Hamsters Hiding Their Food – Why, When, And Where

Ever seen how your hammy stuffs his cheeks and then wanders off ? Did you ever wonder where all that food goes ? That’s a lot of food for such a tiny furry boy. Where does it all go ?

As it happens, hammies like to hoard. Their name in Syria where the first hammy was discovered translated to Mr. Saddlebags. Apparently hamsters like to carry away their food, but what do they do with all of it ?

do hamsters hide food (2)

Do hamsters hide their food ?

Yes, hamsters hide their food. In fact your per hamster is hiding the majority of the food you’re giving him. This is not to say you’re overfeeding him. We’ll discuss that later in this article.

But hamsters are hardwired to hide away most of their food, in case of a long, hard winter. Or in case it’s too dangerous to go outside to forage for food.

Pet hamsters still have this instinct, since it’s what kept them alive for so long in the wild. So they’re not going to forget it anytime soon. After all, they’ve only been with us for the last century or so.

Now let’s see how and why this all happens, so you can better understand your friend.

Why hamsters hide their food

Hammies hide their food for a number of reasons. To understand this we need to look at the wild hamster, and how it survives in the wild.

A wild hamster will come out of his hiding place in the evening, and hear for predators. He he thinks the coast is clear, he’ll run around looking for food. Now, given the fact that hamsters are prey and are always hunted by one animal or another, they move fast.

They also have to move fast to cover lots of ground, their territory is large because the areas hamsters come from are quite barren. Not much vegetation or fruit or veggies to be found.

So hamsters take what they can get, and cover a wide area to do so. They can cover 9 km/5.5 miles in a single night ! Imagine those tiny feet scurrying across the desert or steppes to find a few grains.

On top of all this, winter does come. That means less food, and the need to stockpiling.

Hamsters have evolved, because of all these reasons, to have one big pantry in their nest. That pantry is organized and cleaned daily. The hammy knows what he’s got there, and he knows it will last him through the cold.

For convenience, for survival, and because of scarcity. This is also why hamsters usually eat dry, hard grains since those keep the best. They’ve also evolved to have long front teeth to manage eating those grains.

More on hamster teeth here.

How does this translate to your pet hamster ? Well, even if he’s a pet and he is safe and gets food constantly, he still has the instinct to hoard and make sure he has enough food. It’s something pet hamsters will probably never forget.

When hamsters hide their food

Hammies love to hide their food. They don’t usually need a time of the year to hide it, they always hide it. Whenever they find some food, they’ll hide it in their amazingly elastic cheek pouches and carry it with them.

This means they’ll also have snacks along the way, and they don’t have to drop all their food if a predator comes along.

So your pet hamster will hide his food when he finds it. This means that right after you put food in his little bowl, he will sniff it and start putting it in his cheeks.

He’ll stuff his cheeks with as much food you’ve given him, or as much as his cheeks can carry.

Then, he’ll wander off to his hideout, and put it in his food stash. More on that later in the article.

Once his stash has been added to, he might stay there and eat a few bits of the food. Or, he might come out and play, or run on his wheel. Once he knows he’s got food, he won’t worry about much.

If you give him additional bits of food, after his feeding time, he will still take those. hamsters are greedy little things, regardless of how much or how little food they have in their stash. They will always take the food offered.

If it’s a food that spoils immediately, like a piece of cooked chicken or egg white, he’ll eat it right then and there. If it’s a food that keeps, including cheese, he’ll store it away.

Where do hamsters hide their food

Alright, hammies store their food, we know why and we know when. But where exactly do hamsters store their food ?

Well, maybe you’ve noticed, maybe not. Hamsters are good at hiding. But whenever you clean your hamster’s cage you’ll see he has a corner, tucked away in his hideout or nest, and it’s got plenty of food. 

That’s the hammy’s storage place, or food stash. That’s where he keeps all the food you give him, and it’s convenient.

Next time your think your hammy is sleeping try this. Keep your ears open for any chewing or small crunching sound. That’ll be your hammy taking a midnight snack.

Hamsters keep their food close, and it will usually be in the lowest part of their nest. As in, they will build their sleeping area on top of the food, if they have no other option.

In the wild hamsters only keep their food in a special, dedicated room. They have a different room for sleeping, another one for peeing, and so on.

Hamsters are very organized, and in the wild their home is actually a series of tunnels on several levels, with many rooms.

As a pet, they have either the hideout you provide them, or the nest they’ve built in a corner of the cage. For the sake of your hammy’s sanity, do get him a hideout.

Or at the very least arrange a hidden, covered corner of the cage and you’ll see that’s where he will hide.

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

do hamsters hide food (1)

Can you stop your hamster from hiding his food ?

No. You can’t stop your hamster from hiding his food. It would be like trying to stop a dog from howling when he hears other dogs.

Or a cat from surveying everything from the tallest object in your home. Or a parakeet from being… well, silly and noisy.

It’s what the animal does, and it’s their instinct.

A hamster will always hide his food, because this is what he knows. He knows food is scarce, and life in the desert or steppes is harsh, and he has to survive.

The fact that he gets a steady, regular food supply from you is just happenstance for him. Giving him more food will only mean a larger food stash that will end up spoiling since he can’t eat it all.

On the other hand, underfeeding your hamster will only give him a sense of anxiety. Having only enough food to eat in one sitting, and nothing to bring back home will make him stressed.

Hamsters react very poorly to stress and can develop serious problems like fur loss, wet tail, and a series of digestive problems.

So give your hamster food as usual, 2 teaspoons for a Syrian, and one teaspoon for a Dwarf type. That’s daily, and it’s for commercial mixes that have lots of dry grains and seeds and vitamins added in.

He will have enough food to eat, and to hide. Do keep in mind that older hamsters become very picky, and won’t eat all of their food.

Which foods are okay for hamsters

This is a topic I’ve covered in a different article. Here you’ll find a whole list of safe and unsafe foods you can give your hamster. Some are already in your pantry, or fridge.

However I do recommend a commercial food mix to give to your hammy, since that will have a balanced diet for him, with all the nutrients he needs.

At a glance, hamsters eat mostly grains. They are omnivores, and will eat most things they find. But, not all are okay for them. Again, refer to the food list I’ve linked above.

Aside from grains, hammies eat veggies, some root-type veggies, some fruits, a couple of insects, and lots of seeds and nuts. Very acidic foods like citrus or garlic or onion, and spices in general are very bad for hamsters.

A word from Teddy

I hope you found what you were looking for in this article. Us hammies love to hide our food, just so we know we’ve got enough to last us for several days. It;s not you, it’s just us being hamsters.

If you want to know more about us hammies and how to care for us, you should read the articles below for more info.

