Complete Guide To Choosing Dwarf Or Syrian Hamster Cages

The hamster’s cage is the most important purchase you’ll ever make for your furry friend. I know I made some mistakes when I got my Teddy his first cage. And I’m here to help you get your hammy the best cage ever.

My Teddy is a fully grown Syrian hamster, but I will also cover the cage requirements for dwarf hamsters as well.

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So how do you choose the best cage for a syrian or dwarf hamster ?

This depends on several factors, and I’ll list them here. Then, we’ll get into detail for each and every one of them, so you have the most information. So, you have to be mindful of:

  1. The cage size – different needs for different hamster species
  2. The cage type – plastic vs wire vs glass tank
  3. Escape-proof rating of the cage
  4. Multiple levels or a simple ground level
  5. Air flow – some cage types aren’t the most breatheable

Whichever kind of cage you get, be careful to check every nook and cranny before you buy it. Or, when it ships to you. Your hamster will check it anyway, so if there’s anything wrong with the cage, best to know before you put your friend in it.

Teddy: Us hamsters are very curious creatures, and we’ll get our little faces into EVERY part of the cage. So make sure it’s safe for us before you let us in !

The best cage size for your hamster

It will vary from species to species, but I’ll cover both types. In general hamsters need more space than you’d think, since they’re very active creatures and love to run around.

Even if you see your friend as the smallest ball of fur, he will still need plenty of room to roam and explore.

Cage size for Syrian hamsters

The best size cage for your Syrian hamster would be a minimum of 24 x 12 inches, and about 12 inches tall. That’s 61 x 30.5 cm, and about 30.5 cm tall.

The height of the cage is not very important, because hamsters need more actual floor space than levels. Of course, you can get your hammy a cage with a few levels, aside from the ground floor.

This is actually what my Teddy has. He has a combination of plastic and wire cage, with 2 attachable levels. I left the highest level out of the cage, so I can fit his 8.5 inch/23 cm wheel.

Syrian hamsters are always housed alone. They are very territorial and will not share anything with another hamster, even a litter mate.

Cage size for Dwarf hamsters

The best size for a dwarf hamster is 18 x 10 inches, and a 12 inch height. That’s 46 cm x 25.4 cm, with a 30.5 cm height. That is for one dwarf hamster.

You can house dwarf hamsters together, but not too many. 2 or 3 are enough, but for each hamster your add, you will need a bigger cage. So for example if you’ve got 2 dwarf hamsters, then they will need more space than I said above.

They will need at least a Syrian cage, so that’s 24 inches by 12 inches (61 x 30.5 cm) for 2 dwarf hamsters.

If you’ve got 3 dwarf hamsters, then you’ll need a much bigger cage. You’d be better off looking for a glass tank. We’ll cover that soon.

The best cage type for your hamster

There’s 3 main types of cages you can pick, and I’ll go through all of them. You can find combination cages (like plastic and wire cages), but not very often.

Wire cages for hamsters

The most common kind of hamster cage, and the one you will find in a pet shop most of the time. They have their own advantages and disadvantages, and I’ll go through them here.

This kind of cage is made up of a plastic bottom, usually about the height of your palm. The attachable wire walls, which are actually most of the cage itself.

Although, the most important part is the bottom bit. That is where your hamster will live, walk, eat, sleep, and poo.

The wire of the cage is just how far he can go. But the floor space is the most relevant part of your cage, to be honest.

Good points for a wire cage:

  • breathable, lots of air flow for your hamster
  • easy to clean, just a wipe down with a warm, moist cloth
  • easy to take apart and reassemble
  • generally sturdy, will last a long time

Bad points for a wire cage:

  • can sometimes have metal wiring on the floor, and your hamster can get stuck there
  • is the hamster’s favorite chew toy
  • bedding can easily fly out of it
  • wire spacing is often too large for hamsters, they can squeeze their heads through

When it comes to the space between the wire of your cage, the smaller then better. The thing is, hamsters are very curious, and will stick their faces everywhere and will try chewing everything.

If your hamster’s head can fit between the wires, then his body can fit as well and he can escape. So, for Syrian hamsters a maximum wire space should be 0.6 inches/1.5 cm. And for dwarf hamsters, a maximum of 0.4 inches/ 1 cm.

The problems is that most of the cages your will find in a pet shop have the wiring too far apart. If they’re large enough for a Syrian, then the wiring is too far apart. If the wiring is good, they’re almost always just large enough for a parakeet, not a hamster of any kind.

A good wire cage for your hamster

A good wire cage is one that has a sensible wire spacing, This one’s got less than half an inch, so it will keep even dwarf hamsters inside.

It’s easy enough to work with and you an fit any kind of hideout or toy inside, and a tall wheel will fit as well.

It has the added benefit of an extra level, which hamsters will love. My Teddy loves to hide under the home level, and yours is probably no different. This one’s level is adjustable, so you can place it whichever way you want.

You can check out the listing on Amazon here.

Plastic cages for hamsters

These can be plastic bins that you can drill some holes in, and put a wire mesh in place of a lid. Or you can even find plastic cages at a pet shop, designed for your hamster.

These are see-through, and are the second most common type of hamster cages. They’re usually a bit more pricey than wire cages, but they have the added benefit that they can be customized.

Good points for plastic hamster cages:

  • less bedding thrown outside the cage, contains poo and wood shavings better
  • easier to customize, you can often find them with holes made for attaching tunnels and tubes
  • less of a chew hazard, the hamster rarely chews on them since he can’t get his teeth on anything
  • usually has a very large topside latch, so you can fit both hands inside the cage
  • you can provide deeper bedding, since there is a higher plastic guard

Bad points for plastic hamster cages:

  • less airflow than wire cages or glass tanks, since the air holes are smaller
  • more condensation or trapped air
  • need more cleaning, since there is more surface to clean
  • less sturdier than wire cages, careful when moving the plastic cages

The plastic cages sound like a good option, and they can totally be a good option for your hamster. If you’ve got a hamster who loves to dig around and burrow, this might be for him. You can give your friend a lot of digging space and a whole bunch of bedding to roam around in.

Just make sure that you get a version that’s well ventilated, so your hamster can breathe easily.

As for the actual bins some people use in place of a hamster cage, I wouldn’t recommend that. The plastic is usually too soft and blurry, even if it can be drilled to get some air holes for your hamster.

When it comes to basic, important hamster accessories like the cage or the wheel or exercise ball, or even the water bottle, I suggest you get a professional one. Those are made with the hamster’s comfort in mind.

A good plastic hamster cage recommendation

This is actually the cage I have for my Teddy. It has 2 levels, and they provide a lot of room for your hamster. My Teddy is a solitary adult Syrian hamster, But this would be alright for 2 dwarf hamsters as well.

The best thing about this cage is that it comes with the tube attachments, which can actually fit an adult Syrian hamster inside easily.

This is an easy to clean and assemble cage, with a great combo between plastic and metal cage advantages. There’s air, and there’s safety and containment as well.

I removed the highest level so I can fit  9 inch wheel inside. The wheel that come with it, as well as the hideout I wouldn’t recommend, since they are plastic and small.

You can check out the listing on Amazon here.

Glass tanks for hamsters

A third and final option would be to keep your hammy in a glass tank. This is a great option if you have a lot of space in your home, and can place la large glass tank somewhere.

There are some special precautions, though. Glass keeps cold for longer, so make sure you keep the tank in a definitely warm room. Hamsters need an temperature of 20-23 Celsius/68-75 Fahrenheit to feel comfortable. A glass tank might keep them colder if not properly maintained.

Good points for a glass tank:

  • you can get them in a very large size, and will definitely fit any kind of hamster you have
  • can be split down the middle with a large bendy bridge if the hamsters become rowdy
  • you can see your hammy, but he can’t kick out any bedding
  • can be found quite easily, it can even be a glass shelf with the shelves removed

Bad points for a glass tank:

  • cleaning and changing the bedding will need serious planning and will take more time
  • more sensitive to temperature shifts
  • you can’t move it around like a normal cage; the room you keep it in is its final room

The glass tank is a seriously good option if you’ve got a room to keep the hamster in, and it won’t bother you during the night, and you can keep it an even temperature.

Glass tanks don’t have to be aquariums. They can be that, but you can also use a glass shelf/display rack. When cleaning day comes, you’ll probably need a bit of help from a friend with this. But if you’re a dedicated hamster owner, you probably won’t mind the extra trouble to give your hammy the best home ever.

The best thing to do is to find a wire mesh that you can use as a lid, on the top of your hamster’s glass tank. This is just a precaution. Most glass tanks are too tall for hamsters to climb, but you never know until they’re out.

A recommendation on glass tanks for hamsters

You can find a good glass tank here. It’s a 20 gallon tank, and that’s about the minimum for a hamster’s glass tank.

The best part about it is that it’s tall enough the hamster can’t escape, and you probably won’t need a wire mesh to cover the top. Best to get one, just to be sure, though.

The cleaning and washing and drying will be a longer process than the other cage types, but you can see your hamster clearly.

When it comes to glass anything, it’s best to go there personally and buy it. Glass breaks very easily so don’t be surprised if that happens during transport.

You can check out the listing on Amazon for this glass tank here.

Safety and escape-proof rating of the hamster cage

Another important aspect when you choose the hamster’s cage is how safe it is for your hamster, and how well it can keep him contained.

Hamster’s safety in his cage

Your hamster’s cage is his home. This is where he will eat, sleep, poop, run around, and just live out his entire life. It needs to be a safe place for your hamster. So let’s look at a few precautions to take:

  • check for any sharp edges your hammy could hurt himself on, like some stray wires or sides
  • no chipped edges if you’re using a glass tank
  • the seams/corners are safe and can’t be chewed on, and have no visible glue that the hamster can gnaw on
  • if you’ve got a multi level cage, make sure the levels aren’t too high so he can’t fall too far
  • give your hammy lots and lots of bedding to shield him from  any odd edges
  • make sure the cage fastenings don’t come open easily, and keep the cage top well secured

If you’ve checked all of the above, and you’re sure your hammy can’t hurt himself on anything, then great ! Remember to keep the room temperature between 20-23 Celsius/68-75 Fahrenheit and he will be fine.

