Monthly Archives: January 2017

can hamsters understand human language at all

Can Hamsters Understand Human Language?

Getting to know your hamster is one of the first things we do as pet owners.

It is how we get to understand;

  1. Who they are and what they do.
  2. How they do things and the way they live out their lives.
  3. We want hamsters to understand us as well.

Often I can talk to my hamster and he looks blankly up at me wanting to understand what I am saying to him.

So this brings up an interesting question.

Can hamsters understand human language at all?

The answer to this is no unfortunately.

Naturally. they can’t understand human language but there is something they can do.

They can learn to pick up things in what we say, even though they may not understand totally what we are saying.

They can learn to pick up triggers in our behavior, tone of voice and sounds that we make.

If you interact with other animals such as dogs or cats you may notice that they can react to the way we as humans communicate to them.

Just like we do, they can associate with what’s being communicated to them, such as when you want them to come to you.

It’s the same with hamsters.

If you use their name often enough around them they can get used to this and naturally adapt to it.

Hamsters will pick up on the syllables, the tone and the voice you use when calling to them.

If you use soft tones and don’t speak harshly to them, they will respond well to what you saying and will grow to know and trust you.

They will feel comfortable being around you and  will eventually let you pick them up.

So the more you speak to them, the more your hamster will understand you.

They will enjoy your company and the attention you give to them.

Who knows, maybe they will come to understand some of the language you are using.

So keep talking to your hamster, do it daily and treat them like a friend.

If you do this, your hamster will respond to you in return!

Why is my hamster walking funny

Why is my hamster walking funny?

If you see your hamster hobbling around their cage in a manner that is unusual then this post if for you.

Why is my hamster walking funny?

If you find that your hamster is walking in a funny way that you haven’t seen before.

This can suggest that there maybe some kind of issue with a damaged limb or muscle.

Hamsters can injure themselves if they fall awkwardly or have pulled a muscle.

Just because they are quite agile creatures doesn’t mean they are not prone to injury.

If you notice anything like this has happened to your hamster then it is best to get them to a veterinary surgeon as soon as you can to get them checked out.

A veterinary surgeon will be able to properly diagnose the issue and identify the root cause.

Whilst you are awaiting an appointment to the see them.

Make sure that your hamster gets as much rest as possible.

Put plenty of bedding down, make sure they are in a warm environment.

You can do this by removing all temptation to run around.

So take out the hamster wheel and maybe seal off any tunnels and remove toys they would be tempted to play with.

Remove Shelving that they could be tempted to jump off as well.

Make sure they are well fed and have plenty of water.

The more rest and feeding they get the more chance they have of healing.

It is also a good idea to check their poop to ensure that it is the same color and size as normal.

 

Why is my hamster's food bowl always empty

Why Is My Hamster’s Food Bowl Always Empty?

If you have had a hamster for a short amount of time, you may have the following question going through your mind:

Why is my hamster’s food bowl always empty?

Hamsters are hungry creatures.

They are always on the look out for food.

They are creatures who are natural scavengers and so are very used to hunting and gathering.

This is something they are used to doing at night under the cover of darkness.

This is so as to keep away from the watchful eyes of predators.

The way they scavenge is to take the goods they get and to store it whilst on the run.

They can do this effectively by storing it in their cheeks.

They do this to this day and you may see your hamster’s head balloon in size because of this

This is the reason that if you go to the hamsters food bowl and it is empty even after you have just put food in.

They have most likely put it all in their cheeks and taken it to be stashed away in their nest.

The next time you put our food for them it is worth waiting around and observing what they do with it.

I noted this and did this and saw that my hamster was putting all the food in his cheeks.

He then stored it either in his nest or in the tunnels  of his cage.

This presents another issue of food sitting around and going stale.

Whilst this isn’t a big health issue for them you may wish to do spot cleans of their cage .

This enables you to pick up the stale food you you notice.

can hamsters eat stale food

Can Hamsters Eat Stale Food?

Staling, or “going stale”, is a chemical and physical process in bread and other foods that reduces their palatability.

