The responsibilities of hamster care
Housing, nutrition, grooming, and veterinary care are all responsibilities.
- Hamsters were discovered in Syria, but they are found all over the world. They got their current name from the German word “hamstern,” which means “hoard,” because that’s exactly what they do with leftover food. Their appearance and activities can make anyone smile.
- Siberian, Roborovsky’s, Djungarian, Chinese, and Syrian hamsters are popular pet hamsters. Hamsters come in a variety of colors, including the Syrian, which is one of several hamsters known as “golden” due to the color of their fur, and can be all one color or multi-colored.
- Hamsters are nocturnal creatures that live for two or three years. They are very rambunctious and can easily escape from a cage that is not securely closed. Their eyesight isn’t great, so they occasionally fall off tables when they’re running around. When hamsters are not used to being handled or are mistreated, they will bite.
- An adult should supervise children who care for hamsters. These animals are not toys and should be handled with care.
- Hamsters should be kept in a wire cage or a wire-mesh-topped 10-gallon aquarium. The enclosure should be kept out of direct sunlight and drafts, and lined with absorbent bedding or another type of litter. Timothy hay is an excellent choice. Make sure to change the litter on a regular basis to keep it dry and odor-free.
- Hamsters enjoy playing, so provide them with an exercise wheel and/or allow them to run around outside of their cage for a supervised period of time each day. Keep them in one room, carefully inspecting for any gaps through which the hamsters could escape, become lost, or suffer harm. Hamsters enjoy hiding and sleeping in enclosed spaces, so place a small box inside their cage. They enjoy crawling through tubes, which can be made at home or purchased at pet supply stores.
- Many pet stores sell hamster food, but hamsters can also be fed fresh grains, sunflower seeds, nuts, alfalfa pellets, spinach, lettuce, and apples. Make a point of cleaning up any leftover fresh food before it spoils. It is best to provide water in an inverted bottle with a drinking tube, which should be changed daily.
- Hamsters enjoy transporting food in pouches in their mouths and storing it in the corners of their cage. Always check the corners of the cage for stale food when cleaning it.
- The teeth of hamsters, like those of all other rodents, grow indefinitely. As a result, it is critical that they be given a piece of wood to gnaw on in order to wear their teeth down. It is preferable to supply an unpainted twig that has not been treated with pesticides or other chemicals.
- Djungarians and Siberians prefer to live in pairs, as do Chinese hamsters. Fighting is likely to erupt if two or more Syrians are kept together. Because hamsters reproduce quickly, keeping males and females together is not recommended.
- Hamsters are generally healthy, but they can catch colds from humans. A sick hamster should be seen by a veterinarian.
- “ASPCA Pet Care Guides for Kids – Hamster”; Mark Evans; Dorling Kindersley; London, England; 1993.
- In case of accidental poisoning, call the ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center (NAPCC) 24 Hour Emergency Hotline Numbers: 1-888-4ANI-HELP (1-888-426-4435) ($30 per case; Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express when you call.) 1-900-680-0000 ($30 flat rate will be charged to phone bill.)
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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