If you’re wondering what your hamster’s trying to say, let me help you crack the code. I listened to my own hamster’s sounds, and checked with other hamster owners to see what each of these sounds mean.
Now, we all know hamsters are very quiet creatures and barely make any sounds, at all. But when they do, you might be at a loss for what they mean. Let’s look into that.
Usual hamster noises
While hamsters don’t really make a lot of noise, the ones they do make are important to know. They’re not as immediately obvious like a cat purring, or a dog growling. But they all have a specific meaning.
Sadly some of them aren’t very well researched, and one sound can mean many things, depending on the context.
This is a sound you might hear fairly often from your hamster. It’s either a positive or a negative one, depending on the situation. What is clear though, is that the hamster is reacting strongly to something, and his opinion is very important and needs to be heard.
My Teddy does this (weirdly) when he sleeps. He starts squeaking in the middle of his sleep (only every few weeks or so) and I can see he’s only half awake, moving his nest’s bedding around, rearranging himself better in bed.
I think it’s funny, how he wakes up like a grumpy old man and turns on his side and mutters himself back to sleep.
I also think it’s a bit alarming, since I don’t know what the reason for that is. He’s done it when the house was quiet, when we had guests, when the light was both on and off, it never mattered.
As for exactly what it sounds like, it’s a bit like a rubber duck. A very small, angry rubber duck. It sounds a lot like someone just insulted Teddy and he’s too shocked to do anything but ”hmph’ back.
I’ve seen and heard other hamsters do this when exploring their habitat, getting new food, finding a new smell, etc. It’s a reaction, a strong one, but it’s not always a good or bad one. I think it really depends on the context of that specific moment.
My Teddy is a champion at this, and I’m not sure why. Hamsters only click their teeth when they’re annoyed by something, and/or agitated. As in, so jittery and feverish in their clicking that handling them is not an option.
Hamsters will also click their teeth at each other as a sign to keep their distance.
My Teddy is a lone hamster, and he has a big enough cage. When he was younger he used to click his teeth every now and then and take it out on the cage bars. I’m thinking his immense energy made him jittery sometimes, and he had those weird moments.
If your hamster is clicking his teeth at you, well, stay away. Give him some space, and come back later when he’s calmed down.
But if he’s clicking his teeth even if you’re not there, it’s not you he’s mad at. He’s just very jittery and again should not be handled, since he will not stay put at all.
Think of teeth clicking in hamsters, the way you’d think of tail swishing in cats. Never a good sign, and they’re impatient when they get like that.
This is something I hope no one has to hear, ever. This is never a good sound, and it will tear right through you. It’s a lot like a scream, with the mouth closed. Hamsters only make this sound when they’re very very angry or annoyed or in pain.
For example a neighbor came once, with his little girl. Said he wanted to show her the hammy, and she was very curious. I told him Teddy isn’t very friendly but we can try if I hold him for her.
Well, when Teddy was in my hands and the little girl tried to pet him, Teddy started hissing and thrashing, wanting back in his cage. You see, he’d never met the little girl, and hamsters are very very bad with stress, and people they don’t know.
If you’re chasing a young, new hammy in your room because you dropped him, this might be a sound you’ll hear. He’s not happy being chased, and he’s more than a bit shocked and upset.
You will also hear this sound from your Dwarf pairs, when they start fighting. Sometimes it might not get very loud, but it can happen.
I’ve never heard my teddy do this, but other hamster owners have told be about hamster cooing. It’s a very soft, vibrating sort of sound. They’re not necessarily scared or angry, but it’s a sound they make when they’re content.
Not many people have heard this sound, but I;m leaving it here anyway, in case your hamster does this. Knowing your hammy isn’t the only weirdo is kind of comforting.
(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.)
Reading your hamster’s body language
Alright, if you were curious about hamster sounds, I’m guessing you’re trying to get to know your hamster better. That’s great, and body language is a large part of understanding what your hamster’s trying to say.
Standing up on his hind legs
Hamsters do this when they get curious about something, and they want to hear things out. They can also freeze in this position, sometimes even for 2 whole minutes.
It’s something hamsters do fairly often, since they would have to do this in the wild every few minutes to check for predators. You can find out more about hamsters freezing here.
This is normal behavior, and the hamster isn’t scared.
Mouth open, ears back, fur ruffled
The hamster is trying to intimidate, and is getting ready for a fight. I’ve seen this in Teddy by accident a few times. Like when I leaned over his cage to get something and he saw that as a threat, when I looked down at him he was making himself very big.
When that happens, lower yourself to eye-level with the hamster. Not just your head, your entire body. Hamsters feel threatened by creatures bigger than them, so try to make yourself very small. Talk to him softly until he calms down. Try feeding him a treat to help things along.
If you’re trying to introduce 2 hamsters and they take this stance, it’s a sign they won’t be getting along very well.
Rubbing his hips or belly on something
This is the hamster simply marking his territory. Syrian hamsters have a scent gland on each hip, while Dwarf types have one on their belly.
The hamster will use his scent gland to mark when he believes is his.
This is like the human equivalent, and it’s both cute and terrifying. The hamster will stumble out of his nest and take a couple of steps before stretching all his limbs, and curling his tail back. That’s cute, and he’s huggable and fluffy then.
He also yawns when he stretches, which reveals a gaping maw of teeth and the entrance to his cheek pouches. It looks awful and he is neither huggable nor fluffy.
Flattening his body, very slowly
This I am not very sure, since no one I’ve talked to or asked ever agreed on this. The hamster will mind his own business, as always, nothing exciting or extra boring happening. Then he will slowly, in slow motion, start to lay down completely flat and seem to fall asleep, wherever he is.
Teddy’s done this in the corner of the cage – not curled up, but lying there like a bearskin rug. He’s also done it in his tunnel, he’s done it in the middle of the cage.
And I have no answer for why he did this. He’s conscious and aware I’m there. He opens his eyes and looks at me if I tap the cage. But he goes back to sleep ( is it sleep ?) after a few seconds.
A word from Teddy
I hope you found what you were looking for in this article. I know us hamsters don’t make too many sounds, but the ones we do make are pretty important. It’s just that sometimes we’re secretive with what they mean.
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.
- 4 Differences Between Syrian And European HamsterAre you looking for the perfect hamster pet ? Then perhaps you’ve heard there are several species, and two of the best known are European and Syrian hamster. While they do look similar, one of them is completely unsuited to be a pet, even if it is a cute furball like the other one. I’ve decided to write this article because there are a lot of people confusing those two when they see images of hamsters, which is understandable since they look so similar. Let’s take a look at their key differences and why they matter. Table of Contents What are Syrian hamsters ?What are European Hamsters ?1. European hamsters are much larger than Syrian hamsters2. Syrian hamsters can be tamed, European hamsters cannot3. European hamsters tend to be dark brown, Syrians golden-orange4. Both European hamsters and Syrian hamsters are very territorial, they will fight any hamsterCan you keep a European hamster as a pet ?Is a Syrian hamster a good pet ?Conclusion What are Syrian hamsters ? Syrian hamsters are a type of rodent (family Cricetidae, species Mesocricetus auratus), that is native to northern Syria and southern Turkey. Its habitat in the wild is greatly reduced and it is now classed as an endangered species (in the wild). In captivity however, these are by far the most popular hamster pets and are not endangered at all (as pets). The captive Syrian hamsters you see (such as in pet shops) are the result of hundreds of generations of selective breeding, which brought about better traits (more docile, less aggressive) and a high variety of fur colors and markings. If you were to pick up a random wild Syrian hamster, it’d be very different from a pet. I’ve had three hamsters so far, one Syrian (Teddy, he’s mentioned often on this site), and then Eggwhite (a white Syrian) after Teddy died of old age, and now Rocket after Eggwhite died of old age as well. Rocket is a dwarf hamster, specifically a Siberian hamster (light grey with white, fluffy paws and a dark stripe down her back). I can attest that Eggwhite and Teddy were both very tame compared to Rocket, with Eggwhite the tamest of the bunch. What are European Hamsters ? European hamsters are similar to Syrian hamsters, in that they’re also a rodent in the family Cricetidae, species Cricetus Cricetus. These hamsters are native to a wide habitat ranging from Central and East Europe to Russia and Central Asia. For reference, Syrian hamsters typically live far below where European hamsters live. European hamsters are considered a critically endangered species, partly due to losing their habitat to agriculture, and partly because they are viewed as pests by farmers. I’ve seen a European hamster personally once. It was in a local park in my city, and I saw it going in and out of its burrow at the root of a big tree. I took a few photos but they are very zoomed in because once I got close the hamster scampered into its home. Not let’s do a more thorough comparison of European and Syrian hamsters. 1. European hamsters are much larger than Syrian hamsters The first and biggest difference between European and Syrian hamsters is their size. European hamsters are very large, for a hamster. They’re the size of an adult guinea pig, while adult Syrian hamsters are a bit smaller than your computer mouse. This difference in size should be your biggest tip-off of what you’re looking at. A young European hamster will be the size of an adult Syrian hamster, and it’s very unlikely you’ll ever find one in a pet shop. And because of this difference, if you were to try and keep a European hamster as a pet you’d need a far larger cage with very strong wires. More than you’d need if you had a Syrian hamster, who also needs a large cage to begin with. See here about how big or small their cage needs to be. 2. Syrian hamsters can be tamed, European hamsters cannot Both Syrian hamsters and European hamsters have been kept in laboratories to be studied, and also be used for various studies. One thing scientists have noted: European hamsters do not get more docile or tame, even on their second or third generation in captivity. This is opposed to Syrian hamsters, who tend to be the most docile and less aggressive of any hamster species. It is true that the vast majority of Syrian hamsters you find for sale are all descended from a single female and her offspring, back in 1930. It’s possible that the one female had a gene that made her more docile, and her offspring inherited that gene as well, allowing for more and more docile hamsters as time went on. Even so, it’s clear that European hamsters would make a very aggressive pet, and definitely not something suitable for children or possibly even adults. 