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.

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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.)

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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.

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Can Hamsters Eat Meat – Here’s What Your Furry Friend Likes
Can Hamsters Eat Meat – Here’s What Your Furry Friend LikesWhen I first got my Teddy I wondered if he can eat meat, and what I should feed him. As it turns out, hamsters can eat many different things. Some of them are actually in your pantry or fridge ! In this article I’ll be talking about whether hammies can have meat, and if so what kind, any why, and how much, and so on. Table of Contents ToggleSo can hamsters eat meat ?Hamsters can only eat light meatHammies can have:Hamsters can’t have:How hamsters find their protein in the wildCommercial food gives hamsters vegetable proteinYou can supplement your hamster’s diet, yes.A word from Teddy So can hamsters eat meat ? Yes, hamsters can definitely eat meat ! Not much though, since in the wild their diet consists of grains, seeds, veggies, and meat. So, they’re not particularly carnivores, like cats, or dogs. It might seem a bit strange, since hamsters are this cute ball of fluff and they have the cutest beady eyes, but hammies do eat meat. And hamsters can in fact live out their entire life without ever eating meat of any kind, and be fine. However they will not turn it down if you offer them some. However even in the wild hammies do find some sources of animal protein, so they definitely can eat meat. Just, they need it in small amounts, in order to process it properly. And they can’t have just any kind of meat. Hamsters can only eat light meat While hamsters can in fact eat meat, they can’t eat just every kind there is. For example very exotic meats like snake or aligator meat, aren’t good for hamsters. But even your day to day options might seem a bit much for your hamster friend. Let’s go through a short list of what kind of meat your hamster can eat: Hammies can have: Chicken, fish, shrimp. This is light meat, and it’s okay for hamsters. Always make sure that the meat you give your hamster is completely bland. So that means unsalted, unspiced meat. It needs to be either boiled, or baked. No added oils, or fried meat, or even lunchmeat or coldcuts, even if they’re made of the meats I just mentioned. Hammies can have chicken, any meaty part of it. The fish should be a very light fish, that was only baked, and they don’t need garlic or lemon to go with it. Be very careful to remove any small bones your hammy might choke on ! As for the shrimp, hammies can have a bit of shrimp as well, since it’s not a very smelly kind of seafood (hamsters have very sensitive noses). Other kinds of seafood like surimi, crab meat, octopus, and calamari rings are probably not a good idea. This is mainly because no one has tried it before, so there’s no info that can be trusted, only assumptions. Still, best to just stick with what you know is completely safe for your hamster friend, and just give him a small bit of chicken or fish or shrimp. By small I mean no larger than the nail of your thumb, think about your hamster’s minuscule size. Hamsters can’t have: Any kind of red meat, or venison, or large bird kind of  meat. So that means that beef, pork, turkey, goose, deer, duck, pretty much anything aside from what I mentioned earlier, is not good for your hamster. This is because a hammy’s stomach can’t process this kind of meat very well. From this point of view, the hamster’s digestive tract is different than ours. Your hammy might want to nibble on that kind of meat if he smells you cooking with it. But make sure you give him none of that, since it’s much better for his health. How hamsters find their protein in the wild Hammies do eat protein in the wild. They don’t hunt down wild chicken or go fishing, though. But they do catch the occasional cricket, or grasshopper. Sometimes, if they’re feeling sneaky hamsters might pounce on a mealworm too. Now, this doesn’t happen often. Not because hamsters feel guilty, but because protein sources tend to move around and hide from their predators. So pouncing a mealworm or catching a cricket is much more work than foraging for some seeds/grains. If given the chance, hamsters will snatch up the insect or worm, just like any other small rodent – for example a field mouse. (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.) Commercial food gives hamsters vegetable protein Your hamster does get his protein from his usual food mix too. The commercial food mixes are made up of protein, veggies, fibers, and minerals as well. However the protein sources those food mixes usually use are vegetable based. So your hamster is getting soy, or beans, as a protein source. Which is fine, as long as he does get his protein. Whey or beef-based protein mixes don’t keep as long as vegetable ones, and are more expensive. However they’re more efficient at getting protein into your hamster’s diet than soy or beans. This pre-made food mix covers all the basics your hammy will need. And it’s in a large enough bag that you can keep your hamster well fed for a couple of months, depending on how much you give him daily. More on that here. I give my Teddy pre-made food mixes as well, and give him some extra veggies or chicken when we’re cooking. You can check out the listing on Amazon for this food mix, so you know what to expect, and read the reviews. You can supplement your hamster’s diet, yes. You can give your hammy some chicken, fish, or shrimp to eat along with his usual mix. You can even add in a bit of boiled egg white, or a small piece of tofu. Just make sure that when you do give your hamster protein separately, you give him a small amount. This is because he needs to be able to eat all of it in one sitting. Otherwise the leftovers will go bad, and start to smell, which will cause a hose of problems. For more info on what you can feed your hammy, you should check out this list of safe and unsafe foods. You’ll find there a lot of foods you’ve already got in your pantry, and see which you can give your hammy. A word from Teddy I hope you know now what kind of meat us hammies can have. I for one am in love with chicken bits, and will drop anything I have in my paws if I find some chicken. Your hammy will probably enjoy some chicken or boiled egg white too, try it out ! If your want to know more about us hammies, you can check out the articles below. You’ll find out things like why we get scared of you sometimes, and how much water we need on a daily basis. [...] Read more...
Hamster vs Rabbit – Which Is The Best Pet For Your Home ?
