Hamsters are ideal for those who want a pet but don’t have the space to accommodate a larger animal. But as with any pet, there are a number of things to know to ensure proper care.
If you’re considering owning a hamster or have impulsively bought one (or two), read on to learn important facts about these fluffy creatures!
Males and females should be separated
If you brought home a pair of hamsters from the shop, you might be tempted to place them in a single cage. However, if the two are opposite in sex, it’s best to keep hamsters in separate cages to avoid fighting or breeding.
Like bunnies, hamsters reproduce at an astounding rate. If you choose not to separate male and female hamsters, you might end up with more litters than you can handle! Additionally, baby hamsters are in danger of being attacked by the father, as hamsters don’t get attached to their children the same way us humans do.
Hamsters are actually solitary animals, so they’ll have no problem with having a cage all to themselves.
They need to workout – a LOT
Undomesticated, hamsters run for miles and miles each night. So, it’s vital to their health that they get plenty of exercise both in and out of their cage, through:
- Wheels: Install a wheel inside your hamster’s cage, to help them get their daily miles in, even without your supervision.
- Hamster ball: Place them in a hamster ball when taking them out of the cage, so that they can freely and safely explore their surroundings.
- Bigger cage spaces: Opt for a cage with multiple levels and adequate space for them to run around.
They thrive in the quiet
Given that hamsters mostly rely on their sense of smell and hearing, it’s no surprise that these tiny creatures hate loud noises! Before you consider getting a hamster, be sure that your home has a quiet area that you can place their cage in.
Avoid vacuuming, or watching TV and playing music at a loud volume near the room, especially during the day as hamsters are nocturnal.
They are timid creatures
Unlike dogs, hamsters are less enthusiastic about interacting with their owners! In fact, it might even take weeks before you can pick them up.
Here are a few tips to help your hamster warm up to you:
- Give them alone time: For the first week, it’s best to leave them alone, except during feeding. This will let them comfortably explore their new environment and build a nest in their cage.
- Never grab them
- Display patience: It will take time to tame your hamster. But be sure to approach slowly and carefully, as rushing to play with them straight away can lead to distress.
They are omnivores
Contrary to popular belief, hamsters are not herbivores. Hamsters also enjoy unseasoned cooked chicken as an occasional treat, as well as bugs and worms!
Even though hamsters are one of the more low maintenance pets that you can have, it’s important to still practice responsible pet ownership. With proper love and care, these adorable animals can be the perfect companion!