Proper care is necessary to ensure that your hamster feels comfortable with you and stays healthy. These eleven tips provide the most important basics for proper hamster care.
Whether golden hamster, Chinese striped hamster, Djungarian, or Roborowski dwarf hamster – the basic demands on the people who care for them are the same.
Keep your hamster healthy and happy with this 1×1 of hamster care:
A cozy bunkhouse
Hamsters are more or less nocturnal and sleep through the day. Because cages, terrariums, or cricetinariums (the hamster biotope in living room format) do not offer the opportunity to create underground burrows, an above-ground replacement is needed: a sleeping house. It usually serves as a pantry at the same time.
The right location for the hamster home
Even if hamsters come from deserts, arid zones, steppes, and just as inhospitable semi-deserts, they have some demands on the living space in which they move – also in the apartment. The hamster cage must be in a quiet spot that is neither too cold nor too warm (16–24°C). In addition, it should be draft-free and dry. In addition, regular freewheeling in the apartment is necessary.
The ideal hamster home
A plastic floor pan (edge height between 8 and 10 cm) with a lattice housing has proven to be ideal. Glass tanks and aquariums have the disadvantage that air can accumulate in them, the humidity becomes too high and thus forms an ideal breeding ground for germs. In addition, it reduces the hamster’s climbing comfort, and finally cleaning is more complicated. Alternatively, you can also build the hamster home yourself.
In addition, the hamster home should have an area of at least one square meter and a height of at least 50 cm. A layer of soil that is at least 20 cm deep and suitable for digging should be placed in the hamster’s home. A sand bath allows the hamster to groom its fur.
Hamsters love cleanliness
Cleaning and hygiene are necessary, especially for hamsters, which live in the steppes and deserts. Although the animals are clean, a thick layer of bedding is a must to absorb moisture – clumped and dirty parts should be replaced once a week.
The urinary corner of the hamster home must be cleaned daily, the enclosure itself every two weeks (golden hamsters) or monthly (dwarf hamsters). Feeding and drinking vessels should be cleaned daily.
Employment for hamsters
The space above the floor pan should be decorated with shelters, tunnel systems, branches, roots, beams, and climbing tubes. Rodents need something to do and play to keep them bored – they want to run, dig, nibble, climb and hide. For this, the right equipment for the hamster cage is necessary.
If you provide the hamster with a running wheel, then this must be big enough for the hamster to be able to walk on it without arching its back. It should also not be made of plastic and both the back wall and the running surface must be closed.
Hamsters need fresh water
Although hamsters originate from dry areas where their water needs are mainly met by forage, they still need to be watered in the cage. A hanging drinking bottle is better than water bowls that get dirty with the bedding or get knocked over by the temperamental bundle.
Clay or porcelain feeding bowls
Clay or porcelain vessels with heavy bases are the right bowls for the food, which – separated into juice and dry mixture – is usually collected completely by the hamster and buried in the storage house or specially created pits. Spoiled food must be removed from the cage. The food bowls should be placed so that they cannot fall over.
Cleaning the hamster home
Please do not use any disinfectants when cleaning the floor pan, sleeping hut, grid attachment, and bowls – hot water is sufficient. You should not completely replace the building material that the hamster carries into its house, but only remove the dirty parts. When it comes to bedding, you should always only remove a portion and mix fresh bedding with the older one.
The right nesting material for hamsters
Straw, hay, hemp, sisal, dry moss, and dried herbs, which also provide a pleasant scent, are best suited as nesting material. Wool, threads, and also the coir and nesting materials for birds are too fine and too sharp. If possible, scatter all the nesting offers throughout the cage, then your nightwalker will have something to do.
Hamsters need gnawing material
Hamsters are rodents that need their teeth to wear down. In addition to the sleeping hut (if it is made of wood), you need fresh twigs (fruit trees, willow trees, chestnut trees, nut trees) and sometimes a hard piece of bread or pieces of wood with an aroma that is available in specialist shops. Chewable, unprinted paper and cardboard are also suitable.
Hamsters are not petted animals!
The eleventh and most important commandment: Hamsters are not pets. In the wild, they belong to the real hermits who only meet to mate and drive away their own babies as soon as they are independent. Even your hamster at home does not need a warm, caressing hand. You should also explain this to your children. Better watch your hamster as he gets active and shows off his artistic skills after the sun goes down.