Once you’ve fully set up the cage or terrarium for your new housemate, you can head to the breeder, pet store, or animal shelter.
In order to give your little newcomer a dignified welcome and to make the changeover as pleasant as possible, the hamster home should already be prepared. This means that the nipple drinker is filled with fresh water, in one feed bowl there is a mixture of grains and in the other feed bowl, there is a lettuce leaf and a piece of apple. The bottom of the cage should be filled with bedding about three to five centimeters high. There should also be a little house ready for the rodent to retreat to. Also, scatter enough hay in the cage. Stress triggers hunger in hamsters. On the day you move in, you should handle it as little as possible so as not to stress the rodent even more.
The right time for a hamster purchase is not irrelevant. Since these chubby rodents are nocturnal and twilight active, they are usually asleep during the day and tend to react rudely to any kind of disturbance. It is therefore more difficult to assess the state of health or determine the sex of such a little animal that has been awakened from its sleep. Therefore, go to the pet store about an hour before closing time or make an appointment with the breeder for the early evening. Take as much time as you need to choose the right hamster. The breeder or pet shop should be able to give you good advice and be able to clearly determine the sex of the little rodent.
Basically, there are hardly any differences in the behavior of male and female hamsters. Males sometimes seem a bit more active. The activity of the females, on the other hand, fluctuates in their four-day cycle. The transport boxes offered in pet shops are best suited for transporting them home. This small investment pays off at the latest when the little rodent has to go to the vet. Have some bedding from the hamster cage put in the transport box and in a small bag for the hamster home at home so that not all sensory impressions are new to the little rodent. At least the smell stays familiar. So that the hamster is supplied with food and moisture for the journey, it is best to put a piece of apple or a piece of carrot in the box.
Arrived home …
… first, put some of the bedding from the old home in the new cage. Then put the transport box together with the hamster in the cage and only then open the door of the box. Let the hamster crawl out of its own accord. It may be that you have to be patient until the little rodent dares to come out. Provide a quiet environment so that the newcomer can get used to their new surroundings in peace. Under no circumstances should you help out. This only jeopardizes the later trustworthiness of the animal. Instead, the hamster could jump out of your hand and disappear somewhere in the apartment.
After about an hour, the initial stress should be gone. After that, the new roommate starts setting up his hamster home. He builds his sleeping nest, tries the grain and fresh food, and tests the water bottle. This is the most interesting time to watch the little rodent taking possession of its new territory. However, you should be very quiet and make as little noise as possible. Other visitors or even other pets should not be in the same room at this time. In the first week, you should give your newcomer plenty of rest. Do not disturb him while he sleeps and under no circumstances lift the sleeping hut or move any of the furnishings. After a week, you can gently begin to gain the rodent’s trust.