Choosing and arranging a home
At what age is it better to buy
Hamsters do not live long, but you should not rush to pick them up from the breeder. Babies under 21 days old should be with their mother. You can excommunicate them from 22 to 28 days, but no later. The optimal age for acquiring a pet is 1.5-2 months, but not older. Older individuals will be more difficult to accustom to a tray and a new place of residence.
When buying, the breeder must provide the buyer with food for the first time and the bedding on which the hamster lived. The familiar smell and menu will allow him to quickly adapt to new conditions.
- the appearance of the animal. it should look healthy, active, well-groomed;
- the condition of the coat. dull, with scabs and bald patches, the fur indicates health problems in the rodent;
- eyes. they should be lively, shiny, not cloudy;
- nose. must be dry and clean;
- anus. it must be dry, clean, odorless and free of discharge;
- behavior. it is better to refuse to buy an aggressive individual in order to avoid further problems with his m, you should also not take a sluggish and sleepy rodent.
If you are buying a hamster that can live alone, and do not plan to share it with neighbors, then it is desirable that it be a male. You can determine the sex of these rodents when they reach the age of 1 month.
All the most important for the successful keeping of hamsters at home
Hamsters are one of the more popular animals that people prefer to keep as pets. Their popularity is due to their unpretentiousness, small size and good tameness. What you need to know about keeping hamsters at home, we will tell you in our article.
How many hamsters to keep in one cage
This will depend on the type you get. So, for example, we have already mentioned that Roborovsky’s hamster cannot stand loneliness. At the same time, it is not recommended to keep Syrian hamsters, especially same-sex ones, in the same cage. Fight, bites and torn pieces of fur in such a situation cannot be avoided. The Dzungarian female and male also arrange battles for the territory. Therefore, they very rarely get along in the same cage. They are brought together only for the time of mating.
Size and material
The size of the cage will depend on the type of hamster you get, the length of its body, and the number of individuals that will live in it. So, for one representative of dwarf species, a dwelling 50 cm long, 30 cm high and wide will be enough.If several individuals are planned, then these parameters, respectively, are multiplied by their number.
For medium-sized hamsters, the cage should be at least 60 cm long and 40 cm high and wide.
As for the materials of the dwelling, most often hamsters are kept in cages with metal rods. Species such as Dzungarian and Roborovskiy can also live in plastic cages, but you will need dwellings made of special plastic, which is suitable for keeping rodents and is safe for them. Dwarf species can be kept in aquariums and terrariums as they have a habit of running away through the gaps between metal rods. Narrow glass vessels with high walls are not suitable for this purpose.
hamster cage selection
Types for home content
When buying a hamster, you should pay attention to the species to which it belongs, since each of them has its own characteristics of content.
In nature, there are about 240 species of hamsters, but much less can live at home. We will introduce you only the most popular of them.
Dzungarian. One of the most popular species among breeders, along with the Syrian. The body length of its representatives is up to 10 cm, body weight is 35-65 g. It is easy to recognize them. by the dark vertical stripe along the back and a diamond on the forehead.
Campbell. Similar to the previous species, it belongs to the same genus of Upland hamsters. It has a body of 7-10 cm in length and 25 g in mass. The traditional coloration of wild hamsters is dark gray with brown and dark vertical stripes along the body. The fur of representatives who live at home can be colored in various shades. from white to black. The most common shades of brown. The maximum life span under good conditions is 4 years. Roborovsky. This dwarf hamster barely grows up to 5 cm. It weighs about 30 g. The hair on the head and back is sand-colored, the abdomen is white. There are light spots above the eyes. In captivity, this animal can live for 2-3 years.
Syrian (Near East). The body length of adults of this species can be up to 14 cm, weight. 100-130 g. It is covered with soft short golden fur. The life expectancy of representatives of this species with proper care is 2.5-3 years. One of the varieties of Syrian hamsters are long-haired. Angora. They are characterized by long, fluffy fur up to 5 cm in length. The coat has a variety of colors. from light beige to black. There are also tortoiseshell and spotted angora hamsters.
Taylor. Another dwarf species. It has a body up to 8 cm long and weighing up to 20 g, covered with thick fur. His chest and belly are white, the back and back of his head are brown. The average lifespan of Taylor’s hamsters is 2-2.5 years.