Related blog post
Syrian Hamster 101 – Breed Info And Care Sheet
Syrian Hamster 101 – Breed Info And Care SheetWant to know everything there is to know about the Syrian hamster ? I know I did when I first got my Teddy home. Especially if you’re a first-time hamster owner, you will need to know how your new pet stands out from the rest. So I’m going to help you with everything I know about Syrian hamsters, including how to care for him and what you can expect from this fluffy, sweet guy. Table of Contents ToggleAbout the Syrian hamster – short overviewHow the Syrian hamster became a petSyrian hamster size and body shapeSyrian hamster coat patternSyrian hamster health and lifespanSyrian hamster pregnancy and breedingSyrian hamster housing and cagesSyrian hamster diet and foodSyrian hamster toys and cage objectsA word from Teddy About the Syrian hamster – short overview The Syrian hamster has many names. He’s the most common hamster type (there’s 5 out there) and the one you’ve probably got in your home right now. You’ll find the Syrian under names such as : Teddy bear hamster – their faces look a bit like a teddy bear face Fancy hamster/fancy bear – especially the longhaired ones Variations on coat pattern names, like Panda hamsters (white and black), Golden hamsters (the traditional pattern), Black hamsters (all black), and so on Syrian hamster Big hamster Syrian hamsters are the largest of the hamster types, and they are solitary. They can never share their home with another hamster, or else bloody and lethal fights ensue. Males have a particularly large rear-end, since their testicles are very large for their bodies and form a permanent bulge around their very small tail. Their scent glands are on their hips, so you might notice big black dots there. Syrian hamsters are the slowest hamsters – still fast though, they’re hamsters – and they’re easier to tame and train than the Dwarf types. As such, they’re great starter pets for people who have never had a hamster before. They don’t bite as much or as often as Dwarf hamsters, and they’re easier to hold onto, since they’re larger. My own little Teddy is a Syrian hamster (hence his terribly inspired name), and he’s a Golden one, with orange and white and dustings of grey. How the Syrian hamster became a pet Originally the Syrian hamster was discovered by 1839 in Syria (hence the name). A mother with a litter of babies was brought to Jerusalem for study in 1930, and most (if not all) Syrian hamsters available for sale today are descendants of that mother and her babies. A few of them escaped from the lab in Jerusalem and have settled as wild hamsters there. For the most part Syrian hamsters were used as lab subjects for observations, and later put on display in London’s famous zoo. This is discussed in much more detail in the origin story of hamsters, how they came to be pets and where each of them comes from. The Syrian hamster comes from Syria and southern Turkey. He is used to deserts and sand, but not high temperatures. He only comes out at dusk and dawn in the wild, when the temperature is bearable and his predators don’t see very well. He doesn’t see very well either, and relies mostly on smell and hearing to navigate his surroundings. Syrian hamster size and body shape The Syrian hamster is the largest hamster available as a pet. He can grow to be 13-18 cm/5-7 inch long, though some hamsters have grown bigger than that. They’re also the heaviest hamster, ranging between 100-200 gr/3.5 -7 oz, some of them going a bit over that. As opposed to the Dwarf types, Syrians have a distinct neck and their hind legs don’t have that elongated look. They’re more diggers than runners, you might say. Their faces aren’t as narrow and pointy as the Dwarf hamster’s, and they look ridiculous with their cheeks stuffed. Given their rounder, fuzzier face, Syrians have also been known as teddy bear hamsters. They do look a bit like that, I guess. The Syrian’s tail is short, thin, and a fleshy pink. It’s got no fur, and it’s not often noticeable. If you’ve got a dark haired hamster though, you might see it easier. They’ve got no fur on their paws either, unlike the Dwarf types. This helps them grip and grab easier in the sands and in their tunnels. Syrian hamster coat pattern Traditionally you will find Syrian hamster with the golden pattern, like my teddy shown above. Granted, my Teddy’s colors fade into each other, while other Golden variation have a stark difference between each color. Some look more like color splotches. The Golden variation is the orange on the back, white on the belly, and a few dark grey markings on their back, forehead and neck. Their ears are also grey. When the hamster is still a baby, he will look mostly orange with some white. The grey appears and becomes definitive only when the hamster becomes an adult, around the 3 month mark. This color pattern helped the Syrian hamster camouflage himself in the sands and escape his predators. It’s the usual color you’ll find wild hamsters. Any odd variations will stand out against the sand and they become easy prey. Breeders have focused on changing and enhancing the color patterns of captive hamsters. We now have a wide variety of hamsters colors to choose from. For example when I picked up Teddy he was in a cage with a light brown hammy, a couple of black ones, and a few randomly spotted hamsters. Imagine the Syrian hamster’s available color patterns like you would a cat’s myriad of colors. Except stripes. Hamsters haven’t developed stripes like the cats, but aside from that the colors come in rings, bands, patches, spots, mottles, full color, dustings, anything you can imagine. In time, as the hamster becomes a senior, your will see the fur get lighter overall, but no distinct silver hairs as you would in old dogs for example. Syrian hamster health and lifespan The Syrian hamster is the second-longest lived hamster, right after the Roborovski Dwarf. The Syrian can live up to 3 years in captivity, and some have been known to live past that. Genetics, as well as the care and stress levels play a big role in how long and how well your hamster lives. This means that some hamsters, although not suffering from any terrible illness, can wither away by their first year. Or, some can live to be 3.5 years old. Babies become adults by the time they reach the 12th week of age, and can breed as soon as they’re weaned. But generally, Syrian hamsters live up to 3 years, and are considered old when they reach their second birthday. My Teddy is currently a year and a half old (born in July 2017), and there are some changes happening to him. He’s lost a large part of his energy, doesn’t eat as much, and sleeps most of the time. This is normal for hamsters going into old age. You’ll notice the hamster is definitely old and frail when his fur starts getting sparse, and he develops a sort of bald spot starting from his rear end and back legs. This is the usual pattern, and there is nothing we as owners can do to help or change that. Aside from that sign, the hamster’s skin will become very loose, wrinkly, and he will have a bony/skinny appearance, although he seems to be eating. Unfortunately this means his end is very near, and you will have to keep a close watch on him. When it comes to Syrian hamsters, wet-tail is the most notorious and dangerous disease they can contract. This is a form of diarrhea, which if often lethal if left untreated, or discovered too late. You can find out more about wet-tail here, and how to notice it and treat it. (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.) Syrian hamster pregnancy and breeding Breeding is, like with other hamsters, kind of violent and the female will half mate, half fight with the male during their breeding window. The female comes into heat every few days, for 4 days straight, at night. That is when the male can be introduced to her, and the mating can begin. Sometimes the female is too violent and just want to pick a fight, so the male needs to be removed. Once the female accepts the male and the mating is successful, she will fall pregnant. The male will need to be kept away from the female, since she will attack him after becoming pregnant. The usual gestation period for Syrian hamsters is 16-18 days, after which the female will give birth to a litter between 3 and 15 baby hamsters. She should not be disturbed at all during the