8 Reasons Hamsters Eat Their Babies, And How To Save Them

It sounds like a horror story, a mother hamster eating her babies. But it can happen, and it’s never fun to watch. There’s a few ways you can save the babies, but you have to be careful. 

You can’t save them every time, but you can still do your best to make sure they don’t end up horribly. There are some reasons though, why the hamster mothers do that. Those are very important to understand, in order to save the babies.

hamster babies 2

So why do hamsters eat their babies ?

Mother hamsters are not as emotional as human mothers.  There are a few reasons a hamster mother might eat her young, and here they are:

  1. She feels stressed/threatened like if you constantly check on her and the litter
  2. Her personal space in too small, the babies take up too much space in a cage that is too tiny
  3. She is very hungry after giving birth
  4. Accidentally storing them in her cheeks to carry them
  5. Biting them too hard when she carries them
  6. She thinks something’s wrong with them (diseased, or something physical they can’t survive)
  7. You or someone else have touched them (changed their scent) and she doesn’t think they’re hers
  8. Father hamsters are liable to eating their young as well 

These are mostly reasons that can be avoided, or can be worked on so the mother is comfortable. 

Rodent mothers are not the most careful mothers in the first place, compared to other mothers, for example cats or dogs. All animals can eat or kill their young, if they consider something is wrong with them. But rodent mothers, and hamsters are rodents, are much less attached to their babies.

So let’s get into every reason the mother can eat her young, and how you can avoid this from happening, and/or possibly save the babies.

How to save the hamster babies from being eaten

Many times when the mother decides eating her young is an option, there’s not much you can do. But, you can save the babies 90% of the time by not putting the mother in a position where she thinks she needs to eat them.

Here are the most common examples, and how you can save those babies by helping the mother.

Do not stress the mother

This is the major reason hamster mothers end up eating their young. The stress and effort of giving birth, especially her first litter, combined with you checking up on her constantly will annoy her. 

Once you notice the mother is approaching her due date (18-22 days after mating), start giving her much more food than usual, and bedding and nesting material as well.

She will find the most hidden corner, or use her hideout, to give birth, and you must leave her alone during this time. Best to even leave the room. Fortunately it will probably happen at night, when you’re sleeping.

So if you know your hammy is about to give birth, be careful when approaching her in the morning. Do not poke at her or the cage, talk to her, or try to interact with the babies.

Keep her warm and well fed, and make sure she has plenty of quiet and small children or other pets can’t reach her.

Leave food/protein for the mother before she gives birth

If you notice that your hamster has give birth overnight, bring her some protein. This is the food that will help her regain her strength immediately. Something like cooked egg white, or cooked plain chicken is good for your hamster. 

You could leave her pieces of chicken every evening until she gives birth if you want, but it’s best to not give her something that will leave a tasty smell on the bedding right before she gives birth. She might get confused as to which one is chicken and which is her baby. 

So only give her chicken or egg after she gave birth, only  while you can see her. Even if you don’t stay more than a few minutes, make sure she finishes the piece and not the babies. 

In the mean time, continue feeding her through the bars, without placing your hand inside the cage. You can introduce a teaspoon through the bars to give her dry food, or sprinkle some on her food bowl.

She will have a stash of food anyway, but right now would be a good time to give her more. For a list of safe foods you can give your hammy, check out this food list article.

Give the mother plenty of space, in a large cage

This is again something that will always come up. Space, lots of it, is something that hamsters need. The absolute minimum for a hamster cage 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 it’s what I’d recommend for a dwarf hamster as well.

A hamster mother giving birth to 6-12 babies at once is going to fill up a cage fast. In those times, even her large cage might seem a bit cramped for her. 

So always get your hamster a large cage, larger than you’d think. Especially if it’s a female you will want to breed later. You can find out more about hamster cages here, since you’ll get a rundown of all cage types and which is best for your hammy.

If you’ve got 2 or more hamsters housed in the same cage, remove the mother-to-be and put her in a different, large cage long before she gives birth. She needs to adjust and feel comfortable in her new home as soon as you put her there, so place some of her old bedding and nesting material in her new temporary cage.

Do not disturb the mother or cage for at least 2 weeks after giving birth

This is because the mother is very tired ans started and jumpy while her babies are still very young. So do not open her cage, or change the bedding, try to put her in an exercise ball or separate her from her babies.

Hamster mothers will do their best to raise and wean every one of their young, but they can scare very easily and end up eating their babies.

This includes feeding the mother as well, feed her through the bars with a teaspoon or sprinkle some dry food onto her bowl.

Do not touch the babies at all until the mother weans them (3-4 weeks)

Touching the babies is a big mistake, when they’re so young. A baby hamster can only be removed from his mother after 3-4 weeks, and can be given for adoption immediately after.

You will notice the mother has weaned them when she pushes them away after they try to nurse from her. In this period it’s important to provide her cage with even more food, since the babies will now need ‘adult’ food, like a food mix or some safe foods from your fridge or pantry.

Touching or handling the babies before they are weaned will make the mother think they’re foreign, and not hers. She will reject or even eat them, so it’s best to wait a few more weeks.

Separate the father from the litter at all times

If the father was in the same cage as the mother, and you didn’t know she was pregnant, remove the father from the cage.

Surprises happen, especially with dwarf pairs, since their sex is difficult to tell sometimes. So you might end up with a male and female pair that will give you a surprise litter one morning.

The father will try to get the mother’s attention, and might eat or hurt the babies while trying to get her attention.

Hamster fathers are not nurturing, and will not tolerate the babies for long, so it’s best to remove him from the cage. If you don’t want any more litters, keep the male and female separate at all times.

Hamsters can mate again, right after the mother gave birth, so keep them apart.

Some things you can’t change or save

Even if you do you best to keep the mother safe, warm, well fed, not stressed, and on her own in a very large cage, she still might eat at least some of her babies.

This is mostly due to accidents, like her biting too hard on the baby when she tries to pick him up. Or maybe she stores the baby in her cheeks to move and forgets that’s her baby.

It sounds horrible, but small animals can get clumsy like this too. If this happens, there’s not much you can do. If the baby is not weaned yet, you can not touch it because the mother will reject it and then definitely eat it.

Unless you want to raise the litter on your own, since they are just a few days old. But then they will lack the important interaction they need with their mother, to learn how to ‘be’ hamsters.

This is a very touchy topic, and one I’m not about to breach here. The same goes for hamster mothers who kill the babies on purpose, because they think there’s something wrong with them. Like they might be sick or have something wrong with their body, that only she can tell.

She might kill them if this is the case, because she thinks they will not survive on their own. This is again something that can’t be helped, and it’s sad but it can happen.

