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Setting Up The Perfect Hamster Home

Setting Up The Perfect Hamster Home

You found the perfect hamster home; now you need to find her the perfect home. Your hamster will spend most of her life in her habitat, so, before making any purchase, consider:

  • Size. The smaller the hamster, the smaller the habitat needed and the reverse. Make sure the habitat you select is appropriately sized for your hamster. There should be plenty of room for your hamster to exercise and play.
  • Type. Your hamster’s habitat should be made out of plastic, wire/bar or glass. To ensure that it’s comfortable on your hamster’s feet as well as escape-proof, you’ll want to look for a solid bottom and minimal wire/bar spacing.
  • Ease of cleaning. You should clean out soiled bedding daily, replace all bedding weekly and give her home a complete wash once a month. To do so, you’ll want to select a habitat that is easy to dismantle and clean.
  • Location. Where are you going to place her new home? Hamsters acclimate well to average household temperatures, but do not do well with extreme temperature changes. Keep your hamster’s habitat out of direct sunlight or drafty areas.
  • Companionship. For the most part, hamsters are solitary creatures. However, if you would prefer a pair, consider a Dwarf hamster. Dwarf hamsters may be kept in same-sex pairs if they have been raised together, otherwise keep adult hamsters separate. Different types of small animals should not be housed together.

Setting up your hamster’s new home:

  • Place about two inches of bedding in her new habitat. The bedding can be high-quality paper bedding, crumpled paper bedding or hardwood shavings. Cedar-based products are not recommended.
  • Add chew toys, wooden blocks or chew sticks. These will keep her busy and help wear down her constantly growing incisors.
  • Your hamster needs lots of exercise to keep her happy. Add an exercise wheel to help alleviate boredom. You can supplement with a hamster ball for outside-habitat excursions.
  • Water source and food bowl. Keep your hamster’s food bowl filled at all times; she won’t overeat. You may enjoy watching her stuff her cheeks with her favorite foods; she has special pouches just for that task. Add a water source and be sure to check and/or add fresh water daily.
  • Tunnel or hideaway. Hamsters like to have a hiding place. This can be a cardboard tunnel or a little plastic hideaway bungalow. Be sure to use something that’s designed for a hamster, though, versus repurposing a toy meant for a child or another pet.

Cleaning your hamster’s habitat:

Your hamster will spend most of her life in her habitat, which is why it’s important to keep it as clean as possible. Establish a daily/weekly/monthly maintenance schedule to help make upkeep practically effortless:

  • Scoop out soiled bedding every day.Your hamster will tend to urinate in one or two corners of her cage. Scoop out the wet bedding daily and replace with fresh bedding.
  • Change her bedding once a week. Be sure to remove any uneaten or stored food, too.
  • Once a month, wash her habitat, food containers and water bottle with mild soap and water. Be sure to avoid any ammonia-based products. Thoroughly rinse with water to remove any residue, and allow to dry completely before adding fresh bedding.