Eye problems can be common in hamsters, like in most animals. Since hamsters are so small, it’s important to know how to help your furry friend. Not only with an infection, but with any other eye problems as well.
Read on to find out how to help your hamster when and if he develops eye problems. My Teddy (Syrian male) had a sticky eye a couple of times, but he survived just fine.
Now let’s get into the various eye problems hammies can develop.
Treating your hamster’s eye infection
A hamster can develop an eye infection fairly easy. It can be from dirty bedding, which can be avoided by cleaning the hamster’s cage one per week.
It can also happen because of a stray bacteria on the hamster’s food, for example on a piece of apple or broccoli. Or it could be from many other reasons. The point is that your hamster has an infection and needs your help.
For the most part, an infection can be noticed if the eye is red, puffy, hot to the touch. If there is oozing and pus, you can be sure it’s infected.
The best thing to do is to bring your hamster to the vet as soon as possible, so he can prescribe a round of antibiotics. The treatment can last up to 2 weeks in some cases, and your hammy might be required to stay at the vet for a couple of days.
For future reference, the veterinarian you should look for is an exotics vet. This is the kind of vet that can help with your hamster, guinea pig, snake, and parakeet as well.
If you’ve got a Dwarf hammy and you’re keeping him with other hammies, make sure to separate the sick hamster. The infection can be contagious, and hard to deal with if all hamsters have it.
Until you reach your veterinarian, you can try using a saline solution to clean your hamster’s eyes. Saline solution is basically just distilled, salted water. It’s got almost the same structure as tears, and can be used to clean wounds.
Here’s how to make a batch of saline solution for your hamster:
- 250 ml/8.45 fl oz distilled water
- 2.5 g/0.008 oz table salt
- 2.5 g/0.008 oz baking soda
- very clean pot, washed with very hot water and soap beforehand
- sterile glass jar or cup to keep the saline solution in
- a set of clean cotton pads or cotton buds
You can use distilled water, or tap water. If you use tap water, be sure to boil it very, very well and them let it cool to room temperature. After that it can be considered sterile, and go on with the steps I’m describing.
- Heat the water (either distilled, or sterilized tap water), and dissolve the salt and baking soda
- Let cool to room temperature
- Store in the clean glass jar or cup
- Get a clean cotton pad or cotton bud, and dip it in the liquid. It needs to be wet, but not soaked so you get the hamster wet. A wet hamster is a very easy to get sick and doesn’t dry quickly.
- Clean and wipe the hamster’s eye until you can not see the pus. You’re going to have to scruff the hamster’s neck to keep him still.
- Use a clean pad or bud for each wipe ! You must keep the saline solution clean.
The solution is good for 24 hours, tops. If anything gets into it, or it looks odd or cloudy or dirty, throw it out and make a new one.
In the meantime, make sure you’ve got your vet on call if you need any extra info or guidance.
Do not use antibiotics you’ve got around the house ! Hamsters are different than humans, and not only require different doses but they also process medicine differently than us.
Hamster’s eye is closed shut (sticky eye)
A case of sticky eye can happen to anyone. This doesn’t necessarily mean your hamster’s got an infection. It could be that, but it’s likely something else.
The crusty part you see on your hamster’s eye is what develops on your eye as well when you sleep. Most of the time your eyes (and the hamster’s) don’t get stuck shut, But, sometimes it happens, and it can be painful.
Not only that, but it can get very frustrating for the hamster. He might try to paw at his eye and cause further damage.
In this case the solution is a lot like with the infection. Make a batch of saline solution, and keep it at room temp. Use clean cotton buds or pads to wipe at the hammy’s eye.
The difference is that the crust will have to soften. You will have to hold the pad soaked in saline solution for a few seconds on the hamster’s eye until it gives. Again, scruffing the hamster will help keep him still while you wipe his eye.
My Teddy had this a couple of times, and I didn’t know about the saline solution at first. I used one of those sterilized baby wipes you can get at the pharmacy. Not baby wipes from the supermarket !
Sterilized baby wipes will work too, just that you’ll have to keep switching the corner with which you’re wiping. And they dry out fairly quickly, so they’re not the best bet, but will do in a pinch.
Your hammy’s eye is red (pinkeye)
Conjunctivitis can be a problem in hamsters, as well as humans. It can be less dangerous than the infection we talked about earlier.
It can come about as an irritation because of dust in the bedding, a scratch, a small injury, an overgrown tooth. Anything, really, since conjunctivitis is just the inflammation of the tissue surrounding the eye.
You can tell your hammy’s got pink eye by the redness and swelling around the hamster’s eye – his eyelids, to be exact. In extreme cases the entire half of the face could be swollen.
Pink eye does not usually have any discharge, but don’t be surprised if you find some. Most of the time the discharge is clear in conjunctivitis.
This is a case to be treated by your veterinarian, and he’ll be able to give your hamster a good treatment. The saline solution works here too, you just have to keep cleaning the hamster’s eye.
Whatever was bothering the hammy’s eye will be flushed out this way, but it might not be enough, which is why a vet will be necessary.
This is another case where you should separate the sick hamster from the other hamsters.
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Odd white spots on your hamster’s eyes
Hamsters can get cataracts, which can cause problems when you’re hamster’s trying to see.
The upside, if you will, is that hamsters barely use their eyes anyway. They use their sense of smell, and their sharp hearing to navigate and live a happy life.
However a cataract, as far as I know, is not treatable. My Teddy never had one, so in this particular case it’s best to check with your veterinarian.
Get your hammy in his transport cage, and get him to a check-up so the vet can see if there’s other symptoms that might point to another problem.
You can tell your hamster’s got a possible cataract by the white spot developing on his eye. It could be both eyes, it could be just one, and it could be a larger spot, or just cloudy, blurred eyes.
In most cases, cataracts forms as the hamster ages.
Bulging eye/ one eye looks bigger
There are cases when one eye might look bigger, like it’s about to pop from the hamster’s head. I looks bad, and there’s an explanation for it.
The eyeballs have tissue surrounding them, and especially behind them. This can become inflamed, and push out the eye a bit. It can be painful for the hamster, but is treatable.
Your veterinarian will be able to give the hamster a treatment for this problem, but until then there is not much you can do for your friend.
The vet will need to be able to look behind the hamster’s eye to figure out what the problem is. In some cases it could be a tumor growing behind the eye, since hamsters can develop tumors as well.
Not all bulging eye cases mean a tumor, do no worry. It could just be a severe case of conjunctivitis.
You can track the progress of the eye with photos every few hours, to show to your vet once you get to him.
Hamster eyes are sensitive to light and temperature
When it comes to your hamster’s eyes, you should keep them away from harsh sunlight. Even daylight filtered through the curtains, if placed directly on the hamster’s eyes, can become painful.
Hamster eyes are not meant to be able to see in bright conditions, since they must survive in a dawn/dusk habitat.
So make sure you don’t turn on bright lights in your hamster’s room. And he does not need a nightlight, since he’s got his cage memorized and know where everything is. Even by smell and touch, he can still know where everything is.
Another benefit of keeping your hamster away from any bright sunlight is that cataracts and blindness will come much later. You can delay them by keeping your hamster’s eyes away from UV light.
That being said, make sure you do not keep your hamster in too cold a temperature. Even the Dwarf hammies that come from the cold parts of Russia, Siberia, Mongolia, and so on, will still need a certain temperature.
For hammies a good temperature is a range between 20-23 C/ 68-78 F, all year round. Make sure you keep your hamster in a room that keep this temperature, otherwise he can develop either sticky eye, or a form of conjunctivitis from a cold.
In some extreme cases, the hamster can get a case of hypothermia, and needs your immediate attention to survive. Please keep your hamster warm, but not too warm.
Keeping your hamster’s eyes safe and healthy
Aside from the light and temperature warnings, there are a few general precautions you should take. Your hamster’s eyes, while kind of useless for his navigation and daily life, are still capable of injury and infection.
Hammies are very sensitive animals. They don’t get sick often, but when they do, it’s terrible. Here’s how to keep your hammy’s eyes safe, healthy and clean.
Keep the bedding clean, and change it once per week. You can find out more about the safe kinds of bedding you can get for your hamster here. And also how and when to clean his cage.
Hamsters are very sensitive to dust, so bedding or toys that are dusty should be cleaned. Even if you let your hamster just roam the house in his exercise ball, make sure the floor is clean. Any debris or dust can get stuck inside the exercise ball, and get in your hammy’s ears, nose, or eyes.
Keep any toys or objects inside the hamster’s cage smooth. Especially if you’ve got wood objects in the hamster’s cage, they can get some rough edges that weren’t sanded down properly. Make sure you sand them down if need be.
What if your hammy becomes blind, or loses an eye ?
Hamsters can lose their sight with old age. The cataracts settle in, and they become completely blind. Or, maybe your hamster was born without eyes, or maybe he lost an eye in a terrible happening.
Whatever the case, your hamster can’t see anymore. You’re probably worrying if he’ll be alright, if he’ll manage to navigate his cage and lead a happy life.
Rest assured, hamsters can live their entire life without their eyesight. In a way, they already do – hamsters barely use their eyes, they use their noses and ears much more.
But if a hamster that used to see suddenly can’t see, there will be some changes:
- Always keep his cage the same way, since the hammy will memorize the layout of the cage. Any changes will make him stressed.
- Whenever you clean his cage add back in a bit of his old bedding, and his nesting too so he knows it’s his.
- Remove objects that need him to see. Like see-saws, or bridges, or climbing toys.
- Talk to your hamster much more often, before you get near him so he knows you’re coming
- Let him smell your hand before picking him up, and get in it himself. Otherwise he might panic at being suddenly picked up, even if he was okay before.
Know that your hamster friend might be a bit grumpy, now that he can’t see anymore. He might bit a bit, but no major changes should happen in his personality.
That being said, a blind hamster will not be very handicapped. He was already nearly blind from birth, so being completely blind doesn’t take away much from him.
A word from Teddy
I hope you found what you were looking for here, and know how to help your hammy friend if he ever gets an eye problem. I know us hammies can look like cute, cuddly creatures, but we do have our troubles. We count on you to help us out.
If you want to know more about us hamsters, you can check out the articles below for more info on how to properly care for us and keep us happy.