How to tell your hamster is pregnant

Maybe you ended up with a pregnant hamster when you bought her from the pet store. Or maybe you notice that one of your dwarf hammies is looking a bit odd. Whatever the case, here is how the pregnancy happens and how you can tell your hamster is pregnant.

First, the pregnancy lasts from 18 to 22 days, time in which the hamster’s midsection will become larger and larger. You will notice she eats much more, and doesn’t exercise as much. She is saving her strength.

She will become more and more irritable as her dues date approaches, and will look for hidden, safe corners n her cage.

At this time it’s best to remover her from her cage mate, and place her in a large cage on her own, with plenty of familiar old bedding and nesting material, and plenty of places to hide.

If you’re not sure if your hamster is pregnant, but she seems to suddenly be a bit larger and is constantly digging and burrowing and building a large nest, best to separate her from her cage mate.

If you’re wrong and she’s not pregnant, that’s okay and you can place her back. But wait for at least 3 weeks after you separate her, to see if she does give birth or not.

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

hamster babies 3

About hamster fertility and breeding

Hamsters can breed basically every month. In theory, you can have a new litter every month.

This is because a hamster can get pregnant within minutes after giving birth. The problem with this that the mother will be dehydrated and malnourished, and won’t be able to care properly for her existing litter.

Baby hamsters can mate as soon as their mother weaned them.  That’s around 3-4 weeks of age, so you need to separate the hamsters into male and female cages immediately after this happens. If you don’t, more hamster litters will come in a few weeks.

To figure out which is male and which is female, pick the hamster up, and look at his rear end. In females the genitals are right under the anus. In males, there is a more noticeable space left between them. If you tilt a male a bit back while you told him, you might even notice his testicles around his tail.

This is more difficult with the smaller breeds, so every breed except for the Syrian. And hamsters do not like to be held this much or in that position, so they will squirm a bit. But you must do this to figure out which is which, in order to separate them.

Female hamsters are in heat every few days, during the night, so they can be mated at any point. There is no mating seasons for hamsters, as there is with other animals.

A word from Teddy

I hope you found out a lot about us hammies here. I know a momma eating her babies is terrible, but it can happen sometimes, and I’m glad you found out how to make sure it doesn’t happen.

Us hamsters grow up fast, so make sure you keep us separated by sexes or we’ll make a whole clan in a few weeks.

If you want to know more about us hammies, you can check the articles below. You’ll find out things like why we freeze, how much food we need, and even why we eat our poop !