Staling is not, as is commonly believed, simply a drying-out process due to evaporation.

For example, bread will stale even in a moist environment, and stales most rapidly at temperatures just above freezing.

Bread stored in the refrigerator will have increased staling rates and should therefore be kept at room temperature.

However, refrigeration delays the growth of mold and extends the shelf life of bread. (source)

Can hamsters eat stale food?

Yes they can but as you can imagine it is not the best quality food for them.

Better to feed them fresh food. steer clear of moldy food.

Stale food doesn’t provide a health risk to them and if they don’t like it they will soon leave it alone.

Although hamsters will pretty much eat anything they can regulate themselves well.

Why is my hamster's food bowl always empty

What Do Hamsters Like To Do?

Hamsters are one of the best pets you can own and also one of the most popular as well.

They are great pets to have due to their self sufficiency, their pleasant demeanor.

They also have unbelievable cuteness and are very inexpensive to look after.

The are solitary creatures who spend most of the day sleeping and become active during the evening and at the night.

Plus, if they are cared for properly, they make great family pets.

As pet owners its important to get to know your hamster and to understand their character, nature and activity.

This knowledge makes it easier to look after them and ensure they are given the care that they need.

Plus, it will also help to understand what they are up to at any particular time.

So what do hamsters like to do?

Here are six activities that a hamster likes to do.

Hamsters like to climb

Like many rodents, hamsters like to climb.

It is part of their energetic and inquisitive nature.

They have the ability to climb up onto objects and even climb upside down.

The nature of their paws and claws mean they can attach themselves to objects including cage bars and even climb upside down.

I have even seen them hang from two paws.

Their agile body means they are well built for climbing.

So if you see them climbing up their cage bars then don’t be alarmed.

They are just enjoying themselves.

Hamsters love to explore

As mentioned above, hamsters are inquisitive animals.

Hamsters love to explore new things and new environments.

They love to move around and a healthy hamster will not stay still during their active times for more than a second.

They use their whiskers to check things out as well their very keen sense of smell.

Their eyes also help them to look around due to their position on the side of their head.

So if you see them sniffing objects and running from place to place, then this is very much part of their nature.

It is also a good sign that all is well with them.

Hamsters love to dig

As prey animals, hamsters have a natural ability to dig into the earth with their paws.

Their sleek body has adapted over the centuries to this activity meaning they have the ability to dig at a rapid pace.

Using this ability, they can get away from predators, build themselves homes, keep their young safe in the wild and store food.

Given the opportunity they will take any opportunity to dig.

This is why it is important to provide them with plenty of wood shavings and bedding so that they can dig in their cage.

I usually provide at least an inch of shavings on the cage floor, if not more.

My Syrian hamster will then play with it and move it to other parts of the cage so it can create a pile that he can dig into.

He will even create a nest in there and will prefer staying in his prepared nest to his hidey home that we purchased him.

So give your hamster plenty of opportunity to dig, they absolutely love doing it and will relish the opportunity to do so.

Hamsters love to forage

Hamsters relish any opportunity to forage.

It is another characteristic of being a prey animal.

They have a conscious need to store food for a later date as they are cautious animals and typically they don’t know when they are going to eat again.

In the wild, they will go out at night under cover of darkness in order to gather food.

They have been known to run up to eight miles a night to do this.

Hamsters will then store it in their cheeks until they get back to their home where they will store it in a chamber or in the tunnels around it.

They still have this built in ability to do this and so often you may find food hidden in places around their cage so that they can retrieve it at a later date.

The trouble with this is that it can go stale and so will need to be retrieved by you often.

So a good spot clean of their cage on a daily basis will solve this.

However, if you want to leave them to it there is no harm in this.

If they don’t like the food when they come back to it they will just leave it.

In our Syrian hamster’s cage, he has tunnels to run about in and will often store food in them and come back to it later.

Hamsters love to hide

They will often seek out hiding spaces to get away from danger, loud noises or other things which they don’t like much.

They will relish the places that you give to them hide away from noise, light and danger.

If you don’t give them any, they will look to create them by themselves.

