How to Take Care of a Hamster

Owning a hamster can be a very rewarding experience and lead to countless hours of enjoyment – but with that comes responsibility in the way of proper maintenance and husbandry.

In this comprehensive guide, you can read about topics ranging from picking the right pet, finding an appropriately sized cage, selecting safe bedding materials, choosing healthy food options, treating illness and injuries, breeding and carrying for babies and much more.

hamster-illustration




Picking the Right Hamster

There are several breeds and number of colors and coats to choose from these days. But beyond the pure esthetics or the appearance of the hamster, one needs to select a hamster that they can manage to take care of. Different breeds have different dispositions and different tendencies. If you are a beginner, choose a Syrian or Golden hamster breed; they are probably the most friendly and curious of all the breeds. Some Dwarf species are harder to keep due to their small stature and their skittish and shy behavior. Find out if you are allowed to own small pets in your state.




small-hamster

Selecting a Cage Habitat

There are several options for selecting a cage. Each option has its pros and its cons. The best habitats however, are large and spacious. Whether they are made of plastic, metal wire or glass, they key here is to buy the largest home for your pet that you can afford at the time. Get one that you can add on to over time. This will make your hamsters happy and not stir crazy or bored.

Picking a Cage

Choosing Your Bedding

Choose your hamster bedding carefully. Some bedding preforms better than others. You can make your own bedding but its better to buy packaged hamster bedding form a local pet store. These usually stand up well to wear and tear and absorb waste rather well. Avoid using cedar chips because of the combination of urine and cedar wood can be toxic. Pine chips can be toxic too if the wood has been treated with chemicals.

Bedding Options


cute-hamster

Feeding Your Hamsters Food and Water

Hamsters like a diet that consists of both plants and protein. Like most small rodents, they do mostly eat plants, fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts but they also occasional like to eat a bug or two. This is the diet they would have in their natural habitat. There are several types of diets that should be considered based on the age and health of your hamster. Some older ones can’t handle all the protein and thus should be fed a lower ratio of protein to greens. Additionally, if a hamster has too many greens, fruits or vegetables, it can lead to diarrhea. This would then require a reduction in the amount of these types of foods in their diet.

Hamster Food

Accessories

Hamsters need a lot of space to be happy and several options for exercise. You could never give your pet a cage as large as its natural habitat, so it’s important to take proper care of a hamster in the way of an exercise wheel, ball, ladders, tubes and tunnels. With a wide range of accessories to keep it occupied and fit, the hamster won’t become stressed from a lack of exercise or stimulation. Other accessories like a sleeping house will also reduce stress as it give them a safe place to hide.

Picking Accessories

hamster-care-guide

Observing Behaviors

A happy and healthy hamster will poke its head up and look curiously at you when you open its cage. If it seems to have no interest or cowers in fear, this could be a sign of an illness or a lack of trust. If it’s sleeping, it’s best to slowly wake it up if you want to handle it. Startling a hamster while it slumbers can be very stressful on it. This could lead to getting bitten. However, the most important behavior to be concerned about is any unhealthy repetitive habit. if it keeps running in circles of constantly gnaws on the cage bars, this could be a sign that it doesn’t have enough stimulation or space to roam.

Treating illnesses

Hamster get sick just like any other living creature. Many of the illnesses are similar to that of what humans can contract. These include things as common as the cold or flu. Treating a sick hamster can require some quality intervention and potentially a trip to the vet. if you notice a change in behavior of your hamster or notice a change in its physical appearance, there’s a good change your little guy has an illness or injury. Find out more about what might be troubling your hamster.


More Info

New to Home: Before bringing home a new hamster, you first need to obtain all the needed supplies to take care of it properly. Some of these items include: a cage/habitat, bedding, food dish, water bottle, exercise wheel and appropriate food

Baby Hamsters: Hamsters are able to breed at a young age and may have litters up to 12 or more babies depending on the breed. Taking care of these newborns will require special attention.

