Best Hamster Travel Cages, And How To Transport Your Hamster Safely

Taking your hamster somewhere is never easy. This is why having the best travel cage ever for your hamster is going to make things much easier, both for you and your hamster.

This is what I’ll be helping you out with, and my Teddy will give you a few important things to remember along the way. Travelling with your hamster need to be done with care.

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Finding the best travel cages for your hamster

Let’s talk about the transport cage itself. This is the most important part of transporting your hamster, since you can’t bring the cage your hamster lives in.

The main debate about transport cages in whether you should get a very secure one – like those made of plastic – or a very breathable one, with wire.

It’s entirely up to you, is what I say. You don’t need a transport cage often, but when you do you’ll be very specific about it. Of course you can later use it as a place to keep the hamster while you clean and change his big cage.

Now, whatever type of cage you get, it’s important that it is very well secured. It should not spring open suddenly, and you hamster can’t gnaw on the clasps to open it easily.

Just as important, how breathable is the cage ? Wire cages are very breathable but are not the most secure. However the plastic cages offer more safety but only have holes in them to allow air to pass through it.

The size of the cage does not really matter, in that it can be smaller than the one your hamster lives in. But make sure that he will fit easily into the transporting unit, and you can take him out just as easy.

The best transport cages for hamsters I’ve found

I’ll go through the best transport cages I’ve found, both for plastic and for wire cages. You pick whichever you think sounds better for you and your hamster.

Habitrail OVO plastic transport cage for hamsters


This is the kind of cage that will stay securely closed, and your hammy can get inside easily.

The two tube endings can be attached to the main cage through, well, tubes so your hamster can use it as an extra home when not traveling. The two endings can be closed off with lids that comes with the cage.

There are enough air holes on the top of the cage, to let the hamster get enough air. It also prevents drafts since the holes will not catch a lot of sideways air.

You can fit a lot of bedding in the lower part of the cage, since it will reach high enough. But don’t add any sand for a sand bath, since it can escape from tiny nooks.

I’ve both checked the reviews on Amazon, and looked at one in our local petshop. This kind of cage looks and feels sturdy, and the handle will definitely keep when you travel.

A couple of downsides are that if you order it or buy it in a sealed package, you might have to assemble it yourself. But as far as I’ve seen the instructions are very clear and most people managed to assemble it okay.

The other small downside would be that longer journeys would be a bit more difficult, since there is not much space in this cage. The air holes do provide some air, but not for 24 hours.

You can find it on Amazon here, and check its price as well.

Kaytee wire transport cage for hamsters

Wire cages are probably your best option for ventilation. But the problem is sometimes they are easy to open by the hamster, or they don’t close properly.

It’s also harder to wrap a cloth around the cage to prevent drafts since the hamster will try to chew the cloth.

But, in this case this cage has more space than the plastic one I talked about earlier. There’s an added level that can give your hamster a bit more space, but I recommend taking it out so he can’t fall.

Your hamster will have a lot of breathing space, which is essential if you’re going on a long trip or he needs to be in that cage more than a couple of hours.

The spacing between these bars is about 1.25 cm/0.5 inches so your hammy has no chance of fitting his head through the bars. Both Syrians and smaller breeds (like Siberians or Campbells) are alright in this kind of cage for transport.

I can see only a couple of downsides to this cage, one being that the bedding can get all over the car in some cases, like if your hamster kicks it around or there is a sharp turn. And second, it is very hard to protect from drafts.

You can check out this exact cage on Amazon, and see its price as well.

Living World Hagen Pet Carrier (hard plastic)

If you’re looking for more options then maybe this pet carrier will sound better for you and your pet.

People have successfully transported small birds like cockatiels and sun conures to the vet in this transport cage, and it seems to be large enough for an adult hamster.

It’s large enough for an adult Syrian, and definitely large enough for an adult Dwarf as well. Just remember to get the ‘large’ size, the maroon one with a gray and transparent top, as the smaller blue one is much too small.

This transport cage is hard, thick plastic, and if you offer some amount of bedding and a hideout for your hammy then he should have no problem being relaxed in this cage.

The overall size is 11.8 inch length by 9 inch width by 8.3 inch height, and most hammies won’t even reach the top part of the cage very easily.

Air circulation is good enough, as there are holes on the upper part of the sides of the cage, and in the transparent lid as well. The lid is large, and opens completely, meaning you will have very easy access to your hamster when taking him out.

And you will also easily keep an eye on him during travel. The fact that he won’t see anything around him may prove better at not scaring him.

The only downside I see to this cage is the height of the cage. Hamsters love to gnaw on everything, and if yours gets his chompers on the upper part where there are holes, he might nibble at them and make a larger hole.

Still, few hamsters get that far and I doubt it can become a problem if you’re using the cage for a quick trip to the vet.

You can check the listing on Amazon here, and read the reviews as well.

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

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How to safely transport your hamster

The very idea of moving your hamster is not safe for him, but in general it’s best to keep the cage and the toys inside the hamster cage lightweight.

During travel sudden stops or sharp turns might move the cage and the things inside the cage can hurt the hamster.

Also, try and keep the duration and distance as short as possible. Avoid public transport, with loud noises and people bumping into you. Go for an air conditioned car that can get you there fast. 

There are more things to keep in mind than this, so Teddy and I will get into detail with all of them. But as a reminder:

Teddy: Us hamsters are very easy to scare, so try not to rattle, bump, jostle, throw or shake our transport cage, and keep us well ventilated !

Food and water for transporting your hamster

When you transport your little hamster, you’ll want to keep him well stocked on food and water. The problem is what kind of food and water.

Water

A water bottle or bowl is not good for transport. Every time your car or train or bus stops, they can leak and get the hamster wet, and possibly ill later on.

What you can do instead is get a few slices of cucumber, and place them every once in a while in your hamster’s cage. Cucumbers have very high water content, and are safe for your hamster to eat. The cucumber will give your hamster enough water to last him the trip and back again, without spilling anything.

Best to get several thick slices, and store them in a cool bag. Place one at a time every few hours in your hamster’s cage and he will have enough liquid.

To know more about your hamster’s usual water needs, read my article here.

Food

As for the kind of food the hamster needs, it’s best if it is something dry like grains or a food mix from your favorite pet shop. Place a couple of his favorite treats in the cage as well, to make the trip more comfortable for him.

Another type of food you should bring is a hard kind of treat for your hamster to nibble on. This is to give him something better than the cage to gnaw on, and also to relieve some of his anxiety.

The best kind of dog treat for hamsters is either the plain kind – with no added flavors – or a milk bone. Milk bones are basically dog treats, but with added vitamins and minerals. They don’t necessarily contain milk, that’s just the name.

Given the size of hamsters, and the size of dog treats, one treat will last your little one a long way. So basically a box of dog treats could possibly last the entire life of the hamster.

Best to sprinkle the food in your hamster’s bedding, so he will forage for it during the trip and be distracted.

For a clear list of what hamsters can and can not eat, read here. You’ll also find out what kind of treats you can give your hamster.

Teddy: Hamsters need some simple dry food for transport, and sliced cucumber instead of a water bottle. We love cucumber !

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Teddy enjoying his dry food from my hand

Keeping your hamster comfortable during travel

This is a topic just as important as what food you give the hamster when you transport him.

Hamsters are easy to scare, they panic easily, and sometimes looking at your hamster wrong can scare him. I don’t know, all hamsters are different and some of them spook very easily.

Try to keep him from scaring too much

The weirdest example I have is when I was bent over my Teddy’s cage reaching for something. When I look down there’s Teddy, all shaking, on his hind paws, jaws open, trying to be big. I crouched down next to him, slowly, and spoke softly to him. It took him a minute but he was friendly after that.

So unless you want your hamster to do something similar when he sees his vet after the trip, please make sure he is comfortable.

That means that the cage should be shaken and moved around as little as possible. If possible, get a taxi or a friend to give you a ride to where you need to get. Do not keep your hamster on the road for more than he needs to be. It will freak him out and he will need some time to recover.

Keep the hamster in the dark

If possible, make sure that the cage you transport him with is not clear. Hamsters can’t see very well, but they can still see. And sudden movements will still scare them.

If you can, cover the cage with something like a blanket to keep it dark. But make sure you do not cover the air holes, so that your hamster can still get enough air.

However if your transport cage is an actual cage, not a plastic unit, then you need to make sure the hamster can’t reach the blanket and gnaw at it.