Hamster vs Rabbit – Which Is The Best Pet For Your Home ?Thinking of getting a pet, but can’t decide between a rabbit or a hamster ? I know you know they’re very different animals, but there are some things that can become deal-breakers, depending on what you’re looking for in a pet. Let’s see the main differences between a hamster and a rabbit, so you can properly decide which is best for you. If you want to know how a hamster would fare living with a rabbit in the same cage, you should read this article. Table of Contents ToggleAbout the hamster – general info and personalityAbout the rabbit – general info and personalityFood and treat differences between hamsters and rabbitsCage sizes and exercise requirements for rabbits and hamstersSocializing and upkeep needs are very different for rabbits and hamstersA word from Teddy About the hamster – general info and personality A hamster is very small, can be as small as 2 inches/5 cm, and as large as 5 inches/13 cm. He doesn’t need as much room as a rabbit, and usually stays put. As in, leaving the hamster in his cage all his life is not a problem, as long as he has a large enough cage. He does need a bit of exercise, but this is where his exercise wheel comes to the rescue. Hammies don’t like to share and generally should not be housed together. The only exceptions are the Dwarf types, who can live with a sibling or two of the same sex. This is only true for siblings that have never been separated and live in a very large cage, so they won’t fight over food and toys and general resources. Even so, I recommend keeping any and all hamsters alone, one hamster per cage. This reduces the hamster’s stress levels and this way you make sure there are no unnecessary fights, which can sometimes be deadly. Hamsters are prey animals, so they’re used to running away and hiding. Their cages need to have plenty of hiding places, so they can feel safe. This also means that taming the hamster will not be as easy as taming a puppy. He will take anywhere between a few days and a few weeks to trust you. And that trust can always be lost, or forgotten if you stop interacting with him for a few days. Still, hamsters make for very entertaining pets. It’s just that the vast majority of hamsters only come out of their hiding place at night. This means that if you go to bed before 10 PM you might just miss their waking up.  And if you wake up around 6 AM, they’ve just gone to bed. So I’d only recommend a hamster to a person who either stays up very late, or works night shifts and can catch the hamster awake more often. They’re also very sensitive animals, in that there is such a thing as handling them too much, and too little. They get grumpy if you wake them up, they won’t always want to stay in your hands… okay, they rarely want to stay put. They want to explore and see everything. Their personalities are not obvious from the start, when they’re babies. But once they grow up (3 months-ish) you’ll realize you’ve either got a Rambo type (all over the place, exploring, trying to intimidate you, not staying still) or the world’s laziest and relaxed furball. There is no in-between. All hamsters mellow down once they become old, it’s just that some are absolutely spastic when they’re young. About the rabbit – general info and personality Rabbits are very different from hamsters. For a very long time I thought that, with rabbits being rodents they must be very similar to hamsters. Well, it turns out rabbits aren’t even rodents, they’re lagomorphs. That’s mainly a difference in teeth and digestive system, which includes the fact that their feed is going to be different. Rabbits are everything the hamster is not. While they too are small (compared to a dog), even the tiniest bunny is bigger than the largest hamster. You can get anything from Dwarf bunnies to the ridiculously large Giants. That means your cage and pens are going to vary according to the type of rabbit you have. Bunnies are social. Definitely social. They’re more like a cat than a hamster, actually, demanding attention and then getting fussy if they don’t get it. If they do get it, you’ve probably done it wrong. Bunnies aren’t as easy to read, so it’s best if you read up on their general body language here. This means that rabbits can’t be kept in a cage all their life, like a hamster. You’re going to need to let the bunny out. often, and let him roam around the house, or a designated area. They also live longer than hamsters – about 8-12 years – so they’re a big commitment. That means for the next 8-12 years you’re going to have to adapt yourself to your bunny’s demanding yet endearing personality, and he’ll adapt to yours. Maybe. Rabbits can and do get aggressive, but not often. They’d rather warn you that you’ve done something wrong rather than bit or headbutt you. They’re forgiving like that. But they will attack if you insist on annoying them. Territory is a big thing for rabbits. They will mark any and every thing they think they own. Your sofa, the carpet, under the table, between counters, your leg, maybe even your shoes. They do this with a combination of pee, pellets, and rubbing their chins onto surfaces. That’s where their scent glands are. Food and treat differences between hamsters and rabbits Food is fairly different for hamster and for rabbits. Firstly hamster eat almost anything, but they prefer and start with grains. Hard, dry grains are their usual meals, accompanied by nuts and seeds. A bit of fruit and vegetables are welcome, if they can find them. Protein too is great, whether it’s insects, a mealworm, or a fresh nice strip of cooked chicken (plain, no condiments or oil). You can find a whole bunch of commercial feeds for hamster, and most of them are good. You can also use foods you’ve got in your fridge or pantry as treats for them. Here’s a big list of safe hamster foods you can find in your home. But, if you’ve got a diabetic hamster be warned that most fruits are off-limits to them. A few vegetables like sweet potato and carrots are limited too, since they will only worsen their condition. As for rabbits, their food is not that similar to a hamster’s food. A hamster can find things he likes in the rabbit’s food, but the rabbit won’t eat much of what’s in the hamster’s bowl. But what does a rabbit eat, aside from the classic carrots ? Well plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, especially the leafy green kind of foods. They eat food that’s a lot like guinea pig food, actually. They eat lots of timothy hay as well, since they use it to file down their teeth and for nutrients as well. This means you’re going to have to provide them with a fresh supply of hay all day, every day. Aside from all of this, rabbits will need pellets as feed. This commercial food mix has a blend of all the nutrients a rabbit will need, and they’re all in one single pellet. This way the rabbit won’t be able to pick and choose his favorite foods (which all animals end up doing), so you can be sure he’s going to get all his nutrients on one go. Rabbits go through a bag of food much faster than a hamster seeing as a hamster only needs a teaspoon or two of his dried food mix every day. A rabbit can need even 4 heaping tablespoons of pellets ! This is aside from all the extra veggies and hay. (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.) Cage sizes and exercise requirements for rabbits and hamsters Cages are a big problem here. Mostly because a hamster will only need a cage of minimum 24 x 12 inches, and about 12 inches tall. That’s 61 x 30.5 cm, and about 30.5 cm tall. This is the absolute minimum, and I recommend getting a cage much larger than this. However most cages on the market don’t come much bigger than this. Most barely reach this size, actually. Hamsters don’t need time outside their cages, mostly because they spend most of their time hiding and digging burrows. If you were to let them out on the floor they’d need a place to hide. Wide open spaces make them panic and they will want to