- 4 Differences Between Syrian And European HamsterAre you looking for the perfect hamster pet ? Then perhaps you’ve heard there are several species, and two of the best known are European and Syrian hamster. While they do look similar, one of them is completely unsuited to be a pet, even if it is a cute furball like the other one. I’ve decided to write this article because there are a lot of people confusing those two when they see images of hamsters, which is understandable since they look so similar. Let’s take a look at their key differences and why they matter. Table of Contents What are Syrian hamsters ?What are European Hamsters ?1. European hamsters are much larger than Syrian hamsters2. Syrian hamsters can be tamed, European hamsters cannot3. European hamsters tend to be dark brown, Syrians golden-orange4. Both European hamsters and Syrian hamsters are very territorial, they will fight any hamsterCan you keep a European hamster as a pet ?Is a Syrian hamster a good pet ?Conclusion What are Syrian hamsters ? Syrian hamsters are a type of rodent (family Cricetidae, species Mesocricetus auratus), that is native to northern Syria and southern Turkey. Its habitat in the wild is greatly reduced and it is now classed as an endangered species (in the wild). In captivity however, these are by far the most popular hamster pets and are not endangered at all (as pets). The captive Syrian hamsters you see (such as in pet shops) are the result of hundreds of generations of selective breeding, which brought about better traits (more docile, less aggressive) and a high variety of fur colors and markings. If you were to pick up a random wild Syrian hamster, it’d be very different from a pet. I’ve had three hamsters so far, one Syrian (Teddy, he’s mentioned often on this site), and then Eggwhite (a white Syrian) after Teddy died of old age, and now Rocket after Eggwhite died of old age as well. Rocket is a dwarf hamster, specifically a Siberian hamster (light grey with white, fluffy paws and a dark stripe down her back). I can attest that Eggwhite and Teddy were both very tame compared to Rocket, with Eggwhite the tamest of the bunch. What are European Hamsters ? European hamsters are similar to Syrian hamsters, in that they’re also a rodent in the family Cricetidae, species Cricetus Cricetus. These hamsters are native to a wide habitat ranging from Central and East Europe to Russia and Central Asia. For reference, Syrian hamsters typically live far below where European hamsters live. European hamsters are considered a critically endangered species, partly due to losing their habitat to agriculture, and partly because they are viewed as pests by farmers. I’ve seen a European hamster personally once. It was in a local park in my city, and I saw it going in and out of its burrow at the root of a big tree. I took a few photos but they are very zoomed in because once I got close the hamster scampered into its home. Not let’s do a more thorough comparison of European and Syrian hamsters. 1. European hamsters are much larger than Syrian hamsters The first and biggest difference between European and Syrian hamsters is their size. European hamsters are very large, for a hamster. They’re the size of an adult guinea pig, while adult Syrian hamsters are a bit smaller than your computer mouse. This difference in size should be your biggest tip-off of what you’re looking at. A young European hamster will be the size of an adult Syrian hamster, and it’s very unlikely you’ll ever find one in a pet shop. And because of this difference, if you were to try and keep a European hamster as a pet you’d need a far larger cage with very strong wires. More than you’d need if you had a Syrian hamster, who also needs a large cage to begin with. See here about how big or small their cage needs to be. 2. Syrian hamsters can be tamed, European hamsters cannot Both Syrian hamsters and European hamsters have been kept in laboratories to be studied, and also be used for various studies. One thing scientists have noted: European hamsters do not get more docile or tame, even on their second or third generation in captivity. This is opposed to Syrian hamsters, who tend to be the most docile and less aggressive of any hamster species. It is true that the vast majority of Syrian hamsters you find for sale are all descended from a single female and her offspring, back in 1930. It’s possible that the one female had a gene that made her more docile, and her offspring inherited that gene as well, allowing for more and more docile hamsters as time went on. Even so, it’s clear that European hamsters would make a very aggressive pet, and definitely not something suitable for children or possibly even adults. 3. European hamsters tend to be dark brown, Syrians golden-orange There is a big difference in color when it comes to European and Syrian hamsters. European hamsters share a similar template with the Syrian’s classic look: white feet and hands, and white spots on the cheeks and mouth. But where Syrian hamsters are a golden orange color, European hamsters are a dark brown-reddish color. Syrian hamsters have been bred for so many generations that their potential for different coats has been discovered. You can get Syrians in any color you can think of, with or without spots, without white feet or hands, and even with varying lengths of fur. The original gold and white fur were the best ones for blending into their surroundings, but it wasn’t the only one they were capable of. European hamsters come in just one style, the one most suited to their environment. If they were to be bred for several generations you’d probably see a change in their color patterns as well. 4. Both European hamsters and Syrian hamsters are very territorial, they will fight any hamster If there’s one thing European and Syrian hamsters absolutely share, it’s their dislike of other hamsters. All hamsters are territorial and should never be kept in the same pen as another hamster. Syrian and European hamsters can and will attack their siblings in an attempt to claim a territory for their own. The result is often deadly so I recommend you don’t put two hamsters in the same cage ever, regardless of their species. Not even if they grew up together. Can you keep a European hamster as a pet ? No, European hamsters cannot be kept as pets. They are very difficult to spot in the wild, let alone capture. Few were captured and any attempts at taming them (and their offspring) have failed. Their much larger size (about as big as an adult guinea pig) makes any potential bite or scratch much more dangerous than one from a Syrian hamster (much smaller). That’s very unfortunate since they are super cute furballs and they might be as funny as a Syrian hamster, but just bigger. You would need a huge cage for them since even regular hamsters require quite big cages to be able to do all their workout routine, they are super active and need space. Is a Syrian hamster a good pet ? Syrian hamsters make good pets only for those who have the patience to get to know their pet, understand and respect their habits, and are gentle enough when handling them. They are mostly active at night but will occasionally come out during the day too. They tend to be shy, and you can’t play with them as you would with a puppy. You can hold a Syrian hamster, but not for very long. They have a bit of patience, the most out of all hamster species, but they will not sit in one place for more than a few seconds. If it’s in your hands it will want to wiggle out and keep moving. If they get frustrated they can bite in an attempt to escape your hands. However, even if you are unlucky and you get one hamster that is not calm or willing to play, one extra benefit of pet hamsters are that they are incredibly funny and cute, so you will not get bored even if you don’t get to touch the little furball too much. Here is one of my articles where I listed 12 reasons why hamsters can be super cute and funny. No hamster is a good pet for a young child (under 9 years old), not even a Syrian hamster. If you’re looking for a companion, something to cuddle, take on walks, and even play with, a hamster is not the answer. Conclusion Syrian and European hamsters are similar enough to confuse them sometimes, but they have quite different personalities. Despite this, neither of them likes sharing their space with another individual, so they should be kept separate. I hope this article helped you understand the differences between a Syrian and a European hamster, for an untrained eye they are not as noticeable so it’s easy to confuse them, however you will never get to see a European hamster at your pet shop, so if you think of buying a hamster you will have to get a Syrian hamster, which is the best choice anyway. If you plan to buy a hamster, here is an article that will help you understand the real cost of owning a hamster, the cage is the most expensive thing you will ever buy for the hamster but the hamster itself should not cost too much.... Read more...
- What Is A Teddy Bear Hamster? A Few Interesting FactsWriting an article about what is a teddy bear hamster brings me a lot of joy since my first hamster, and the inspiration for this site, was named Teddy. But was Teddy a teddy bear hamster, though? As with all the good answers in the world, the answer is “it depends”. My hamster was a short hair Syrian hamster, and this is quite important when it comes to what people call a teddy bear hamster. In this article, I will talk about what is a teddy bear hamster but also what you should know before deciding to get one as a pet. Table of Contents What is a teddy bear hamster?How to care for a teddy bear hamster?Common diseases for teddy bear hamsters?Things to know before getting a teddy bear hamster as a petConclusion What is a teddy bear hamster? Teddy bear hamster is not a type of hamster, it is more of a nickname that people use for Syrian hamsters since they look like a small teddy bears. There is an entire debate about whether a teddy bear hamster is just a long-haired Syrian hamster and is called this for its long fur, or any Syrian hamster since they all look like a teddy bear. But in reality it doesn’t matter that much, we talk here about a nickname so you can call your hamster a teddy bear hamster if it is a Syrian hamster. When you are looking for images with teddy bear hamsters, you will see that there are a lot of short-haired Syrian hamsters, this happens because long-haired Syrian hamsters are rarer than short-haired ones. So if you look at your Syrian hamster and you think of a small teddy bear with big ears, small dark eyes, and a small cute nose, you can officially call your hamster a teddy bear hamster. I say officially with an ironic tone because how official can a nickname be? How to care for a teddy bear hamster? I will shortly get onto the most important things you need to know in order to properly care for your hamster, however if you are looking for a more in-depth guide, check my article on how to care for a hamster. Here are a few things you need to know. 1. Make sure your hamster has a water bottle full of fresh water. A hamster needs about 10ml of water per day but it can vary from one hamster to another, especially because of their different sizes. 2. Feed your hamster properly, a teddy bear hamster will need about two teaspoons full of pre-made hamster food mix every day. They usually hide their food, so make sure you don’t feed them too much since they can get fat pretty easily, which will come with some health issues. They eat mostly seeds and grains, but can eat the occasional insect. In some cases a very small amount of boiled, unseasoned meat or boiled unsalted egg white is fine. But you should do your research before feeding a hamster anything that is not in the pre-made food since there are a lot of exceptions and things to know. I have an entire article about what a hamster can eat. 3. Buy a large enough cage. This is one of the most common problems new hamster owners have, I did it as well when I first had Teddy but I quickly bought a bigger cage when I found out. We see a small hamster and think that they have enough space in a small cage, but they need a lot of space for bedding, wheel, hideout, and more. It might seem expensive at first but I guarantee that if you buy a small cage, you will end up worse since you will most probably go back to the pet shop and buy a bigger cage when you see your teddy bear hamster struggling in the small wheel that fitted the cage and being very stressed. 4. Clean your hamster cage when needed. Hamsters are quite easy to take care of and their cages don’t smell as bad as other’s small animals. But you still have to clean its cage when needed, here is a guide on how and when you should clean a hamster cage. 5. If your teddy bear hamster’s personality allows you to play with it, you should do it a few times per week to create a bond between you and the hamster. Luckily the teddy bear hamsters are the most playful ones, and easier to tame the smaller dwarf hamsters. 6. Make sure your hamster is exercising and chewing as much as he needs. You can buy hamster toys like ladders, bridges, tunnels, chewing toys and so on to make sure your hamster has enough activity and things to chew on and also a big enough hamster wheel that will keep it quite active. Those are a few essential steps to take care of your teddy bear hamster but as I said, read my entire guide on caring for a hamster that I linked above to know more. Common diseases for teddy bear hamsters? Regarding what diseases a teddy bear hamster can have, “the wet tail” is the most common problem for this type of hamster. Here is a guide to how to know when your hamster has wet tail and what you can do. The wet tail disease in hamsters is like diarrhea for humans, but for us is not as bad as it is for them. If you spot wet poop in your hamster cage, you should call a small pet vet as soon as possible and follow the steps in the article I linked above. When it comes to diabetes, Syrian hamsters(teddy bear hamsters) are not as predisposed to it as the smaller hamsters so you don’t have to worry to much about it. That doesn’t mean that you should feed your hamster too many sweet fruits or anything like this since they can still develop diabetes, just not as easily as the dwarf hamsters. A hamster can have other kinds of diseases, from fungal infection to mites and more, but those are not as common as the wet tail. Things to know before getting a teddy bear hamster as a pet Here are a few essential things to know before buying a pet teddy bear hamster. 1. Teddy bear hamsters’ life span is usually 2-3 years, so you should be prepared to take care of it for a few years at least. They don’t require much maintenance and attention, but you can’t completely ignore them. My two Syrian hamsters each lived for nearly 2 years. 2. The real cost of owning a pet teddy bear hamster. When you think of buying a hamster it’s important to know that the hamster itself is the least expensive thing you will spend money on. The cage, wheel and bedding are usually way more expensive than the hamster itself, make sure you check how much those cost before considering buying a hamster. There might be a lot of people in your area that donate hamsters so you might want to check this out first. Most of them will donate the cage and the toys for the hamster as well. 3. They have different personalities, if you see someone on Youtube playing with a teddy bear hamster like playing with a puppy, you should not expect your hamster to be as friendly. Hamsters have different personalities and a lot of them are not actually playful and easy to tame. Teddy bear hamsters are easier to tame compared to dwarf hamsters, but even so, you have to think about the fact that they are solitary animals and not social animals, so you might not seem like a friend to them but rather more of a treat. 4. They are not great pets for kids. A teddy bear hamster might be easier to tame than other hamsters, but it will not be as easy as you expect. But let’s say you are lucky and you get the calmest teddy bear hamster. You still have to be very gentle with it, they weigh about 120 grams, so they are easy to hurt if you are not careful. You can’t expect a small kid to handle a hamster carefully. Most of the time, adults can’t do it properly, and we are aware that squishing those little furballs will hurt them a lot. When you play with a small hamster, if you don’t pay attention for a few seconds, they might get into the smallest places in your house since they tend to hide and will not come out easily. Also, they might hurt themselves since they don’t know the terrain. So this is a very important thing to consider when you plan to get a pet hamster. It might be easy to take care of them, but when it comes to playing with them, it is a wild ride with real chances of them getting hurt if you don’t know what you are doing. Conclusion So, the teddy bear hamster is a nickname for Syrian hamsters which are the best pet hamsters you can find. I hope this article helped you and now you know what to expect from a pet hamster and you will think twice before getting one. I don’t want to discourage you if you don’t have a hamster and are thinking of getting one, but you should know that there will be some responsibilities and a lot of things to know about those little fluffy teddy bears.... Read more...