My Teddy shoved a couple of centimeters of furry blanket in his cheeks when he first laid his paws on one, so be warned.

Avoid transporting the hamster in extreme temperatures

Unless you absolutely must, avoid transporting the hamster in very cold or very hot times of the year. Hamsters are very sensitive to temperature, and need a range of 20-22 Celsius/68-72 Fahrenheit to feel comfy.

So make sure you can keep your hamster warm/cool, depending on the season. And also make sure that there is no draft where you keep your hamster during transport.

Hamsters are very sensitive to this, and a cold for them is not as easy to shrug off as it is for humans.

Keep the hamster’s cage secure

When you travel by car, make sure that you have a seat belt strapped across the cage. This is to keep both you and the hammy safe. The cage needs to sit in place when traveling, and as long as you keep an eye on it, it should be fine.

Try not to keep it on your lap, since it can hurt you in the case of sudden stops or turns. The same goes for keeping the cage in the trunk or at your feet in the car.

If you’re travelling by train or bus, keep the cage on the seat next to you, with a hand on it or another way to make sure it stays in place.

Familiar bedding for your hamster’s comfort

In the end, you will need to place your hamster in a cage that is familiar to him. For this, use new bedding, mixed with bedding from his own cage.

Make sure that the used bedding is not soiled or does not have too many droppings. A few droppings are okay, since it will be easier for your hamster to recognize the place as his own. But try to keep it mainly ‘clean’.

The bedding you use for his home should have pieces that are from his own home as well. So if your gave your hamster ripped up paper towel to used as nesting material, grab a few pieces from his own home and place them in the transport cage.

You can find out more about your hamster’s bedding here. What you can use, and what you should avoid.

Give the hamster time to adjust

Another thing that will help a lot is placing your hamster in the transport cage about an hour before you leave. This way you give him time to get used to his new cage, and he will not be as stressed.

The best way to do this is to put the hamster in his exercise ball, and then put the exercise ball open in the transport cage.

Or, place the transport cage directly into his usual cage, and let him explore it like that. For a discussion on what kind of cage is best for your hamster, check out my “best cages” article here.

If your hamster is the kind that can be housed with several other hamsters, I’d recommend that you transport them in the same cage as well. Even if they don’t need a trip to the vet necessarily.

This is to make the trip easier for the hamster that needs to be taken to the vet or somewhere specific. And also so that there is less hostility when you bring him back.

The new smells on the transported hamster can make the ones left home get a bit aggressive. So try to avoid that by bringing them all if possible.

This will not happen every time, the hamsters at home will not attack the transported hamster each occasion. But I’ve heard such stories and I think it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Teddy: That was a long read, I know ! But us hamsters are easy to scare, so extra steps are needed to make us comfortable. Make sure you don’t rattle or shake the cage too much, and keep us safe and in place in our transport.

Best toys to keep your hamster occupied during travel

Obviously, the best toys are the ones he already loves and uses in his cage.

But if they are very large and chunky toys, like blocks of wood, or hide and seek wooden tubes, these are a problem. They are heavy, and in the case of a sudden stop they can injure your tiny hamster.

Toys.

So make sure that the toys you bring into your hamster’s transport cage are light. Things like cardboard, for example toilet rolls, or paper towel rolls or paper egg cartons are fine.

Cut a few holes in the tubes and carton and you’ve got yourself some great toys for your hamster to enjoy and keep him distracted. This way they won’t hurt the hamster if the cage moves around too much.

Another helpful idea can be a walnut, with a tiny hole in it. This will keep the hamster entertained and busy, and he’ll try to chew on it.

Even better would be if your can get a few walnut halves, cleaned, and string them on a piece of string. Try securing it along the edge of the cage, if possible, to make sure it stays in place.

If you can’t, best to leave out the walnuts completely.

The hamster house or nest

The same goes for your hamster’s home or hideout. Make sure it is something lightweight that will not hurt him if it rolls over during transport. Paper or cardboard houses can be an option, but your hamster will probably chew on them so they won’t be a house anymore.

Best to opt for something made of plastic, very very light weight.

Teddy: It’s important to remember that the toys we need during transport are light weight, and very simple. Us hamsters are very fragile and need some extra care, even when it comes to our toys !

 

A word from Teddy

Hi ! I hope this article managed to clear up a lot of your questions, and you can safely transport my brother or sister. I know transport cages seem tiny compared to how much space us hamsters really need, but for a few hours it’s alright.

As long as you can keep us safe, healthy, and well fed and watered, we’ll survive the trip.

If you want to know more about hamsters, and for example how much we can go without food, or if we need a light on, then check out these other articles !