find a safe, dark corner to hide in. As for their actual exercise needs, hamsters do a whole lot of running. This is why they always get an exercise wheel with their cage. But the wheels that come with the cage you buy are almost always poor quality plastic wheels that barely spin. You need a good, solid, big wheel to let your hamster get all of his exercise. You can find out more about exercise wheels for hamsters here. Rabbits, on the other hand, need not only a much larger cage, but also a very large play area. Most people agree that providing the rabbit with a whole room, all to himself, would be best. But not everyone has a spare room. In this case a minimum for the living space would be 90 x 60 cm, and 90 cm high/ 35.4 x 23.6 inches, and 35.4 inches high. The exercise space should be a minimum of 2.43 x 1.21 m/ 8 x 4 feet, with height allowance. Rabbits can sometimes jump very high, and like to jump on top of things. The living area and exercise space need to be linked together so the rabbit can come and go as he pleases. If you’ve got more than one rabbit living together, you’re going to have to double those sizes I mentioned. So in short, keeping a rabbit in an apartment or house is going to be very difficult. In a garden outside however, you can provide much more space. But that space can’t be used for anything else, though. So think about this carefully. You should read here more about the cage and playpen areas necessary for rabbits. You can’t skimp out on the rabbit’s enclosure size, since he will become irritated, restless, and generally destructive. Do not underestimate rabbits, cute as they may look. Socializing and upkeep needs are very different for rabbits and hamsters Hamsters don’t need much by way of socializing. They’re loners, for the most part, and get by just fine if they’re got a big enough cage and plenty of toys to keep them entertained. Hammies don’t really get bored if they have all of that. They are fine with their owner’s presence, although they’re not necessarily crazy about being held or petted. They’ll tolerate it because they can learn that it’s not something harmful for them, and sometimes those hands carry treats. Still, hammies are perfectly fine on their own, and are mostly low-maintenance. Yes, their cage should be cleaned one a week, but that’s pretty much the only downside. Rabbits need plenty of attention and petting and rubbing behind their ears. They need to be the center of attention. All rabbits do, even if you’ve got a mellow bunny. They will eve ask for your attention, either by butting their head against your hands or legs, sometimes even nipping gently. Sometimes they might even just lay flat across you, or parts of you. This is partly them showing dominance, and partly asking for grooming/attention from you. Can you think of another furball that does the same things ? It usually meows and can’t decide if it wants out of the house or back inside. Rabbits will take up your lives, and that can be either a great thing or a nuisance, depending on your disposition and what your home can offer. If you’re willing to be there for the bunny, cuddle him, feed him, play with him, and leave him, all on his own terms that’s great. He will claim parts of your home as his, and will understand that some parts of the home are yours (and thus off limits). He’ll still try to go into those place, just not when you’re looking. Cleaning after the rabbit will be a constant aspect of your life, since rabbits mark their territory with pee and pellets. And wherever you let him roam is going to need to be an easy to clean place, otherwise the entire are will stink up fast. If you’re looking for more of a quiet pet, who won’t take up more than you give him, then maybe the hamster is for you. He needs less attention from you, and is there more to look at than cuddle with. They can be charming and cute on their own, with their fuzzy mugs and that did-I-leave-the-gas-on look about them. You need to think very carefully which pet would be best for you. A rabbit is high maintenance, more than a dog for example. And definitely more than a hamster. And they definitely can’t be kept together, that’s for sure. Some have tried, and it’s never went over well. A hamster, while low-maintenance, can be sometimes dull compared to the sometimes too lively rabbit. Neither of them are good pets for children, since they require a very patient person to look after them, and to handle them. A word from Teddy I hope you found what you were looking for in this article. I know you might be trying to decide between a hammy and a rabbit, but we’re very different. You’ll need to think about whether your home and life would be a better fit for a hammy, or a bunny. 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...
Do Hamsters Have Tails ? Plus A Few Odd Hamster Facts
Do Hamsters Have Tails ? Plus A Few Odd Hamster FactsYou might be wondering if your tiny hamster friend has a tail at all. I mean, he’s so small and fluffy, and if it’s there you can barely see it. Truth be told, I never looked at my Teddy’s behind a lot, until I stumbled upon this discussion in a group board somewhere. So, I looked at my Teddy(Syrian male hammy), and I googled around until I could come up with a competent answer on whether hamsters have tails or not. And what they do with them, if they have one. Table of Contents ToggleSo do hamsters have tails ?Syrian vs Dwarf vs Chinese tailsWhy a hamster’s tail is so shortHow your hamster uses his tailA few other small facts about the hamster’s bodyHamsters do have eyelashesHamster teeth never stop growingHamsters barely use their eyesHamsters do have bonesHamsters are capable of passing gasA word from Teddy So do hamsters have tails ? Yes, hamsters do have tails. They’re very small, and stubby, but they’re definitely there. Hamsters, like all mammals have their spine ending in a sort of tail. In some mammals, like us humans, the tail became useless and we evolved out of having a tail. We just have the stump at the end of our spine. Hamsters, on the other hand, still keep their tail. A very short one, but it’s still a tail. Notable is the Chinese hamster, who still has a longer tail. Not nearly as long as a rat’s or mouse’s tail, but much longer than the other Dwarf types, or the Syrian. Let’s get into how each other hammies have their tails, and how to tell them apart. Syrian vs Dwarf vs Chinese tails A Syrian hamster has a short, thin tail. Half an inch/1 cm long, although it’s hard to tell with so much fur going on. It’s skin colored (usually pink), and completely hairless. Think of a grain of long-grain rice. And pink, fleshy, and attached to your hamster. It sometimes sticks out of the exercise ball, so you need to be careful what kind of exercise ball you get your hamster, so it doesn’t hurt the hammy. More info on that here. A Dwarf type’s tail is a bit shorter than the Syrian’s, but it’s covered in fur. It’s colored according to the various color marking he hamster has, and it looks like a tuft of fur on the hammy’s rear. Of all the tails, I think this is the hardest one to notice since it tends to blend into the rest of the hamster. Finally, a Chinese hamster’s tail is the longest tail among hamsters. It’s usually about 3 cm/a little over an inch. It’s furry, and the same color as the rest of the hamster. Important to note here that these hamsters don’e have as many color variations, and are usually a browny color with a dark stripe down their back, with a slim and long body. People often confuse them with mice, although the differences are many. Why a hamster’s tail is so short You might be wondering why the hamster has such a short tail. Even the Chinese Dwarf’s got a small tail, and the reasons are not clear. Aside from an educated guess, I haven’t found info on this. My guess is that hamsters evolved to have short tails because they no longer needed them. While rats and mice do run, like hamsters, they also do an awful lot of climbing. Their tails help them a lot in that