Lost Your Hamster?: Hamsters can go missing for several reasons but mainly due to an unsecured cage or a distracted owner. Finding a lost hamster can be done in several ways.

Facts and Stats: There are over 26 types of hamster breeds within the rodent family, 5 of which and found in the pet trade. The average lifespan is 1.5 to 3 years depending on the breed.

Handling Advice: Building a bond and trust is the first step to being able to safely hold a new hamster. This is best done over time using patience and a caring hand. The main thing is to avoid stressing your new pet.

Cleaning Tips: Daily cleaning is limited in scope mainly consisting of food and water refills. Weekly cleaning involves removing soiled bedding and cleaning up other messes. Each month you should thoroughly clean the cage.

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121 comments on “How to Take Care of a Hamster

  1. We have 3 one is my sisters and the other two are mine I let the see each other and the newest one started to rub along side of the cage and then I put them in two different balls after a little I let my oldest one out of her ball and it was rubbing my new ones ball just like dogs rub there sides on a couch

  2. Hey,so I’m about to get a hamster but my mom ask what to do if we leave the house but the hamster is alone. Do we take it with us or give it to someone to take care for it till we get back .This is my first time ever taking care of one so I don’t know.I’m confused, can someone give me a tip please.

  3. I just got a winter white dwarf hamster 3 days ago and on the 2nd day around 9 pm i went to check on her and she was out so i got her out of her cage and when she was walking on my hands i noticed she was bleeding. I don’t know if she was bleeding from her anus or female sexual opening. I looked up online and it said it could be a illness or she could be pregnant. She ate and will drink a lil more than she would when we first got her and she made a nest or at least i think it is a nest. I also don’t know how big she was before i got her. I also know that 2 of her nipples came visible today. Please help me out i dont know what to do or what is happening.

  4. Hello, I have an older hamster now who has started to become very, very fussy with eating. He was starting to lose a lot of weight however the amount he eats and his behaviour is very regular so the vet pointed out it could only be picky eating and he was lacking protein. They recommended Mealworms as a great source of protein and I’m very happy to provide my hamster with live/dried mealworms. However as he is reasonably old and very unused to something like this, how can I persuade my old man to try these?

    • If you have some nice fluffy bedding and a sleeping house you don’t need to cover the cage. Proper ventilation is just important as having warm conditions.

      • Hello admin,
        I woke this morning to find that part of my hamster’s right hind leg is missing, its literally like a half the size of the left one now, and i have no idea what has caused this. There was a little blood in his house but i couldn’t find the limb. He is running around and eating as normal in his hamster play park he has but i’m worried. Any advice?

  5. My dwarf hamster is about 1 year old now. he use to want to get out of his cage all the time, but for the past few months, hes been sleeping alot and not interested to get out of his cage. But he seems to be quite active in his cage still. It is due to old age? He justs want to stay home day XP

      • Hi admin , I have a syrian hamsters and one of theme has been injured deeply by another hamster
        The injury is deep and open with amall worms inside it
        I cleaned it with water and betadin and dont know what to do more for it !
        Can u advise me plZ

  6. I want to get another hamster I already have two dwarf hamsters now and they are separated. When I went to the pet store they had this dwarf hamster that no one would buy because it’s mom chewed it’s leg its leg isn’t all the way off, but it is very skinny at the top and has scabs but it’s foot is bigger then the others. I really want to get it so it has a caring home since no one else will adopt it. But is it a good idea? It seems to have no problems now and it can walk perfectly fine but it’s still pretty young so if I do adopt it would I have to take it to the vet or anything? The guy at the pet store said that the hamster will be fine but I feel like he just said it so I would buy it. I definitely won’t be putting it in with my other hamsters. But I’m not sure to adopt it or not!

    • It’s hard to tell if the little guy will have issues. It’s a very nice thing you are considering though. There are a lot of unwanted pets out there – even hamsters.