3. European hamsters tend to be dark brown, Syrians golden-orange There is a big difference in color when it comes to European and Syrian hamsters. European hamsters share a similar template with the Syrian’s classic look: white feet and hands, and white spots on the cheeks and mouth. But where Syrian hamsters are a golden orange color, European hamsters are a dark brown-reddish color. Syrian hamsters have been bred for so many generations that their potential for different coats has been discovered. You can get Syrians in any color you can think of, with or without spots, without white feet or hands, and even with varying lengths of fur. The original gold and white fur were the best ones for blending into their surroundings, but it wasn’t the only one they were capable of. European hamsters come in just one style, the one most suited to their environment. If they were to be bred for several generations you’d probably see a change in their color patterns as well. 4. Both European hamsters and Syrian hamsters are very territorial, they will fight any hamster If there’s one thing European and Syrian hamsters absolutely share, it’s their dislike of other hamsters. All hamsters are territorial and should never be kept in the same pen as another hamster. Syrian and European hamsters can and will attack their siblings in an attempt to claim a territory for their own. The result is often deadly so I recommend you don’t put two hamsters in the same cage ever, regardless of their species. Not even if they grew up together. Can you keep a European hamster as a pet ? No, European hamsters cannot be kept as pets. They are very difficult to spot in the wild, let alone capture. Few were captured and any attempts at taming them (and their offspring) have failed. Their much larger size (about as big as an adult guinea pig) makes any potential bite or scratch much more dangerous than one from a Syrian hamster (much smaller). That’s very unfortunate since they are super cute furballs and they might be as funny as a Syrian hamster, but just bigger. You would need a huge cage for them since even regular hamsters require quite big cages to be able to do all their workout routine, they are super active and need space. Is a Syrian hamster a good pet ? Syrian hamsters make good pets only for those who have the patience to get to know their pet, understand and respect their habits, and are gentle enough when handling them. They are mostly active at night but will occasionally come out during the day too. They tend to be shy, and you can’t play with them as you would with a puppy. You can hold a Syrian hamster, but not for very long. They have a bit of patience, the most out of all hamster species, but they will not sit in one place for more than a few seconds. If it’s in your hands it will want to wiggle out and keep moving. If they get frustrated they can bite in an attempt to escape your hands. However, even if you are unlucky and you get one hamster that is not calm or willing to play, one extra benefit of pet hamsters are that they are incredibly funny and cute, so you will not get bored even if you don’t get to touch the little furball too much. Here is one of my articles where I listed 12 reasons why hamsters can be super cute and funny. No hamster is a good pet for a young child (under 9 years old), not even a Syrian hamster. If you’re looking for a companion, something to cuddle, take on walks, and even play with, a hamster is not the answer. Conclusion Syrian and European hamsters are similar enough to confuse them sometimes, but they have quite different personalities. Despite this, neither of them likes sharing their space with another individual, so they should be kept separate. I hope this article helped you understand the differences between a Syrian and a European hamster, for an untrained eye they are not as noticeable so it’s easy to confuse them, however you will never get to see a European hamster at your pet shop, so if you think of buying a hamster you will have to get a Syrian hamster, which is the best choice anyway. If you plan to buy a hamster, here is an article that will help you understand the real cost of owning a hamster, the cage is the most expensive thing you will ever buy for the hamster but the hamster itself should not cost too much.... Read more...
- Do Hamsters Eat Vegetables – What To Feed Your HammyDo hamsters eat veggies ? Do they even like them ? Did their mothers scold them because they didn’t eat their peas and broccoli ? Jokes aside, hamsters eating vegetables is a big topic, and a very important one when it comes to what you can safely feed your hamster friend. Table of Contents So do hamsters eat vegetables ?Hamsters can eat leafy greensSome kinds of roots and berry-types are okay for hamstersWhat veggies to never feed your hamsterCommercial hamster food has plenty of vegetables and vitamin sourcesCan vegetables substitute your hamster’s water source ?How to see if your hamster reacts well to a new veggieA word from Teddy So do hamsters eat vegetables ? Yes, they do. Hamsters do eat vegetables, and they actually like them. In the wild hamsters forage for grains and vegetables, so that’s a large part of their diet. They do catch the occasional cricket or worm, but veggies and grains/seeds are the biggest part of their diet. Not all vegetables are safe for hamsters – you can find a list of safe and unsafe foods for your hammy here. We’ll cover the veggies your hamster can eat in this article, and the ones he should be kept away from as well. Hamsters can eat leafy greens This is what you will find most common for your hammy. Like spinach leaves, watercress, lettuce, kale, iceberg, arugula, even a bit of cabbage. Easy on the cabbage though, since it’s got a large fiber content which can upset your hamster’s stomach. I gave my Teddy (Syrian hammy) a whole cabbage leaf, to see what he would do. He just sat there, munching on it. I took it out after a few minutes, since it was much too large for him. Hamsters can eat lots of leafy greens. Pretty much whatever you put in your salad is fine for him as well. With a few exceptions, which we’ll cover in the rest of this article. Some kinds of roots and berry-types are okay for hamsters Some root types are okay for your hammy, like for example carrots are good. But watch out if you’ve got anything other than a Syrian hammy. The Dwarf types (Robo, Campbell, Siberian, Chinese) are very small and need very very tiny pieces of carrots. They’re prone to developing diabetes, so it’s best to keep them away from sweet-ish veggies. The same goes for sweet potatoes and corn. Those, if you even feed your hammy, should always be boiled/cooked. Cucumbers, zucchini, pumpkin are all okay, although it’s best to cook the pumpkin before your give it to your hamster. All kinds of broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus are alright for your hammy – but at least steamed. They have a high fiber content, even if it’s less than cabbage. Make sure you feed your hammy only the upper parts, like the heads or tips. The stalks are too tough for their stomachs. What veggies to never feed your hamster There are a few veggies you should keep you hammy away from. For example regular potato, especially raw, is not recommended. The same goes for eggplant, rhubarb, and celery. The same goes for most legumes like peas, beans, if they’re not cooked. Even if they are cooked, they should still be given in a very small amount. As in, only one single bean. They have a tendency to create gas and your hamster’s gut can’t handle that very well. Very acidic veggies are a no-go, like onions, scallions, shallots, garlic, and tomatoes are a no-go. This is because the hamster’s stomach and gut does not react well to acidic foods, of any kind. The same goes for spices. Whatever you feed your hammy, make sure it’s never seasoned, not even with salt. It needs to be either boiled in plain water, or baked plain, by itself. No added oils, spices, sauces, or whatever you’d like to add to your own food. Commercial hamster food has plenty of vegetables and vitamin sources You can also feed your hamster a pre-made food mix that already has enough vitamins and fibers. This is what your hamster usually would find in the veggies you give him. Still, you can give your hammy a few vegetables aside from the commercial food mix. For example a food mix like this one has plenty of nutritional value for your hammy. It will keep you for a couple or months, or a bit more, depending on how much you feed him. I’d recommend 2 teaspoons/day for a Syrian hammy, and just 1 teaspoon for a Dwarf type. This mix, along with the occasional veggie from you, and maybe a bit of boiled egg white or piece of cooked chicken will give your hammy a very happy, balanced diet. You can check the listing on Amazon for this food mix, 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.) Can vegetables substitute your hamster’s water source ? There’s times when your hamster will need to get his water from a very stable source. One that will not drip or spill over. For these times, like when you’re transporting your hamster to the vet, or you’re taking him somewhere, a couple of veggies will give your hamster enough water for a few hours. For more info on how to safely transport your hamster, you need to check out this article. You’ll find out how to transport him, as well as what kind of cage you need, and how to make sure he isn’t scared on the road. As for the kind of veggies your hamster can get water from, cucumber is the best option. It’s got a whole lot of water content, and a couple of slices, kept fairly cold, are going to provide your hamster with enough water for a few hours. You can substitute cucumber with some iceberg lettuce, which again has a very high water content. However those have a bit more fiber than cucumber, so do not rely on those entirely. How to see if your hamster reacts well to a new veggie Whenever you give your hammy a new food, of any kind, try it out in small pieces. So if you want to introduce carrot into your hamster’s diet for example. start this way. Give him a very small piece, about the size of your pinky finger’s nail. Make sure that is the only bit of new food he gets for 24 hours. You can still feed him his usual food, but do not give him more that a very small piece of the new food. After 24 hours, if you see he’s still well, has no wet stool, and is not lethargic, then you can introduce the new food in larger amounts. Do remember that the pieces of veggies you give your hammy should never be larger than an inch/2.5 cm. A word from Teddy I hope you know now if us hammies can eat different kinds of veggies. For example I love munching on a bit of carrot from time to time. And maybe your friend likes spinach leaves. If your want to know more about us hammies, you can check out the articles below. You’ll find info on how large a cage we need, how much water we need in a day, and even why we sometimes eat our poop.... Read more...