Again, this another characteristic of being a prey animal where they will retreat from any kind of danger that they sense.

They are also solitary animals and so this fits well with this characteristic.

Hamsters love to chew

They have teeth that are constantly growing.

As rodents they share this characteristic with mice, rats, gerbils, guinea pigs amongst other species of rodent.

They always need to be chewing and grinding their teeth down.

Otherwise, their teeth will cause them a great deal of pain as they are not ground down as they should be.

If this isn’t addressed, this can be very expensive due to the veterinary bills that this can cause.

So giving your hamster things to chew on constantly is a vital thing to do as a hamster owner.

Items such as wooden blocks, chew toys, cardboard tubing are good for leaving out for them to chew on.

If they have nothing to chew on, they will start chewing on things you don’t want them to chew on such as cage bars and plastic.

So do your hamster a favor and leave plenty for them to chew on and will relish the opportunity.

can hamsters eat raw corn

Can Hamsters Eat Raw Corn?

Sweet corn is a variety of maize with a high sugar content.

Sweet corn is the result of a naturally occurring recessive mutation in the genes which control conversion of sugar to starch inside the endosperm of the corn kernel.

Unlike field corn varieties, which are harvested when the kernels are dry and mature (dent stage), sweet corn is picked when immature (milk stage) and prepared and eaten as a vegetable, rather than a grain.

Since the process of maturation involves converting sugar to starch, sweet corn stores poorly and must be eaten fresh, canned, or frozen, before the kernels become tough and starchy.

So can hamsters eat raw corn?

Let’s take a look a their nutritional data and find out more.

In particular, their acidic, water, sugar, fat, salt, calcium and phosphorus content is of most interest as far as hamsters are concerned.

Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 360 kJ (86 kcal)
Carbohydrates
19.02 g
Sugars 3.22 g
Dietary fiber 2.7 g
Fat
1.18 g
Protein
3.2 g
Tryptophan 0.023 g
Threonine 0.129 g
Isoleucine 0.129 g
Leucine 0.348 g
Lysine 0.137 g
Methionine 0.067 g
Cystine 0.026 g
Phenylalanine 0.150 g
Tyrosine 0.123 g
Valine 0.185 g
Arginine 0.131 g
Histidine 0.089 g
Alanine 0.295 g
Aspartic acid 0.244 g
Glutamic acid 0.636 g
Glycine 0.127 g
Proline 0.292 g
Serine 0.153 g
Vitamins
Vitamin A equiv. (1%) 9 μg
Thiamine (B1) (17%) 0.200 mg
Niacin (B3) (11%) 1.700 mg
Folate (B9) (12%) 46 μg
Vitamin C (8%) 6.8 mg
Minerals
Iron (4%) 0.52 mg
Magnesium (10%) 37 mg
Potassium (6%) 270 mg
Other constituents
Water 75.96 g

source wikipedia

As you can see, raw corn contains a lot of water, acidic content, a little sugar, and a hint of fat.

This means that it is fine for them to nibble on as an occasional food but shouldn’t a regular food as part of their diet due to the amount of sugar and water it contains.

can hamsters eat trail mix

Can Hamsters Eat Trail Mix?

Trail mix is a type of snack mix, specifically a combination of granola, dried fruit, nuts, and sometimes chocolate.

It was developed as a food to be taken along on hikes.

Trail mix is considered an ideal snack food for hikes, because it is lightweight, easy to store, and nutritious.

It provides a quick energy boost from the carbohydrates in the dried fruit or granola, and sustained energy from fats in nuts.

The combination of nuts, raisins and chocolate as a trail snack dates at least to the 1910s.

This is when outdoorsman Horace Kephart recommended it in his popular camping guide.

So can hamsters eat trail mix at all?

Because of the fat content of nuts and chocolate, it is not a good food for hamsters to eat. However, they will devour it if they are given it.

Despite its tastiness for them, it is not a food that should be regularly be fed to them and a few nuts as a treat on an occasion will probably suffice for them at the most.

can hamsters eat tapioca

Can Hamsters Eat Tapioca?