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Dwarf Hamster Feeding Guide: Everything You Need to Know
Dwarf Hamster Feeding Guide: Everything You Need to KnowDwarf hamsters definitely top the group for the most popular hamsters in the world. They’re immensely popular all around the world, and their numbers only grow by the day. If you’re an owner of this furry species, then you have to know their dietary requirements, how much they need to eat, and what they’re eating. Your hamster is only going to trust you if you feed it properly, so this is a must. There are many intricacies that we can notice when we’re researching this species’ feeding habits, and today, we’ll be saving you the trouble of having to do that research on your own. In today’s article, we’ll be taking a look at dwarf hamsters and their eating habits. We’ll be specifically defining how they eat, what they eat, etc. If you need the answers to questions like what do dwarf hamsters like to eat, what are they allergic to, how often do they need to be fed, how long can they go without food, what foods to avoid and what potential health risks do they have that are connected with food – you’re in the right place. We’ll be answering all of those questions today. So, without any further ado, let’s get started! Table of Contents ToggleHow Often Should I Feed My Dwarf Hamster?What Can Dwarf Hamsters Eat?Tiny Friends Farm LoveliesKaytee Healthy BitsNutsWhat Are Dwarf Hamsters Allergic To?How Long Can Dwarf Hamsters Go Without Food? How Often Should I Feed My Dwarf Hamster? You should feed your hamster daily, they require fresh food every day. However, this depends on what you’re feeding it. If you’re feeding your hamster with Hamster Formula, then you need to feed them twice a day – once in the morning, and once in the evening. You also need to remove any uneaten food as it will rot quickly. You should feed your hamster with hard treats twice a week. There’s a difference between everyday treats, (apples, for example) which you can use to reward your hamster for training and hard treats. Hard treats help your dwarf hamster keep his incisors filed down, which is good for his overall dental hygiene. This is similar to dog treats that are used for dog hygiene. You can actually use this, as well – you can let your hamster chew on small dog biscuits, commercial hamster treats, or a small branch taken from a fruit-bearing tree. You can also feed your hamster with soft treats, once or twice a week. Soft treats include protein sources such as cooked meats; low-fat, no-salt cottage cheese, or a hard-boiled egg. You can also include wheat bread and scrambled eggs for your hamster. Something people often overlook is to keep your hamster hydrated, as well as fed. Many people pose the question ‘How often should I feed my hamster?’, but there aren’t many people asking ‘How often should I change my hamster’s water supply?’ – we’re telling you now that it’s vital for you to change your hamster’s water bottle often. Buy a hamster-sized water bottle with a stem and ball bearing from your local pet store. The ball regulates how much water comes out each time the hamster takes a drink. This is great because your hamster can control how much they’re drinking, but it’s important for you to change the water often – the water needs to be fresh. Even though it takes two weeks for the water to go stale (and that’s only in case it’s not bottled but in a glass), you wouldn’t drink stale water, so why should your hamster? Change your hamster’s water every two days, and following consultation with your veterinarian, you can even add supplements to the water. Another tip, while we’re already on the topic of water – make sure you’re using a water bottle, not a water bowl or dish. Hamsters will surely make a mess out of this and that’s heaven for bacteria and parasites. It’s smart to feed your hamster at the same time every day, if you can, of course. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to do this flawlessly every day, but you should try to maintain a schedule. Dwarf hamsters have a really strong and high metabolism, so they need food throughout the day, flawlessly. There is some debate about whether you should feed them in the evening or in the morning, though. If you feed them in the evening, you’re feeding them when they’re most active, as hamsters are mostly nocturnal animals. However, if you feed them in the morning, you’re ensuring that they have food throughout the day. It may be best to do both, that way, your hamster will have food all day, every day. One last tip before we move on to our next section: all fruits and vegetables that aren’t eaten within 24 hours should be thrown away. What Can Dwarf Hamsters Eat? Firstly, we’ll let you take a look at a list of literally all things that dwarf hamsters are allowed to eat, and following that, we’ll explain things you should focus on. Fruits: apples, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupes, cherries, cranberries, seedless grapes, lychee, mangos, melons, peaches, plums, raspberries, raspberry leaves, and strawberries. Vegetables: carrots, celery, broccoli, dandelion leaves, cauliflower, clover, kale, bean sprouts, asparagus, chickweed, chicory, cucumber, corn, spinach, watercress, radicchio, romaine lettuce, turnip, peas, green beans, chestnuts, squash, sweet potatoes, zucchini. Nuts, seeds, and grains: pumpkin seeds, peanuts, millet, flaxseed, cashew nuts, sunflower seeds, oats, barley, walnuts, lentils, soybeans. Other foods hamsters can eat grasshoppers (pet food), mealworms (pet food), boiled eggs, plain grasshoppers, plain tofu, whole grain bread, codfish (with bones removed), low-fat cottage cheese, brown pasta, unsalted peanut butter. Now, these are all very specific foods that you can feed your hamster, but you should know that you can feed your hamster to limited amounts of grains, vegetables, fruits, or Timothy hay, but that should never exceed 10% of their diet. The best thing to feed your dwarf hamster with is a hamster food mix. These are the healthiest option for most hamsters, as they’re made to fit and complete their daily dietary needs. The things we’ve listed can be fed to them in case you’ve run out of hamster food and you can’t yet buy some. Here are some of the best options when it comes to hamster food that’s best for dwarf hamsters: Kaytee Fiesta Hamster Food – this food mix is actually great for both dwarf hamsters and larger Syrian hamsters. It has natural veggies and fruits to add some variety and improve the nutrient content of the mix. This mix should definitely be enough to keep your hamster’s dietary needs fulfilled. However, an issue that’s often noticed with this food mix is that hamsters will often run to the fattier stuff and completely ignore the healthier foods until they’re full. Some hamsters don’t return to finish their meal, so you might be throwing some of this food away. This mix is ideal for all types of hamsters and gerbils, it’s naturally preserved and it has plenty of natural fruits and veggies for your hamster to enjoy, it’s also rich in antioxidants to support your hamster’s immune system, and the shape of the food is good for their dental hygiene. Tiny Friends Farm Hazel Hamster Mix – this is our next choice for dwarf hamster food. It has a great choice of seeds, mealworms, and other healthy treats. Mealworms are important because they bring protein into the mix, which is very important if you want to keep your hamster’s body strong. This is also great because all hamsters love mealworms, so they definitely won’t be skipping this. This food mix is great for all hamsters, and your pet is definitely going to love it. It’s a tasty mix, and it’s the best choice for hamsters that tend to be picky. It’s nutritionally balanced, suitable for all breeds, and it has vitamins included in the mix. Kaytee Forti Diet Pro Health Hamster Food – last entry on this list, this food is great if you’re worried about your hamster’s health. If you check this product out online, you’ll notice great reviews, and it’s not difficult to see why. This mix is full of all the nutrients your dwarf hamster needs to keep a healthy body. The only complaint hamster owners have on this food is that some packs have too many sunflower seeds in them, so you have to keep an eye on your hamster’s seed intake. It also contains omega-3 oils, and its shape supports dental care, while it also contains probiotics and it’s supporting immune health. You should also keep an eye on what you’ll be feeding your hamster for treats. Hamsters love treats, and it’s crucial to give them treats as that’s the best way for you to reward them after a job well done, for example teaching them a trick. Take a look at some of the best and tastiest treats for your furry friend. Tiny Friends Farm Lovelies This is a well-known brand for hamster treats, and you can be sure that all hamsters are going to love these treats. These treats are safe for both Syrian and dwarf hamsters, and your hamster is surely going to find them satiable. Kaytee Healthy Bits The ‘Healthy Bits’ pack definitely