If you’ve even given your hamster a piece of toilet paper, you’ve seen him shove it in his mouth. Did the hamster eat the toilet paper ? Do hamsters even eat TP in the first place ?
Sometimes the answer isn’t as simple as a yes or no, and we need to dive into a bit of a talk.
So do hamsters eat toilet paper ?
No, hamsters do not eat toilet paper. They wad it up and store it in their cheeks to use as bedding or nesting material.
There are times when the hamster does ingest a tiny bit of TP, because the difference between his cheek pouches and mouth is very small. He sometimes misses.
If you’ve never had a hammy before, it can look like he’s eating the TP. But if you look closely, his cheeks are swollen and he hid it there.
Is toilet paper safe for hamsters ?
Yes, toilet paper is safe for hamsters. Even if your hammy ends up ingesting the TP, it is safe.
Modern toilet paper is meant to dissolve in water after a short while. This also means that it will break apart when it reaches your hammy’s stomach, so he will have no trouble passing it out. It won’t even be noticeable.
That being said, i depends what kind of TP your hamster got his paws on. Scented, and/or colorful TP isn’t poisonous for hamsters, but it can upset their stomach.
Hamsters have a very sensitive sense of smell, and if you give them a TP smelling of peaches they will probably think it’s actually peaches and try to eat it.
The best TP to give to hamsters – not for food – is plain, unscented. The most regular, boring version you can find is going to work just great.
What hamsters actually do with the TP you give them
Whenever you give your hammy a TP square, you probably see him going a bit crazy. You see, hamsters absolutely love anything soft and cuddly that can be used as nesting material.
This also means you should keep hammies away from fleece or cotton, since they will shove it in their cheeks and hurt themselves or get some fibers caught in their teeth.
So, your hamster will fit as much TP as he can in his cheeks, then make a bee line for his nest. Wherever his nest is, not matter how much nesting it’s already got – it always needs more.
Your hammy’s going to decorate his place with all the TP and paper towels you give him. All of them. It can get ridiculous. Look at my Teddy, his hideout’s bursting with TP and paper towels.
Hamsters decorate their nest with toilet paper, and with paper towels as well. For this reason, I recommend giving rather paper towels for his nesting material. TP is highly absorbent, and will mat up more than paper towels.
And it’s less resistant, so he will need more pieces. Whatever you do give him (TP or paper towel) he’ll hoard all of it.
Bedding and nesting material for your hamster friend
You might be wondering if you’ve given your hamster too little bedding if he gets like that when he sees crumply paper.
Well, no. Hamsters have an inherent need to nest and build a warm, big nest to cuddle and hide in. So they will go overboard with the nesting material.
An ideal bedding depth is somewhere around 1-2 inches, so your hamster has something to dig into. Not all hamsters are diggers though. Some are climbers, or runners, and won’t be interested in digging too much.
You can find out much more about the right kind of bedding you can get your hamster friend right here. You’ll find which beddings are safe and which are unsafe, and all the options you can choose from.
As for warmth, hamsters require a temp range between 20-23 C/68-75 F to feel comfortable. You should check here for more info on that, and see how you can make your hammy comfortable in your home.
So if you’ve give your hamster lots of warmth, and he’s still building his nest, don’t be alarmed. He’s fine, he just builds big, fluffy, flowy nests. In the wild he’d have a whole series of tunnels to live in, and several ‘bedrooms’ full of leaves and twigs.
Other options your hamster might use as his nesting material is cardboard. The long cardboard tubes left over from toilet paper, or paper towels are okay for hamsters to use.
They even play in them. Cut a few holes into the tube, like swiss cheese, and he’ll dart in and out of those tubes. YOu can find out more about hamster toys (DYI and store bought) here, and some ideas on what you can make for you hammy at home.
Hamsters store everything in their cheek pouches
Alright, now you know what your hammy’s doing with the TP. But does he put everything in his cheeks ?
Well, yes, hamsters store everything in their cheek pouches. Everything, Bits of food, nesting material, a few bits of poo, a half eaten cricket, anything.
Hamsters have those pouches in order to be able run away if they have to make a quick split. This also makes it easier for them to cover a lot of ground without having to keep returning to their nest to store everything. Kinda smart, if you think about it.
This is one reason to never give your hamster something very sharp or extra saucy as food. If it’s a bit of chicken or boiled egg white, he will eat it right away.
But anything less than tasty protein or fruit will be shoved into the cheek pouch. A tasty noodle ? In the cheek, and it will leave some residue that the hammy can’t clean out.
It has a high chance of infection, and an infected cheek pouch is not easy to treat. Mostly because the cheek itself isn’t easy to reach into without hurting the hamster.
Plus, if the hammy feels like he still has something in his cheeks he’ll keep pushing and pawing at his cheeks until he hurts himself. So be very careful what foods you give your hamster friend !
(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.)
Safe foods for your hamster friend
You can feed your hamster lots of foods that are acceptable for you as well. For the most part, hamsters can eat meat, veggies, fruit, grains, and seeds, just like us.
It’s just that they have a few conditions, and some foods are too fat or to sweet for them. Especially for the Dwarf types. They are prone to diabetes, and as such should be definitely kept away from sweets.
Both Dwarf and Syrian types should have a very small amount of fats in their diet as well. They are living in your warm, comfy home, no reason to build up a layer of insulating fat.
I’m going to give you a few useful links for the foods hamsters can eat, for each category available.
So, if you want to know more about hamsters and meat, what kind of meat they can have, check out this nifty article, with a clear explanation of which meats are okay for hammies.
When it comes to dairy, hamsters can eat some kinds, but not too much. It’s the high-lactose one that don’t sit well with them. You can read more about that here.
For bread and grains, you can check out here to see when and how you can feed your hamster friend bread and/or pasta.
And here you can find out more about what veggies are safe for hamsters, and here learn about the kinds of fruit your hammy can eat, and which to avoid.
Finally, you can read on here to learn more about nuts and the kinds hamsters can eat safely, and how much of them they can have at a time.
These are all items you’ve probably already got in your fridge or pantry. Do remember that a commercial food mix has the basics all covered, and is designed to give your hamster the nutrition it needs.
Still, you can feed your hamster friend food from the lists I mentioned above, as small treats or if you’ve got them on hand when cooking.
A word from Teddy
I hope you found out what you were looking for here. I know us hammies love toilet paper, but we don’t normally eat it. We hide lots of it in our cheeks, and it looks like we eat it. But we just build our nests with them.
If you want to know more about us hammies you can check out the articles below, to learn how to feed and house us properly, and how to play with us too.