Is the hamster’s cage escape proof ?

Hamsters are escape artists. Not because they reaaaaally want to escape, but because they’re curious and want to know everything, If there’s something that smells like food, they’ll be all over the cage to try to get to it.

If they see you they’ll be clawing at the cage to come and smell you. Hamsters are busy things, people to see, things to do. So they will try their teeth on everything, including the cage.

If you’re not careful, he might chew through a cage fastening (depending on the material) and hurt himself and/or manage to escape. So let’s talk about what you can do to make sure your hamster can’t escape.

  • if you’ve got a glass tank, use a wire mesh with metal clamps to fit it on top of the cage
  • make sure the cage wiring and the wire mesh holes don’t have more than 1.5 cm/0.6 inch opening for Syrian hamsters
  • for dwarf hamsters, make sure the opening between wires is no more than 1 cm/0.4 inches; Syrian hamster babies need smaller openings, like this one
  • make sure that the cage fastenings keep the cage well closed and can’t be opened easily
  • check the cage for any weakness that the hamster night chew on, like ripped plastic bottom or a small hole somewhere

How to clean a hamster’s cage

This depends a bit on what type of cage you own, but I’ll go through each type. Whichever kind you have, you must first place the hamster(s) somewhere else. So use an exercise ball, or transport cage, to keep the hamster while you clean he cage.

How to place a hamster in a temporary holding

If you can hold your hamster, then scoop him up and place him in his exercise ball or transport cage. If the hamster can’t be handled, then coax him into the exercise ball or transport cage with a bit of food he loves.

He only has to stay there until you clean his cage. If you’ve put him in an exercise ball, make sure you keep an eye on him as well.

Remove any and all toys and home and food bowls from the cage, until you only have the bedding.

The cages are very simple, open the latches on the cage (usually on the side) and remove the top. Then, after you’ve removed everything but the bedding, look for soiled parts.

If the bedding looks relatively clean and doesn’t smell, remove only the dirty parts. Use a rubber glove, and throw away the parts that need to be thrown away. Keep a bit of the old bedding and nesting material, for your hamster to feel more familiar.

If you’re using a sand bath for your hamster, make sure you change and clean that as well.

How to clean wire or plastic cages for hamsters

As for the cage itself, it will need only hot water and a bit of soap. Small quantities of soap, since hamsters are very sensitive to smell. You can scrub the sides of the cage, or wipe them down, your choice.

You can also bring the cage parts into the shower and give them a good cleaning there, just make sure your pat them dry with paper towels and especially the lower part. The bedding can get wet if you don’t, and will become moldy.

Once you’ve washed and dried the cage, place the parts of the old bedding back onto the lower part of the cage. Put new bedding if you need to, until you reach a depth of about 1-2 inches/2.5-5 cm.

Then, place back every toy and food bowl or accessory in the hamster’s cage. In his hideout, place the bits of the old nesting material, and some new nesting material in the cage.

Do not place new nesting material directly in the hamster’s hideout. He will take it out anyway, and bring it back in as he thinks fit. My Teddy got quite annoyed when he found his hideout full of ripped up paper towel not the way he left it.

Cleaning a glass tank for hamsters

The bedding and toys need to be removed the same way as the wire or plastic cages. But the last bits of bedding will require something like a vacuum cleaner, to make sure you get absolutely everything out.

The cleaning and washing part is done with hot water and a small amount of soap, but will need more rinsing with a moist clean cloth. You can’t bring the glass tank to the shower, but you can rinse it thoroughly with lots and lots or moist cloth.

When you’re done washing it, dry very well with paper towels. If you want to be extra sure there are no hidden water droplets in the corner, use a blow dryer. Keep it a safe distance from the glass, at least 40 cm/16 inches and use a warm setting.

After you’re done washing and drying the glass tank, place back the bedding and nesting material, with bits of old bedding and nesting material as well.

Place the toys and hideout and everything back, and use this as an excuse to maybe redecorate the hammy’s place.

Even if the glass tank is a glass one, do now use window washing liquid on it. The alcohol and strong smell will be harmful for the hamster, just stick to hot water.

Multiple levels or one ground level ?

This is entirely up to you, and the hamster will enjoy both. The thing is that hamsters need a lot of leg room, because they run and climb and explore new places.

If you’re looking for a hamster cage that will give your hamster a lot of space, look for a low cage, with lots of space in width and length. This will take up a lot of actual floor space in your home. So, it depends on your home as well.

If you choose a multi-level cage, you do give your hamster more room, and he will use the higher levels as well. He will hangout mostly around his hideout, so make sure you put that somewhere he will not fall far from.

For example my Teddy has a multiple level cage. I took out the last level so I can fit his wheel inside, but Teddy uses all the space he has. When I gave him the extra level, he used that one too.

A word of caution though. Hamsters can’t judge heights very well, so they will jump or fall from a high ground if they think it’s a shortcut. My Teddy is also plain silly and just forgets he has a nice ramp set up from his upper level to the ground level.

He sometimes just jumps from the upper level (like 15 cm/6 inches) to the ground floor. He often just climbs up instead of using that ramp. That’s okay, he’s working out quite well.

So if you get your hamster a multi-level cage, make sure your give the levels lots of bedding. And also, make sure the levels overlap a little, so he can’t jump too far down.

This is because hamsters will use the actual floor of the levels as much as they can, so there is no point if giving them a ‘high ceiling’ type of cage. Hamsters spend most of their time on all 4 feet, and don’t need a lot of vertical space to stand.

Just make sure that a large exercise wheel (9 inches/23 cm and upwards) will fit into the type of cage you have.

(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.)

hamster cage pin

The airflow of the cage is important for your hamster

As with every living being, air is important. Stale air will give your hamster a lot of health issues, including lung problems, possible colds, and suffocation in extreme cases.

To make sure your hamster gets lots of air, a wire cage is best. But to make sure the hamster won’t chew the bars, you need a plastic cage or glass tank. But with the plastic cage the air quality is often a problem.

However a glass tank is often expensive. So what should you do ?

Take a look at your budget, see which kind of cage you can provide your hamster and still be okay. Then, do the following:

  • If you get a wire cage – keep it in a corner, away from drafts and in an even temp of 20-23 Celsius/68-75 Fahrenheit
  • If you get a plastic cage – place the hamster in his exercise ball more often, and use that time to air out the plastic cage
  • If you’ve got a glass tank, the air will be sufficient but again keep it from drafts, and when the hamster is outside the cage remove the wire mesh to allow for more air

If you hamster’s cage isn’t properly aired, the condensation and air quality will give him health problems, and we want to avoid that. This is especially important with the ammonia fumes from the hamster’s pee.

Protect your hamster’s cage from drafts and any especially cold air.

Placing toys and hideouts in the hamster’s cage

The hideout is where your hamster will spend most of his time. Place that in a corner, hidden from sight or at least under a bendy bridge or something similar.

Hamsters will choose a very hidden and safe spot to build their nest, so put their hideout there. For example my Teddy often uses the most hidden corner of his cage to eat, under the upper level and blocked by paper tubes and bedding.

To find out more about what kind of hideout is best for your hamster, as well as which kind of bedding is safe for him, check out my article. You’ll also find out what nesting material is okay, and how to take care if your hamster’s hideout.

As for the toys and wheel, make sure you keep any tall toys away from the glass tank’s edge otherwise the hamster might climb out.

The wheel can be anywhere in the cage, but make sure it fits into your cage. If it’s a mounted wheel, it will have to be attached to the side of the cage. A standing wheel can be placed anywhere.

You can find my article on what kind of exercise wheel your hamster needs, according to his size as well. You’ll also find out how to clean and acre for the exercise wheel, and how to acclimate him to one.

The toys, whether they’re food bowls or chew toys or bendy bridges can be put anywhere. Anywhere in the cage is fine, as long as they’re not in the pee corner. Hamsters usually choose a corner to pee in, usually the farthest away from their hideout.

So, in that particular corner I put Teddy a sand bath. It acts as a litter box, and it keeps smell down to a minimum. You can use an old hideout, with a removable lid, or even special sand containers. Your choice, as long as you put something there to contain the sand.

Other toys, like the chew toys and climb toys you can find out more about here. You’ll learn about the kind of toys your hamster needs, and what to look for to figure out which he likes the most. And you’ll get some DYI ideas for some of them as well !

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Where to keep the hamster’s cage in your home

This is something you’ll have to think about for a few minutes, see where the best option is. Best not to move the hamster’s cage often.

Hamsters are sensitive, and do notice and wake up when you move their cage. It won’t shock or scar them for life, but they do notice.

That being said, I do move my Teddy’s cage every day, because of my apartment’s layout. During the day when he sleeps he is in our bedroom, and I never move him.

But at night, before I go to bed, I move him to the kitchen where my girlfriend can’t hear him rummaging through his cage.

Hamsters rarely make noise, and they’re very quiet by nature, but she’s a light sleeper. In the morning, we take him back to the bedroom and don’t disturb him for the rest of the day.

Now, if you’ve got an apartment with a better setup than I do, figure out a place to keep him at all times. It’s best if it’s a room where he can’t be bothered by other pets or curious children when he sleeps.

If you have a room for the hamster alone, then you can probably get him a glass tank (not taking the budget into account) since it will stay in one place.

The room you keep your hamster in needs to be free of drafts, with an even temperature. Do not place the cage in direct sunlight, or near a heat source.

How to safely move and handle a hamster’s cage

The cage should not be moved often, but there will be times when you must do this. When this does happen, make sure you do not grab the cage by the top part, at all.

Even if it has a nice handle to hold, do not trust it. Most of those are poorly build and will not hold that weight.

Do not hold the wiring, since your fingers can become stuck, and the hamster will possibly chew them as well. If you’ve got a long sleeve shirt, keep the sleeves or any shirt part away from the wire cage wall.