- Do Hamsters Eat Or Need Hay ? Extra Treats For Your HamsterHamsters eating hay is a not a common thought for hamster owners. But if you also own a guinea pig, who needs hay, you might wonder if your hammy would like some too. After all, there’s tons of hamster toys and cage objects made of hay. Wouldn’t it be safe for hamsters ? Would they eat it ? Would they nest in it ? Ignore it ? Well, let’s find out. Table of Contents So do hamsters need or eat hay ?Types of hay safe for hamstersHay bedding for hamstersA word from Teddy So do hamsters need or eat hay ? Yes, some hamsters do eat hay. Some only use it as bedding, because it is so pliable and soft. At least when compared to wood shavings. Hay isn’t necessary for hamsters, as it would be for guinea pigs or rabbits. It does provide some nutritional value to them, mostly minerals and fibers. But it’s not necessary, as in they are okay if they never see a straw of hay in their life. Most hamsters will interact with it somehow, at least using it as a bedding or foraging substrate. Some will eat it, some will just chew on it to file down their teeth, like with wood. And some might just ignore the hay. Let’s see what you should know about hay before you give it to your hamster, and which types are okay. Types of hay safe for hamsters There are several types of hay available on the market. Alfalfa, timothy hay, orchard grass, clover, and so on. Not all are okay for hamsters, but I’ll help you out. Hammies can have timothy hay, alfalfa, and meadow hay. Those are the ones they get long with well. It does not mean other types of hay will necessarily harm your hamster. It’s just that they might not like other types as much. After all, hay is just dried grass, of various types. So the dried version of your hamster’s favorite herb should be okay. You can find out more about hamster-safe herbs here. A few other examples of safe hay, as in dried herbs, can include marigold, wheat, daisy, clover, chamomile. These are also safe plants to feed to your hamster, but in moderation. As for their ‘hay’ version, all the plants mentioned above could be more expensive if you’re buying them from somewhere. This is because for example marigold hay, while not unheard of, is not a common item found on pet shops. You can make your own, by picking marigolds and letting them dry in the sun. The process take time and is very… well, you’re working with individual stalks, so it’s time consuming and painstakingly detailed. Still, it’s worth it if you’re really set to give your hamster premium hay. If you get a ballot of commercial hay, you should make sure it’s not the yellow type usually given to farm animals. The yellow straws are too hard for hamster cheeks. And the hamster will pouch the hay, even if he’s perplexed by it at first. Especially if he’s going to use it as bedding. (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.) Hay bedding for hamsters Hamsters will use anything soft enough for bedding and nesting. You can give your hamster wood shavings (not cedar or pine !), wood pellets, hay, dried grass (wider hay), paper bedding. Hay is not often used for bedding for hamsters, simply because it’s not something commonly associated with hamsters. But if you do give them a full cage of hay, they’ll treat it like the ‘ground’, and maybe drag a few extra bits to their hideout. If you just add some hay on top of their usual bedding, they’ll move all of it to their hideout and start building a nest with it. In the wild hamsters use small twigs, dried leaves, anything vegetal soft or pliable enough to be rolled and coiled around them in the shape of a warm, comfy nest. A bunch of hay would not be out of the ordinary in a hamster nest, if they ever find it in the wild to bring home. Do be careful with hay if you give it to your hamster for nesting or bedding. Often the hay is meant for larger animals like guinea pigs or rabbits, who can easily chew though the tough bits. Hamsters are much smaller, and while they can chew the tough parts, sleeping on them is not comfy. So make sure you go the extra mile for your hammy and look for the sharp, hard bits of hay (like some exceptionally hard stalks) and remove them. This way they won’t poke the hamster and he can’t hurt himself on them either. Do not underestimate how silly hamsters can be, they will pouch anything, and they can sometimes hurt themselves on the weirdest of things. If your hamster starts to sneeze in they hay, it might just be a small piece tickling his nose. But if he keeps sneezing, remove it or change they hay brand. Sometimes it can be too dusty and affect the hamster’s nose. Other times, the hay smell is just too strong and you’ll need to leave it out air it out the day before you put it in his cage. A word from Teddy I hope you found what you were looking for in this article. Us hamsters can use hay, either to eat or to chew on, or even just for bedding. But you’ll never know if your hammy likes it until you try it. 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 Fruits ? Safe And Unsafe Fruits For Your HammyIf you’re wondering about whether your hammy can eat fruit or not, you’re not the only one. My Teddy is always curious about what I have in my hands, and we eat a lot of fruit in this house. At first I had no idea which fruit was okay for him, or if any fruit was okay to begin with. But let e tell you what I found out, so you’ll know as well. Table of Contents So can hamsters eat fruits ?Some differences between Syrian and Dwarf hamstersFruits your hammy can eat safelyFruits your hamster should be kept away fromYou can use fruits as a treat for your hamsterDo not give your hamster too much fruitA word from Teddy So can hamsters eat fruits ? Yes, hamsters can eat some types of fruits. However hamsters should eat fruits in very small amounts, and not often. The majority of fruits are okay for hamsters to eat, however citrus type fruits are not. They’re too acidic for the hamster’s gut. We’ll cover in the rest of the article which fruits are safe for your hamster, and which should definitely be avoided. And also how much fruit you should give your hamster, and how often. Some differences between Syrian and Dwarf hamsters There’s a big difference between Dwarf hammies (Roborovski, Campbell, Siberian, and Chinese) and the large Syrian hammy. The Dwarf types are prone to diabetes, and need to stay away from very sugary foods and drinks. So that means that they can, in fact eat some fruits, but in a very small amount. And much less often than a Syrian hamster. This is largely due to the size difference between the two hamster types. A piece of apple, for example, as big as a peanut might be acceptable for your Syrian hamster. But for a Dwarf, the exact same piece holds much more sugars and carbs, which will lead to unwanted weight gain and the early stages of diabetes. Not only with fruits, but with some vegetables as well – like carrots, corn, and sweet potato as well. You can check the article “Can Hamsters Eat Vegetables” to read more about this. Fruits your hammy can eat safely Alright, with the difference between Dwarf ans Syrian hamsters in mind, let’s see which fruits your hamster can eat safely. The most common fruits like apples, plums, cherries and grapes are alright. However all hamsters, everywhere, do not react well to the seeds of a fruit. In most cases the seeds are poisonous. So it’s best if you never give your hamster a piece of fruit with seeds in it, of any kind. Then, the very sweet fruits like banana, apricot, peach, mango, pineapple, papaya – most of the yellow fruits – should be given in tiny, tiny amounts. For us these fruits are amazing and have the best taste and smell. However for hamsters these are just too sweet and savory. So it’s best if your hammy only gets an incredibly small amount of them. None of these are poisonous so far, they’re just way too sweet for a hamster so you need to be careful. Now, the berry types – like strawberry and raspberry, these are all alright for your hamster. But, again, without any seeds. So for example a strawberry should be lightly scraped to get all the seeds out, and the green top cut off. A Raspberry is okay by itself, since the white core will come off by itself when the fruit is done. Blueberries and cranberries are alright, but in very small amounts as well. As in, one or two berries every week. Figs are alright for your hamster, but n a very small amount. And Dates are alright too, as long as they have no pit. Coconut is safe for hamsters, but it should be given in very small amounts and sparsely. Coconut has a higher fat-count than peanuts and can make your hamster gain weight faster than bananas or mangos. And finally, watermelon is safe for hamsters, if given in a small amount, just the red part, and without seeds. This is partly because of how sweet it can be, and the fact that it has a very high water content. Too much of it can upset your hammy’s stomach. Fruits your hamster should be kept away from Kiwi – although it’s great as a fruit by itself, the kiwi is not very safe for the hamster. It can be very sour sometimes, and the seeds are not alright for hamsters to eat. This applies to Dragon fruit as well, since it has just as many seeds, everywhere in its flesh. Blackberry – while they’re okay for hamsters by their nutritional value, I put them on the unsafe list because of how many seeds it has, and how hard it is to get rid of them. There’s no way you can remove the seeds from a blackberry and have it whole. So for this reason, I advise against them. Citrus – no citrus fruits are alright for the hamster. Actually, hamsters shy away from the smell of oranges and tangerines. You can check for yourself with a citrus fruit. That includes oranges, tangerines, mandarines, kumquat, clementines, grapefruit (all kinds), lemon, and lime. Star fruit – not safe for hamsters, since they contain a neurotoxin that can be fatal to hamsters, or other small animals. It can cause kidney problems in some sensitive humans too. Best to avoid it for your hamster. (If you like this article so far, you can pin it to your Pinterest board by clicking the image below. The article continues after the image.) You can use fruits as a treat for your hamster Since your hamster can’t have fruits very often, you can use it as a sort of treat. Particularly, you can use it as a very special treat when you’re taming your hamster. That means that your hamster should not get this treat very often. But he cans till get a small piece of apple, or maybe a cube of mango, depending on whatever you’ve got lying around. Simple treats like fruit chips – slices of fruit that have been carefully dried and made sure they’re not moldy – can be great for hammies. I’ve used banana chips for my Teddy, and he loves them. It’s something he gets a kick out of. Probably the crispy, crunchy texture gives him a lot of incentive to nibble and nibble. However these are banana chips, so they’re still sweet. Not as sweet as regular banana slices, the taste is a bit different. But do not go overboard when feeding your hammy these chips, since they are in fact real banana slices. In this respect, the whole bag will last your hamster probably a year. If you get into the bag, that’s another story and completely up to you. You can check the Amazon listing here, and see the reviews as well. Do not give your hamster too much fruit Whether you have a Dwarf or Syrian hamster, they can both develop health issues if given too much sugary foods. While a slice of apple does not compare to a cube of chocolate when it comes to sugar and fats, they are both still sweet. Especially for your sensitive hamster’s taste buds. So it’s best to keep an eye on how much fruit and sweets you give your hammy. A hamster that’s had too much sugar will become overweight, and develop diabetes. Both conditions can be life-threatening. Especially for a creature as small as a hamster. If your hamster’s already overweight, you can read this article to see how to get him to a healthy, safe weight. A word from Teddy I hope you know now which fruits are okay for us hammies. I love banana chips, and I sometimes get bits of apple. But maybe your friend is into mangos more, you could try it out. If you want to know more about us hammies, you can check out the articles below. You’ll find info on things like how big a cage we need, and how much food we need in a day.... Read more...