birthing process, and 2 weeks afterwards. Only provide her with food and water through the bars. Anything that scares, stresses, or annoys her can lead her to eat her young, especially if it’s her first litter. Another reason the male should be kept away from the female is because she can fall pregnant immediately after giving birth, which will be difficult both on her and all her babies. And also because the male will kill the newborns to get her full attention. So make sure you keep the male and female separated at all times, except when trying for a litter. Once the hamsters are born, they are blind and hairless. They will suckle from their mother until they are 4 weeks old, which is when she will wean them. The babies can now be introduced to solid food. They also need to be separated into all male and all female groups, to avoid surprise pregnancies. However keeping the hamsters together past week 8-10 of age is not recommended, since that is when they become territorial. It will not matter if it’s their mother or brother or sister with them, they will start fighting and it often is deadly. Always keep a Syrian hamster alone, in one cage. Syrian hamster housing and cages Of all the hamsters, Syrians have the largest minimum needs when it comes to cages and housing them. The minimum cage is 24 x 12 inches, and about 12 inches tall. That’s 61 x 30.5 cm, and about 30.5 cm tall. Of course, the bigger the cage the better. All hamsters, no matter their breed, will opt for a bigger cage, a bigger running wheel, and more space to run if they can. But, not everyone has the possibility of keeping a big cage for their hamster, mostly due to cost and space in their home. The best idea would be an Ikea Detolf. That’s a simple standing shelf, with the shelves removed, and put on its side. Construction a wire mesh for it is fairly easy, many tutorials are available online. Detolfs are expensive and big, so wherever you put them, that’s where they’re going to stay. Cleaning them is a bit different from an ordinary cage as well, but they give your hamster much more space to run around and play. What about commercial hamster cages ? Are they big enough for Syrians ? Well, sadly, no. For the most part commercial cages are too small for a Syrian. Not all, but most of them. Looking for a cage big enough is a bit of a hassle, but they can be found. For example this one, a wire cage with a plastic bottom, with an adjustable extra level. It’s got enough floor space for the hamster to use, and the extra level will give him a bit more. Hamsters don’t use all the levels in their cage, so just one level is enough. They prefer the ground level anyway, and might build the nest under that level. That being said, this cage provides both airflow, and containment. The spacing between the wires is less than half an inch, so the Syrian hamster won’t be able to squeeze himself through those wires. You can check the listing on Amazon here. As for the bedding, your hammy will need either wood shavings, or paper bedding. If you get wood shavings, make sure you get aspen, and stay away from cedar or pine as they can suffocate a hamster. Syrian hamster diet and food Syrian hamsters eat mostly grains, with a few vegetable and fruits added in. Nuts and seeds are welcome too, as is a bit of protein. Things like cooked, plain chicken and boiled egg white are good sources of protein, as well as mealworms and small insects. However commercial food mixes are more than enough, with a well studied composition and covering their dietary needs. So, giving your hamster a good food mix will go a long way. You can always supplement the hamster’s diet with foods you already have in your pantry or fridge. A safe foods list is here, and most of them are easily available across the world. The Syrian hamster will need 2 teaspoons of dry food mix per day, and he will hide most of it in his nest. Overfeeding him won’t make him stop hiding the food, since this is a natural instinct of his. It will only result in more hidden food, and a fat hamster, which can lead to diabetes and joint problems. Syrian hamster toys and cage objects The first thing about a hamster, any hamster, is that he loves to run. all night, every night. He will get lazier as he ages, but until then he will run as far as his little feet will take him A Syrian hamster is no different, so he will need an exercise wheel. The thing is, he will need a larger wheel than the other hamsters, since he is so large. The hamster’s back should not be arched when he runs, since this can create back problems. This is why the wheel itself must be very wide, to keep his back straight. For example a wheel like this one is large enough for any kind of hamster, but especially a Syrian. Syrians are the largest, and if yours happens to grow past 18 cm/7 inches long, then a wheel as big as this one will still fit him. It’s got a heavy bottom, so you’re sure it won’t move about the cage. And it’s got a tail and foot guard, so he doesn’t catch onto something. Best of all, it’s silent and won’t keep you up at night with squeaks and grinding metal. You can find the listing on Amazon here, and check it out for yourself. Aside from the exercise wheel, the Syrian will need some objects in his cage (aside from the food bowl and the water bottle). Like a wooden hideout for him to build a nest in, a chew toy, a few cardboard tunnels made from paper towel rolls. Climbing toys are welcome to, and so are hide and seek toys. Most of these can be either bought from a store or online, or even made at home from wood or cardboard. You can find out more about that here. A word from Teddy I hope you found what you were looking for in this article. I know us hammies can seem very confusing with all our cousins, but you’ll learn about each of us in time. Us Syrians are the biggest, and the friendliest by far. If you want to know more about us hamsters you should check out the related articles below. You’ll learn how to keep us safe and happy, and what we need for a good life. [...] Read more...
Hamster vs Rabbit – Which Is The Best Pet For Your Home ?
Hamster vs Rabbit – Which Is The Best Pet For Your Home ?Thinking of getting a pet, but can’t decide between a rabbit or a hamster ? I know you know they’re very different animals, but there are some things that can become deal-breakers, depending on what you’re looking for in a pet. Let’s see the main differences between a hamster and a rabbit, so you can properly decide which is best for you. If you want to know how a hamster would fare living with a rabbit in the same cage, you should read this article. Table of Contents ToggleAbout the hamster – general info and personalityAbout the rabbit – general info and personalityFood and treat differences between hamsters and rabbitsCage sizes and exercise requirements for rabbits and hamstersSocializing and upkeep needs are very different for rabbits and hamstersA word from Teddy About the hamster – general info and personality A hamster is very small, can be as small as 2 inches/5 cm, and as large as 5 inches/13 cm. He doesn’t need as much room as a rabbit, and usually stays put. As in, leaving the hamster in his cage all his life is not a problem, as long as he has a large enough cage. He does need a bit of exercise, but this is where his exercise wheel comes to the rescue. Hammies don’t like to share and generally should not be housed together. The only exceptions are the Dwarf types, who can live with a sibling or two of the same sex. This is only true for siblings that have never been separated and live in a very large cage, so they won’t fight over food and toys and general resources. Even so, I recommend keeping any and all hamsters alone, one hamster per cage. This reduces the hamster’s stress levels and this way you make sure there are no unnecessary fights, which can sometimes be deadly. Hamsters are prey animals, so they’re used to running away and hiding. Their cages need to have plenty of hiding places, so they can feel safe. This also means that taming the hamster will not be as easy as taming a puppy. He will take anywhere between a few days and a few weeks to trust you. And that trust can always be lost, or forgotten if you stop interacting with him for a few days. Still, hamsters make for very entertaining pets. It’s just that the vast majority of hamsters only come out of their hiding place at night. This means that if you go to bed before 10 PM you might just miss their waking up.  