What Do Hamsters Need?

Hamsters are affordable and cute animals. They make for appropriate pets for older children (if they know how to care for them) and are often impulse buys for adults. Despite its small size, however, your new pet won’t be happy just sitting in a small box all the time.

Just like other animals, a hamster needs stimuli, a variety of food, and toys to keep it happy. If your hamster has a lot of space and plenty of things to keep it busy, you will have a healthy and happy little furball who might even live much longer than you expect it to!

Some hamsters are happy to settle into a new place and will start playing with new toys or building nests right away. In a worst-case scenario, your hamster might be terrified of humans (through no fault of your own) and simply want to stay in its house all the time. If you have just bought your hamster, let it settle into its new homedon’t touch it or try to play with it for at least a couple of days, and ideally one week.

Just quietly give it fresh food and drink every day and don’t disturb it until it’s ready to be held and tamed. You may have seen the hamster in the pet store living with little more than a water bottle, some food, and some bedding in a tiny cage. This is not an ideal environment for a hamster, which needs to be able to run, explore, burrow, and hide its food.

Here are essential items you need for your cute new friend to ensure that it lives a long, happy, and healthy life with you. Every hamster needs a large home with plenty of room to run around and burrow. One downside of this type of cage, however, is that the hamster can chew on the bars which can make an irritating sound.

If you’re unable to provide a larger cage for your hamster, be sure to let them out to exercise every single day. If you notice any damp patches or particularly gross bits (Hemingway liked to pee all over the top floor of his cage for some reason), clean them up immediately. If you don’t, your hamster won’t recognise its home when you put it back and believe it’s in a different place, which can make it nervous.

A hamster feels safe where its own smell is, and ensuring it knows its home will keep it happy and preserve its peace of mind. Ideally, you’ll want to use shredded paper (free of any ink), tissue, and kitchen towels (good for absorbing urine). Be sure to use a generous amount of bedding as a sort of ‘carpet’ in the bottom floor of your hamster’s cage so they can get to burrowing and building nests right away.

Once I offered a cockroach to my female hamster, Zelda, and she looked at me like I’d just insulted her whole family. At the same time, it’s important to keep the diet reasonably consistent as a sudden change can stress them out. The small, dried bits fit into their pouches and there is enough variety in the mix to keep things interesting.

Be sure to look up what is safe for hamsters to eatfor example, small bits of banana, cucumber, lettuce, and carrot are fine, but lemon, large quantities of tomato, onion, and even potato can be toxic. Only give these as a rare treat as they are high in fat and can make your hamster put on weight. Cheese, cooked egg white, and plain boiled chicken are also excellent choices for a pregnant hamster.

Hamsters shouldn’t be drinking water from a dish as there’s a chance their fur can get wet, which is dangerous for them. Arrange it so the hamster can drink from it standing either on two legs or four; obviously, if it’s too high, the little guy won’t be able to reach it. Another recommendation is hard sticks from outside, but I’m reluctant to use them in case my hamsters accidentally swallow small parts.

The noise can be annoying, even if the hamster does look very cute when it’s eager to come out and play. I only just recently started giving my hamsters a small bath with sand in it, and they absolutely love it! Some people choose to buy the larger plastic items, but I find these take up too much space.

I recommend using a small bowl from your own kitchen (ideally plastic, though ceramic works too) that you won’t miss and filling it up a couple of centimeters deep with the sand. Don’t forget this essential step; with a comfortable bed, a hamster will sleep better, giving it a longer and healthier life. A silent wheel is best if your hamster lives in your room as you don’t want the rattling or the squeaking keeping you awake at night.

Despite a wheel and a large cage providing plenty of room for your hamster to run around, a ball is also an excellent idea. A ball allows your hamster to explore the room without the risk of it squeezing into small spaces or getting lost. Ideally, the ball should be larger than seven inches (to avoid similar back problems that can occur with an insufficiently sized wheel) and have very small grooves in it so the hamster doesn’t get its feet caught in the gaps.

If your hamster scratches the inside of the ball as if it’s trying to burrow or sits in the same spot grooming itself, it means it’s had enough and wants to be let out. Another affordable item for any hamster is a cardboard tube that comes from toilet rolls and kitchen paper. Hamsters love to crawl through these tiny spaces and might even chew up the cardboard to play with.