- Safe And Unsafe Wood For HamsterHamsters need a lot of wood in their cage, be it for their bedding, toys, or hideout. So it is quite important to know what type of wood is safe and which one is not safe for your hamster. Hamsters are quite the survivors; they can endure a lot. But there are certain types of wood than can be quite toxic for them, and they also have a very sensitive nose, so a strong smell might bother them. In this article, I will list all wood types that are safe for your hamster but most importantly, I will guide you to know what to choose when you buy bedding, hideout and toys since those are the most common wood elements in a hamster cage. Of course, there are home-made ones so you should know what type of wood you should use if you plan to have a DIY project. Table of Contents Safe wood for hamstersUnsafe wood for hamstersCan hamsters eat wood?Best wood for hamster beddingShould a hamster hideout be made of wood or plastic?Do hamsters need wood toys or bridges?Conclusion Safe wood for hamsters The safest wood types for your hamster are aspen, elm, ash, bamboo, cottonwood, most fruit trees, oak, maple, and balsa wood. An important thing to have in mind when you make a DIY wheel, hideout, tunnel or toy for your hamster is to use wood from trees that weren’t treated with pesticides or other chemicals that might put your hamster in danger. Unsafe wood for hamsters The most important to know woods that are unsafe for your hamster are pine and cedar since you might find some toys, bedding and hideouts made with those types of wood. They are unsafe for your hamster because they contain some naturally occurring oils that might put your hamster in danger. So you should avoid those two even if they weren’t treated with pesticides or other chemicals. Yew and oleander wood should also be avoided because it can be poisonous for your hamster but those two are not usually used for making hamster toys or anything that goes in the hamster cage. Can you find unsafe wood at the pet shop? Unfortunately, you can find pine and cedar shavings at most supermarkets, and also some toys made with this type of wood. Pine is a cheap wood, very lightweight, and it’s common in many wood items, not just for hamsters. Another thing you should pay attention to while you are at the pet shop is to choose bedding without added scent. There are aspen shavings with strawberry, peach, or other fruits scent, which can be quite toxic for your hamster. Aspen shavings with no added scent should be your go-to when you buy bedding from the pet shop or online. It is annoying that those things exist in the first place, and they might be eye-catching for a new hamster owner. There is little regulation when it comes to what material a manufacturer has to use, and the regulators don’t know all the details. You might’ve heard that giving your hamster toilet paper or paper towels is safe and recommended for them to make their nest more warm and comfortable, which is true. However, most people buy scented toilet paper or paper towels, and those are not safe for your hamster, make sure you buy odor-free ones, at least for the little one. The cardboard roll from the TP and paper towels is also fine (as long as it’s not scented). The hamster will use these as a series of tunnels, and a chew toy. Can hamsters eat wood? I’ve seen my hamster chewing on its wooden hideout quite a lot and I had this question for myself. Yes, hamsters can eat wood as long as it is untreated and it is from the safe wood list. They usually don’t ingest it, but rather they chew on the wood to sharpen their teeth since rodent teeth grow constantly, and not having chewing toys might be dangerous. So they’re not exactly eating the wood. You can also give your hamster a (clean) walnut to chew on to make sure they sharpen their teeth on something that is safe. Avoid acorns though, here is an entire article about why hamsters should not eat or chew acorns. Best wood for hamster bedding When it comes to hamster bedding, aspen shavings are the safest choice and usually the only one you should find at a pet store. Here is a good one that you can find on Amazon. If you need another option, recycled paper can be a safe option rather than going for other type of wood that might be dusty or unsafe for your hamster. Here is a good pack of recycled paper hamster bedding for your hamster that you can find on Amazon. I wouldn’t go for recycled paper as the first option since it makes digging in it much harder and some hamsters love to dig. If your hamster is not a digger, there are no other cons to this type of bedding. Another wood bedding for hamsters is wood pellets. Wood pellets can be difficult to find, but they can still be found as bedding for rabbits or larger rodents such as ferrets. However, these may not be the most comfortable bedding for hamsters. Consider layering the pellets over a layer of wood shavings to simulate dirt, if desired. When selecting wood for pellets, choose options that are safe for your hamster to both live and breathe on. Also keep in mind that the pellets are loud, so you might hear your hamster running/walking in its cage. Should a hamster hideout be made of wood or plastic? Hamster hideouts can be made of wood or plastic as long as they are from the safe list. The main problem with store-bought plastic hamster hideouts is that they are usually too small for a full-grown Syrian hamster which is the most common hamster pet, also known as a teddy bear hamster. When it comes to the wood hideouts, make sure they are not made from pine or cedar wood, and also pay attention to what they are fixed with. If they’re glued together, the glue should not be visible. Your hamster should not reach the glue that is used to make the parts stick together, or any sharp nail that goes through the walls or something along this line. Eating the glue is dangerous for hamsters for obvious reasons, and when it comes to sharp nails, they can hurt themselves in those ones. Do hamsters need wood toys or bridges? Most hamster toys are made of wood since any toy doubles as a chewing toy. So yes, a hamster needs something to play with and also to chew on, but you have to make sure they are made from safe woods. When you buy a toy or a wooden bridge for your hamster, make sure you read the label to make sure they are not made of pine, cedar, or any other unsafe wood. When you buy a wooden hamster bridge, check the connections between the sticks to make sure the hamster can’t get hurt in the metal part that connects all the sticks. Also, check the final part, which is used to hang the bridge on the cage or the hideout. Hamsters might hook themselves into those parts if the bridge is not properly connected. Conclusion There are some safe and unsafe woods for your hamster. If you go for aspen shavings as bedding, you should always be safe, and make sure you buy unscented. When it comes to a hamster, you should buy unscented everything. Even when you clean its cage, make sure you use only a tiny bit of soap and preferably one that doesn’t smell too strong. Unfortunately, you will find toys, bedding and hideouts made from unsafe wood online and at the pet store, so it is your job to know which one you should buy. I hope this article was helpful, and now you know how to keep your little furball safe when it comes to the wood type you use.... Read more...
- About Hamsters Eating Dog Food (Or Any Other Animal Food)If you’ve got a hammy you’ve probably heard discussions on whether hamsters can eat dog food or not. Or why dog treats are okay for hamsters, but dog food isn’t. Well, I’m going to help you figure that out, since this is something I had to learn about for my Teddy (Syrian male hammy) as well. Let’s get down to the first question. Table of Contents Can hamsters eat dog food ?Why hamsters can have dog treats, but not dog foodCan hamsters eat other animal foods ?The typical hamster dietA word from Teddy Can hamsters eat dog food ? No. Hamsters can’t eat dog food. This is the same whether it’s a high or low quality dog feed. Dogs are carnivorous animals, they live off of meat, so protein and fats. They don’t need much in terms of grains or vegetables to live a healthy life. They do need them, but in a very small amount. Hamsters are the opposite of that. Hamsters are omnivores, who maybe sometimes eat protein if the get the chance. Aside from that, hammies need grains and veggies and a whole lot of minerals and vitamins that dogs don’t need the same. We’ll cover this in more detail through the article, but the short of it is: No, hammies can’t have dog food, neither wet nor dry because they have a different digestive system (and dietary needs) than dogs. Why hamsters can have dog treats, but not dog food There is also the way dog feed is thought out. It’s meant as a way to bring not only protein but also vitamins a mineral to your dog. Those amounts are thought to be safe for a dog, and as such are tailored for small dogs, large dogs, senior dogs, young puppies, and so on. So, your hamster can’t have dog food also because of the mineral/vitamin content. You might ask if there’s a thing like taking too many vitamins or minerals. Yes, there is, and giving your hammy dog food instead of his usual meals will eventually lead to a vitamin OD. What about dog treats ? Why are those safe for hamsters ? Well, dog treats are meant as treats. That means they’re supposed to be given sparingly, and in small amounts. This is because while they’re tasty, they’re not exactly the most nutritious for a dog, often being based on grains and a bit of soy protein. This makes them safe for the hamster since they’re very close to what a hamster’s diet would look like. What a hamster would need to eat to be healthy. It also depends on the dog treats you give your hamster. Milkbones for example are a good choice for occasional treats for your hamster. The fact that they’re so hard makes them great actually to wear down the hamster’s teeth. However a hamster will take days to go through just one of these treats. Don’t feed them often, since the box will last you a long time, and for several hamsters at a time. Do not replace the hamster’s usual meals with dog treats. But they can be added in as an occasional supplement. You can check the listing on Amazon here, and read the reviews as well. Can hamsters eat other animal foods ? Your safest bet – no, don’t feed your hammy any other food than hamster food. Doesn’t matter if it’s dry food (kibbles) or wet food. That being said, there are some small, rodent animals that eat mostly the same as hamsters. Gerbils, for example, are very similar to hamsters and may even share the exact kind of feed mix. However other rodents often have slightly different needs. For example guinea pigs need an external source of Vitamin C, and their pellets are infused with the vitamin. Hamsters don’t need extra vit. C, so you risk poisoning your hammy by mistake. You might argue that it’s possible to feed your hammy pellets or kibbles from other animals, grain-based, and supplement with fresh fruit and veg and meat from your own pantry. I honestly discourage that, since you can get the hamster’s diet wrong (the ratios and proportions of different elements) and it’s a whole level of effort that’s east to skip by letting the hamster have his own, specialized food. Best to just opt for a commercial food mix designed for hamsters. You can find out much more about a hamster’s healthy, safe diet right here. There you’ll find the list of safe and unsafe foods you can feed your hammy from your pantry or fridge, if you want to give him a little bit extra. (If you like this article so far, you can pin it to your Pinterest board by clicking the image below. The article continues after the image.) The typical hamster diet A hamster usually eats grains. That’s the vast majority of what your hammy needs to eat, whether he’s a Syrian or Dwarf type – more on each breed type here. You see in the wild hamsters have to forage for food, in ares that are mostly barren. There are some stray veggies, but mostly they’ll find grains and seeds from different plants. Fruits are not uncommon, but they’re not found often and are a very small portion of their daily food. And finally, hamsters do in fact eat meat and protein (bugs or worms), they just don’t find them often. And their digestive system is not meant for a meat-only kind of diet. A hamster’s teeth will tell you a lot about what they’re meant to eat. Hammies have very large front teeth, with two pairs (upper and lower). The lower pair is longer, and stronger, since hamsters are meant to bite into and chew on their food, which is hard. That means grains, since they’re the ones that can stand up to the bite of a hamster. A hamster’s teeth are always growing, so if he were to eat soft food like meat, or bread, his teeth would become too large. A word from Teddy I hop you know now why us hammies can’teat dog food. Even if we can eat dog treats, sometimes, we don’t have the same digestion as a doggy. So please give us proper, hamster food made for our guts and teeth. If your want to find out more about us hammies, you can read the articles below. You’ll find out more info on how to take care of us, and what we need to be happy.... Read more...