If possible, try not to bump the cage into the wall or drop it. Avoid taking it up and down the stairs, since you won’t see very well. Even more important, if the hamster is still inside the cage. In these situations use a transport cage for the hamster, and empty the large cage to hold it in an way you can see in front of you.

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on how to pick up the cage:
1 – be careful
2- never
3 – the safest

When picking up the cage, pick it up by the lowest part of the bottom. Make sure your thumbs don’t stick into the cage or the hamster might nibble and you might drop him.

When placing the hamster’s cage down on the floor, do not bend over, but kneel. This is easier on your back, and safe for the hamster as well.

A word from Teddy

I hope you have a clear idea of what kind of home us hamsters need now. There are difference between hammies like me (Syrian hamsters) and dwarf hamsters, but we’re more alike than different.

Us Syrian hamsters need larger cages, and dwarf hamsters can do with smaller ones, but always add more space for each new hamster.

For example my dwarf brothers and sisters can be housed together, in same sex pairs. But I need to be alone, I don’t like sharing my space or toys or… well, anything.

If you want to know more about hamsters in general, you can check out the articles below. You’ll find out more about why we eat our poop, and how much water we need as well !

Related blog post
This Is Why Your Hamster Is Freezing And What It Means
This Is Why Your Hamster Is Freezing And What It MeansEvery hamster owner ever has asked themselves this question. Why is my hamster freezing, and what does it mean ? Well, my Teddy (fully grown Syrian hamster) does this regularly, and we’re here to let you know your hamster is probably fine. There are a few reasons he can suddenly freeze, and we’ll cover them right now. Table of Contents ToggleSo why does your hamster randomly freeze ?What to do when your hamster is frozenHamsters have very sensitive hearing and smellShould you worry about your hamster freezing ?Other hamster behaviors that might seem strangeA word from Teddy So why does your hamster randomly freeze ? Generally a hamster will freeze because he’s listening for something, or focusing intently to hear if there are predators around. Even if he’s lived his entire life with you safely, his instincts will kick in every now and then. Other possible reasons could be that you’ve surprised your hamster by suddenly moving, or you’ve scared him. Hamsters scare easily and are very skittish, so they will do this even if you do your best to not startle them. So for example if you wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and walk past your hamster’s cage, you’ll notice him staring at you blankly. Not moving at all, until you come close to him and try to interact. I’ve seen Teddy do this often, and I’ve always wondered if there’s something wrong with him. Turns out he’s alright, he’s just being a hamster. So your hamster could be listening for something, or he could be surprised, or scared. Or a combination of any and all of those 3. This happens less often over time, as your hamster learns every new sound that comes along. As long as your hamster is not frozen most of the time when you see him, he’s fine. What to do when your hamster is frozen It’s important to let your hamster listen for a few seconds for what just happened. They learn and get used to new sounds as time goes on. If he’s not coming out of it soon, you can try talking to your hammy. Keep in mind that he has sensitive hearing, so keep your voice low and soothing. You can bring him a small treat as well, to distract your hamster. I’ve done this with Teddy, and while at first he doesn’t react, after a few seconds he comes closer to hear me out. If you want to know what other foods you can give your hammy, check out my article about what do hamsters eat. I’ll also tell you about some other treat options that are safe for hamsters, and your hammy might love them ! Hamsters have very sensitive hearing and smell So it could be that your hamster froze for no reason. But he heard something you didn’t. It might not be anything, it could be leaves falling or a clock ticking. To your hamster it might sound interesting or scary or important. This is something hamsters do regularly, so do not worry. Your hamster is fine, he’s just listening for something. For example Teddy will run and run and run in his wheel and then suddenly stop, get on his hind feet, and just stand there for a full minute. He’s done this when eating, or drinking water, cleaning himself as well. Basically anytime. The main reason behind this behavior is that hamsters are prey, and they’re used to running away from everything. In time their instincts have evolved to get them to check for predators at all times. Even if your hamster grew up in your home, safe and sound, he will still do this. It’s normal, and part of a hamster’s life. Your hamster has very good hearing, to listen for any possible threat. But he also has very sensitive smell, so he will react to that as well. If your hamster is used to you and your smell, and you go to pick him up after handling something he might not like (like citrus) he will scurry away from you long before your hand gets close to it. When you do wash your hands, make sure it’s not with very floral or strongly scented soap. Otherwise your hamster will not want to get close to your hands. Also be careful when handling food and then your hamster. It might mistake the smell of chicken wings on your fingers for actual food, and bite. They don’t have very good eyesight, especially when compared to their hearing and smell. They’re very active at dawn and dusk, so crepuscular light is best for them. Should you worry about your hamster freezing ? Your hamster is alright, even if it might seem strange that it freezes suddenly. He’s simply listening for something, and just following his own instincts. Unless your hamster freezes often and for long periods of time, there is no reason to worry. However if you’re still worried, best to bring him to the vet, for a general checkup. One reason your hamster seems to freeze often could be that he’s very scared of you. This is fairly normal when your hamster is young or new to the house. For this it’s best to get your hamster slowly used to your presence, and feed him treats whenever you see him so he learns to trust you and get used to you. Limit those treats though, since an overweight hamster is not healthy and will develop serious health problems over time. (If you like this article so far, you can pin it to your Pinterest board by clicking the image below. The article continues after this image.) Other hamster behaviors that might seem strange These are things I’ve seen Teddy do, and seen other hamsters in videos do. Some of them have an explanation, and some of them are just… random. Backflips. Hamsters react very suddenly when startled, so if you scare them and you’re very sudden, they might just do a backflip or jump to the side. Or just jump. Hamsters are kind of acrobats, and I’ve seen Teddy backflip and land safely. This does not mean you should make your hamster do a backflip, ever. But they can do this, and although it looks funny for humans, it’s a sign of fear. Sprints. Hamsters will sometimes suddenly sprint into their hideouts, or just through their cage. They can do this when they’re startled, or just because. I’ve seen Teddy do this for no apparent reason. Climbing and falling off the cage. This is something I’ve never managed to understand, and I’ve found no relevant answers online either. Teddy will sometimes scale the cage walls, and get a serious ab and back workout out of it. And then suddenly let go. He just falls. He lands on the bedding, and there’s lots of it, so he’s safe. But no one I’ve spoke to about this knows an answer. I’ve seen Teddy do this with the top of the cage as well. It happened more often when he was younger, and had more energy. For moments like these it’s important you get your hamster a very good cage, that’s also safe and large enough so he can run around. Hamsters scaling the cage walls are a sign of extra energy and you can provide your hamster with an exercise wheel, as they need to run to burn that energy. Here is an in-depth look at the best hamster wheels, according to hamster breeds and budget. I’ve taken care of that and provided him with a large cage and wheel anyway. But I still don’t know why my hamster suddenly falls off the cage walls. You can make sure your hamster doesn’t hurt himself by giving him lots of bedding. To find out how much bedding a hamster needs, check out my article here. And here you’ll find a roundup of the best hamster bedding options available. Laying down slowly. It looks a lot like they’re melting or getting ready to sleep. As far as I’ve seen with Teddy, he slowly lays down near a corner of the cage, not in his house. He closes his eyes and drifts off. It’s like he forgot he has a house to sleep in. It never lasts more than a few minutes, and he does react if I speak to him or tap the cage. But he will put his head back down and lay flat. Other hamster owners I’ve spoken to said it might just be a form of dozing off. A word from Teddy I hope this article was helpful to you, and you know why we can sometimes freeze. I used to do that a lot when I was a ‘kid’, until I learned most of the sounds in the house. Now I just freeze if someone walks by me at night when I know I’m alone. If your hammy is doing the same, don’t worry. He’s probably curious about what’s happening and is focusing on figuring it out. Talk to him and he’ll come closer to listen to you instead. Feel free to look around the blog, you might find more useful articles on hamsters. Like how to feed us, what kind of cage we need, and how much water we need. toto togel situs togel toto slot situs toto rtp slot cerutu4d toto slot situs toto bo togel situs togel situs toto situs togel situs togel toto togel pam4d toto togel situs toto situs togel situs toto situs togel toto togel situs togel situs togel bandar toto situs togel bo togel situs toto situs togel situs toto situs togel toto slot pam4d bento4d bento4d bento4d jacktoto jacktoto cerutu4d cerutu4d situs toto situs togel situs togel situs toto situs toto situs toto situs togel bandar togel situs toto situs toto situs toto situs toto situs togel situs togel resmi situs togel situs toto resmi situs togel resmi situs toto toto slot situs toto situs toto situs toto situs togel situs toto situs toto macau bo toto bo toto situs toto toto togel situs toto togel resmi situs toto situs toto situs togel situs togel resmi pengeluaran macau situs toto situs toto situs togel situs togel situs toto situs toto toto slot situs toto situs togel situs toto slot cerutu4d bo toto situs toto situs toto situs toto situs toto macau cerutu4d situs toto situs toto macau bet togel toto togel gimbal4d gimbal4d toto slot situs toto situs toto toto slot situs toto situs toto toto togel situs toto toto slot situs togel situs toto slot live casino toto slot toto togel situs togel situs toto bandar togel bandar togel situs toto bo togel situs toto daftar situs togel situs togel situs toto situs toto situs toto bakautoto situs bandar togel bakautoto situs resmi toto togel bakautoto situs toto togel terpercaya 2024 situs toto [...] Read more...
Ideal Temperature For Your Hamster’s Comfort