  7. I recently bought my first hamster. A male, two month old campbell. for the first three days he was fine, he got used to his new home and cage. Played on his wheel, ate, climbed, napped and seemed to be starting to get used to me…
    This morning he was very happy and playing. Normal.. I went to language class for 6 hours and came home to him asleep, again very normal.. When he woke up he couldn’t walk or move properly.. Like something was seriously wrong with him..
    Started googling to get advice when i hear a horrid squeek and look over to him to see him seizure-ing really badly.. He died during the seizure.. Did i do this??? Did i do something wrong?? I dont understand what i could have done to prevent this??

    • Oh that is really sad to hear. I don’t think you did anything wrong. It’s hard to know for sure what happened. I might have just been a genetic birth defect. So sad 🙁

    • Wednesday, I’m so sorry about your hamster passing. As the admin says, his passing could be caused by many things, but as I read his symptoms I recognized my own hamster’s symptoms. I accidentally shared a sandwich with her that contained avocado. I learned since then that hamsters can’t digest such fatty foods. It’s as likely though that he had some other condition you couldn’t help. It’s awful to not be able to help our hammies when they’re sick. I grieve with you.

  8. I am buying a male and a female hamster soon. My mum told me to buy the hamster at the nearby pet store because it is cheap. I am afraid that the hamster might have some problems because the pet store don’t have any special care. Should I buy from there?

    • Depending on the pet store, you can usually get healthy hamsters from them. Usually, pet stores only buy hamsters from quality breeders so I think you will be okay. Just make sure you read up on everything you need to know about caring for it.

  9. hey my hamster looks like it really wants to get out of the cage, it keeps squishing its face in between the bars so i’m worried that it might hurt itself when i’m no looking can you please help?? Btw it keeps pooping in its food

    • All of these sound like normal hamster behaviors. If you are concerned about it hurting itself, you can opt for on of those plastic cages that doesn’t have wire bars. It should be okay though.

  10. Hello, I have hopefully an easy question. My girlfriend has a (large) hamster, possibly a golden syrian. Any way she keeps the hamster in her room, and she is afraid it gets too hot in there for it (81 degrees). Is that excessive. She said also once the hamster had a bloody nose when she got home. Also it has been acting kind of lethargic, she put it outside one evening and the thing was stoked.
    Any info, help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks. Chris

    • That’s a bit hot for a hamster. Usually a comfortable range is 59-77*f. A bloody nose might not be too much to be concerned about. It could have been just an injury from playing too hard. The lethargic behavior could be the heat but also note that hamsters sleep a lot during the day and are more active at night. Try to provide the hamster with plenty of exercise options.

      • I have two hamster they are female I want to give one to my nephew but someone told me if separate them they could die that’s true

  11. My hamster bagel got out of his pen by climbimg a smaller pen in side his pen he got beheid it and climed (his pen is a big fish tank) and he ran into a hole in the wall how can I get him back?

  12. My hamster keeps staying in his tube in his cage, but i really want to take it out to handle and tame. What do i do?

    • He is probably nervous and not yet comfortable with its cage. Try to get it to come out by offering it some treats.

  13. Thanks to my sister my pregenent Hamster escaped and failed to survive. A week later we finally found her dead under wood. Thanks sis. Anyway I’m getting a new Hamster (This time away from my sisters hands) and yeah.

    • I’m sure it was an accident and I bet she feels really bad about it; try not to be mean to her about it. Yes, be more cautious and make sure you watch your sister if she plays with your hamster and make sure the doors are securely shut.

      • My hamster just runs around biting the cage and he got stuck in between the cage bars he started screaming but I didn’t know what to do but then he freed himself and he got really hurt I don’t know what to do? I only know that he’s really hurt

        • ahhh, poor little guy. Hopefully it’s not to serious. Other than taking it to the vet to see if it has internal injuries or broken bones, there isn’t much you can do. Try to make it comfortable by keeping soft bedding and perhaps take some of the toys out so it can concentrate on healing. Even if the vet finds something wrong, it’s not likely they will be able to do much. You might want to call one to see what advice they might have.