respect. A hamster on the other hand does not climb as much or as often, and doesn’t seem to need his tail. Your average hamster is more focused on digging burrows and not having anything for a predator to hold onto. That being said, perhaps there is another, more scientific reason hamsters have such short tails. But, until more research is done, we’re stumped (I hope you like that joke, I’m proud of it). How your hamster uses his tail We’ve discussed hamsters not really using their tails for much, so what do they end up using it for ? As far as I’ve observed my Teddy, he doesn’t seem to actively use it all that much. A tail usually serves to keep a hamster’s balance. But it’s so short it doesn’t seem to matter. All I’ve seen Teddy do with his tail is curl it up like the weirdest thing when he pees in his corner. As you know, hamsters are very clean animals, and only use a corner in their habitat to pee. This will be the corner farthest from their hideout and they will use it even if you place a small litter box there. Aside from this, Teddy’s tail doesn’t seem to have more purpose. If anyone finds more info on this, I’d like to know too. A few other small facts about the hamster’s body Alright, we know hammies have tails, and that they don’t do much with them. What other mysteries do hamsters hold ? Let’s see. Hamsters do have eyelashes Yes, hamsters have eyelashes. In fact all mammals have eyelashes. Even if they’re very fine and short hairs, the eyelashes are still there. Now if your hamster’s got dark-rimmed eyes like my Teddy, you might not see them very well. But they’re there, and they’re meant to help catch dust and other particles before they enter the eye. However, given how furry hamsters are, their lashes aren’t as noticeable as a human’s. Specifically, how long the hair shafts are, compared to the rest of their body. (If you like this article so far, you can pin it to your Pinterest board by clicking the image below. The article continues after the image.) Hamster teeth never stop growing Hammies always have to chew on something, whether they annoy you or not. I know I can’t really stand it when my teddy starts gnawing, but I know he needs to file down his teeth. You see, hamster teeth (the front pairs) never stop growing. If left unchecked, they can become seriously overgrown and a problem of their own. More on hamster dental problems here. So your hamster friend always needs to chew on something hard. Preferably not his cage bars, since those are too hard for his teeth, and can break them. The best things for a hamster to chew on are chew toys, made of wood, or very hard cardboard. You can find here a guide on store bought and DYI hamster chew toys. Hamsters barely use their eyes Hammies are nearly blind. Well, they do see, but very poorly. Only directly in front of them, and only a few inches. Because of this, they have very poor depth perception, and can’t judge distances at all. They can and will jump form a high place and honestly think it’s a safe shortcut to their food bowl. You can find out more about hamster eyesight here, and more about the kind of problems hamsters can develop when it comes to eyes. That being said, no, hamsters don’t really need lots of light to see. They do well in low-light conditions. They rely on their keen sense of smell, and their great hearing to navigate their habitat. Hamsters do have bones This is one that had me chuckling at first, when I heard a friend ask. But the more I thought about it, the more I could understand why a person could ask this. When you pick a hamster up, it’s a very light creature. When I first got Teddy I had no idea how to hold him, he weighted nothing and I was afraid I’d crush him. And given how fluffy hamsters are, you can’t really feel their bones very easily. But yes, hamsters do have bones. Very small, very thin, but still they have bones. They, like all creatures except for insects, have bones and a skeletal structure. The tail we were talking about earlier is a small bone too. Hamsters are capable of passing gas Hamsters are cute little things, but they can pass gas. That being said, they don’t necessarily do so openly, lest you hear them and they’ll die of embarrassment. Seriously though, few people have reported actually hearing their hamster fart. I for one have never heard Teddy. But, given how much fur a hamster has on its rear, and how small the creature is, I doubt it could even be audible. There was a veterinarian who reviewed this question, and he came to the conclusion that hammies can indeed fart. The more you know ! A word from Teddy I hope you found what you were looking for here. Us hammies like to keep some things mysterious. You know, to keep you guessing. If you want to know more info about us hammies, you can read he articles below. You’ll find great info on how to care for us and keep us happy. [...] Read more...
5 Surprising Places Where Hamsters Are Illegal
5 Surprising Places Where Hamsters Are IllegalMost of us are familiar with the little creatures called hamsters, but if you live in a country where hamsters are not very popular, you may wonder why that is and whether you are allowed to own one where you live. Although hamsters are seen as very gentle and lovable animals, they are illegal in some countries. These small animals can pose a threat to the country’s ecosystem. Throughout history, many imported animals wreaked havoc inside the country. When exotic animals are introduced to the country, they have a great impact on native animals and wildlife. This is the reason that countries will introduce restrictions, to preserve the welfare of the environment.  Table of Contents Toggle1. AustraliaAlternatives for pet hamsters2. QueenslandAlternative pets3. New ZealandAlternative pets4. HawaiiAlternative pets5. CaliforniaAlternative petsWhy do countries ban certain pets? 1. Australia The import and possession of all kinds of animals in Australia is strictly regulated by the 1999 Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act and only animals that comply with the strict regulations are permitted to enter the country. Sadly, for all Australian hamster lovers, these little creatures are strictly banned. Anyone found trying to bring a hamster into Australia or discovered to be in possession of one breaks the law and is likely to be subject to a fine or punishment. According to Australian quarantine regulations, hamsters are listed as an invasive pest. Australia is worried about what could be happening to the ecosystem by an unregulated population of hamsters. The main concern about the introduction of hamsters into Australia is the possible effects they could have on the climate, native plants, and animals. Australia has dealt with the arrival of a variety of non-native animals throughout its history, including rodents, foxes, cane toads, and carps, which have caused untold environmental damage, pushed many native species to the verge of extinction, and produced agricultural and economic catastrophes. The unintended or deliberate release of hamsters into the Australian landscape is feared to have a similar effect. Hamsters are particularly likely to adapt to Australia’s extreme climate as descendants of desert species and reproduce at rapid rates, raising competition for limited food and habitat that is essential to native animals. Wild hamsters are also at risk of affecting crops and agriculture, further amplifying the issue created by imported rabbits, and although hamsters are small and relatively simple prey, there is just not a large number of natural predators who could manage a growing population of hamsters. Anyone caught trying to import or owning a hamster could face up to 5 years in jail, a $210,000 (AUD) fine, or both, according to the Australian Department of Environment and Energy. Alternatives for pet hamsters There’s always a misunderstanding in Australia about the distinction between hamsters and guinea pigs. Maybe it’s because people are not used to seeing hamsters, so the