Ideal Temperature For Your Hamster’s ComfortWhen I first got Teddy I was very curious about whether he needs extra-warm temperatures or not. After all, he’s a Syrian hamster, hailing from the desert. The same way I’d think Siberian hamsters would need cold temperatures. After all, Siberia is famous for being a cold, frigid tundra. But I quickly found out I was wrong. Table of Contents ToggleSo what is the ideal temperature for your hamster ?Hamsters are very sensitive to temperature and draftsBedding ideas to keep your hamster warmThe right home for your hamsterDifference between hamster species when it comes to temperatureDangers of keeping your hamster too cold or too hotA word from Teddy So what is the ideal temperature for your hamster ? As it turns out, the ideal temperature for your hamster is basically the same for all species, with a few minor differences. But in general hamsters need around 20-22 degrees Celsius/68-72  Fahrenheit to live comfortably. They’re okay with the temperature dropping a few degrees, but once it reaches below 15 Celsius/60 Fahrenheit, they will enter a state of hibernation that can be dangerous to them. Hamsters do naturally hibernate in the wild, like bears for example. Hamsters only hibernate in case of extreme cold, so make sure you keep your hamster’s cage in a room that is  20-22 degrees Celsius/68-72  Fahrenheit. Hamsters are very sensitive to temperature and drafts Much of what is true for humans is true for hamsters as well. We are both mammals, and need warmer climates. But your hamster can’t adapt to the cold as fast as you. You can put on a sweater, but your hamster’s only got the one sweater he was born with – his fur. So, when it gets cold, your hamster will begin drawing more and more bedding into his house. If you gave him ripped paper towels for extra bedding, he will make a nest out of them and snuggle tightly to keep himself warm. When it gets too hot for the hamster – which is anything above 22 Celsius/72 Fahrenheit – you’ll see him start to push the bedding out of his house. This allows air to circulate through the house and cool him down. Hamsters can’t sweat like we do, and his fur coat will keep him warm no matter what. So higher temperatures are not good for him either. It’s very important that the room you keep your hamster in is one free from drafts. Those can create very cold and intense air that will give your hamster a cold. For them that cold can be fatal, even if for you it might be just a sniffle. Bedding ideas to keep your hamster warm Normally your hamster would run around the desert at night, to forage for food. Actually, they’re be running at dusk and dawn, when the temperature is more tolerable for them. Desert nights are colder than you’d think at first. So your hamster would stay in his burrow below the ground, when the temperature is too hot or too cold. In his little home he would have dried leaves, grass, and whatever plant material he can find that can be good insulation. What you can give your hamster is what I gave my Teddy. Lots of wood particles, or more commonly called sawdust. NOT the fine dusty kind ! And keep them unscented, since your hamster has a very very sensitive nose. The softer wood shavings that are left behind after working with wood are alright. We give Teddy a thick layer of the wood shavings for ‘ground’, which he has in his house as well. Then we also give him unscented, clean paper towels, ripped into smaller pieces that he can move easily. He usually uses those for the actual ‘bed’ inside his home. Aside from that, he also has the cardboard rolls that are left from the paper towels. He usually chews on them for fun, and he sometimes uses bits of it for his home, for extra insulation. As for just how much bedding to give, if it covers the bottom of the cage by a couple of inches (or 5 cm) then it will be enough. As for the paper towels, we usually give Teddy 2 sheets (3-ply) and he is fine with those. Never give your hamster cotton or fiber bedding. The hamster stores the bedding in his cheeks to use it in his home, and cotton keeps moisture and has fibers that can get stuck in your hammy’s teeth, which can be fatal. So stick to soft wood and paper. To find out more about the best kind of bedding you can give your hamster, check out my “best bedding” article. We’ll talk about the safest options you have, and which to avoid. The right home for your hamster The home your hamster lives in is crucial. And the material it’s made out of is very important for your hamster’s health. Ideally you want wood homes, because they ‘breathe’ and absorb moisture from the inside and let it evaporate outside. The home also needs some ventilation holes, like ‘doors’ or ‘windows’ that need to be large enough for your hamster to get through with his cheeks full. And finally, it’s okay if it’s small-ish, since your hammy will only use it to sleep and eat, and he does not take up much space. So in short, a plastic house, with just one entrance, is not okay. It will cause condensation and that can lead to your hamster catching a cold. You never want your hamster wet or staying in a humid place. I’ve seen this with Teddy when I first got him. The home that came with the cage was plastic, and whenever I’d clean it there would be beads of condensation on the ceiling of his home. I got him a wooden one, which has small cracks in the ceiling/roof to let air flow, and 3 big doors for air to flow freely. The condensation stopped, and the home never smells. Difference between hamster species when it comes to temperature There is little difference between species here, but there is one exception. While most hamsters need a 20-22 degrees Celsius/68-72  Fahrenheit  range, Winter whites need an 18-21 Celsius/65-70 Fahrenheit range to be comfortable. Even if the difference between them and other hamster species is small, it’s still something to take note of. This is because Winter white (or Siberian) hamsters come from a colder climate than the other types. (If you like this article, you can pin it to your Pinterest board by clicking the image below. The articles continues after the image.) Dangers of keeping your hamster too cold or too hot While your hamster can take on a lower temperature easier than a warmer one, neither extreme is easy for him. If it get cold, your hamster will do like my Teddy does, and gather as much bedding as he can to keep himself warm. If it gets too cold for more than 24 hours, then your hamster can enter a kind of hibernation. If left in this state for long, he can develop serious health issues. He only does this in case of emergencies, and can’t keep it for long. You can bring your hamster out of hibernation by slowly raising the temperature around him. Do no place your hamster in a very warm room, or on a very warm heater surface (like an electric blanket). Slowly bring the temperature up, degree by degree, until he wakes up. It may take a couple of hours or just a few minutes, depending on your hamster’s health and age. But if you keep you hamster at a temperature that’s too hot for him then he is in danger of heatstroke and dehydration. Never let your hamster get too warm since it’s not easy for him to cool off naturally. What you can do to help your hammy during summer is to place some ice cubes wrapped in a cloth, inside a jar, which you can place in his cage. This way there will be no condensation on the outside that can keep the bedding wet and get too cold for the hamster. Or, another thing to do is keep him away from direct sunlight. Or place the cage on a cool surface, which will slowly cool the bedding as well. Make sure the room is not at all drafty and humid, otherwise you risk your hamster’s life. I usually keep Teddy in a corner of the room that is away from the window, so not drafty. And away from sunlight, so he will not overheat. The thermostat is around 22 Celsius all year round, so he is fine overall. A word from Teddy I hope this article helped you figure out the best way to keep my kind happy when it comes to our environment. While most of us come from a desert landscape, we don’t stay out during the day because it’s too hot, not during the night because it’s too cold. But dawn and dusk are good temperature ranges for us, so remember that we need around  20-22 degrees Celsius/68-72  Fahrenheit to live comfortably. You can check out the other articles on this site as well, you’ll find great info on what we usually eat, how much water we drink, and why we eat our poop too ! [...] Read more...
What Do Hamsters Eat ? – Food List And Exceptions
What Do Hamsters Eat ? – Food List And ExceptionsWhat do you usually feed your hamster ? What can hamsters eat ? What should they NOT eat ? I had some many of these questions when I first got my Teddy, and I can tell you what I found out. Some I found out by trial and error, some I asked vets, and some still I found out from other hamster enthusiasts. So I’ve compiled a big ol’ list here, so you can have all the info you need for your hamster’s food and diet. Table of Contents ToggleSo what can hamsters eat ?What hamsters should never eatProtein foods your hamster can eatVegetables and Legumes you can feed your hamsterHamsters can eat pasta and bread too !Nuts and seeds your hamster can eatFruits your hamster can eatPre-made food mixes for your hamsterGrain and pellet food mix for your hamsterTreats for your hamsterHow much does a hamster eat ?Dangers of overfeeding your hamsterWhat to do if your hamster is not eatingA word from Teddy So what can hamsters eat ? First off, hamsters are omnivores. That means they can and will eat anything from plant-based food, to grains, to meat and insects. This applies for every kind of hamster out there, be it Syrian, Robo, Campbell, or Chinese. If you look at a box of hamster feed, you will usually just see grains, a few seeds, and a few vitamin pellets. But if you turn the box and look at the ingredients, you will often see protein sources like chicken/fish/beef/shrimp.  You can feed the hamster an omnivore diet yourself, or get a pre-made mix that will last for several weeks, even a couple of months. I’ll get into more detail with each food group a hamster can eat, along with actual examples you probably have in your home. And I’ll give you a couple of food mixes you can buy for your hamster, along with other treats. But first, let’s see what hamsters should definitely avoid. What hamsters should never eat In general hamsters should stay away from anything acidic. Even if you give your hammy a piece of orange he will turn away from it, but that’s just because of the strong smell. Best to avoid acidic food altogether. There are other foods your hamster should avoid, mainly because his stomach is not built for such foods. Here are a few examples of foods your hamster should never eat: any type of citrus at all – lemon, orange, clementine, grapefruit, etc. any part of a tomato, it’s acidic as well, even if less than a lemon chocolate, and anything sweet – can cause diabetes fruit seeds or peels – apple, grapes, strawberry, etc onions, garlic, peppers, spices – anything extra spicy or tasty will upset his stomach high-fat content foods – like extra fat meat, or even some types of dairy anything unwashed like unwashed fruits or vegetables any part of a rhubarb(1) almonds, apricot pits can be highly toxic celery or very stringy/fibery foods like cabbage anything containing added sugar or salt raw potato or beans (any kind) These are all foods that your hamster is better off not eating, since he can’t digest them. In some cases these foods will kill the hamster, so best to avoid them completely. Alright, now let’s get into the food groups your hammy can eat, along with actual examples. Yay ! Protein foods your hamster can eat Hammies do eat protein, and it doesn’t have to be soy-based necessarily. While you can feed your little hammy something soy-based like tofu, you can also find some soy protein in his food mix as well. But I wouldn’t advise giving the hamster and actual, raw soy bean. Best to stay away from that. For example I’ve given my Teddy boiled egg white, boiled unseasoned chicken and turkey, and he loves them both. Actually, most of the time hamsters just store food in their cheeks and hide it in the house. But with the egg and chicken, Teddy dropped everything he had and ate them right there. Of course, the pieces you feed your hammy should be small, so he can eat them on the spot. If you give him too big a piece, he might want to save some of it for later and we all know how quickly meat goes bad. Mealworms are sometimes a treat for hamsters. I’ve never give my Teddy one, but I’ve met hamster owners who give them to their hammies as treats. Not all hamsters will like them, but you can try. Do not give them mealworms too often though, since they are very filling. Teddy: If your feed any kind of meat or egg to you hammy, keep it simple, unsalted, unseasoned. Never feed any raw protein tot us, like raw meat or egg. Dairy is also a good protein source, but don’t give it to your hammy often ! Hamsters are mammals just like us humans, and as such we can’t process milk-based products very well when they are in large quantities. So, keep the dairy to a minimum. Something like a peanut sized piece, once per week is alright. Vegetables and Legumes you can feed your hamster Most vegetables are safe for hamsters to eat, but some