- Do Hamsters Eat Toilet Paper ? What Do They Do With It ?If you’ve even given your hamster a piece of toilet paper, you’ve seen him shove it in his mouth. Did the hamster eat the toilet paper ? Do hamsters even eat TP in the first place ? Sometimes the answer isn’t as simple as a yes or no, and we need to dive into a bit of a talk. Table of Contents So do hamsters eat toilet paper ?Is toilet paper safe for hamsters ?What hamsters actually do with the TP you give themBedding and nesting material for your hamster friendHamsters store everything in their cheek pouchesSafe foods for your hamster friendA word from Teddy So do hamsters eat toilet paper ? No, hamsters do not eat toilet paper. They wad it up and store it in their cheeks to use as bedding or nesting material. There are times when the hamster does ingest a tiny bit of TP, because the difference between his cheek pouches and mouth is very small. He sometimes misses. If you’ve never had a hammy before, it can look like he’s eating the TP. But if you look closely, his cheeks are swollen and he hid it there. Is toilet paper safe for hamsters ? Yes, toilet paper is safe for hamsters. Even if your hammy ends up ingesting the TP, it is safe. Modern toilet paper is meant to dissolve in water after a short while. This also means that it will break apart when it reaches your hammy’s stomach, so he will have no trouble passing it out. It won’t even be noticeable. That being said, i depends what kind of TP your hamster got his paws on. Scented, and/or colorful TP isn’t poisonous for hamsters, but it can upset their stomach. Hamsters have a very sensitive sense of smell, and if you give them a TP smelling of peaches they will probably think it’s actually peaches and try to eat it. The best TP to give to hamsters – not for food – is plain, unscented. The most regular, boring version you can find is going to work just great. What hamsters actually do with the TP you give them Whenever you give your hammy a TP square, you probably see him going a bit crazy. You see, hamsters absolutely love anything soft and cuddly that can be used as nesting material. This also means you should keep hammies away from fleece or cotton, since they will shove it in their cheeks and hurt themselves or get some fibers caught in their teeth. So, your hamster will fit as much TP as he can in his cheeks, then make a bee line for his nest. Wherever his nest is, not matter how much nesting it’s already got – it always needs more. Your hammy’s going to decorate his place with all the TP and paper towels you give him. All of them. It can get ridiculous. Look at my Teddy, his hideout’s bursting with TP and paper towels. Hamsters decorate their nest with toilet paper, and with paper towels as well. For this reason, I recommend giving rather paper towels for his nesting material. TP is highly absorbent, and will mat up more than paper towels. And it’s less resistant, so he will need more pieces. Whatever you do give him (TP or paper towel) he’ll hoard all of it. Bedding and nesting material for your hamster friend You might be wondering if you’ve given your hamster too little bedding if he gets like that when he sees crumply paper. Well, no. Hamsters have an inherent need to nest and build a warm, big nest to cuddle and hide in. So they will go overboard with the nesting material. An ideal bedding depth is somewhere around 1-2 inches, so your hamster has something to dig into. Not all hamsters are diggers though. Some are climbers, or runners, and won’t be interested in digging too much. You can find out much more about the right kind of bedding you can get your hamster friend right here. You’ll find which beddings are safe and which are unsafe, and all the options you can choose from. As for warmth, hamsters require a temp range between 20-23 C/68-75 F to feel comfortable. You should check here for more info on that, and see how you can make your hammy comfortable in your home. So if you’ve give your hamster lots of warmth, and he’s still building his nest, don’t be alarmed. He’s fine, he just builds big, fluffy, flowy nests. In the wild he’d have a whole series of tunnels to live in, and several ‘bedrooms’ full of leaves and twigs. Other options your hamster might use as his nesting material is cardboard. The long cardboard tubes left over from toilet paper, or paper towels are okay for hamsters to use. They even play in them. Cut a few holes into the tube, like swiss cheese, and he’ll dart in and out of those tubes. YOu can find out more about hamster toys (DYI and store bought) here, and some ideas on what you can make for you hammy at home. Hamsters store everything in their cheek pouches Alright, now you know what your hammy’s doing with the TP. But does he put everything in his cheeks ? Well, yes, hamsters store everything in their cheek pouches. Everything, Bits of food, nesting material, a few bits of poo, a half eaten cricket, anything. Hamsters have those pouches in order to be able run away if they have to make a quick split. This also makes it easier for them to cover a lot of ground without having to keep returning to their nest to store everything. Kinda smart, if you think about it. This is one reason to never give your hamster something very sharp or extra saucy as food. If it’s a bit of chicken or boiled egg white, he will eat it right away. But anything less than tasty protein or fruit will be shoved into the cheek pouch. A tasty noodle ? In the cheek, and it will leave some residue that the hammy can’t clean out. It has a high chance of infection, and an infected cheek pouch is not easy to treat. Mostly because the cheek itself isn’t easy to reach into without hurting the hamster. Plus, if the hammy feels like he still has something in his cheeks he’ll keep pushing and pawing at his cheeks until he hurts himself. So be very careful what foods you give your hamster friend ! (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.) Safe foods for your hamster friend You can feed your hamster lots of foods that are acceptable for you as well. For the most part, hamsters can eat meat, veggies, fruit, grains, and seeds, just like us. It’s just that they have a few conditions, and some foods are too fat or to sweet for them. Especially for the Dwarf types. They are prone to diabetes, and as such should be definitely kept away from sweets. Both Dwarf and Syrian types should have a very small amount of fats in their diet as well. They are living in your warm, comfy home, no reason to build up a layer of insulating fat. I’m going to give you a few useful links for the foods hamsters can eat, for each category available. So, if you want to know more about hamsters and meat, what kind of meat they can have, check out this nifty article, with a clear explanation of which meats are okay for hammies. When it comes to dairy, hamsters can eat some kinds, but not too much. It’s the high-lactose one that don’t sit well with them. You can read more about that here. For bread and grains, you can check out here to see when and how you can feed your hamster friend bread and/or pasta. And here you can find out more about what veggies are safe for hamsters, and here learn about the kinds of fruit your hammy can eat, and which to avoid. Finally, you can read on here to learn more about nuts and the kinds hamsters can eat safely, and how much of them they can have at a time. These are all items you’ve probably already got in your fridge or pantry. Do remember that a commercial food mix has the basics all covered, and is designed to give your hamster the nutrition it needs. Still, you can feed your hamster friend food from the lists I mentioned above, as small treats or if you’ve got them on hand when cooking. A word from Teddy I hope you found out what you were looking for here. I know us hammies love toilet paper, but we don’t normally eat it. We hide lots of it in our cheeks, and it looks like we eat it. But we just build our nests with them. If you want to know more about us hammies you can check out the articles below, to learn how to feed and house us properly, and how to play with us too.... Read more...
- Can Hamsters Eat Fruits ? Safe And Unsafe Fruits For Your HammyIf you’re wondering about whether your hammy can eat fruit or not, you’re not the only one. My Teddy is always curious about what I have in my hands, and we eat a lot of fruit in this house. At first I had no idea which fruit was okay for him, or if any fruit was okay to begin with. But let e tell you what I found out, so you’ll know as well. Table of Contents So can hamsters eat fruits ?Some differences between Syrian and Dwarf hamstersFruits your hammy can eat safelyFruits your hamster should be kept away fromYou can use fruits as a treat for your hamsterDo not give your hamster too much fruitA word from Teddy So can hamsters eat fruits ? Yes, hamsters can eat some types of fruits. However hamsters should eat fruits in very small amounts, and not often. The majority of fruits are okay for hamsters to eat, however citrus type fruits are not. They’re too acidic for the hamster’s gut. We’ll cover in the rest of the article which fruits are safe for your hamster, and which should definitely be avoided. And also how much fruit you should give your hamster, and how often. Some differences between Syrian and Dwarf hamsters There’s a big difference between Dwarf hammies (Roborovski, Campbell, Siberian, and Chinese) and the large Syrian hammy. The Dwarf types are prone to diabetes, and need to stay away from very sugary foods and drinks. So that means that they can, in fact eat some fruits, but in a very small amount. And much less often than a Syrian hamster. This is largely due to the size difference between the two hamster types. A piece of apple, for example, as big as a peanut might be acceptable for your Syrian hamster. But for a Dwarf, the exact same piece holds much more sugars and carbs, which will lead to unwanted weight gain and the early stages of diabetes. Not only with fruits, but with some vegetables as well – like carrots, corn, and sweet potato as well. You can check the article “Can Hamsters Eat Vegetables” to read more about this. Fruits your hammy can eat safely Alright, with the difference between Dwarf ans Syrian hamsters in mind, let’s see which fruits your hamster can eat safely. The most common fruits like apples, plums, cherries and grapes are alright. However all hamsters, everywhere, do not react well to the seeds of a fruit. In most cases the seeds are poisonous. So it’s best if you never give your hamster a piece of fruit with seeds in it, of any kind. Then, the very sweet fruits like banana, apricot, peach, mango, pineapple, papaya – most of the yellow fruits – should be given in tiny, tiny amounts. For us these fruits are amazing and have the best taste and smell. However for hamsters these are just too sweet and savory. So it’s best if your hammy only gets an incredibly small amount of them. None of these are poisonous so far, they’re just way too sweet for a hamster so you need to be careful. Now, the berry types – like strawberry and raspberry, these are all alright for your hamster. But, again, without any seeds. So for example a strawberry should be lightly scraped to get all the seeds out, and the green top cut off. A Raspberry is okay by itself, since the white core will come off by itself when the fruit is done. Blueberries and cranberries are alright, but in very small amounts as well. As in, one or two berries every week. Figs are alright for your hamster, but n a very small amount. And Dates are alright too, as long as they have no pit. Coconut is safe for hamsters, but it should be given in very small amounts and sparsely. Coconut has a higher fat-count than peanuts and can make your hamster gain weight faster than bananas or mangos. And finally, watermelon is safe for hamsters, if given in a small amount, just the red part, and without seeds. This is partly because of how sweet it can be, and the fact that it has a very high water content. Too much of it can upset your hammy’s stomach. Fruits your hamster should be kept away from Kiwi – although it’s great as a fruit by itself, the kiwi is not very safe for the hamster. It can be very sour sometimes, and the seeds are not alright for hamsters to eat. This applies to Dragon fruit as well, since it has just as many seeds, everywhere in its flesh. Blackberry – while they’re okay for hamsters by their nutritional value, I put them on the unsafe list because of how many seeds it has, and how hard it is to get rid of them. There’s no way you can remove the seeds from a blackberry and have it whole. So for this reason, I advise against them. Citrus – no citrus fruits are alright for the hamster. Actually, hamsters shy away from the smell of oranges and tangerines. You can check for yourself with a citrus fruit. That includes oranges, tangerines, mandarines, kumquat, clementines, grapefruit (all kinds), lemon, and lime. Star fruit – not safe for hamsters, since they contain a neurotoxin that can be fatal to hamsters, or other small animals. It can cause kidney problems in some sensitive humans too. Best to avoid it for your hamster. (If you like this article so far, you can pin it to your Pinterest board by clicking the image below. The article continues after the image.) You can use fruits as a treat for your hamster Since your hamster can’t have fruits very often, you can use it as a sort of treat. Particularly, you can use it as a very special treat when you’re taming your hamster. That means that your hamster should not get this treat very often. But he cans till get a small piece of apple, or maybe a cube of mango, depending on whatever you’ve got lying around. Simple treats like fruit chips – slices of fruit that have been carefully dried and made sure they’re not moldy – can be great for hammies. I’ve used banana chips for my Teddy, and he loves them. It’s something he gets a kick out of. Probably the crispy, crunchy texture gives him a lot of incentive to nibble and nibble. However these are banana chips, so they’re still sweet. Not as sweet as regular banana slices, the taste is a bit different. But do not go overboard when feeding your hammy these chips, since they are in fact real banana slices. In this respect, the whole bag will last your hamster probably a year. If you get into the bag, that’s another story and completely up to you. You can check the Amazon listing here, and see the reviews as well. Do not give your hamster too much fruit Whether you have a Dwarf or Syrian hamster, they can both develop health issues if given too much sugary foods. While a slice of apple does not compare to a cube of chocolate when it comes to sugar and fats, they are both still sweet. Especially for your sensitive hamster’s taste buds. So it’s best to keep an eye on how much fruit and sweets you give your hammy. A hamster that’s had too much sugar will become overweight, and develop diabetes. Both conditions can be life-threatening. Especially for a creature as small as a hamster. If your hamster’s already overweight, you can read this article to see how to get him to a healthy, safe weight. A word from Teddy I hope you know now which fruits are okay for us hammies. I love banana chips, and I sometimes get bits of apple. But maybe your friend is into mangos more, you could try it out. If you want to know more about us hammies, you can check out the articles below. You’ll find info on things like how big a cage we need, and how much food we need in a day.... Read more...