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Keeping A Hamster And Cat Under One Roof – Complete Guide
Keeping A Hamster And Cat Under One Roof – Complete GuideWondering if your hamster is going to get along with a cat ? Or maybe you have a cat and want to know if she’ll be okay with a hamster ? These are always delicate situations, and it’s good to know beforehand. So let’s see if cats and hamsters can live together, and how well that kind of relationship can go down. Table of Contents ToggleSo can cats and hamsters live together ?About the hamster’s personalityAbout the cat’s personalityWhat to look out for when you own a cat and a hamster1. Make sure the hamster’s cage is secureBe very sure the lid is tightly shut, and can’t be opened2. Have a place to put the hamster’s cage so the cage sides are covered3. Never let the cat inside the room when you hamster is out of his cageAt least only keep the hamster in his exercise ball4. Try and distract your cat or keep her away from the hamster’s room or cage5. Have reasonable expectations, cats are curious by natureIf everything else fails, consider giving one of them awayA word from Teddy So can cats and hamsters live together ? It depends on the cat. There is no straight yes or no answer to this. Cats are predators, and will hunt everything they can, sometimes just for fun. Hamsters are prey and will naturally be afraid of cats. But not all cats are proficient hunters. Some are lazy, or maybe just scared, or possibly don’t care about the hamster. The hamster, small as he is, can’t leave his cage and will be on one place. He can’t influence the cat to come looking for him.  Still, there are stories and examples where a cat and a hamster got along well enough, and there are sad stories of hammies being eaten by curious cats. Or scared to death by them. But to know more about whether your particular cat and hamster will be okay with each other, we need to know more about hamsters and cats, in general. About the hamster’s personality A hamster is an animal that is widely hunted in his natural habitat. His normal reaction any most creatures is to run and hide. This means that he will panic at the sight of a cat, and even at the sight of a human. That’s part of what makes hamsters harder to tame than other animals. Still, not all hamsters are equal. Some are hardy and will (try to) fight anything that gets too close. My Teddy (male Syrian) is one of these Rambo types. Other hamsters are just veeery relaxed and mellow, and won’t really mind anything at all.  A family friend of ours had a hamster named Oscar (also Syrian male hammy) who was like this, and he never minded anyone, or anything. Including the cat. Still, other hamsters will be just too shy and panicky to even come out of their hideout when they know someone is around. They each have different personalities. Running and hiding is hardwired into hamsters, and it’s a reflex that’s kept them alive in the wild. If your hamster has a hideout (or several other hidey holes) to dart into when the cat would come close, he would be fine. As long as the cat can’t reach into the cage, the hamster will be safe. Some hamsters might get too scared by the cat, and get stressed as a result. Stress can lead to a host of health problems like wet-tail, fur loss, digestive problems, and a very grumpy hamster. About the cat’s personality A cat is a predator, and as such will hunt for anything. Not necessarily to eat, since we’re talking about domestic, house cats. However the cat will still want to hunt the hamster, simply because it’s there, for sport. Even if She won’t eat the hamster, hunting him appeals to her instincts. Just crouching and listening for soft rustling sounds is a big part of cat life. In a home where the cat has easy access to food and not many opportunities for adrenaline, a skittish hamster will be incredibly interesting. Cats are also very curious, and ingenious too. They will keep trying, and they will knock down everything the have to in order to get to the hamster. But cats can also be lazy, so if they learn that there’s no way that cage will open or they can’t get their paw through, they’ll eventually stop. Still, expecting your cat to behave herself and play nice is unrealistic. You’re asking her to deny herself what she was born to do. Hunt (and possibly eat) small animals that hide in dark, tiny corners. Some cats won’t acre about the hamster. But their default setting is to investigate and find the source of those odd, soft rustling sounds from under the sofa. Even if it’s just a plastic wrapper. What to look out for when you own a cat and a hamster All of that above doesn’t mean that hamsters and cats can’t ever live together. It sounds a lot like it, yes, but there are steps you can make to try and make things a little easier for everyone. So let’s see what those steps are. 1. Make sure the hamster’s cage is secure This means a very good, closed cage. I would not recommend a wired cage if you’re going to have a cat and a hamster, simply because cats are so damn curious and determined. They will stick their paws into the cage as far as they can, and even draw the cage closer to them. This means that will even pull/push it off of the table or shelf if they can get a good grip on it. Once the cage falls, it can break open and the cat can find the hamster. Also terrifying, the hamster can injure himself when the cage lands. So you need a cage that is pretty much cat proof. This means either an aquarium (or an Ikea Detolf) or a plastic cage. More on hamster cages here. Now, an aquarium would be the best bet, seeing as it’s heavy and the cat can’t really move it. It’s also got smooth panes of glass so the cat can’t really hook her claws onto them and pull. A plastic cage on the other hand is going to give the cat almost as much trouble trying to open it, but is lighter in weight. Still, there are some air holes the cat can use but they provide less of a grip than the wired cage. Using a plastic cage will also make it easier for the hamster to be in a higher place, out of the cat’s sight. Possibly in a cupboard, with almost all the sides of the cage covered by the cupboard walls.   Be very sure the lid is tightly shut, and can’t be opened If you get your hamster an aquarium or Detolf, it will need a mesh top. Make sure that lid is very well fixed in place, and can’t be easily opened. The same goes for other doors of the cage (like sliding doors to put food in). Make sure they locks and closing mechanisms are well made, keep shut, and are childproof if possible. Most cages have these things already, but you should check, just to be sure. 2. Have a place to put the hamster’s cage so the cage sides are covered Where you put the hamster’s cage matters here. Cats usually patrol on the ground level, but they will also use ledges. Like the top of a dressed, the last shelf of a bookcase, a windowsill, the literal top of the door even. But they usually only use the high places in the rooms they spend a lot of time in. Which often end up being the rooms humans spend a lot of time in (like the kitchen or living room). hat’s just cats being cats, the feel a natural need to survey everything, especially when there are other people or movement. In a lone, quiet room, not so much. As such, the cat will usually just walk into the room and maybe settle into a chair. Putting the hamster’s cage in a higher place, like in a shelf that completely covers the cage sides would be fairly safe. I know not everyone has this  possibility, it depends a lot on the layout of your home and the furniture you have.  But if you have a way to keep your hamster’s cage out of the cat’s sight, use that. Do not close the hamster in a closet or cupboard ! Not only is it unsafe for hamsters (air) but it’s often too chilly. 3. Never let the cat inside the room when you hamster is out of his cage If and when you give your hamster floor time, or lap time, or just hold him in your hands, make sure the cat isn’t in the room, and the door is closed. Cats are curious, and will try to see what you’ve got there. Or what’s running around on the floor, and try to catch it. Again, I know not everyone has this option. But if you can, don’t allow the cat into the room when you’re handling the hamster. This will make everyone more at ease. And it will keep the hamster calm (as much as a hamster can be) so he will be easier to handle. Some hamsters won’t mind the cat being present, and that’s actually a problem. A hamster that doesn’t fear the cat will go straight for the cat and try to smell her. This almost never ends well, and should be avoided. At least only keep the hamster in his exercise ball If you can’t keep the cat out, another option is only letting the hamster out of his cage in the exercise ball. And also making sure that the ball closes very well. Do keep in mind that the cat will possibly try and paw at the ball, and spin the hamster inside. While this doesn’t hurt the hamster, it disorients him and it’s up to you if you want to intervene. 4. Try and distract your cat or keep her away from the hamster’s room or cage As much as you can, limit the interactions between your cat and your hamster. This means keeping the cat away from the hamster’s room or cage as much as possible. Playing with your cat, or a roommate or family member playing with the cat in a room as far away from the hamster is an option. Or just closing off the room to the cat, if at all possible. This also depends on the cooperation of the other members of the household, to also keep your door closed when they go into it, or shoo the cat if she tries to open it. Cats are very smart, and usually find a way to open doors and drawers you thought were closed and secure. If your cat is also an outdoor cat, and you know she spends several hours at a time outside, you can use that time to your advantage. It can be handling or feeding time for the hamster, when the cat is definitely out of the way. A family friend – the one who had Oscar – used to keep a close eye on their cat during the day, and during the night they kept the hamster in a room that was closed off. This way they were sure the cat wouldn’t reach the hamster at all during the night. 