- A Word On Keeping Hamsters With Rats, Or Hamsters With MiceA hamster isn’t all that different from a mouse, or a rat, since all 3 are rodents. You might argue they can all live together, or at least get along during playtime. As it happens, these 3 animals are in fact very similar. But it’s the key differences between them that mean they’re not as good a match. If you want a more detailed comparison between rats, mice, and hamsters, you should read this article here. Table of Contents So can hamsters live with rats ?Can hamsters live with mice ?About the hamster’s personalityAbout the rat’s personalityAbout the mouse’s personalityDifferences in food for hamsters, rats, and miceCage size differences between the 3 rodent typesPlaytime and other habits that might conflictA word from Teddy So can hamsters live with rats ? No, hamsters can’t live with rats. A hamster is territorial, solitary, and will try to attack anything that crosses his path. A rat is much larger, calmer, and very social, loves to live in groups. However it will bite back if the hamster attacks, and it won’t stop until the hammy is dead. While both the rat and the hamster are good pets, hamsters simply can’t share their space with another. They only seek another soul when they’re ready to mate. Any other time would be a deathmatch. We’ll cover the main characteristics of hamsters and rats in the rest of the article, so you will get a more thorough answer to your question. But if rats being larger are a problem, what about mice ? Good question, let’s look into that. Can hamsters live with mice ? No, hamsters can’t live with mice either. The hamster is territorial, solitary, and likes to keep his food to himself. A mouse is smaller than a Syrian hamster, but much faster, and agile, and will end up stealing the hamster’s food. If you keep just one mouse and just one hamster, the hamster will end up killing the mouse. The size helps there. However if you’ve got at least two mice and a hamster, they will gang up on the hamster, turning the fight in favor of the mice. It’s really not a good idea to combine hamsters with any other animal. At all. Even another hamster is a bad idea half the time, let alone a different animal. Let’s see why hamster and mice can’t really get along, even if they’re closer in size than rats and hamsters. About the hamster’s personality A hamster is a very territorial, solitary animal. Even the hamster breeds that can live together in pairs – more on that here – can end up fighting to the death. This is the reason I’d recommend keeping all hamsters separate, not just the Syrians or Chinese. Hamsters like having their own space, their own food, and keeping away from other animals. A hamster will mark things as his own with his scent glands. He will try to be the dominant one in any setting, and hamsters housed together can end up bullying one another. You might argue that your two Dwarf hammies get along just great. They might, but because they were introduced as babies, and grew up together. They grew up of the same size, species, and scent profile. They have the same type of reactions, and will know how to read one another properly. A hamster will be jumpy and scared most of his youth, while he learns the new sights, smells, and sounds in your home. He’ll even get scared of you walking past his cage when he’s in his first few weeks. A scared hamster is unpredictable, and is very likely to nip. There’s a lot more to hamsters than just what I said here. You should check out this article, on what it’s like to own a hamster and why they can be good pets (also a few cons of owning a hammy). And this article here, to understand the difference between the two main types of hamsters, and thus the general disposition of hamsters. About the rat’s personality A rat is a very opportunistic animal, and a smart one at that. Of the 3 rodents we’re discussing today, the rat is the smartest. They’ve often been compared to dogs in terms of affection and comprehension of human intent. That being said, rats make for good pets, it’s just that they need lots of handling or a buddy. They’re highly social animals, and they like playtime. Actually rats bond with their owners much more than hamster or mice, and actually like it when their owners hold them. When it comes to food, rats will eat almost anything. This means they will eat about equal proportions of meat, grains, veggies, and fresh fruit. They will steal the hamster’s food if they think it’s tastier, or it’s something they like. Very important to note, rats tend to attack and view as food anything smaller than them. That includes the hamster, and the mouse too actually. Back to the rat’s intelligence, they’re able to learn tricks and they get bored easily if not given enough stimulation. So they’ve got a big advantage over hamsters, and would be able to rick them if they wanted. A bored rat next to a skittish hamster does not sound good. About the mouse’s personality The mice are a bit harder to tame than the rat, since they’re so small and all over the place. They too are social animals, but they need to be in same-sex pairs, female if possible. Male mice can get along, but it’s like with the Dwarf hammies. Only if they were kept together as babies, need a very big cage, and they still might fight. Aside from that, mice have much of the same diet as rats. As in, they can and will eat nearly anything, and will steal bits of food whenever they can. Mice are fairy skittish, and need a lot of patience from their owners when being handled. They don’t jump out of your hands as often as the hamster. But they still can. (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.) Differences in food for hamsters, rats, and mice Food is something these 3 would argue over, and here’s why. While mice, rats, and hamsters are omnivores, hamsters still tend to eat mostly grains and veggies. So giving them the same feed will leave the dietary needs of the other ones unmet. And there will be food thefts, which can become a major problem. A rat stealing from a hamster can make do, although the hamster might fight back. However a hamster can’t really steal from the rat’s food, since it’s made up of slightly different nutrients. So that leaves the hamster at a disadvantage. Also the fact that the rat will protect his food and bite the hamster is another concern. You can’t keep separate food bowls for hamsters, mice, or rats. They won’t know which is which, and will pick out what they like from whichever bowl they find. Hamsters hoard food in their nest, as do rats and mice. However if the hamster feels unsafe in his hideout – and he will, with another rodent – he’ll keep the food in his cheek pouches. This leads to a host of health problems, since those pouches are not meant as permanent storage. Cage size differences between the 3 rodent types Hamsters need a minimum of of 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 minimum for a lone, Syrian hamster. A single, male mouse will need a cage of 10 x 12 inches/25 x 30 cm. The same size will work for a trio of female mice. Males need more space of their own, but the larger the space, the more territorial they become. Rats, on the other hand, need a cage about 25 x 12.5 inches/ 63 x 31 cm for one single male rat. The more rodents your have the bigger the space you’ll need, if you want to combine the hamster with either one of them. However I do not recommend putting hamsters in with any other rodent, even if your got them both as babies. They’re very different animals, even if they’re kind of related. Playtime and other habits that might conflict While some things might annoy your hamster, like cleaning his cage, they might be okay for your rat or mouse. Cage cleaning can be postponed for up to two weeks for hamsters, since they won’t smell at all, they only have the one pee corner. Rats and mice habitats become smellier faster, and need regular cleaning once per week at the latest. Playtime is another problem that might come up. Hamsters don’t like being handled all that much, while mice and rats are more comfortable with their owners. Hamsters, mice, and rats alike need lots of exercise to keep themselves occupied. However hamsters are much jumpier than the other two, and will become defensive very fast. So to sum everything up, and give you a very clear answer: Hamsters should be kept alone, not even with another hamster. Keeping a hamster with a rat, or with a mouse might sound like a good idea since they might be similar. But the differences between them will lead to very uncomfortable pets. A word from Teddy I hope you found what you were looking for here. I know us hammies might look related to mice and rats, but we don’t really get along. Rats are too big, and mice too small. And they’re both very social, while us hamsters like to be on our own. Nothing personal, it’s just us being hamsters, that’s all. If you want to know more about us hammies, you can check the articles below to find out how to care for us properly.... Read more...
