents ToggleCan you potty train a hamster?How to potty train a hamster?4 Steps to potty train a hamster1. Check the behaviors2. Get a litter box or something that can serve as a litter box3. Choose the best litter4. Get your hamster used to the litter boxWhy should you potty train a hamster?How often to change the litter?Conclusion Can you potty train a hamster? Yes, you can potty train a hamster, but depending on your hamster’s personality, you might have more or fewer chances to succeed. I know most guides and videos talk about this topic like it is a walk in the park, but considering that hamsters are quite stubborn and, truth to be told, not the most intelligent rodents, it might be quite challenging to change their habits. If you want to increase your chances of succeeding when potty training a hamster, you have to do this as soon as possible. Training your hamster once it has already developed its habits will be way harder. That being said, let’s get to the actual topic. How to potty train a hamster? There are 4 easy steps that you should follow to make sure you do your best when you potty train a hamster. It is important that you are patient with your small pet, it can take a while to properly potty train your hamster. Also, an important thing to know is that you hamster might change their routine all of a sudden, especially when you clean its cage.  So you might succeed in potty training it for now, but this can change and vice versa, you might not succeed immediately, but in time, they will get to use the litter properly on their own. 4 Steps to potty train a hamster Here are 4 easy steps you can follow to properly potty train your hamster: 1. Check the behaviors The first step is to observe your hamster’s habits. Hamsters usually have a favorite spot to pee in, as I discussed in the article about why hamsters pee in their wheel.  They might not have a favorite spot when it comes to pooping, but that is not as important when potty training a hamster since their poop doesn’t smell that bad and it is solid, so it will not make a mess in the cage if they poop all over the place (which they will most probably do). They might be more poop in one place, but they rarely have only one or two favorite spots to poop. So, this is the first step you have to do, observe where they usually pee to know where to place the litter box. 2. Get a litter box or something that can serve as a litter box Now that you know where to place the litter box, buy a good plastic litter box or use any other plastic bowl or casserole you have. Hamsters usually pee in the corner of the cage, that’s why the most useful litter will be in kind of a triangle shape so you can cover the corner. If you don’t cover the spot they use as a litter with the litter box, your hamster might get around that and pee where they are used to. Buying a litter box that is specially made for this purpose will be easier. Here is a good triangle one that you can find on Amazon, if you hamster is used to peeing in a corner.    However, if your hamster is peeing in the middle of a side of the cage, an oval or rectangle one might be more useful. Here you can find an oval-ish litter box   If you want to save some money, you can use a plastic casserole. Clean it very well but without using too much soap since the hamsters are very sensitive to strong smells. The plastic container has to be heavy enough your hamster won’t move it or turn it over. You probably have to make some adjustments to the casserole to make it a good litter box. So you have to cut an entrance on a side, big enough for your hamster to fit, and make sure you make the surface smooth without any places where your hamster might get hurt. I saw some people recommend cardboard litter boxes, but hamsters can eat cardboard or chew very fast on it, so it might be a waste of time to keep changing it. They can chew on the plastic as well, but they will go through it way slower than they will go through cardboard. 3. Choose the best litter Choosing a good litter is as important, if not more as choosing a good litter box. There are many options out there, but not all of them are safe. Providing hamsters with safe litter that does not contain dust and is made from materials such as paper, chopped straw, wood pulp, or dried plant material is important. These materials are non-toxic and provide an ideal safe environment for your pet hamster. Some companies even sell cotton-based bedding and litter. It might look nice since it can be in fun colors, but it is important to know that hamsters should not be exposed to cotton litter or bedding as it can lead to choking, intestinal blockage, constipation, or limb entanglement. Here is a potty litter I found on Amazon that should be safe for your hamster:    Some people use sand as litter, but your hamster might use that for taking a bath instead of using it as a litter. That being said, this doesn’t mean it can’t work, if you want, you can give it a try. If you buy proper sand for your hamster, it should be safe. 4. Get your hamster used to the litter box Now, once you have everything set up, you have to do the following. Place the litter box in the corner or the spot your hamster uses as a litter and a bit of soiled bedding and some of their droppings in the litter box and wait. If you are lucky, your hamster might get to use the litter box right away. If not, you might have to put it in the litter so they get to know the place. If your hamster is not a friendly one, and you can’t move it to the litter box too easily, you might have to place some treats inside the litter box to lure them