How hard is it to take care of a hamster
How hard is it to take care of a hamster. Even experts have to take their time with a new hamster. The easy instructions below shows you how to care for hamsters in their first few weeks with you. Get to know your pet and properly introduce yourself to him or her.
1. Let Your Hamster Be
After you set your new hamster up in the cage with adequate water and some food, leave it alone. Your hamster is probably terrified. Allow it a few days to scent its habitat and settle down. Refill food but don’t try to handle it yet.
2. Daily Dos?
- Refill the food.
- Scrap out the wet bedding at the corner where your hamster urinates.
- Take out really old food if any.
3. Form A Relationship
Ease into handling your hamster:
- Talk/sing to it 10-15 minutes without touching. Let it get used to your voice.
- Open its cage door. Hold a treat at the cage door with your hand. Call your hamster’s name. Your hamster should come to you. Don’t force it.
- When your hamster is at ease coming to take a treat. Pet your hamster.
- Move to picking up the hamster, preferrably with two hands. One for support, one for petting.
It may be scary at first but after the first few times, you’ll be able to enjoy your time together.
This can take over weeks. Go at a pace you and your pet seems comfortable with. There’s no rush. It is always a good idea to spend at least 15 minutes with your hamster. Let it become familiar and safe with you.
You’ll quickly learn your hamster’s quirks on your own. Here are some common hamster behaviors that you’ll see.
Very Hamster-Like Activities!
Just in case this is your first hamster and you have no idea what hamsters do. Here’s a primer:
- Hamster Hibernation (or deep sleep) – hamsters will sleep more than usual and deep sleep when the temperature dips lower than 60F/16C. This is not a full hibernation where they sleep through the winter.
- Hamster Hoarding – hamsters love to hoard their food. It’s a instinct passed on by their wild ancestors that often face food and water shortages.
- Hamster Hideout – hamsters live in burrows in the wilds. In your habitat, hamsters like to sleep and stay in their hideouts, under bedding, and in tight spaces with cover. My hamster sleeps in a space about 3 x 3 x 2 inch hub even when there’s plenty of other, open spaces to choose from.
- Grooming or Scenting – hamsters love to groom their fur. They’ll comb their fur down. This may also look like scenting. They love to mark their territory and trail with their scent. They’ll touch their paws on the back end of their eyes where there are scent glands and pad it on the ground.
- Running – hamsters usually wake up in the evening and will run for hours on their exercising wheel. Make sure to provide a good one as they love it. But they can also become addicted to it if there is nothing else for them to do or explore.
Happy Body Language
- Sleepy – hamster goes to hideout and says there
- Active – pads around, grooming, exploring, sniffing, scenting
- Relaxed – yawning, stretching
- Excited – some hamsters may do flips and leaps when they’re happy
- Curiousity – sit on hind legs and sniffing the air or walking around, sniffing
- Alert – sitting on hind legs, still, watching and waiting for anything to happen
Frightened And Aggressive Hamster Behavior
- Nervous/Hesitant – hamster will walk around slowly (especially in unfamiliar territory) and carefully
- Flight – hamster may dash for a safe location if you startle it
- Protective – hamster stays on hind legs with paws up to protect itself form attacks
- Aggressive – hamster lies on back, baring teeth, and legs ready to push away if anything pounches on it
- Sounds – hissing indicates aggression while squeak may indicate intense pain
When you start to become familiar with your hamster, you’ll be able to notice what doesn’t look right. In those situations, be careful that you’re not the one provoking the aggressive behaviors and then figure out what’s bothering your hamster. Otherwise, enjoy seeing your hamster relaxed and ready to play with you!
How To Train your Hamster Games & Training
Here are 5 simple but fun hamster games and training I really enjoy with my pet.
1. Hamster Come To Me
Okay the most basic game is also practical. You want your hamster to come to you when you call it.
1. Hold a treat close to your hamster and call its name. Pull the treat close to you so it’ll follow.
2. Do it enough that when you call it, it will start coming over. And have the treat ready for it at your end.
2. Find The Treats
1. Lay out a bunch of treats around the outside of the cage, in jars, under hideouts, etc.
2. Open the cage door and let your hamster go on a treasure hunt!
3. Just Keep Climbing.
For some reason, my hamster, Spider-ham really does enjoy climbing up a lot (we named him Spiderman for a reason!).
1.So I’ll set it down near my lap and let it climb up my shoulder.
2. When it reaches, I’ll take it back down and he’ll have a go again. I get tired before he does. 😀
4. How Many Can He Eat?
1. Lay out some food in a line (healthy ones such a pellets).
2. See how many your hamster can stuff in his pouches. My hamster always runs back to his nest afterwards to release the food. Too cute!
5. Come To Me (Tapping)
This one is a variation to the first game. Instead of calling, tap the table or whatever you place your hamster. When the hamster comes over, treat it. Do this still your hamster gets the idea that it wants to go to where it taps.
Some people can train their hamsters to jump through hoops, roll over, and give them a paw (like with dogs). There are actually many tricks you can teach your hamster as long as you have patience.
My hamster will sometimes look expectingly at me even when I haven’t called or tapped because he associates me with goodies. But I just stick with the really basic hamster games. I hope you’ll enjoy these simplier ones, too!
Taking Care Of Hamster Chores
Every hamster fan enjoys taking care of hamster chores because it’s so easy and sometimes even fun! This list below will help guide you to do all the right things to keep your hamster safe, healthy, and happy.
I love adding things to my calendar especially if a “chore” only occurs every few weeks. Consider creating one for special events and place print out of it near your hamster!
Things To Do Daily
- Leave a portion of food for your hamster every evening. You can leave extra but your hamster will just keep it around in its nest and let it get old. If you’re feeding your hamster treats, you can track it too.
- Play with hamsters daily maybe 15+ minutes. More when you’re first starting off.
- Training your hamsters to learn your commands.
- Hamsters will urinate in one corner of the cage. Find the wet bedding in that corner and throw away. Replace with clean bedding. Do this daily.
Taking Care of Your Hamster is Easy
Things To Do Weekly Or Less with your Hamster
- Clean your hamster’s cage weekly.
- Keep you hamster safe such as in a hamster ball or a carrier/starter cage.
- I would wear rubber gloves just for my hamster.
- Disassemble cage and throw out bedding, old food, etc. (you can save just a small, clean handful of old bedding)
- Wash the hamster cage, preferrably with some kind of non-toxic soap. I do this in the backyard and let it air dry.
- Wash and dry the toys and anything that touches the hamster too.
- Check the water bottle to make sure it’s not plugged. Wash and refill.
- Assemble cage.
- Refill with fresh bedding with that one handful of old bedding. Mix and pat down.
- Put all the toys back in and your hamster.
- Clean and wash hands!
- Check your hamster’s health when you’re playing or cleaning its cage. Check the feet, under the fur, teeth, eyes, etc.
- Give your hamster a bath maybe every 2 weeks.
- Buy food and mark down expiration dates. Mark down other supplies you may need like bedding, treats, toys, etc.
- If you’re planning to breed, follow the breeding schedule.
Here are simple ways to taking care of hamster chores. I said it was easy right? Just keep a schedule, and you things will be easy-peasy!