- Can Hamsters Get Hiccups? And More Interesting FactsHamsters getting hiccups seems like a funny thing to think about, but is it true? Do they get hiccups? Are they as funny as we are when we get hiccups? Hamsters are very quiet animals, they don’t make a lot of noise; this is another great reason to have a pet hamster. They are quiet, clean, and easy to take care of, what a dream pet ! But hamsters can make some weird noises from time to time and it is quite important to know them in order to know for sure if your hamster is in pain or not. In this article, we will discuss about hiccups and other weird noises a hamster can make and more so stick with me. Table of Contents Can hamsters get hiccups?Are hamsters noisy?5 Main reasons for hamsters making noises1. Cold2. Respiratory infections3. Stress4. An accident5. Teeth clickingDo hamsters make noises when they sleep?Conclusion Can hamsters get hiccups? Hamsters can get hiccups for the same reason why humans do, they are caused by a spasm of the diaphragm, and they are uncontrollable. Hamster hiccups are not often and they should not pose a serious threat to your hamster’s health. So, if you are not sure whether your hamster has hiccups or other respiratory problems, you can give it a few minutes to see if it goes away. If you notice that the noises continue, you have to get your little friend to a specialized vet as soon as possible. Note that not all vets work with hamsters, you might need to find a vet specialized in small pets, rodents, or exotic animals. Hamsters can also sneeze and if you don’t pay close attention to the difference between those two noises, you can confuse them, but we will get to this later in the article. Are hamsters noisy? Hamsters are quiet animals, they don’t make any sound without reason. Being so quiet helps them stay under the radar when it comes to all the natural predators they have in the wild. Most of the time, when they are making noises, they have a health problem. I had a lot of pets until now, especially when I was a kid. I had a cat, a dog, guinea pigs, parrots, rabbits, and now a hamster. So I can tell you from experience that hamsters are the most quiet pet by far, which is pretty important when you want to sleep or when you work from home and don’t want to get distracted. That being said, this doesn’t mean that you can sleep in the same room where you keep your hamster. They might not make any sound themselves but they are continuously chewing on something, drinking water and running in their wheel, or playing with their chewing toys. You will hear all of that. Oh the wheel, this one is usually the loudest noise you will hear from your hamster cage, it is quite hard to make it completely silent. Even if you have a good plastic hamster wheel, the hamster paws touching the wheel will still make a little noise. 5 Main reasons for hamsters making noises Here are the five reasons a hamster would make any noise, other than the hiccups which we already discussed. 1. Cold If your pet hamster suddenly starts wheezing and sneezing, it may have the sniffles, but it could also be a sign of something more serious. Take it to the vet for a checkup and in the meantime, isolate it from other pets, keep it warm and hydrated, and care for it as best you can. Disinfect the cage regularly, and if the hamster is in another temporary cage, remember to scrub and rinse the original one with a bleach-water solution. A hamster might sneeze once in a while without actually being sick so you should check other factors like the presence of mucus near their eyes, lose of appetite, a weird behavior, trying to move all the bedding into the hideout and so on. If you want to know more about hamsters getting cold, check my article on this topic here. 2. Respiratory infections Hamsters can easily develop respiratory diseases such as pneumonia, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema. These illnesses may present through signs such as coughing, wheezing, clicking noises and heavy breathing, especially when exposed to drafts. If your hamster starts exhibiting these symptoms, it is important to seek veterinary help as soon as possible in order to prevent lung disease or further complications. 3. Stress This is not as common but a hamster might make some noises like squeaking if it is too stressed. Hamsters have lots of reason to be stressed, they are quite anxious animals, too small of a cage, being scared all of a sudden, mites, a health problem, and many other factors can stress a hamster. However, that doesn’t mean that they will make any noise, they are used to staying quiet even in dangerous situations, this is a defense mechanism that helps them avoid predators. So unfortunately, most of the time, your hamster will not let you know that it has a problem or that something bothers it, at least not by making noises. 4. An accident Like any other animal or humans, if they have an accident, they will make some noises, especially squeaking. If they fall from heights or they hurt themselves on something in the cage, you might hear an alarming squeak which is quite heartbreaking, especially since those little furballs are so quiet. It is important to make sure they don’t have the chance to get hurt in the cage, so a multi-story cage is not recommended without taking all the safety measures you can. You have to make sure that the hamster can fall from too high of a distance, especially on something solid. If it falls into the bedding, it might be safer but even then, they might move away all the bedding that you put there to make sure they fall on something soft. They don’t have a good eyesight and can’t estimate the distance they will fall if they jump. I noticed this with my first hamster and from that moment, I took the second level out of the cage. My silly hamster jumped a few times from that level like he wanted to fly, luckily it wasn’t too high up and he fell on the bedding, but he could hurt himself if he was to fall into the food bowl or something solid that was close. 5. Teeth clicking Hamsters may click their teeth as a sign of agitation or annoyance. It is best to stay away from hamsters when they are clicking their teeth, as they may be too jittery to be handled safely. In these cases, it is best to give them some space and come back when they are calm. My first hamster did this quite often and I could never touch him in those moments. This might be a common behavior for rodents since my guinea pigs did the same thing when they were nervous or angry. I had two guinea pigs that didn’t get along when they grew up. While they are way more friendly than a hamster, they can be territorial in some situations and don’t want to share the cage with other guinea pigs. So I had two cages, close to each other and when I tried to put them closer, they would start clicking their teeth continuously and making angry noises. I had a guinea pig for eight years when I was a kid, and those are the opposite of a hamster when it comes to how vocal they are. Do hamsters make noises when they sleep? My first hamster was making some weird noises when he was sleeping, it was a funny squeak and some twitching, like he had a bad dream. So I did my research and I found out that hamsters can dream and make noises while they are dreaming, especially if they have an engaging dream. So it is much like us. I’m really curious to know what those little furballs are dreaming and what nightmares they have, a big snake coming to eat them or an eagle or something like that, I guess. But the good dreams, what are they all about? I guess we will never know. Conclusion The conclusion is that a hamster can get hiccups, but it is not very often and should not be a concern. Make sure you check all the other signs to ensure your hamster has hiccups, not other health issues, and he is making noises because he is in pain. But if the noises do not persist, it should be fine. I hope this article was helpful for your and for your little hamster, now you can understand your hamster behaviors better and why it might make some noises from time to time.... Read more...
- Do Hamsters Have Bones? Interesting FactsHamsters are so small, fast, and flexible that sometimes they make you question whether they have bones or not. Even when you handle a hamster, you don’t feel its bones and all you feel is a small fluff ball with its fluffy paws touching your hand. In this article I will talk more about the hamster’s anatomy, what you should do when they are injured, how to handle them when you prepare your little hamster to get to the vet, and other interesting facts about this incredible pet. Table of Contents Do hamsters have bones?Are hamsters’ bones fragile?Can a vet help a hamster with a broken bone?Do they need more minerals in those situations?How to avoid this kind of accidentsFacts about hamster teethConclusion Do hamsters have bones? Yes, hamsters have bones and a skeletal structure that includes a spine. A hamster has about 124 bones in their body, it is not the same number for all the species, but there are not many studies available. You get the idea, they have bones; they actually have a lot of bones. Even the hamster’s tail is a small bone, I had a friend that asked me if hamsters have a tail and I found that very funny at first until I realized that the tail is so small and they usually keep it under themselves that you can’t clearly see it. I have an entire article about hamster tails and what you should know about them Are hamsters’ bones fragile? Hamsters’ bones are quite flexible, which helps them do all the acrobatic tricks and also makes them a bit harder to break. Since the bones are so small and thin, they would break easily if they were a bit more rigid than they actually are. That doesn’t mean that a hamster can’t break his bones, it is possible so you have to make sure you handle him gently and that the cage is safe, more on this later. Can a vet help a hamster with a broken bone? If you hamster broke a bone in an accident, you clearly see it that is in pain and does not move properly, you have to get it to a specialized vet as soon as possible. But you have to do it carefully since your hamster is in pain it will have the tendency to bite anything in its way. So here are a few things to pay attention to when transporting your hamster to the vet. Don’t try to pick it up with your hand, if you can make it go into a transport cage straight from its bigger cage, it would be best. Or you can use a small container and then place it into a transport cage. Place some treats inside the container or the transport cage and also enough bedding to make sure the surface is soft. Use a thick rubber glove when you want to touch it since it will most probably try to bite you. Ensure food and water on the way and a chew toy if possible to distract it. Hamsters don’t like being moved around, so that will be a stressful process anyway, but you can make it more bearable. When you get to the vet, they should know what they have to do and protect themselves and the hamster properly. The thing is that not all vets handle hamsters, so you better call first or check their website before getting there. It is also important to know that any anesthetic or painkiller the vet may use can pose a significant risk to your hamster’s health. This is why not many vets want to work with such small animals, the risks are too big in some situations and it is hard for a pet owner to accept that it wasn’t necessarily the vet’s fault for what happened. Do they need more minerals in those situations? Yes, hamsters might use some extra minerals during the recovery to help the bones fix faster. I usually don’t recommend mineral chews but in this situation they might be helpful, the calcium and the other minerals can help as they do for humans as well in this specific circumstance. Hamsters get enough minerals in normal circumstances from their pre-made mix that you can find in most pet shops. How to avoid this kind of accidents Well, in order to avoid ending up with a hamster that broke a bone, you have to pay attention to two things. 1. How do you handle your hamster It is important to know that hamsters are very light and fluffy, you almost don’t feel them when they are in your hand, especially if you have a dwarf hamster. A Syrian hamster is a bit heavier, but still, they weigh about 100-150 grams which is not much. You need to make sure that you don’t squeeze your hamster when you hold it in your hand, so keep your fingers around your hamster if you don’t want it to escape but don’t apply any pressure. If you take your hamster out of the cage, make sure you pay close attention to it all the time since they can run and jump from heights without realizing. They are quite bad at estimating the distance from where they are to the ground. If you want to know more about how to tame and handle your hamster check my guide, there are 13 steps to tame your hamster. One more thing before getting to the cage, hamsters are not good pets for kids. It might seem like it, but a hamster is way more delicate and hard to handle properly than a cat or a dog. A kid will not control their strength when they handle the hamster as well as an adult, and that makes it dangerous for the hamster. 2. How safe is the cage Having a cage that doesn’t allow your hamster to jump from heights is super important. I learned this with my first hamster, the cage I had for it was a two level cage. Luckily for my hamster it wasn’t a very tall cage, and the bedding was more than enough to attenuate the fall. I saw my hamster going up to the second level, getting to the edge and simply jumping from there in the bedding, and that was the moment when I realized that they really have bad eyesight. So it is better to have a bigger cage that doesn’t have any levels. My hamster was safe, but seeing that behavior made me get rid of the second level since he could have moved the bedding around the cage and fallen onto a hard surface the next time. Another thing to pay attention to, make sure the cage does not have narrow places where your hamster might get their arms or legs stuck, especially if they are not movable objects. Facts about hamster teeth Maybe the most important bones in a hamster’s body are the teeth since those little animals are rodents, they use their teeth a lot. They need to chew on harder things all the time since their teeth are continuously growing and not having where to sharpen them can be dangerous for the hamster’s health. So make sure you give your hamster chewing toys, made of safe wood for the hamster. Hamsters have a total of 16 teeth, even if you don’t see all of them except when they are yawning. Talking about yawning, have you ever seen a little hamster yawning? If not, look for videos online, those little furballs transform into aliens when they are yawning, it’s scary. Hamsters don’t have milk teeth and adult teeth like humans, they have only one set of teeth for their entire life. Hamsters can also break their teeth, it is not often since their teeth are quite strong but if it happens, you should get it to a vet as fast as possible since this is a more dangerous problem for a hamster than for a human. Conclusion While a fun topic, hamsters having bones is actually a good question, and there are some important things you should know about their bones in order to keep them safe. Make sure your hamster has little to no chance of breaking any bones in their body since treating them can be dangerous, and it is for sure not a pleasant process. I really hope this article answered your question and was helpful for you and your little hamster pet.... Read more...