won’t disappoint you. It includes honey in the food, so hamsters naturally love it. The treats are small, so there aren’t any hamsters that shouldn’t eat this because of their size, and they’re also nicely held together so they won’t fall all over the floor. Nuts Your hamster will definitely enjoy all sorts of nuts. They’re a natural source of protein and necessary fats. Different hamsters enjoy different nuts, and we’ve already provided you with a list of nuts, seeds, and grains that hamsters enjoy, but here we’ll expand on the list of nuts hamsters love barley, cashew, flaxseed, lentils, millet, oats, peanut, popcorn, walnuts, monkey nuts. It’s also important to add fiber to your hamster’s diet. Natural sources of fiber, such as timothy hay and alfalfa hay, are good sources of fiber. Another thing that you should know is that Syrian hamsters and dwarf hamsters absolutely love insects, and you should feed them (not all insects) if you can. This is because insects are their main food source in the wild and they’re packed with protein and energy. This isn’t essential, so if you’re not comfortable with keeping insects around, that’s okay – but you will certainly be doing a disservice to your hamster. There are insects that are definitely worth considering: mealworms, wax worms, crickets, and grasshoppers. You’re going to want to provide a well-balanced diet for your hamster.  Use a mixture of the food suggestions listed above to create a diet that’s going to be both tasty and healthy for your hamster. It’s important that their diet is packed with energy, as hamsters are very active animals that spend a lot of energy. Choose a food mix as the main and essential part of your hamster’s diet, and then add treats, fresh fruits, and insects to this diet. The general rule is that a single tablespoon of the mix is enough, and mix that with a couple of treats. You should also try to keep it interesting for your pet. You don’t eat the exact same meal every day, so why should your hamster? Provide your hamster with different types of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds on a daily basis. Don’t fear to reduce the sizes of your hamster’s meals if you notice that it’s gaining a lot of weight, as you don’t want it to become too fat. When you’re feeding your hamster, it’s best to use a food bowl. The same doesn’t apply to water, as hamsters usually make a mess when they’re drinking water out of bowls, but you should definitely use a bowl for serving food. This way, all uneaten food will stay in the bowl and be ready to get eaten later. They provide a designated area for feeding and they keep all the leftover food clean. Hamsters quickly learn to check their food bowl, so you’ll notice your hamster checking the bowl every once in a while, and they’ll likely be waiting for you when you’re refilling it. Hamsters also have the habit of filling their cheek pouches with secret stashes of food to build secret food stores near their bed. This is a natural instinct to keep food hidden away from other animals who may try to steal it. If you have more than a single hamster in the same cage, you may even find hamsters hiding food from one another. Buy a ceramic food bowl, as hamsters are likely to topple a plastic food bowl and the mix will end up all over the place. You should definitely observe your hamster eating – this is a great way to find out what they like and what they dislike. Hamsters, just like humans, have different taste. One hamster may enjoy something, while the other won’t. If you notice that your hamster doesn’t like a certain vegetable, replace it with another vegetable. If you notice that it won’t eat a certain fruit, replace it with another fruit – you get it. If you see that it’s getting sick from eating a certain food, then stop giving your hamster that food. For example, they can get sick from eating too much watermelon. Before we end this section, we would like to point out that it’s bad to overfeed your hamster. Hamsters need a single tablespoon of the mixture a day and adding to that the occasional treat and fresh food – that should be more than enough. Overfeeding your hamster is bad. Many people make this mistake because a tablespoon of food is almost as big as the hamster itself, so they figure that it can’t possibly be enough for the animal, but it’s actually more than enough (and probably more than what they’d get in the wilderness). Dwarf hamsters have very fast and high metabolisms, and they can eat just as much food as larger hamsters can. Don’t be tempted to fill your hamster’s empty bowl – we’ve already explained that hamsters often fill their cheek pouches with food and then hide it next to their bed. This means that they may empty the food bowl, but that doesn’t mean that all food is eaten. Don’t let your furry friend fool you. We’ve just about covered the answer to the question of what can hamsters eat, but know that you can add supplements to your hamster’s diet if it’s ever necessary. This is sometimes needed because of many health concerns, but you should always speak with your vet before adding any supplements to your hamster’s water or food supply. What Are Dwarf Hamsters Allergic To?   Hamsters, as a species, can have problems with certain foods. However, it’s also possible that an individual hamster develops an allergy to something. Let’s firstly take a look at all the things that you should avoid feeding your dwarf hamster with. Almonds, avocado (it’s literally poisonous to them), apple seeds, chocolate, sweets, potato chips, pork, raw potatoes, grape seeds, rhubarb, tomato leaves, citrus fruits, watermelon, jam, spices, garlic, onions, chives, leeks. There are many foods that should be kept out of your hamster’s diet as it will make your hamster sick. Watermelon, although considered healthy, can be dangerous if the hamster eats too much of it – a watermelon’s water concentration is too much for hamsters. Almonds contain cyanic acid, which can make your dwarf hamster very sick. Seeds can also be harmful, and most often are, so make sure to remove all seeds from the food before you serve it. This means that you can’t feed your hamster apples, peaches, and plums before you take out the seeds. Theobromine is a substance found in chocolate, and it negatively affects your hamster’s circulation. Also, you should always remove uneaten food. This can be as dangerous as feeding your hamster with something that they shouldn’t be eating. Fruits and vegetables can become spoiled and moldy very quickly, and it’s especially important to take them out after 24 hours. Something that you should keep in mind is that dwarf hamsters are prone to diabetes. Their bodies are very small and it’s difficult for them to deal with high levels of sugar in their bodies. The main cause of diabetes is poor feeding habits and high-sugar treats that are provided by the owner. This means that the responsibility of keeping your hamster diabetes-free befalls exclusively on your shoulders. Provide your hamster with a healthy and balanced diet, and avoid too much sugar in the pet’s food. You can recognize the most common symptoms of diabetes as your hamster will start to urinate more frequently and it will become quite lethargic. Consult with a veterinarian if you notice this. A poor diet can also cause diarrhea. You will recognize this by a loose stool, and you should, once again, consult a vet. There are also other symptoms to a sick hamster, and take note that all sicknesses can be caused by an unhealthy diet. If you notice your hamster losing weight, losing fur, breathing in distress, having a nasal discharge or skin lesions, you should take it to a vet. Hamsters can also develop allergies just like humans do. If you’ve noticed your hamster sneezing, they may be allergic to their bedding or something in their food. It could also be microscopic dust in the air. Try switching beddings, foods, to an unscented fabric softener, and use an air filter by your hamster’s cage to eliminate all allergens in that environment. If the problems persist, you should contact a veterinarian. There are many things that hamsters aren’t exactly allergic to, but it’s causing irritation to them. Perfumes, pine and cedar shavings, scented candles, electric “plug-in” style diffusers, scented room sprays, and even some cleaning agents can be harmful and irritating to your hamster’s respiratory canal. The best way to deal with this is to move the cage away from these fumes. Another irritant that’s definitely going to bother hamsters is cigarette smoke. To treat an allergic hamster, firstly remove anything that might be causing the allergy. For example, if you’ve just put new bedding for the hamster and it started sneezing, remove the bedding and see if anything will change. If the pet doesn’t get better, try changing other things around the cage and observe whether it will help. If you can’t pinpoint what’s exactly making your hamster allergic and five days have passed without the hamster’s symptoms reducing – take your hamster to the vet. How Long Can Dwarf Hamsters Go Without Food? So, you’re going to stay at work until late and you’re wondering whether your hamster will feel hungry? Don’t worry, hamsters can go three to four days without food, depending on when have they eaten last and how much have they eaten. Obviously, larger hamsters that eat more are going to be able to last longer, but you shouldn’t worry about your hamster as long as you know you’ll be feeding it soon. This applies to water, as well, as it’s just as important as food to them.  