- Are Your Hamster’s Eyes Closed?Being a responsible hamster parent means being able to know how to properly take care of your hamster in both good and bad situations. When it comes to bad situations the hamster can easily suffer from several illnesses and health conditions. This includes conditions that their eyes may suffer. So, are your hamster’s eyes closed and, if yes, what is causing their eyes to be closed? Closed hamster eyes are also called sticky eyes, which is a common problem in most hamsters. This happens when the hamster secretes fluids from its eyes whenever it is sleeping so that the eyes stay moist. However, the fluid may end up drying up and hardening around the eyes of the hamster preventing it from opening them. Sticky eye is a really common problem that hamsters often go through because it is simply one of the inconveniences that come with one of their natural bodily functions. But, even though it might only be an inconvenience, the sticky eye may still make life a lot more difficult for your hamster because it won’t be able to see. That is why you should know more about sticky eye so that you would be able to help your pet the next time it suffers from this condition. Table of Contents What causes a sticky eye in hamsters?How to treat sticky eye in hamsters?1. Hold the hamster gently2. Go get a cotton swab or a Q tip and wet it with lukewarm water3. Gently wipe the crusted substances off of the hamster’s eye4. Open the hamster’s eye in a gentle manner5. Preventing sticky eyeCan sticky eye kill a hamster? What causes a sticky eye in hamsters? At a lot of points in your life, you may have yawned whenever you were so sleepy and your eyes began releasing fluids that will eventually dry up around your eyes and harden. This is also common early in the morning upon waking up when the fluids that your eyes released while you were sleeping had dried up to form some sort of sand-like sediments around your eyes. Hence, that is where the sandman concept comes from. While you may have experienced this as a human, animals also go through a similar experience as well. Yes, this includes your pet hamsters and a lot of other animals as the sandman of the animal world also tends to visit them while they are sleeping. However, the difference here when it comes to you and your hamster is that it can be a bit more serious when it comes to your pocket-sized pet. When a hamster is sleeping, its eyes need to secrete a fluid that is meant to keep their eyes moist because dry eyes can eventually lead to serious health conditions. But the fluids secreted by their eyes will eventually dry up and harden around the eyes. When that happens, the dried-up fluid can actually shut the hamster’s eyes close like glue. Sticky eye is much more common in hamsters that are a bit older because of how they need their eyes to secrete more fluid. However, even younger hamsters may also end up suffering from this condition as well. Sticky eye normally doesn’t discriminate when it comes to age even though it is more common in older hamsters. As such, it is one of the most common problems that hamsters face on a regular basis. Still, if you notice that your hamster is suffering from eyes that have been shut closed, you shouldn’t conclude right away that it is suffering from sticky eye because there are still some other possible causes for its condition. This includes foreign objects such as dust that may have entered the hamster’s eye. Pink eye is also one of the more common reasons for a hamster to shut its eyes closed as those swollen eyes together with the regular discharge coming from its eyes will naturally force the hamster’s eyes to close. How to treat sticky eye in hamsters? The good news for you is that the normal sticky eye that hamsters suffer from on a regular basis don’t require immediate attention from a veterinarian. In fact, most sticky eye cases can be remedied at home even if you are not an expert in handling hamsters. All you have to do is to follow these simple steps: 1. Hold the hamster gently Get your hamster and hold it as gently as possible so that you won’t end up harming it. However, make sure that you are still applying a bit of pressure so that the hamster won’t end up slipping away from your hand and run away. You need to make sure that you are holding it firmly so that the little fella won’t be able to escape from you but, at the same time, won’t feel like you are hurting it. 2. Go get a cotton swab or a Q tip and wet it with lukewarm water Find a cotton swab or a Q tip in your home and wet it with lukewarm water. If you don’t have a Q tip in your household, you may use a washcloth but you should make sure that you are using a clean washcloth and that it should also be wet with lukewarm water. The Q tip or the washcloth will serve as your main cleaning tool for treating your hamster’s sticky eye. 3. Gently wipe the crusted substances off of the hamster’s eye At this point, you may be asking why can’t we just pull the hamster’s eyelids open or try to scratch the crusted substances off the eyes of the hamster. Well, the reason why we aren’t doing that is that the substance has become similar to glue in the sense that forcing the eyelids apart can possibly damage the hamster’s eyes. As such, what we need to do here is to use the Q tip or the washcloth to gently wipe away the crusted substances. The moisture from the wet Q tip or cloth will soften the dried up substance to make it easier for you to wipe it off the eyes of your hamster. Gently break the substance down until it is easier and easier for you to wipe it away. In some cases, holding the Q tip or washcloth on the eyes of your hamster may already be enough for the substance to soften up to the point that the hamster will be able to open its eyes again. However, if the hamster doesn’t open its eyes even after a few minutes, you have to wipe the substance off of its eyes using a gentle brushing stroke that won’t hurt the little fella. 4. Open the hamster’s eye in a gentle manner If the hamster doesn’t open its eye by itself after you have washed away the dried up fluids around its eyelids, you may have to open its eyes yourself. Trust us when we say that some hamsters are too afraid to open their eyes thinking that the dried-up substance is still there. In such a case, what you need to do is to gently pull the eyelids apart using your fingers. However, if you are finding it difficult to do this or if the hamster is resisting, stop right there. Go get another Q tip or washcloth and repeat the same process over and over again because there might be some stubborn dried up fluids that you probably missed the first time around. Repeat the same steps until it becomes easier for you to open the hamster’s eyelids using your fingers or until the hamster itself will be willing enough to open his eyes by itself. 5. Preventing sticky eye After you have treated the hamster’s sticky eye, the best way for you to prevent it from happening again is to make sure that you regularly wash around its eyes. This allows you to prevent the buildup of any dried up fluid. However, if the problem still persists or if your hamster is quite prone to this condition, you may have to bring it to a vet so that your hamster can get checked for any other possible reason why it is getting sticky eyes more often than most other hamsters. Can sticky eye kill a hamster? Another good news about hamster sticky eye is that it is not fatal or even very harmful to the hamster on a regular basis. In most cases, sticky eye is an inconvenience that will prevent your hamster from being able to see because it can’t even open its eyes. However, this can be a precursor to other more serious problems such as when your hamster can’t eat or drink water because it can’t even see. In some cases, your hamster may even find itself bumping into objects due to their impaired eyesight. That is why you have to make sure that you treat sticky eye as soon as possible even though it generally isn’t very harmful much less fatal.... Read more...
- Hamsters vs Guinea Pigs – Take It From Someone Who Owns BothIf you’re aching for a pet but can’t decide between a guinea pig or a hamster, let me help you. I have a Syrian hammy, and 2 guinea piggies and believe me, there are some very important differences between them. In this article we’ll look at the main differences between them, and how much they both impact your life, so you can take a very well informed decision. If you’d like to know what would happen if you were to raise a hamster with a guinea pig in the same cage, you should read this article. Table of Contents Deciding between a guinea pig or a hamsterA quick rundown on hamstersA quick overview of guinea pigsDifferent temperaments between the two petsAbout the guinea pig’s personalityAbout the hamster’s personalityKid-friendly or quiet home ?Feeding requirements for hamsters and guinea pigsExercise and floor time for guinea pigs and hamstersHamster exercise and running routineGuinea pig exercise and floor timeCage requirements are very different between the twoBedding, nests, and objects in their cageTake your schedule and daily life into accountA word from Teddy Deciding between a guinea pig or a hamster That one is completely up to you. Decide after you’ve read this entire article, and see which would be best for you. I got a hamster at first, a Syrian male named Teddy. About a year and a half later, we got two piggies from a friend who did not have the time to look after them anymore. We’ve named them Jessi and Ka, because my piggies when I was young were named Jessica (both of them). So I’ve come to know some clear differences between hamsters and guinea pigs, and some common grounds as well. But let’s start with the basics. A quick rundown on hamsters Hamsters are nocturnal/crepuscular animals, and will sleep most of the day away. Their diet is made of mostly grains, with some fruits, veggies, meat, and nuts added to the equation. They need fairly large cages ( a minimum of 24 x 12 inches, and about 12 inches tall. That’s 61 x 30.5 cm, and about 30.5 cm tall.) and certain conditions to live in. Hamsters are solitary animals, even if you’ve seen some people keep pair of hamsters in the same cage. There are 5 types of hamsters: The Syrian hamster, the largest one and with the most coat color variations The Roborovski Dwarf, the tiniest of the Dwarf types – only 2 inches/5 cm The Campbell Dwarf The Djungarian/Winter white Dwarf The Chinese Dwarf You’ll rarely find all 5 types of hamsters in a pet shop, but you might find 2-3 types at a time. Syrians are the most common hamster you can get as a pet. The average hamster’s lifespan is 2-3 years. The Chinese Dwarf has the shortest lifespan, around 1.5-2 years, while the Robo Dwarf can live up to 4 years. A quick overview of guinea pigs Guinea pigs are larger than hamsters, about 20-25 cm/8-10 inches long and with a very wide array of colors. Some are shorthaired, some have long hair, some have swirls in their fur as a pattern, but their personalities do not vary from one fur type to another Guinea pigs live in herds, one male leading a groups of females. With pet piggies this is not wise, unless you’re looking to breed them. Pet piggies are usually kept in all male or all female herds, and if males are ever kept with females the male is spayed. Their usual diet is made of timothy hay, along with leafy greens, some root-type veggies, and the occasional fruit. Guinea pigs have an average lifespan of 6-8 years, though there have been piggies that lived over 10 years, so getting a piggie is a commitment. For the most part guinea pigs are neither nocturnal nor diurnal. Instead, they sleep in patches throughout the day, and have a certain sleep schedule you’ll be able to observe after a few weeks. Different temperaments between the two pets Both the hamster and the guinea pig are prey animals. They’re both skittish and both need some time before they’re comfy with you picking them up. Sometimes they’re never okay with that. But the common grounds stop there. There are many differences between hamsters and guinea pigs. When it comes to which would make the best pet for you, you need to take those into account. About the guinea pig’s personality Guinea pigs are herd animals. As such, they’re much more social and laid back than a hamster, who is a solitary animal. In fact, keeping a guinea pig alone is a terrible idea, even if you’re always there to play with her. The company of another piggie can’t be replaced with human interaction, simply because we don’t understand piggies as well as another piggy. So, guinea pigs do well in groups or at least pairs. They can have varying personalities, the piggies themselves. Some are more outgoing, curious, and might come to check you out. others will shy away and rarely leave their huts if they know you’re there, even after taming them. Some will be relaxed and won’t protest when you pick them up, some will try their hardest to get out of your hands. Piggies rarely ever bite, even when they’re stressed. They can bite, yes, but they’re very docile and will avoid doing this most of the time. It varies from piggy to piggy. The one we have, Ka is a bit more outgoing, and is okay with being