- 12 Reasons Why Hamsters Are Good Pets, And A Few ConsHamsters are a very common pet to own. When I first got my Teddy, I’d heard of and seen hamster pets before, but never had one myself. I didn’t know if Teddy would make a good pet, but I wanted a cute hammy running around the house in his exercise ball. Then, once I got him I figured out just how good of a pet he can be, and hamsters in general. My Teddy is an adult Syrian hamster, but this will apply to Dwarf types as well. Table of Contents So why are hamsters good pets ?Hamsters are low maintenance petsThey’re funny on their ownThe hamster’s cage will not take up much spaceHamsters are very clean animalsHamsters are cheap pets to keepHamsters are among the cutest petsThey have a shorter lifespan than most petsYou will not need to exercise them yourself too muchThere is no shedding problemHamsters are very quiet 90% of the timeYou won’t trip over them randomlyHamsters are okay in no-pet buildings or apartmentsBut are hamsters good pets for children ?Downsides/cons of having a pet hamsterA hamster is harder to tame than other petsIt’s very hard to guess their personality when they’re babiesHamsters are less affectionateThey’re nocturnal, you might miss them oftenHamsters are very sensitive to a lot of thingsSurprise littersA word from Teddy So why are hamsters good pets ? Hamsters are good pets, for the most parts. They have their good and their bad sides, and I’ll tell you both. Here’s why hamsters make good pets: They’re low maintenance – not hard to look after Funny even when not handled – they make the weirdest faces and do the silliest things Take up little space – a hamster’s cage is the only thing taking up space, and that’s not much Clean animal – hamsters groom themselves as much as a cat does Cheap to keep – will not burn a hole in your wallet Cuter than most pets, being so small – a hamster will always have that ‘baby animal’ face Short lifespan, not a long term commitment – only 2-4 years Do not need much exercise from you – they exercise on their own, if given a running wheel Do not shed – no allergies, and minimal cleanup Quiet most of the time – hamsters rarely make any noise, and sleep most of the day They stay where you put their cage – you won’t trip over them when you get out of bed or go down the stairs Accepted in no-pet buildings or apartments – this is a big plus for most city dwellers ! Alright, those are some pretty good reasons to get a hamster, I’d say. But let’s talk about why hamsters make good pets in more detail, so you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. Hamsters are low maintenance pets This is something I imagined would be the case when I got my Teddy. I mean, it’s a pet that spends most of its time in a cage, and half that time it sleeps. Now much maintenance can it need ? To be fair, there is a bit of work involved, like changing the bedding, and feeding the pet daily, along with playing with it whenever you can. But aside from that hamsters are very easy to take care of. If you want more info on how often to change the hammy’s bedding, and which type of bedding is best for him, then you should read this. There are people who say that hamsters aren’t really that easy to keep. I’d argue that they’re wrong. Sure there are certain things to consider – like the temperature to keep in the room for the hamster, or what to feed the hamster. But when you compare a hamster with a shedding cat, a dog that needs regular walks and trips to the vet, and a squeaky parrot that you need to constantly clean up after, a hamster is just breezy. My girlfriend’s parents have a couple of cockatiels and they’re a chore. Lovable and fun, but still a lot of cleanup and upkeep. They’re funny on their own My Teddy does the weirdest things in his cage. I think most hamsters do, aside from the extra lazy ones. But even those are funny. For example Teddy sometimes pushes his hideout to the side in order to get a better look at us. Like he doesn’t have the rest of the cage to see us, but okay. And he does it in the most complicated and backwards way possible. He gets on top of the hideout, then kind of… melts between his hideout and the cage bars. Then he shoves his little face in that small space until he moves the hideout. You’ve maybe seen videos of hamsters flying off their running wheels because they stopped randomly. Or maybe hamsters falling asleep and actually falling over. Even when they suddenly stop and listen for something, they have that ‘did I leave the gas on ?’ face about them. Funniest of all, hammies can and do fart. They’re just embarrassed you’d find out so they only make a faint whoosh sound. No really, they do fart. They also blink like lizards, one eye at a time. It looks like the world’s slowest wink. You can also name your hamster whatever you think suits him or her. I’ve met hamsters named Oscar, Hamster-boy, and Peanut. They’re a lot like cats in this respect, so their name can be anything you like. The hamster’s cage will not take up much space A hamster’s cage is basically the only thing taking up space in your home. Depending on what kind of cage you get your hamster – like a cage or a large glass tank – you might have more or less space taken up. But the end result is the same, your hamster will only take up that much space, ever. As for how large a hamster’s cage should be, I’ll link you to an article about exactly that. You’ll find out how large a hamster’s cage should be, and what kind of cage suits him best. As always with hamsters, even if they’re such small creatures, they need more space than you’d think. So always go for a bigger cage. Never buy those tiny, square, cramped cages you see at pet shops. Hamsters are very clean animals It might come as a surprise to you or not, but hamsters are very clean animals. They clean and groom themselves regularly. Almost obsessively. If you’ve ever seen a cat spend 20 minutes licking and cleaning itself, a hamster will do the exact same thing. Minus the hairballs. And it will take less time since he is much smaller than a cat. But still, a very very clean pet all around. Even in their hideout, hamsters keep their pile of food well away from droppings, and only pee in the opposite corner of the cage. As far away from their hideout as possible. The only things that will ever smell will be the hamster’s pee corners. Those need their bedding changed more often than the entire bedding. Or, you can use a sandbath in the corner your hammy uses as a bathroom. He will use the sandbath as a litterbox. Hamsters are cheap pets to keep As far as expenses go, hamsters are inexpensive. They run around $10 per month, for food and bedding. It’s only the initial costs that can throw you off if you’re not expecting it. An average budget, for a new cage, wheel, exercise ball, transport cage, hideout, and toys can get to $225. But those are all things you only ever buy once, in the hamster’s entire life. You can find out more about hamster expenses here. And the hamster itself is incredibly cheap, somewhere between $5-10. Hamsters are among the cutest pets You know how cute your puppy was when you got him ? He’s cute now too, all grown up, but he’s not a puppy anymore. Well, a hamster will always have that kind of ‘baby face’. Especially baby hamsters, they’re even sweeter. But an adult hamster will have the cutest, furriest face you’ve ever seen. They’re just fuzzy all around, and they have those big black beady eyes. If you look at their wiggling noses, you’ll notice they look a lot like rabbits when they move their noses. Hamsters never really ‘grow up’, as most pets do. They stay that fluffy, cute little creature you fell in love with when you first brought home. They have a shorter lifespan than most pets A hamster’s life isn’t that long. That’s both a downside and a good thing, depending on which way you look at it. I’ve put it as a good thing, because this means the hamster is a smaller commitment than a dog or a cat. Hamsters only live for 2-4 years, with the Dwarf types living the longest. This is for hamsters kept as pets. In the wild hamsters do no reach such an old age. So if you’re looking for a furry friend to keep you company for a couple of years, a hamster will be a good match for you. Or, if you want to try your hand at raising and keeping a pet, a hamster is a good starting point. You will not need to exercise them yourself too much This is great news for very busy people, and it’s an easy thing to take care of. A hamster will exercise on his own, as long as you give him an exercise wheel and/or ball. An exercise wheel is the best way for your hamster to let out the immense energy it has. The hamster will have access to the wheel 24/7, since it’s in his cage all day and night. Also, an exercise ball will be a great help for keeping the hamster from becoming anxious or stressed. All you as a human need to do is help the hamster into the ball, and he will do the rest by himself. So if you’re a very busy person, and you often work long hours and don’t have a lot of time to walk a dog or play with a cat, a hamster might be great for you. Especially since most of the hamster’s exercise takes place when he is awake, which is usually at night, when you sleep. There is no shedding problem Hamsters do not shed, so if you’ve got an allergy to fur you should be safe with a hamster. Your clothes and furniture will not need a regular brushing as well, since there are no stray hamster hairs laying about. The only thing about the hamster is that there will be stray bits of bedding in odd places, but that’s the extent of the ‘mess’ a hamster will make in your home. Hamsters are very quiet 90% of the time Most of the time hamsters make absolutely no noise. Sure, you will hear them faintly rummaging in their hideouts, or digging in their bedding. But they don’t get noisier than that most of the time. So if you’re a very quiet person, and you need a quiet pet that won’t disturb you, a hamster could be for you. Most of the hamster’s activity happens at night. So while you’re sleeping is when he might make the most noise, but again he makes very little noise. Hamsters are very quiet since they’re prey. So they’ve evolved to be very quiet creatures, and not make noise unless absolutely necessary. You won’t trip over them randomly Since most of the time your hamster will be in his cage, you can’t trip over him randomly when getting out of the shower. If you’ve ever had your dog paw at the door when you’re using the bathroom, or your cat judge you when you’re in the shower, you know what I mean. Hamsters won’t be out unless you let them out, in their special exercise balls. My girlfriend’s parents have a pair of cockatiels, and they run around the house all day. They’re funny and love to chase you, but you can literally step on them if you’re not careful. Or you’ll find them perched on top of the open door and freak out if you want to close it. A hamster will not give you any surprises. Hamsters are okay in no-pet buildings or apartments Many apartments, or even entire buildings, do not allow pets. This is mainly because of damage to the furniture, noise level, and some types of mess that can only happen with pets larger than a guinea pig. So a hamster that stays in its cage most of the time, is quiet, and does not make a mess will be okay in those buildings. I guess the same could be said about any pet that needs to be kept in a cage or tank. Hamsters are also easier to accept by roommates, since they won’t be noisy or messy or smelly. So there is nothing to object to there. But are hamsters good pets for children ? You might be wondering if a hamster might be a good pet for your kid. The short answer is no. The longer one is still no, and here is why. While hamsters are fairly easy to care for, they still need a level of responsibility and patience that a child just doesn’t have yet. To be clear, I’m talking about children under 12-13 years of age, when they start to become more responsible. A 9 years old might love to have a hamster, but will probably forget to feed the hammy, or close the cage properly, or might scare him just for fun. A dog or a cat might run away and hide if they don’t like the way they’re treated. But a hamster can’t get very far, and can only hide in his cage. Aside from that, a hamster is not a very patient pet, and won’t take well to being held wrong or pulled by the ears. It will bite and scratch ad squirm to try to get away, which is no fun for anyone involved. In general, the younger the child, the worse a hamster will be as a pet for them. (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.) Downsides/cons of having a pet hamster There are a few downside to having a hamster as a pet, although the upsides more than make up for these. Still, I think you should know what the cons could be, just so you’re prepared. A hamster is harder to tame than other pets Since hamsters are so jumpy, and easy to scare, they’re harder to handle than a dog or a cat for example. Taming a hamster means handling it, playing with it, letting it get used to your scent. Hamsters are much harder to tame than most pets. They’re not as trusting as dogs, not even cats. Hamsters have evolved to run away from everything, since anything can be a predator for them. This, combined with the immense amount of energy a hamster has, so restless and jittery, gives you a very active, possibly difficult pet. You need a lot of