To sum up, when feeding your hamster, you should know that the mixture is the backbone of your hamster’s diet – everything else is an addition that can be healthy, but isn’t really required. There are many things that you can add to your hamster’s diet that can be bad for it, we have listed all of those things in this article, and you should definitely avoid that. There are also many treats that are good for your hamster, but you should never overfeed them with treats, as they will lose their point – treats are there to reward your hamster after doing something good. Know that each individual hamster has individual taste, just like people, so you should adapt your food to your pet. You should always keep your hamster’s water supply fresh and completely full. Know that hamsters can only live three to four days without food and/or water. You should feed your hamster twice a day, once in the morning, and once again in the evening. Your hamster should get a full tablespoon of hamster food mixture daily – so give your hamster half a tablespoon of mixture each time you feed it. Know that your hamster is going to store that food away, so don’t be fooled into thinking that your hamster’s hungry just because their food bowl is empty. Dwarf hamsters’ metabolism is fast, so they can eat just as much food as other hamsters. [...] Read more...
Do Hamsters Cause Allergies ? How Hamsters Affect Your Health
Do Hamsters Cause Allergies ? How Hamsters Affect Your HealthIf your allergies have flared up since you got your new hamster, this article might help. Even if you’ve never been allergic and you’re just now starting to react poorly to hamsters, this will help make things clear. Table of Contents ToggleSo do hamsters cause allergies ?What you’re actually allergic toMost pets have the potential to cause an allergic reactionKeeping your allergies down when you’ve got a hamsterA word from Teddy So do hamsters cause allergies ? Yes, hamsters can cause allergies. Any animal with fur or hair will cause allergies to flare up in a person who is already allergic. Some people who never had allergies can suddenly develop one, be it from hamster fur or cat fur or someone’s beard.  The problem is the same, whether it’s a hamster or a different animal. But back to hamsters, most allergies are because of trapped dander inside the hamster’s fur. It’s not the fur itself but the fine particles within the layer of fur that make you sneeze, cough, your throat close up, or other severe reactions. Now let’s talk about why pet-related (and thus hamster-related) allergies come up, and what you can do to lessen the reactions. What you’re actually allergic to For the most part, allergies are a pain to pinpoint. Not only are they not always immediately clear – like peanut or shellfish, for example – but they can annoyingly change over time. But, for the most part, people with allergies react to very fine foreign particles in the air. Those particles are usually pollen or dander. Since hamsters don’t frolic in flowers all day long, only dander remains as a culprit. You see, hamsters have skin like everyone else, and those skin cells eventually die off and get renewed. The dead skin needs to go somewhere. It’s the fact that it’s dander not our own that sets things off, really. In humans, we wash it off. In furry animals, it stays in their fur for an amount of time. Sometimes it breaks into very very small little pieces. Not those white clumps, immediately noticeable. No, very very fine particles that stay trapped in the animal’s fur. Once your hammy moves, those particles get released into the air. If you’re sensitive to fine particles, you’ll feel those in your nose and lungs and eventually start reacting to them. Those are most cases. Sometimes it’s the smell itself that can trigger a reaction. Like the smell of hamster pee. Or, another trigger can be the bedding on which your hamster lives. You might be allergic to whatever bedding the hamster has, when it is in fine particles. But most of the time it’s just the dander that sets people off. Most pets have the potential to cause an allergic reaction This can and does happen with every and all animals who have fur. Even those with no fur, actually. Because it has to do with the skin, not the fur. The fur acts as a trap for the dander. But even a Sphinx cat – hairless cat – can cause allergies. It won’t trigger them for most people who have allergies. But those with severe allergies can get reactions even from a hairless cat. This is because the dander – dead skin cells – still exist, everywhere the skin is. A hairless animal won’t have as much since most of it falls off. But there will still be some. So the only way you can be truly sure you won’t get a reaction at all is to get an unconventional pet. That’s a fish or a reptile. Reptiles don’t shed parts of their skin, but it all comes off in one clean, simple molt. No debris and flying skin anywhere with a snake or a lizard. And a fish is… well, underwater, so you won’t be breathing anything in. Birds also have this amazing potential to cause allergies. Birds have a fine dusting on their feathers, to keep them waterproof and it happens to contain a bit of dandruff as well. If you’re a person with allergies, they might flare up if you get a budgie for example. Or any other bird. My girlfriend’s parents have a pair of cockatoos. Always had birds since I could remember. When those two birdies ruffle their feathers and preen themselves, a whole layer or dandruff settles on the surfaces around them. (If you like this article so far, you can pin it to your Pinterest board by clicking the image below. The article continues after the image.) Keeping your allergies down when you’ve got a hamster If you’ve got a hamster but you’re allergic to him, there are a few things you can do to make your reactions not as severe. The biggest problem is the dandruff, and where and how it settles. Aside from the hamster’s fur, it can get on the carpets, curtains, on your clothes, in your own hair, and so on. So let’s see what you can do. Do not handle the hamster. Most obvious one, and most painful one if you really love your hamster. Simply not handling him will get you as far away from his fur and dander as possible. Regularly groom him. Never bathe a hamster, since that can be deadly for hamsters. But a light grooming with a soft comb would help get the dander off. You’ll probably need a friend to do this for you, since this will release a whole lot of dander in the air. A surgical mask won’t help much there. Don’t let the hamster onto carpets or any textile surface. This means your bed, the floor, the curtains if he can get to them (hammies will climb your curtains if you don’t stop them), your clothes as well. Clean the hamster’s cage often. This means twice per week. Usually you should do this once a week, but if you’re very sensitive to the particles in his cage, cleaning it out might help with the symptoms. Carry a shot of epinephrine, or adrenaline with you. If you get into anaphylactic shock, a shot will help. This is only temporary, and you need to get to the hospital straight away. Use an air purifier. This will trap most of the harmful particles in the air, and relieve most of your symptoms. Visit a doctor to look for treatment options. Allergies come and go, and sometimes they even suddenly disappear. But you should still seek a professional for medical help. A word from Teddy I hope you found what you were looking for in this article. I know us hamsters are very fluffy and cute, but we sometimes do cause allergies. It’s nothing personal, it’s just us being hamsters. If you want to know more about us hamsters you should check out the related articles below. You’ll learn how to keep us safe and happy, and what we need for a good life. [...] Read more...
Do Hamsters Eat Or Need Hay ? Extra Treats For Your Hamster
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 ToggleSo 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 And Gerbils Live Together ? An Owner’s Guide