Although hamsters can and have survived with very basic amenities, you would probably want your fluffy new friend to be as happy and as healthy as possible. A hamster with plenty to do, lots of space to run around, and a healthy diet with the odd treat is much more likely to be friendlier towards you as well. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional.

Answer: A Syrian hamster is best for kids as theyre larger, easier to handle, and require less maintenance. I also often put tissue paper in my hamster’s cage to keep him busy building a nest. Answer: Feed your hamster clean water, it doesnt need milk.

Be sure to disinfect the cage and to give it lots of tissue paper to make a nest and hopefully itll get better on its own. Answer: Yes, that’s perfectly fine as long as the floor isn’t too cold or too hot and there’s no danger of anyone accidentally kicking it or disturbing them with noise. Hello I have a question I let my hamster run around in the ball for a half hour it has its runner inside of his cage but it still seems super hyper what can I do to entertain it more he has the wood chewing toys and stuff I think I’m going to try the toilet paper roll but what else can I do

My hamsters name is Nuttela and im still curious about saw dust, should I still use wooden shavings or should i get shredded tissues. Anything made of wood the hamster can chew, tubes they can crawl and hide in, anything your pet store suggests 🙂 If you prove to your dad you can keep your room clean and are ready for the responsibility of taking care of a pet, he might get you one.

Do you need 2 hamsters?

Should hamsters live alone or be kept in pairs? Because they’re so territorial, it’s generally best to only keep one hamster per cage. Adding more than one hamster to the same enclosure could lead to some really nasty fighting.

What do hamsters need to be happy?

10 Things a Hamster Needs to Be Happy and Healthy. ….A Big Cage. ….Appropriate Bedding. ….A Variety of Food. ….A Water Bottle. ….Things to Chew. ….A Sand Bath. ….Tissue Paper.

What things do hamsters love?

Hamsters love apples, pears, strawberries and bananas. They should be given in moderation, as a supplement to the regular diet. Be sure to remove any vegetables or fruits that are not eaten within 24 hours.

Do hamsters need baths?

Hamsters are fastidious groomers and do a good job keeping themselves clean, baths, as we tend to think of them, are not necessary. However, it is possible to spot-clean them, if they truly need it. It is especially important to check their bottom as sometimes bedding can stick after going to the bathroom.

When you take a new hamster home, youll need a number of different supplies ready to go to keep your new pet healthy. From hamster cages and food to bedding and chew toys, its important to make sure youre well prepared for your new hamster.

So youre off to get yourself a hamster ! Great, I wish you two all the luck. Lets see what the essentials are, when you get your hamster all of his supplies.

A hamsters cage is basically the most important thing youll need to buy. The thing is, hamsters are very small, yes, but they dont stay babies all their life.

Yes, budget can be an issue but the cage, the exercise wheel, and the hideout are what the hamster will use literally his entire life, until he passes away. Other types of wood like cedar or pine are unsafe, since their scent is not only too strong, but also dangerous for hamsters. I use aspen for my Teddy, I have since I first got him and he is a big strong boy now (currently 1 year and a half as Im typing this).

A bag like this one can last you for months on end, since you only need to clean the cage and change the bedding once per week. Just be advised that paper beddings tend to be a bit noisier in comparison to wood shavings. Now, keep in mind that hamsters chew on everything, including their nest and hideout.

Even when hes sleeping, hes going to wake up for a midnight snack, pee, and chew on his hideout a bit. Hamsters will love the wood and will chew on it whenever they need to file down their teeth. This means that aside from his hideout, he will use cardboard tubes to crawl into and spend some time thinking about cheese.

Its ceramic, to your hamsters gonna have a hard time tipping this one over or moving it around. For example my Teddy eats 2 teaspoons of dry commercial food mix per day. So if youve just fed your hamster, and half an hour later there is no more food in his bowl, dont worry.

A good one like this one will bring all the nutrients your hamster needs, in a controlled, safe diet. Its got a fair amount of seeds mixed in with the pellets, and will last your hamster for a couple of months or more, depending on how much you give him. So be responsible and do not overfeed your hamster, else it can lead to obesity and possible joint and diabetes problems .