      • I have a hamspter i had it about a year i dont not how long it was at petco for he is a friendly pet then 3 days ago i notice him sleeping alot really not drinking his food i cant tell cause he always hide his,food an tip the bowl over always sence we had him….he is moving slow an sleeping alot i dont no whats wrong with him please help me

  14. Hey so could you even use a zhu zhu pets maze thing insted of the actual tubey things that hamsters use?

    Thanks – Melanie :p

    • I’m not sure what these are made out of and if they are safe for hamsters. Plus a hamster can likely get out of this maze and if you are not watching, it can escape.

      • Hey again. so you don’t know if it is a good idea and i certantly don’t want my hamster to escape. could you recomend me a cage plastic or glass. Also what is the absolute best place to get a teddy bear hamster.

        • I do like the plastic ones that have all the places to add tubes. you can buy one of these and then add as many tubes as you want. Then you can even add another module if you wanted (critter trail seems to be pretty good). Sometimes you need to add some tape or clips to add extra security. a ten gallon aquarium is a good option when you add a wire cage topper for even more space. However, they might not look as nice. As for the teddy bear hamsters, I’m not entirely sure what the best place to get a teddy bear. You can check the pet stores but supplies might be limited. You can look up all the pet stores in your area and give them a call and ask them if the have any teddy bear hamsters.

  15. Hi, I thought hamster lovers would like to hear the story of an ordeal that our little hamster smurf went through recently. Imagine my surprise when I got home last Thursday to find smurf attached to the outside of her cage by her cheek. I was completely stunned at first as to how she’d got out and also what was holding her there. I rushed to get something to wrap her in to spare my fingers and set about trying to free her. Her cheek was all twisted round where she’d been trying to free herself, I untwisted her and had a closer look to find what she was attached to, thinking that somehow she’d pierced her cheek with the bar. It was then that I noticed a circular outline and realised that she had a small magnet in her cheek. It must have been on her bars and popped in her cheek when chewing the bars! She seemed fine, we put her in a plastic box, with her bed, food and water, to recover. We thought that maybe when she next filled her cheeks with food she’d manage to get the magnet out herself. We checked on smurf regularly over the next couple of days to see if the magnet had gone. Then on Saturday morning when checking her overthe magnet looked like it was on the outside of her cheek, then I realised that her body was treating it as a foreign body and was pushing it out through her skin. It was just held there by a thin layer of skin and hair!! Grim!! By the evening the magnet was gone, leaving smurf with a small tender area which has now healed. Smurf is now back in her cage looking none the worse for wear for her ordeal. Shows that hamsters are tougher than they look, and made the children realise not to go near her cage with magnets.

  16. Hi,i really want a hamster and feel responsible but my parents dont feel the same,how could i make them feel the same?URGENT

    • I don’t think I could give you any advice on how to convince your parents. With a hamster you need to feed it, make sure it has water, gets exercise and has a clean cage. if you think you can clean the cage when needed and make sure the food and water dishes are full, you will have to prove to your parents that you can take on the responsibility. Again though, I can’t give you any real advice. When I was young, I would make deals with my parents to show them that I am responsible. like if I got a good grade in school or kept my room clean, these help show parents you are serious about the responsibility.

    • Well my advice would be to show responsibility by doing chores without being told, or doing research and talking to one of your parents first getting them to agree and having talk to the other parent. but once one parent says no dont go to the other parent just wait till ur bday or Christmas

  17. What breed should I get? What is the easiest to take care of?
    Do you have to spend a lot of time with your hamster? I’m really busy, so what breed is happy even by itself?

    • All the Syrian breeds (golden hamsters) are the best for being in a cage alone. You should try to bond with it while it’s young though so you can handle it when you have the time. If you can’t let it out to play in a ball or maze everyday, make sure the cage is large and has exercise equipment.