And if you wake up around 6 AM, they’ve just gone to bed. So I’d only recommend a hamster to a person who either stays up very late, or works night shifts and can catch the hamster awake more often. They’re also very sensitive animals, in that there is such a thing as handling them too much, and too little. They get grumpy if you wake them up, they won’t always want to stay in your hands… okay, they rarely want to stay put. They want to explore and see everything. Their personalities are not obvious from the start, when they’re babies. But once they grow up (3 months-ish) you’ll realize you’ve either got a Rambo type (all over the place, exploring, trying to intimidate you, not staying still) or the world’s laziest and relaxed furball. There is no in-between. All hamsters mellow down once they become old, it’s just that some are absolutely spastic when they’re young. About the rabbit – general info and personality Rabbits are very different from hamsters. For a very long time I thought that, with rabbits being rodents they must be very similar to hamsters. Well, it turns out rabbits aren’t even rodents, they’re lagomorphs. That’s mainly a difference in teeth and digestive system, which includes the fact that their feed is going to be different. Rabbits are everything the hamster is not. While they too are small (compared to a dog), even the tiniest bunny is bigger than the largest hamster. You can get anything from Dwarf bunnies to the ridiculously large Giants. That means your cage and pens are going to vary according to the type of rabbit you have. Bunnies are social. Definitely social. They’re more like a cat than a hamster, actually, demanding attention and then getting fussy if they don’t get it. If they do get it, you’ve probably done it wrong. Bunnies aren’t as easy to read, so it’s best if you read up on their general body language here. This means that rabbits can’t be kept in a cage all their life, like a hamster. You’re going to need to let the bunny out. often, and let him roam around the house, or a designated area. They also live longer than hamsters – about 8-12 years – so they’re a big commitment. That means for the next 8-12 years you’re going to have to adapt yourself to your bunny’s demanding yet endearing personality, and he’ll adapt to yours. Maybe. Rabbits can and do get aggressive, but not often. They’d rather warn you that you’ve done something wrong rather than bit or headbutt you. They’re forgiving like that. But they will attack if you insist on annoying them. Territory is a big thing for rabbits. They will mark any and every thing they think they own. Your sofa, the carpet, under the table, between counters, your leg, maybe even your shoes. They do this with a combination of pee, pellets, and rubbing their chins onto surfaces. That’s where their scent glands are. Food and treat differences between hamsters and rabbits Food is fairly different for hamster and for rabbits. Firstly hamster eat almost anything, but they prefer and start with grains. Hard, dry grains are their usual meals, accompanied by nuts and seeds. A bit of fruit and vegetables are welcome, if they can find them. Protein too is great, whether it’s insects, a mealworm, or a fresh nice strip of cooked chicken (plain, no condiments or oil). You can find a whole bunch of commercial feeds for hamster, and most of them are good. You can also use foods you’ve got in your fridge or pantry as treats for them. Here’s a big list of safe hamster foods you can find in your home. But, if you’ve got a diabetic hamster be warned that most fruits are off-limits to them. A few vegetables like sweet potato and carrots are limited too, since they will only worsen their condition. As for rabbits, their food is not that similar to a hamster’s food. A hamster can find things he likes in the rabbit’s food, but the rabbit won’t eat much of what’s in the hamster’s bowl. But what does a rabbit eat, aside from the classic carrots ? Well plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, especially the leafy green kind of foods. They eat food that’s a lot like guinea pig food, actually. They eat lots of timothy hay as well, since they use it to file down their teeth and for nutrients as well. This means you’re going to have to provide them with a fresh supply of hay all day, every day. Aside from all of this, rabbits will need pellets as feed. This commercial food mix has a blend of all the nutrients a rabbit will need, and they’re all in one single pellet. This way the rabbit won’t be able to pick and choose his favorite foods (which all animals end up doing), so you can be sure he’s going to get all his nutrients on one go. Rabbits go through a bag of food much faster than a hamster seeing as a hamster only needs a teaspoon or two of his dried food mix every day. A rabbit can need even 4 heaping tablespoons of pellets ! This is aside from all the extra veggies and hay. (If you like this article so far, you can pin it to your Pinterest board by clicking the image below. The article continues after the image.) Cage sizes and exercise requirements for rabbits and hamsters Cages are a big problem here. Mostly because a hamster will only need a cage of minimum 24 x 12 inches, and about 12 inches tall. That’s 61 x 30.5 cm, and about 30.5 cm tall. This is the absolute minimum, and I recommend getting a cage much larger than this. However most cages on the market don’t come much bigger than this. Most barely reach this size, actually. Hamsters don’t need time outside their cages, mostly because they spend most of their time hiding and digging burrows. If you were to let them out on the floor they’d need a place to hide. Wide open spaces make them panic and they will want to find a safe, dark corner to hide in. As for their actual exercise needs, hamsters do a whole lot of running. This is why they always get an exercise wheel with their cage. But the wheels that come with the cage you buy are almost always poor quality plastic wheels that barely spin. You need a good, solid, big wheel to let your hamster get all of his exercise. You can find out more about exercise wheels for hamsters here. Rabbits, on the other hand, need not only a much larger cage, but also a very large play area. Most people agree that providing the rabbit with a whole room, all to himself, would be best. But not everyone has a spare room. In this case a minimum for the living space would be 90 x 60 cm, and 90 cm high/ 35.4 x 23.6 inches, and 35.4 inches high. The exercise space should be a minimum of 2.43 x 1.21 m/ 8 x 4 feet, with height allowance. Rabbits can sometimes jump very high, and like to jump on top of things. The living area and exercise space need to be linked together so the rabbit can come and go as he pleases. If you’ve got more than one rabbit living together, you’re going to have to double those sizes I mentioned. So in short, keeping a rabbit in an apartment or house is going to be very difficult. In a garden outside however, you can provide much more space. But that space can’t be used for anything else, though. So think about this carefully. You should read here more about the cage and playpen areas necessary for rabbits. You can’t skimp out on the rabbit’s enclosure size, since he will become irritated, restless, and generally destructive. Do not underestimate rabbits, cute as they may look. Socializing and upkeep needs are very different for rabbits and hamsters Hamsters don’t need much by way of socializing. They’re loners, for the most part, and get by just fine if they’re got a big enough cage and plenty of toys to keep them entertained. Hammies don’t really get bored if they have all of that. They are fine with their owner’s presence, although they’re not necessarily crazy about being held or petted. They’ll tolerate it because they can learn that it’s not something harmful for them, and sometimes those hands carry treats. Still, hammies are perfectly fine on their own, and are mostly low-maintenance. Yes, their cage should be cleaned one a week, but that’s pretty much the only downside. Rabbits need plenty of attention and petting and rubbing behind their ears. They need to be the center of attention. All rabbits do, even if you’ve got a mellow bunny. They will eve ask for your attention, either by butting their head against