are to be avoided. Especially legumes like lentils, beans, peas, chickpeas and so on are not alright. This is mostly because of their high fiber content, which can upset your hamster’s guts. So best to stay away from legumes for your hamster. Vegetables like leafy greens and roots are mostly alright. But let’s talk about a few clear examples. Here are some vegetables your hammy can totally eat: most leafy greens, like spinach, watercress, lettuce, kale cucumber, zucchini carrots are okay, but any other hamster than a Syrian will have to eat them less frequently (higher sugar content than other vegetables, can cause diabetes for dwarf hamsters) sweet potato, cooked – same as carrots, keep a very low intake for dwarf hamsters asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower (cooked) You probably have most of these in your fridge or pantry already. So feel free to feed your hamster small pieces of these veggies as a treat, or even as a supplement to his usual food mix. Hamsters can eat pasta and bread too ! But only in small quantities. The thing with pasta, bread, rice, and so on, is that they’re all high carbohydrate foods. As such, your hamster needs them, but not as much as you’d think. The carb content of a hamster diet should not get past 20%, since they require a balanced dies of protein and veggies as well. So here are a few examples or carbs and bread your hammy can safely eat: Bread, as long as it has no added sugar and has a low salt content. That rules out toast bread, hot dog buns, and hamburger buns as well. Whole grain or multi-cereal bread is great for hamsters actually. Dry grains, of basically any kind Cooked brown rice, unseasoned Cooked wholegrain pasta, unseasoned. Regular white pasta becomes too sticky for your hamster, and will leave residues in his cheek pouches that can cause problems later on. Corn flakes, oat flakes, most muesli mixes Unsalted, unsweetened crackers and biscuits, small piece The food mix you give your hamster is usually well balanced, so don’t feed your hammy too much additional bread or other carbs. Keep them as a small treat every now and then. Nuts and seeds your hamster can eat Hamsters love to chew on a lot of things, and nuts and seeds give them just that opportunity. Most nuts and seeds are okay for hamsters to eat, but there are a few exceptions. Here’s a list of seeds and nuts your hamster can enjoy: dried sunflower and pumpkin seeds, with or without shell, unseasoned peanuts and hazelnuts, unsalted, plain; remove shell and skin walnuts chestnuts, without shell, cooked, plain sesame seeds Do keep in mind that nuts and seeds have a high fat content. So don’t feed too many or too often to your hamster. Keep them as a treat every now and then. Especially if the food mix you bought for the hamster already has a couple of seeds and nuts included. Teddy: Stay away from almonds though. They classify as a nut, but they are toxic for us hamsters ! Fruits your hamster can eat Most kinds o fruit are safe for hamsters. There are a few exceptions, and I’ll cover those too. But first, here is a list of fruits your hamster can eat: apple, pear, peeled and cored (no seeds) strawberries, no seeds banana slice, in a very small amount grape, no seeds, peeled dates and figs, dried raisins blueberries, blackberry, raspberry cherries, no seeds Again, keep the hamster away from citrus fruits. The citrus oils is toxic for hamsters, and will harm them. If you’ve ever peeled an orange and got your hand close to your hammy, you saw him pull away. (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.) Pre-made food mixes for your hamster These are a convenient way to feed your hamster, and often are actually pretty well thought out. If you see the ingredient list, and think there’s something vital that’s missing (like proteins) you can look for another brand or supplement with proteins like the list above. Grain and pellet food mix for your hamster I use a pre-made mix for my Teddy, and give him fruits, veggies, and meat whenever I’m cooking. So he gets the grain and pellets mix, with an assortment of carrots and other foods I have around the house and are safe for him. As I said above, I’ll give you a few options on store bough food to give to your hamster. The first one I found is an actual food mix, with a fair amount of seeds and pellets as well. The whole bag will last you for a couple of months or more, depending on how much you feed the hamster, and what you supplement alongside (More on that below). You can check the Amazon pricing here, and other details as well. Treats for your hamster While most hamster food mixes have a balance of protein, vitamins, and carbs, you can give your hamster occasional treats. These don’t have to be often, but need to be kept as a treat every few days, or when you’re trying to teach or tame your hamster. For example I give Teddy cheese drops as a treat, and he absolutely loves them. The drops can be made of other fruits or veggies too. But Teddy seems to prefer the cheese. I found a variety pack that you can give your hamster. They’re yogurt based and suitable for all kinds of hamster, rats, gerbils, even ferrets. You can find the listing on Amazon here, and check the price as well. There are other types of treats hamsters go for, like for example simple dog treats (no flavors) or milk bones, and some granola bars(no sugar or honey). But my Teddy loves these cheese yogurt drops, and he gets them 2-3 times a week. Teddy: Whatever treat or food you choose, make sure you feed us hamsters responsibly ! Treats are treats and we don’t need them every day. Food mix is a great way to make sure we get the proper nutrition and stay healthy. How much does a hamster eat ? Alright, now that you know what kind of foods your hammy can and can not eat, and you’ve seen a few examples of pre-made food and treats, let’s talk about how often to feed the hamster. This depends mostly on the hamster himself, in that a baby hamster will need a bit less food than an adult hamster. But in general, 2 teaspoons of dry food are enough for an adult Syrian hamster. Dwarf hamsters need less, 1 teaspoon. It might sound like very little food, but look at the size of your hamster. Not only can he not eat much, but also dry food keeps him full for much longer than veggies. If you’re unsure, grab a teaspoon and put the necessary amount in your hand. I’ll attach a photo here of how much 2 teaspoons of dry food is for my Teddy. This is enough for an adult Syrian hamster. Teddy: Remember, we don’t need a lot of food, and we also hide food in our hideouts ! So if you just fed your hammy, and see no food there 5 minutes later, don’t give him more food. He just took the food into his hideout, to snack on later. Us hamsters are funny like that, and love to hoard our food ! Dangers of overfeeding your hamster The first and immediate danger is getting your hamster fat. While you might think that a chubby hamster looks cute (and he does, not gonna lie) it’s very bad for his health. Hamsters are very active creatures, and must be able to run and sprint and dart through tubes or into hideouts at any point. This is their instinct, and a large fat hamster will not be able to do any of these, or at least not properly. This will shorten the hamster’s lifespan as well. A hamster can only live for so long (2-3 years), might as well make his short life comfortable. If you want to know more about why your hamster can get so big or fat, check out my article on this exact topic. There I’ll tell you everything you need to know about why hamsters can get fat, and even how to slim yours down. Hint: it involves getting your hammy more exercise opportunities. For this a great hamster wheel is essential. You’ll also find out what a reasonable weight is for the hamster himself, so you have a guideline to follow. What to do if your hamster is not eating Some hamsters are very picky about their food. They will not eat just anything, and need more attention in that way. So play around with his food, change up the flavors a bit. Maybe he only likes chicken flavored pellets or treats. That could be a start to your hamster eating more. If your hammy is not touching dry food, try with veggies. Give him alternatives, like a piece of broccoli, one asparagus, and a small kale leaf. See which he likes, and keep giving him that. Then, continue adding new foods to his diet, from the list of foods I wrote above. Until you reach a mix of vegetables that you can give him daily, and you know he will eat them. If veggies are not an option for him, try giving the hamster meat. I’ve never seen a hamster turn down meat. Make sure the piece is cooked, but unseasoned. The extra salt is not needed in your hamster’s diet, since he needs much less than humans. If, in an exceptional case, your hamster turns down every kind of food, call the vet. Especially if you see other signs of a possible illness like sparse fur, a wet tail (very bad), dried blood on his body, or anything that looks out of the ordinary. In a worst case scenario, you might want to know how much a hamster can survive without any food and water. I wrote an article on that topic, and the point is that if your hamster is not eating, but at least has water he has a higher chance or survival. In any case, contact your vet if your hammy seems sick, along with not eating. A word from Teddy I hope you’re very clear now on what us hamster can and can not eat. I know it’s a bit of a list to remember, but it’s in your hamster’s benefit. If you’re not sure about a food, and you can’t find any info anywhere, maybe don’t feed it to your hammy. That way at least you’ll be sure he’s safe. You can find more info on the best kind of bedding for us hamsters, or why we sometimes eat our own poo, and even why we’re sometimes scared of you ! Just check out the articles below and you’ll find your answers. References: https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/rodents/hamsters/diet [...] Read more...
10+ Reasons You Should Not Get a Hamster
10+ Reasons You Should Not Get a HamsterHamsters definitely belong on the list of the most popular pets in the world. Everyone wanted one as a kid, and many people still keep them as adults. They’re easy to take care of, and if you have two they’ll socialize between themselves, so they won’t be lonely when you’re away. However, not all is as it seems on the surface. As it is with every topic, keeping hamsters as pets have both its pros and cons. And today – we will be focusing on the cons. There are many things that may attract you to hamsters. They’re small, cute, their fur is shiny, and they basically look like small fluff toys, only they’re alive. However, there are many things about hamsters that you should know before you decide to adopt one. In today’s article, we’ll be taking a look at that side of these fluffy creatures – reasons why you shouldn’t get a hamster. Without any further ado, let’s get started! Table of Contents Toggle1. Biting2. Nocturnal Behavior and Early Rising3. Hereditary Diseases4. Training and Taming5. Hamsters Aren’t Very Affectionate6. Hamsters Are Very Sensitive7. Breeding8. Escaping9. Cages Need Constant Cleaning10. Infection11. Lifespan12. Hamsters Require Adult Supervision13. Hamsters Aren’t Good Pets for Children 1. Biting Hamsters actually tend to bite more than other pet rodents. This is mostly fueled by their poor eyesight – they rely on smell and taste to tell what’s in front of them, and if you stick your finger or your hand into their cage – they’re likely to bite it in order to find out if it’s food. These bites hurt and they will bleed, as their teeth are very sharp, despite not being that large. Their general lack of good eyesight most definitely has an effect on their behavior, as it makes them generally nervous – hamsters can be frightened quite easily, and when they’re frightened – they bite. It’s important to understand that they will bite you for only two reasons: fear (you would probably be willing to bite too if you were handled by a creature twenty or thirty times your size), and curiosity (if they mistake your hands for food or something else that’s interesting). For this reason, make sure to always wash your hands before handling hamsters – they’re more likely to bite you if your hands smell like food. Hamsters can also hurt themselves – as they’re a very frightened species, they’re ready to jump out of your hands when you’re carrying them. Let’s just say that jumping from such a height isn’t the smartest idea if you’re a hamster. Hamsters’ bites shouldn’t be underestimated, as they can be quite painful and draw a lot of blood. As an adult, you can probably handle this, but children can often be put off from this and not only lose interest in the hamster but start to dislike it altogether. There have been numerous occasions where a child has grown fearful of their hamster, and who can blame them? Probably anyone would if they had a pet who kept biting them. Gerbils, for example, are much better pets for children. They can be held and petted at will, and they rarely bite or scratch. 