        • It’s hard to tell the age of a hamster if the hamster looks full grown. They get to maturity pretty quick too. For the most part, if you look at the other hamsters of the same breed at the pet store, the smaller will obviously be younger.

  18. Hi im 12 and im getting a hamster tommorrow. My best friend had a hamster named Racalette (it died last fall) and she was super calm and never tried to run from us. I was wondering if the fact that she was a class pet (her aunt was a teacher, Rascalette was a B-day gift) had anything to do with it. Or are syrian hamsters natually calm?

    • for the most part, they all will be able to climb. the problem with climbing occurs when you have a dwarf breed and have tubes that are meant for the larger syrian breeds. ladders, ramps, and stairs are usually ok to all breeds. be careful with ladders though since a hamster can get its foot caught in it. ramps are probably the best. you can cover a ladder to make it into a ramp.

  19. I will get a short haired hamster.
    Are there any things i need to know before getting one?
    Also, what type of water are you supposed to let them drink?
    Sink water?

    • The more tame ones are the larger Syrian breeds. These are easiest to handle and are pretty mild mannered. Syrians do best when the live alone so if you get one, only put one into a cage. Tap water is fine but you could use filtered water or bottled water if you want to spoil them. You can let tap water sit out for a day and the chlorine will evaporate. There are dechlorinator drops the put use in their fish tanks but find out first if it’s healthy for a hamster.

    • So I am getting a hamster
      And I need a cat proof cage. I need a wheel,food dish,water bottle, ant toys. So I am kinda need help. But I know that you need water bottle ,wheel and a food dish.
      I can’t wait I might be getting next week. Whoooooooooo!:-) 🙂 <3

      • Try to put the cage in a spot you cat can’t get to it. that’s not easy since cats can get everywhere! try a cage that has more solid walls, one that is deep and wide so your hamster can escape into a safe hiding place when your cat is around…but really just try to keep you cat out of the room where your hamster is at. When ever you are not in the room with your hamster, close the door to keep it safe.

    • For the most part they are. You just need to keep their food and water full, change the bedding where they use the bathroom every few days, clean the cage only about once a month; unless it’s noticeably dirty. Provide it with a good size cage with some entertainment and exercise equipment. They are similar to fish on the scale of care level.

  20. This is Shreya Rai.I am only 10 years old and i have a new hamster(baby hamster).I named it snowy.I would say that Snowy is quite naughty because my friend came to my house to look at the hamster.She was tapping softy on the head when it bit her.Anyway,it will hide its food because it thinks i will take its food.But whe it is hungry,it will show its sad face.it put both of its hand on the stomach,standing up.i will then give it food.it will eat.when it is sleeping,i would open the cage to not to hide the food but it will wake up(can u give me many other instructions including this)ThankYou!

    • These are all kind of natural behaviors for hamsters. First your hamster probably doesn’t have the same bond with your friend that is has with you. so I’m sure it got scared when your friend touched it on the head. try to avoid tapping the head if that is the case too; petting the body is probably less stressful. In response to the hiding of the food, that’s what hamsters do and there is little you need to be concerned with about that.

  21. Hi, thanks for all your previous replies. I’ve already gotten myself a hamster, and it’s a really adorable pudding. It’s currently only it’s 2nd day here, but I’m a little worried about some stuffs.

    Firstly, I observed that it doesn’t explore much and stays in it’s house/ corner under the wheel a lot, which is probably because it is nervous in a new environment, but it doesn’t really go to the water bottle for water all day long (i have to hold the water bottle directly in front of it’s mouth for it to drink) and it’s never explored the bath sand (which is contained in a bath tub looking porcelain model). Is it just the first -day trauma symptoms which it would get over in a few days? Don’t think not drinking water and not using the bathing sand is good for it, eh… 🙁

    Also, is there any way which I can change my hamster’s diet? I read that sunflower seeds (only) are not good for it’s health, but my hamster’s a really picky one that honestly just wants to eat sunflower seeds. I’ve opened treat-packs like dried diced apple, cabbage, beetroot, and even green tea ‘cookies’ that i got from the pet store and it wasn’t interested in any of those.