- How to Find a Hamster Breeder The EssentialsHamsters are such adorable creatures and I won’t be surprised if you are already researching how to find a hamster breeder. However, your search is going to become a lot easier as I’ve done all the hard work for you. In this article, I’ll be talking about how to find a hamster breeder and other sources where you can buy hamsters from. You can find a hamster breeder at hamster online communities, hamster shows and expos, and from online directories of hamster clubs. Now let’s see in full at the different places you can buy a hamster. You may be already familiar with some of them or learn new places where you can buy a hamster. Continue reading to find out the best places to buy a hamster. Table of Contents What are the best places to buy a hamster?1. Getting A Hamster From A Breeder2. Pet stores3. Hamster Communities Online4. Hamster Shows5. Hamsters For Adoption6. Pet ExposHow to find a good hamster breeder?Questions to ask a hamster breeder What are the best places to buy a hamster? Hamsters make a great pet and parents usually get it for their child as his/her first pet. But hamsters are adorable creatures that are loved by the young and old alike. They are affordable, relatively easy to care and of course, cute! And they don’t take a lot of space. What’s not to love about hamsters, 1. Getting A Hamster From A Breeder Hamster breeders are the most reputable source that you can get a hamster from. But the problem many people encounter here is finding hamster breeders near. However, finding local hamster breeders is a lot easier than many people realize. This is because local hamster breeders are usually part of regional and local groups. Now, the good news is that these groups usually have a website and can easily be found with a quick Google search. 2. Pet stores Chances are that you’ve seen hamsters for sale at a local pet store alongside other small animals like birds, mice, and guinea pigs. 3. Hamster Communities Online While there isn’t a hamster nationwide association in the United States, several states have at least one hamster fan club. These hamster fan clubs usually have an online directory of hamster breeders in their states. You can go through this directory to find the closest breeder to you. The California Hamster Organization is an example of a hamster fan club and it is based in Southern California. There are also online communities like Hamster Hideout where you can connect with hamster lovers and breeders in your area. The National Hamster Council (NHC) is the main body for hamster breeders in the UK. And the organization has three regional clubs that have lists of breeder members. The regional clubs have also been known to organize hamster shows. 4. Hamster Shows Hamster shows are events where hamster breeders bring out their hamsters for exhibit and sale. These shows are usually run by hamsters enthusiasts who are very passionate about these adorable little furry creatures and want to promote them as pets while also campaigning for the welfare of hamsters. Finding a hamster show is easy in the UK as local NHC run hamster shows from time to time following a well-established schedule. 5. Hamsters For Adoption Hamsters are usually put up for adoption at small animal rescue organizations and traditional animal shelters. These hamsters are homeless and you could be the one to give a hamster a home forever. You’ll have to inquire about the personality of any hamster you wish to adopt and chances are that a vet has come around to check on the hamsters before they are put up for adoption. 6. Pet Expos Pet expos give you an avenue to meet hamster lovers and breeders. You get to chat way about these adorable creatures as well as buy a hamster and their supplies. Most major cities usually have pet expos at least once a year. If you live in a rural area, you should check out county fairs as well as 4-H shows as they are great places to find hamsters. How to find a good hamster breeder? As discussed above, you can find hamster breeders from online communities, hamster shows, and expos. But you see. anyone can call themselves breeders. It doesn’t matter if they breed hundreds of litters or a single one in a year or whether their hamsters are living in a warehouse or sitting room. The fact that anyone can style themselves as hamster breeders makes things a bit complicated when you want to get hamsters from a breeder. This necessitates the need to differentiate good breeders from the wannabe breeders. One of the ways by which you can spot One of the best ways to know sensible breeders from mediocre ones is to ask questions, lots of questions. My advice to anyone considering getting a new pet is to do some research and learn about the pet. It’s important you know what you are committing to. Also, you’ll be able to judge if any information you receive from a breeder is correct. You can get reliable information about hamsters from Hamsterlopaedia by Chris and Pete Logsdail. So if you ask a breeder a question and he/she can’t or isn’t willing to answer, then that’s a red flag. You can also know if your hamster breeder is reputable or not by the record he/she keeps. Good breeders keep detailed records of their breeding stock. This makes every individual hamster easily identifiable. The records kept should contain the following information about individual hamsters: Birthdate Sex Color Show wins Medical records Mating and breeding log. The breeding log should record all their matings and details such as the number of offspring and any postnatal deaths while the medical records should detail past illnesses of the hamsters if any and the treatments. Questions to ask a hamster breeder 1) Why do you breed?: I think this is a very crucial question and answers like “I think hamsters are cute’ or “Because I want to” isn’t just going to cut it. Now, I think good hamster breeders usually have a vision in mind which ultimately relates to improving hamsters by establishing healthy lines that have good temperament. These hamsters should be able to meet the NHC show standards which are all about promoting good health and aesthetics. 2) Ask if the breeder provides ongoing support and whether you can return a hamster you bought from them if you can no longer keep it: Ideally, the answer to this should be ‘yes’. Responsible hamster breeders should not allow their hamsters to end up at shelter homes. The breeder will inform you of any policy he/she has in place concerning this. 3) Are you a hamster club member or do you hold a prefix?: Hamster organizations like NHC are all about promoting hamster care. These organizations give ‘prefixes’ which are hamsters’ names to breeders that have been members for a year. These breeders will be required to abide by the organization’s code of conduct as regards breeding and care. Ask your breeder if he/she is a member of any club. Also. ask if he/she has a prefix. And should they have a prefix, which you’ll confirm by asking for a prefix certificate, go to the organization’s website to check the current list of breeders that have prefixes? 4) Do you cull babies in litters?: The answer to this should be ‘no’. 5) What care do you give to mums and litters?: This has to do with the care and diet given to both hamster mums and baby hamsters. The diet given to hamsters mums-to-be is very important and should be especially rich in protein. Babies and mother hamsters are not supposed to be disturbed for the first two weeks. You should get some information about the care given to hamsters if the breeders keep detailed records. 6) Ask about how often the babies handled and from what age. Also, you should ask about the age at which the baby hamsters are available for rehoming. Baby hamsters are not supposed to be handled until they are 14 days old as this is when their eyes open. After that, the baby hamsters need to be handled regularly. The reason for this is to keep them tame and nice. And baby hamsters are ready to be moved to a new home by four weeks, though it’s common to do this at 6-8 weeks. A good breeder will provide you with all this information and more. 7) You also need to ask the breeder if they seek veterinary treatment for their hamsters and if there is a good local vet they can recommend. You also have to inquire about any existing health problems the hamster line/litter may have and a good breeder should be honest about this. ... Read more...