held, while Jessi hides most of the time. They don’t really get along and need 2 separate cages, but they talk to each other a lot. Another thing about a piggy’s personality and temperament, they are easier to bond with a young piggy. So if you’ve got an adult piggy, and bring in a young one, the young one will learn from the old one and become submissive. To even things out, it’s best to always get both or all the piggies young, and introduce them as youngsters so they can grow together and form their own relationship. Guinea pigs actually become depressed if they’ve got no friends, even if they do have human company. This is another reason to never keep a lone piggy. About the hamster’s personality A hamster, on the other hand, is very territorial. He has his own things, and will not share them with anyone. Putting two hamsters together is generally a bad idea, even the Dwarf types. While they may tolerate each other, they usually end up fighting and need to be separated. Hamsters are also skittish and will try to run away or hide when you try to interact with them. But they can be tamed, at least a bit, to know that you’re no danger to them. They have no problem biting you if you handle them wrong, or they feel threatened. For example my Teddy is a bit of a Rambo type, always curious, will fight anything (even a toilet paper roll) if it gets too close, and doesn’t really like to be held for more than 3 seconds. Some hamsters are a bit more tame, for example a family friend had a hamster named Oscar. He was the tamest, most relaxed hammy, and he let anyone hold him. The thing is hamsters are not very cuddly creatures, and won’t seek out your hugs and scratches on their own. Maybe a few select will, but as a whole this is something they learn to associate with food, and nothing more. Kid-friendly or quiet home ? Another important aspect, and a possible deal breaker for many people out there. If you’ve got children, or other small pets, the a hamster is the worst idea ever. This is because hamsters are very sensitive to everything – the room temperature, the noise level, the light level, drafts, being picked up wrong, being held too long, a sick person, and so on. Guinea pigs are sensitive too, but much less than hamsters. A hamster can get stressed very easily and develop an entire host of illnesses based on stress. A curious cat or a barking dog can be too much for the hamster, and kids continuously prodding at their cage can be very stressful. A guinea pig on the other hand is more relaxed. They don’t like being woken up and put on display either, but they react much less negatively than a hamster, and they recover pretty quickly. For kids I think a guinea pig is the best choice, instead of a hamster. I’d recommend a hamster only to quiet, patient, calm people who have time at night to tame and play with the hamster. A rowdy home with many pets and young children is not recommended for piggies, nor for hamsters. Feeding requirements for hamsters and guinea pigs Both the guinea pig and the hamster have very specific feeds. While a hamster could steal anything the piggy would eat (except the hay), a piggy couldn’t eat much of the hamster’s food. There is also the question of how often to feed them, and how much. For Syrian hamsters 2 teaspoons of commercial food mix is enough, daily. The Dwarf types only need one teaspoon. Much of the food will be hoarded for later snacks. Guinea pigs, on the other hand, need a fresh supply of timothy hay, available at all times, in endless amounts. Commercial food mix should be given 2 tablespoons per piggy, daily. So on short, you’re going to feed the piggy more often, and in larger quantities. There always needs to be a hay bag on hand, to re-stock their hay pile. Both Jessi and Ka go through about 3-4 fistfuls of hay, each, per day. Both guinea pigs and hamsters can be fed various treats that are already in your pantry or fridge. Fresh fruit and veg are favorites, a few examples include: guinea pigs – raw bell pepper, lettuce, cucumber, carrots, small slice of apple hamsters – cucumber, carrots, peanuts (unsalted, shelled), plain cooked chicken While the hamster will pick up all the food in his food bowl and store it in his nest for later use, a guinea pig does not. Piggies pretty much mess with their food and it ends up all over the cage. For example ours put a paw inside their bowls and tip them over to get to the feed. If we put the feed directly on their bedding, half of it ends up forgotten in the bedding. Exercise and floor time for guinea pigs and hamsters This is a very big difference between hamsters and guinea pigs. They both need exercise, and will run around pretty much all their waking time. But, they do it differently. Hamster exercise and running routine Hamsters are famous for their running wheels and exercise balls. We’ve all seen or at least heard of a hammy running as far as his little feet can take him, all night long. Given their small size, agility, and how hard they are to catch in general (especially if lost), hamsters aren’t let outside their cage often. In fact, the only way a hamster can spend time outside his cage is inside his exercise ball. This keeps things safe for everyone involved. Even then, they should not be kept in the ball for more than 30 minutes at a time. They will need water, a quick snack, and they will probably need their pee corner as well. Most of the hamster’s exercise is done inside the cage. This means that whatever running wheel you end up getting your hamster, it better be sturdy. He will use it every night, for hours on end, pretty much all his life. Hamsters can get bored very easily if they’ve got no way to expend all that energy. Many times this can lead to chewing the cage bars, or even trying to escape. Some people decide to let their hammy roam free in a hamster-proof room. This means that the room needs to have no hidden corners, or furniture that the hamster can get under, behind, into or between (hamsters are ridiculously good at this), and have no exposed surfaces that can harm them. Or that the hamster can harm, like a power strip cable, or charger for example. If you decide to let your hamster have floor time, have a good plan to catch him. Baiting him with food into his cage or exercise ball usually helps. Guinea pig exercise and floor time Guinea pigs are fairly different from hamsters in this respect. They need plenty of exercise too, but it’s a bit hard for them to get a good wheel, and an exercise ball is not a good idea. The main reason is that both a ball and an wheel need to be very large in order for the piggy’s back to be straight. Most people don’t have room for such a large wheel in their home, let alone the piggy’s cage. So that leaves the guinea pig owner with two choices: get a very very large cage, and/or supplement it with lots of floor time. Now, even if you do have a very large cage for the guinea pig, it’s probably not enough. This is because they need to be able to roam as much as they like, at all times. As large as a cage can be, it just isn’t enough and becomes repetitive. Some people dedicate an entire room to the piggies. That room is guinea-pig proofed, meaning the floor is easy to clean (piggies pee and poop incredibly often), there is no furniture the pig can chew on, there are several huts/hideouts the pigs can use, and they are well contained. If you’ve got the spare room for that, it would be a great treat for your piggies, giving them so much space all for themselves. But, if you’ve only got the cage, you will need to improvise with floor time. This means that a certain patch of a room you designate will have to be guinea pig proofed. News paper lining on the floor, a small wire fence to keep them inside their enclosure, food and a hideout or two to cuddle in, and lots of running around. Giving your guinea floor time will greatly reduce their boredom levels and will keep them happy and bouncy. (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 requirements are very different between the two Alright, we’ve just talked about the exercise and floor time/free roam requirements. This means that their cages need to be very large in order to keep them happy and not stressed. For hamsters the absolute minimum is 24 x 12 inches, and about 12 inches tall. That’s 61 x 30.5 cm, and about 30.5 cm tall. That’s the minimum for a Syrian hamster, and he will do great in a larger cage than that. Dwarf hamsters can make do with smaller cages, but I’d recommend getting them a Syrian sized one as well. The problem is that most people don’t really have the space for a cage larger than that, so they end up with the minimum. Guinea pig cages do come in large sizes, and in fact the minimum is 110 by 60 cm/43 by 23.5 inches, for one guinea pig. Since guinea pigs should be kept in pairs you will need a cage almost double that size for both of them. Many people opt to make their cages C&C style – corrugated plastic and cubes. It’s basically a plastic bottom cage, which can be adjusted as much as you would like, with wire mesh as a fence to keep the piggies in. Most of these cages can be handmade, as long as you have the proper materials. They’re usually found at hardware stores, or building supply stores. Unfortunately hamsters can’t live in a C&C cage, since the spacing is too large for them, and they will easily escape. A guinea pig is large enough that the C&C cage will keep her in. Bedding, nests, and objects in their cage Both hamsters and guinea pigs need toys and some basic objects in their cage. Both can live well enough with paper-based bedding, or aspen shavings. Neither of them tolerates dust, and they have sensitive noses. Pine and cedar shavings or toys should be avoided. A hamster will need a hideout, in which to build his nest. So does a guinea pig, but she is not as attached to her hideout as the hamster. While the hamster will build his base and make it an impenetrable fortress, the guinea pig will switch between multiple hideouts. This means that yes, she will need many places to hide. Both the hamster and the guinea pig need wood-based objects to chew on. Their teeth always grow, even if they’re not both rodents (guinea pigs are caviidaes, or cavies for short). They need to constantly file down their teeth, in order to keep them in check and avoid dental problems. In the same vein, both hamsters and guinea pigs need toys in their cages to stave off boredom. Bored piggies and hamsters can get restless, start chewing the bars, try to escape, and even get depressed. They both need food bowls, simply because scatter-feeding them often ends up with a lot of food forgotten under all the bedding. Take your schedule and daily life into account Hamsters and guinea pigs need lots of time with their owners in order to come to trust them. Even after being tamed, they can lose that trust if you make a wrong move or scare them too much. Remember that they are prey animals, in the end. So in order to take your hamster or guinea pig, you need to dedicate time and effort. It could take days, it could only be a few weeks. but if you’ve got a very busy schedule, neither of them will be good for you. If you’re working nights and you need to be awake and at home in the evening, then you will have time and patience to train and tame your hamster. Possibly the guinea pigs too. But, hamsters sleep during the day, all day. If you’re like me and work during the day and go to bed fairly early (10 PM) you’re probably better off with the guinea pigs. They’re active during the day as well as the night, so you will end get plenty of time to spend with them. If you’re away from home very often, and for long periods of time, then neither of these pets are suited for you. This is because they don’t get a attached to their owners as other pets, and can’t travel with you as easily. In this case a dog would be better suited, depending what king of travel you’re doing. If you’ve got children that need changing, feeding, put to bed, a home to clean and some other errands to run, then a stationary pet like a hamster or guinea pig probably is not good for you either. Both the hamster and the guinea pig are confined to their cage, and won’t be able to follow you around. A cat, however, will be able to come and go as she pleases and will be with you in bed, the kitchen, the bathroom, and possibly in your work bag as well. Finally, keep in mind that guinea pigs are noisier than hamsters. The array of sounds they make, the loudness, and the frequency are all much higher. Depending on what kind of bedding you provide, you might also hear the guinea pigs moving about in their cage at night. You’ll simply her them much more often than a hamster. So take into account the kind of life you have, and whether you can dedicate enough time and energy to these creatures. A word from Teddy I hope you found what you were looking for here. Many people have a hard time choosing between us hammies and guinea pigs, but we’ve both got our good side and our bad sides. In the end it comes down to how well we’d work with your daily life. If you want to know more about us hamsters you can check out the related articles below. You’ll find out how to care for us and keep us happy too.... Read more...