your hands or legs, sometimes even nipping gently. Sometimes they might even just lay flat across you, or parts of you. This is partly them showing dominance, and partly asking for grooming/attention from you. Can you think of another furball that does the same things ? It usually meows and can’t decide if it wants out of the house or back inside. Rabbits will take up your lives, and that can be either a great thing or a nuisance, depending on your disposition and what your home can offer. If you’re willing to be there for the bunny, cuddle him, feed him, play with him, and leave him, all on his own terms that’s great. He will claim parts of your home as his, and will understand that some parts of the home are yours (and thus off limits). He’ll still try to go into those place, just not when you’re looking. Cleaning after the rabbit will be a constant aspect of your life, since rabbits mark their territory with pee and pellets. And wherever you let him roam is going to need to be an easy to clean place, otherwise the entire are will stink up fast. If you’re looking for more of a quiet pet, who won’t take up more than you give him, then maybe the hamster is for you. He needs less attention from you, and is there more to look at than cuddle with. They can be charming and cute on their own, with their fuzzy mugs and that did-I-leave-the-gas-on look about them. You need to think very carefully which pet would be best for you. A rabbit is high maintenance, more than a dog for example. And definitely more than a hamster. And they definitely can’t be kept together, that’s for sure. Some have tried, and it’s never went over well. A hamster, while low-maintenance, can be sometimes dull compared to the sometimes too lively rabbit. Neither of them are good pets for children, since they require a very patient person to look after them, and to handle them. A word from Teddy I hope you found what you were looking for in this article. I know you might be trying to decide between a hammy and a rabbit, but we’re very different. You’ll need to think about whether your home and life would be a better fit for a hammy, or a bunny. If you want to know more about us hamsters you should check out the related articles below. You’ll learn how to keep us safe and happy, and what we need for a good life. [...] Read more...
Can Hamsters Eat Peanuts ? Or Any Kind Of Nuts ?
Can Hamsters Eat Peanuts ? Or Any Kind Of Nuts ?If you’ve got a hamster and you’re wondering if you can feed him a peanut, that’s okay. It’s a common question, and one I had too when I first got my Teddy. Turns out hamsters can eat lots of things us humans can eat. However, they can’t eat as much or as many variations as we can. Table of Contents ToggleSo can hamsters eat peanuts ?Hamsters eat lots of nuts and seeds in the wildIs peanut butter safe for hamsters ?Safe nuts and seeds for your hamsterUnsafe nuts and seeds to keep away from your hamsterCommercial food mixes have plenty of safe nuts and seedsA word from Teddy So can hamsters eat peanuts ? Yes, hamsters can eat peanuts. It’s safe for them. But they need to be unsalted peanuts. They can be baked or not, and they can be given with the shell as well. As long as there are no seasonings or extra oils on the peanut, it’s okay. Peanuts do have a high fat content though, so be aware that too many peanuts will make your hamster overweight. That can lead to severe health issues, and is best avoided. But, a peanut every now and hen, like a couple of times a week is alright. Not more often though. Hamsters eat lots of nuts and seeds in the wild Peanuts are okay for the main reason that hamsters eat a lot of seed and nut types in the wild. When foraging for food, hammies end up with lots of grains, seeds, and some roots to munch on. Many times their diet consists entirely of dried grains and seeds, which keep well over cold periods. So, a peanut is safe. And you’ll often find it in his food mix as well. Is peanut butter safe for hamsters ? Yes, plain, unsweetened peanut butter is safe for hamsters to eat. Peanut butter is just crushed and pureed peanuts, and that’s alright for hammies. The difference is that peanut butter sometimes has a little bit of added oil in order to make it creamier. So that means that your hamster should have less peanut butter than regular peanut. For example a dollop of peanut butter the size of a pea is more than enough for your hammy, whether he’s a Dwarf or Syrian. The thing about peanut butter is that it’s sticky, and requires lots of cleanup. This is one of the reasons you need to be careful how much you give your hamster. Your hammy has a high chance of making a mess out of the tiny dollop, so make sure you give him a very small amount. Always make sure you give your hamster unsweetened, unsalted, unflavored peanut butter. Only simple, plain peanut butter will do, since that’s the closes to an actual peanut.   Safe nuts and seeds for your hamster Hammies can eat some types of nuts, and I’m going to help you identify them right here. SO here’s a safe list of nuts for your hamster: peanuts pecans pistachios walnuts pine nuts cashews hazelnuts sunflower seeds pumpkin seeds Now these all need to be unsalted, unsweetened, unseasoned in any way. Get them as plain as possible. It’s fine if they’re raw, and it’s fine if they’re toasted. Just remember that seeds and nuts should not be given daily or very often. More than twice a week is too much. And the serving should be just one nut. For seeds they can be 3-4 at a time. But do not overfeed your hamster on seeds or nuts, since they are very high in fat. Your hamster doesn’t need a high fat diet in order to function. (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.) Unsafe nuts and seeds to keep away from your hamster Some nuts and seeds aren’t alright for hammies, since they can be poisonous. Even for humans they can be a bit hazardous, and should not be eaten often or in large amounts. These are: almonds any kind of fruit seed (apple, grape, peach, plum, etc) This does not mean the fruits are not edible. Hamsters actually love to munch on small apple bits, or a bit of grape flesh. It’s just the seeds that are not alright for them, and should be removed before giving fruits to your hamster. Actually, you can find out more about what kind of fruits are alright for your hamster right here. Commercial food mixes have plenty of safe nuts and seeds When feeding your hamster, you have the option of giving him a store-bought food mix. The thing about these mixes is that they’re thought out to give your hammy a balanced diet. This means your hamster’s getting the optimal amount of grains, nuts, seeds, vitamins supplements, fiber and protein for a healthy diet. This food mix will help your hammy find all the nutrients he needs, right there in his food bowl. He won’t have to forage for his food anymore. Unless you sprinkle it through his cage, which can keep him busy and keep his instincts sharp. Still, the whole bag will last you a couple of months or more, depending on what kind of hamster you have. You can check the listing on Amazon right here, and read the reviews as well. A word from Teddy I hope you found out what you were looking for here. I know us hammies love to munch on everything, but sometimes you need to be careful what you give us. Peanuts are alright, as long as they’re plain, and are in small amounts and not often. If you want to know more about us hammies, you should check out the articles below for more info on how to care for us. [...] Read more...
Can Hamsters Eat Bread ? Keep Your Hamster Healthy