Hamsters love to play and explore things, so they need toys. For example something like an empty egg carton with a few holes cut in it can be a great hide-and-seek toy, and safe for hamsters. Fold them shut at both ends, with a bit of food inside the roll, and youve got yourself a hamster puzzle toy.

For example this set of chew toys will not only help your hamster file down his teeth, but also keep him interested in whats inside them. Getting your hamster a set of tubes for exploring outside his cage is going to mimic his normal nest. So a good exercise wheel like this one will help your hamster burn off all his energy and run as far as his little feet will take him.

Its got a guard for your hamsters feet and tail, and will stay in place (heavy bottom). A good exercise ball should be big enough so that the hamsters back should not be arched. You can find a good example of an exercise ball here, since its big enough to fit a Syrian hamster inside easily.

Its got enough air holes so the hamster can breathe easily, and you can pick whichever color you like. Well, yes, because carrying the hamsters big cage with you to the vet isnt very easy or comfortable. Luckily the hamster isnt a very sickly animal, so vet visits arent on the agenda often.

So limit his time in the travel cage to under 2 hours to avoid any stress on your hamster. Hamsters brought home for the first time are in danger of developing wet-tail, so be careful to keep him in a safe and calm room. Hes a Syrian male hamster, and hes the funniest, grumpiest little cheese ball Ive ever met.

Hamsters need a calm, quiet home with not many unforeseen things going on. They react poorly to stress and loud noises, being picked up wrong, being handled too much, and they get scared easily. If youve got a rowdy home with a few pets and small children, a hamster is definitely a bad idea.

If You Just Bought Your Hamster

First of all, it’s good to remember that hamsters have different personalities. Some hamsters are happy to settle into a new place and will start playing with new toys or building nests right away. Other hamsters, however, can be incredibly shy. In a worst-case scenario, your hamster might be terrified of humans (through no fault of your own) and simply want to stay in its house all the time.It is important to know your hamster’s personality as soon as you can. If you have just bought your hamster, let it settle into its new home—don’t touch it or try to play with it for at least a couple of days, and ideally one week. The new smells and sounds around it can startle or frighten the little guy. Just quietly give it fresh food and drink every day and don’t disturb it until it’s ready to be held and tamed.

How to Clean a Hamster Cage

When it comes to hamster cages, bigger is always better. Every hamster needs a large home with plenty of room to run around and burrow. There is no way around it.The two main types of hamster cage are:I personally prefer the bar style as it has much more ventilation for the hamster. My hamsters seemed happier once they were inside a cage with bars. One downside of this type of cage, however, is that the hamster can chew on the bars which can make an irritating sound. At the same time, bar nibbling can tell you when your hamster wants to leave the cage and explore.A cage that has wide space and multiple floors is ideal for your fluffy little friend. Be sure to get a cage that is at least 24 inches by 12 inches and at least 12 inches tall. However, the bigger the better. If you’re unable to provide a larger cage for your hamster, be sure to let them out to exercise every single day.

Appropriate Bedding

A hamster won’t be happy just in a plastic cage; you have to give it bedding as well. Wooden shavings are a good start, but can be bad for your hamster’s health. Ideally, you’ll want to use shredded paper (free of any ink), tissue, and kitchen towels (good for absorbing urine).Aspen shavings are the safest type of wooden shaving bedding, but paper or tissue is the healthiest choice. Be sure to use a generous amount of bedding as a sort of ‘carpet’ in the bottom floor of your hamster’s cage so they can get to burrowing and building nests right away.

Read More From Pethelpful

Hamsters eat seeds, nuts, vegetables, and fruit. They also enjoy the odd insect from time to time, although this may depend on the hamster’s taste. Once I offered a cockroach to my female hamster, Zelda, and she looked at me like I’d just insulted her whole family. The male hamster, Hemingway, happily took the roach and gobbled it all down.You have to give your hamsters a variety of things, not just the same old seed mix every day. At the same time, it’s important to keep the diet reasonably consistent as a sudden change can stress them out. Here are some foods I recommend giving to your hamster.