- Do Hamsters Attract Mice ? Or Other Pests Like Bugs Or RatsYou might wonder if your hamster is attracting pests, like roaches or mice or even snakes. The thing is, pests don’t come out of nowhere, they have a reason for coming to your home. So is it the hamster ? We’ll delve into this today, and how to rid your home of said pests. Keep in mind that sometimes you might have to ask a professional for help. Table of Contents So do hamsters attract pests ?Why pests might show up in the first placeAgain, this has nothing to do with your hamster friend.Keeping your hamster pest-freeConsider calling a professional to deal with a large infestationA word from Teddy So do hamsters attract pests ? No, hamsters do not attract pests. Hamsters do not attract mice, rats, bugs, snakes, or any other creature that might make your guts squirm. You might think that the hamster’s scent might attract other rodents like mice or rats. This is not true. They are very different species, and will generally avoid each other. The same goes for snakes and bugs. They will not come to you because you’ve touched your pet hamster. Pests do show up when the hamster’s cage becomes dirty, especially with dirty old rotten food. If there are bits of old food on the floor too, then that’s more incentive. But it is not the hamster’s fault. At all. Why pests might show up in the first place To understand why pests might show up in a certain area, we have to know how pests work. You see, the vast majority of creatures regarded as pests – rodents and insects most commonly – are opportunistic feeders. They eat what they can, when they can, if they can get it. As such, a nice crop of corn, for example, can be decimated by a brood of mice, a murder of crows, or a whole locus infestation. But what if you’ve got no such crop ? Well, some food bags in your garage might suffice. If you live in a house and you’ve got foodstuffs stored in your garage or other places in your home, those might attract mice or roaches of not stored properly. This doesn’t mean a stray bag of cereal will make a horde of mice come running. But a bulk of 30 boxes, left in a part of the house that has access to ares that aren’t usually well traveled – like a storage unit or garage or closet or basement – can attract them. If they can pick up the scent of the food, and the food is unguarded, and left in an area that people don’t go through often, then pests can come. Another possibility, if you live in an apartment building: your drawer of snacks can be very inviting. This is more difficult though, since pests don’t come barging because you’ve left an energy bar open in that drawer. But if the building or neighborhood itself has a problem – like possibly your neighbors 2 floors down having a roach infestation – they you might too. They will choose your home over other homes because it has the most unguarded food. Again, this has nothing to do with your hamster friend. But, if you do not regularly clean the hamster’s cage and bits of food and droppings often end up on the floor, pests can show up. They sense where the home is most unkempt, and they go there, knowing no one will be in their way. For example our neighbors have a pair of parakeets. They often leave them in their cage outside in the summer, to enjoy the sun and fresh air. In that cage there’s food, and the birds outside know that. We’ve chased away sparrows trying to steal the parakeet feed more than once. The same scenario could happen with your hamster too, if you keep him in a room where people don’t go much. Sometimes, it could be about something else, and not food. Pests, especially mice and rats, are incredibly curious. and hardy. They will poke and prod and push and try every little corner of the plumbing and outside until they will get inside your home. (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.) Keeping your hamster pest-free Alright, now we know why pests show up. Now we can figure out how to keep the home, and the hamster’s cage pest-free. Here’s a few ideas: Regularly clean the hamster’s cage, once per week. Make sure there is no stray food or poop outside his cage. Do not keep the hamster in a side room. So rooms like basement, closet, garage, storage unit, attic are not okay to keep your living, breathing hamster in. Regularly check the areas where the plumbing comes out of the walls. Like under sinks, bathtubs, drains, etc. Make sure no food has fallen behind a counter, which might attract bugs or mice Keep up to date with your building or neighborhood’s pests infestation, see if your area is clear Make sure your trash can and bags are stored properly, not left outside overnight. For the most part, pests will show up in areas of the home where you don’t really go. So any hidden, dark corner, especially if it connects to a series of tunnels like plumbing for example. For very old houses pests can be a serious problem, since they can infest the walls themselves, and weaken the structure of the house itself. Consider calling a professional to deal with a large infestation If you’ve already got an infestation, you’ll want to get rid of the creatures. While one stray mouse or bug can be dealt with easily, and entire colony is hard to get rid of. There are certain treatments for insects, or poisons for rats, there are even humane traps. But they need to be used effectively. If you’ve got a large infestation, you’ll want to call some professionals. This is mostly because of convenience. By this I mean you can always find the correct dosage for poisons online, or how to set up certain traps as well. But the hassle and time spent on ridding your home of pests is best left to people who are meant to do just that. And you can mind your day-to-day life as usual, until things have settled. Aside from knowing that you’ve got a warranty, in case anything goes wrong. Now I have no recommendation for you, but I’m sure you will be able to look up a team of experts in your area. Do tell them that you’ve got pets, and ask if they’ve got any pet-safe treatments. A word from Teddy I hope you found out what you were looking for here. Us hammies may be rodents but we don’t attract pests, and we’re good guys on our own. We do love to chew though. If you want to know more about us hamsters you can check out the related articles below, to know how to care for us and keep us happy.... Read more...
- Five Best Ways to Bond With Your HamsterWe all want our pets to live healthy and happy lives, and in order to ensure that, we have to cultivate a loving relationship with them. This means that we have to bond with our pets. If you have a hamster, bonding may be a little more difficult, as hamsters are relatively untrusting animals that don’t exactly enjoy human touch. This is completely due to evolution, so you shouldn’t blame yourself if your hamster isn’t exactly showing signs of affection. However, there are many ways you can bond with your hamster. It needs to be addressed that hamsters are very frightful animals that don’t really trust anyone, so you should know that your hamster is going to be afraid of you for a very long time. And even after you’ve bonded with your hamster, it’s still going to take a step back before it takes a step forward. These animals have no defense system aside from running away, and they’re always at the bottom of the food chain, so they instinctively fear everything. In this article, we’ll be discussing how to overcome this problem and how to form a strong bond with your hamster. It’s important to stay patient and not give up just because it’s going slowly. Today, we’ll be taking a look at a few of the most important conditions you will need to fulfill if you want your hamster to trust you. Without any further ado, let’s get started! Table of Contents 1. Make Sure That Your Hamster is Comfortable2. Talk to Your Hamster3. Feeding Your Hamster4. Handling Your Hamster5. Playing with Your HamsterUseful Tips 1. Make Sure That Your Hamster is Comfortable This is very important to any animal, not only to hamsters. Even we, humans, can’t really fulfill our full potential unless our environment is good. We can’t study if our room is a mess, and we can’t work if everyone in the office is shouting – the same principle applies to hamsters; they won’t feel comfortable if their environment isn’t comfortable. You have to understand that hamsters are afraid of everything, and they’re under a great deal of stress after moving. So, when you get your hamster, know that it’s going to take weeks for the hamster to settle in and feel comfortable and adjusted to their new surroundings. To speed up this process, you have to make sure that you’ve made the hamster feel good in their own fur and that their home isn’t presented as a danger to them. This requires two things: buying a good cage and placing that cage. Let’s cover the placement first. You don’t want to place that cage near a TV or a speaker, because hamsters have a very good hearing (and terrible eyesight, while we’re at that), and even though the television or the speaker may not be loud by your standards – they’re going to be obnoxiously loud to the hamster and they’re going to have a lot of trouble functioning. Also, putting them in children’s rooms may not be the best idea, as children are likely to play with them while they’re unsupervised. This is a problem because the hamster can’t be played with until they completely trust their owner(s), and that process takes time. Children immediately playing with the hamster is only going to scare the animal to death, and it’s likely that the hamster will bite to defend itself. Even though hamster bites can’t do much damage, as long as the wound is disinfected and healed properly, this sort of negative interaction will make the hamster trust you even less, and it’s only dragging the process back. It’s also important to note that the expression ‘scare to death’ is quite literal when we’re discussing hamsters (and many other small animals). Their hearts are known to give out if they’re put under too much stress, and a five-foot-tall child pushing their fingers into the cage of a few inches tall hamsters is incredibly scary for them, and that will definitely make them fight back (even though the child has no harmful intent). So, make sure that the space you’re putting the cage in isn’t under too much light, there isn’t too much noise, and there’s not a lot of movement from people. The ideal temperature for a hamster is between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure not to put the cage next to a source of heat, draft, or too much sun. The second thing you have to ensure is a good cage. The most important thing for a cage is for it to have enough room. This depends from hamster to hamster, as hamsters (just like us) have their own personal preferences, and two hamsters of the same species may not need the same amount of space. When the cage is too small, the hamster is going to feel stressed out and that can even lead to injury. Hamsters are known to rub their faces against the cage bars, which causes them to lose fur. If the hamster doesn’t feel comfortable in the cage, then it’s not going to feel comfortable around you. Every cage should have plenty of room, bedding, a hiding spot, fresh food and water, and a wheel to run on. The latter is very important, and even though some people think it’s just a gimmick, hamsters actually enjoy running on their wheels – these animals have a lot of energy and they need to burn it off, otherwise, they won’t feel good. When you’re choosing the right cage, you can choose between mesh cages, glass aquariums, and plastic cages. Metal mesh cages are okay, especially because of ventilation and ease of maintenance, but smaller hamsters can run away. Take note that hamsters will always try to run away, even if they adore you and have fully bonded with you – they’ll still try to run away and get to the wilderness if the opportunity for that arises. They can’t exactly help it, it’s in their instinct. Hamsters can fit through insanely small spaces, so you should keep this in mind when purchasing a cage. Glass aquariums are the safest for the hamster, as they can’t hurt themselves and they can’t run away – but they’re hell when it comes to cleaning. Lastly, we have plastic cages, which are great and fun for the hamster, but have poor ventilation and are difficult to clean. When it comes to size – two square feet is a minimum, but your hamster may require more. Look for advice from your local pet shop. 2. Talk to Your Hamster Hamsters have very good hearing, and the first thing you should do to bond with your hamster is talked to it. Just sit in front of the cage and talk. You don’t even have to be talking to the hamster, you can be talking on the phone, read a book out loud, or simply think out loud while working – it’s just important for the hamster to hear your voice and get used to it. After a few weeks the hamster get completely used to your voice and it won’t shiver upon hearing it. It’s also good to talk to the hamster when it’s doing enjoyable things like eating or running on the wheel. 