Can Hamsters Eat Bread ? Keep Your Hamster HealthyIf you’ve got a hamster and you’re wondering if hamsters can eat bread, you’re not alone. I had the same question when I first got my Teddy.  So I asked around, and then I tried giving Teddy a piece of bread. Turns out, hamsters are surprisingly much like humans when it comes to food. Table of Contents ToggleSo can hamsters eat bread ?Hamsters eat mostly grainsHow much bread and pasta is safe for your hamsterA word on hamster cheek pouches, be careful what you feed your hammyHow much bread to feed your hamsterHow much pasta to feed your hamsterWhat kind of bread or pasta hamsters can eatOverfeeding your hamster on breadCommercial food provides a good enough baseA word from Teddy So can hamsters eat bread ? Yes, hamsters can eat bread. They should not have much of it though, because they gain very little nutrition from regular, white bread. So yes, you can feed your hamster some pieces of bread. But not often, and not many at a time. He will enjoy munching on it, and you can pretend you had morning toast together. Still, not all breads are created equal. Some are okay for hamsters, other breads should be avoided. The same goes for pasta actually. Let’s get into the details a bit. Hamsters eat mostly grains In the wild, hamsters eat mostly grains. This means that their diet consists mostly of grains they find around their environment, and a few veggies they stumble upon. However given the region hamsters come from – from Syria, all the way into Russia and Mongolia and parts of China – their food is scarce. The terrains in the wilderness in those places do not grow many kinds of food for hamsters. So, the hammies have to make do with whatever they find. Like grains, a lot of plant seeds, a couple of veggies, maybe even an edible root or two. But grains and seeds are the hamster’s preferred food. And this is what you will also find in your hamster’s commercial food mix as well. To tie into the topic at hand, bread is made from different grains that were ground into flour. So, by relation yes bread can be okay for hamsters. But there are definitely some things you need to consider before your feed your hamster any kind of bread. How much bread and pasta is safe for your hamster First off, let’s talk about portion sizes. For humans, bread can be eaten in very large quantities. The health benefits and dangers of eating bread won’t be discussed here. But I will tell you that hamsters can’t eat as much as humans, even scaled down to their size. Hammies are very greedy little creatures, and they will eat everything you give them. That does not mean that you should, or that it’s healthy for them, at all. A word on hamster cheek pouches, be careful what you feed your hammy An injury to a hammy’s cheek pouch is one of the worst, since it’s not an easy place to fix or get into without hurting the hamster. So best to avoid that problem altogether by not giving your hammy anything sharp, or very big. The same condition goes for any kind of food that can get sticky. Parts of it will remain stuck in your hamster’s cheek pouches, leading to various diseases and infections. If the hamster can’t push all the food out of his cheeks, he will not feel alright and keep trying to push it until he hurts himself. This applies for cooked, sticky pasta, any kind of sauces, anything sweet, or any fluffy parts of bread. Best to feed him things that are dry. Those can’t leave much of a residue in the hamster’s cheeks. He can’t stick his tongue in those cheeks to clean them out, like humans. How much bread to feed your hamster When giving your hammy bread, you should focus on the crust. This is the crunchy bit that hamsters will love. But make sure the shell is not overly crunchy, and can’t break into small shards that will cut the hamster’s cheek pouches. Also, make sure your avoid the white, fluffy part of the bread. As for how much bread, I usually give my Teddy – adult Syrian hammy – a half inch/1 cm piece every few weeks. This is partly because there are a lot of extra carbs in the bread, that the hamster does not need. And partly because he has a lot of grains and seeds in his usual food mix. How much pasta to feed your hamster When it comes to pasta, your hammy can eat it as well. But you need to give him very small amounts, and only dry pasta. This is because your hamster will probably just shove the whole thing into his cheeks. And we’ve just discussed the whole sticky cheeks deal. So, best to give your hamster dry pasta, in small pieces. Make sure the shapes are small, like a letter from the alphabet pasta. Just make sure the letter isn’t an I or something with sharp parts. The pasta should not be fed often to your hamster. This is because it has a lot of carbs, like the bread, and the hamster does have carbs coming in from the grains in his food mix. What kind of bread or pasta hamsters can eat Ah yes. Hammies can have bread and pasta – but what kind ? Well, for hamsters, the grains they eat in the wild are great because they’ve got the shell. The shell of the grains has a lot of vitamins and minerals. When it comes to regular, white bread or pasta, those shells are gone. That’s why they’re so white, because they’ve been processed to remove anything but the inside of the grain. As such, they have a high gluten and carb content, but no other nutritional value. They’re basically empty carbs. This does not help your hamster. It doesn’t help you either, to be honest. So the best thing to do, for yourself, and for your hamster – trade up to whole grain. Whole grain bread, pasta, and brown rice. These still have their shells, mostly, and have much more nutrients. They’re healthier both for yourself and for your hamster. If you’re wondering, yes, hamsters can have cooked brown rice. Just not more than a couple of grains at a time, since they will hide them in their cheeks. Aside from all that, the bread must not be sweetened in any way. That excludes the majority of Western bread, like the Toast/French toast square bread, and hot dog buns, or burger buns. So where does that leave you ? Well, with the rustic looking, European-style wholegrain bread. Those are not usually sweetened, they just have a bit of salt. Maybe it sounds odd to you, or maybe it’s the bread you usually eat. I’m just telling you which is healthier for your hamster. And ultimately for you too. The same goes for pasta too. Go for wholegrain pasta, and you’re better off. And you won’t get as sticky a pasta dish either. (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.) Overfeeding your hamster on bread Alright then, what if you overfeed your hamster on bread or pasta ? Or if you already did ? The main problem here is weight gain. For hamsters this is more of an issue, because they won’t have the will to exercise that humans do. We know why we’d need to shed some weight. Your hamster doesn’t understand the health benefits, though. An obese hamster will have heart and circulatory problems, and develop joint problems as well. Those are very hard to treat in a hamster, since he is so small. If your hamster’s already overweight, you need to check out this article right away. You’ll find out the dangers of overfeeding your hamster in more detail, and how to slim him down. Of all the things to overfeed a hamster on, carbs are the worst idea. A big, fluffy hamster is cute and all, but think about his health. If the running wheel becomes a problem for him, then he is in clear danger. Commercial food provides a good enough base You can totally feed your hamster food you have in your pantry and kitchen. However that means his meals won’t always be balanced. In my opinion, and this is what I’ve been doing with my Teddy since I first got him, it’s best to give your hamster a commercial food mix. Then if you want, you can add a bit of fruit, or veg, or whatever you think is fine in his diet, as an extra. For more info on what you can safely add to your hamster’s diet, check out this safe foods list. When it comes to commercial food mixes, they are almost always well thought out. They have a healthy balance or carbs, proteins, vitamins, and some minerals and fibers. This one is a good blend, and the whole bag can last your for a couple of months or more. Depending on what kind of hamster you have, and how many you have. A Syrian hammy needs 2 teaspoons of food mix per day, every day. While Dwarf types are fine with just one teaspoon. Your hammy will become a picky eater in time, this happens with most of them. Just make sure he gets all of his food. You can check out the listing on Amazon for this food mix here, and read the reviews as well. A word from Teddy I hope you found out what you were looking for here. Us hammies can have a bit of bread and pasta too, just not a lot, and not often. We like peanuts more, to be honest. But we’re happy you want to share your food with us ! If you want to know more about us hamsters, you can check out the articles below. [...] Read more...
Do Hamsters Have Tails ? Plus A Few Odd Hamster Facts