A Water Bottle

Hamsters shouldn’t be drinking water from a dish as there’s a chance their fur can get wet, which is dangerous for them. Instead, a water bottle is essential for a hamster.Come cages include water bottles, but if not, you can get them cheaply from most pet stores. For a tank type cage, get one that hangs from the top. For a bar cage, get one that can be attached to the bars. Arrange it so the hamster can drink from it standing either on two legs or four; obviously, if it’s too high, the little guy won’t be able to reach it.

Things to Chew

A hamster’s teeth grow constantly, and it’s not enough for them to be able to nibble food. Hamsters may chew on its cage bars, but this isn’t ideal.Instead, a wooden toy or block in their cage will keep their teeth busy. Another recommendation is hard sticks from outside, but I’m reluctant to use them in case my hamsters accidentally swallow small parts. I use a wooden block that can be attached to the bars of a cage.Having things to chew on will stop them nibbling the bars of their cage. The noise can be annoying, even if the hamster does look very cute when it’s eager to come out and play.

A Sand Bath

I only just recently started giving my hamsters a small bath with sand in it, and they absolutely love it! There’s nothing cuter than seeing them climb into the bowl to roll around in the sand.Some people choose to buy the larger plastic items, but I find these take up too much space. I recommend using a small bowl from your own kitchen (ideally plastic, though ceramic works too) that you won’t miss and filling it up a couple of centimeters deep with the sand. Be sure to change it every few days as the hamsters tend to use it as a toilet as well.

Tissue Paper

Hamsters like to make nests to sleep in. They have bedding, but they will also need tissue paper to make their nest soft and cosy. My hamsters go crazy when I pop a few pieces of tissue into their cage. It’s affordable and your hamsters will love it.It’s very sweet to see them ripping up the tissue paper themselves and building their nest with it. If you put some tissue into their home, come back a few hours later and it’ll probably be gone. Don’t forget this essential step; with a comfortable bed, a hamster will sleep better, giving it a longer and healthier life.

A Large Wheel

As mentioned before, hamsters need a lot of exercise. They may seem lathargic and lazy during the day, but that’s because they’re nocturnal. Come sunset, you’ll see the little guy scurrying around the cage and full of energy.A wheel is an essential item in any hamster cage. During busy times when you can’t let your hamster run all over you or around a playpen, it will need space to run. The recommended cage earlier in this article had a wheel included, but you can also buy them separately.One important aspect of a hamster wheel is that it must be large enough so that your hamster’s back isn’t bent while he’s using it. This can do more damage than good, such as causing spine problems. This is a bigger issue if you have a larger breed of hamster.A silent wheel is best if your hamster lives in your room as you don’t want the rattling or the squeaking keeping you awake at night.

Cardboard Tubes

Despite a wheel and a large cage providing plenty of room for your hamster to run around, a ball is also an excellent idea. This is because that when you do a deep clean of your hamster’s cage (which should be every week), your hamster is kept occupied.A ball allows your hamster to explore the room without the risk of it squeezing into small spaces or getting lost. Ideally, the ball should be larger than seven inches (to avoid similar back problems that can occur with an insufficiently sized wheel) and have very small grooves in it so the hamster doesn’t get its feet caught in the gaps.I have been using the Kaytee Run-About Exercise Ball for years and it has always performed well. The lid is the twist type and easy to use.Some things to remember when using a hamster ball:

Questions & Answers

1. She is bored. Hamsters often get bored if they don’t have enough stimulation. Does she have lots of toys? Try hiding treats around her cage for her to find. 2. She wants to escape her cage. Put her in a ball or playpen for a while in the evening before the children go to bed so she gets some exercise. 3. Her cage is too small. 4. She doesn’t have enough things to chew. Make sure she has plenty of wooden chew toys she can gnaw on. I also often put tissue paper in my hamster’s cage to keep him busy building a nest.

Hamster Supplies Checklist (With Prices)

Here is our list of hamster supplies to purchase before bringing your new pet home. Once you have everything below, you’re all set!

Hamster Supplies Checklist (With Prices)

It’s important to choose a spacious hamster cage that has plenty of room for your new pet to run and play. If you plan on keeping multiple dwarf hamsters in one cage, you will of course need a slightly bigger cage to house a collection of animals.