two are the same thing, but hamsters and guinea pigs are completely different animals. The good news for Australian people is that guinea pigs are absolutely legal and they still have the same adorable and affectionate personality though they are a little bigger than their distant hamster cousins. Australia also allows keeping a rabbit as a pet. The common house mouse or pet rat is perhaps the most closely connected alternative to a hamster in terms of size. These little critters may be kept in relatively small indoor enclosures, offering hours of fun for their owners as they investigate and interact in their surroundings. You may not have previously considered a ferret as a pet, but they can make an adorable hamster replacement. They are larger than a hamster, but in Australia, they are legal to own. 2. Queensland Numerous species imported into Queensland became serious pests. The cane toad, mouse, cat, European rabbit, and many other less common species are examples. These species cost a lot of money for Queensland and may have led to the extinction of many indigenous creatures. Infectious diseases, including exotic diseases, such as rabies, and other diseases that are harmful to humans, such as herpes B, can be transmitted by imported animals. The legislation prohibits the importation and retention of such animals as pets. Any animals would inevitably escape if there were no restrictions on the keeping and importation of possible pest animals. These animals can increase their number in the wilderness. All imported mammal species, unless mentioned as exceptions, are banned as pets. Cats, dogs, horses, goats, and several more are those exceptions. Hamsters are seen as pests and by that rule, they can be a threat to the environment and economy. It’s not just the hamsters that are illegal. As mentioned above, every introduced mammal species is prohibited. This includes Squirrels, foxes, rabbits, gerbils, monkeys, and weasels. Queensland sees these as exotic animals and cannot be imported into the country. Queensland issued a Biosecurity Act in 2014 that prescribed animal species as prohibited. These restrictions prevent the keeping of most species as pets. Alternative pets Unlike in the rest of Australia, Queensland banned many exotic animals to be kept as pets. As well as hamsters, ferrets, gerbils, and rabbits are not allowed. But they have no placed restrictions on cats, dogs, rats, and mice. Also, just like in the rest of Australia, guinea pigs are very legal to own. Guinea pigs are common in Queensland and they are the most common choice for a hamster replacement. Many places in Queensland offer guinea pigs. 3. New Zealand Many animals that have been introduced to New Zealand by the Europeans have been accepted and pets. That is not the case with hamsters. Unlike rabbits and rats, the hamsters were not introduced to New Zealand. The reason there are no hamsters there is that they are viewed as pests. New Zealand cares to protect its natural flora and fauna, so pests, or in this case hamsters, are not imported. The Ministry of Primary Industries explained that the hamsters and their risks have not been investigated, like other pests. They also said that investigation is a lengthy process and that they pose many threats to native species. The main reason New Zealand is so firm in its position is that the nation is proud of biodiversity and much of the economy of the world relies on the environment, which may be placed at risk by allowing any animals to reach the country. Pets in New Zealand must have been born, raised or lived-in countries deemed by New Zealand to be either rabies-free or rabies-controlled for at least six months before they are permitted to join the country. New Zealand requires many permits for importing pets, including cats and dogs. You won’t need an import permit if you come from Australia. Your animal will be quarantined for ten days. Importantly, certain breeds of dogs cannot be imported. Entry would be denied to the American pit bull terrier, Dogo Argentino, Japanese Tosa, and Brazilian Fila. One thing to also remember is that New Zealand is a snake-free country, so they are definitely not approved by the New Zealand government. Alternative pets The best replacement for a hamster and a pet that can be kept in New Zealand is a chinchilla. But some chinchillas are unwelcomed in New Zealand, as well. You will need a permit for breeding chinchillas and if you want to keep one as a pet, the chinchillas have to be imported from Great Britain. Sadly, ferrets and guinea pigs are not allowed to be imported into New Zealand. Although, there is an exception for guinea pigs. They can be imported to New Zealand only if they come from Australia. You would need papers that state that the guinea pig was born and raised in Australia. Rabbits can also be imported and kept as pets if they are imported from Australia. There are also restrictions on mice and rats to be imported into the country. They can be imported in New Zealand only as laboratory animals.   4. Hawaii Hawaii has a very sensitive population of wild animals and plant life. The fear of hamsters is that they will migrate to the countryside and prey on vulnerable crops and tiny animals. There are several endangered species living on Hawaii Island and these delicate species may be jeopardized by some non-native species introduced into the wild. To secure the natural ecosystem and the environment, there are specific pet rules in Hawaii. They might create wild colonies and injure crops, native plants, and animals if hamsters or related pets were to escape into the field. Having been found in hamster possession, the pet will be seized immediately. You will also be served with a notice to never keep these pets again or pay a fee. Whether it wasn’t the first time you were caught, the authorities felt that you understood the law, but simply violated it. You will be charged with a $500-$10,000 civil fine, including the costs of the removal, handling, and maintenance of the animal. You could be charged with a misdemeanor too, which is punishable by up to 6 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. The Hawaiian government is worried that, given that hamsters are appropriate for Hawaii’s climate, hamsters could easily establish themselves as an invasive species in Hawaii. If hamsters were released into the wild, they may have a significant effect on native plants and animals. The hamsters are not the only ones prohibited in the country. Gerbils can also not be kept as pets for the same fear as hamsters. Ferrets cannot be kept as pets because they have been known to carry the rabies virus, and Hawaii has been a rabies-free country for a long time. Many animals are banned in Hawaii. These animals do not have natural predators in the country, which poses a threat to the ecosystem and the food pyramid in the country. Alternative pets Hawaii does not have some unusual pets that you can see around the world. They mostly keep cats, dogs as well as pigs, goats, sheep, and horses. Lizards are also the most popular pets there. 