What is needed for a hamster in a cage
For a rodent to live comfortably in a cage, you will need to equip it with items necessary for nutrition, hygiene, and play. Here is a minimal list of what should be in a hamster dwelling:
- mineral stone;
Feeder. It is advisable that the hamster has a bowl for food. However, it can also be fed by scattering feed on the bedding. Which way to choose is up to you. Note that the last option is the best if the cage contains several individuals. However, it will require additional cleaning. When feeding from a bowl, the host can control the amount of food eaten to avoid overeating. Hamster feeders are usually made of ceramic or plastic. Drinking bowl. It is attached to the cage from the outside, a spout is inserted inside, from which the animal will drink. The water must be changed daily. Tray. A small hamster can be trained to defecate in a litter tray. So you only have to change it every day. If there is no litter box, the animal will defecate on the litter. This option is also allowed, but will require a lot of cleaning effort. It is best to use corn medium as litter in the tray. Mineral stone. The rodent needs it to grind its teeth. The animal also needs to periodically put wooden sticks in the cage. Wheel. This is a must for hamsters as it is important for a healthy animal to be physically active. In addition, like any other rodent, the hamster loves to play. The wheel must be matched to the size of the animal. For representatives of the Dzungarian and dwarf species, a device with a diameter of 20 cm is suitable.For larger rodents, including Syrian. 30 cm.It is necessary to avoid buying wheels with crossbars and from a net. there are often cases when the paws of an animal are stuck in them and injured.
Litter. Another mandatory attribute in the cage is the substrate, which needs to fill the bottom of the cage with a layer of 6 cm. It is necessary for the animal to move around the floor warmly, so that it can dig there and absorb its urine. Wood shavings (except for coniferous) are most often used as litter today. It can also be hay, woody, cellulose, corn, clay, cat litter.
It is also advisable to equip the cage with toys. for grinding teeth, climbing (tunnels, ladders, rungs, mazes).
How to catch a hamster? Take advantage of one trap you can make yourself. Take a clean deep bucket. It doesn’t have to be deep enough. Place a towel (sawdust) on the bottom of the bucket to cushion the fall. Next, you need to put some food in the bucket. This is to lure the hamster to the bucket. You can use fragrant treats such as apple and peanut butter for this. You can also place a toilet paper tube or a toothbrush in the bucket. In addition, you can additionally place lettuce leaves in the bucket and put a container with water so that the rodent can quench its thirst.
Then you need to make steps for the hamster. How to make them? You can lay out disks or a stack of books in the form of steps. Also for these purposes, you can use the details of the Lego constructor. Also, in addition to the steps, make a ramp. Note that the steps themselves should go to the top edge of the bucket outside.
You can use a napkin instead of foil. Standing on it, the rodent will simply fall into the bucket. I also wanted to say that you should not pour too much food on the steps that lead to the bucket. You don’t want to feed the hamster, but attract. Otherwise, he will just eat up and hide. Then you need to wait until the animal gets hungry. These traps should be installed in every room if you do not know exactly where the rodent is hiding.
You can also use a pipe to catch the rodent. You should carefully lure the hamster into it. After the rodent enters, close the exit. Next, lift the pipe and put the rodent in the cage.
You can use the trash can in the same way. It also needs to be covered with paper or baking foil. Attach a ruler on top so that the rodent climbs onto the bucket along it. Also line the food with a ruler, in the center of the covered bucket too. Note that the bin should not be too deep. Since a small rodent should not fall from a height that exceeds 25 cm.
There is another hamster catching method you can try. To do this, turn off all electrical appliances and lights in the room. Stay in the rodent room in the dark and do not move. Hear the sounds that the animal makes. It may be necessary to wait for a while. But eventually you will hear the rodent move. You can, in order to attract a hamster, prepare carrot slices in advance. They should be tied to a string with a bell. When the animal starts eating a vegetable, you will hear a bell ringing.
Prevention of escapes. What the owner needs to do in order to avoid problems?
In order not to wonder how to catch a hamster, it is worth preventing its escapes. But how to do it? Make the cage more secure. To do this, check all loose, malfunctioning and loose parts of the cage. If there are faults, correct them immediately.
If the rodent often escapes, then lock the cage well. To do this, use a metal lock. It needs to be fixed on the outside. Do not use a plastic lock for these purposes. He is more harmful, moreover, it can be useless, since his hamster can simply gnaw.
It is also worth removing sources of stress and fear. Then he will have ideal living conditions. In a room where it is constantly noisy and loud, the rodent will be uncomfortable to live. If you notice signs of discontent in the hamster (for example, he runs away from the cage, behaves apathetically, etc.), then think about the possibility that your pet needs more attention from you.
Catching a hamster. Using the cage
Next, we move on to the most important in our article. How to catch an escaped hamster in an apartment? Take his cage and place it on the floor. Place food and water inside the rodent’s housing. Then leave the door to the cage open. And determine her herself near the intended shelter of the pet. Eventually, the hamster must want to go into the cage. After which he will feel safe, because he will feel familiar smells. Note that if you use an aquarium to keep a rodent, then you should put it sideways so that the pet can easily get into it.
The jogging wheel will help you catch
How to catch an escaped hamster in an apartment? Extend the running wheel. It is this that will be required for the next way to catch a hamster. As soon as you hear the creak of a spinning wheel, you can safely head (slowly and quietly) into the room. Since the hamster is in the wheel. You need to try very carefully to sneak up on the rodent and grab it.