2. Nocturnal Behavior and Early Rising These animals actually spend the majority of the day curled up and sleeping. They don’t like to be disturbed when they’re resting (just like us), and they’ll defend themselves if you disturb them. However, once everything at your home goes silent, hamsters wake up. At that point, hamsters get crazily active, which can actually wake up the whole house – especially if the hamster decides to start running on the wheel. They also get up very early, as they’re most active at dusk and dawn. 3. Hereditary Diseases Unfortunately, hamsters are prone to inheriting hereditary diseases. Because of overbreeding, they’re prone to congestive heart failure at an early age (as early as 6 months old). There’s no cure for this condition, and the treatment can be very expensive. They’re also prone to an incurable kidney disease called amyloidosis, which means that you’re going to have to be looking out on multiple fronts for the sake of their health. They are susceptible to many dangerous bacteria, ultimately leading to diarrhea and dehydration. Some of these bacteria, predominantly ringworm, can also infect humans. It’s very important to focus on two specific bacteria that can easily infect children. We’re talking about salmonella bacteria and lymphocytic choriomeningitis and hantavirus. These can be transmitted from animals to humans, and salmonella can cause stomach cramps, diarrhea, and fever. 4. Training and Taming Hamsters are very difficult to tame, much more difficult than other animals, and the main reason for this is the fact that they’re so scared of everything. They’re not trusting as dogs, they’re not even trusting as cats. Cats are actually more likely to approach you than hamsters. Their evolution has given them the ability to run and hide from any threat, and that’s what they will do if they see you coming. On top of that, hamsters have a lot of energy, meaning that they’re jumpy, active, and want to play – all the time. A pet that’s energetic but runs from anyone that pays it any attention is very difficult to train. 5. Hamsters Aren’t Very Affectionate Hamsters don’t enjoy being picked up and held, cuddled, and kissed like many dogs would. They will certainly put up with it for a while, but after a while, they’ll get tired of it and jump away. Keep this in mind if you’re looking for a pet with which you’ll be able to strike a real connection – they’re not the cuddliest, and will not stay long in your hand anyway. They will somewhat bond with their owner and come closer when they hear their owner’s voice, but that’s about it. Hamsters are not as loving and as playful as dogs. 6. Hamsters Are Very Sensitive Hamsters are sensitive to many things. Firstly, their diet isn’t exactly something you should take lightly, as not correcting it when you need to can cause many dietary issues like diarrhea, dehydration, fur loss, etc. Secondly, they’re so easily frightened and they are so weak that they can literally die from too much stress. Hamsters are known to die from a dog barking at them or something else scaring them. You, personally, can scare your hamster in many ways – the hamster may not trust you yet and even feeding it will scare it (nothing you can do about that aside from trying to be as gentle as possible), if you do something very sudden it will scare it and that can be difficult for you as an owner to adjust to, your hamster may be in permanent shock (from moving to a new cage, for example) and during this period it will be easily agitated, and some hamsters are also naturally shy and difficult to handle. Also, hamsters’ immunity is terrible. They can easily contract any disease and unless you recognize it and take them to the vet immediately, they have almost no chances of survival. On top of this, they’re also very sensitive to temperatures. They can die from hypothermia very easily, and they can overheat easily. Your hamster’s cage is also going to have a massive effect on it, as hamsters get agitated easily in smaller cages. They’ll also get stressed easily if they don’t exercise enough, so it’s best to let them have a wheel. Transporting them is also not good, as that causes major stress. Now that we’re taking a look at all this in retrospect, evolution hasn’t really been beneficial to hamsters. 7. Breeding In case you didn’t know that all rodents breed extremely fast. Hamsters can breed three to four weeks after being born, and when they breed, they breed like crazy. You could make the massive mistake of buying a pair of hamsters and having almost twenty of them after a while. This problem is usually solved by pet shops where you purchase your hamsters, as the workers can separate the hamsters and divide them by gender. However, if a mistake is made and a single male hamster is put amongst female hamsters…well, we’re sure that you know what kind of a mess that is. 8. Escaping Hamsters can truly be defined as escape artists. They have the ability to flatten their body and they can fit through very small holes and crevices. An even larger issue is the fact that they love doing this and they’re likely to use every opportunity to escape. It’s their instinct telling them that they should escape and return to the wild. They’re also very good at hiding, so you won’t be finding them easily. This can actually lead to them being injured or killed while on the loose, as they’re very vulnerable. 9. Cages Need Constant Cleaning Hamsters themselves are very clean, similar to cats. They groom themselves all the time and this way they minimize their scent, which keeps them almost undetectable in the wilderness. Their cages, on the other hand, aren’t as nearly as clean. Exactly the opposite, actually. Hamsters are known for their inexplicable inability to keep their quarters clean. If you place a hamster in a perfectly clean cage, it’s going to take it less than three days to cover it in droppings and pee. Their droppings can smell very foul and many people can’t stand it. These dirty cages also tend to attract bugs, and they’re more prone to developing infections and your hamster will get sick more easily in such an environment. Now, you may be thinking “Fine, I’ll just teach it to use a litter box.” – that’s fine, only we’ve already mentioned that training is terribly difficult with hamsters and you’re not teaching them anything easily. There are hamsters that openly and seemingly without reason refuse to use the litter box. Cleaning the enclosure always means that you have to take the hamster out of the enclosure. This means that you have to grab it without it biting you. If it bites you, you have to disinfect the wound and put a bandaid over it. Repeat the process until you manage to take the hamster without it biting you, and now put it somewhere where it can’t escape from. However, your hamster has still escaped while you were scrubbing its cage because they’re great at that, and now you have to find a hamster before putting it back into the cage. See why it’s difficult? 10. Infection Even though it may seem like a good idea to have your child clean the hamster’s cage to teach them responsibility, it’s sort of an unsafe idea – these cages can be salmonella heaven, and children can be especially vulnerable to that. Children don’t exactly understand the dangers of illnesses and they may not wash their hands properly, which could, unfortunately, lead to them contracting salmonella. 11. Lifespan Hamsters don’t really live for too long. Most hamsters live from two to four years, with a two-year-old hamster already being considered old. If you’re looking for a short-term pet, that’s great. But very few people are looking for that sort of a companion, and most people want a pet that’s going to spend time with them for years to come (like dogs, who can spend up to a fifth of a lifetime with their human companions). Changing pets every few years may not be in your interest. Secondly, if you’re thinking about purchasing a hamster for your child, we’re advising you now that you shouldn’t. Children get attached to everything very easily and having to watch the hamster grow up only to die quicker than they can graduate from the elementary can and will break your child’s heart. 12. Hamsters Require Adult Supervision Even though the maintenance they require is low in frequency, if you’re purchasing a hamster for your child, know that the maintenance your child is going to have to keep up with is complicated. They may not have to do it often, but when they do it, you’re going to have to be there. The same goes for training the hamster – since hamsters are so frightened and are easy to agitate and have them bite their trainer, it’d be best if you were there when your child was training the hamster. 13. Hamsters Aren’t Good Pets for Children Despite the general opinion being the exact opposite, hamsters aren’t really good pets for children. At least not the youngest children under the age of eight or nine. They can prove to be aggressive which will only scare the children away, they can also be very difficult to train which won’t encourage your child to keep trying around them. Having to clean their cages and feed them may be a great way to instill some sense of responsibility in your child early on, but it’s quickly going to become a chore to them and they’re going to start avoiding it. Hamsters can also transmit a disease to your child. Ringworm infection, for example, can easily be transmitted to your child or yourself despite you being careful and wearing gloves. Salmonella, what we’ve already mentioned, is also a threat for children and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Because of their sensitivity, and because of children’s general lack thereof, your child could accidentally harm the hamster. And their constant escaping isn’t going to help either, just like the hamster’s short lifespan won’t be helping. Hamsters also stay awake at night and they’re very active, which may keep your child from sleeping well. All in all, if you’re looking for a pet for your child, you should think twice before purchasing a hamster for your child.   Hamsters often seem like an ideal pet for anyone, but that’s far from the truth. There are many things that have to be taken into account when discussing these animals, as they’re not as nearly as perfect as they seem to be. You should keep in mind that no animal is inherently evil or aggressive, only defensive. Hamsters are just like that, and the fact that they’re so scared of everything and everyone makes it fairly difficult to interact with them. Teaching your hamster not to bite you will take weeks, and if you’re interested in potty training or teaching them tricks, that’s going to take even longer. They’re quick to turn against their owner, even if you mean them no harm, because they’re scared, and maybe it would be best to let this one go, and buy a different pet. There are many pets on the market that may be more suited to your needs. If you’re ever looking for any advice, feel free to consult your local veterinarian. [...] Read more...
Ultimate Guide to Breeding Syrian Hamsters