Tapioca is a starch extracted from cassava root (Manihot esculenta).

This species is native to the North Region of Brazil, but spread throughout the South American continent.

The plant was carried by Portuguese and Spanish explorers.

They traveled to most of the West Indies, and continents of Africa and Asia, including the Philippines and Taiwan.

It is now cultivated worldwide.

A staple food in many world regions, tapioca is used as a thickening agent in various foods. (source)

So can hamsters eat tapioca at all?

No unfortunately, it is not good for hamsters to eat and should be avoided as a food for them.

can hamsters swim

Can Hamsters Swim?

The ability to swim is something that comes naturally to most animals.

When faced with being plunged into water and either sinking into it or keeping afloat and getting to safety, most animals have the ability to find it within themselves to swim to safety.

Dog’s for instance will naturally do and it is something they are not taught to do.

They much prefer dry land and do not like being near water at all.

But if they were faced with water, can hamsters swim at all?

In their natural habitat, hamsters live in hot and dry environments.

They are used to these kinds of places where there isn’t much water around.

So they will not be used to any kinds of water when faced with it.

Like other animals, when faced with the danger of being plunged into water, they can swim.

They will stretch out their legs and then paddle with all their strength and try and keep their head above water as much as possible and try and find dry land as soon as they can.

So, yes hamsters can swim.

However, it is something they do not like to do at all.

When they are forced into water and challenged to swim, they will become extremely stressed.

When they are stressed this will harm the hamster.

A wet hamster is an unhappy hamster

Also, if the water is cold they could even catch a cold or worse still, pneumonia from being in the water.

This could be fatal for the hamster as they do not have the ability to deal with having cold and wet fur.

Their fur is their body’s protection from the elements and has protective oils that help to protect their body.

If their becomes compromised then this will detrimentally affect the hamster.

This also means that giving them a bath is also not a good idea.

In the same way as being plunged into water, their fur cannot naturally dry itself and even with your assistance to dry it.

Their body will not react well to water.

They are extremely good at keeping themselves clean without the aid of water.

They are naturally inclined to do this.

What about using water to wash themselves?

Hamsters will use other methods such as rolling around in a sand bath to rid themselves of any grease or dirt.

They have paws and a tongue to help them do this.

So if you see a video of a hamster swimming, it doesn’t mean it is enjoying itself.

The fact that some animals such as dogs absolutely love swimming doesn’t mean that other animals will.

Hamsters do not enjoy swimming and much prefer dry environments

If possible, keep them away from water, they will much prefer it and it will be much better for their health.

can hamsters swim

Can Hamsters See In The Dark?

For a new hamster owner, it can be difficult to know what kind of environment your hamster needs for their home.

They have many different requirements and taking all this in can be tricky.

So its important to understand what a hamster likes and does not like.

Also to understand what they are comfortable with and what they are not so comfortable.

For instance, are they comfortable with the lights on in a room or can they cope with the lights being off and being in darkness?

The question ‘can hamsters see in the dark?’ is easily answered, yes they can.

As rodents, hamsters are nocturnal animals.

Because of this, they have the ability to go about their activities during periods of darkness.

This is vital to the way they were able to survive in the wild.

Running around at night under the cover of darkness meant that they were able to escape detection from the many predators that were looking to attack them.

They would gather their food during these times and look to forage to look after their young,

Once day break came, they would retreat back to their burrows and sleep away from the detection of predators.

Because of the need to do things at night, they had to adjust their eyesight.

Being able to conduct their business at night meant that they needed to see where they were going.

This is no easy task and a learned skill which they have adapted to over the centuries.

It meant that they also had to adjust the times that they rested from night time to day time.

That doesn’t mean that they are not active during the day time.

Hamsters can wake in an instant and are always listening for danger or any kind of noise, even when they are asleep.

This ability to see in the dark is of great benefit for them and means that they have no problem with being left in total darkness.

In fact, they prefer it.

They have an ability to adjust to their environment whether in the light or darkness so do not be concerned if they are kept in darkness or daylight.