Can Hamsters And Gerbils Live Together ? An Owner’s GuideIf you’re wondering if you can keep a hamster and a gerbil together, you need to read this. They’re often mistaken for one another, but the differences between hamsters and gerbils are critical. We’ll see whether these two rodents can live together, and what decides that fact. For a more detailed comparison between gerbils and hamster, you should read this article here. Table of Contents ToggleSo can hamsters and gerbils live together ?About the hamster’s personalityAbout the gerbil’s personalityMajor differences between hamsters and gerbilsHousing a hamster vs housing a gerbilA word from Teddy So can hamsters and gerbils live together ? No, hamsters and gerbils can not and should not live together. This is because the hamster is territorial, and will attack (and kill) anything that tries to come close, even their own siblings. While gerbils can and do live together, hamsters do not. This makes hamsters unable to share their home with anything, especially not an animal that is not another hamster. There are some very important differences between the two, and we’ll discuss them here. About the hamster’s personality Hamsters are small animals, about the size of a gerbil (without the gerbil’s tail) and they’re very much prey for other, larger animals. This means that they are skittish, will try to hide as often as they can, and do not react well to strangers. Hamsters are more aggressive than gerbils, and they will attack anyone or anything that comes too close. There are some submissive hamsters that just cower in a corner or freeze in fear, but most will actually attack and fight to the death. This means that housing a hamster with anything is a bad idea. Most of the time even another hamster is a bad idea, even if they’re siblings. Hamsters sleep during the day, and wake up in the evening. They stay up all night, running in their wheel and playing in their cage. In the wild they’d be running from predators and looking for food at the same time, while fending off intruders on their territory. Busy little things. A hamster doesn’t react well to stress, and is actually quite jittery and restless when handled. He will not stay put, at all, and will want to wander off and explore everything. As such, a big cage with lots of space is going to help the hamster feel more at ease, and less stressed. About the gerbil’s personality Gerbils are social animals, and they actually live in colonies of up to 20 individuals in a colony. This means that you can house together several gerbils and they would be fine, but their cage needs to be very large. The more gerbils you own, the larger the cage. Since gerbils are social, this means they’re okay with sharing, but only with gerbils they know. Strangers, or even siblings that smell different are attacked on sight (well, rather smell) and it’s usually deadly. Gerbils, like hamsters, will protect their own. It’s just that their definition of ”their” also includes their immediate family. Most of the time gerbils are kept only in pairs, partly because a cage big enough for 10 gerbils isn’t easy to find or fit somewhere. Compared to hamsters, gerbils are more mellow, and are easier to tame. They can still be skittish, especially as babies, but not nearly as much as hamsters. Gerbils too are very active animals (all rodents are), and they’re always exploring, digging a tunnel, making a nest, playing with a friend, or running on their wheel. Their energy is similar to the hamster, and as such they needs lots of stimulation. Unlike hamsters, a lone gerbil will become depressed, and possibly ill from being so lonely. They need the stimulation and activity a colony (or at least another gerbil) provides, and they grow up happier if they have a friend. Major differences between hamsters and gerbils A hamster is fairly short, stocky, and has barely any noticeable tail. There are 5 types of hamster to choose from (Syrian, Chinese, Roborovski, Campbell, and Djungarian) and they look very different from a gerbil. The only hamster that resembles a gerbil is the Chinese, with its long slender body and longer tail. Not as long as the gerbil’s tail, but definitely longer than the other hamster tails (which are just stubs). Gerbils have longer bodies, and look like a bit of a cross between a mouse and a squirrel, minus the bushy tail. A hamster has a much shorter neck, and a wider body. It looks fluffier than a gerbil, and has more of a rounded face. Both gerbils and hamsters love to run, but their needs are different. A hamster needs a minimum of 7 inches/18 cm for a wheel, but a gerbil will need a much larger one, since its tail is sensitive. If the tail is injured or caught in something (and it can happen in a wheel) it can and will fall off. This is not easy on the gerbil, nor on you as an owner. (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.) Another big difference is the sleeping and activity patterns. While the hamster sleeps during the day, the gerbil will go about his business. He will take short naps throughout the day, but the main sleeping time is the night. This annoys the hamster greatly, since he is trying to sleep. An irritated hamster that hasn’t rested well enough will be very hard to handle, and will snap at the gerbil. Conversely, while the gerbil sleeps at night, the hamster will wake up and do his own hamster things. This will wake up the gerbil and he will not rest well, leading to other fights. Food is pretty much the only thing hamsters and gerbils agree upon. They even share food mixes/pellets, since they both eat mostly grains, with some veggies and fruit, peanuts, and a bit of protein when they can. Housing a hamster vs housing a gerbil Two gerbils can live in a lone Syrian’s cage – 24 x 12 inches, and about 12 inches tall. That’s 61 x 30.5 cm, and about 30.5 cm tall. But a single hamster can’t live in a single gerbil’s cage, unless it is a Dwarf hamster. All this means is that a gerbil and a hamster have different housing needs, and they will end up fighting over space anyway. This is because most cages aren’t large enough for a hamster and a gerbil together, but also because both animals mark their territory. They both use their scent glands to mark what;s their, be it it with their bellies, hips, or faces rubbed against various objects. This leads to fighting in the end, and there is no amount of toys and duplicate of cage objects that will keep that from happening. Both the hamster and the gerbil love to chew, so in that respect they would need the same toys and hideouts. They would both end up chewing on the cage bars or trying to escape, so housing them together is not good. A word from Teddy I hope you found what you were looking for in this article. I know us hammies get confused with gerbils often, but we’re really very different. And we can’t live together, at all. We’d fight all the time. 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...
Eye Infections In Hamsters (And Other Eye Problems)
Eye Infections In Hamsters (And Other Eye Problems)Eye problems can be common in hamsters, like in most animals. Since hamsters are so small, it’s important to know how to help your furry friend. Not only with an infection, but with any other eye problems as well. Read on to find out how to help your hamster when and if he develops eye problems. My Teddy (Syrian male) had a sticky eye a couple of times, but he survived just fine. Now let’s get into the various eye problems hammies can develop. Table of Contents ToggleTreating your hamster’s eye infectionHere’s how to make a batch of saline solution for your hamster:Hamster’s eye is closed shut (sticky eye)Your hammy’s eye is red (pinkeye)Odd white spots on your hamster’s eyesBulging eye/ one eye looks biggerHamster eyes are sensitive to light and temperatureKeeping your hamster’s eyes safe and healthyWhat if your hammy becomes blind, or loses an eye ?A word from Teddy Treating your hamster’s eye infection A hamster can develop an eye infection fairly easy. It can be from dirty bedding, which can be avoided by cleaning the hamster’s cage one per week. It can also happen because of a stray bacteria on the hamster’s food, for example on a piece of apple or broccoli. Or it could be from many other reasons. The point is that your hamster has an infection and needs your help. For the most part, an infection can be noticed if the eye is red, puffy, hot to the touch. If there is oozing and pus, you can be sure it’s infected. The best thing to do is to bring your hamster to the vet as soon as possible, so he can prescribe a round of antibiotics. The treatment can last up to 2 weeks in some cases, and your hammy might be required to stay at the vet for a couple of days. For future reference, the veterinarian you should look for is an exotics vet. This is the kind of vet that can help with your hamster, guinea pig, snake, and parakeet as well. If you’ve got a Dwarf hammy and you’re keeping him with other hammies, make sure to separate the sick hamster. The infection can be contagious, and hard to deal with if all hamsters have it. Until you reach your veterinarian, you can try using a saline solution to clean your hamster’s eyes. Saline solution is basically just distilled, salted water. It’s got almost the same structure as tears, and can be used to clean wounds. Here’s how to make a batch of saline solution for your hamster: 250 ml/8.45 fl oz distilled water 2.5 g/0.008 oz table salt 2.5 g/0.008 oz baking soda very clean pot, washed with very hot water and soap beforehand sterile glass jar or cup to keep the saline solution in a set of clean cotton pads or cotton buds You can use distilled water, or tap water. If you use tap water, be sure to