patience. It’s very hard to guess their personality when they’re babies So you won’t really know what kind of hamster you’re getting. And once you do figure out the hamster’s personality, it’s a very strong one anyway. There’s not much changing it. If it’s a very independent hamster that doesn’t like to be handled, you might dismiss that early on as ‘not yet tame’. Their personalities are simple enough, but can vary wildly from hamster to hamster. The Syrian hamsters are a bit mellower compared to their Dwarf cousins, and easier to handle. Hamsters are less affectionate They’re not crazy about hugs and kisses and cuddles and scratches. Sure, they’ll tolerate them a bit but you can’t hold and cuddle a hamster for a half hour as you could a dog. So keep that in mind if you’re looking for a cuddly, affectionate pet. Hamsters aren’t the cuddliest, and will not stay long in your hand anyway. They can bond with their owners and come closer when you talk to them. But that’s about it. This was a big drawback for me initially, since the main reason I wanted a hamster was to cuddle and play with it. My mistake was expecting it to be as loving and playful as a dog. Hamsters do ask for attention, just not in the same way and don’t need nearly as much emotional attachment. They’re nocturnal, you might miss them often This depends on the kind of schedule you have. Pet hamsters are nocturnal, and will come out possibly when you’re getting ready for bed, like 9 PM. So you might miss out a lot on your hamster’s funny antics. Hamsters are mostly solitary creatures, so they won’t miss you terribly. But still, talking to them and handling them is important to taming the hamsters and keeping them tame. If you go to bed early and wake early, then a hamster might not be for you. But if you’re awake late int the night regularly, you might get along with a hamster just fine. To find out more about a hamster’s night routine, you should check out this article. Hamsters are very sensitive to a lot of things It’s common knowledge that hamsters scare easily. Well, most rodents do. They can even die of heart attacks from a dog barking at them. So that’s one thing to be careful about, keeping the hamster from scaring too much. You can find some useful info on that here. Hamsters are also very sensitive to shifts in temperature, and can easily die of hypothermia. Once a hamster contracts a disease, it needs immediate care or else it has basically zero chances of survival. There are a lot of things to mind when you’re considering getting a hamster, including how large a cage you can get him. A small cage will make your hamster stressed, which will make him chew the bars and develop a serious case of anxiety. The same goes for how much exercise your hamster gets. And transporting a hamster is often a bad idea. Best to leave him at home, with someone to check up on him. Surprise litters This is especially true for Dwarf pairs. You see a cute pair at the pet shop, you get them home, and a couple of weeks later you find yourself with 15 hamsters, not 2. You see, baby hamsters can breed as soon as they’re weaned – that’s just 3-4 weeks after being born. And if the males and females aren’t kept separate immediately after weaning, they can start to breed, even so young. Most of the times they’re separated in time. But sometimes it’s too late, or one male gets tagged as female by mistake and put in an all female enclosure. You can see where that can go. This is possible with every type of hamster, but especially true for Dwarf kinds because only these can be kept in pairs. Syrians need to be alone, and will fight literally anything or anyone put in their cage. So there’s less of a chance of accidental litters. A word from Teddy I hope you can get a feel for how it would be to have one of us hammies as a pet. I’ve been a good pet so far, and I think that if you’re a patient, calm person then one of us would be a good match for you. If you want to know more about us hammies, you should check the articles below.... Read more...
- Here Is How Much A Hamster Can Live Without Food Or WaterIf you’re looking for information on this topic, then you’re probably leaving home for a few days. This was always our concern when Alexandra and I left town over the weekend or for the entire week. I’m going to tell you what we’ve found out,and give you a few tips on how to make sure your hamster has enough food and water when you’re gone. Table of Contents So how much can a hamster survive without food or water ?How long can a hamster live without food ?How long can a hamster live without water ?How to leave food and water for your hamster for a few daysIf you’ll be gone for longer than that, your hamster will need more food and water.How does health and age factor into this ?How we make sure Teddy is alright when we leaveA word from Teddy So how much can a hamster survive without food or water ? The short answer would be that hamsters can live about 3-4 days since they last ate or drank water. So if you hamster just ate and had some water on Monday morning, you’ll find him still in good condition by Wednesday evening or Thursday afternoon. Never let your hamster go without food or water longer than that, since they can develop health problems without proper care. Of course, this all depends on several factors, including: how old the hamster is, how well you’ve taken care of him, if he’s ill or healthy, the temperature of the room he’s in, etc. This is all great to know, but let’s see why your hamster can only live for so long without food or water, and what you can do to make his life easier. How long can a hamster live without food ? Our Teddy taught us a lot about how to care for a hamster, and when it comes to food we’ve learned that hamsters are hoarders. It might look like your hamster ate everything you’ve put in his little bowl, but when you clean his cage you’ll notice he has a nice stash in his house/hideout. Hamsters hide food to be sure they have enough in case of an Apocalypse. But that stash doesn’t last them for more than 1-2 days. It also depends on what kind of food you give your hamster. We gave Teddy grains and pellets, we have him pieces of vegetables, we have him a bit of boiled chicken, boiled egg white, bread, grapes, etc. All those things keep your hamster fed for different periods of time. Protein-based foods will keep your hamster longer than vegetables, but grains and pellets keep him fed the longest. So if the last thing your hammy ate was grains, seeds, and pellets, then he can live for 3-4 days without looking for any more food. In this time he will eat his entire stash from his house. If you want to know what your hamster can eat, then check out my article on what to feed your hamster. I’ll also tell you what foods to avoid, and talk about pre-made food mixes on the market. How long can a hamster live without water ? The water requirements for a hamster are a bit iffy, since they vary according to the size of your hamster. In general it’s about 10 ml (0.33 fl oz) per 100 grams (3.5 oz) of hamster, per day. So if your hammy is like Teddy, a fully grown Syrian hamster who weighs around 170 gr, then he’d need 17 ml of water every day. So that’s a 6 ounce hamster who needs 0.57 fluid ounces of water per day. If your hamster last drank water this morning, then he’d be alright for only 2-3 days. This is without any food at all, since they can draw water from their food as well. Dry pellets and grains provide little to no water, but vegetables and fruits give them a fair amount of water so hamsters can survive for about a week without a water tube. If your hamster has somehow escaped and is roaming somewhere, know that he’s pretty good at finding and drinking condensation from pipes, or a small puddle somewhere. It’s not good for him, but he can find them easily in a worst case scenario. But if he’s in a closed cage, then his survival is limited. If you want to know how much water to give your hamster, then check out the article about water requirements. I’ll also tell you what you can do when you hammy isn’t drinking any water, and how to see if his water bottle works. In case you’d like to know more about how to care for your hamster, you can check out these 15 essential steps. How to leave food and water for your hamster for a few days If you’re leaving home and there is no one that can come over to look after your hammy, here’s a few ideas. In general you should leave your hamster very dry and very wet food as well, and a full water tube. So that would be grains and pellets, along with a leaf of lettuce or a piece of cucumber, and a whole water tube. The amounts vary according to how long your hamster will be alone. If you’re leaving just for the weekend, from Friday afternoon til Sunday afternoon, that’s 48 hours. Your hamster, assuming he is a fully grown adult, and healthy, left in a room that is not cold or humid or drafty, will survive well enough with just one serving of pellets and the water he already has in his tube. He will hoard some food in his house as well, so there’s extra food there already. If you’ll be gone for longer than that, your hamster will need more food and water. To make sure his water is sufficient, best to fill up the water tube fully. The one we have has a capacity of about 150 ml/5 fl oz which would last our Teddy nearly 9 days. To make sure your hamster has enough food for 5 days, provide him with: Dry food like grains, seeds, pellets for about 3 days – that’s about 2-3 teaspoons of dry food per day A dry biscuit – the ones we have are 6 grams/ 0.2 oz each, which lasts our Teddy for about 3 whole days to nibble on, as long as he has pellets and grains as well. A few slices of water-based veggies and fruits – cucumber, apple, seedless grapes, carrot, lettuce. Whatever is most readily available. Not cabbage. This depends heavily on your hamster’s disposition. If he eats a lot and is very greedy, then this will not be enough, and you will have to provide him with more before you leave. Some hamsters binge on their food, and some only take what they need and a bit more to hide in their house. So observe your furball, and if he’s greedy leave him more dry food, so he’ll be alright with you leaving for 5- days. If you like this article so far, then you can pin it to your Pinterest board by clicking the image below. There’s more info headed your way after this image. How does health and age factor into this ? If your hamster is still a ‘child’ (under 3 months) then he will not survive as long as an adult. Young hamsters are weaker than adults, and need more food and care. Even if they’ve reached their full size, there are a lot of changes happening in their bodies still, and they need the extra food and water and rest. But what if your hamster is a senior ? Hamsters can live for 2-3 years depending on the care they’ve had when they were young so that their immune system developed well. So if your hamster is approaching the 2 year mark, then we will probably be slower and weaker, and will need more care. Leaving him alone will be just as tricky as leaving a young hamster. Likewise, if your hamster is healthy and has no obvious illnesses or diseases, he will fare better if left alone for a few days. If the hamster is sick, we do not recommend leaving him alone, and insisting upon finding someone who can check up on him regularly if you absolutely must leave. How we make sure Teddy is alright when we leave In our case, we have the option of leaving our house key with a neighbor we trust, or a family member. They live close and can check up on Teddy regularly, and leave him food every day. Water is not a problem since we leave Teddy water for a whole week. So if you can, please ask your neighbor or family members if they can spare a few minutes each day, or every other day, to come and check up on your hamster, and leave it food. A quick training on how much food to leave, and how to close and open the cage is enough. Other times, when we only leave town for just a couple of days we don’t ask someone to look after Teddy. We’ve left him for 48 hours with food and water, and found him safe and happy when we came back. We still left a key with our neighbor, just in case. But for this we made sure Teddy has: enough dry food for a day (2-3 teaspoons of grains and pellets), about a quarter of the dry biscuit we mentioned earlier a full water tube and a couple slices of carrot or cucumber This is all accounting for the fact that he has a stash of food in his house as well, in case of emergencies. When we leave Teddy for a few days, even if it’s just the weekend, we take care that the central heating is set to 22 Celsius. That’s 71.6 Fahrenheit, and it’s an average temperature that will be alright for Teddy. This way we’re sure he’s not too cold or warm, and there is not too much humidity in the air as well. A word from Teddy I’m glad you stuck with us so far, and I hope you’re checking this info preemptively, and your hammy is safe. You’ll always get good info from Dragos and Alexandra, and I’ll be sure to tell them everything you need to know about hamsters. So I hope this info on how long a hamster can live without food or water was helpful to you ! I hope I was a good example. Feel free to check the other articles on here as well, you’ll find info on the best cages for hamsters, how to handle a hamster, even what we can or can not eat. Take a look !... Read more...