5. California California has some of the world’s most strict pet rules, second to Hawaii. You could face a hefty fine if you are caught with an exotic pet or even a small one on the banned list and the animal would be removed from you without a doubt. The hamster ban is due to the threat of a new population of invasive animals. It might easily breed out of control if hamsters were to start populating in California. Local plants and livestock may also be affected by them. California has some magnificent plant life and wildlife that must be preserved by the natural inhabitants of this state. You will be charged with criminal prosecution with a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 months in county prison and/or a fine of up to $ 1,000 if you are caught in possession of an illegal hamster. Fines and even imprisonment are very uncommon, but not unheard of. The typical consequence is that the animal is removed and sadly disposed of. Secure homes are usually found for them, but others cannot be sheltered and are thus put to sleep, unfortunately. But on the bright side, some hamster species are legal to own in California. This means that you would not face prosecution for owning them. These species include golden hamsters and dwarf hamsters, also known as Chinese hamsters. You can also hold chinchillas and guinea pigs. Although, you have to buy or adopt them from registered breeders and pet stores. Ferrets are also illegal to keep a pet in California. The California Department of Wildlife takes the view that escaped pet ferrets pose a serious risk to the rare native animals and birds. As a consequence, ferrets in California cannot legally be imported, transported, or possessed except by a permit given for a particular legal reason, such as medical research or transporting rescued ferrets. Alternative pets In California, it is perfectly legal to own a rabbit as a pet. They are also one of the most popular pets in the country. Rabbits are commonly used as an alternative to pet hamsters. Also, the alternative to hamsters is chinchillas. They are also legal to own in California. Californians are also fans of miniature animals, meaning they commonly keep pygmy goats, miniature horses, and small pigs as pets – and they are legal to own. Why do countries ban certain pets? When you think about exotic pets, the first thought can be animals that are very rare to keep as pets. These usually include animals that are usually seen in the wilderness and not suitable for living in a home. In most cases, people think about monkeys, certain parrots, lizards, spiders, snakes, and many more. In terms of hamsters, you might think that they are not unusual, and primarily see them as pets, mostly gifted to small children. As mentioned above, many countries do not see them as pets, because the animal is not native to them. Hamsters are found in Europe and have not been introduced in Australia or New Zealand. Even though they have the perfect climate for them to survive, that can be a problem. If hamsters reproduce and build their habitat in those countries, it means that some species may become extinct. Hamsters will also search for food, taking it away from animals that are native to that country. This is the reason that hamsters are seen as pests and exotic animals because they are not native. But hamsters are not the only ones that can be banned in a country. Many states restricted importing exotic animals for the well-fare of the country and the well-fare of the animals. The importation of animals to the country involves a certain level of disease risk. One or more diseases, infections, or infestations can reflect this risk as well. There are many steps that countries take to know which animals can be imported and which cannot. Regulations and restrictions vary from country to country. Some counties inside a state will have different regulations as well, but restrictions are mostly written as a blanket cover, meaning they are applied throughout the country. If you want to travel with your pet, it is best to research what are the restrictions for your pet in that country. Some will say that an animal has to be in quarantine for 10 days after entering a country. Many will require a bunch of certificates to ensure that the animal is healthy, while others will not cause a big hassle. [...] Read more...
Releasing Your Hamster Into The Wild – Is It A Bad Idea ?
Releasing Your Hamster Into The Wild – Is It A Bad Idea ?Wondering if you should let your hamster roam free ? Releasing a hamster into the wild  can sound like a good idea, but is it really ? Let’s see everything we should take into account when we’re thinking about such a big decision. I’ll be honest with you, I sometimes wondered if I should release my own Teddy (male Syrian hammy). So these are the things I’ve thought about before deciding what to do with him.   Table of Contents ToggleSo should I release my hamster in the wild ?Hamsters haven’t been pets for very longA hamster’s usual food probably isn’t available in your areaYou probably don’t live in the hamster’s natural habitatKeep in mind predators and other dangersIt’s your decision in the endA word from Teddy So should I release my hamster in the wild ? Short answer – NO. Do not release your pet hamster into the wild. Long answer – it depends on a series of factors like the area you live in, predators, how easily the hammy can find its food, if it will survive the winter or a storm, and so on. For the vast majority of people who own a hamster, the outside conditions, even in the countryside, could not sustain a hamster. Some select few could release their hamster and he could live a happy life.  But let’s see what those factors are, and how they could affect your hamster’s lifespan and quality of life. Hamsters haven’t been pets for very long Let’s start with the beginning. Where hamsters come from, and where they should go, if you ever want to let them go. There’s 5 types of hamsters: Syrian or Golden hamster, Roborovski Dwarf, Campbell’s Dwarf, Djungarian Dwarf, and the Chinese Dwarf. These hammies come from a very specific part of our planet. The Syrian from Syria, Southern turkey and the arid land between them. The Dwarf types come from the area between Siberia, southern Russia, Mongolia, Northern China. Hamsters have become pets only in the last century or so, and that means one thing: they’re still very much like their ancestors. So, in theory, if you were to release your pet hamster in the wild, he would still know what to do. His instincts are intact, even if he comes from a breeder who focused on docile hamsters. However the problem is that a hamster that’s already an adult (3 months and older) is already used to human interaction, and will be a bit confused for the first few days if you were to release him into the countryside. If he’s an especially docile hamster, he will have a bit more trouble adapting. You can’t really release a baby hamster into the wild since he will immediately become dog food, There’s also the fact that a baby hasn’t learned everything from his mother yet. So there’s that, but there are still many things that would be not safe or alright for a pet hamster in the wild. A hamster’s usual food probably isn’t available in your area Another concern is that the hamster will probably not have his usual food in the wild, in your part of the world. The thing is, hamsters can and do eat many things. Grains, fruit, veggies, some types of meat, etc. But they rely mostly on grains, and if you’re living in a very urban area, you’ll have to drive to the countryside to release him. There he might be able to find some grains and a few veggies to forage. The problem with that is that unless you’re from the origin area of your hamster type (figure out which type you’ve got here), his normal food won’t be available. If you were to release him next to a corn field, he would indeed find the corn, and also a few other unsafe foods. Hamsters are very curious, and will try anything new that they find. This includes safe and unsafe weeds and plants. If the hamster were to somehow find the right kind of food, he would be able to survive in the wild. Not a guarantee, but it could be possible, strictly form a dietary point of view. You probably don’t live in the hamster’s natural habitat This is the biggest concern I have with releasing hamsters into the wild. As I said above, hamsters come from a very specific area of our planet. Those areas happen to be very sparsely populated. Most people who own a hamster do no live in the rural parts of northern China, or Mongolia. Actually many people don’t live at all in those areas, since they’re mostly barren. Some vegetation grows, which is where the hamster will find his food. But aside from that, it’s very hard living. The terrain is harsh, cold, and stretches on forever. This is one of the reasons hamsters are born to run (aside from predators), so they cover