If the hamster escaped from the cage, how to catch it? First, examine all the rooms to determine where the rodent is hiding. Usually, animals like hamsters hide in warm, dark places. Therefore, look in the area of pipes, batteries. You can also find a rodent behind a washing machine, behind a drawer, and more. So take a flashlight and check all hard-to-reach places. Also, while searching, pay attention to traces in the form of lost seeds and excrement.
So how do you catch a hamster in the house? If you do not know which room the rodent is in, then pour a handful of grain in each room, leave it overnight. Place food by skirting boards. The rodent will most likely find it there.
Once you’ve figured out where the hamster is, sprinkle handfuls of food all over the room. This will help you figure out which part of the room the hamster lives in. Thanks to this, you will be able to significantly reduce the search area.
When you have determined which room the hamster is in, it is advisable that no one outsiders enter it until you catch the rodent. Otherwise, there is a risk that someone will injure accidentally or step on the animal.
Why frequent water treatments are harmful?
In nature, hamsters climb into the water only when there is an urgent need: when rescuing from a fire or a predator, or when a mink is flooded. Therefore, even in domesticated rodents, the body is not adapted to constant water procedures.
With regular bathing of a Dzungarian hamster, there is a risk of the following complications:
- Severe stress. Each contact of a dzhungarik with water leads to an overload of his nervous system. As a result, the heart of such a tiny animal can stop.
- Hypothermia. Unsuitable water temperature and wet hair for a rodent can lead to colds or pneumonia.
- The appearance of problems with the skin. After bathing, especially if shampoo has been used, the acid-base balance of the skin and its protective fat layer are disturbed. As a result, the risk of dermatitis, scratching and purulent wounds increases. If the pet was a carrier of demodicosis, then after bathing, subcutaneous mites are activated. And wet coat is an excellent environment for the development of lichen.
- There is a risk of injury. If it gets into the water, the hamster will break loose, scratch and even bite. In an attempt to keep a tiny animal slippery from the water, you can accidentally injure or drop it.
When deciding whether to bathe a Dzungarian hamster, it is necessary to take into account all potential risks and always be prepared for the consequences.
Can I bathe?
There are photos and videos on the network that show an independent bathing and even swimming of a hamster in the water. However, not everything is so cute and fun as it seems from the outside. To make the hamster swim, it is enough to run it into a basin or bathtub filled with water. The animal instinctively moves its legs and swims in order to survive. It must be remembered that animals do not have natural endurance for such a process.
- Getting stress. In its natural environment, an animal will never voluntarily submerge itself in water. If this happens, the hamster is overwhelmed by the nervous system. Sensitive creatures can die. Do not console yourself with the thought that your pet likes to swim: definitely, it doesn’t like it.
- Hypothermia. The rodent can catch a cold or pneumonia due to the cool water and wet fur. The immune defense of a frozen animal is reduced.
- Destruction of the protective layer of the skin. Washing destroys the protective layer of fat and skin pH, which can lead to dermatitis. The animals begin to itch to purulent wounds. Possible activation of subcutaneous mites and the appearance of lichen.
- Injury. A wet animal slides in the owner‘s hands and risks falling from a height. Wanting to free himself, the hamster scratches and bites, which is why a person can involuntarily unclench his hand and drop his pet.
Even if a decorative hamster gets soiled with urine or droppings, which indicates inappropriate housing conditions, sand will become an alternative to water. All breeds of hamsters keep their hair in order with a sand bath.
The need for water treatments arises when a pet accidentally gets dirty with sticky products, such as mayonnaise, honey, jam. If he is not washed, he will clean himself and at the same time taste the forbidden food, which will end in disastrous for him. With a slight contamination with sweets, the fur is perfectly washed with a damp cloth or moistened cotton pad. Fatty foods can only be washed off with detergent.
Another reason for bathing a furry animal: toxic pollution. Do not hesitate: wash or not wash if bleach, acetone, disinfectant or other type of household chemicals have come into contact with the wool.
Is it possible to bathe a Jungarik hamster in the water?
Water procedures are a great stress for the animal and the risk of complications. But in some situations, it is justified:
- Contamination of wool with hazardous food. For example, an animal is soiled with mayonnaise, jam, butter or other fatty and sticky substances. If you do not bathe in time, then the pet will eat up, which will lead to indigestion or poisoning.
- Contact with household chemicals. For example, floor or dishwashing detergents, acetone, etc.
- The appearance of parasites: lice, ticks, lice. In such a situation, bathing the hamster with a special therapeutic shampoo will quickly and effectively get rid of parasites.