Ferplast Hamster Cage – A Great All-Rounder

This Ferplast hamster home is a great all-rounder and should be a perfect solution for the majority of hamster owners. The main benefit of this cage is its bottom section which promotes natural behaviours in your pet, allowing them to burrow and bury their favourite foods!Read our full guide on hamster cages here.

Choosing Your New Hamster

There are a few different types of hamster, all of which grow to different sizes and have slightly different care requirements. If you want to keep two or more hamsters, you’ll want to keep a species of dwarf hamster. The larger Syrian hamster must be kept alone.Dwarf hamsters are often more energetic and entertaining to watch although that does make them slightly harder to handle (it just takes some practice).Here are the different hamster options available to you:

Bedding & Substrate

There is a huge range of different substrate and bedding materials out there. Sawdust is not recommended as it can cause breathing issues in your pet (due to the dust sawdust creates). We recommend to go for a reputable brand and use a material such as wood shavings for the substrate with a material like CareFresh for bedding.Here is everything you need to know on bedding and substrate.

Food Bowls & Water Bottles

Food bowls and water bottles are an absolute must for your cage. A food bowl tells your pet it has a reliable source of food and your hamster may end up waiting next to the food bowl when it’s nearly feeding time!When keeping multiple hamsters, meal time can be the #1 cause of aggression. That’s way it’s great to purchase a couple of different food bowls, hamsters get pretty protective over their food! A water bottle that fixes to your cage should also be a priority purchase, your hamster will need fresh water daily.

Exercise Wheel Vs. Flying Saucer

It can be hard to choose some good hamster toys as there are so many options out there! Try to pick up a variety of toys for your pet, you can always swap toys in and out to keep your pet amused and interested in its surroundings.Here are some toys we recommend picking up:
Chew toys are a must for your hamster because

Hamster Exercise Balls

An exercise ball let’s your hamster run and explore a whole room without any boundaries! Hamster balls are great for allowing your pet to release some energy while also feeding its natural curiosity.Hamster balls also come in handy when completing a weekly cage clean. Just place your hamster in the ball, make sure the lid is secure and you’re free to clean the cage without worrying about your hamster getting in the way.

Should I Get A Carry Cage?

Before bringing a new hamster home, you’ll need plenty of food and treat supplies at the ready. A healthy hamster mix for daily feeding is your best bet, supplemented with the odd treat here and there.You’ll need to feed around a tablespoon of hamster food per hamster per day. Also, feel free to add fresh fruit and veg to your hamsters diet – they can even eat mealworms!Here’s a complete hamster feeding guide if you’d like any more info.

What About A Sand Bath?

While hamsters groom themselves regularly and don’t require any regular cleaning, they do love a sand bath! A sand bath is a small container for your hamster to jump in and rub against to remove dirt from its coat. It’s pretty entertaining to watch! Again, a sand bath isn’t essential for your pet but it will enjoy the odd bath from time to time if you’re able to provide it.

Consider Getting Hamster Tubes

In the wild, hamsters live in narrow burrows on the desert floor. These burrows can have multiple exits and can become quite complex as a hamster grows. Providing your hamster with tubes will help mimic this natural behaviour and can help make your pet feel more at home in its new environment.

Hamster Climbing Toys

Hamsters are impressive natural climbers and really appreciate a small climbing frame in their cage to play with. Chinese hamsters in particular are very effective climbers due to their lobger tail.