5. Have reasonable expectations, cats are curious by nature Finally, do not expect the impossible from your cat. A cat is a cat, and there’s very little chance she will leave the hamster alone. After all, the hamster isn’t all that different from the mouse her ancestors usually hunted. Even if she’s just mildly interested, this can still spook the hamster. But after a few tries she will back off, and the hamster will figure out that the cat can’t really get to him. This is the case for most cats and hamsters, although there are a few exceptions. Cats are curious but after a while they lose interest and look for the next fluffy rustling sound. If you distract her well enough, and she becomes lazy, the hamster could survive well enough. (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.) If everything else fails, consider giving one of them away You need to be prepared for the extreme and final case of your hamster and cat not getting along at all. If your home arrangement doesn’t leave you options of keeping the cat away form the hamster, then it won’t work. If you don’t yet have a cat and hamster, but were considering getting either one, talk it over with the house. They might pitch in with some ideas, or they might just refuse to have a cat in the house. Different people have different opinions, and living under the same roof can be difficult sometimes. But if you’ve got both the hamster and the cat, and they just can’t get along ? You might have to give one of them up. As to which one, that’s up to you. I imagine giving up any of your pets could be painful and you’re very attached to them. But it’s really a decision based on your lifestyle, in a way. Would just a cat be more suited towards your lifestyle ? A pet that wanders the house and will sometimes cuddle with your, leave fur everywhere and hunt your ankles ? A cuddly, purring ball of fur waiting for your to get home ? Or a hamster, who will stay where you put him, makes the funniest faces, and is scared of the thermostat going off ? The fluffy buddy sleeping the day away and keeping you company at night, running marathons in his little wheel while you wonder how he’s never tired ? That’s you own decision, and you need to think about it carefully. If you still want to keep a hamster with another kind of animal, you should see this article on hamsters or gerbils, or hamsters with rabbits, or hamsters with rats and mice, or possibly hamsters and guinea pigs. A word from Teddy I hope you found what you were looking for in this article. I know us hamsters are very easy to scare, but we sometimes get along with other animals. Just, maybe not with cats. It depends on the cat, really. 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...
3 Reasons Your Hamster Can Be Big/Fat, And How To Slim It
3 Reasons Your Hamster Can Be Big/Fat, And How To Slim It A fat hamster is always funny. But is your hamster too fat ? I know I wanted to be careful with my Teddy so that he never ends up too fat. Actually he’s pretty fit. But how do you know when your hamster is too fat ? How big can hamsters get in general ? Is he eating too much ? This is what I’ll talk you through today, and Teddy will be our reference. Let’s start by figuring out if your hamster is fat.   Table of Contents ToggleSo is your hamster fat ?Is the hamster fat or just fluffy ?Why your hamster is fat in the first placeWhat to do when your hamster is fatNot all hamsters are the sameA word from Teddy So is your hamster fat ? Often times hamster owners don’t know how much to feed the hamster, and end up making their pets fat. For reference, a healthy, adult Syrian hamster will be around 6-7 ounces/170-200 gr. They will weigh much less as babies, but they reach their largest size when they’re around 3 months old. You can use a kitchen scale to weigh your hamster to see how much he weighs. He should not be having any food in his cheeks at this time. Our Teddy doesn’t really sit still, and your hamster probably won’t either. So you must be quick, or you can put your hamster in a cup that he can’t climb out of, and measure him like that. Take into account the weight of the cup as well. If your hamster is of a smaller breed, like Chinese or Roborovski those are usually much lighter. They reach between 20-25 gr/0.70-0.88 ounces. They are very tiny and very fast, so you definitely need to put them in something when you want to weigh them. Is the hamster fat or just fluffy ? This is something that made me look intently at Teddy so many times. Hamsters rarely every sit up straight, so the skin on them will bunch up. Their cheek pouches can reach behind their head and on their shoulders, so that can throw you off as well. And finally they’re the fluffiest thing ever. You can’t figure out anything through all that fur. So how do you tell if he’s really fat or just fluffy ? Well, one thing to look for is when your hamster does sit up straight. This usually happens when there’s something he wants and it’s way above him. Or, you can try feeding him a treat but holding onto it with your thumb and index finger. Once your hamster holds onto the treat, lift him gently off the ground a couple of inches/cm, still inside his cage. He will hang freely, and not be hurt. If when you see him straight like this he is… well, straight and not fat, then he’s fine. Just a lot of fur. But if your hamster is chubby and slightly round even when he’s straight, then you can be sure he’s fat. Why your hamster is fat in the first place If your hamster is in fact fat, there’s a couple of reasons for that. First, he can get fat if you feed him too much. For an adult Syrian hamster anything past 2 teaspoons of dry food will be too much. Hamsters hide a lot of food in their house, or stash it away under some bedding in the corner of the cage. So if you put some food for your hamster now, and check back after half an hour and it’s all gone, don’t put more. You hamster just took it into his house, where he will eat it as he needs. This is normal for all hamsters. Sometimes you’ll see some food left in the bowl even after a few hours. This happens when he still has enough food in his house, and also if he feels very safe and doesn’t need to hide his food. Second, you hamster could be fat because of what you’re feeding him. A diet heavy on nuts and sugary treats will get your hamster fat. So peanuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, etc are all fine for your hamster but do no feed him just that. Keep them as nice treats every now and then. Third, your hamster can get fat if he does not get enough exercise. If he has no wheel to run in, or an exercise ball, some other form of activity, he will get fat. So, provide your hamster with a wheel to run in, and possibly an exercise ball for when you take him out of the cage. What to do when your hamster is fat Slimming down your hamster will be to his benefit, and will extend his life expectancy. So here area few things you can try for your hammy to help him slim down. First, you can reduce the amount of food you give him. If you’re overfeeding him, then this will be the first step to help your hamster reach a normal weight. Transition feeding sizes slowly, until you reach the amount of food he normally needs. Second, make your hamster work for his treats. For example you can set up a sort of obstacle course for him, and place a bit of food at the end. If your hammy will have to climb a few toys and squeeze through some nooks and crannies to get to a treat every day, he will shed a bit of weight. Of course, the most work is done when he is running, so make sure he has a running wheel. For Syrians the wheel should be at least 8-10 inches across, to allow their backs to be straight. Smaller breeds need slightly smaller wheels, but it’s better to get a bigger wheel for them as well. Hamsters can damage their backs if their wheel is too small, so best to get a large wheel for your hammy to run. The best would be those metal wheels, with barely any space for his feet to sink into or he might hurt himself. If you can find a full wheel, even better. If you want to know more about hamster exercise wheels, check my full guide. Third, you can change his food. Switch your hamster to vegetables and dry grains, and you’ll see a clear difference. Make the switch slowly over a few days, so he has time to get used to it. If you want to know exactly what a hamster can eat, and what he should not eat read my article on how to properly feed your hamster. (If you like this article, you can pin it to your Pinterest board by clicking the image below. The articles continues after the image.) Not all hamsters are the same Some hamsters eat a lot, some are kind of constantly dieting. Some are greedy and some can be more tempered with their food. It really comes down to your hamster’s personality, aside from what you feed him and how much, or how much activity he has. For example my Teddy is a very very active Syrian. He runs most of the nights and rarely ever sits still more than half a minute. His little paws are everywhere and when he was younger he used to scale his cage to reach me. He gets into the weirdest situations and does silly things like jump out of his moving wheel to race around his tube. Maybe your hamster is the same, or maybe yours is slow, or more relaxed. Hamsters in general are jumpy and tend to be all over the place. But I’ve met really tame and slow hamsters, who are still healthy, they’re just … so relaxed. This translates into how your hamster eats its food as well. Teddy gets his daily feeding, 2 teaspoons of dry grains and pellets, and some occasional slices of carrot or a piece of lettuce. Depending on what we have around the house he’s gotten fruits and vegetables on different occasions. And he only takes as much as he needs, and leaves the rest for later. I’ve often found spare food in his house when I clean his cage, from the days before. I’ve spoken to other hamster owners and some of them leave food for the entire week, and their hamster will only take as much as it needs. Others have hamsters that would binge on everything if they found enough food. Not all hamsters are the same, and some of them will have an easier time getting fat. If you end up with a hamster that is not very active and absolutely loves food, then he’ll get fat faster. If you’d like to know more about how to properly are for your hamster, then feel free to check this guide on the 15 essential steps to take car of your furry little friend. A word from Teddy I hope you’re clear on why we can get fat, and just how big a hamster needs to be. Remember, there’s clear differences between Syrian hamsters and the smaller sizes. I am a Syrian hamster, and my kind is the largest. Roborovski and Chinese hamsters are much smaller, but you can figure out for any of us if we’re fat or not. Feel free to look around the site, you might find something you like. There’s info on how to choose a cage for us, or how to feed us, and even why and how we eat our poop ! [...] Read more...
Should You Take Your Hamster Wheel Out at Night?
