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The Syrian hamster, also known as the golden hamster, is among the most popular choices for small pets. It’s generally easy to tame, fun to watch, and fairly low-maintenance, making it a good pet for beginners. These hamsters come from arid regions of northern Syria and southern Turkey. The natural color of most Syrian hamsters is golden brown with a lighter belly. But selective breeding has given rise to several variations in color, pattern, and hair length.
It’s generally easy to tame , fun to watch, and fairly low-maintenance, making it a good pet for beginners. Other options include tunnels and bridges for hiding and climbing, as well as wooden chew blocks for dental hygiene. Also, add a nest or sleeping hut (pet shops typically have several options) in a corner of the enclosure. Feed your Syrian hamster a diet of nuts, grains, and seeds (this is typically what’s in the commercial food blends) supplemented with fruits and vegetables, such as apples, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, and pears. And because Syrian hamsters are omnivores (they eat plants and animals), offer the occasional hardboiled egg or feeder insect for an extra protein shot. Whenever you’re feeding fresh foods, it’s often best to offer them in the evening when your hamster is waking up from its slumber and ready to eat. Wet tail —a gastrointestinal infection usually associated with stress and bacteria proliferation—is the most common health issue affecting this hamster. A vet can trim the teeth and then recommend ways to maintain the hamster’s dental health, such as adding more chewable materials to the enclosure. You can buy a Syrian hamster from a pet shop, but a reputable breeder or rescue group is the preferred option.
Are long haired Syrian hamsters friendly?
Long haired hammies make cute and cuddly pets , they are quite docile, friendly and tame . Angora hamsters are nocturnal and they have a good lifespan ( generally more than 2 years ) compared to dwarf hamsters.
Do long haired Syrian hamsters bite?
Even though they’re often thought of as ideal pets for kids and are usually cuddly, affectionate companions, in some situations, hamsters can and do bite. It’s rare for a hamster to actually be aggressive, though, and they typically only bite when they get scared.
Do long haired Syrian hamsters need haircuts?
Most importantly, hamsters may need frequent grooming (especially long-haired Syrian hamsters). Your pet will also enjoy having a sand bath to keep its fur and nails healthy. … Grooming is also a great way to bond with your hammy!
What type of Syrian hamster is the friendliest?
The Winter White hamsters are more friendly than Campbell hamsters, and have better behaviour around people, without a reputation for biting. They only come in two colours, Sapphire or Pearl. They are also very small, measuring three and a half to four inches when fully grown.
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Larger than Dwarf Hamsters, The Syrian hamster – also known as the Golden or Teddy bear hamster is a small rodent belonging to the Cricetinae family. Syrian hamsters have rapidly become very popular household pets in the western world ever since Professor Aharoni captured a female hamster and her 12 pubs in Aleppo Syria back in 1930.
Indeed – All Syrian hamsters that are available as pets can trace their ancestry back to this captured female. As their name suggests, these critters are native to Syria and parts of Israel; however, Syrian hamsters have been found in other regions of the Middle East . They have small fur covered ears and short, stocky legs with wide feet. Handling them is a joy as they are quite slow movers and their size makes them a perfect handful. Unlike the dwarf species, Syrians are strictly solitary animals and must be housed on their own . If you keep Syrian Hamsters together, there is a high risk that they would adversely injury or even kill each other. Even if they do not display signs of aggression to each other, they will most certainly be stressed out and unhappy being forced to live with another adult – It is not recommended to keep them caged near to each other for this reason . Syrians can live with their brothers and sisters up until around the age of 5 weeks and then they must be found new homes or housed in separate cages . Syrian hamsters are nocturnal animals making them spend most of the daylight hours in their nest sleeping. Syrians might not make ideal pets for young children who go to bed early. The oldest Syrian Hamster on record lived to the ripe age of 6 and a half . Quality of care Genetics Diet & Nutrition Exercise Sickness Housing environment It is safe to assume that if you take excellent care of your hamster, they will live to the greatest of their genetic potential. To avoid an unhappy hamster be sure to spend time with them every day and give them a large selection of toys to entertain them. It is rare for a Syrian hamster to bite its owner, and they tend to react well to frequent handling . A good hamster mix should contain a right combination of seeds, grains, and nuts with nutritional balance of roughly – 