- Why Is My Hamster Licking The Cage? 4 Main ReasonsHamsters are rodents, they like to try and test things by biting instead of licking. But licking the cage or other objects in it is not unheard of. So let’s talk about a few reasons why your hamster is licking the cage. Before getting to the topic is important to know that hamsters have different personalities and not all of them would have the same behavior for the same reason. So, it is important to know all the possible reasons for your hamster licking the cage, but you might have to decide which is most likely. Table of Contents 4 Reasons your hamster is licking the cage1. Curiosity2. Cooling off3. Thirsty4. Lack of mineralsHow to clean the cage after a hamster licks it?Why does a hamster lick itself?Is it ok for your hamster to lick your hands?Why do hamsters bite the cage?Can you stop a hamster from licking its cage?Conclusion 4 Reasons your hamster is licking the cage Hamster licking the cage happens more often when we are talking about glass tanks and less often for bin cages or regular hamster cages. You can check my article about glass tanks for hamsters if you want to know more about how safe they are and what you should know when you keep your hamster in one of those. Here are a few reasons why a hamster is licking the cage. 1. Curiosity This is one of the main reasons why hamsters lick their cage, so you should not worry too much about it. Those little furballs are anxious by default, and at the same time they are also curious, which might not be the best idea in the wild since they can get into a predator trap but in some situations, it might help them get food. Here is an article about what hamsters eat in the wild and how their diet differs from a pet hamster. I know that all the hamsters I had were curious, when they would hear a sound around their cage, the first instinct was to hide, but after a few seconds, they would come out to see what it was. You can imagine that this is not the safest behavior for a hamster in the wild but is fun to see it if you have a pet hamster. So them licking the cage, especially a glass tank it, is usually out of curiosity. They want to know if they should chew it and what it tastes like or simply want to explore more. 2. Cooling off If the room temperature is too high, they might lick the glass tank to cool off a bit, as we might eat ice cream on a sunny summer day. Compared to bin cages, glass tanks are cooler and your hamster can easily cool off (and even get too cold) when in direct contact with the glass. If you want to know more ways to keep your hamster cool, here is an article about 9 ways to do that. But before that, you should check this article to know what is the best room temperature for a pet hamster. 3. Thirsty Being thirsty might make a hamster lick the cage, but this doesn’t happen as often since a pet hamster should always have a water bottle filled with fresh water. But to be sure, you better check that their water bottle is working properly if you see your hamster licking the cage. 4. Lack of minerals Hamsters lacking minerals might be an obvious reason for them licking the cage. However, I’ve put it last since a pet hamster usually gets all the minerals it needs from a pre-made food mix that you can find online or at the pet shop. So a pet hamster should not lack minerals. I gave a mineral chew to my first hamster, and right after that, I wrote an article about mineral chews for hamsters. You can read the article if you want to know more, but long story short, they don’t really need extra minerals, and it might actually be dangerous for them. So, a lack of minerals is not the most common cause for a hamster licking the cage but people usually think this is the main reason because we like to control things and know what the reasons and solutions are. While most of the time, the reason is unknown and you can’t do too much to stop it, but the good news is that the hamster is usually ok and doesn’t need special attention because it licks the cage. How to clean the cage after a hamster licks it? It is not crucial to clean the cage right away, but when you do, it is important to use just a bit of soap or even only hot water. Hamsters are very sensitive to the smell of soap, and if they start licking the cage again, it can be dangerous for them. My advice is not to rush to clean the cage when you see your hamster licking it but rather wait for when you do a complete clean anyway. Why does a hamster lick itself? Hamsters are very clean animals, you don’t ever need to wash them since they are doing a great job themselves and getting wet is dangerous for hamsters. They are always cleaning themselves to stay odor free, or they might leak their scent glands to release a specific odor that helps them confuse and/or scare predators. So a hamster constantly licking itself is normal behavior. You should not worry about that. The only thing that can be bad about that is when they lick and try to bite themselves since that might be a sign of having mites. Is it ok for your hamster to lick your hands? Hamsters can lick the owner’s hand as well, they do this for a few reasons. They try to show affection by doing this, which sounds cute but it doesn’t happen as often as we think. We have to keep in mind that hamsters are not social animals and they don’t necessarily enjoy playing with you. They can tolerate you, but they cannot love you like a puppy would. Depending on the hamster’s personality, some of them might not be bothered by getting picked out of the cage, but to say that they love that is a bit much. This is similar to the first reason they lick the cage: curiosity. They will try to see if it’s safe to eat, so a small bite after they lick your hands shouldn’t come as a surprise. Hamsters explore their world with their mouth and teeth, so that’s how they will explore you as well. Why do hamsters bite the cage? A more serious and annoying behavior is when a hamster is biting the cage, either the plastic part or the bars. This can be dangerous for your hamster since they can get to eat the toxins from the plastic if they chew it. There are a few reasons for this behavior that I discussed in my article about hamsters chewing the cage bars, but I will shortly touch on them here as well. Small cage. This is one of the main reasons a hamster bites on the cage or the cage bars. They feel like they need more space or they want to evade. Stress. Hamsters are quite anxious animals, so a lot of things can easily stress them. It can be the food, the water, the temperature, the noises and so on. You might have to investigate more to see what bothers your hamster. Teeth are growing. The hamster’s teeth are constantly growing like any other rodent, and they have to chew something. It might be the fact that they don’t have any other chewing toys, or it might simply be their favorite place to chew on. Curiosity. Yet again, they are curious animals, and more often than licking something to see what it is, they are biting it. Can you stop a hamster from licking its cage? Yes, you can temporarily stop your hamster from licking the cage, but it is not guaranteed that you will always succeed in the long-term. If the reason is the fact that they need to cool of, the solution is quite simple, you have to make to room cooler. If the lack of minerals is the problem, you should be more careful with the food you give and read on the box to make sure it contains minerals and vitamins in the appropriate amount. When it comes to being thirsty, if they use the water bottle properly and the bottle has water in it, this should not be a reason for a hamster to lick the cage. The tricky part is when they are curious, in this case all you can do is to distract them with other toys and tunnels. Make sure you put some treats, and some of their food in those toys and tunnels to ensure your hamster will want to use them. A bored hamster will lick the cage, bite the cars, climb all over the cage, and generally be frustrated. Adding enrichment items will help your hamster. But don’t expect quick results, your hamster might be stubborn and ignore your treats and keep licking the cage. However, this behavior might change in time by itself without any intervention from you, so patience might be the key in this case. Conclusion A hamster licking the cage is not an actual problem most of the time, but you better make sure that reasons 2-4 are not the problem. If your hamster is just curious, that will not put them in danger, it is just how they are, curious and anxious simultaneously. I hope this article helped you better understand your little furball’s behavior.... Read more...