Should You Take Your Hamster Wheel Out at Night?If you own a hamster, you may already know that these animals love playing by themselves and are pretty active even when they are left alone. This is due in large part to the hamster wheel, which allows the hamster to move and play all on its own whenever it wants to. But it can be pretty annoying whenever the hamster is playing with its hamster wheel at night because of all the noise it makes. So, should you take your hamster wheel out at night? Hamster wheels should not be taken out during the night because hamsters are nocturnal animals that prefer to be active whenever it’s nighttime. They can even run up to five miles every single night. Taking the hamster wheel out at night will be sort of cruel because of how you are taking away its source of fun. Because it is never really advisable for you to take your hamster’s wheel away during the night because you are taking away its only source of fun and activity whenever it is most active, there should be alternatives on your part if you feel like hamster wheels are too noisy at night. That’s what this article is here for. Table of Contents ToggleWhat happens if you take your hamster’s wheel out at night?How long can a hamster go without a wheel?How to keep your hamster quiet at night1. Change the hamster’s cage to a location far away from your bed2. Soundproof the hamster’s cage3. Lubricate the wheel4. Give your hamster a larger and enclosed place to live in5. Buy a new and quieter hamster wheelBest silent spinner hamster wheel1. Suncoast Sugar Gliders Wodent Wheel – Best Overall2. Kaytee Silent Spinner Exercise Wheel – Best for the Price What happens if you take your hamster’s wheel out at night? For those who didn’t know, hamsters are actually nocturnal animals. That means that they are mostly active during the night and are usually asleep whenever it’s the day. Being active at night also means that a lot of the physical things a hamster does to have fun is done when the sun is out. This includes using its hamster wheel. Hamster wheels are invaluable for hamsters because it is their only source of fun and activity whenever they are kept in their habitats. They mostly run on their hamster wheel at night and may even reach up to five miles at night. At one point, a hamster was able to complete 26 miles on the hamster wheel in five days while most people can’t even go five miles of running in five days. Just goes to show how important the hamster wheel is for your hamster. So, if you were to take away the hamster’s wheel at night just because you think it was making so much noise, you are basically taking away its only source of fun and activity. This can be borderline cruel on your part because you are basically going to leave your hamster without anything to do whenever it is at its most active. On top of that, your hamster may actually end up with health concerns precisely because of its inactivity. As such, it is not advisable for you to remove the hamster’s wheel at night because it is the only way for it to stay active and happy while also giving it a way to lose those extra calories. Instead, what you need to do on your part is to find alternatives that you can do so that you can sleep better at night if you find the hamster wheel noisy. How long can a hamster go without a wheel? While it is not advisable for you to take away your hamster wheel at night, there are some instances where the hamster won’t be able to use its wheel. This can happen if it outgrew its old wheel or if the wheel is broken. In such cases, it might take a while for you to replace its old wheel especially if you ordered it online or if there are no nearby stores selling hamster wheels. So, theoretically speaking, how long can a hamster go without a wheel? Well, for starters, hamsters can live and survive without a wheel but they might get bored. If it’s only a few days, your hamster will be perfectly fine without a wheel especially if you are going to eventually replace its old wheel.  However, if you keep it without a wheel for weeks, then that would be concerning because of how the hamster might end up gaining a lot of weight or even develop bad habits due to how it was inactive for quite some time.  That’s why you shouldn’t ever allow your hamster to go without a wheel for a long time. But a few days without a wheel will be fine especially if you are just waiting for the new wheel to arrive. How to keep your hamster quiet at night So, if you feel like your hamster is a bit too noisy during the night while it is playing with its hamster wheel, there are some alternatives that you can take. There will be some people who would suggest that you try to make your hamster diurnal and change its habits so that it would sleep at night but that would be tampering with its natural habit. Instead, try respecting your hamster’s nocturnal nature and use these alternatives instead: 1. Change the hamster’s cage to a location far away from your bed If you are keeping your hamster’s cage in your bedroom, try to change its location and place it in a room where you won’t be able to hear what your hamster is doing at night. For those who are living in small studio apartments, try keeping the hamster’s cage in a corner that’s far away from your bed. That way, you could sleep better at night without getting bothered by what the hamster is doing with its hamster wheel. 2. Soundproof the hamster’s cage If you can’t relocate the hamster’s cage to a room or a location that’s far away from where you are sleeping due to certain reasons, then a good alternative that you can do is to soundproof the hamster’s cage by insulating it. Insulating the cage by covering some of the open spaces will allow the sound to get trapped inside the cage so that all the noise that the hamster is doing while using its wheel won’t end up bothering you. A thick blanket would be enough to insulate the hamster’s cage but make sure that you only do so during the night when you are about to sleep and the hamster is wide awake and active. 3. Lubricate the wheel Because the hamster wheel is a spinning object with many different moving parts, the squeaking noises it is making may be due in large part to how some of the parts aren’t moving so wheel. As such, one way for you to make the hamster wheel a bit quieter is by lubricating it so that it will run smoother than before. 4. Give your hamster a larger and enclosed place to live in Most hamster cages are designed to be quite open, and that is why it is easy for the sound of the hamster wheel to escape. But if you want to keep the noise inside the hamster’s habitat, you may want to replace its old home with a newer and enclosed housing unit that only has a few openings to let air in. A good aquarium might be nice. That way, the noise gets trapped inside the hamster’s home and the noise that the wheel makes is minimized and kept inside the habitat. 5. Buy a new and quieter hamster wheel Believe it or not, there are some instances where the hamster wheel you chose was the reason why your pocket friend is making so much noise at night. In such a case, the best thing you can do is to buy a new and quieter hamster wheel that won’t make a ton of noise even when your hamster running five miles a night on it. Best silent spinner hamster wheel If you are in the market for a silent spinner hamster wheel, here are our choices. 1. Suncoast Sugar Gliders Wodent Wheel – Best Overall The Suncoast Sugar Gliders Wodent Wheel is one of the best silent hamster wheels you can get on the market and is actually our top choice for the best overall silent hamster wheel that money can buy. The reason is that it comes with a closed design that keeps the sound inside the wheel. Meanwhile, the build quality of this product is so amazing that it will surely last for a very long time. You can check out the Suncoast Sugar Gliders Wodent Wheel on Amazon here. 2. Kaytee Silent Spinner Exercise Wheel – Best for the Price Our favorite budget choice when it comes to silent hamster wheels is the Kaytee Silent Spinner Exercise Wheel, which promises to be a lot cheaper than most of the other hamster wheels the market has to offer without compromising on how silent it is. It was specifically designed to be very silent because there aren’t a lot of moving parts that would make so much noise. So, if you want to get your hands on this product, here is its page on Amazon. [...] Read more...
Buyer’s Guide – Choosing The Best Hamster Exercise Wheel
Buyer’s Guide – Choosing The Best Hamster Exercise WheelWhen your first get your hamster home, you probably have the small wheel that comes with the cage. Then you find out that wheel’s not good enough, and you need to find a bigger, better one. But how big ? How do you know which is best ? This is something I went through as well when I got Teddy, and I’ll tell you how I found a great wheel for him. Table of Contents ToggleSo how do you choose a good exercise wheel for your hamster ?How to introduce a hamster to his running wheelHow to care for a hamster running wheelHow to clean a hamster running wheelWhat to do if your hamster does not use his running wheelDo hamsters even need exercise wheels ?A good hamster exercise wheel recommendationDangers of not exercising your hamsterPrecautions when using a hamster exercise wheelHow to tell when your hamster is comfortable in his exercise wheelA word from Teddy So how do you choose a good exercise wheel for your hamster ? There are a few factors involved, and we’ll go through all of them. 1. The size of the wheel is very important. That depends on the size of your hamster. A large hamster, like a Syrian hamster, will need a minimum of 8 inches (20 cm) wheel. Smaller breeds like dwarf and Campbell hamsters need a minimum of 5.5 inches (14 cm). But make sure you go above the minimum requirement. The width of the running band is a minimum of 2.5 inch (6 cm) to fit the hamster properly, for all species. 2. The type of the wheel. Full, weighted, plastic wheels are better for your hamster. The metal ones are the next best thing, as long as the hamster has no way of hurting himself. 3. Mounted vs grounded wheels. Both are good options, but it depends on the type of cage you have. If you have no way to mount the wheel, then you’ll need to go for a grounded one. 4. Noise level. It’s important to get a silent hamster wheel, so be sure to check that when you get the wheel. Or to find some ways to make sure the wheel can be silent. 