3. Feeding Your Hamster Now, another great thing you can do for your hamster to get more acclimated to you is to feed it. Don’t just feed it the same thing every day – you don’t eat the exact same meal daily, so why should your hamster do that? There are many treats, like apples and seeds that you can give to your hamster. With time, you will be able to try to feed your hamster out of your open palm. This is very important and a great way to improve the relationship between you and your hamster. Firstly, make sure to wash your hands before you place them in your hamster’s cage for any reason. Hamsters can’t see well, so they use their sense of smell and touch to tell what’s what. They tend to bite, even if they don’t feel threatened, to see if what’s in front of them is actually food. So, if you push your finger in your hamster’s cage and it smells like the pot roast you’ve had for lunch, you’re basically guaranteeing that your hamster will bite your finger. Hamsters can’t control this instinct, once again, as they’re conditioned by evolution to eat (or at least store) every sort of food they come upon. It’s important that your hamster trusts you enough to eat out of your open palm. Just like hamsters, every other animal (including humans) is vulnerable when eating. And being vulnerable on the open palm of a creature that’s twenty or thirty times your size is very risky. The fact that your hamster is willing to casually eat out of your hand means that it understands that you have no intention of harming it. Place a small piece of apple in your open palm and put your hand in the cage. Let the hamster come to you. It may not work the first time, but it’ll work after a while. Talk to the hamster as you’re doing this – we’ve already discussed how important it is for the hamster to recognize your voice, and this will make it understand that you’re not a threat. 4. Handling Your Hamster It’s going to take a while for your hamster to let you hold it. It’s best to do this after you’ve been feeding it by hand, because that’s a clear sign that your hamster trusts you (somewhat), and it’s time to move to the next step. To hold your hamster, put both hands in the cage, and when your hamster has allowed you to keep them there – connect them to cup them together under your hamster’s belly. You can then raise your hands and you’ll be holding your hamster. Don’t take your hands out of the cage and start carrying your hamster around just yet, for the first time, just let it lie on your cupped hands and let it go back after a while. Try this a few times a day for a few days, each time going a little bit further – taking the hamster out of the cage, putting the hamster close to your chest, carrying the hamster. You have to know that despite the hamster trusting you, it will try to jump out of your hands at the smallest sign of danger – a dog barking, you shaking, etc. This will become a huge problem because it’s very difficult to catch a hamster once it runs away, so the best way to deal with this is to point the hamster towards your chest. Let it feel your body’s warmth, and it will also be more difficult for it to escape because it’s going to be rotated towards you, not away from you. You should do this for a while, and after a few weeks, your hamster will trust you enough to let you hold it whenever you like. Make sure to reward your hamster with a treat every time you hold it like this, that will make it understand that it’s all for a good reason and that you have no intention of harming it, but quite the opposite – rewarding it. You can use this opportunity to pet your hamster. Just like any other animal, hamsters enjoy being pet on the back of their heads. This will further deepen your relationship. 5. Playing with Your Hamster Playing with your hamster is the ultimate level of trust with your pet. It’s difficult to come to this point, but once you do, your hamster trusts you almost completely. Know that your hamster will still try to run away if you don’t enclose its playing area, so it’s best to place some sort of wooden enclosure on the floor when you’re playing with your hamster. One of the most fun things is to teach your hamster tricks. This is actually fairly simple to do, as all hamsters are motivated by food and you can use that to teach them to jump, flip, roll over, spin in a circle, and even wear clothes. Another thing you can do is to buy toys for your hamster. There are many toys available for hamsters at pet stores, but the most popular one is the exercise ball. This is a plastic ball that the hamster can enter and run around with it. This is a form of exercise, but it’s also fun for the hamster. This ball will allow your hamster to safely explore your home, but make sure that it doesn’t fall down the stairs and that it doesn’t roll around for longer than twenty minutes without a water and snack break – hamsters don’t have the strongest stamina. One thing that you have to make sure of when playing with your hamster is to check for any hazards. Make sure that your hamster can’t reach any electrical outlets or chew on a cable. Also, don’t let any other pets in the room while your hamster is there, and block any spaces that your hamster might crawl into. There are times when your hamster will just want to hop into your lap and let you pet it, this is also a form of playing and let your hamster enjoy it. Useful Tips Only approach your hamster when it’s awake. Hamsters like to sleep, a lot, and they usually spend the largest part of the day sleeping, and they’re at their most active when the sun is setting, and later when it’s rising in the morning. They are not going to appreciate you waking them up, and they’re not going to want to play. Approach the hamster when it’s ready to be approached. Let your hamster climb on you. Once your hamster starts finding you trustworthy, it’s going to want to climb on you. They’re pretty good climbers, and they’re not going to hurt you, so you should let them climb on you. This is another form of playing to them, so they’re not going to cause any harm. Groom your hamster – your hamster’s fur is going to grow. Hamsters are actually some of the most well-groomed pets, very similar to cats, and they’re going to spend a large part of their conscious life grooming themselves. Still, make sure that they’re properly groomed. Clean your hamster’s cage often – nobody likes to live in a dirty home, and hamsters don’t like it either. Unfortunately, they can’t exactly clean after themselves, so make sure to clean your hamster’s cage whenever it gets dirty.... Read more...
- 13 Steps To Tame Your Hamster Without Getting BittenWhen I first got my Teddy I only knew a little about hamsters, so I made a few mistakes while taming him. Here I want to show you what to do to make sure you tame your hammy, and not get bitten in the process. My Teddy is a golden Syrian hamster, but this guide will work with any kind of hamster breed. Be warned through, that the Dwarf types are harder to handle and tame because they are so small. Table of Contents So how do you tame a hamster ?What to know before you try to tame your hamsterSome hamster breeds are harder to tameBe patient and consistentGive the hamster some timeMake sure the hamster has enough spaceGet your hamster an exercise wheel for all his energyDo not annoy the hamsterMake sure your hands are cleanMake a habit of talking to your hamsterStart by giving the hamster a small treat through the cage barsPlace your hand in the cage, with a treat on your palmFeed the hamster from your hand dailyPut some food in your other palm, so he will cross over your handsGently lift the hamster when you give him a treat in your palmLift the hamster higher, and place your other hand over himStart ‘walking’ your hamster over your handsA word from Teddy So how do you tame a hamster ? In short, you can tame your hamster by building trust with it. Getting the hamster used to you, slowly starting to feed him from your hand, and only touching him for short periods of time at first is a great way to start. Most hamsters will be scared when you pick them up, so you need to build up to that slowly over the course of a few days or even weeks. That is the most basic, and important piece of information I can give you about taming a hamster. Everything else is just patience. But I’ve made you a guide on everything you need to know and do when you try to tame your hamster. Here’s a quick rundown, and we’ll cover each entry in detail in the rest of the article. Give the hamster some time, it might take a couple of weeks Make sure the hamster has enough space in his cage, and a hideout Get your hamster an exercise wheel for all his energy Do not annoy the hamster, they’re not lighthearted like puppies Make sure your hands are clean before handling the hamster Make a habit of talking to your hamster Start by giving the hamster a small treat through the cage bars Place your hand in the cage, with a treat on your palm Feed the hamster from your hand daily Put some food in your other palm, so he will cross over your hands Gently lift the hamster when you give him a treat in your palm Lift the hamster higher, and place your other hand over him Start ‘walking’ your hamster over your hands Before we get into every entry on that list, let’s talk a bit about hamsters. They’re not bred like dogs to trust humans from the get-go, and they won’t jump on you to show affection. So reading a hamster’s reactions will be different from any other usual pet. This is another reason to take things slow, and make sure you have enough patience with your furry friend. What to know before you try to tame your hamster A few things you should consider, and it’s for your own good, as well as the hamster’s. Remember that hamsters are very different from many pets, and they will seem aloof most of the time. Some hamster breeds are harder to tame Actually, almost every other hamster type aside from the Syrian is harder to tame. This is because they are so very small, and will not sit still for very long. Smaller hamsters, like the Dwarf types are fast, very hyper, and some of them are nearly impossible to hold, more on that in this article about syrian vs dwarfs. This means that when you’re trying to pick up your hammy, he will jump off and scurry away faster than you can move. It also means that they will not be still in your hands for more than a few seconds, so you will have to keep moving your hands. Which will make it much easier for the hamster to fall out of your hands, and they can hurt themselves. There is also the issue of short-term memory. Dwarf types can forget interactions within 24 hours, so it’s best to interact with them daily. Syrians have a longer memory, and will remember you for up to a week. Still, all hamsters need constant stimulation. Be patient and consistent Taming your hamster will take some time. It might take a few days, or it might take even a few weeks. It depends on several factors, but it’s mostly the