Ultimate Guide to Breeding Syrian HamstersAll Syrian hamsters that you can find on the market today have originated from the original 3 Syrian hamsters that were bred in the 1930s. Because they frequently go into heat and their pregnancy lasts for a short amount of time, Syrian hamsters are able to produce more babies than mice and rats.  Syrian hamsters are solitary and they have to live alone, which means that your female hamster can’t get pregnant on accident. If you want to breed your hamsters, you will have to get involved. Syrian hamsters become sexually mature when they are 5 weeks old, but they won’t be successful parents until they are 4 months old. All-female hamsters come into heat every 4 days, which means that you can breed them every 4 days.  There are some things you should think about before you decide to breed your hamster. The first thing is that most hamsters aren’t supposed to be bred. Just because your hamster is friendly, doesn’t mean that it’s a good material for breeding. Responsible breeders have to take into consideration the size of the hamster, the depth of the color, quality of markings and fur, and health along with the good temperament. Most hamsters that come from pet shops have unknown backgrounds, and you can’t know what the babies will turn out to be when you breed your hamsters. You also have to think about whether or not you have enough room to keep 20 hamsters at the same time considering that each of them has to be in its own cage. Syrian hamsters live for about 3 years, so try to think about whether you can afford to feed that many hamsters for 3 years and provide toys. Keep in mind that there will also be unexpected trips to the vet. You should also think about whether you can cope if the mother eats its babies, or if it dies during labor. If you’ve thought about all these things and you still want to breed your hamsters, keep reading to find out how to do it.  Table of Contents ToggleWhat are the Syrian hamsters?How to breed Syrian hamsters?How often do Syrian hamsters go into heat?How do you know when your hamster is ready to mate?How long are Syrian hamsters pregnant for?How many babies do Syrian hamsters have?Do hamsters kill their babies?When should I separate my Syrian hamsters?How do you take care of Syrian hamster babies?How to take care of the mother? What are the Syrian hamsters? Syrian hamsters are hamsters that originated from dry parts of Syria and Turkey. They are also known as golden hamsters. They are the most common hamsters people keep as pets because they are easy to tame and take care of and fun to play with. Most of these hamsters will have golden brown fur with a lighter belly. You can, however, find Syrian hamsters in many different colors because of the selective breeding.  Syrian hamsters have been bred since the 1930s both for scientific purposes and for pet shops. They are 5 to 9 inches long and they weigh about 5 ounces. If you take good care of them you can expect them to live for 2 to 4 years. Syrian hamsters can sometimes bite, but that’s mostly people’s fault because they don’t know how to handle them. Syrian hamster will have to learn to trust you while you handle it, and that’s why you should never shake or squeeze it.  In the wild, Syrian hamsters are very solitary and territorial. It is very important that you always keep your Syrian hamsters separated and that each of them has its own cage. Syrian hamsters will tolerate each other while they are still young, but as they grow up they will become more aggressive and even kill each other. You should also keep your Syrian hamster from any pets because they could get into a fight.  Syrian hamsters are nocturnal, which means that they sleep during the day and are active during the night. They usually wake up in the evening. You shouldn’t keep them in your bedroom because they could wake you up while they are active. Some hamsters are able to adapt to their owner’s schedule. That being said, you should never try to pick up your hamster while it’s sleeping because it will most likely bite you.  You won’t be able to form a close bond with your hamster like you would with a dog or a cat. They will sometimes come to the side of their cage if they see you and most hamsters will like sleeping in your hands. Syrian hamsters need very big cages because they need a lot of exercises. The smallest cage you can put your Syrian hamster into can be 1x2x1 feet. You can choose between a plastic cage that has a wire on the top and a glass aquarium. While the glass aquarium allows your hamster to see the outside world better, the wire cage allows better airflow.  Make sure your hamster has a lot of toys in its cage. If you have more than one hamster, make sure that each hamster has its own toys, water bottles, and food bowls. You should also give your hamster wooden blocks so it has something to chew on and always place a sleeping nest in the cage. You will have to add bedding to the bottom of the cage. Make sure that it’s a few inches thick and use paper or aspen products. It is not recommended that you use cedar or pine bedding because it can cause respiratory problems for your hamster.  Syrian hamster’s diet consists of nuts, seeds, and grains, and it is supplemented with some fruits and vegetables, such as apples, pears, carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli.  Because they are omnivores, you can give them some cooked chicken, hardboiled eggs, or insects. Make sure that the supplemental food doesn’t make more than 10% of their diet.  The hamster’s cage will have to be clean, otherwise, it could contract fur and ear mites. A hamster that has mites will be itchy, and it will lose hair in patches. Make sure you take your hamster to the vet if you suspect that it has mites. Another common health problem that hamsters can develop is overgrown teeth. If your Syrian hamster doesn’t have anything to chew on, it won’t be able to shorten its teeth and it will have a very hard time eating. You will have to take it to the vet so that the vet can shorten your hamster’s teeth. You can get a Syrian hamster from a pet shop or a reputable breeder or a rescue group. It’s always better to get your hamster from a breeder because you will know its background and whether it will have any health issues which is very important if you want to breed it. If you don’t care about its background and you won’t be breeding it, it’s best that you get it from a rescue group. Rescue groups and breeders take better care of their hamsters. You will pay around $20 for this hamster. When trying to pick which one to get, always observe them while they are awake. Ask the seller what’s the best time for you to visit hamsters. Some sellers will wake up their hamsters with treats during the day so you will be able to decide which one you want. You will recognize a healthy hamster because it will be active and curious. A healthy hamster will have clean fur and clear and bright eyes. Never get a hamster that has trouble breathing or a dirty bottom- How to breed Syrian hamsters? To breed your Syrian hamsters, you will need a box that is 18 inches square and about 12 inches high. You should also wear gloves in case the female doesn’t want to mate and starts attacking the male and you have to intervene. Place the female hamster and the male hamster into the box and watch how they act. If your female hamster doesn’t want to mate it will squat and try to turn the male onto its back. The female hamster will put its nose under the belly of the male hamster to try and turn it onto its back. If this happens, you should take the female hamster out of the box and try to mate them some other night. If the female hamster wants to mate, it will start running but it will “freeze” when the male hamster puts its front paws on your female hamster. If this is the first time your male hamster is breeding, it will be a bit confused but it won’t take it a long time to figure out what to do. Female hamsters that haven’t been bred before probably won’t tolerate the hamster trying to figure out what to do, while those that did breed before are more tolerant. In most cases, mating will be successful if both of your hamsters have been bred before. You should leave them to mate for about 20 to 30 minutes but keep an eye on them in case any of them loses interest. If they do, they will get aggressive and start fighting. Remove the female from the box after 20 to 30 minutes, or if you notice that either of them is losing interest.  Breeding won’t always be successful and it might take a while before the male hamster gets the female hamster pregnant. Make sure that the room is warm because male hamsters don’t show any interest in mating when it’s cold.  When your female hamster is pregnant, it won’t come into season so you can test to see if it is pregnant by checking if it’s in season. Female hamsters become sterile when they are 12 to 14 months old, but some of them still go into heat.  If you are considering breeding your hamsters to sell the babies to pet stores or even online, you should think again. You probably won’t be able to sell them fast enough online and they will grow up, and selling pets to pet shops is almost impossible. You should also check laws about selling hamsters in your state. How often do Syrian hamsters go into heat? Female Syrian hamsters go into heat every four days, but that depends on the season. During winter, you will have to keep the lights on for over 12 hours, and heat the room that they live in to trick them into thinking that it’s the right time of the year to mate. The female hamster should be at least 13 weeks old because younger hamsters have problems in pregnancy. The age of the male hamster isn’t important, it’s only important that it’s sexually mature.   How do you know when your hamster is ready to mate? Male hamsters are always ready to mate, you will have to see if your female hamster is ready to mate. We know that female hamster comes into heat about every 4 days, and some come into heat every 3 to 5 days. You will notice that your female hamster is ready to mate when it’s more active and receptive to the attention it gets from the male hamster. They will go into heat during the evening and this can last between 4 and 24 hours. Before the female comes into heat it will produce a strong musky smell. You will probably notice this more in the summer. A day after your female hamster goes into heat you will be able to notice a thick white discharge which can make its urine appear cloudy. It will usually go into heat again 3 days after you notice this.  How long are Syrian hamsters pregnant for? Female hamsters are pregnant for 16 days, which is one of the shortest pregnancies in mammals. You should give the female milk every day while it’s pregnant. You can give it some runny porridge, or bread soaked in milk. You can also give it some sunflower seeds from the twelfth day of the pregnancy to help with lactation. About two days before the female is supposed to have babies, you have to clean the cage and put a lot of new bedding so that the female can make a nest. You should also remove any old and uneaten food and put new food in the cage. In most cases, the babies will be born after 6 p.m. on the 16th day of the pregnancy. Most babies will be born in the first few hours, however, some might not come until the next evening. If the babies haven’t been born by the morning of the 18th day, you should take your hamster to the vet and see whether you will induce birth. Once your hamster has given birth you should continue giving it food with milk and sunflower seeds, but you should be careful with how much milk you put in the bowl. Baby hamsters can walk and they might wander and drown in the milk. You can give some milk to the babies when they are seven days old, but make sure that the milk is in a shallow plate so they can’t drown. You might also want to sprinkle some solid food into the nest for babies to eat.  How many babies do Syrian hamsters have? On average, a Syrian hamster will have 4 to 12 babies. Sometimes it can happen that your hamster has up to 20 babies. This depends on the age of your hamster.  If you’re new to breeding and you’ve accidentally bred your Syrian hamster with some other breed, the babies could have birth defects. You could end up with babies that are born without eyes or teeth and they will probably die in the first two weeks of their life. This can also happen if you breed two Syrian hamsters with a recessive anophthalmia gene. Do hamsters kill their babies? If you notice that your female hamster covers the babies whenever it leaves the nest, don’t go looking at the babies. The female hamster will think that they are in danger and eat them. However, if it leaves them uncovered, you can look at them, but don’t touch them so you don’t upset them or the female hamster.  You will notice that some female hamsters let their babies wander and explore the cage, while others drag their babies by the paw or tailback to the nest. It might look as if the mother is hurting them, but don’t worry, it’s not.  