Having an animal as a pet is always a great help towards stressless and healthy environment. Having a sweet companion to share love and energy is always an appreciable decision. But bringing an animal to your home automatically brings responsibilities related to that living being. No doubt, tiny cute hamsters will look beautiful in your human hands but before deciding to share your home with, you should know and understand everything about hamsters as pets.
Some Facts About Hamsters
No matter, you are an old pet owner of hamsters, recently got one or going to get a hamster soon. Few of listed below facts about hamsters as pets will be really surprising to you.
Did you know?
- There are about 24-25 types of hamsters while only 5 of them are commonly found on pet stores as hamsters for sale.
- Not all the hamsters can be kept as pets
- The most recommended hamster’s types as pets are Siberian hamsters / Russian Dwarf Winter White Hamsters, Campbell’s dwarf hamsters, Syrian hamsters, Chinese hamsters and Roborovski hamsters.
- All the hamsters are color-blind.
- They are nearsighted.
- This tiny creature use sense of smell and whiskers to navigate.Can learn all the tricks and plays.
- If well-trained, they can respond to their names whenever called.
- Average lifespan of an hamster is 1-4 years.
- 25 hamster years are equivalent to about one human year.
- Male hamsters live longer than female hamsters.
- They are clever enough to remember their relatives.
Top 5 Most Common Types of Hamsters As Pets
There are various types of hamsters and not all the types of hamsters are human-friendly so you should know the famous types of hamsters which are good to be pet. As mistakenly bringing a wild hamster would require more energy and efforts and still the hamster wouldn’t be happy as wild hamsters in the wild are happy.
Knowledge about types of hamsters will also help you to select perfect pet as per your desire, personality and home. Such as not all the hamsters can live in group as not all the types of hamsters prefer to live alone. There are variety of sizes such as small, medium and large size.
Taking care of small size hamsters is way harder than large size hamsters, so this is another point to be considered while choosing a hamster that if you have enough time to take care of your new companion?
There are some people who like light color hamsters while other like dark colors. Hamsters came in variety of colors so you should know that which type of hamster will have your desired color too.
1- Siberian hamsters / Russian Dwarf Winter White Hamsters
Siberian hamsters as pets are also famous as Winter White Hamsters. Normally, they have a grey-brown tone with a dark stripe but in the winter season, they are fully white coated that’s why they are famous as winter white hamsters.
Siberian Hamsters’ Maximum Size: 4 inches
Winter White hamster Life span is: 1-2 years
2- Campbell’s the Dwarf Hamsters
These tiny rodents can live in a group as well as alone. These type of hamsters are usually grey with white belly. Keeping these hamsters is way harder than any other breed due to its small size.
Campbell’s the Dwarf hamsters’ Maximum Size: 3-5 inches
Campbell’s the Dwarf hamsters’ Life span is: 1½ -2 years
3- Syrian Hamsters
This type is considered one of the large hamsters. This type of hamsters come in a wide variety of hair types and colors but the most common color is golden-brown with a white belly. This breed is a very human-friendly and can be very lovable pet, but they don’t appreciate living in a group, preferably they are happy alone. If you plan to pet hamsters and choose this breed, bring only one instead of the group of hamsters. Among pet hamsters, this is the most common type.
Teddy bear hamster: The long-haired from this type of hamsters is known as teddy bear hamster.
Syrian hamsters’ Maximum Size: 6-7 inches
Lifespan of Syrian hamsters: 2 -2½ years
4- Chinese, Rat-tailed, Striped or Grey Hamsters
This type of hamsters is famous with various names such as Chinese, rat-tailed, striped or grey hamsters. Having a longer tail, dark grey hamsters with a dark stripe. This type of rodents prefer to live alone than in a group. Recommended for keeping as a pet due to its gentle nature.
Size: 4-5 inches
This type of hamsters’ Lifespan: 2½ – 3 years
5- Roborovski Hamsters
Roborovski hamsters considered one of the small hamsters types. You can easily recognize it by its curious and quick nature. Moreover they usually come in brown color. They are fine to live in a couple as well as in family or group. These hamsters require a little bit extra care due to their swiftness and tiny size. They are famous for being fun companions.
Roborovski hamsters’ Maximum Size: 4 inches
Lifespan of Roborovski hamsters: 3 -3½ years
Best 3 Tips for Buying an Hamster for Your Home
After having good knowledge about most common types of hamsters, you will be able to decide which hamster type will suit you the best. There are few important things to be considered while you actually visit a pet store to buy a hamster.