in. If you don’t succeed at first, don’t get the litter box out of its cage, it might get to use it later, so don’t give up. Why should you potty train a hamster? Potty training a hamster is important in order to have a cleaner cage. As I said before, hamsters are quite clean, they don’t smell bad, but cleaning a hamster cage might be challenging if they pee too much in one place since that pee will combine with the bedding and get stuck to the corner of the cage. And having in mind that you can’t use too much soap when you clean a hamster cage, it might be hard to clean a cage after a while. Having a litter box will make it much easier. You just get the box out, throw out what is in it, clean it a bit with hot water, dry it, and put it back with new litter. Observation: Your hamster doesn’t know that the new object you add to the cage is a litter box, and what that is.  They might use it as a new home where to sleep, as a sandbox to bath in, or just to sit in there and do nothing. This is not in your control, so don’t feel bad if it happens. How often to change the litter? Several things factor into how often a hamster’s litter needs to be changed, such as the type of bedding, the size of their cage, and the number of hamsters living in it(in the case of dwarf hamsters).  It is generally recommended to spot-clean the cage every couple of days, get rid of any poo and dirty bedding, and change the bedding entirely at least once a month. However, some of the original bedding should always be left in the cage to maintain your hamster’s scent. Conclusion Potty training a hamster is possible, and it is a good idea to at least try to potty train your hamster since it will make your job of cleaning the cage easier, and there will be a better smell overall in the cage. However, I wanted to be realistic and explain the steps you have to do but also the challenges you can face since a hamster is unpredictable and quite hard to train. Here is an article about taming your hamster while we are on the training topic, which is also challenging for some hamsters. I hope this article was helpful and now you know what to do in order to potty train your hamster properly, if you don’t succeed, don’t feel bad, not all hamsters will do that. [...] Read more...
5 Surprising Places Where Hamsters Are Illegal
5 Surprising Places Where Hamsters Are IllegalMost of us are familiar with the little creatures called hamsters, but if you live in a country where hamsters are not very popular, you may wonder why that is and whether you are allowed to own one where you live. Although hamsters are seen as very gentle and lovable animals, they are illegal in some countries. These small animals can pose a threat to the country’s ecosystem. Throughout history, many imported animals wreaked havoc inside the country. When exotic animals are introduced to the country, they have a great impact on native animals and wildlife. This is the reason that countries will introduce restrictions, to preserve the welfare of the environment.  Table of Contents Toggle1. AustraliaAlternatives for pet hamsters2. QueenslandAlternative pets3. New ZealandAlternative pets4. HawaiiAlternative pets5. CaliforniaAlternative petsWhy do countries ban certain pets? 1. Australia The import and possession of all kinds of animals in Australia is strictly regulated by the 1999 Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act and only animals that comply with the strict regulations are permitted to enter the country. Sadly, for all Australian hamster lovers, these little creatures are strictly banned. Anyone found trying to bring a hamster into Australia or discovered to be in possession of one breaks the law and is likely to be subject to a fine or punishment. According to Australian quarantine regulations, hamsters are listed as an invasive pest. Australia is worried about what could be happening to the ecosystem by an unregulated population of hamsters. The main concern about the introduction of hamsters into Australia is the possible effects they could have on the climate, native plants, and animals. Australia has dealt with the arrival of a variety of non-native animals throughout its history, including rodents, foxes, cane toads, and carps, which have caused untold environmental damage, pushed many native species to the verge of extinction, and produced agricultural and economic catastrophes. The unintended or deliberate release of hamsters into the Australian landscape is feared to have a similar effect. Hamsters are particularly likely to adapt to Australia’s extreme climate as descendants of desert species and reproduce at rapid rates, raising competition for limited food and habitat that is essential to native animals. Wild hamsters are also at risk of affecting crops and agriculture, further amplifying the issue created by imported rabbits, and although hamsters are small and relatively simple prey, there is just not a large number of natural predators who could manage a growing population of hamsters. Anyone caught trying to import or owning a hamster could face up to 5 years in jail, a $210,000 (AUD) fine, or both, according to the Australian Department of Environment and Energy. Alternatives for pet hamsters There’s always a misunderstanding in Australia about the distinction between hamsters and guinea pigs. Maybe it’s because people are not used to seeing hamsters, so the two are the same thing, but hamsters and guinea pigs are completely different animals. The good news for Australian people is that guinea pigs are absolutely legal and they still have the same adorable and affectionate