more ground looking for food. If, however, you do live in an area close to the hamster origin, you could release him into the wild. Again, the area depends on which type of hamster you’ve got. There are indeed differences between the Syrian and Dwarf hammies, and they could not live in swapped homes. We need to also take into account the difference in weather. It might sound silly, but it’s something that can make your hamster’s life in the wild unnecessarily hard. For example if you’ve got a Syrian hammy, and you live in the mountainside in France, releasing him there would be a death sentence. The cold would be too much for him, and the rains would kill him as well. Hamsters do not take well to being wet, and they have a hard time recovering from that. If you were to have a Djungarian Dwarf, he’d be more suited to the cold. The problem is that the terrain is very different from what his ancestors had. A cold, permanently snowy mountain is very different from the dry, plain tundra of Siberia or Mongolia. Again, the food source he’d find would not be similar to what his ancestors found. Keep in mind predators and other dangers Predators are a given. Whether you release the hamster in his normal habitat, or another different habitat, he will still be hunted. That’s just the nature of hamster life. A wild hamster has a much shorter life span than a pet hamster. A wild hamster has to run for his life nearly all the time, and is going to need all the energy he can muster from those little feet. In the wild there are snakes, foxes, owls, cats, wild dogs, and so on. They all hunt the tiny hamster, and he will not be safe anywhere. Wherever you release him, he has a very high chance or not making it until for long. (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.) It’s your decision in the end After everything you’ve read, do keep in mind that keeping or releasing your hamster is your decision. When I thought about releasing Teddy, it was when we were making incredibly slow progress with the taming process. We did have a breakthrough in the end and we get along fine now. But I asked myself the same things I’ve shared with you above. Would he survive in the wild here ? Would he find food ? Could he find a mate ? Would I be sending him to certain death ? Those are questions I had to ponder, and in the end I decided to keep Teddy. That’s how I decided to make this site, too. To help others understand and care for their little hamster friends, with what I’ve learned from Teddy and other hamster owners. What got to me the most was the image of Teddy’s hideout, under a tree, with rain pouring down on every side. The poor thing shivering inside his little hut, with barely a few grains he found, and nothing else. Rainy seasons are fairly long, and I knew that even if he could survive the rains, he wouldn’t survive the cold. So in the end it all comes down to what you decide. You should weight the pros and cons, although the cons seem to far outweigh the pros. What I’d suggest, if you do not want to keep your hamster anymore, is to donate him. There are certain sites, or even social media groups dedicated for donations. That’s how we got our pair of guinea pigs, actually. Or, you could take them to a shelter or pet shop, to be taken in by another owner. A word from Teddy I hope you found what you were looking for in this article. I know us hammies might seem like we’d get along fine in the wild, but the truth is if we’re a pet, were probably very far away from our homes. If you want to know more about us hammies, and how to keep us safe, you can read the related articles below. [...] Read more...
4 Best Hamster Wheels For Syrian And Dwarf (An Owner’s Opinion)
4 Best Hamster Wheels For Syrian And Dwarf (An Owner’s Opinion)Caring for your hamster includes giving him all the toys and exercise opportunities you can. Having a good exercise wheel for your hamster is an important way of taking care of him. But what kind of exercise wheel should you get for your hamster ? And which is the best ? We’ll look at safety hazards, general preferences, and budget as well. For now, let’s start with the principles you should guide yourself by when getting your hammy an exercise wheel. Table of Contents ToggleSo what’s the best kind of wheel for my hamster ?A comparison between 4 great hamster wheels1. Eleven inch closed wheel with heavy stand2. Nine inch silent closed wheel with heavy stand3. Eight inch metal wire wheel, like Teddy has4. Seven inch plastic flying saucer wheelSo what kind of wheel should you get for your hamster ?A word from Teddy So what’s the best kind of wheel for my hamster ? Generally you should look for a hamster wheel that’s well secured, and won’t be a health hazard for your hammy. Of course, any wheel can break, but some designs are prone to certain problems. You should look for: A good running surface, so the hamster has a good grip Tail guards, if you’ve got a Chinese hammy or a mouse or rat (or any other long-tailed pet) Low noise level, since you’ll want to be able to sleep at night Durability, so you won’t replace it every other month Good size compared to the hamster, we’ll get into more detail in this article Safety precautions, so the hammy has less chances of hurting himself Again, not all wheels will hit all those marks. Some might only be good for Dwarf hammies, some might be very poorly made and not good at all. And some might be the best option out there, year in and year out. I’ve looked around, and found the best 4 hamster exercise wheels you can order online, and I’m going to compare them in this article. They’re all good, in their own way. And you can get a good guess for which would be best for your hammy. A comparison between 4 great hamster wheels Before you choose any wheel at all, please take into account how large your hamster cage is. If You choose a wheel and once ti arrives you notice it won’t fit into the cage, that will be unpleasant. Please measure your cage, in height and width beforehand, starting with the level at which the bedding stops. So if your hamster’s cage is 30 inches high, and you’ve got 2 inches of bedding, calculate with 28 inches since that’s only as much as it will allow. After you’re done reading this table, you’ll find each wheel discussed in much more detail in the rest of this article.   11 inch plastic 9 inch plastic 8 inch wire mesh 7 inch flying saucer image material plastic, metal base plastic, metal base metal plastic size (diameter) 11 inches/ 28 cm 9 inch/ 23 cm 8 inch/ 20 cm 7 inch/18 cm good for syrian syrian, dwarf syrian dwarf durable yes yes yes will wear down in time safety 100% 100% cannot guarantee 100% good running surface/ grip yes yes yes yes silent yes yes yes, if oiled wears down in time price on Amazon check here check here check here check here   1. Eleven inch closed wheel with heavy stand This wheel’s got pretty much all the marks. It’s large, one of the largest available for small rodents. Eleven inches is more than enough for a Syrian hamster, and he should be able to spin it easily enough. It’s got a heavy bottom that’s going to keep it safe in one place, and it’s fairly heavy on its own. It’s 2 pounds/ 1 kg, so your hammy won’t be able to move it either by pushing or by use. The fact that it’s such a large size means it’s going to be a very good fit for Syrian hamsters. They can grow to be very large, up to 8 inches/ 20 cm in length, and about 2 inches/5 cm in width. Dwarf hamsters are smaller, about half the size of a Syrian. If you’re not sure which breed you’ve got, you can find out here. As you’ve noticed, hammies are kind of hunch-backed. This means their backs should remain this way, since that’s the way nature intended them to be. They can run with a straight spine, but any backwards bend for them will be very painful. So if you’ve got a Syrian hammy, you’ll need to look for big wheels, even if he’s such a tiny little guy. They grow fast, from pups to adults it takes only 3 months and they will soon need adult-sized