1- Schedule your trip to late hours of the day
To check the real personality of your new hamster, best timing is late hours of the day. Hamsters are more active and live best their life in night hours than day hours. In early hours judging hamsters’ personality isn’t easy as they can be sleepy or lazy. Scheduling your trip to late hours will help you to get one you desire.
2- Choose a healthy and human-friendly hamster
Ask pet seller to let you take a close up with your new hamster before buying it. Notice, how baby hamsters react to the pet seller. It will help you to avoid buying an aggressive or nervous one. Also never buy bald spots or lumps and also check for Hamster’s wet tail. As these can be symbols of illness. Buying hamster with clean bottom and ears is recommended. Have a look at the environment where all the hamsters have been kept. Avoid to buy a hamster from a damp, cramped or dirty place as such bad environment can affect baby hamster’s health too.
3- If hamster’s age & sex matters
Hamsters can be considered as an adult from week 8. Female hamsters can get pregnant if over 8 weeks. Choosing a 4-6 weeks hamster will be a great idea if you want to be careful about pregnancy. Moreover, Younger the better as you can train your pet as you desire while teaching anything to adult pets is way harder. It is recommended to ask questions from the pet seller, especially about the age and sex.
Things you would need before bringing a hamster:
- Hamster cage
- Hamster house
- Hamster food & diet
- Hamster bedding
- Hamster toilet
- Food bowls
- Water bottle
- Bathing sand
- Hamster toys
- Hamster ball
- Hamster wheel
- Hamster carrier
We have prepared the list of necessary items which you should buy first before bringing your new tiny companion to home. The items listed in above are equally important as each one of these is as important as fulfilling any hamster’s basic needs.
You can buy some as a bonus with some other items such as if you buy a cage, few items will already present in the cage so you wouldn’t need to buy those items separately. But sometimes cage sellers use poor quality items to decorate the cage to save extra profits and buyer thinks he/she is saving by buying one cheaper cage with bulk items. In this article, we will help you to pay special attention to quality of these starter products.
#1- The right hamster cage
Choosing a right cage is very important as this will be your companion’s primary living place. There is a wide variety of hamsters cages available with different features. Some might be better than others because of their attractive designs, colorful items placed in cages or the attractive prices. While other cages can be made of poor quality materials which can be harmful to your pet.
Following important points should be considered while buying a hamster cage:
There shouldn’t be any gaps in/between bars of the cage as the hamster can get stuck.
A large cage with a deep plastic base of about 1-2 inches is recommended so hamsters can burrow and roam.
Avoid to get one with bits of metal or having sharp edges which can be harmful to your hamster.
The multi-level cage should be preferable to provide more room to play and explore.
Wire sliding helps hamsters to burn off their energy as well as to satisfy their curiosity.
#2- Hamster House
Cage is a wide some limited area for a hamster but that couldn’t be considered as a house. Any hamster requires a small tiny house where he/she can sleep or hide whenever required.
Hamster house should be big enough to move around inside and storing some foods.
The house should be dark enough so hamster can feel protected and safe in it.
Be careful, some houses come with tiny windows which can result in your hamster to get stuck in.
Easy exits in the house and having plenty of room to comfort are highly recommended features.
Keeping house hygienic and clean should be easier for you.
#3- Hamster food & diet
Getting the best kind of food for hamsters is as important as for people. Alike any other living being hamsters need a balanced and complete diet to stay active and healthy. Usually, hamsters prefer varied diet including veggies, fruits, seeds, and insects etc.
Here we are summarizing complete diet plan for hamsters:
Fresh diet & foods:
Offering fresh foods is always the best option to increase variety. Recommended fresh foods for hamsters are; carrots, spinach, corn, apples, grapes, turnips, bananas, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, corns, oranges, broccoli, cucumbers, green beans, peas, celery, kale, cabbage, and kale.
Fresh foods should be offered in the small portion as hamsters have their natural habit of storing excess of foods. And, no pet owner would appreciate rotten food near the pet.
Pellets for hamsters
Pellets considered suitable, balanced & complete diet as it is a readymade food solution in tiny pieces made up of grounded up ingredients, mixing up and finally forming them.
Mixed grains & seeds as hamsters’ food
A mixture of grains and seeds as food is just like it sounds. Some mixed foods contain nuts, dried fruits and seeds. Hamsters enjoy this kind of diet as it offers wide variety of choices.
Treats & snacks for hamsters
Alike other pets, hamsters love treats and snacks. And, the good things there is a wide variety of available treats and snacks for hamsters to offer bi-weekly. This type of food is very enjoyable for your pet but isn’t considered a balanced diet. Mostly lovable treats and snacks are vegetables, dried fruits, seeds, and nuts. While other includes hard boiled eggs, sugar-free cereal, uncooked pasta, dog biscuits, wheat bread and crickets or mealworms.