    Am really concerned about these two problems now, looking forward to your reply! thanks! 🙂

    • Yeah these are all normal for a hamster in a new home. Give it time to adjust and get comfy; eventually it will start to act normal. It will slowly start to use the toys and sand bath. Each hamster is different though and they might not use the toys as they are intended. In terms of the diet, yeah they can sure be picky. If only eats sunflower seeds, try taking them out and force it to choose another type of food. A hamster will eventually eat; it won’t starve itself.

  22. Hi, this is Cassandra. I’ve heard about your website from my cousin, and I’d like to know if Blue/Yellow Puddings are recommended for an average pet owner. I’ve had a Winter White hamster before, but I’m concerned as to whether Puddings are tame, whether they are easy to handle and such.

    Looking forward to your reply, thanks in advance! 🙂

    • “Puddings” are not a true breed of hamster but a cross breed between a Winter White and a Campbell’s or something like that. They should not be bred since their offspring have a higher chance for having genetic defects. If you don’t plan on breeding them, you could get one and treat it just like you would a Winter White and expect it to behave similar to them as well.

  23. hey i got a new winter white hamster and i was wondering if there was a special type of food i need to buy.i have a really big cage to i was wondering if i should get a smaller one.

    • A large cage is a good thing. You could get smaller accessories thought that are meant for dwarf species. See the post on hamster food for help on feeding.

  24. Hi, I’d like to get a hamster soon, but my mum’s concerned with the hygiene related to keeping a hamster. The only possible calm space which we can place the hamster in is my room, which is currently really clean and with no traces of ants or other insects. Would placing a hamster cage in my room attract bugs or cause my room to smell or something?

    • No it shouldn’t attract bugs, especially if you clean the cage when it needs to be cleaned, but, the hamster might keep you up at night since it will likely be up running around during the night time hours. You can try it, but if you get a noisy wheel or other toys, you might be up all night hearing it chewing on things and digging around in its bedding.

      • Thanks for your reply! 🙂 Anyway, I’ve been reading up regarding hamsters and I’ve noticed that some people are just able to leave their dwarf hamsters on their table/ bed etc to scamper about (with the pet owner watching the hamster)… is it really possible to do so? My impression is that dwarf hamsters are really active and agile, was trying to hold one in my hand before and it moves so quickly that i was afraid it’d fall off my hands.

        • I would be careful with trying that. if you do, make sure you close all the doors, and cover any areas that your little guy might run and hide under or behind. You also want to be careful of other pets and keep track of where your hamster is at at all times so you don’t accidentally step on it or sit on it.

          • Sorry for the spammage of questions, I guess I’m a pretty curious future-hamster owner :p Last question! What dwarf breeds would you recommend that are friendly, don’t bite when nervous and are easy to handle (like hold in hands and stuffs)? And lifetime too..

            I’m not really a fan of Syrians since I like dwarf hamsters better, but I’m worried that they’d be too small and quick to handle.. A few (unrelated) pet owners commented that their Roborovskis died for no reason after 1 year.. is it true that the lifespan of this breed is relatively shorter? 🙂

          • A good dwarf breed is a Campbell’s dwarf. They are slightly larger than the other breeds, more curious and a bit less timid than the Robos and Chinese dwarfs. Dwarf Hamsters live for about 1.5 – 3.5 years. The Campbell’s dwarf should live 1.5 to 2 years while the robo should live to about 3 years. With great care and some luck though, they can live slightly longer. How long it lives depends on how good of care you provide but just as equally, the hamster’s genetics. Some have better genes than others. So even if you do everything right, a lot of times, it’s not your fault if they die.

  25. I’ve had my hamster for a few weeks now and she has been causing me to lose sleep cause she moves around, chews on the bars of her cage and knocks her water bottle off the side of the cage. she’s got a hamster ball that I put her in for a little while before I go to bed but it doesnt wear her out and make her sleep at all. I’m a university student and I need my sleep. Is there a way I can make her actually sleep??