5. The hamster’s back should always be straight. If your hammy has his back arched back when he uses his wheel, then it is too small for him. Syrian hamsters have a big problem with this, since most commercial wheels are too small for them. These are the basics. Teddy and I will walk your through how to properly use a hamster wheel, how to care for it, and precautions. How to introduce a hamster to his running wheel A hamster is a very curious creature, and he will inspect anything in his cage that is new. So when you place your hamster’s new wheel in his c age, put a treat in it. The treat will draw the hamster towards the wheel, and he’ll notice that the wheel moves. It might take him a few tries to figure it out, but he will. Once your hamster learns that the wheel moves, and is for running, he will start using it. This was the case with my Teddy, a full grown Syrian hamster. When he was a few weeks old, he had a small, plastic wheel that was mounted on the side of the cage. It was too small for him, even as a small hamster. So I went and got him a bigger one, a 7 inch/18 cm wheel, which he used until he grew too big for that one too. Then I got him a larger, 8.5 inch/21.5 cm one. But Teddy took to his wheel like a fish to water. So I’m pretty sure your hammy will jump right into his wheel once he finds it. It might take him a few minutes to figure it out, or even a few days. But he will eventually get there. There are however a few hamsters that don’t use their wheel, they just walk through it. But we’ll cover that in a different part of the article. The cage you have plays an important role here. If you have no way to attach the wheel to the side of the cage, you will need a standing wheel. To find out more about the different kinds of cages and what your hamster needs from his cage, check out my article here. How to care for a hamster running wheel Caring for a running wheel for your hamster is not going to be difficult, but some things need to be kept in mind. For example the metal wheels will start screeching after a while, and will need regular oiling in order to be silent. That means taking the wheel apart, wiping off the old oil, and putting on a very small amount of fresh oil. You can use almost any kind of oil, but remember to use just a small amount. Stay away from very fragrant oils, like olive oil, since your hamster might be tempted to lick it off the wheel. First hand experience here, had to take the wheel out. Plastic, full wheels with guards on need you to take them apart, and some may require a screwdriver. Whenever you clean one of those, best to leave them to dry very well before putting them back. Plastic wheels don’t need any regular upkeep. If you’ve got a grounded wheel, make sure to not get it all the way down to the bottom of the cage. Leave a layer of bedding just under it, to make as little noise as possible. This is also make sure the wheel doesn’t move around the cage much, and won’t bang into anything it shouldn’t. The hamster will bite into and chew everything, including his exercise wheel. So do not mind the bite marks on the wheel. If you’ve got a metal one, the paint on it is safe for hamsters as well. Teddy’s been chewing on his since forever and he is fine. How to clean a hamster running wheel The solution to use when cleaning the wheel itself is very hot water, with just a bit of soap. A very small amount of soap is needed, and must be very well rinsed. As I said above, you’ll need to take the wheel apart, and clean each surface thoroughly. Make sure that when you finish cleaning the hamster’s exercise wheel, you allow it to dry completely. If you need to, you can use a blow dryer on a low setting. As for how often to clean the hamster’s exercise wheel, twice a year is enough. The hamster himself is a very clean creature, so he won’t be soiling the wheel by himself too often. What to do if your hamster does not use his running wheel Let’s say your hammy knows he has a wheel, he knows it moves, but he just doesn’t use it. Maybe he never did use it. Maybe he just recently stopped using it. Let’s see what you can try. Start by placing a treat inside the wheel, to draw your hamster in. Continue doing this for a few time throughout the day, for a couple of days. Your hammy might need to re-learn or rediscover his wheel. Now, after your hammy is back in his wheel, what if he just sits in it ? Try moving the wheel very gently. Do not move the wheel suddenly, but be slow and deliberate about it. Your hamster will most likely follow along, and start walking in the exercise wheel. Keep doing this for a few seconds, and then let him move the wheel by himself. If he doesn’t, give him more time. Repeat this method for a couple of days, and if your hammy still won’t use the wheel, it’s best to stop insisting. Some hamsters just aren’t runners. However, you should be very careful about something. When you see your hamster not walking properly, or limping a bit when he’s in his wheel, contact your vet. Your hamster could be avoiding the wheel because one of his paws hurt. Especially if he stopped just recently. And finally, some hamsters stop using their wheel when they get older. The older the hamster, the bigger the chances are that he’ll stop running. It could be that they’re more comfy, they feel no threat, or they’ve just become lazy. The point is that they can sometimes stop using it at all. And there’s not much we can do about that. Do hamsters even need exercise wheels ? Yes, hamsters need an exercise wheel. In the wild hamsters are very active, fidgety creatures. They’re used to running around, darting here and hiding there. They can’t and won’t sit still for long. How I wish I knew this before I got Teddy. I knew nothing of hamsters, I only knew they were cute and fluffy. But I never imagined he’d be a dynamo. Turns out not all hamsters are cuddly and like to be held, some are more energetic and want to be everywhere. Still, Teddy is the cutest thing, and I’m glad I got an excited and energetic hamster. He makes for a funny pet, and pulls the wildest stunts. Now, imagine what my life would be like if I didn’t get Teddy an exercise wheel. He’d be all over the place, and I’d be worrying about what to do. But since Teddy does have a wheel, he expends a lot of his energy on that wheel. Hamsters need to have someplace to be active, like a running wheel or an exercise ball, or toys around their cage. The exercise/running wheel allows your hammy to do what he’d normally do in the wild. Usually a hamster can cover up to 5.5 miles/ 9 km in one night ! This is looking for food, running from predators, finding new territory, and being curious in general.  Imagine your hammy with all that energy and no wheel to burn it all on. A good hamster exercise wheel recommendation A good hamster wheel is for life. It’s best to get your hammy his wheel since he is a baby, and let him grow into it. If you’ve got a Syrian hamster like me, then you’ll know they can grow pretty big. The absolute minimum for a Syrian hamster is a 8 inch/20 cm wheel, but it’s important to go past that minimum since your hammy needs a bit more space than that, and he might grow very large. This applies to dwarf hamsters as well, since they need a fair amount of space themselves. So this is my recommendation, and a very good wheel as far as I can tell. This is not the wheel I have for my Teddy, since these are not available in my are, and do not ship here either. However they are just above the wheel I have for Teddy. As far as I’ve seen, it’s a silent wheel, and it stays put quite well. It has a weighted bottom, so it will stay where you put it. This means it will be heavier than your standard wheel, but that’s just the bottom part, the wheel itself is easy to move by the hamster. A hamster exercise wheel is going to last him his entire life, so don’t skimp out on it. It’s just as vital as the size of the cage he lives in, and what food you feed your hamster. You can check the listing on Amazon for the exercise wheel here. Dangers of not exercising your hamster There are a few problems that come us when you’re not exercising your hamster, let’s talk about that. If your hamster has so much energy to spend, but nowhere to go, that’s a problem. First, hamster can get anxiety and depression out of being cooped up for long periods of time with no activity. Hamsters bore easily, and need a lot of stimulation. Exercise gives them exactly that, so make sure you get your hamster a lot of exercise. Second, in lack of anything else to do, your hamster will scale the cage walls, and try to escape. Partly out of boredom, and partly out of curiosity. Third, he might develop a cage biting habit. If your hamster feel closed off, and wants to escape or find something to do, he might end up chewing on his cage bars. While that may sound like an innocent thing to do, it’s not. It hurts his teeth, since the metal is too hard for them and is not an okay material to chew on. Aside from that, it’s incredibly loud and it woke me up more than once. So make sure you keep your hamster well exercised, whether it is with a hamster wheel, or exercise ball. Giving your hamster lots of toys to play with will also keep him active, even if he’s not running. (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.) Precautions when using a hamster exercise wheel When I first put Teddy in his wheel, I didn’t know about all of these. I learned in time, and I’m giving you these pointers to make sure you have all the info you need. The wheel needs to have enough space to spin properly. That means that it needs to have just a bit of space between itself and the bedding. Otherwise the wheel won’t spin, and the bedding will go flying everywhere. Best to prevent that by keeping some space. Sometimes, if you’re using a simple metal wheel, the metal bars will become misaligned. This can hurt the hamster, since he can get hit by those bars. Best to check them every day, to see if they get a bit wonky. This happened with my Teddy, and I had to move the bars a bit. They may be metal, but they’re still malleable, so if your hamster’s hitting the bars, you should be able to twist them just a bit. The best way to check this is by looking at the bars themselves. The ones Teddy kept hitting had a bit of the natural oil that builds up on Teddy’s fur, and dirt on the side. This was where it kept brushing up against the hamster, and that’s how I figured that I had to twist the bars a bit. The plastic wheels don’t have this problem, but they have their own. For example flying saucer wheels require much more space inside the hamster’s cage than a simple vertical wheel, so keep that in mind as well. Also the hamster can suddenly ‘fly’ off that wheel if he stops so it can be a bit dangerous for him And finally, be sure that whatever kind of wheel you get, the hamster can’t catch his feet in it. For example some metal and plastic wheels have a very poorly though out spacing between the bars, and the hamster can easily stick a whole foot inside. If your have 2 hamsters, get them 2 wheels. This way your will avoid any possible injuries from one hamster getting in the wheel while another is running. Or out of the wheel. You’ve probably seen videos of hamsters flying out of a running wheel because their cage mate was still running. Avoid that. How to tell when your hamster is comfortable in his exercise wheel The hammy should feel a natural call to run in his wheel. Hamsters are meant to run, and they enjoy every kind of activity that lets them do that. But there are a few ways to tell if your hamster is in pain or has a problem with his running wheel, and it’s important to know them. This way you can prevent larger problems like fur loss, injury or even worse. The hamster’s back is straight, and not arched back. As with the exercise ball, the wheel is meant to be a running simulator and hamsters run with their back straight, or even a bit hunched. The hamster is able to run in a straight line. This means that the bars on the wheel are properly aligned, and there is no tilting of the wheel. If there is any tilting, the hamster might get injured. He has enough space to run on. By this I mean he has enough ‘lane’ to run in, and his running band is at least 2.5 inches/6 cm wide. Otherwise the hammy will hit his rear end on the sides of the wheel. The hamster can keep up a consistent run. He does not have to stop often to readjust his position. This won’t really happen when he knows you’re there, since you will distract him. Watch your hamster from a distance to get a clear observation. A word from Teddy You know everything there is to know about us hammies now ! Running is a large part of our lives, and you know how much we run, and how big our wheel needs to be. I know it might sound like a lot of space, but it will matter a lot to your hamster friend if he has a lot of space to run in. If your want to know more about us hammies, you can check the articles below. You’ll find great info like what we can and can not eat, and even what kind of cage we need. [...] Read more...