personality though they are a little bigger than their distant hamster cousins. Australia also allows keeping a rabbit as a pet. The common house mouse or pet rat is perhaps the most closely connected alternative to a hamster in terms of size. These little critters may be kept in relatively small indoor enclosures, offering hours of fun for their owners as they investigate and interact in their surroundings. You may not have previously considered a ferret as a pet, but they can make an adorable hamster replacement. They are larger than a hamster, but in Australia, they are legal to own. 2. Queensland Numerous species imported into Queensland became serious pests. The cane toad, mouse, cat, European rabbit, and many other less common species are examples. These species cost a lot of money for Queensland and may have led to the extinction of many indigenous creatures. Infectious diseases, including exotic diseases, such as rabies, and other diseases that are harmful to humans, such as herpes B, can be transmitted by imported animals. The legislation prohibits the importation and retention of such animals as pets. Any animals would inevitably escape if there were no restrictions on the keeping and importation of possible pest animals. These animals can increase their number in the wilderness. All imported mammal species, unless mentioned as exceptions, are banned as pets. Cats, dogs, horses, goats, and several more are those exceptions. Hamsters are seen as pests and by that rule, they can be a threat to the environment and economy. It’s not just the hamsters that are illegal. As mentioned above, every introduced mammal species is prohibited. This includes Squirrels, foxes, rabbits, gerbils, monkeys, and weasels. Queensland sees these as exotic animals and cannot be imported into the country. Queensland issued a Biosecurity Act in 2014 that prescribed animal species as prohibited. These restrictions prevent the keeping of most species as pets. Alternative pets Unlike in the rest of Australia, Queensland banned many exotic animals to be kept as pets. As well as hamsters, ferrets, gerbils, and rabbits are not allowed. But they have no placed restrictions on cats, dogs, rats, and mice. Also, just like in the rest of Australia, guinea pigs are very legal to own. Guinea pigs are common in Queensland and they are the most common choice for a hamster replacement. Many places in Queensland offer guinea pigs. 3. New Zealand Many animals that have been introduced to New Zealand by the Europeans have been accepted and pets. That is not the case with hamsters. Unlike rabbits and rats, the hamsters were not introduced to New Zealand. The reason there are no hamsters there is that they are viewed as pests. New Zealand cares to protect its natural flora and fauna, so pests, or in this case hamsters, are not imported. The Ministry of Primary Industries explained that the hamsters and their risks have not been investigated, like other pests. They also said that investigation is a lengthy process and that they pose many threats to native species. The main reason New Zealand is so firm in its position is that the nation is proud of biodiversity and much of the economy of the world relies on the environment, which may be placed at risk by allowing any animals to reach the country. Pets in New Zealand must have been born, raised or lived-in countries deemed by New Zealand to be either rabies-free or rabies-controlled for at least six months before they are permitted to join the country. New Zealand requires many permits for importing pets, including cats and dogs. You won’t need an import permit if you come from Australia. Your animal will be quarantined for ten days. Importantly, certain breeds of dogs cannot be imported. Entry would be denied to the American pit bull terrier, Dogo Argentino, Japanese Tosa, and Brazilian Fila. One thing to also remember is that New Zealand is a snake-free country, so they are definitely not approved by the New Zealand government. Alternative pets The best replacement for a hamster and a pet that can be kept in New Zealand is a chinchilla. But some chinchillas are unwelcomed in New Zealand, as well. You will need a permit for breeding chinchillas and if you want to keep one as a pet, the chinchillas have to be imported from Great Britain. Sadly, ferrets and guinea pigs are not allowed to be imported into New Zealand. Although, there is an exception for guinea pigs. They can be imported to New Zealand only if they come from Australia. You would need papers that state that the guinea pig was born and raised in Australia. Rabbits can also be imported and kept as pets if they are imported from Australia. There are also restrictions on mice and rats to be imported into the country. They can be imported in New Zealand only as laboratory animals.   