boil it very, very well and them let it cool to room temperature. After that it can be considered sterile, and go on with the steps I’m describing. Heat the water (either distilled, or sterilized tap water), and dissolve the salt and baking soda Let cool to room temperature Store in the clean glass jar or cup Get a clean cotton pad or cotton bud, and dip it in the liquid. It needs to be wet, but not soaked so you get the hamster wet. A wet hamster is a very easy to get sick and doesn’t dry quickly. Clean and wipe the hamster’s eye until you can not see the pus. You’re going to have to scruff the hamster’s neck to keep him still. Use a clean pad or bud for each wipe ! You must keep the saline solution clean. The solution is good for 24 hours, tops. If anything gets into it, or it looks odd or cloudy or dirty, throw it out and make a new one. In the meantime, make sure you’ve got your vet on call if you need any extra info or guidance. Do not use antibiotics you’ve got around the house ! Hamsters are different than humans, and not only require different doses but they also process medicine differently than us. Hamster’s eye is closed shut (sticky eye) A case of sticky eye can happen to anyone. This doesn’t necessarily mean your hamster’s got an infection. It could be that, but it’s likely something else. The crusty part you see on your hamster’s eye is what develops on your eye as well when you sleep. Most of the time your eyes (and the hamster’s) don’t get stuck shut, But, sometimes it happens, and it can be painful. Not only that, but it can get very frustrating for the hamster. He might try to paw at his eye and cause further damage. In this case the solution is a lot like with the infection. Make a batch of saline solution, and keep it at room temp. Use clean cotton buds or pads to wipe at the hammy’s eye. The difference is that the crust will have to soften. You will have to hold the pad soaked in saline solution for a few seconds on the hamster’s eye until it gives. Again, scruffing the hamster will help keep him still while you wipe his eye. My Teddy had this a couple of times, and I didn’t know about the saline solution at first. I used one of those sterilized baby wipes you can get at the pharmacy. Not baby wipes from the supermarket ! Sterilized baby wipes will work too, just that you’ll have to keep switching the corner with which you’re wiping. And they dry out fairly quickly, so they’re not the best bet, but will do in a pinch. Your hammy’s eye is red (pinkeye) Conjunctivitis can be a problem in hamsters, as well as humans. It can be less dangerous than the infection we talked about earlier. It can come about as an irritation because of dust in the bedding, a scratch, a small injury, an overgrown tooth. Anything, really, since conjunctivitis is just the inflammation of the tissue surrounding the eye. You can tell your hammy’s got pink eye by the redness and swelling around the hamster’s eye – his eyelids, to be exact. In extreme cases the entire half of the face could be swollen. Pink eye does not usually have any discharge, but don’t be surprised if you find some. Most of the time the discharge is clear in conjunctivitis. This is a case to be treated by your veterinarian, and he’ll be able to give your hamster a good treatment. The saline solution works here too, you just have to keep cleaning the hamster’s eye. Whatever was bothering the hammy’s eye will be flushed out this way, but it might not be enough, which is why a vet will be necessary. This is another case where you should separate the sick hamster from the other hamsters. (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.) Odd white spots on your hamster’s eyes Hamsters can get cataracts, which can cause problems when you’re hamster’s trying to see. The upside, if you will, is that hamsters barely use their eyes anyway. They use their sense of smell, and their sharp hearing to navigate and live a happy life. However a cataract, as far as I know, is not treatable. My Teddy never had one, so in this particular case it’s best to check with your veterinarian. Get your hammy in his transport cage, and get him to a check-up so the vet can see if there’s other symptoms that might point to another problem. You can tell your hamster’s got a possible cataract by the white spot developing on his eye. It could be both eyes, it could be just one, and it could be a larger spot, or just cloudy, blurred eyes. In most cases, cataracts forms as the hamster ages. Bulging eye/ one eye looks bigger There are cases when one eye might look bigger, like it’s about to pop from the hamster’s head. I looks bad, and there’s an explanation for it. The eyeballs have tissue surrounding them, and especially behind them. This can become inflamed, and push out the eye a bit. It can be painful for the hamster, but is treatable. Your veterinarian will be able to give the hamster a treatment for this problem, but until then there is not much you can do for your friend. The vet will need to be able to look behind the hamster’s eye to figure out what the problem is. In some cases it could be a tumor growing behind the eye, since hamsters can develop tumors as well. Not all bulging eye cases mean a tumor, do no worry. It could just be a severe case of conjunctivitis. You can track the progress of the eye with photos every few hours, to show to your vet once you get to him. Hamster eyes are sensitive to light and temperature When it comes to your hamster’s eyes, you should keep them away from harsh sunlight. Even daylight filtered through the curtains, if placed directly on the hamster’s eyes, can become painful. Hamster eyes are not meant to be able to see in bright conditions, since they must survive in a dawn/dusk habitat. So make sure you don’t turn on bright lights in your hamster’s room. And he does not need a nightlight, since he’s got his cage memorized and know where everything is. Even by smell and touch, he can still know where everything is. Another benefit of keeping your hamster away from any bright sunlight is that cataracts and blindness will come much later. You can delay them by keeping your hamster’s eyes away from UV light. That being said, make sure you do not keep your hamster in too cold a temperature. Even the Dwarf hammies that come from the cold parts of Russia, Siberia, Mongolia, and so on, will still need a certain temperature. For hammies a good temperature is a range between 20-23 C/ 68-78 F, all year round. Make sure you keep your hamster in a room that keep this temperature, otherwise he can develop either sticky eye, or a form of conjunctivitis from a cold. In some extreme cases, the hamster can get a case of hypothermia, and needs your immediate attention to survive. Please keep your hamster warm, but not too warm. Keeping your hamster’s eyes safe and healthy Aside from the light and temperature warnings, there are a few general precautions you should take. Your hamster’s eyes, while kind of useless for his navigation and daily life, are still capable of injury and infection. Hammies are very sensitive animals. They don’t get sick often, but when they do, it’s terrible. Here’s how to keep your hammy’s eyes safe, healthy and clean. Keep the bedding clean, and change it once per week. You can find out more about the safe kinds of bedding you can get for your hamster here. And also how and when to clean his cage. Hamsters are very sensitive to dust, so bedding or toys that are dusty should be cleaned. Even if you let your hamster just roam the house in his exercise ball, make sure the floor is clean. Any debris or dust can get stuck inside the exercise ball, and get in your hammy’s ears, nose, or eyes. Keep any toys or objects inside the hamster’s cage smooth. Especially if you’ve got wood objects in the hamster’s cage, they can get some rough edges that weren’t sanded down properly. Make sure you sand them down if need be. What if your hammy becomes blind, or loses an eye ? Hamsters can lose their sight with old age. The cataracts settle in, and they become completely blind. Or, maybe your hamster was born without eyes, or maybe he lost an eye in a terrible happening. Whatever the case, your hamster can’t see anymore. You’re probably worrying if he’ll be alright, if he’ll manage to navigate his cage and lead a happy life. Rest assured, hamsters can live their entire life without their eyesight. In a way, they already do – hamsters barely use their eyes, they use their noses and ears much more. But if a hamster that used to see suddenly can’t see, there will be some changes: Always keep his cage the same way, since the hammy will memorize the layout of the cage. Any changes will make him stressed. Whenever you clean his cage add back in a bit of his old bedding, and his nesting too so he knows it’s his. Remove objects that need him to see. Like see-saws, or bridges, or climbing toys. Talk to your hamster much more often, before you get near him so he knows you’re coming Let him smell your hand before picking him up, and get in it himself. Otherwise he might panic at being suddenly picked up, even if he was okay before. Know that your hamster friend might be a bit grumpy, now that he can’t see anymore. He might bit a bit, but no major changes should happen in his personality. That being said, a blind hamster will not be very handicapped. He was already nearly blind from birth, so being completely blind doesn’t take away much from him. A word from Teddy I hope you found what you were looking for here, and know how to help your hammy friend if he ever gets an eye problem. I know us hammies can look like cute, cuddly creatures, but we do have our troubles. We count on you to help us out. If you want to know more about us hamsters, you can check out the articles below for more info on how to properly care for us and keep us happy. [...] Read more...