hamster’s personality, and your patience. True, there are some hamsters that never want to be handled. And there are hamsters that scare very very easily and will shy away from you. If that is the case for your hammy, there’s not much you can do. They each have their own personality. For example my Teddy isn’t the cuddliest fluffball around. He’s curious and will come up to you, but doesn’t like being handled too much, and won’t really let you pet him. He’s fine if you pick him up for a minute, but if he’s in his cage and you try to pet him – no. The point is that your hammy’s taming process might take longer than expected. Or, the end result might be different from what you wanted or expected. But it’s important to be consistent and patient. Even after you’ve tamed your hamster, it’s important to keep touching and petting it, and also talking to it. Hamsters can forget, so they need constant stimulation. Now let’s get into the whole process, and how to start. Give the hamster some time Your hamster might take to you fast, or it might never get attached to you. Keep trying, and be consistent with the attention you give him. Remember that Dwarf hamsters might take more time to get to know you well enough. Syrians will usually take less time to tame, and won’t be prone to biting or nipping as much. That being said, all hamsters need some time to get used to you. The smell of your hand, your voice, everything needs some time to get used to. Progress slowly from each step to the next, and do not try to pick up the hamster as soon as you brought him from the pet shop. Instead build up to actually being able to hold your hamster. Start small, by feeding your hammy through the bars at first, until he is comfortable with your smell and associates it with ”good”. Make sure the hamster has enough space This is very important for a hamster. For any animal actually. Space is their territory, and how free they feel will have an impact on how relaxed they are. So if your hammy is in a cramped up, tiny cage – like the square, bright colored ones they give you at the pet store – he won’t be hammy. Even if it’s a Dwarf hamster he still needs lots more space than those cages. For more info on how to select the right cage for your hammy, check this best cages article. You’ll get the minimum cage requirements as well, and know what to look for in a new cage. Your hammy’s cage is important, and just as important is his hideout. That is what he will use to… well, hide, and sleep, and eat, and sleep some more. So it’s important you actually get your hammy a hideout. Hamsters will use the bedding in the cage if they have no other option, but they will not feel okay. For more info on a hamster’s hideout and how to make sure you get a good one, you can read this article. Get your hamster an exercise wheel for all his energy Hammies need a lot of exercise. Especially the smaller breeds, like Robo, Campbell, and Siberian are always on their wheel. The Chinese and Syrian can get lazier as they age. A hamster with a lot of pent up energy will not be easy to handle, will nip at you, and will probably squirm in your hand much more. So it’s in your interest that your hamster gets plenty of exercise. He needs to have where and how to run around, since hamsters can cover up to 9 km/5.5 miles in a whole night. Imagine keeping that hamster locked up ! You can find out more about a hamster’s usual running routine here, and why he needs to run in the first place. And you can also find out more about hamster exercise wheels in this article. Do not annoy the hamster It’s important to remember that hamsters are not like other pets. They don’t take well to pranks or jokes, because they’re easy to scare and take everything seriously. They have to, if they’re expecting to survive. So seemingly harmless things like tugging on his whiskers, or an ear, or waking up him suddenly won’t be welcomed. Hamsters are unfortunately much more serious than puppies, who will forgive you for holding their snout. Best to leave the hamster be, he will come out of his hideout in his own time. So don’t try to poke or annoy the hamster in any way. You are, after all, trying to build a good relationship with him. He is supposed to trust you, and his trust is very fragile. Make sure your hands are clean Hamsters are very sensitive to smell, so your scent will be very important. That also means that they’ll be very sensitive to whatever’s on your hands. Maybe moisturizer, or maybe you just peeled an orange, or you handled a tube of disinfectant. Whatever the case, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly. Go for an unscented, or very very lightly scented soap when you handle your hamster. Excessively floral or fruity soap – if it smells extra sweet – will make your hamster think you’ve actually got vanilla and coconut on your hands. The hamster himself is very clean, so cleaning your hands afterwards will not be an issue. I still recommend you wash your hands after handling the hamster as well, but it’s not mandatory. Make a habit of talking to your hamster Your hammy will recognize your voice as well, since he is sensitive to sound as well. So by making sure that your hamster recognizes your voice, you’re making the taming process go much smoother. You can do this by talking to your hammy every time you see it. He won’t look like he’s reacting, but hamsters aren’t very expressive. Trust me when I say that he’s listening to what you’re saying, especially if he’s coming closer or looking your way. Go for a soft, low voice since his ears are very sensitive and there is no point in being loud around him. Talking to your hamster will help disarm some odd moments too. Like when he suddenly freezes, for example, or when he’s a bit scared of you. If you lower yourself to his level and talk to him you look much less threatening. Start by giving the hamster a small treat through the cage bars The steps before this one were more for setting the tone for your hamster. This is the first thing to do to show your hamster that you mean him no harm. So take a treat for your hamster, it can even be something simple like a sunflower seed or a peanut. It needs to be large enough that you can hold one end of it, and your hamster can grab he other end through the bars. Your hammy will come close, sniff the treat, and go for it right away. His love for food will override his fear of you, and he will come closer. He might even touch your finger with a paw. That might seem like a small thing, but it’s actually your first contact for your hamster ! Do this often throughout the day, and keep doing this even after you’ve tamed your hamster. It will help keep your bond close. Here’s a clear list of what hamsters can and can not eat. You’ll also find out the treats that are available for hamsters as well. Place your hand in the cage, with a treat on your palm This is the biggest step your will make. Your hamster’s never had your hand in his cage before. He will ignore it for a lot of time if you just put it there, plain. He will also become curious and come to sniff and nibble at it. And if you’re not used to it, and he’s not careful, it might turn into a bite. So best to get your hand in his cage with a treat on your palm, and just keep it there for a few minutes. Your hammy will come to investigate it immediately. He will recognize your smell, but will probably not trust you just yet. You might see funny things like your hammy straining his neck to get to the treat but not touch your hand. He will give in one day, and actually place a paw on your hand. Whoa, big move there ! Feed the hamster from your hand daily Keep giving your hamster food from your hand as often as possible. You can even give your hammy his full serving of food from your hand. A full serving for a Syrian is 2 teaspoons of dry food, and one teaspoon for Dwarf types. This is for a daily feeding. If you feed him daily from your hand, you’ll feel his little paws on your hand more and more often, and you’ll notice they are cold. That’s normal for them, and they’re fine. Just be careful, because when your hammy will be close to finishing the food from your hand he will go for the lines of your hand. That’s where food will pool, and your hammy will go looking for it. He might nibble at your hand for a bit, but he won’t bite. Unless you suddenly pull your hand away in shock, in which case you will scare him, and he will definitely bite then. (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.) Put some food in your other palm, so he will cross over your hands Now you can try putting some food, or more food, in your other hand. So when you place your one hand in your hamster’s cage with a bit of food, he will touch it. He might even climb onto it. Then, place your second hand with a bit of food next to your other hand. Your hammy will learn to walk across your hands like this, and he will trust them. Again, do this repeatedly, many times throughout the way and it might take a while but your hamster will learn to trust you. If you want, you can even make a sort of board with your hands for your hamster to walk on. Place just a bit of food at the end farthest from your hamster, so he will have to cross almost both hands in order to get his food. Gently lift the hamster when you give him a treat in your palm Once you have your hamster comfortable with every step until this one, you can try to gently lift him. Do this in his cage, or glass tank, and do not lift him high. The reason behind lifting your hamster just a couple of inches off the ground is to get him used to the movement. Hamsters scare very easily, so he needs this training part. Place your palm with a bit of food inside the cage, and when your hamster’s climbed into your hand, slowly lift the hand. Your hamster will probably walk away once he feels your hand moving, that’s okay. Keep trying. This is why he needs training. You might find that he jumps off your hand if you keep him up for more than a couple of seconds. So make sure you put him back in a short amount of time. Lift the hamster higher, and place your other hand over him If your hamster is used to everything until now, then great. This step will be a bit more challenging for him, since you won’t be putting him back down soon. So once your hammy is safely in your hand, place your other hand on him, and lift him higher that usual. Do this for a short amount of time, and do not do it very fast. It will be new for your hammy, so make sure he is comfortable with every step up to this one. Be sure both your hands are safely cupping the hamster when you lift him. If the hamster falls from a higher place, he will hurt himself. So it’s best to not keep him up for too long. Start ‘walking’ your hamster over your hands Once your hamster is comfortable being held, you can start moving your hands so he can walk over them. It looks a lot like you’re washing your hands. Do this in your hamster’s cage at first, since he will probably move faster than you imagine. You need to make sure that if your hamster will jump out of your hands it will land somewhere soft, like his cage. And this was the final step in training and taming your hamster. If he is comfortable being picked up, and will run over your hands when you hold him, he’s pretty much tame. Now, all hamsters are jittery and will not sit still so do not judge your hammy too hard for not staying calmly in your hand. When he wants to be let go it will be obvious, and he might just jump. So always be very close or over your hamster’s cage. A word from Teddy I know taming one of us hammies can be a bit difficult. But it’s worth it when you talk to us and we look right at you. I for one don’t like being handled for more than a minute, but maybe your hammy loves hugs, who knows ? We all have a personality of our own. If you want to know more about us hammies, you can check out the articles below. You’ll find info on how much water us hamsters need, what room temp we need to be comfortable, and even why we eat our own poop !... Read more...