If the animal shows signs of infection, it is recommended to show it to a veterinarian as soon as possible, who will conduct an examination and prescribe the optimal treatment. It is not recommended to select medicines for parasites on your own, as it is possible to worsen the health of the rodent.
Swimming in the sand
To swim in the sand, you will need a kind of hamster bathing suit, where the sand is placed. You should buy sand that is intended for hamsters. There is sand for cleaning chinchilla hair, but it should not be used to care for hamsters. Firstly, it has a too fine-grained structure, which is why it is not able to qualitatively clean the hair of hamsters, and secondly, there is a great danger of getting such sand into the respiratory tract, which will provoke the development of inflammatory processes.
The sand perfectly cleans and removes any dirt from the pet’s coat
Under no circumstances should unclean sand be poured from the street. It contains various bacteria, insects, dirt particles and other debris. Bathing in such sand will provoke the development of skin inflammations, parasite infestation and many other health problems.
Preparation before bathing
All the necessary accessories must be prepared in advance so that you do not have to be distracted.
First of all, a container is purchased that is suitable for performing water procedures. Experienced owners use a sink for this purpose.
Important! Expert advice: if you need to bathe your hamster, do it quickly!
Is it possible to bathe hamsters and how to do it correctly?
People often have pets to brighten up their loneliness or to diversify their everyday life. Lovers can be different, so you need to know everything about caring for them. If a hamster will live at home, then it is worth figuring out how to feed it, where to keep it and what hygiene procedures to carry out.
Bathing a Dzungarian hamster in water and sand: pet hygiene
Regular water procedures are not needed by a dzhungarik and are highly undesirable. These rodents are naturally very clean: they thoroughly clean their fur every day. But sometimes such pollution appears that the animal cannot cope with on its own. In such situations, he needs the help of the owner.
Rules for choosing housing for a hamster
It will be imperative to purchase a cage for a hamster. Since it is unlikely that anyone will like that the animal will walk around the apartment and gnaw on anything.
When choosing a cell, you should take into account the following nuances:
- Overall dimensions of the cage.
- Does the cage have a drinker, a feeder and a wheel.
- The material from which the cage is made.
- The presence of a high-quality latch on the door.
- Is there a removable bottom in the cage?
- Is there paint on the rods of the cage.
List of required items
The entire list of what is needed for a hamster can be divided into several parts. The first includes the required items, without which the hamster becomes impossible, but the second part of the list includes the necessary things, thanks to which the hamster will be able to lead an active lifestyle.
- Dwelling for the animal. a cage.
- A house that will be located in the cage itself.
- Jogging wheel.
- Feeder for feeding the animal.
- Drinking bowl because hamsters need water.
As what a hamster in a cage needs for leisure, the following items are:
- Ball for walking.
- Outside cabins that fit into the tunnels.
- Decorative feeder.
Choosing a hamster wheel
What is needed for the Dzungarian hamster, as well as for its closest relatives, after acquiring a cage is a wheel. The presence of this item is a must, since the pet can spend its active leisure time thanks to it. It is also necessary to maintain the physical tone of the animal.
Therefore, the choice of this subject must be given special attention, namely, it is necessary to take into account:
- What are the wheel mounts. In the event that it is fixed between the walls of the home, the hamster will be completely safe during his training.
- The surface of the drum should be made of a small mesh, which will provide the hamster with additional safety and protect it from injury.
- The size of the drum must fully match and suit the size of the pet, after it grows up, it is better to change the wheel to a more suitable one.
What is needed for a hamster
Caring for hamsters at home implies the presence of some items and equipment, thanks to which such pets will become possible. However, for those who first encounter such nuances, buying everything you need will not be so easy. It is necessary to know in advance exactly what is needed for a hamster before acquiring such a fluffy friend.
How to Setup a Hamster Cage
Are walking balls and terrarium a must?
One of the frequent questions that breeders have is the question of whether to give preference to a cage or a terrarium. The positive aspects of the terrarium are:
Everything you NEED for a hamster!
- The presence of noise insulation.
- Easy to clean and feed your pet.
- Lack of garbage near the animal’s housing.
Despite all the advantages, the negative aspects of purchasing a terrarium are also present:
- Lack of ability to tame a pet.
- You need to use only special feeders and drinkers.
- You should think of ways to place additional accessories in the hamster’s home.
Of course, each owner gives preference to such a pet housing arrangement, which is more suitable in his opinion. However, you should think about whether the pet hamster will feel cozy and comfortable in the new home. But about the balls intended for walking, their presence will provide the rodent with more active and interesting leisure.
Despite this, it should be borne in mind that jogging in a ball is much more difficult for hamsters than in a wheel, so long walks of this type are not recommended. It is best to walk, thus, no more than half an hour.
Before you get such a fascinating and tiny pet, you should think about whether you can provide the animal with proper care. After all, his life will depend on you in the future.