When the babies are 14 days old, you can try to clean any wet areas of the cage, remove any old food and water and add fresh food and water, but you have to be careful not to upset the female hamster.  When should I separate my Syrian hamsters? Syrian hamsters are solitary, which means that they live alone, and you will need to place each hamster into its own cage. Usually, Syrian hamsters have to be removed from the cage when they are 8 to 10 weeks old. If you don’t remove them by then, there could be some serious fighting and they could even kill each other. Sometimes they won’t fight, but living in groups causes stress for Syrian hamsters which will shorten their lifespan, so you should still separate them. It is advisable that you remove them even earlier. If your hamsters become sexually mature and you still keep them together, it could lead to babies becoming pregnant, or the mother becoming pregnant again. You can split them from their mother as early as 21 days after they were born. After you’ve split them from their mother, you should handle them every day to tame them.  How do you take care of Syrian hamster babies? Hamster babies will be born naked and blind. They will weigh less than 0.07 ounces, which makes them very vulnerable. They will start nursing right away. By the time they are 4 days old, they will have doubled in weight, their ear canals will start to open and you will be able to see their fur. They will start to crawl around 6 days of age and by the time they are 10 days old, they will blindly wander around the cage and eat solid food. The eyes of the baby hamsters open when they are two weeks old and they are finally able to see. Their mother will nurse them until they are three months old and then lose interest. After four months the mother will abandon them but it will still tolerate if you keep them in the same cage for a while.  But, what when your female hamster doesn’t have any motherly instincts and abandons its babies in the nest? If your female hamster abandons its babies, you will have to try and find a surrogate mother, or hand raises them, which is very difficult.  If you decide to hand raise them you will have to talk to your vet and they will advise you on how to do it. You will need to get a special baby formula and a syringe to feed them and you will have to feed them every hour during the whole day and night. It would be better and easier if you got another female hamster that would raise the babies. However, this also isn’t easy because female hamsters will eat babies when they smell that those aren’t their babies. You can try cleaning baby hamsters first so they don’t smell like their mother and try to cover them in the nesting material of the other mother to try and make it smell like the other mother. You should then convince the other mother to come out of its cage by offering it a treat and place the orphan babies with its other babies. The more babies you add to the other mother’s nest, the lower the chances that it will accept them. How to take care of the mother? You can help your female hamster take care of its babies by adding some strips of toilet paper in the cage to create soft, clean bedding that it can use to make a nest. Make sure you clean the cage completely before the babies arrive.  You should feed your female hamster with a high-quality hamster diet that has a lot of protein all throughout its pregnancy and until the babies are weaned. You can feed your female hamster with some hardboiled eggs, cooked chicken, cheese, and wheat germ. You should always keep an eye on its water bottle to make sure it always has fresh water.  Even though Syrian hamsters like living alone, if you’ve been keeping them in groups, you should separate the mother from the rest of the hamsters. This way you will keep the babies safe and the adults won’t fight. You will upset the mother if you try to touch the babies or get your scent on them. If you absolutely have to move a baby hamster for some reason, do it with a spoon so you avoid leaving any of your scent on the baby.  Make sure you’re always quiet when you’re around the cage so you don’t stress out the mother. Try to be as quick and quiet as you can while you’re cleaning the cage and bringing food and water. The mother will be very protective and it will be more aggressive than it usually is. It will try to bite you or stand on its back legs if you get too close to the babies.  [...] Read more...
About Hamsters And Light – Do They Even Need It To See ?
About Hamsters And Light – Do They Even Need It To See ?My Teddy loves to just run around all night. But sometimes I wonder if he can even see where he’s going, or he just knows his cage very well. Actually, do hamsters see in the dark ? Does the nightlight I leave on for Teddy help him in any way ? Is he some kind of super-soldier with night vision and fine hearing ? My hammy is a bit of a Rambo type, but I went looking for answers on whether hamsters need light to see, just to be sure. Here’s what I found out. Table of Contents Toggle So do hamsters need light to see ?Should you leave the light on at night for your hamster ?Does your hamster have night vision ?Hamsters get scared by sudden movementsHamsters see best in low light conditions – like dusk and dawnWhere and how to keep your hamster’s cage in your homeA word from Teddy   So do hamsters need light to see ? As it turns out – yes, hamsters do need light to see. Just not very much light, and not as much as us humans do. A hamster’s eye does pick up more ambient light, but not as much as a cat or owl, or most night animals. As such, a hamster can see better in low-light conditions, rather than the full brightness of daylight. Conversely, hamsters can’t see very well in pitch-dark conditions either. They can see in the dark, but not that well. Hamsters rely mostly on their sense of touch – paws and whiskers – and their sense of smell, and their hearing to navigate their surroundings. Should you leave the light on at night for your hamster ? No, that’s not necessary. Leaving the overhead light isn’t necessary, but a faint light might give your hammy a permanent dusk/dawn conditions, that he can see in. For example I have for my Teddy – Syrian male hammy – a sort of dim nightlight that has lots of blue, green, and purple in it. It’s a small LED light, and it’s the color range hamsters are most likely to actually see. Now, the light wasn’t originally for him. In truth, my girlfriend can’t stand complete darkness and she needed a nightlight to at least guess where she’s going through the house at night. The fact that it helped Teddy was an added bonus. This doesn’t mean your hamster won’t see at all if you give him no nightlight. He can see better than you in the dark, but not that much better. However his eyes will pick up the light from a streetlight, or the blinking of an electronic’s light, even the small green dot of light on your central heating unit. Most human homes have at least a faint bit of light, even at night, from all the electronics. That small amount of light makes it easier for your hammy to see. Does your hamster have night vision ? No, not really. Hammies don’t have night vision per-se, but they do see better than us when it comes to low light conditions. If you were to compare a cat, a human, and a hamster in terms of night vision, the cat would obviously win. But the hamster wouldn’t see that much better than us humans. So, that means that your hamster can’t really see in the dark, but that is not a problem. Hamster use their sense of smell and touch a lot more than they use their vision. Even in their borrows in the wild, their tunnels are pitch black. So they can’t really see where they’re going. However that’s not a problem since they will feel and smell their way around. That, combined with a memory map of their home, gives them lots of ways to navigate their home. So do not worry if you’ve turned off the light in your hamster’s room at night – he will be fine, and can find his way even if it’s dark. Hamsters get scared by sudden movements If you’ve ever suddenly got up and spooked your hamster, you know what I mean. There could be a sudden Apocalypse raging next to his cage and he won’t care too much, but suddenly getting a glass of water is the pinnacle of terror. So, why is that ? Well, hamsters have very poor eyesight – more on that soon. That means that they can see well what’s directly in front of them, and that’s about it. They’re near-sighted, and don’t have the luxury of glasses like us humans. They can’t see too well in the distance, and they’re terrible judges of length, depth, or anything that involves jumping. Seriously, hamsters will jump from high places to try to get somewhere faster, without realizing they might harm themselves. So it’s best to not get your hammy a cage with high levels. My Teddy used to be a bit of a pain when he was younger. He was jumpier, and easier to scare. Now he’s a grown adult and knows pretty much every sound and movement in our home. But when he was young he’d get scared half the time. Whenever I opened the fridge, walked past him, got up, sat down, or even reached over his cage for something. He is fine now, but I still remember when he darted into his hideout because I got up from bed. (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.) Hamsters see best in low light conditions – like dusk and dawn So does this mean you should give your hamster low light conditions ? Well, yes, for the most part. A hamster’s normal daily life includes going to bed/hiding when the sun has risen and it’s very bright outside. This is because his eyes hurt when it’s too bright, and his predators start to come out and hunt. Then at dusk, when the sun’s  light is much dimmer he can come out, because he can see very well at that moment. In the middle of the night, wild hamsters will go back to their burrows and eat, or sleep a bit more, or tidy up their homes. And finally at dawn, and right before dawn, wild hamsters will come out again. Forage some more, maybe find a lady hamster, run a round a bit, then hide in their burrow again for the rest of the day. So that means that pet hamsters don’t normally have these conditions, and will adapt to being mostly nocturnal, and to know more about what hammies do at night. If you can replicate the conditions from the wild for your pet hamster, he will be much happier. Like a night light that has a timer to turn itself off after a few hours, for example. Or, turning the overhead light in your hamster’s room a few hours before you go to bed. Only leave a small lamp on, or something that has barely any light. Then, when you do go to bed you can turn off the lights in the house completely. This can and will make your hamster a much happier and healthier pet. Where and how to keep your hamster’s cage in your home Where you keep your hamster’s cage can determine your hamster’s health and happiness. If the room he’s in is cold and drafty, your hamster will have a host of troubles. First, because hamsters are very sensitive to temperature shifts. And second, because hamsters don’t respond well to sudden cold conditions – they end up in a state like hibernation, but it’s more of a hypothermia shock than anything else, and can be very dangerous. Providing your hamster with the best bedding/substrate will help a lot in keeping him warm enough. Likewise, keeping your hamster somewhere dark all the time isn’t good for him, same as it wouldn’t be to keep him in the light all the time. So one of the best places to keep your hammy would be your bedroom, or a similar room that has a day-to-night cycle of light. It’s important that the room is also a calm, quiet place so he will not get woken up constantly by children or pets, and can rest well. A good hamster cage will have plenty of space for the hammy to choose a hiding spot. A word from Teddy I hope you found what you were looking for here. I know you might think us hammies need the light on at night, but you’re hurting us more than helping with a bright light. Best to give us a very dim nightlight, and turn it off after a few hours to make it like our home in the wild. If you want to know more about us hammies, you can read the articles below for more info on how to take care of us the right way. Like for example how big of a cage we need, how much we can go without food and water, or even why we need to always run. [...] Read more...