12-15% protein and 3-6% fat. Some hard boiled egg white Cottage Cheese Small amounts of Timothy hay Sunflower Seeds & Peanuts (Give very sparingly as they are high in fat) Studies have proven that small and cramped surroundings can make a pet hamster chronically stressed , so it is important to give them a large environment. You should never use cotton wool or similar material for nesting as it can choke your hamsters and causes blockages if they attempt to swallow it. It is vital to give them mental stimulation and exercise to keep them happy and distract them from feeling trapped. The first hamsters discovered had short hair, since thenn fancy breeders have managed to breed four different coated types. Long Haired – Commonly referred to as ‘Teddy Bear’ or Angora Hamsters have longer fur than usual. Male long haired Syrians have a ‘ skirt ’ effect around their bottom section whereas females just have a ‘fluffy all over’ look. Long Haired Hamsters need attention when kept as pets because their fur becomes matted and tangled up easily as well as attracting individual substrates to sticking. Hamster owners can give their long coats a gentle grooming with a toothbrush or a small flea comb . Breeding two Satin hamsters together is not recommended as the results are not favorable creating offspring with greasy, thin fur . It is inadvisable to breed two closely related beige hamsters as it is such a rare color, finding unrelated animals is difficult .
It all began with a few pet Syrian hamsters back in the 1930s. But there are now several different species of hamster available as pets, and within those species different varieties, or ‘breeds’, have arisen. Syrian hamsters are available in many different varieties, while other hamster species have less variation.
Breeding Roans is a tricky business, as they will always produce some malformed babies, due to genetic issues. Syrian Hamsters come in different coats – fur length and hair texture is a defining feature of different types Their fur needs brushing regularly – several times a week – which is a major consideration when you are contemplating buying a long-haired hamster. Short haired hamsters have similar coats to their wild ancestors As with some other coat types, Rex hamsters shouldn’t be bred together, as their pups can develop severe eye problems. We strongly recommend learning about hamster genetics if you intend on breeding these animals.
Syrian Hamster Behavior and Temperament
Syrian hamsters have a reputation for being somewhat nippy pets. However, this trait is usually due to infrequent or improper handling. As long as you don’t squeeze or jostle your hamster as you hold it, it should learn to be content with people handling it.These hamsters are one of the most solitary animals in the wild, making them equally as territorial. That means they should always be housed alone as pets. Sometimes young hamsters tolerate cage mates for a little while. But as they mature, there’s a good chance they’ll become aggressive, even fighting to the death. It’s also best to keep any other pets in the household away from your hamster, as they could hurt each other.Syrian hamsters sleep during the day and are active at night. And while they are generally quiet pets, their nighttime activity might keep you awake if you have their enclosure in your bedroom. Certain hamsters can somewhat adapt to their humans’ schedule, but you should never try to pick up a sleeping hamster. Odds are it will bite you. Instead, the early morning or evening hours are a good time to interact with your hamster.As pets, Syrian hamsters don’t necessarily form a close bond with their owners. But they often will come up to the side of their enclosure if you’re there, and many will enjoy lounging in your hands or on your shoulder. Expect to spend a few hours per week on feedings and maintaining your hamster’s habitat. After that, just make sure you’re allotting some time each day to handle your hamster to keep it tame.
Housing the Syrian Hamster
As large of an enclosure as you can accommodate for a Syrian hamster is best, as this will be its primary space for exercise. At minimum, the cage should be 1 foot by 2 feet and at least a foot tall. In general, you’ll have your choice of a cage that is wire on the top with a plastic base or a standard glass or plastic aquarium with a tightly fitting mesh top. The wire cages allow for better airflow, though they offer less protection against drafts.In the enclosure, include plenty of hamster toys for enrichment. An exercise wheel that has a solid surface (not bars) is ideal, as this minimizes the risk of injuries. Other options include tunnels and bridges for hiding and climbing, as well as wooden chew blocks for dental hygiene. Also, add a nest or sleeping hut (pet shops typically have several options) in a corner of the enclosure.Line the bottom of the enclosure with a couple inches of bedding. Paper or aspen products are recommended. Don’t use cedar or pine bedding, as the strong smell can be harmful to a hamster. Scoop out any wet spots in the bedding daily. And change all the bedding weekly as you scrub down the entire enclosure with soap and water.
