Suitable environment for hamsters
The first step to maintaining your pet’s health and happiness is making sure that you’ve created a suitable environment for your hamsters to live. We’ll look at the steps you should take on this article to make sure your hamster’s living space satisfies their demands.
Creating the right home for your hamster
- A comfortable, dry, clean place to live: in a quiet place where they can rest undisturbed.
- No draughts or damp: make sure they aren’t exposed to draughty or damp conditions. In the wild, hamsters live in warm, dry climates.
- Predictable light: hamsters need to be kept in a room where the lights go off at more or less the same time each night. Try to avoid erratic hours of lighting. Hamsters are also sensitive to bright sunlight.
- No ultrasound: hamsters should be housed away from household objects that can generate ultrasound, such as a television, computer screens, vacuum cleaners or sources of running water. They can get tangled in them, which can cause your hamster harm, and they’re not suitable for eating.
- Appropriate bedding and nesting material: don’t give hamsters nesting materials that separate into thin strands, such as cotton wool or similar ‘fluffy’ bedding products. Hamsters are very sensitive to high-frequency sounds that we can’t hear, and they can find this stressful.
- A suitable home cage: wild hamsters live in deep burrows and naturally build nests. They quickly dig burrows and can escape easily from poorly constructed cages. Pet hamsters prefer to occupy a cage with a solid floor covered by a suitable litter material.
- Places to hide: make as many shelters for hamsters as you can.
- Clean and dry cage: clean their cage regularly, and make sure they have dry bedding and nesting material.
Hamster cages should be 6 inches high and at least 19 x 19 inches square. The best cages have a sturdy base; do not use one with a wire mesh floor as it may hurt the hamster’s feet. The three main types of cages are glass, plastic, and wire mesh.
- Wire cages have the advantage of allowing the hamster to use the wire itself as a way to have climbing exercise. The horizontal bars should be 1/2 to 3/4 inch apart. Ideal wire cages have a detachable base for easy cleaning.
- Glass cages (aquarium tanks) have the advantage of being easily cleaned, but have poor ventilation and do not in themselves provide a way to exercise.
- Plastic cages are commercially available with multiple built in tunnels and toys, but are generally the hardest of the cages to clean. In addition, ventilation is less than optimum.
Bedding needs to be deep because hamsters like to burrow. Pellets made from recycled paper and wood shavings provide excellent bedding options (NOT cedar). Weekly changes should be made to the bedding. Most hamsters use one corner of their cage as a bathroom, so you might need to clean this area more frequently.
Hamsters can become less active when the temperature drops below 60°F since they are permissive hibernators. Hamsters will curl up as the temperature drops even lower, halt their breathing, fall asleep completely, and move only occasionally to twitch their whiskers. Sometimes, people mistake this hibernation for passing away.
When a hamster is brought out of hibernation, owners need to exercise caution. You shouldn’t try to wake up a hamster by handling it or drastically raising the temperature because hibernation entails physiological changes. The temperature should instead be increased by 5 degrees every six to eight hours until it reaches 68 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit again. Keep the pets in a cool area of the house throughout the summer months because hamsters can become upset by high temperatures as well.
Hamsters like having a nesting place where they may rest quietly during the day. Provide nesting materials, such as soft paper towels, commercial cotton bedding, face tissue, and other soft items. The hamster may become stressed if the nesting material is cleaned more frequently than every 4-6 weeks. It should be frequently examined for food hoarding and removed because hamsters may bury food in the nesting material.
Toys and exercise
Hamsters enjoy chewing and burrowing, so knowing this will help you choose the right toys and fitness equipment. It works great with a 4 × 4 that hasn’t been touched. Tunnels can also be created by drilling huge holes through the wood. Additionally, they enjoy chewing on and playing with the cardboard tubes from paper towels and toilet paper. Although they won’t survive as long as the tubes and will need to be replaced frequently, larger cardboard boxes can also make wonderful toys. Additionally, pet supply shops sell unique chew toys.
Almost all hamsters will use a hamster wheel, which ought to have a minimum diameter of 50 inches. Since they use the wheel at night, many hamster owners have been kept up for hours by a squeaking wheel. On the axle, some mineral oil will be beneficial. PVC pipe and tunnels that are available commercially can also be a good source of exercise.
If you want more helpful advice on looking after your hamster, including tips on food, toys, accessories and accommodation, add a comment below to let us know!
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