    • The problem here is that by nature, hamsters are up during the night time hours and asleep by day. with all those noises and not having the ability to put the cage in another room (assuming you are in a dorm room), you might consider getting some ear plugs. It’s hard to adjust their sleeping habits and I personally don’t have experience with trying to do so. Perhaps some of our other readers might have a solution for you.

      • Well, this response is way too long, but for all the readers out there, do NOT attemt to change a hamster’s schedule in any way. You may wake it up at the same time everyday (like, 8 or 9 at night), but trying to change a hamster’s schedule will stress it up, which can kill it and make it cranky. You don’t want a cranky hamster, trust me.

  26. hi,my hamsters name is boo and i lost her one day and once i found her she didnt seem the same as before.now all she wants to do is sleep!

  27. hi i was looking at your website because im getting a hamster for my birthday in april,i was just wondering if you could give me some tips and do you give them fresh veg evreyday.will they have the same sawdust as guinea pigs?

    • Certainly, we can help. See this post for a list of vegetables for hamsters and then see this post on good hamster bedding. These were both great question to ask. There are a lot or veggies and greens you can feed it, a bit of fruit, unsweetened yogurt, nuts, seeds and some other healthy things. Sawdust is probably not what you are thinking of but yeah, it’s a similar product. There are some really good brands of bedding that don’t make a mess or make hamsters sick.

  28. My Hamster tends to like to chew on the bars of her cage and this evening I tried to make her stop by touching her nose through the bars. Next thing I knew, when she dropped she looked like she was in pain and her nose was bleeding. what kind of injuries could she have sustained?? Could she have broken her teeth?? what could have caused her nose to bleed?? She did eat afterwards but she would only eat the soft Peanuts. how long does it take a possible mouth injury to recover?? I feel so bad now. I didnt think touching her nose to make her stop chewing would hurt her. Will she be ok???

    • It’s likely your hamster just has a small cut on the inside of her mouth or a small nose bleed. It should heal quickly though. In the mean time, feed her soft foods so it doesn’t hurt her when she eats. Yo might also take a wet wash cloth and clean any blood off her fur but be careful not to reopen any cuts – be very gentle. if she is too stressed, just let her be to allow her to heal. If the condition doesn’t get better in a day, you should talk to a vet.

  29. Hi, just stopping by to say hi and thank you so much for making this website.

    I found you on the Dogtipper Pet Blog Directory, your blog being the only other blog aside from mine that comes up when you type “hamster.”

    This is a website that will prove very helpful for new hamster owners, and I love the background.

  30. I just got a hamster a week ago. i read your whole article about taming it and you say its best to tame it when its young but i don’t know how old my hamster is. she has already bitten me and my sister even though we’ve tried to get it used to us by giving it food and letting it sniff us. how long does it usually take for older hamsters to get familiar and comfortable with people? its difficult to clean out its cage when it won’t let us take it out without biting us. i feel like she’s stressed out too much even though her cage is in a calm area. it would be nice if you have any suggestions! thank you in advance!

    • Every hamster is different and some may take longer to get use to you. You just need to tame you hamster very slowly. try placing an open palm into the cage with a treat in the middle. Don’t force it to come out but hopefully, it will eventually come over to investigate. don’t move your hand and see if it will climb into your palm. Bottom line though, it just takes time.

  31. one time i put my hamster in clothes and it bit me. i had an allergic reaction to it and almost died. my doctor says I’m not allergic to hamsters. are there such things of poisons hamsters?