Food and Water
Feed your Syrian hamster a diet of nuts, grains, and seeds (this is typically what’s in the commercial food blends) supplemented with fruits and vegetables, such as apples, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, and pears. And because Syrian hamsters are omnivores (they eat plants and animals), offer the occasional hardboiled egg or feeder insect for an extra protein shot. If you use a commercial food blend, the supplemental foods generally shouldn’t make up more than 10 percent of the hamster’s overall diet. But consult your veterinarian for the best quantity and variety to feed, as this can vary based on age and size.Always keep a bowl of food in the enclosure, and discard uneaten food after 24 hours. Hamsters typically like to graze, storing food in their cheek pouches and stashing it somewhere for later. Your hamster might even wake up a few times a day to eat and then go back to sleep. Whenever you’re feeding fresh foods, it’s often best to offer them in the evening when your hamster is waking up from its slumber and ready to eat.Moreover, always provide a clean source of water for your hamster that you refresh daily. Many people prefer to use water bottles because they are easy to keep sanitary. But you also can use a shallow dish for water until your hamster learns to drink from the bottle.
Common Health Problems
Syrian hamsters are generally hardy animals. However, there are a few conditions to watch out for. Wet tail—a gastrointestinal infection usually associated with stress and bacteria proliferation—is the most common health issue affecting this hamster. Symptoms include lethargy, diarrhea, a lack of appetite, and wetness around the tail area. If you suspect an infection, take your hamster to the vet immediately. This issue can have a fatal outcome if allowed to fester, but antibiotics can effectively treat it.Hamsters can also contract fur and ear mites, especially from unsanitary conditions. If your hamster has mites, you might notice itching and loss of fur in patches. If so, contact your vet as soon as possible for treatment.Furthermore, some hamsters can develop overgrown teeth that make eating difficult. You might notice your hamster’s teeth look a little longer than normal and that it’s losing weight. A vet can trim the teeth and then recommend ways to maintain the hamster’s dental health, such as adding more chewable materials to the enclosure.
Purchasing Your Syrian Hamster
Hamsters are legal in most places, though some landlords might have restrictions about them. Always make sure you know your local regulations before committing to an animal. You can buy a Syrian hamster from a pet shop, but a reputable breeder or rescue group is the preferred option. Good breeders and rescues tend to provide superior care for their animals, and they should be able to give you thorough information on an animal’s origin and health history. Expect to pay around $20.When choosing a hamster, it’s ideal to observe the seller’s animals while they’re awake. So ask the seller when the best time to visit with them would be. The seller also might be able to wake their hamsters for you to pick one by offering a desirable treat. A healthy hamster will be active and curious. Its fur should look clean, its droppings should be well-formed, and its eyes should be clear and bright. Red flags include labored breathing and a dirty bottom.
Banded Syrian hamsters come in lots of different colors
Hamster Hair Types
As well as different color patterns, hamsters can have different hair textures too: Long-haired, Short-haired, Rex, and Satin. Syrian hamsters can have coats of any of the variations listed below (and Campbell hamsters can have the Rex and Satin coats too).
Short haired hamsters have similar coats to their wild ancestors
These little animals have the longest hair in the hamster world – individual hairs can grow up to four inches! Their fur needs brushing regularly – several times a week – which is a major consideration when you are contemplating buying a long-haired hamster. If the hair is kept long it limits bedding choices, as it gets very tangled in materials such as hay, limiting the hamster’s movement and causing discomfort.These have coats similar to wild hamsters. The hair is short and easy to keep clean and tidy, with little or no intervention from you.