How To Know When Your Hamster’s Fully Grown – All Breeds
How To Know When Your Hamster’s Fully Grown – All BreedsWhen I first got my Teddy I knew he would grow up to be a big hamster – he’s a Syrian male. But I didn’t know exactly how big, and when he’d stop growing. So I’m helping you figure out how big your hamster can get, based on its breed. And this will help you know how large a cage he will need, and what to expect from your hamster friend. Table of Contents ToggleSo when is a hamster fully grown ?When is a Syrian hamster fully grown ?When is a Roborovski Dwarf fully grown ?When is a Campbell Dwarf fully grown ?When is a Chinese Dwarf fully grown ?When is a Siberian/Winter white fully grown ?When to separate baby hamstersThe right cage for a fully grown hamsterA word from Teddy So when is a hamster fully grown ? Generally a hamster is fully grown around 3 months of age. This means that the hamster is both sexually mature, and also has reached, or is very close to, its full length. Of all hamster types, Syrian hamsters grow the largest, and you will notice severe size differences between the baby hamster you brought from the pet shop, and the adult hamster in your cage. The Dwarf types do grow, but the difference between them as babes and as adults is not nearly as big. For reference, a baby Syrian around 4 weeks old – when he can be adopted – is about as large as an adult Siberian or Campbell. But let’s see the differences between each hamster type, since they can grow to different sizes and become mature at slightly different ages. When is a Syrian hamster fully grown ? A Syrian hamster is fully grown when he is around 12 weeks of age (3 months). Both males and females are capable of breeding around 4 weeks, so they must be separated to prevent any more litters from producing. As for size, a Syrian hamster grows to its full size around the 3 month mark. That is when the Syrians become adults, and can reach their full size. They can reach between 5-8 inches in length, which is 13-20 cm. Some hamsters may grow even larger than that, by a couple of inches/cm, but those cases are rare. A few traits of adult Syrian hamsters: Their markings become clear just before they reach maturity. If they’ve got any darker fur, it will start to show around that time The males’ rear ends will become very large, bulging almost. That is where their testicles are, and you will see them often. The females will come into regular heat – about every 4 days. You’ll notice them smelling a bit muskier, and they will squeak and hiss if they sense a male hamster. The average lifespan of a Syrian hamster is 2-3 years, in captivity. They are close to old age when they reach their second birthday, and will start to become slower and have trouble eating and moving around as they reach that age. When is a Roborovski Dwarf fully grown ? A Roborovski hamster is a Russian Type, and he will be fully grown around the 3 month mark as well. The Robos can breed as early as 4-5 weeks old, so again they must be separated very early in male and female groups. Roborovski hamsters reach their full size at around the 3 month mark, reaching up to 2 inches/5 cm. They are the tiniest of the Dwarf types, and are very hard to handle. since they are so hast and agile. Their fur coloration becomes clear as they reach the 3 month mark. They don’t develop a stripe down their backs, like the Chinese or Campbell for example. The average lifespan of a Roborovski hamster is about 3-4 years in captivity, but rarely lives past 2 in the wild. When is a Campbell Dwarf fully grown ? A Campbell Dwarf is fully grown around the 3 month mark, as the other hamsters. They can breed early, around the time they’re weaned – which is bout 4 weeks old. Their sizes are about 3-4 inches/ 8-11 cm, and are again hard to handle given their small size and agility. They usually live around 2 years in captivity, but can live a few months past 2 years in the right conditions. A Campbell’s Dwarf can be recognized by the white belly, and grey-brown fur on their backs, with a much darker stripe going down their backs. When is a Chinese Dwarf fully grown ? Chinese hamsters, while not truly Dwarf types, are still much smaller than the Syrian type. A Chinese hamster will become fully grown when he is about 2-3 months old. The hamster can breed before he reaches that point, though. As for size, the Chinese is larger than most Dwarf types, but smaller than the Syrian. So a fully grown Chinese hamster will be around 3-5 inches/8-13 cm, plus their longer tails. Chinese hamsters have a much longer tail compared to any other hamster types, which can grow to be about an inch long/2-3 cm. The long tail, and the more slender, long-ish figure of the hamster can make it look a lot like mouse to many people. Given their natural coloring – a sort of brown with a dark stripe down their back – this can be forgiven. Average lifespan for the Chinese hamster is around 2 years in captivity, but it’s not very well documented in the wild. When is a Siberian/Winter white fully grown ? A Siberian, or Winter White, is a type of hamster that does belong to the Dwarf type. They are fully grown at about 3 months of age, and can breed about 4-5 weeks of age. The Siberian hamster can grow up to 3-4 inches/8-11 cm, and are actually among the easiest to tame hamsters. Their fur can change, depending on temperature and season. A Winter white is called such because in the wild, its color changes to mostly white. During the summer or warmer season, the color can be a very dark grey, with a stripe going down the hamster’s back. (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.) When to separate baby hamsters Separating your hamsters when they’re babies will spare you a lot of troubles, starting with surprise litters and ending with vicious fights between siblings. So generally, the best time to separate the hamsters into all male and all female groups is when their mother finishes weaning them. This is usually around 4 weeks after the babies are born, and you’ll notice the mother starting to push the babies away if they want to nurse. You can find much more info now how to properly separate the baby hamsters into gender-specific groups here, as well as how to handle them. Do take care when the mother has just given birth, since she is easy to startle. A startled, or scared, or stressed out mother can abandon or even eat her babies. Here’s how to make sure your baby hamsters survive, as well as how to make sure the mother is safe and calm during the birth and raising the babies. The right cage for a fully grown hamster Your hamster might see so very small when you first get him. That’s the small size they will not keep, as you’ve just found out. Baby hamsters need adult-sized cages. This is partly because they grow very quickly, and once they do grow they will feel cramped in a cage that is too small for them. These 5 hamster cages are great picks, depending on what kind of hamster you have. A cage that is too small for your hamster can lead him to a lot of stress, and feeling irritable most of the time. This can lead to a lot of unwanted behaviors, like chewing the bar cages, and even fighting with their cage mates. The minimum cage size for an adult Syrian hamster is 24 x 12 inches, and about 12 inches tall. That’s 61 x 30.5 cm, and about 30.5 cm tall. I’d recommend this to be the size cage you get for your Dwarf type as well, since all hamsters will feel better in a bigger cage, if they have one available. Always get your hamster a bigger cage, even if they look so small they need a large amount of floor space. Best to read this article on what to know before getting a cage for your hamster, and how to properly care for it. For the Dwarf types I recommend a glass tank, since they can easily escape through the bars of a wire cage. You’ll find info on the glass tank as well in that article. A word from Teddy I hope you found what you were looking for here, and can figure out when your hammy is fully grown. For example when I was a baby I was orange all over, with a bit of faded white on my belly. When I got older I started showing my darker grey markings, and my owners thought I was dirty at first ! So if you want to know more about your hammy, you can read the articles below. You can find out how much water we need, and why we’re sometimes scared of you, and even what food is safe for us. [...] Read more...
Five Best Ways to Bond With Your Hamster
Five Best Ways to Bond With Your HamsterWe all want our pets to live healthy and happy lives, and in order to ensure that, we have to cultivate a loving relationship with them. This means that we have to bond with our pets. If you have a hamster, bonding may be a little more difficult, as hamsters are relatively untrusting animals that don’t exactly enjoy human touch. This is completely due to evolution, so you shouldn’t blame yourself if your hamster isn’t exactly showing signs of affection. However, there are many ways you can bond with your hamster. It needs to be addressed that hamsters are very frightful animals that don’t really trust anyone, so you should know that your hamster is going to be afraid of you for a very long time. And even after you’ve bonded with your hamster, it’s still going to take a step back before it takes a step forward. These animals have no defense system aside from running away, and they’re always at the bottom of the food chain, so they instinctively fear everything. In this article, we’ll be discussing how to overcome this problem and how to form a strong bond with your hamster. It’s important to stay patient and not give up just because it’s going slowly. Today, we’ll be taking a look at a few of the most important conditions you will need to fulfill if you want your hamster to trust you. Without any further ado, let’s get started! Table of Contents Toggle1. Make Sure That Your Hamster is Comfortable2. Talk to Your Hamster3. Feeding Your Hamster4. Handling Your Hamster5. Playing with Your HamsterUseful Tips 1. Make Sure That Your Hamster is Comfortable This is very important to any animal, not only to hamsters. Even we, humans, can’t really fulfill our full potential unless our environment is good. We can’t study if our room is a mess, and we can’t work if everyone in the office is shouting – the same principle applies to hamsters; they won’t feel comfortable if their environment isn’t comfortable. You have to understand that hamsters are afraid of everything, and they’re under a great deal of stress after moving. So, when you get your hamster, know that it’s going to take weeks for the hamster to settle in and feel comfortable and adjusted to their new