- What Is A Teddy Bear Hamster? A Few Interesting FactsWriting an article about what is a teddy bear hamster brings me a lot of joy since my first hamster, and the inspiration for this site, was named Teddy. But was Teddy a teddy bear hamster, though? As with all the good answers in the world, the answer is “it depends”. My hamster was a short hair Syrian hamster, and this is quite important when it comes to what people call a teddy bear hamster. In this article, I will talk about what is a teddy bear hamster but also what you should know before deciding to get one as a pet. Table of Contents What is a teddy bear hamster?How to care for a teddy bear hamster?Common diseases for teddy bear hamsters?Things to know before getting a teddy bear hamster as a petConclusion What is a teddy bear hamster? Teddy bear hamster is not a type of hamster, it is more of a nickname that people use for Syrian hamsters since they look like a small teddy bears. There is an entire debate about whether a teddy bear hamster is just a long-haired Syrian hamster and is called this for its long fur, or any Syrian hamster since they all look like a teddy bear. But in reality it doesn’t matter that much, we talk here about a nickname so you can call your hamster a teddy bear hamster if it is a Syrian hamster. When you are looking for images with teddy bear hamsters, you will see that there are a lot of short-haired Syrian hamsters, this happens because long-haired Syrian hamsters are rarer than short-haired ones. So if you look at your Syrian hamster and you think of a small teddy bear with big ears, small dark eyes, and a small cute nose, you can officially call your hamster a teddy bear hamster. I say officially with an ironic tone because how official can a nickname be? How to care for a teddy bear hamster? I will shortly get onto the most important things you need to know in order to properly care for your hamster, however if you are looking for a more in-depth guide, check my article on how to care for a hamster. Here are a few things you need to know. 1. Make sure your hamster has a water bottle full of fresh water. A hamster needs about 10ml of water per day but it can vary from one hamster to another, especially because of their different sizes. 2. Feed your hamster properly, a teddy bear hamster will need about two teaspoons full of pre-made hamster food mix every day. They usually hide their food, so make sure you don’t feed them too much since they can get fat pretty easily, which will come with some health issues. They eat mostly seeds and grains, but can eat the occasional insect. In some cases a very small amount of boiled, unseasoned meat or boiled unsalted egg white is fine. But you should do your research before feeding a hamster anything that is not in the pre-made food since there are a lot of exceptions and things to know. I have an entire article about what a hamster can eat. 3. Buy a large enough cage. This is one of the most common problems new hamster owners have, I did it as well when I first had Teddy but I quickly bought a bigger cage when I found out. We see a small hamster and think that they have enough space in a small cage, but they need a lot of space for bedding, wheel, hideout, and more. It might seem expensive at first but I guarantee that if you buy a small cage, you will end up worse since you will most probably go back to the pet shop and buy a bigger cage when you see your teddy bear hamster struggling in the small wheel that fitted the cage and being very stressed. 4. Clean your hamster cage when needed. Hamsters are quite easy to take care of and their cages don’t smell as bad as other’s small animals. But you still have to clean its cage when needed, here is a guide on how and when you should clean a hamster cage. 5. If your teddy bear hamster’s personality allows you to play with it, you should do it a few times per week to create a bond between you and the hamster. Luckily the teddy bear hamsters are the most playful ones, and easier to tame the smaller dwarf hamsters. 6. Make sure your hamster is exercising and chewing as much as he needs. You can buy hamster toys like ladders, bridges, tunnels, chewing toys and so on to make sure your hamster has enough activity and things to chew on and also a big enough hamster wheel that will keep it quite active. Those are a few essential steps to take care of your teddy bear hamster but as I said, read my entire guide on caring for a hamster that I linked above to know more. Common diseases for teddy bear hamsters? Regarding what diseases a teddy bear hamster can have, “the wet tail” is the most common problem for this type of hamster. Here is a guide to how to know when your hamster has wet tail and what you can do. The wet tail disease in hamsters is like diarrhea for humans, but for us is not as bad as it is for them. If you spot wet poop in your hamster cage, you should call a small pet vet as soon as possible and follow the steps in the article I linked above. When it comes to diabetes, Syrian hamsters(teddy bear hamsters) are not as predisposed to it as the smaller hamsters so you don’t have to worry to much about it. That doesn’t mean that you should feed your hamster too many sweet fruits or anything like this since they can still develop diabetes, just not as easily as the dwarf hamsters. A hamster can have other kinds of diseases, from fungal infection to mites and more, but those are not as common as the wet tail. Things to know before getting a teddy bear hamster as a pet Here are a few essential things to know before buying a pet teddy bear hamster. 1. Teddy bear hamsters’ life span is usually 2-3 years, so you should be prepared to take care of it for a few years at least. They don’t require much maintenance and attention, but you can’t completely ignore them. My two Syrian hamsters each lived for nearly 2 years. 2. The real cost of owning a pet teddy bear hamster. When you think of buying a hamster it’s important to know that the hamster itself is the least expensive thing you will spend money on. The cage, wheel and bedding are usually way more expensive than the hamster itself, make sure you check how much those cost before considering buying a hamster. There might be a lot of people in your area that donate hamsters so you might want to check this out first. Most of them will donate the cage and the toys for the hamster as well. 3. They have different personalities, if you see someone on Youtube playing with a teddy bear hamster like playing with a puppy, you should not expect your hamster to be as friendly. Hamsters have different personalities and a lot of them are not actually playful and easy to tame. Teddy bear hamsters are easier to tame compared to dwarf hamsters, but even so, you have to think about the fact that they are solitary animals and not social animals, so you might not seem like a friend to them but rather more of a treat. 4. They are not great pets for kids. A teddy bear hamster might be easier to tame than other hamsters, but it will not be as easy as you expect. But let’s say you are lucky and you get the calmest teddy bear hamster. You still have to be very gentle with it, they weigh about 120 grams, so they are easy to hurt if you are not careful. You can’t expect a small kid to handle a hamster carefully. Most of the time, adults can’t do it properly, and we are aware that squishing those little furballs will hurt them a lot. When you play with a small hamster, if you don’t pay attention for a few seconds, they might get into the smallest places in your house since they tend to hide and will not come out easily. Also, they might hurt themselves since they don’t know the terrain. So this is a very important thing to consider when you plan to get a pet hamster. It might be easy to take care of them, but when it comes to playing with them, it is a wild ride with real chances of them getting hurt if you don’t know what you are doing. Conclusion So, the teddy bear hamster is a nickname for Syrian hamsters which are the best pet hamsters you can find. I hope this article helped you and now you know what to expect from a pet hamster and you will think twice before getting one. I don’t want to discourage you if you don’t have a hamster and are thinking of getting one, but you should know that there will be some responsibilities and a lot of things to know about those little fluffy teddy bears.... Read more...
- Are Bin Cages Safe For Hamsters? They Need A Few TweaksHamsters are small animals, but they actually require a lot of space, and unfortunately, most cages that you find in a pet shop are too small for a hamster. Can a bin cage be the solution for that? Are bin cages safe for hamsters? When it comes to bin cages for hamsters, there are quite a few things you need to know before letting your hamster live in one. In this article, I will talk about how safe bin cages are for hamsters, how to make them safer, where you can find bin cages and more, so stick with me. Table of Contents Are bin cages safe for hamsters?Where can you buy a bin cage?Make your bin cage hamster safeCan you leave the bin cage without a lid?Benefits of the bin cageCan hamsters chew through bin cages?Is the plastic that the bin is made toxic for the hamsters?What should I have prepared for the hamster bin?Conclusion Are bin cages safe for hamsters? Yes, bin cages are safe for hamsters. However, you will have to make a few adjustments to a newly bought bin cage to make sure your hamster is safe and has enough ventilation in there. In fact, bin cages are a pretty good option for new hamster owners, since a big hamster cage or a nice glass tank is quite expensive and usually hard to find in the pet shops. Before talking about how to make a bin cage safe for hamster, it is important to buy a good and solid bin cage. If it is too weak (soft, thin plastic), your hamster might chew through it and escape, which can be dangerous. Where can you buy a bin cage? You can buy a big clear bin cage from Walmart, Home Depot or any other supermarket or home improvement store near you. Or, if you have time to wait, you can find one online. A clear cage will be a better option since you can see your little hamster much easier and it is quite important to see them all the time, either for safety reasons, or for fun. Half of the joy of having a hamster is the fact that they are making a lot of funny moves in the cage. Hamsters can be pretty funny even without getting to play with them, here is an article with 12 reasons why hamsters are so cute and funny. Make your bin cage hamster safe Now lets get back to our work. You’ve bought a good clear bin cage, now what? Making a bin cage safe for hamsters requires a bit of work, so if you like DIY projects, this might be exactly what you need. Most bin cages don’t come with ventilation since they are not made for pets but rather for the storage of things inside them. So, the first step is to make sure the bin has good ventilation, so your hamster doesn’t have trouble breathing. You can do this by swapping the lid with a wire mesh covering. Those are fairly easy to DIY and will provide plenty of air. Some people cut windows on a side and seal them with a wire mesh but if you do this, you have to get a safe and strong wire mesh since your hamster can easily start to chew on it and also chew on the cage much easier since they have an opening, so I would not go for this option. The idea is that you should not give your hamster places where to chew on. They might not chew on a straight, slippery surface, but if they have an edge to start chewing on, they will most probably do it. After all, this is a giant plastic cage and hamsters can and will chew through plastic if they find a nub to start with. The safest way is to place ventilation on the lid and make sure you have a tall bin cage so your hamster can’t get there anyway. Can you leave the bin cage without a lid? You might see many bin cages for hamsters in images, and they might not have a lid all the time. However, at first, you should not take any chances, it is hard to estimate how high a hamster can jump accurately. Yes, they can jump, here is an article about hamsters jumping. Also, you have to check where they can climb, like the wheel, hideout, tunnels, and so on, and consider that they can move their bedding to make a big pile from where to jump. So if you think a hamster can jump 10 inches at best, the hideout is 5 inches tall and the bin cage is 25, you might think the hamster is safe, but you might be wrong. They can move all the bedding near and on top of the hideout, climb it and jump from there. So it is better to be safe than sorry and have a wire mesh lid, at least until you observe the hamster’s behavior in the cage. My current hamster moved all the bedding to the water bottle making the bottle leak