Ok, this wasn’t really written by a hamster, nor did they whisper in my ear and tell me but its written from their point of view. Our aim is that they are treated as well as can be, and we have a pretty good idea of how they like to be treated as pets so hopefully it is helpful in this aspect.
So here we go, here are 10 things your hamster wants you to know.
1. I need to chew
Did you know that I am a rodent?
Like other rodents my teeth are always growing and this can cause me problems.
It’s one of the things I have to live with and it means I have to keep them in check.
Unfortunately, if I let them grow they can cause me a lot of pain.
I keep them in check by chewing.
This is why I always need things to chew on like hard items such as blocks of wood and I’ll even chew in those chew toys you can get as well.
If you don’t provide them for me unfortunately I’ll need to chew on things you don’t want me to chew on.
Items like the sides of the cage you put me in will do the job.
You may not like this but sorry it’s what I need to do.
I have been known to chew through plastic and have a go at metal bars if necessary so do help me out and get some good things that you would like me to chew on.
2. I love to run
Did you know that in the wild I can run up to nine miles a night?
I love to run and exercise is an important part of my lifestyle.
I need to be able to run so if I am to be your pet I need help in making this happen.
You can get me an exercise wheel but make sure it’s the biggest one you can find as small exercise wheels are painful for my back.
You can also get me a hamster ball which is also helpful if a little confusing for me.
Make sure you clean it out regularly and get a good sized one that I can see out of clearly.
However my most favorite exercise is when you let me out in a room to run.
You can set this up so that I only stay in that room and don’t escape.You can even set up a play pen for me.
Be imaginative as long as I can run regularly otherwise my quality of life deteriorates massively unfortunately.
With the running I love to explore.
I am naturally curious and live to find new places, check things out and find new places to go.
Set me up in different rooms, set me good boundaries and let me roam.
Use an exercise ball for this if you must but the best way is to set up a room for me to run around with.
I’ll enjoy this a lot more.
Just make sure there isn’t any other pets in the room otherwise I’ll get a good fright.
Stay close by and supervise this time to make sure I’m alright.
I get startled easily and so make sure I’m OK and free if danger.
3. I store food in my cheeks
There maybe times when you see with my cheeks puffed out.
This is perfectly normal.
I am not holding my breath, eating too much or haven’t caught some kind of disease, I am storing food in my cheeks.
I actually have cheek pouches.
It’s the way I keep food safe in the wild from others who would want to get it like rats or mice.
Mother hamsters have even been known to carry their young pups in their cheeks you keep them safe.
Once I find a safe place for my food I will put it down there but until then if I feel my food is at risk it will stay in my cheek pouches.
4. Keep my house clean
Keeping my house clean is pretty important to me.
Just as it probably is to you.
There is only so much I can do but living in a confined space means that there is going be some cleaning up to do.
I don’t use the toilet like you guys do so I tend to just go wherever so my bedding needs cleaning out regularly.
Every week is great.
Also spot cleaning daily really helps to keep things from getting out of hand.
I don’t mind you taking me out to give it a thorough clean once a week so it keeps the cage smelling fresh.
Don’t use poisonous bleaches without properly rinsing them out.
They are poisonous to me.
I much prefer animal friendly disinfectant cleaner which you can buy from good pet stores.
5. I don’t live for a long time
If you’re wandering how long you have with me then I’m afraid it’s usually only a few years unfortunately.
This is why it’s important that you help me make the most of every moment I have on this earth.
I’d really value it if you helped make it the best and most fun you can.
So lots of eating, drinking, chewing and running please and no scary stuff please.
6. I don’t like being startled
Taking about being startled.
This is something I really don’t like.
I don’t have the best eyesight so I can’t see you like you can see me so when I look up at you I only see a colored blob.
I only see well up to the end of my nose so use my other senses such as my smell and touch to get around.
I am also naturally wary of anything.
This is because I am a prey animal and so in the wild my ancestors were always looking out for predators who were going to eat them.
Because of this I get scared really easily and so any sudden sounds or noises send me running for cover.
Do take care around me as I much prefer softer sounds.
As I startle very easily I also need a good place to hide and retreat from the outside world.
In the wild I would have a burrow for this and it would protect me from scary things out in the wild.
So a hidey home which you can purchase from a pet store would be a good alternative.
Otherwise a small box which I can put bedding and tissue paper where I can retreat to will suit me fine.
As I quite like being on my own it is a good place to retreat to when there is a lot of noise as it helps keep me calm
7. I sleep a lot during the day
You may also notice that I’m not around during the day very much.
That’s because I do like to sleep during the day.
So if you’re at work or school this is a good time for me to crawl into my nest and curl up and and go to sleep.
I do prefer to sleep during these times and l usually wake up between 6pm-8pm to run around.
However I do wake up easily so if you are around and whisper nicely into my cage I do wake up and can play for a bit if you are around.
I need some help from you to get used to this if you want to make it a regular thing though.
I can always go back to sleep afterwards.
Having slept through most of the day I usually stay awake through the night
This means you may not want to keep me near where you are sleeping.
I’ll probably keep you awake with my running and exercise wheel squeaking away which you may not enjoy very much.
8. I love eating
Another thing I love to do is eat.
I will try anything you give me as I’m naturally curious.
It doesn’t mean I will like it though.
I don’t necessarily know what is a good food for me to eat in terms of nutrition so I dependent on you to guide me in that.
I just usually eat what I like.
So do give me delicious food to eat.
Seeds and grains plus veggies and fruit is what I really like.
I am an omnivore and so will pretty much eat anything.
Apparently foods that are high in fat, sugar, calcium, phosphorus and salt are bad for me so I’m told.
9. I really need to drink water
Just as I need food I need water as well.
With all the exercise I do I need constant access to it so my thirst is quenched.
As you can imagine a life without water is not very nice so I do like to drink as much as I can and it helps keep me healthy as well.
You can give me water in 2 ways wither through a water bottle or a water bowl.
I don’t mind which way but a water bottle often helps to keep things neat and tidy plus it keeps the water fresh and uncontaminated.
10. I need a good space to live in
Finally I need a good amount of space to live in.
Get me the largest cage you can as I love to run around and need space to explore and make my own.
So if you are in doubt as to what type of cage to get me.
The answer is get the biggest you can.