Do Hamsters Have Tails ? Plus A Few Odd Hamster FactsYou might be wondering if your tiny hamster friend has a tail at all. I mean, he’s so small and fluffy, and if it’s there you can barely see it. Truth be told, I never looked at my Teddy’s behind a lot, until I stumbled upon this discussion in a group board somewhere. So, I looked at my Teddy(Syrian male hammy), and I googled around until I could come up with a competent answer on whether hamsters have tails or not. And what they do with them, if they have one. Table of Contents ToggleSo do hamsters have tails ?Syrian vs Dwarf vs Chinese tailsWhy a hamster’s tail is so shortHow your hamster uses his tailA few other small facts about the hamster’s bodyHamsters do have eyelashesHamster teeth never stop growingHamsters barely use their eyesHamsters do have bonesHamsters are capable of passing gasA word from Teddy So do hamsters have tails ? Yes, hamsters do have tails. They’re very small, and stubby, but they’re definitely there. Hamsters, like all mammals have their spine ending in a sort of tail. In some mammals, like us humans, the tail became useless and we evolved out of having a tail. We just have the stump at the end of our spine. Hamsters, on the other hand, still keep their tail. A very short one, but it’s still a tail. Notable is the Chinese hamster, who still has a longer tail. Not nearly as long as a rat’s or mouse’s tail, but much longer than the other Dwarf types, or the Syrian. Let’s get into how each other hammies have their tails, and how to tell them apart. Syrian vs Dwarf vs Chinese tails A Syrian hamster has a short, thin tail. Half an inch/1 cm long, although it’s hard to tell with so much fur going on. It’s skin colored (usually pink), and completely hairless. Think of a grain of long-grain rice. And pink, fleshy, and attached to your hamster. It sometimes sticks out of the exercise ball, so you need to be careful what kind of exercise ball you get your hamster, so it doesn’t hurt the hammy. More info on that here. A Dwarf type’s tail is a bit shorter than the Syrian’s, but it’s covered in fur. It’s colored according to the various color marking he hamster has, and it looks like a tuft of fur on the hammy’s rear. Of all the tails, I think this is the hardest one to notice since it tends to blend into the rest of the hamster. Finally, a Chinese hamster’s tail is the longest tail among hamsters. It’s usually about 3 cm/a little over an inch. It’s furry, and the same color as the rest of the hamster. Important to note here that these hamsters don’e have as many color variations, and are usually a browny color with a dark stripe down their back, with a slim and long body. People often confuse them with mice, although the differences are many. Why a hamster’s tail is so short You might be wondering why the hamster has such a short tail. Even the Chinese Dwarf’s got a small tail, and the reasons are not clear. Aside from an educated guess, I haven’t found info on this. My guess is that hamsters evolved to have short tails because they no longer needed them. While rats and mice do run, like hamsters, they also do an awful lot of climbing. Their tails help them a lot in that respect. A hamster on the other hand does not climb as much or as often, and doesn’t seem to need his tail. Your average hamster is more focused on digging burrows and not having anything for a predator to hold onto. That being said, perhaps there is another, more scientific reason hamsters have such short tails. But, until more research is done, we’re stumped (I hope you like that joke, I’m proud of it). How your hamster uses his tail We’ve discussed hamsters not really using their tails for much, so what do they end up using it for ? As far as I’ve observed my Teddy, he doesn’t seem to actively use it all that much. A tail usually serves to keep a hamster’s balance. But it’s so short it doesn’t seem to matter. All I’ve seen Teddy do with his tail is curl it up like the weirdest thing when he pees in his corner. As you know, hamsters are very clean animals, and only use a corner in their habitat to pee. This will be the corner farthest from their hideout and they will use it even if you place a small litter box there. Aside from this, Teddy’s tail doesn’t seem to have more purpose. If anyone finds more info on this, I’d like to know too. A few other small facts about the hamster’s body Alright, we know hammies have tails, and that they don’t do much with them. What other mysteries do hamsters hold ? Let’s see. Hamsters do have eyelashes Yes, hamsters have eyelashes. In fact all mammals have eyelashes. Even if they’re very fine and short hairs, the eyelashes are still there. Now if your hamster’s got dark-rimmed eyes like my Teddy, you might not see them very well. But they’re there, and they’re meant to help catch dust and other particles before they enter the eye. However, given how furry hamsters are, their lashes aren’t as noticeable as a human’s. Specifically, how long the hair shafts are, compared to the rest of their body. (If you like this article so far, you can pin it to your Pinterest board by clicking the image below. The article continues after the image.) Hamster teeth never stop growing Hammies always have to chew on something, whether they annoy you or not. I know I can’t really stand it when my teddy starts gnawing, but I know he needs to file down his teeth. You see, hamster teeth (the front pairs) never stop growing. If left unchecked, they can become seriously overgrown and a problem of their own. More on hamster dental problems here. So your hamster friend always needs to chew on something hard. Preferably not his cage bars, since those are too hard for his teeth, and can break them. The best things for a hamster to chew on are chew toys, made of wood, or very hard cardboard. You can find here a guide on store bought and DYI hamster chew toys. Hamsters barely use their eyes Hammies are nearly blind. Well, they do see, but very poorly. Only directly in front of them, and only a few inches. Because of this, they have very poor depth perception, and can’t judge distances at all. They can and will jump form a high place and honestly think it’s a safe shortcut to their food bowl. You can find out more about hamster eyesight here, and more about the kind of problems hamsters can develop when it comes to eyes. That being said, no, hamsters don’t really need lots of light to see. They do well in low-light conditions. They rely on their keen sense of smell, and their great hearing to navigate their habitat. Hamsters do have bones This is one that had me chuckling at first, when I heard a friend ask. But the more I thought about it, the more I could understand why a person could ask this. When you pick a hamster up, it’s a very light creature. When I first got Teddy I had no idea how to hold him, he weighted nothing and I was afraid I’d crush him. And given how fluffy hamsters are, you can’t really feel their bones very easily. But yes, hamsters do have bones. Very small, very thin, but still they have bones. They, like all creatures except for insects, have bones and a skeletal structure. The tail we were talking about earlier is a small bone too. Hamsters are capable of passing gas Hamsters are cute little things, but they can pass gas. That being said, they don’t necessarily do so openly, lest you hear them and they’ll die of embarrassment. Seriously though, few people have reported actually hearing their hamster fart. I for one have never heard Teddy. But, given how much fur a hamster has on its rear, and how small the creature is, I doubt it could even be audible. There was a veterinarian who reviewed this question, and he came to the conclusion that hammies can indeed fart. The more you know ! A word from Teddy I hope you found what you were looking for here. Us hammies like to keep some things mysterious. You know, to keep you guessing. If you want to know more info about us hammies, you can read he articles below. You’ll find great info on how to care for us and keep us happy. [...] Read more...
Do Hamsters Need Affection ? How To Keep Your Furball Happy