4. Hawaii Hawaii has a very sensitive population of wild animals and plant life. The fear of hamsters is that they will migrate to the countryside and prey on vulnerable crops and tiny animals. There are several endangered species living on Hawaii Island and these delicate species may be jeopardized by some non-native species introduced into the wild. To secure the natural ecosystem and the environment, there are specific pet rules in Hawaii. They might create wild colonies and injure crops, native plants, and animals if hamsters or related pets were to escape into the field. Having been found in hamster possession, the pet will be seized immediately. You will also be served with a notice to never keep these pets again or pay a fee. Whether it wasn’t the first time you were caught, the authorities felt that you understood the law, but simply violated it. You will be charged with a $500-$10,000 civil fine, including the costs of the removal, handling, and maintenance of the animal. You could be charged with a misdemeanor too, which is punishable by up to 6 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. The Hawaiian government is worried that, given that hamsters are appropriate for Hawaii’s climate, hamsters could easily establish themselves as an invasive species in Hawaii. If hamsters were released into the wild, they may have a significant effect on native plants and animals. The hamsters are not the only ones prohibited in the country. Gerbils can also not be kept as pets for the same fear as hamsters. Ferrets cannot be kept as pets because they have been known to carry the rabies virus, and Hawaii has been a rabies-free country for a long time. Many animals are banned in Hawaii. These animals do not have natural predators in the country, which poses a threat to the ecosystem and the food pyramid in the country. Alternative pets Hawaii does not have some unusual pets that you can see around the world. They mostly keep cats, dogs as well as pigs, goats, sheep, and horses. Lizards are also the most popular pets there. 5. California California has some of the world’s most strict pet rules, second to Hawaii. You could face a hefty fine if you are caught with an exotic pet or even a small one on the banned list and the animal would be removed from you without a doubt. The hamster ban is due to the threat of a new population of invasive animals. It might easily breed out of control if hamsters were to start populating in California. Local plants and livestock may also be affected by them. California has some magnificent plant life and wildlife that must be preserved by the natural inhabitants of this state. You will be charged with criminal prosecution with a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 months in county prison and/or a fine of up to $ 1,000 if you are caught in possession of an illegal hamster. Fines and even imprisonment are very uncommon, but not unheard of. The typical consequence is that the animal is removed and sadly disposed of. Secure homes are usually found for them, but others cannot be sheltered and are thus put to sleep, unfortunately. But on the bright side, some hamster species are legal to own in California. This means that you would not face prosecution for owning them. These species include golden hamsters and dwarf hamsters, also known as Chinese hamsters. You can also hold chinchillas and guinea pigs. Although, you have to buy or adopt them from registered breeders and pet stores. Ferrets are also illegal to keep a pet in California. The California Department of Wildlife takes the view that escaped pet ferrets pose a serious risk to the rare native animals and birds. As a consequence, ferrets in California cannot legally be imported, transported, or possessed except by a permit given for a particular legal reason, such as medical research or transporting rescued ferrets. Alternative pets In California, it is perfectly legal to own a rabbit as a pet. They are also one of the most popular pets in the country. Rabbits are commonly used as an alternative to pet hamsters. Also, the alternative to hamsters is chinchillas. They are also legal to own in California. Californians are also fans of miniature animals, meaning they commonly keep pygmy goats, miniature horses, and small pigs as pets – and they are legal to own. Why do countries ban certain pets? When you think about exotic pets, the first thought can be animals that are very rare to keep as pets. These usually include animals that are usually seen in the wilderness and not suitable for living in a home. In most cases, people think about monkeys, certain parrots, lizards, spiders, snakes, and many more. In terms of hamsters, you might think that they are not unusual, and primarily see them as pets, mostly gifted to small children. As mentioned above, many countries do not see them as pets, because the animal is not native to them. Hamsters are found in Europe and have not been introduced in Australia or New Zealand. Even though they have the perfect climate for them to survive, that can be a problem. If hamsters reproduce and build their habitat in those countries, it means that some species may become extinct. Hamsters will also search for food, taking it away from animals that are native to that country. This is the reason that hamsters are seen as pests and exotic animals because they are not native. But hamsters are not the only ones that can be banned in a country. Many states restricted importing exotic animals for the well-fare of the country and the well-fare of the animals. The importation of animals to the country involves a certain level of disease risk. One or more diseases, infections, or infestations can reflect this risk as well. There are many steps that countries take to know which animals can be imported and which cannot. Regulations and restrictions vary from country to country. Some counties inside a state will have different regulations as well, but restrictions are mostly written as a blanket cover, meaning they are applied throughout the country. If you want to travel with your pet, it is best to research what are the restrictions for your pet in that country. Some will say that an animal has to be in quarantine for 10 days after entering a country. Many will require a bunch of certificates to ensure that the animal is healthy, while others will not cause a big hassle. [...] Read more...