#4- Hamster Bedding
All the hamsters need a place to comfort themselves. Arrange bedding material in their cages for this purpose. The bedding material should be safe for hamsters, absorbent and clean. The dust producing material should be avoided.
Recommended bedding materials can be corncob litter, hardwood shavings, facial or kitchen tissues or white paper.
Hamsters love to dig and burrow so make sure bedding should be at least 2 inches deep.
#5- Hamster toilet
There are basically two types of toilets available for hamsters corner toilets and covered toilets. However, some hamsters are fine to use sand as toilet but it will increase your burden. It is recommended to buy a toilet for them to lessen your cleaning efforts. As hamsters toilets come with the litter bag which can be purchased separately.
#6- Hamster food bowls
Having separate food bowls for pets will help you to monitor their eating habits; such as how much food will be enough for your pet and what he/she likes or dislikes to eat etc. Some hamsters have a habit to sit and wait for the food whenever they are hungry. So choose a quite larger bowl as per your hamster’s size so there should be enough space to sit. Buy ceramic food bowls for hamsters as plastic bowls can be tipped over and also plastic isn’t healthy.
#7- Hamster water bottle
Water bottles for hamster are considered more hygienic than bowls. The good thing is hamsters know naturally how to use their water bottle. Water in bottle stays fresh for longer hours. Always choose a small size of the bottle so you can fill it occasionally. Fresh water is always important for any pet’s health.
#8- Bathing Sand
Giving bath to your hamsters with water can increase risk of pneumonia and catching colds so don’t use unless there is no other choice. Always use chinchilla sand for hamsters bath to remove any dirt or grease from their fur. Keep bath sand in a dish with high sides or a bowl. Sides shouldn’t too high to climbing in and out for hamsters. Naturally hamsters know what to do with the sand bath. It is funny and full of amazement to watch them rolling around the sand. Dish can be double of hamster size.
#9- Hamster toys
Hamsters are very playful by nature, they love toys. There is a wide variety of wood, and plastic made hamsters toys, you can buy any of your choice. Wooden made toys are good for hamsters’ teeth to be chewed, play, and also to hide sometimes. Regularly change the toys to avoid hamsters’ boredom.
#10- Hamster ball
Hamsters ball encourages hamsters for a safe & secure healthy exercise. Hamster ball provides a temporary holding space for hamsters while you are cleaning their cages. It is a full-time source of fun for both pet and its owner.
#11- Hamster Wheel
Hamsters exercise wheel is one of the most important things for any hamster. It is not only good for physical fitness to prevent extra weight or chubby look but also important for mental health. If you are planning to bring Syrian hamsters to your home, take care of buying bit larger wheel as Syrian hamsters can outgrow soon. Smaller hamsters wheel are never recommended as not only hamster will avoid using but these can be really harmful to your hamster’s physical health too. Generally, 15cm-20cm are considered ideal sizes whereas smaller for the small type of hamsters and larger for the Syrian breed.
#12- Hamster carrier
This is MUST HAVE product for hamster owners. It is not only useful for later on emergency and occasional trips to vets but also when you buy the hamster you can keep new companion in it to bring home safely. Usually, pet sellers place the pet into a simple cardboard box. Hamsters can bite the wood then how easy it would be for them to bite the cardboard to escape? You have to buy this essential item sooner or later so why not to purchase before buying hamster? Hamsters carriers are helpful to go out with your tiny friend. Also, you can put your pet in the carrier while cleaning the cage.
How to welcome a hamster to your home?
Buy all the essential accessories, hamster cages, toys, and food etc. first before bringing baby home.
Next, a hamster would need time to get settled in his new home like other animals take time and even many humans also take the time to be familiar with the new environment.
Set up hamster cage, wheel, bedding, put enough food, fill the water bottle and put the pet in the cage. As hamster might not be feeling comfortable at this really new place so don’t watch him too much, cover the cage to provide a dark and silent place. Leave hamster all alone for 24-35 hours so he can be used to his new place by getting bit relaxed.
Don’t clean the cage for the first week, you can clean it when hamster will be feeling comfortable by trusting you. Once pet will be comfortable, wash out everything with hamster-friendly soap and warm water. Dry thoroughly and put new beddings.
After at least two days of a hamster being in his new home, you can offer food out of your hand. Talk gently in a soft voice. Don’t make him scared anyway. Try to win hamster trust by being so friendly. Have patience as taming any animal is a time taking task.