Do Hamsters Need Affection ? How To Keep Your Furball HappyWhen I first got my Teddy I didn’t know how much attention he’d need from me. Or if he’d need any at all. I only knew hamsters can be left by themselves in their cages and be fine, but do hammies really need your attention ? Table of Contents ToggleSo do hamsters need attention from their owners ?It depends on your hamster’s personalityHamsters are always very curious and activeHow to keep your hamster friend happyPlay with the hamsterGive the hammy plenty of toys and ways to exerciseGet your hamster the right sized everythingHamsters do not get lonelyA word from Teddy So do hamsters need attention from their owners ? YES, much less than other pets but yes. Hamsters are solitary by nature, but they still enjoy human company, and can grow to be attached to their owners. This means you need to handle and play with the hamster very often, to form this bond. But your hammy will not be lonely if you don’t pay him too much attention. Hamsters are solitary by nature, and do not miss company necessarily. This means that they can live on their own, and not miss the owner too much. However a hamster not handled regularly will need a lot more space and activities, to consume all of his energy. He’s basically an untamed hamster in this case. But let’s get into detail with this, and see how and when to give your hamster attention. It depends on your hamster’s personality Some hamsters are more cuddly, some are more aloof. In general Syrian hamsters are easier to tame, and thus will be a bit more affectionate than other hamster types. But this is only because the Syrians are much larger than the other hammies, and thus can be handled easier. However there are hamsters and hamsters. For example my Teddy – adult Syrian male –  is not the cuddliest of hamsters. He’s not completely aloof, but he is always on the go, doing something, too busy to stay in my hands and relax a little. To be honest he was not what I imagined when I said I wanted a hammy, but he’s got a whole personality of his own. He may not be cuddly, but he makes a lot of funny faces, and would be a really good circus acrobat. Maybe your hammy is like my Teddy, or maybe he’s a very mellow hamster. A family friend of ours had a hammy, his name was Oscar, and he was the tamest thing ever. He let anyone touch him, and would come up to the cage bars if he heard you, asking for a bit of attention. There’s hamsters and hamsters, and you won’t really know what kind of hamster you’re getting when he is a baby. But it’s important to realize that your pet is his own creature, and won’t always be what you imagined. You can, however, do your best to try and tame your hamster. Just don’t be surprised by the outcome, and love him anyway. Hamsters are always very curious and active Your hamster need your attention, even if it’s not for reasons as sentimental as a puppy. True, hamsters do need attention, but they do not crave it as much as dogs. Hamsters can’t be emotionally handicapped (since they’re loners by default) like a puppy starving for affection, but still you should give your hamster plenty of love and attention. Still, your hamster will be curious. About everything. Including what you’ve got in that bag you’re rustling next to his cage, or 2 rooms away. So even for something as small as this, hamsters do need your attention so they know what you’re doing, and they can investigate in peace. Just bring the bag close to the cage and let him sniff what you’ve got there. Chances are he won’t be interested. For example my Teddy goes nuts when I’m doing something next to his cage, but the second I let him get a sniff of what I’m doing (often just heating something in the microwave) he loses all interest and walks away. Sometimes I think I have a cat. So, sometimes your hamster’s curiosity might be mistaken for asking for affection. Hamsters aren’t aloof like fish, or spiders or reptiles, but they’re not nearly as cuddly as dogs, cats, or parrots. How to keep your hamster friend happy You can keep your hamster friend happy, and give him a lot of attention and love. There’s a few ways you can do that, and I’ll tell you right here. Play with the hamster The first and most obvious thing to do is to play with your hamster. This will create and deepen the bond between the two of you. Also, you’re giving your hamster plenty of attention by constantly handling him, and letting him get your scent. For example my Teddy’s fave playtime is a toilet paper square, dangled in front of him and he tries to climb onto it half the time. He just loves chasing that bit of paper around his cage every time he notices it. Even if you don’t want to take the hamster out of his cage, you can still talk to him and touch him in the cage. This helps him get closer to you, because hamsters need plenty of stimulation. Give the hammy plenty of toys and ways to exercise This is the next best thing after playing with your hamster. Sometimes, like when you’re sleeping and your hamster is awake, your hammy needs things to do. So giving the hamster chew toys and a running wheel is going to give him something to do. As said before in this article hamsters sometimes are just very curious, and sometimes that can be mistaken for asking for attention. If your hammy has not much to do in his cage, then he’ll grow bored and want to explore the outside. And if the outside means you, making coffee next to him, then he will absolutely need to know what’s in that cup. So a good option is getting your hamster some toys – here’s a link for some DYI and store bought toy ideas for your hamster, so he never gets bored. And here is an article on running wheels for hamsters, so you know what to look for when you get one for your hamster. Or, if the one you’ve already got is good enough. There’s wheel size requirements, depending on your hamster’s breed. Get your hamster the right sized everything From food bowl to water bottle to hideout and cage, everything needs to be the right size for your hammy. A very small cage will make your hamster nervous and anxious, and he will be all over the cage bars. It will look like he’s asking for your attention, but once you do handle him he will not be friendly or sit still. He will be happy he is out, and can explore, but you’re not letting him. So for this reason (and many others) getting your hamster a large enough cage is one of the most important things to do to keep him comfortable and happy. Hamsters are very small, but they need quite a bit of space. You can read more about hamster cages – size, types, and how to clean them – right here, so you can take care of your hamster friend as best you can. Remember, if you’ve got Dwarf hammies and they’re at least two, you’re going to need a bigger cage. As for the hideout your hamster will spend most of his time in, it’s important that you get your hammy a wooden one. He will chew on everything in his cage, even the hideout, so it’s best to get him one that’s safe for his teeth. You can see more about hamster hideouts and the bedding hamsters usually need right here. (If you like this article so far, you can pin it to your Pinterest board by clicking the image below. The article continues after the image.) Hamsters do not get lonely You might think that hamsters can get lonely, all by themselves in those cages. Well, hamsters are okay to be left alone, after all they’re loners by nature. In the wild hamsters live alone, and only meet other hamsters to mate. Or, the occasional trespasser in their territory who they will fight. There are some hamster breeds that can live together. But even those hamsters need to be introduced as babies, and be of the same litter, in order to get a long. Even so, sometimes it just doesn’t work. So if you’ve got an adult Syrian hammy, and you’re feeling bad because you feel like you’re not paying him enough attention, do not get him a friend. He will fight anyone new that you put into his cage, even a baby hamster. Syrians and Chinese hamsters are especially territorial, and will get into an actual, legit deathmatch with another hamster in their cage. Hamsters are not puppies, and won’t do well in a group. Some Dwarf types are okay being raised with a sibling of theirs, but even there they can get on each other’s nerves and develop stress-related illnesses. A word from Teddy I hope you know more about us hammies now, and know that we do in fact need your attention. Maybe not as much as other pets, and we won’t jump on you to lick your face to show affection. But we love you in our own way, and we do like your company ! So if you want to know more about us hamsters, feel free to check out the articles below. You’l find more info on what kind of food we need, how much water we can drink, and even why we play with our poop. [...] Read more...