everything in their cage. If you’ve got a Dwarf hamster, this wheel might be a bit large for him. No worries though, the next one will suit him better. As for safety, this wheel’s got a tail guard, and the axle is well covered so it’s not going to hurt the hamster. No feet getting stuck anywhere, and no tails or tufts of hair either. The inside of the wheel’s a ribbed plastic, so there is good grip. The noise level is very low, since this kind of wheel doesn’t really contain any loud parts. If you place it directly onto plain glass or plastic, then it might make a little noise as it vibrates from the running hamster. I recommend placing it over a thin layer of bedding, preferably wood shavings. Finally, in terms of durability this wheel looks like it could stand up to several years of heavy use, so I doubt replacing it would really be an issue. If you’d like, you can check the listing on Amazon and read the reviews as well. 2. Nine inch silent closed wheel with heavy stand This wheel is, again, a closed wheel. Also plastic, but smaller and a much better fit for a Dwarf hamster. It’s still a good size for Syrian hamsters if you’ve got one. This one’s a bit lighter than the 11 inch one. It’s about 1.4 lbs/0.6 kg so it’s still going to stay put. The best part is that it comes with a cage attachment, and you can lock it into one place. For the cage attachment, be warned that these can sometimes break the bars of the cage in time, if your cage is flimsy. I’m not saying you shouldn’t attach it, but you should not be completely surprised if one of the bars gives in after a while. My Teddy had a plastic wheel in his old cage that we attached like this and the bars broke after a few weeks. You might be luckier, I don’t know. Again, this has nothing to do with this particular exercise wheel, but with attaching wheels to cage bars in general. Aside from this, the plastic inside the wheel is a good grip, and your hammy will be able to run on it well enough. It’s textured and non-slip, so again there won’t be any mishaps for your furry one. In terms of silence, this one should be definitely silent, or at least more silent than other hamster exercise wheels. It’s supposed to operate on ball bearings, so it should be quiet enough that you can’t hear your hamster running around. And durable it is, same as the one before. Tail and foot guard are present, so your little one will be as safe as he can be. You can check the listing on Amazon here, and read the reviews as well. 3. Eight inch metal wire wheel, like Teddy has My Teddy’s got one of these wheels, and it can get fairly noisy, that’s true. This is one of the most basic wheels you can get for your hammy, and you’ll find it in many pet shops as well. The reason people tend to be scared of them is because they can be very noisy, and if your hammy’s a small one (like a Dwarf) he might get a foot stuck in those bars. Hence, I do no recommend this for Dwarf hamsters. My Teddy is a Syrian, and he’s had wire wheels his whole life. He’s almost two years old as I’m writing this, so he had time to complain if he wanted to. As for noise, these metal wheels can and do get squeaky if you don’t oil them regularly. But, I oil my Teddy’s wheel once a week, every week, when I clean his cage. This results in no noise at all for us, and the wheel itself does not make any other sound since it sits in a thin layer of bedding on that side of the cage. You could call this personal preference, I don’t know. But I think wire cages work almost as well as the closed, heavy, plastic ones with the tail guards. There is a bit of safety concern yes, but my Teddy’s been just fine so far. In terms of budget, this kind of wheel is much more accessible, since it’s about 1/3 of the price of the other two plastic ones. So keep that in mind as well. The way the wire is made makes sure the hamster can comfortably grip the bars and actually spin it around, so slipping is not a problem. Don’t be surprised if your hamster ends up chewing the wheel almost as much as he runs on it. Hammies do that, and while it;s not the best idea for them to chew metal, they can;t really be stopped. My Teddy chewed everything in his cage, the bars, the food bowl, the hideout, the water bottle, the wheel, the walnut, everything but the chew toys themselves. Ah well. In terms of durability this wheel’s made of metal, so I can pretty much guarantee that it’s going to last for years. Unless you somehow bend it out of shape or something terrible happens to it. As long as you remember to oil it every now and then, you should be fine. You can check the listing on Amazon for this wheel, and read the reviews as well. 4. Seven inch plastic flying saucer wheel Finally, we come to the smallest wheel on this list. This size is great for Dwarf hammies, but barely enough for Syrians. The flying saucer wheels have always been funny, at least in my opinion. Especially when they’re used by Dwarf hammies, who tend to hop onto the same wheel several at a time and just get in each other’s way. Ah well, you can always get them a couple of these wheels, since they cost even less than the wire mesh wheels we discussed above. There’s grip alright, the plastic is hard and ribbed, so it’s going to provide your hamster with a good running track. I would recommend it for a Dwarf hamster as this size is more suited for them, and maybe a tiny Syrian. Compared with other wheel designs, flying saucers don’t have the whole bent-over spine problem and I think that’s an important factor to consider. There’s barely any health hazard, since there’s nothing sticking out, or no place the hamster could catch his foot or tail. Worst that could happen is if he suddenly stopped and flew off the wheel. Which can happen with any wheel design. As for durability, keep in mind that this is hard plastic, but can still wear down a bit. Given the angle of the saucer and how the whole thing is meant to operate, you might have to replace it after a few months of heavy use. The heavier the hamster, the more the wheel will wear down since it’s going to be forced at an angle. Exactly how long that will take, I do not know. It could be that you’ve got the world’s lightest Robo and he might not break the wheel at all. And in terms of noise, this kind of wheel should be silent enough, though it might squeak a little after it starts to wear down. It’s a hit or miss with these, so you might get one that’s always going to be silent, or one that’s going to squeak after a few months. You can check the listing on Amazon for this wheel, and read the reviews as well. So what kind of wheel should you get for your hamster ? You’ve got the table to better compare these 4 wheels, and you’ve got a detailed run-down of each wheel in particular. I think the heavy-bottomed plastic ones are the safest, most silent, and generally long lasting ones. They’re a bit expensive, then again a running wheel will last the hamster’s whole life. And run is pretty much all he does. So if budget isn’t a problem, then I recommend the heavy plastic ones. The 11 inch for the Syrian owners, and the 9 inch for the Dwarf owners. If you are, in fact, on a budget, or simply don’t want to spend as much on your hammy, then the flying saucer and wire mesh wheels are good options as well. I’d advise Dwarf owners to stay away from the wire mesh wheels, since the feet of a Dwarf are just too tiny to safely use that. And the flying saucer seems the best for for Dwarf hamsters, but could also be alright for Syrians in a pinch. A word from Teddy I hope you found a lot of info here on what kind of wheel to get your hammy. I know us hamsters look so tiny and fluffy, but we need some very large toys, and the exercise wheel is one of them. I for one run all night, and would be horrified if I ever had no wheel to run on. So please don’t skimp out on your hammy’s wheel, he only needs one. If you’d like to know more about us hamsters and how to care for us properly, you can check the articles below for more info. [...] Read more...