    • I’m glad to see you are better now. I’m sure that must have been really frightening for you and your family. I’m not an expert on allergies and wouldn’t want to give you information that might not be accurate. i could only make a guess. I’ve never heard of a poisonous hamster but I do know that animals can transfer certain diseases to humans. see this site for more info: Diseases that can be transferred from animals to humans. My guess is that it was something in the saliva of your hamster that you had a reaction too? Perhaps it had some bacteria or something in it. If you doctor told you not to handle your hamster again, I suggest you do what he or she says. Again, I’m glad you are okay! 🙂

      • I have a friend that got biten by her cat on her hand and almost had to have her hand cut off compeletly from below the elbow but she got it treated and she was okay now. There was bacteria in the bite and that is what happened. probably the same thing.

  32. um so im going to get a hamster but im just not sure what to feed it can i give it fruit and vegees or is it better to buy food from a store?

    • you can feed him or her all of the above but you have to make sure you only feed it half a tablespoon-one tablespoon of food from a pet store. I would recommend to you to not feed it to many fruits and veggies per day like maybe four per week is good for his or her diet. Feed your hamster fruits and veggies according to the age and size so don’t feed a dwarf or a baby hamster a strawberry for example.

    • I work at PETCO and I would tell you that when you get your hamster you have to leave it be in its cage and not pet it very often or pick it up very often for at least two weeks and you especially cannot put it in an exercise ball for at least two or three weeks. After that be very gentle with it. If you stress it out it could get wet tale (diarhea) for a little while and if that happens take it to a vet IMMEDIATLY.

    • Mother hamsters can and will eat their babies if they feel stressed and threatened. It’s a natural defense mechanism since it takes a lot of energy to have babies and if a predator gets to her babies first, not only do the babies die, but the mother will have little energy to have another liter. If she eats the young first, she will get energy and have a better possibility to breed again. Even though everything is safe inside your cage, she still gets those habits passed down to her. Read this post on baby hamster breeding and find out more about how to avoid this from happening.

  33. I just got two hamsters, and one has this pouch on her stomach, does that mean she is pregnant? It only pops out when she is sitting up.

  34. So I just got a hamster and I had this friend a while ago that owned a hamster and would bathe it.. Is that what you’re supposed to do? If so, how often?

    • Actually, hamster don’t like to be washed and it stresses them out. you should only wash your hamster if it has some type of sticky substance on its fur that needs to clean off. as in, the hamster has something toxic on its fur. Of course you wouldn’t want it to try to clean itself since it would ingest it.

      Hamsters do a good job of cleaning themselves so there is no need to bathe them. Try a hamster sand bath instead.

  35. My little sister is an overeager child I want the hamster to like us both what do u recommend ive read the whole treat thing I’m a little scared it’s really stressed

    • You have to do your best not to stress your little hamster out. When you see it getting nervous, back off until it calms down. A treat will certainly help but the best bet is to train your hamster slowly. If your little sister doesn’t listen to you, you can have your parents speak to her about why she needs to treat your hamster with care. Keep an eye on your little sister when she is with your hamster and if you don’t have one already, give it a little house or something to hide in when stressed. Best of luck. 🙂

    • if its stressed you should leave it alone for a wile if your sister doesn’t well…..i guess you could lock her out or tel her to leave it alone if she wont tell her she cant ever look at it agin other than that tell your mom to tell her to quit other than that your’e out of luck i hope that helps

    • Typically room temperature is good but anything from 60 – 78*F. In the wild, hamsters can survive in a range of temperatures and just like you and I, it does best when it’s not too cold or not too hot. See more about the ideal hamster cage setup.

  36. Hey my hamster sleeps alot also. in the night is it bad if the hamster over do themselves on the wheel?he alwas makes some weird squeaking noise.is it bad or what?

    • Yeah, in their natural habitats, they spend their days sleeping in their burrows and are mostly active in the pm and and early am hours. I don’t think your hamster will over do itself on its wheel. Again, in its natural habitat, it would run a mile or more in a night in search of food. As long as your hamster has the option to stop and get off the wheel, it’s perfectly fine. with that said, make sure you don’t over work it in a hamster ball since it has not option of calling it quits.

  37. My new hamster sleeps all the time and buries himself in his bedding. Is he sick or just tired all the time? I don’t know if this is normal or what?

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