Creating the perfect habitat for your new hamster is a fun and exciting process.
From choosing a hamster house to equipping it with the best bedding and toys, you will love setting up the perfect space for your new pet.
Read on for everything you need to know to ensure your hamster has everything they need to live a happy and full life.
Research Your Hamster Cage
Your hamster house and cage should make your pet as content as possible. That means giving them enough space to move around.
The minimum size hamster habitat you should buy is 450 square inches. This should be kept in mind if you go to a store and see cages that are costly and far too small.
A bin cage is a great cheap and big cage option that is easy to make. But no matter what you choose, make sure the cage has a solid floor and plenty of bedding material for your hamster to dig and burrow.
If you get a wire or mesh cage, your hamster could suffer from a disease called Bumblefoot that is very painful.
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Buy the Biggest Hamster Habitat Possible
There are three standard minimum sizes for a hamster cage. The first is the American minimum (360 square inches), this is a little on the small side.
Then there is the German option (1 square meter) which is the largest and the RSPCA minimum (80×50 centimeters) which is manageable.
Connecting smaller cages to try to reach the minimum size is not recommended. Hamsters need the space to run around like they do in the wild.
Consider Buying Second-Hand
Although buying a new hamster house and cage is the best option, buying a second-hand one is not a bad idea. As long as you clean it thoroughly with a mild baby soap it should be safe to use.
If the cage has a smell lingering from its previous occupant, you can wipe it down with a mixture of white vinegar and water occasionally. There are also sprays and wipes on the market that are pet-safe for disinfecting purposes.
Decide Where to Put Your Hamster Habitat
Your hamster’s wellbeing is directly related to where its cage is placed. You have to avoid putting it anywhere that will be exposed to extreme heat or cold.
That means keeping the cage away from direct sunlight and not placing it next to a radiator or other heat source.
You should also try to avoid putting it anywhere that has a draft. If you don’t like the idea of keeping the cage in your house, you can put it in a garden or garage that are frost-free.
Make sure that you provide the hamster with extra bedding if you choose this option.
Note that hamsters are sensitive to light and sound. Try not to put the cage that has lights turning on and off often and store it away from things like televisions and computer screens.
You should also keep them away from running water and vacuum cleaners if possible. They generate an ultrasonic frequency that can be distressing to a hamster.
Buy a Wheel
Hamsters by nature are very active creatures. That means that they need lots of things to play with and use for exercise in their cages. Buying a wheel is a great place for you to start.
For a dwarf hamster, you should consider wheels that range from 6.5-8 inches.
For a Chinese hamster, you should opt for an eight-inch wheel.
For large hamsters like the Syrian, you should go for a twelve-inch wheel.
Make sure that you don’t skimp on the size. You’ll know the wheel is too small if it seems like your hamster is running while arching their back in the shape of a smiley face.
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Buy a Water Bottle or Bowl
If you opt for a bottle, make sure you choose one that isn’t leaky.
If you choose a bowl, try something that has a covering to it so that your hamster doesn’t bury it in wood shavings. You can also try putting the bowl on a small shelf.
Decide on a Feeder
You have a couple options when choosing a feeder. You can either buy a food bowl or scatter-feed.
If you choose to use a bowl, it will be easier to know how much your hamster has been eating.
But scatter-feeding has its own benefits. It can help to bring out your hamster’s natural instincts for foraging. It can also be a helpful technique in preventing dwarf hamsters from fighting over food.
Get Your Hamster House
The hamster house itself is an incredibly important part of the overall habitat. Most are suitable for dwarf and Chinese hamsters, but the Syrians often require more space.
Add Some Toys
Pet toys are a great way to keep your animal entertained and out of trouble and hamsters are no exception.
Make sure to get chews for them since their teeth never stop growing. They also like toys that they can climb and games of hide-and-seek.
Provide Adequate Nesting Material
Your hamster house should be surrounded by nesting materials inside and out. Make sure they have about three inches or more of material to dig into.
If you are in need of nesting material and run out, using shredded tissue paper can be a good option.
Change the Nesting Material Regularly
The size of your cage affects how often you need to clean it. You should try to aim for about once a month.
Make sure you stick to a regular cleaning schedule so that you don’t make your hamster nervous.
Keep Your Hamsters Stimulated
Your hamster house and toys may become boring to your pet after a while. Make sure that you keep adding new things that will stimulate them. They love things to chew on and dig in.
Try giving them an empty cereal box or toilet paper tubes to play in and chew to shreds.
More Helpful Information on Your Pets
Getting a new pet is always somewhat nerve-wracking. It takes time to learn what the right things are to do to take care of it properly.
If you are looking for more helpful information on taking care of your pets, check out our blog today.