Do Hamsters Get Periods And Bleed ? A Word On Hamster Mating
Do Hamsters Get Periods And Bleed ? A Word On Hamster MatingIf you own a female hamster, you will need to know about her menstrual cycle, and if she bleeds during her period. Or if she even gets a period at all. Not all creatures are the same. Let’s see how the female hamster’s reproductive cycle works, and how it affects the mating process. Table of Contents ToggleSo do hamsters get periods ?How you can tell your hamster is in heatWhen/what age to let the female hamster mateSigns your female hamster is pregnantPregnancy and birth of the hamster litterDo hamsters bleed during their period ?Genital problems in female hamstersA word from Teddy So do hamsters get periods ? No, not the same way other female mammals do. The female hamster does produce eggs that need to be fertilized by the male, but there is no bloody discharge if the eggs haven’t been fertilized. There can be one single drop of blood, occasionally, but that’s it. Instead there will be a whitish substance that the female will release at the end of her ‘period’. This repeats every 4 days, and the window in which the female is available for breeding is only 12 hours long, at night.  On that night, she gives off a strong smell, to attract the male hamster. This is the hamster version of being ‘in heat’. This starts once the hamster becomes sexually mature (around 8 weeks) and lasts until she either dies, or becomes too old. How you can tell your hamster is in heat Aside from the strong smell the female gives off, there are other signs. For example on the day when the female is available (day 2 of her cycle), she will secrete a whitish substance that also contributes to the general smell around her. By the end of her cycle (day 3 and 4) the substance secreted from the genital opening becomes drier, more waxy. You will notice the hamster is more agitated, and if you stroke her back she will flatten her body and splay her legs. This means she’s ready to receive the male, and if you’re looking to breed hamsters, this is the right time. Then everything starts again, with the thinner secretions on the first day. Female hamsters have regular whitish secretions, much like human females. This is partly a cleaning mechanism, and a part of the mucus that is meant to receive the male’s sperm. This will continue until the hamster becomes pregnant, and them resume after she gives birth. And this will continue until she falls pregnant again, or become too old (a sort of menopause). When/what age to let the female hamster mate There are best and worst moments to let the female hamster breed. This is because pregnancies when the hamster is too young is taxing since she is still growing and it’s not an easy pregnancy. Pregnancies in hamsters older than 15 weeks is not recommended, since it often has many complications. Anything between 10 to 15 weeks is fine. As for how early you can start breeding the hamsters, the male is said to be in peak between week 10 and 14, while the female can start as soon as she 10 weeks. When you do introduce the female to the male to let them mate, you should take a few precautions. Even though the female is willing to mate, she will not always accept the male. This can vary from hamster to hamster, but the mating ritual is a bit violent. There will be tussling and a bit of fighting. She will test the male to see if he’s worth her eggs, and most of the time he is. There are times when the male is either weak, or the female is too violent. This means that male needs to be removed and a different male introduced, possibly one who can stand against her. This needs to be done in the evening, when the female wakes up, and her secretion is whitish and fairly thin. She should be on her second day, right in the middle of the cycle. It only lasts for 12 hours, and the male only has that one night to impregnate her. Signs your female hamster is pregnant If the breeding is successful, you will notice something that’s called a copulatory plug. This is kind of an actual plug, made of the male sperm, and the female excretions. It’s hardened and white, and will remain there for the first 5 days of the pregnancy. This is the most obvious and definitive sign that the male has successfully impregnated the female. Another sign, in case you missed the plug, is the fact that the hamster will still secrete a whitish substance but this will be consistent, creamy, and whitish. There will be no thin secretion, only the thick one for the following 5 days. After that night, the pair needs to be separated. The female will be aggressive towards the male, and it’s best to keep a gestating female hamster undisturbed, on her own. The gestation period varies from hamster breed to breed, but generally is between 16 to 22 days. Dwarf hamsters have the longest pregnancy (20-22) while the Syrian hamsters have the shortest pregnancy. You’ll notice the female is pregnant about 10 days after the mating, her belly will swell and she will be more and more irritable. At this time it’s best to give her more and more food, especially protein like cooked plain chicken or egg white. Also, more nesting material is required, since she will start building this big, warm, sprawling nest for her and the babies. So make sure you’ve for tissues, toilet paper and paper towels at hand, and give her more than you think she needs. She will use all of it. (If you like this article so far, you can pin it to your Pinterest board by clicking the image below. The article continues after the image.) Pregnancy and birth of the hamster litter The female needs to be kept alone, away from her cage mates, so nothing can disturb her. This is because any stress or annoyance can spook her, and she has a high chance of eating her young once they’re born. This is especially true if it’s her first litter, and has no previous experience with young hamsters. Once her due date approaches she will become restless, she will eat more, and she will stop using her wheel. She might be sleeping or just resting more. You might see a drop of blood or two just before the birth. On the day of birth, you need to make sure she has a good stock of food and water on hand. She will stand up, and deliver one baby hamster. She will clean him, sever the umbilical cord, tidy around the nest or take a short nap, and a few minutes later deliver the second baby, and so on until all babies have been born and cleaned. Once she is done, she will be very tired, and irritable. Be sure to leave her alone completely, and only bring food and give it through the cage bars. Do not try to peek at the babies or poke at her. So not clean her cage, neither spot-clean nor completely clean. This will be the norm for about 2 weeks after she has given birth. The babies are born hairless and blind, and will suckle from her until they reach 4 weeks of age. That is when she will wean them, and you will need to separate them into same-sex groups to avoid surprise litters. Do hamsters bleed during their period ? No, not usually. There might  be a drop of blood every now and again for some hamsters. But a hamster period does not include a heavy, bloody flow like in human females. This means that if your hamster is a female, and she bleeds during each of her periods, you should have her checked out. Even if it’s just a drop of blood, if it’s consistent and always happens (every 4 days) you need to be sure everything is okay. Genital problems in female hamsters A heavy flow of blood during the hamster’s period can indicate a serious health issue. It could be the a urinary tract infection that went very far. Or it could be an internal injury, especially if the bleeding is fairly constant (over a few hours). Another problem is pyometra. It’s an infection in the uterus, which will produce a yellowish discharge from the hamster’s genital opening. It will be noticeable, and especially smelly since for the most part it will be pus. The hamster’s belly will also be swollen if she has pyometra. This is more common in older hamsters, rather than young ones, so take that into account. It’s treatable, and you’ll need a good vet for that. A word from Teddy I hope you found what you were looking for in this article. I know us hammies can be confusing at times, but we’re quite a bit different from you. 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...