Updated by Sheryl on Dec 3, 2021
Hamsters are lovely animals to own, and if you had one as a child, you'd recall them being simple to care for. That's because your hamster was probably looked after by your parents. But, as you might expect, caring for a hamster isn't as simple as it may appear to be when you were a youngster. However, once you get into a routine, you may discover that it isn't all that difficult. Continue reading to find out how to care for your little friend.
Hamsters are very cute and lovely to behold. Even your kids can't resist their beauty—everyone wants to own one. But hamsters can be very difficult to care for, especially kids and beginners generally.
Therefore, you should rescind your decision to get your kids a hamster. Instead, let them become of age, to the point of taking care of themselves first before adding to their tasks. Hamsters require a great deal of care that your kids cannot offer.
However, if your children are old enough to gently handle a hamster and take on the responsibilities that follow, like cleaning their cage, a hamster may be an entertaining, fantastic, and an educational pet for them. Therefore, when you go to the pet store, make sure to get the following items:
Whether you get one or two hamsters is a personal choice, as is the sort of hamster you choose. Syrian hamsters should never be kept in pairs because, once they reach adulthood, they will fight over territory brutally. Dwarf hamsters, whether Russian or Chinese, are also popular hamsters. While territorial, they only perform well in pairs if they are littermates or a mother and a kid.
Get a cage that's at least 15 inches long and 12 inches tall, but go bigger if you can to allow your hamster more space to run about and explore. Make sure the cage is also impenetrable.
In general, bedding that isn't comprised of wood shavings is the best and healthiest option. Avoid cat litter, corn cobs, newspaper, and any scented bedding in favor of cellulose or plant-based paper fibers (which contains chemicals that can cause respiratory trouble).
An exercise wheel is necessary to keep your hamster entertained. You can also get a ball for your hamster to run about with while you supervise.
You may buy hamster mix bags, which usually contain a combination of fruits, vegetables, seeds, and grains. However, expert also recommends giving your hamster tiny bits of fresh vegetables and fruit. You should also provide your hamster with fresh water at all times.
Unlike other tiny creatures, hamsters and gerbils must be taken up with both hands and held in cupped palms. The same applies to putting them down, but be extra cautious so they don't escape or fall through your fingers by accident. Also, because hamsters are naturally nocturnal, please pay attention to the time of day you're working with them. You don't want someone taking you from your pleasant dreams, do you?
Baby hamsters are blind, deaf, hairless, and pink when they are born! They are so sensitive that a limb can be easily lost.
Litter sizes range from one to twenty, and they are usually dispersed around the cage. Then, when the mother has had a chance to relax, she will gather them all, transport them to the nest, and begin nursing them.
By day four, they'll have developed a black coat of fur, and their ear canals will have begun to open. The fifth day marks the beginning of their markings. Finally, they'll start crawling around the cage.
Take a break from cleaning. Resist the impulse to take them up once more. The mother will come to get them, or they will crawl back into the nest on their own. This is an excellent opportunity to reduce the water level to make the water more accessible.
On day ten, they begin munching on solid meals. You can give them cooked or grated veggies at this stage.
Cover the cage with a sheet. Their eyes will begin to open around the second week. By this time, you should have cleaned the cage and replaced the bedding with fresh toilet paper.
Separate them. The babies are ready to leave their mother when they are 21-28 days old. To minimize fighting and reproduction, the sexes should be separated and housed in separate cages.
When handling newborn hamsters, be very cautious because they are very delicate.
Always offer your hamster's food in a bowl or dish of some sort, whether it's block or kibble. Otherwise, hamsters may consume their bedding, causing major health problems.
Hamsters aren't fond of leftovers. So keep your pet's feeding dish about three-quarters full and change her food out on a daily basis for optimal nourishment.
Hamsters require exercise on a daily basis. Consider purchasing her a hamster ball to run in if her cage doesn't have a wheel for her to run on.
If a hamster doesn't have something to chew on, she may opt to gnaw on her cage or habitat. Hamsters have their own chewing toys and blocks.
It depends on who wants to hold them. It takes time to get to know someone and feel comfortable with them, just as it does with any new acquaintance. Wait a few moments before handling or picking up your hamster. After a few days of feeding and watering them, they'll begin to trust you!
Something with a strong odor will draw the hamster out of its hiding place. Fresh green veggies like boiled/scrambled eggs or broccoli as well as apple slices are also popular choices.
Grains: Hamsters eat this as their major source of nutrition. Approximately a tablespoonful should be provided each day. Grains are a good source of protein and carbs, and they may be found in hamster combinations. However, fatty nuts should not be overfed since they increase obesity.
Water that is clean, fresh, filtered, and chlorine-free, and refreshed on a regular basis.
Vegetables: The greatest greens are those that have been cultivated naturally. Dark green vegetables such as Romaine lettuce, dandelion greens, carrot tops, broccoli spears, spinach, artichokes, and any other dark green vegetable are excellent selections. Remember to carefully wash the veggies to eliminate any pesticide residue.
Fruits: Apples, pears, strawberries, and bananas are all favorites among hamsters. They should be used sparingly as a complement to a healthy diet. Remove any veggies or fruits that haven't been consumed in the last 24 hours.
Timothy hay: Hay is an excellent chewing meal that can help your hamster's teeth stay in good shape.
Most hamsters die a natural death. Other ways hamsters die include wet tail, stress, heart disease, cancer, pneumonia, and infections.
Due to their tiny size, relatively easy maintenance, and widespread availability, hamsters are among the most popular small pets in many countries, as well as a popular "starting" pet for younger children.
Hamsters, for the most part, do not require a wide variety of diets. But to fulfill their nutritional demands, they require a high-quality commercial pellet as a major diet.
Even hamsters' short lifetime might be enticing to parents who want to purchase a pet for their child but don't want to be left with it when the youngster grows up.