Cage for your hamster friend

A hamster’s cage is basically the most important thing you’ll need to buy. There are minimum sizes, but don’t let the pet shops fool you.The minimum for a Syrian hamster is 24 x 12 inches, and about 12 inches tall. That’s 61 x 30.5 cm, and about 30.5 cm tall. I’d recommend that for a pair of Dwarf hamsters as a minimum too.The cages sold as ‘starter homes’ are much too small. They’re the square, brightly colored cages, barely enough for one Dwarf hamster. They look a lot like budgie cages.Unfortunately, those aren’t okay. I learned that the hard way with my Teddy. When I got him, I got one of those cages. The moment I saw him try to use the much too small wheel I knew I made a mistake. He was a baby Syrian, he’d grow to be 5-7 inches long and fairly fluffy. He needed a new cage ASAP.So I did get him a new cage, the next day, and it’s got several levels. Actually I’ll show you the cage I have for him right here.It’s this one, and Teddy seems to enjoy it. He uses both levels, although the top level isn’t his favorite. The tubes is something I’m very glad the cage has, since Teddy’s in them all night.It’s fairly easy to clean and take apart, and it’s got a nice combo of wire cage and plastic cage advantages (air flow, and containment and safety)You can check the listing on Amazon here.My Teddy loves that cage, although it’s not the only model that would work well for hamsters. There’s also this one, which admittedly you’d need a bit more room for.The thing about this one is that it provides half a level extra, while still being fairly large on its own.The level is adjustable, and can be put why way you want it. The spacing between the bars is small enough to keep a dwarf hamster inside too.Most toys and wheels would fit inside this cage fairly well.You can check the listing on Amazon here.If you want to know more about picking out the best cage for your hamster, you’ll need this article. The thing is, hamsters are very small, yes, but they don’t stay babies all their life. They grow incredibly fast.Actually a hamster is an adult when he reaches 3 months. Most hamsters get adopted before that age though, so that means your hamster will grow.Best to get him a cage you won’t have to change, and that will fit him as an adult. Hamsters are after all wild animals, and they do a whole lot of running around. They need to explore things and they need a much larger cage that you’d first think.Yes, budget can be an issue but the cage, the exercise wheel, and the hideout are what the hamster will use literally his entire life, until he passes away. No point in skimping on his essentials, since he only needs one of each.

Exercise/running wheel for the restless hamster

One of the most important things hamsters ever do is run. Hamsters run and run and run as much as their little feet will allow them. This means that they can run up to 9 km/5.5 miles in a single night !Imagine all that energy spent on not running in his cage. He’d be all over the cage, climbing it, chewing on the bars moving his toys around.An exercise wheel is as much for the hamster as it is for your own good. A bored and irritated hamster is not only grumpy but also hard to tame, and will try to escape.So a good exercise wheel like this one will help your hamster burn off all his energy and run as far as his little feet will take him. Wheel are notorious for being loud, so this one is made especially to be silent.It’s got a guard for your hamster’s feet and tail, and will stay in place (heavy bottom).You can check the listing on Amazon here.Your hamster will end up on his wheel most of the night. So this is one of those things that your hamster definitely needs, all his life. You can find out more about hamsters and running wheels here.

Travel/transport cage for vet visits

Another cage for the hamster ? Well, yes, because carrying the hamster’s big cage with you to the vet isn’t very easy or comfortable. So a travel cage will be needed.Luckily the hamster isn’t a very sickly animal, so vet visits aren’t on the agenda often. They do have their own health problems, but for the most part they’re healthy.The travel cage can also be used to keep the hamster safe while you clean his cage (in place of the exercise ball). Some travel cages can be attached to the permanent cage, as a sort of extended home.The travel cage doesn’t need to be large or fancy, but it does need to keep the hamster inside. Since these cages are so small, this means the hamster will become restless after a few hours. So limit his time in the travel cage to under 2 hours to avoid any stress on your hamster.A good example of a travel cage could be this one, and it would fit a Syrian hamster well enough. It’s got a lid that closes shut and a handle for easy carrying.As all travel cages, this one is large enough to keep the hamster comfortable for a couple of hours but do not keep him inside for more than that.You can check the listing on Amazon here.

The hamster himself

Finally, you’ll need the hamster himself. He is the last on this list because everything else needs to be in place before you get your furry friend.This is because hamsters are bad at handling stress, and as such when you first bring a hamster home you’ll need to leave him alone for the next 2-3 days. Feed him and talk to him, but do not open the cage or poke at him.Hamsters brought home for the first time are in danger of developing wet-tail, so be careful to keep him in a safe and calm room.As for how to pick out your hamster, I recommend you check this article. It’s got every nook and cranny covered, and the story of how i got my Teddy too.He’s a Syrian male hamster, and he’s the funniest, grumpiest little cheese ball I’ve ever met.