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Hamsters

 

A HamsterThere are 20 different breeds of hamster. The most common is the Syrian Hamster, also known as the golden hamster. Dwarf hamsters (Russian, Chinese and Roborovski) are also popular and are much smaller in stature.

 

Housing

  • Hamsters need exercise and so require as big a cage as possible.
  • A hamster cage must have a place for your pet to rest, hide, play, exercise and feed.
  • Keep the cage indoors, out of direct sunlight and draughts.

 

Bedding

  • A good, absorbent floor covering inside the cage is essential. PAWS recommends Carefresh or Back 2 Nature as these are highly absorbent and good at reducing odour.
  • Use soft paper and woolly bedding for nesting material.
  • Clean the cage out completely every week
  • Do not place hay or straw in a hamster’s cage – these tough strands can hurt hamster’s cheek pouches.
  • Never use shredded newspapers or magazines as bedding for your hamster as the ink used in the printing process is toxic.

 

Feeding

  • At PAWS we recommend Amos Hamster Mix, which is available from the shop.
  • Supplement a hamster’s diet with occasional, small amounts of fruit and vegetables. Too much of this can give your pet an upset stomach.
  • Remove uneaten food from the cage.
  • Provide clean, fresh drinking water daily from a gravity-fed bottle.

 

Handling

  • Using your hands, gently scoop your hamster from its cage.
  • Hamsters are nocturnal and you should never wake them up. It makes them very grumpy!
  • Never wake your hamster by picking it up as this will frighten it and may cause it to bite.

 

Dwarf Hamsters

There are three types of dwarf hamster; Chinese, Russian and Roborovski. These hamsters are different to the Syrian hamster in that they are omnivores and, as such, need a different type of food. You will also need to provide a cage with smaller bars to prevent escape, and you must never feed these hamsters with fruit as they are intolerant to sugar. Visit us at the shop for more information about how to care for this type of hamster.