- 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 So 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.... Read more...
- Why Hamsters Die (Main Reasons, Some Of Them Preventable)Hamsters can die, and it’s never pleasant news to hear your little friend passed away. But why did that happen ? Was it old age ? Was the hamster suffering from an illness or an injury ? Let’s see what the most common causes are. Table of Contents So why do hamsters die ?When is a hamster considered old ?Health problems hamsters can commonly getDo not confuse hibernation with hypothermiaMaking sure you keep your hamster safeA word from Teddy So why do hamsters die ? Hamsters can die for a number of reasons, and it’s usually a medical condition. Even old hamsters, very old ones, pass away because their bodies simply don’t function as well as they used to, and some critical part of their body no longer works. Sometimes, hamsters can die of diseases or injuries, most of them preventable. Not all are noticeable. Or, if you do notice, you don’t figure out what the problem is until it’s too late. Knowing the usual health problems hamsters can get, and what old age looks like for hamsters will help you know when and if there is anything left to do. When is a hamster considered old ? Usually a hamster is old by the time he reaches 2 years of age. In Chinese hamsters this threshold is lower, since their average lifespan is 2 years. So they can be considered old by the time they reach their first birthday. Most hamsters live 2-3 years, and as such you’ll notice the changes happening to then when they get old fairly quickly. Sparse fur, weak legs, cataracts, a withered look about them, a distinct neck – these are all clear signs your hamster is a senior in his right. Along with old age come a host of health problems, mostly because it’s easier for them to come along. Like wet-tail for example, which can be brought on either by stress or an infection. An infection happens easier if the hamster is not clean, and a very old hamster will stop grooming himself as much. So, an old hamster who develops wet-tail has very little chances of survival, and his death could be attributed to both the disease and the old age. Old age also makes the immune system weaker, and the body weaker overall. Bones don’t mend as easily, sores don’t go away. Any injury to an old hamster is harder to heal than one to a young hamster. Health problems hamsters can commonly get Most health problems can be avoided, like infections, overgrown teeth, cuts and scrapes, injuries from falling and so on. They can also be easily treated with the help of a competent veterinarian. You will need to look for an ”exotics” vet, who will have experience with rodents, reptiles, and birds as well. Antibiotics will take care of infections. Tumors can be removed most of the time. bones can be mended, But there are some diseases or problems that can be… well, deadly. Especially so if not noticed in time and treated. Let’s go over a few of them. Wet-tail is the first to spring into mind. It’s a sort of digestive problem, with symptoms like diarrhea, excessive water drinking, loss of appetite, a sweaty/wet look, a soiled wet hamster bottom, possibly smelly cage. Can be lethal in less than a week if left untreated. If treated within 24h of developing, it can be survived. Longer than that. and the chances are lower. Even after treatment some hamsters still pass away, because they were too drained from the illness itself. It took a huge toll on their bodies and they withered away. Any sort of infection, if it’s not treated right away. By this I mean the infections filled with pus, whether it’s an infected tooth, eye, or ear. All of them can spread to the brain, and inside the body. If the hamster swallows the pus (in the case of an infected tooth or cheek) this can lead to sepsis, which too can be fatal. Lumps and tumors can be deadly as well, mostly because they can be very hard to operate on. The hamster, being so very small, has little chance of surviving anaethesia, although there have been cases. In some cases the tumor is inside the body, and removing it is sentencing the hamster to certain death, with blood loss as the main cause. The surgery would be too big of a risk, again. Chemotherapy is hard to survive even for humans, let alone for hamsters. Injuries, like a broken spine because of a nasty fall, can be deadly too. While a fall from the height of an ordinary table isn’t much for a human, it can be deadly for a hamster. Keep in mind that they’re so very small, and have a fragile frame. This means that falls from heights like your table, dresser, even just your hands while you stand up, can all lead to serious injuries and sometimes even death. Those falls can be deadly either on impact, like a fractured skull, or serious internal organ injuries, and they can also be deadly by result. Like internal bleeding, ruptured organs, and so on. It’s a terrible thought to write about, so please handle your hamster very carefully. When it comes to bedding, and textiles introduced to your hamster, be careful. The extra fluffy, puffy kind of textile sometimes found on or in hamster toys (the ones with very long fibers, like the stuffing inside teddy bears). That is dangerous for hamsters, since they will find it and stuff it in their cheeks, and use it as nesting material. While it does keep them warm, it’s also too easy for them to tangle that material in their teeth or cheeks, or get a foot stuck inside, or in some cases pretty much wrap it around their necks and suffocate. I’m sorry to paint pictures like these, but this has happened before to other hamster owners. Please keep plush and overly fluffy things far away from hamsters. As a sidenote, I have a blanket with a plush side. When I let Teddy onto the bed one day and the blanket was there, he immediately started putting it in his cheeks. They’re very fast, and you need to spot them right away to stop them. Finally, there is another reason for hamsters seeming to suddenly die. Some people have reported their hamsters being happy and healthy yesterday, only to find them lifeless this morning. Those cases, while unfortunate and traumatic, always have an explanation. Most of the time, it’s a circulatory problem. Like a blood clot forming in the brain, or a form of heart attack brought on by a scare in the middle of the night. Hamsters are very sensitive, and scaring them too hard is … well, easier than necessary. This is one reason you should not scare your hamster, or let it get too stressed. Being barked at, handled too often, dangled upside down, continuously poked and prodded and so on. These are very stressful things for a hamster, and can be the final straw in some cases. (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.) Do not confuse hibernation with hypothermia I’ve set this one aside because it’s a common problem. Hamsters do hibernate, but only in the wild. In the wild, they have a weeks and months in advance to prepare for the cold. Gather food, get fat and have energy stored up, dig a big warm nest, get safe. They go to sleep once winter comes and they only wake up from time to time (like once a week !) to nibble on something they’ve stored up. When they wake up, the earth is thawing, they’re hungry and dehydrated. At home, in your warm house, the cold doesn’t gradually creep in over the span of a few months. It never does, because you keep your home warm. So why do some hamsters end up ‘hibernating’ ? Well, they’ve sometimes been left out in the garage for a few hours, or another such space that’s used for storage and is usually cold. Or they were maybe forgotten next to an opened window. Really, it could be any occasion with cold temperatures. The point is that the hamster will go into a sort of hibernation, but in truth it’s actually hypothermia. He did not have time to build an extra warm nest, build a protective layer of fat on his body, but he did store some food. The problem is that this is not true hibernation, and he will likely die if not woken up fast. You might think he is dead, be might be cold. He might not move at all. But a dead hamster will be rigid, like a statue. He will be cold. A hibernating hamster will be cold-ish, but his whiskers or ears might twitch if you touch them. He will be limp, that’s the first major sign he is alright. For more info on waking up a hamster from such a situation, check this article. Always, always attempt to warm him up or wake him before deciding he has passed away. There have been accounts of hamsters thrown away in the trash bin, only to be found by the garbage disposal service later, alive and kicking. Making sure you keep your hamster safe There are ways your can make sure your hamster lives a happy, healthy life. Now, although what I explained above might make you want to keep him under a glass dome, don’t do that. Instead, be a responsible hamster owner and keep him out of trouble. Let’s see what that means: Keep the hamster away from overly curious pets who might disturb him, like a cat or a puppy or even parrots or other rodents. Basically any pet that can move through the house on its own. Always supervise kids playing with the hamster. Accidents can happen, and it’s your responsibility to both teach the child and keep the hamster safe. Only handle the hamster close to his cage, and not allow more than double his height as a falling height. If you’re letting the hamster onto the floor, make sure there are no places for him to get inside or under or between pieces of furniture and be impossible to get out safely. Keep any fluffy textile or materials away from your hamster. Some are sold as nesting material. Stay away from them. Never overfeed your hamster, else he might grow obese and develop diabetes and joint problems. Be careful which foods from your fridge or pantry you feed you hamster. Some are safe, some not. Always clean his cage, once a week, a full cleaning complete with a cage wipe-down or actual rinsing on the shower. Make sure you bring your hamster to the vet, even if it might be nothing. Better to have him checked and find out he’s okay, than leave it to chance and figure out there is a problem when it’s too late. Thees are the absolute basics of keeping your hamster healthy and safe, more info can be found in the related articles below. Until then, read Teddy’s thoughts on the matter. A word from Teddy I hope you found what you were looking for in this article. Us hammies are cute and cuddly, but we do pass away. That means we’re sometimes too sick, or we grow too old to fight an injury or sickness. We rely on you to spot the problem and help us out. If you want to know more about us hamsters you should check out the related articles below. You’ll learn how to keep us safe and happy, and what we need for a good life.... Read more...