- Are Hamsters Blind ? The Truth About Your Hamster’s EyesightA blind hamster is a bit of a myth. Or is it ? Hamsters don’t have great eyesight, but are they really blind ? I looked around, asked a few questions, and found out if hamsters can see. My Teddy was a bit of a guide here, since I compared what I found out with what I’ve seen Teddy do or how he’s reacted in the past. Here’s what I found out about hamster eyesight. Table of Contents So are hamsters blind ?Hamsters don’t rely on their eyesA hamster has a great sense of smellHammies use their hearing for nearly everythingWhiskers and touch help hamsters ‘see’Don’t make sudden movements around your hamsterHamsters are very sensitive to light levelsA word from Teddy So are hamsters blind ? No, hamsters are not blind. They are born blind, like most animals, but they don’t stay blind. The eyesight in hamsters forms after a few days, but it never really develops very well. Hamsters have poor eyesight, but blind they are not. They won’t notice you if you just sit still, since they don’t perceive things that are farther away from their whiskers, or directly in front of them. This also means your hamster can’t judge distances or depth, at all, and he will jump from a higher level in his cage to take a shortcut, and possibly hurt himself. Or jump out of your hands, thinking the cage is just a sneeze away. Alright, so hamsters aren’t blind, but they don’t see well either. How do they navigate and survive then ? Let’s see. Hamsters don’t rely on their eyes Hamsters use their other senses much more than they use their eyes. Even if your hamster becomes blind over time, it won’t impact him very much. This is because hamsters don’t relay on seeing what’s in front of them or around them, as much as they rely on hearing and smelling their environment. If you’ve got a blind hamster, you’ll notice he’s got the cage all memorized and knows where to go and how to navigate. There might be a few things you’ll have to get out of his way that he might bump into, like toys that move (a see-saw for example) or bridges. Other than that, a blind hamster will know where his food is, where is nest is, where the water bottle is, and will recognize your voice. He might be a bit nippy, but that’s about the only change people have ever reported about hamsters that turned blind. A hamster has a great sense of smell Hamsters use their smell for lots of things. Even if they don’t see very well, hamsters can still ‘see’ their surroundings. Us humans don’t rely on smell too much, but hamsters do. Your hammy knows your scent, knows the smell of the house, and doesn’t like air fresheners too much. This means that any strong smell will be overwhelming for your hamster. Like perfume, for example, which can be way too strong for his sensitive little nose. If you’re handling your hamster you should wash your hands before. Depending on what you’ve done before, he might not like the smell and bite, or me might love the smell and try to… well, eat your hand. My girlfriend touched some cooked chicken once, wiped her hands on a towel, and went to pet the hamster. Teddy smelled the chicken and chomped down on her finger, and she’s been afraid of him ever since. Best to avoid that, and wash your hands. Do be careful to use non-perfumed, anti-bacterial soap. An overly floral or fruity soap might have the opposite effect and make your hamster think you’ve really got mango and coconut on your hands. Conversely, hamsters absolutely hate citrus. Teddy shies away from my hand after I’ve peeled any kind of citrus. Even after I wash my hands. He just can’t stand the smell. Hammies use their hearing for nearly everything Hearing is what hamsters use most in the wild to figure out if there’s predators around or not. Have you ever seen your hammy just freeze in place, with this focused, intense look on his furry face ? He’s listening. Veeery very carefully, who knows when a fox might jump through the window to get him. Jokes aside, it’s funny with pet hamsters, but a life-saving trait for wild hamsters. There’s no fox or owl or snake trying to get to your pet hamster, but in the wild, his predators might be just around the corner. They make sounds, even when they’re trying to be sneaky. Your hamster knows those sounds. Hammies need some time to learn every sound in the house in order to feel comfortable and not panic at every floorboard creaking. After a while they’ll stop freezing as often, and be more relaxed. They are hamsters, however, and won’t really ever relax. Hamsters are sensitive to sound, but not the way you’d think. Loud noises are not comfortable for their ears, but don’t phase them much. They’re a bit stressful, but they know what’s going on. So for example in a fireworks display it’s not the loud noises that scare them, but the bright, sudden lights. (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.) Whiskers and touch help hamsters ‘see’ Alright, so your hamster’s got superhearing and dog-level smell. He’s also got ‘the touch’. I mean he sees with his little paws, and his whiskers. In the wild the hamster’s many tunnels are pitch black and winding, so he has to be able to navigate them somehow. The tunnels don’t hum, and they don’t smell, so he has to see with his paws and whiskers. This also applies to his cage, plus the fact that he knows where everything is because he’s memorized it. One of the reasons changing up his habitat is a bad idea. Hamsters don’t like change. When it comes to touch, he’s also sensitive to vibrations. He can sense them both in his paws and his whiskers too. Even if you got out of bed very quietly, and made sure to not turn on the light or step wrong, he still knows you’re up. You every move is a small vibration, and he can sense that. Not in a weird way, it’s just his super-sensitive sense of touch. For example my Teddy keeps sleeping if I just rummage in the room he’s in. But once I speak towards his cage, or stand there for a few minutes, he comes out. He just knows I’m there. Don’t make sudden movements around your hamster If you were sitting down and you suddenly move, chances are your hamster only just noticed you were there. And panicked. Hammies are not very bright, and they’re very easy to scare unfortunately. This means that even if you’re not trying to scare your hamster, you probably still did. Some hammies are extra jumpy and panicky, and will scamper away if they see or hear anything new. But, you can make sure you don’t scare your hamster friend by not moving suddenly. That means that if you’ve got business around his cage, move a bit slower than usual. Try not to turn around too fast, and make your movements slower, deliberate. Another thing that helps is to talk to your hamster while you’re near his cage, so he knows your general position. Hamsters are very sensitive to light levels The final warning about a hamster’s poor eyesight, sunlight hurts his eyes. The light is much too harsh for him, and actually painful. You see hamsters are nocturnal animals, which means their eyes simply can’t handle the amount of light in the daytime. Unlike cats or humans who can regulate how much light enters their eyes, hamster eyes are not as adaptable. Their pupils do adjust, but not by much. This means that the best time for a hamster to use his limited eyesight is dawn and dusk. The light levels are low enough that his eyes don’t hurt, but high enough that he can see. That being said, hamsters have very poor eyesight, even at night. But they don’t necessarily need the light on, or a nightlight at that. Just think of your hamster as your cute, fluffy, incredibly near-sighted friend who lost his glasses. A word from Teddy I hope you found what you were looking for in this article. I know us hammies can be a bit clumsy at times, and we don’t see very well, no. However we’re not blind. We can become blind with old age, or an illness, so we rely on you to help us there. If you want to know more about us hammies, you can check the related articles below to get more info on how to best care for us.... Read more...
- When And How Hamsters Sleep – Your Furball’s Sleepy TimeIf you’ve got a hammy, you’ve probably wondered at first why he sleeps so much, especially during the day. Our guests always ask us where Teddy is, since he’s sleeping when they come over. Turns out hamsters have a veeery different sleeping pattern than us humans. Sometimes it’s cute, sometimes you’ll wonder why you got yourself into this. But they’re always lovable. Table of Contents When is your hamster sleeping ?How your hamster usually sleepsDo hamsters sleep with their eyes open or closed ?No hamster likes being woken upDon’t change your hamster’s sleep scheduleKeep your hammy’s sleeping area undisturbedThe cage should be in a calm, secluded areaYour hamster might be making odd, random soundsHamsters get midnight munchies and bathroom trips tooA word from Teddy When is your hamster sleeping ? Hamsters sleep during the day, and are awake at night, or in the twilight hours. This is an instinct they’ve had since forever, and it’s what kept them alive for so long. Hamsters are prey animals, and most of their predators are awake during the day. This means the hamster must hide, so he sleeps the day away in his little burrow. Once evening sets in, he gets his little nose out and starts looking for food. But what about your domestic, furry little friend sleeping in his cage ? He’s sleeping the day away too, even if there are no predators around. That’s simply his schedule, and don’t take it personally. He will wake up in the evening, around 8-10 PM, and stay up til morning. His sleep pattern might change over the years a bit, but he is largely nocturnal, and it’s the best thing for him, given the way his body works. You can change his sleeping pattern, but you’re mistreating him and causing much discomfort. We’ll cover that part too, and why it hurts the hamster. How your hamster usually sleeps Your hamster friend usually sleeps in his hideout, or the nest he’s made in a corner if he has no hideout. He sleeps in a big, knotted pile of paper towels, toiler paper squares, chewed up cardboard, and some bits of wood shaving from the bedding. Sometimes you can catch a glimpse of him sleeping, with his little feet curled up and ears folded. Seriously, a sleeping hammy is about the cutest thing ever. For example my Teddy is a Syrian hamster, and a male at that. Syrian males are notorious for having ridiculously large testicles, and they just… hang out… when he sleeps. So I’ve had a few moments when I wanted to see him sleep and instead got a full view of the family jewels, and a furry foot. Hammies sleep curled up, and very well hidden in their little nest. So actually seeing the hamster will not be easy. But you can sometimes see parts of the nest moving when he twitches or shifts. Do hamsters sleep with their eyes open or closed ? I’ve seen no hamster sleep with his eyes open, nor have other hamster owners told me about that. It’s not something hamsters do, unlike bunnies. Hamsters sleep with their eyes closed, and they might crack one open if they hear something or feel the cage move. Other than that, a hamster sleeping with open eyes sounds like a possible medical problem. So it’d be best if you checked with your dedicated veterinarian. If you don’t have a vet on call, or are not sure what kind of vet you need, look for an ”exotics” vet. Hamsters, like parrots and guinea pigs and lizards, are considered exotic animals and a regular vet won’t have very much experience with them. No hamster likes being woken up On the topic of waking a hamster up, well, don’t. No one likes being woken up in the middle of the night, unless there’s a disaster happening right this minute. It might be 3 PM on a sunny afternoon for you, but it’s something like 4 AM for him. Let the little fella rest. Hamsters do a whole lot of sleeping for being such small creatures. For example an adult Syrian can sleep between 6 and 8 hours per day ! That’s about as much as you or I need, and we’re much larger than a fistful of fur. Hamsters need the rest, because they are always on high alert, and quite high strung. They’re jumpy and always on the move. Imagine your little friend on the wheel, all night long, running as far a 9 km/5.5 miles in one night. He needs the rest. If you do handle the hamster when he just woke up, that’s on your own risk. Hammies, like humans, are quite disoriented when they wake up. That means you’ve got an equal chance at a docile, hazy hamster as well as a snappy, irritable one. I usually leave Teddy alone when he wakes up, and only talk to him for the first few minutes. Don’t change your hamster’s sleep schedule Given the fact that you’re awake during the day, and