surroundings. To speed up this process, you have to make sure that you’ve made the hamster feel good in their own fur and that their home isn’t presented as a danger to them. This requires two things: buying a good cage and placing that cage. Let’s cover the placement first. You don’t want to place that cage near a TV or a speaker, because hamsters have a very good hearing (and terrible eyesight, while we’re at that), and even though the television or the speaker may not be loud by your standards – they’re going to be obnoxiously loud to the hamster and they’re going to have a lot of trouble functioning. Also, putting them in children’s rooms may not be the best idea, as children are likely to play with them while they’re unsupervised. This is a problem because the hamster can’t be played with until they completely trust their owner(s), and that process takes time. Children immediately playing with the hamster is only going to scare the animal to death, and it’s likely that the hamster will bite to defend itself. Even though hamster bites can’t do much damage, as long as the wound is disinfected and healed properly, this sort of negative interaction will make the hamster trust you even less, and it’s only dragging the process back. It’s also important to note that the expression ‘scare to death’ is quite literal when we’re discussing hamsters (and many other small animals). Their hearts are known to give out if they’re put under too much stress, and a five-foot-tall child pushing their fingers into the cage of a few inches tall hamsters is incredibly scary for them, and that will definitely make them fight back (even though the child has no harmful intent). So, make sure that the space you’re putting the cage in isn’t under too much light, there isn’t too much noise, and there’s not a lot of movement from people. The ideal temperature for a hamster is between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure not to put the cage next to a source of heat, draft, or too much sun. The second thing you have to ensure is a good cage. The most important thing for a cage is for it to have enough room. This depends from hamster to hamster, as hamsters (just like us) have their own personal preferences, and two hamsters of the same species may not need the same amount of space. When the cage is too small, the hamster is going to feel stressed out and that can even lead to injury. Hamsters are known to rub their faces against the cage bars, which causes them to lose fur. If the hamster doesn’t feel comfortable in the cage, then it’s not going to feel comfortable around you. Every cage should have plenty of room, bedding, a hiding spot, fresh food and water, and a wheel to run on. The latter is very important, and even though some people think it’s just a gimmick, hamsters actually enjoy running on their wheels – these animals have a lot of energy and they need to burn it off, otherwise, they won’t feel good. When you’re choosing the right cage, you can choose between mesh cages, glass aquariums, and plastic cages. Metal mesh cages are okay, especially because of ventilation and ease of maintenance, but smaller hamsters can run away. Take note that hamsters will always try to run away, even if they adore you and have fully bonded with you – they’ll still try to run away and get to the wilderness if the opportunity for that arises. They can’t exactly help it, it’s in their instinct. Hamsters can fit through insanely small spaces, so you should keep this in mind when purchasing a cage. Glass aquariums are the safest for the hamster, as they can’t hurt themselves and they can’t run away – but they’re hell when it comes to cleaning. Lastly, we have plastic cages, which are great and fun for the hamster, but have poor ventilation and are difficult to clean. When it comes to size – two square feet is a minimum, but your hamster may require more. Look for advice from your local pet shop. 2. Talk to Your Hamster Hamsters have very good hearing, and the first thing you should do to bond with your hamster is talked to it. Just sit in front of the cage and talk. You don’t even have to be talking to the hamster, you can be talking on the phone, read a book out loud, or simply think out loud while working – it’s just important for the hamster to hear your voice and get used to it. After a few weeks the hamster get completely used to your voice and it won’t shiver upon hearing it. It’s also good to talk to the hamster when it’s doing enjoyable things like eating or running on the wheel. 3. Feeding Your Hamster Now, another great thing you can do for your hamster to get more acclimated to you is to feed it. Don’t just feed it the same thing every day – you don’t eat the exact same meal daily, so why should your hamster do that? There are many treats, like apples and seeds that you can give to your hamster. With time, you will be able to try to feed your hamster out of your open palm. This is very important and a great way to improve the relationship between you and your hamster. Firstly, make sure to wash your hands before you place them in your hamster’s cage for any reason. Hamsters can’t see well, so they use their sense of smell and touch to tell what’s what. They tend to bite, even if they don’t feel threatened, to see if what’s in front of them is actually food. So, if you push your finger in your hamster’s cage and it smells like the pot roast you’ve had for lunch, you’re basically guaranteeing that your hamster will bite your finger. Hamsters can’t control this instinct, once again, as they’re conditioned by evolution to eat (or at least store) every sort of food they come upon. It’s important that your hamster trusts you enough to eat out of your open palm. Just like hamsters, every other animal (including humans) is vulnerable when eating. And being vulnerable on the open palm of a creature that’s twenty or thirty times your size is very risky. The fact that your hamster is willing to casually eat out of your hand means that it understands that you have no intention of harming it. Place a small piece of apple in your open palm and put your hand in the cage. Let the hamster come to you. It may not work the first time, but it’ll work after a while. Talk to the hamster as you’re doing this – we’ve already discussed how important it is for the hamster to recognize your voice, and this will make it understand that you’re not a threat. 4. Handling Your Hamster It’s going to take a while for your hamster to let you hold it. It’s best to do this after you’ve been feeding it by hand, because that’s a clear sign that your hamster trusts you (somewhat), and it’s time to move to the next step. To hold your hamster, put both hands in the cage, and when your hamster has allowed you to keep them there – connect them to cup them together under your hamster’s belly. You can then raise your hands and you’ll be holding your hamster. Don’t take your hands out of the cage and start carrying your hamster around just yet, for the first time, just let it lie on your cupped hands and let it go back after a while. Try this a few times a day for a few days, each time going a little bit further – taking the hamster out of the cage, putting the hamster close to your chest, carrying the hamster. You have to know that despite the hamster trusting you, it will try to jump out of your hands at the smallest sign of danger – a dog barking, you shaking, etc. This will become a huge problem because it’s very difficult to catch a hamster once it runs away, so the best way to deal with this is to point the hamster towards your chest. Let it feel your body’s warmth, and it will also be more difficult for it to escape because it’s going to be rotated towards you, not away from you. You should do this for a while, and after a few weeks, your hamster will trust you enough to let you hold it whenever you like. Make sure to reward your hamster with a treat every time you hold it like this, that will make it understand that it’s all for a good reason and that you have no intention of harming it, but quite the opposite – rewarding it. You can use this opportunity to pet your hamster. Just like any other animal, hamsters enjoy being pet on the back of their heads. This will further deepen your relationship. 5. Playing with Your Hamster Playing with your hamster is the ultimate level of trust with your pet. It’s difficult to come to this point, but once you do, your hamster trusts you almost completely. Know that your hamster will still try to run away if you don’t enclose its playing area, so it’s best to place some sort of wooden enclosure on the floor when you’re playing with your hamster. One of the most fun things is to teach your hamster tricks. This is actually fairly simple to do, as all hamsters are motivated by food and you can use that to teach them to jump, flip, roll over, spin in a circle, and even wear clothes. Another thing you can do is to buy toys for your hamster. There are many toys available for hamsters at pet stores, but the most popular one is the exercise ball. This is a plastic ball that the hamster can enter and run around with it. This is a form of exercise, but it’s also fun for the hamster. This ball will allow your hamster to safely explore your home, but make sure that it doesn’t fall down the stairs and that it doesn’t roll around for longer than twenty minutes without a water and snack break – hamsters don’t have the strongest stamina. One thing that you have to make sure of when playing with your hamster is to check for any hazards. Make sure that your hamster can’t reach any electrical outlets or chew on a cable. Also, don’t let any other pets in the room while your hamster is there, and block any spaces that your hamster might crawl into. There are times when your hamster will just want to hop into your lap and let you pet it, this is also a form of playing and let your hamster enjoy it. Useful Tips Only approach your hamster when it’s awake. Hamsters like to sleep, a lot, and they usually spend the largest part of the day sleeping, and they’re at their most active when the sun is setting, and later when it’s rising in the morning. They are not going to appreciate you waking them up, and they’re not going to want to play. Approach the hamster when it’s ready to be approached. Let your hamster climb on you. Once your hamster starts finding you trustworthy, it’s going to want to climb on you. They’re pretty good climbers, and they’re not going to hurt you, so you should let them climb on you. This is another form of playing to them, so they’re not going to cause any harm. Groom your hamster – your hamster’s fur is going to grow. Hamsters are actually some of the most well-groomed pets, very similar to cats, and they’re going to spend a large part of their conscious life grooming themselves. Still, make sure that they’re properly groomed. Clean your hamster’s cage often – nobody likes to live in a dirty home, and hamsters don’t like it either. Unfortunately, they can’t exactly clean after themselves, so make sure to clean your hamster’s cage whenever it gets dirty. [...] Read more...