all the time, so I had to remove some of its bedding to make sure this doesn’t happen again, especially when I’m not home. My first hamster liked to squeeze himself between the side of the cage and the wooden home I got him, and always managed to push it a couple of inches. So they can move things around the cage a lot. Benefits of the bin cage Here are a few benefits of a bin cage. Cheaper. A bin cage is way cheaper than a big specially made hamster cage. Bigger. You can find bin cages in huge sizes, while hamster cages are quite limited when it comes to size. Customizable. A bin cage can be customized as you like and also since it is big, you can place a lot of toys, tunnels and other things like that for your hamster to play with. Clear color, usually you can find clear color bin cage which makes it easy for you to see your hamster all the time. As I said before, admiring the little furball while it does funny tricks or stupid things in the cage is a big part of the fun when it comes to a hamster pet. Bedding. You can add a lot more bedding in a bin cage than you would normally can in a regular hamster cage that has only the bottom part made from plastic, and the rest are metal wires. So there are some benefits of buying a bin cage instead of a classic hamster cage, but make sure you can handle the DIY tasks required to make it hamster safe. Can hamsters chew through bin cages? Yes and no, unfortunately, I can’t give you definitive answers to this question. Hamsters chew a lot, if you give them enough chewing toys they should not start to chew on the cage, but hamsters also have different personalities and you can’t control what they want to chew on. The smooth surface makes it hard to chew on so that’s a plus. If you don’t give them edges where to start, it can be very difficult to chew on through the cage and escape. But to be safe, you should check your hamster’s behaviors, especially when you place it in a new cage, and see if they start chewing on the cage, trying to escape. In general, they shouldn’t be able to chew through it, but you don’t know what super-motivated little hamster you have, so make sure you are keeping a close eye on it. Is the plastic that the bin is made toxic for the hamsters? There are people that are concerned with the BPA content in the plastic when it comes to the hamster’s health but there is no evidence to prove this. Also, we should keep in mind that most commercial hamster houses are made from plastic, at least the bottom part, and they are safe, so the bin cage is also safe from this point of view. What should I have prepared for the hamster bin? If you wonder if you can keep your hamster in a bin cage before having a hamster, you might also want to know what you should have prepared for your hamster when you get it home. Here is a detailed article about 10 essential things you have to get for your hamster if you want to read about this in more detail. But at first you will need those: Bedding, the best bedding is aspen shavings. Make sure you buy a big batch since you will get through it pretty fast, especially with such a big cage as a bin cage. Hamsters need a lot of bedding since they enjoy digging in it. A water bottle. Drinking water is essential and you should not use a water bowl since it can be dangerous for a hamster to get wet. A running wheel. They will need to exercise somewhere, and a proper running wheel is their favorite place to do that. Chewing toys. You should have a few chewing toys to encourage your hamster to chew on and discourage it from chewing on the cage. Food mix. A pre-made food mix from the pet shop or a supermarket is all you need when it comes to food, they are usually specially made to cover all the nutrients a hamster need. A hideout. This one is not crucial if you don’t have it right away, but you should get it as soon as possible to make the cage more comfortable for your little hamster and give it places to hide. Those are the necessary supplies you need when you bring the hamster home, in time you will want to buy more things and make the cage more interesting for your hamster, so check the article I linked above to see what you can give to your hamster. Conclusion A bin cage is a great option when it comes to a hamster cage, you will have to work a bit on it to make it safe for your hamster, but it shouldn’t be very difficult to do that. A glass tank might be a better option in some situations, but it is more expensive and harder to find a proper one, so a bin cage is the best option for a new hamster owner. I hope this article was helpful and your hamster has a cozy and big home to live in.... Read more...
- Can Hamsters Eat Acorns? Is It A Good Chew Toy?We see squirrels eating acorns all the time, and since they are rodents like our pet hamster, it is quite normal to believe that a hamster can eat acorns. But do they? Can your little hamster eat acorns? This is what I will discuss in this article since acorns as hamster treats are a bit more dangerous than they might look. Stick around till the end to see some cool homemade toy ideas that you can make for your hamster to chew on or play with. I will talk about this because many people use acorns as a toy for their hamsters to chew on rather than food. Table of Contents Can hamsters eat acorns?Can a hamster open an acorn?Can hamsters eat acorn squash or pumpkin?What nuts and seeds can a hamster eat?Seeds and nuts that a hamster should avoid.Homemade toy ideas for a hamster to chew or play withConclusion Can hamsters eat acorns? Hamsters should not eat acorns because they can have a lot of bacteria, parasites, harmful germs, and even fungal infections. There are actually two main reasons why you should not feed your hamster acorns: The first one is the one we talked about, acorns can be bad for your hamster’s health because they are not healthy for its digestive system. Even if we wash the acorns, we might not get rid of all those problems. I’ve heard there are some people that wash and bake the acorns before giving them to the hamster. This might get rid of most of the bacteria, parasites, and so on, but you still have one more problem. Acorns are quite sharp and can hurt your hamster’s intestines or cheek pouches if they store them. Hamsters tend to keep food in their cheek pouches and keeping a sharp object is dangerous since their cheek pouches are sensitive. Here you can read more about how cheek pouches work and common problems. So, while a hamster’s diet, especially a pet one, contains mostly seeds and nuts, it is important to know that acorns are still dangerous. Can a hamster open an acorn? Yes, hamsters can open acorns and get to the seed, it can take a while, but they will eventually succeed and eating the seed can be dangerous for them. If you plan on giving your hamster a natural chew toy, you can give him a walnut rather than a acorn since the walnuts are safe to eat for your hamster and it is a better option even as a toy. You give him a chewing toy, they can chew on walnuts for way longer than they would chew on an acorn, so it is not worth the risk, and there is no reward in giving him an acorn instead. Squirrels open walnuts pretty fast, have you ever seen one doing it? They are much stronger than a little hamster, and their digestive system is also different from the hamster one, and that’s why they can eat acorns much easier. Can hamsters eat acorn squash or pumpkin? Yes, hamsters can eat acorn squash or pumpkin and also their seeds. However, you should not give a big amount of acorn squash to your hamster even if it is a good source of vitamins and minerals, they don’t need much, and it’s very easy to overestimate how much they can eat. You can give them a small piece of pumpkin, 1 inch cube should be enough. If you plan to give the seeds of an acorn squash or pumpkin to your hamster, you should rinse them and dry roast the seeds before giving them to your hamster to make sure they are safe. If you want to know more about what a hamster can eat, I have an entire article where I included a food list that touches on all the important things you need to know when you feed your hamster. Check it out here. Also, if you want to give your hamster a healthy pre-made food mix, here is one that I found on Amazon. The whole bag will last you for a couple of months or more, depending on how much you feed the hamster, and what you supplement alongside. It’s usually much safer to feed your hamster a pre-made mix than trying to come up with a homemade diet for a hamster since it’s quite hard to include all the nutrients they need and also, it’s much cheaper and less time-consuming this way. What nuts and seeds can a hamster eat? I don’t want to scare you with this article and make you believe that hamsters are more fragile than they actually are; hamsters can actually eat many nuts and seeds. When it comes to nuts, they can safely eat unsalted peanuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews, pine nuts, macadamia nuts and pistachios (roasted but unsalted). I hope there is not something I forget here, but you get the idea. Here is what seeds they can safely eat: Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax, sesame seeds, wheat, corn kernels, and so on. Sunflower seeds are found in almost all pre-made food mixes for a hamster since they are a great source of fats and vitamins that a hamster needs. Observation: when you feed your hamster seeds and nuts, make sure they are unsalted or unspiced since they can be dangerous for our little hamster pets. Hamsters can also eat popcorn if it is plain, so when you buy popcorn, make sure it is not salty, sweet, or spicy. Also, it should not be microwaved since it can be dangerous for hamsters, so it is better to avoid it if you are not sure how that popcorn was made. Even when you decide to feed your hamster popcorn, make sure there are just a few pieces as a treat rather than the actual food. Seeds and nuts that a hamster should avoid. Here is a list of dangerous seeds and nuts for hamsters: -Almonds. They are considered nuts like the other ones, but bitter almonds contain a cyanide compound that can be poisonous for your hamster. When it comes to toxic seeds for your hamster, the list is a bit bigger: -Apple seeds -Pear seeds -Strawberry seeds -Cherry pit Some of those contain cyanogenic acids that can be lethal for a hamster. Homemade toy ideas for a hamster to chew or play with It is very important to keep your hamster as active as possible, and chewing toys or homemade puzzles can be a great option. The main reason why hamster needs to chew on something continuously is that, like many other rodents, their teeth are growing continuously. If they don’t wear down their teeth, it can become dangerous for their health, so chewing toys are not just for fun, they have an actual purpose. As I said, many people want to give acorns to hamsters to give them something to chew on, but since we’ve established that it can be dangerous, I will give you some other great ideas. -The first one and the most obvious one is to give a walnut to your hamster. Usually, they tend to chew more if you give them a walnut compared to a store-bought chew toy because they can smell that it is actual food inside that walnut shell, so they have a reason to chew on that other than wear down their continuously growing teeth. -Cardboard boxes with food inside. Closed cardboard boxes with food inside are a great way to make your hamster exercise for its food. If you are worrying about your hamster eating cardboard, I have an entire article about that. -Toilet paper roll puzzle. Cut some strips of a regular toilet roll that are about an inch or 2.5 cm long; these will form large frills at either end of the roll. Fold one end of the roll to secure any food or treats you put inside, then fold the other end to further ensure nothing spills out. To make the puzzle more difficult for your hamster, you can make the frills longer and twist them together. Your hamster will hear and smell the food, motivating him to try to figure out how to open it. There are also store-bought ones but you need to make sure they are safe for your hamster since some of them are made from pine or cedar wood which can be dangerous for your hamster. Conclusion Unfortunately, it is not safe for hamsters to eat acorns, even if you would love to see the little hammy chewing on an acorn like a cute little squirrel. We can always swap the acorn with walnut. I can promise your hamster will have a lot of work cracking a walnut. Mine chewed for a few weeks on it, and it didn’t crack. So even if it’s not a good food source because they don’t get to eat the walnut, it is a great chew toy. I hope this article helped you, and now you know what seeds and nuts to give to your hamster and which ones you should avoid.... Read more...