sleeping at night, I know you probably don’t get to see your friend too often. Maybe a couple of hours in the evening before bed, and in the morning when you’re rushing to get somewhere. I know that’s my routine with Teddy, and we do a whole lot playing and handling in the evening when he’s up. It is at all possible to change your hamster’s sleeping pattern, and you’ll find plenty of guides on how to do that. However that’s not very safe for your hamster. Hear me out here. Hamsters have very sensitive eyes, even if their eyesight is almost non-existent. By forcing your hamster to stay up during the day, you’re putting a lot of bright daylight on his eyes. Even if it’s not direct, the light is still much too harsh for his sensitive night creature eyes. Hamsters do best in low light conditions, and harsh lighting can be painful for them. A regular light bulb won’t hurt him much, but it’s nothing compared to the sunlight. I doubt you have the lights on in the middle of the day. Then there’s the fact that hamsters are okay with humans handling them, but there is such a thing as too much for them. Handling your hammy too much might tire him out faster than you’d like, and faster than would be alright for him. Finally, it’s about the other bodily functions that hamsters have as nocturnal creatures, that don’t work as well in the middle of the day. So, again, please let your hamster have his normal routine, and try finding a happy medium between you both. Keep your hammy’s sleeping area undisturbed We’ve already covered the fact that hamsters don’t like being woken up. Neither do you, neither do I, for that matter. But the sleeping area is very important too. You see, hamsters don’t see very well but rely a whole lot on their sense of smell. Their sleeping area, or bed if you will, is full of their scent. Your hammy took the time and effort to decorate his bedroom just the way he likes it. But we can’t leave it like that, since it needs periodic cleaning. Now, there are way to clean the hamster’s nest without disturbing it too much. One of them is spot-cleaning the nest, where you only pick out the droppings, and maybe a piece of the nesting material that got soiled. Add a few fresh pieces of paper towel, and your hammy will add them to his bedroom. But what if you need to change the whole thing, since it’s been a while ? In that case remember to leave a few pieces of the old nest, and throw out the rest. The old bits will have your hammy’s scent, and make it much less annoying for him to rebuild. Changing the entire nest at a time can be a bit stressful for your hamster. He is after all a creature of habit, and needs things to be the way they always were. He doesn’t do well with change. The cage should be in a calm, secluded area The area in your house where you keep the cage needs to be in a calm area. For example if your living room has lots of guests, a couple of kids, and a puppy running about, it’s not a good place for a hamster. Find a room or a corner of the house where your hamster can hear the hustle and bustle of the house and get used to it. But, it should be a fairly private place where there’s not much traffic, and your hamster can sleep undisturbed. Even if he’s not sleeping, your hammy doesn’t take well to stress. By this I mean an overly curious cat, child, or even adult prodding at him, tapping the cage and trying to interact with the hamster when he’s not up for it. Truth is, hamsters are indeed friendly, but in short bursts. They won’t stay put long, and won’t stay in your hand for more than a couple of seconds. Hammies are always moving and curious and need to see and smell and know and inquire about every little thing. You’re literally holding them in place when they want to investigate that rustling bag. Maybe a bit exaggerated, but you get the general idea. (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.) Your hamster might be making odd, random sounds Even when he sleeps, your hamster is still a funny little thing. Not only is he a cute, curled up ball of fur, but he might also be making the oddest sounds. Maybe it’s just my Teddy, maybe it’s all Syrian hamsters. I know lots of hamsters make cute sounds, and I’ve heard of and read about other hammies squeaking in their sleep. My Teddy can be fast asleep and still squeaking. It’s somewhere between a hiccup and a bark, like he’s going ‘hmph’ left and right. Maybe your hammy does it too, maybe he doesn’t. But do expect odd noises coming from his nest when he sleeps. If it’s not the squeaking, it could be a rustle, or a chatter, or a chewing sound. Those are all normal. Think about when you sleep. You do a whole lot of moving in your sleep as well, so don’t be surprised if your hamster is not very different. Hamsters get midnight munchies and bathroom trips too Ah yes, the midnight snacks. Like we’ve never woken up to grab something from the fridge, on our way to the bathroom. Your hammy does that too. You see, hamsters designate a ”pee corner” and they only use that one. It just so happens to be on the farthest point from their nest. Hammies are very clean animals, and they keep their nest very clean. So if your hammy suddenly wakes up to much on a peanut,goes for a pee, and stops on his way to grab a drink, that’s okay. He’a a healthy, normal hamster, doing healthy, normal hamster things. Even if your hamster doesn’t wake up too much for a quick snack, that’s fine too. While hamsters do sleep for a lot of hours, they don’t necessarily have to be continuous. For example my Teddy wakes up randomly in the middle of the day (night for him) and takes a short walk of sorts. He might even get on his wheel for a bit, but he’s always up for just a few minutes. Every hamster wakes up with his fur a bit ruffled, ears folded back, eyes half closed. He might even stretch and yawn, and look bleary. He did just wake up, after all. Usually after that he’ll start grooming himself, and start his day. apparently A word from Teddy I hope you found a lot of useful info here. I know us hammies seem to sleep a lot, but it’s just the time difference between us. If you work a night shift, your’re probably on the same pattern as us. You’re probably very tired all the time, though. If you want to know more about us hammies, you an check out the articles below on how to take care of us properly.... Read more...
- How Do Hamsters Mark Their Territory? Interesting FactsI never had more than one hamster at a time since I had two Syrian hamsters, which are solitary animals and they don’t share a cage with other hamsters. So I never questioned how a hamster marks its territory and why they are doing it before doing research on this topic. However, I kind of knew they were doing this since I saw the scent glands on my first hamster, I thought he had a health problem, and that’s when I found out that those little black spots on the side were actually the scent glands. So in this article, we will discuss about why and how hamsters mark their territory and what you should know when you want to keep more hamsters together. Excluding Syrian ones, which you should never have more than one in a cage. Table of Contents How do hamsters mark their territory?Why do hamsters mark their territory?Do female hamsters mark their territory?Which hamsters can live together?Can you introduce a new dwarf hamster to the ones you already have?Conclusion How do hamsters mark their territory? Hamsters mark their territory by rubbing their scent glands on the objects or territory they want to mark. Those scent glands can be located on the sides of a Syrian hamster or on the belly of dwarf ones. Syrian hamsters have one scent gland on each side, you can see a hairless spot that can be a darker color than their skin and show some greasy, yellowish secretion. Dwarf hamsters have only one scent gland on their belly, I talked a bit about this topic in the article about why hamsters pee in their wheel. I confused the secretion from their scent gland with pee. It smells a little bit like popcorn. Why do hamsters mark their territory? Hamsters mark their territory to assert authority like many other animals. Hamsters are very territorial and they will be quick to fight with other hamsters for their territory if they feel threatened. While dwarf hamsters can live together with another of their kind, that doesn’t mean they will gladly share the cage and never fight. In fact, it is quite hard to keep more hamsters together even if they are the right breed and even siblings. Some hamsters might even pee to mark their territory, this is not their primary method, but it can happen in some instances, especially when they have a problem with their scent glands. While marking territory might seem unnecessary for a pet hamster, in the wild, they have quite a few reasons for doing that. They have bad eyesight, and marking territory with their scent can help them get faster to their home, or at least what they consider to be a safer territory for them. In the cage, it is useless since they are in the same place, but in the wild, they travel for food, and getting lost can be quite dangerous, so they will ensure they know their way back by marking the territory. This might be one reason for marking the territory while they are running in the wheel, they don’t know they are on a treadmill, so they have to make sure they know their way back. With dwarf hamsters this happens naturally as the gland is on their belly. Do female hamsters mark their territory? Female hamsters also mark their territory, but the purpose is not to assert authority but rather to let male hamsters know that they are coming into heat. If you have a female hamster and you notice a weird smell from time to time, this might be the reason. It might happen quite often since female hamsters get into heat at short intervals of about four days. Which hamsters can live together? Only certain Dwarf hamster breeds can peacefully cohabitate, such as Roborovski, Campbell’s and Siberian hamsters, but only if they come from the same litter. If they have been raised as siblings in their mother’s nest, they can then be housed together but you should still expect occasional fights. When it comes to Chinese hamsters, it is not recommended to house them with any of the other three species due to their larger size and more aggressive territorial behavior. Chinese hamsters, especially males, are extremely violent against other hamsters and should always be kept solitary. It is important to understand that even smaller hamsters still need plenty of space to live their lives. If they feel that the cage is too small, they might start fighting each other, even if they are from the same litter. It is important to have enough space for each hamster to exercise, eat and drink water. Can you introduce a new dwarf hamster to the ones you already have? We will not discuss here about Syrian hamsters since for those ones even the breeding process is a complicated task where you have to get the male out of the cage immediately after if you don’t want the female and male to fight. When it comes to dwarf hamsters, introducing a new hamster to the cage is quite challenging. You might see videos and blog posts with people succeeding but the odds are not in your favor, and this is important to know. Even if you do everything right, they have a big chance of not accepting each other. If you want to do that anyway, here are the steps you have to follow. -Thoroughly clean the cage and separate it into two sections with a mesh divider. -Place the old and new hamster in each compartment. -Allow them to acclimate to each other through sight and smell before removing the separator. Keep them separated for a few days. -Pay close attention and be ready to intervene if they start fighting So the process requires you to actively watch the hamsters while you are introducing the new hamster, so it is quite time-consuming and can be dangerous. I recommend keeping a gardening or thick rubber glove near the cage since intervening between two fighting hamsters can leave serious wounds. Conclusion Hamsters are territorial animals and they will try to mark their territory as fast as possible even if they are alone in the cage, they don’t know that the cage is only for them, so they have to make sure other hamsters know that the territory is occupied. Can you imagine your little hammy always marking its territory when you clean its cage to make sure other hamsters will not invade them, it is funny to think about it. I hope this article helped you understand a bit better hamster behavior when it comes to marking its territory, why they are doing it, and how you can keep more hamsters together without increasing their chances of fighting.... Read more...