We asked our junior reporter Ellena to tell us all about how to take care of hamsters!
Hello, today I’ll be talking about Hamsters.
People think that Hamsters need very basic care and small cages because they are small and don’t live for very long, but they are sensitive and loving animals and they deserve to be given a good life where they’re happy, healthy and safe.
Let’s start by talking about hamster wheels. Syrian Hamsters need a 10 – 12 inch wheel because if it’s smaller it will give it back problems. And for all Hamsters a mesh wheel is not good, it can get it’s legs stuck in it and get a sore foot. For Dwarf Hamsters a 10 – 11 inch wheel is good for it.
Let’s talk about bedding now. The bedding for all Hamsters must not be pine, scented, or coloured. Saw dust is bad as well because it can give it respiratory issues. Paper bedding is what I use, and you need it to be strong so it can hold the burrows that Hamsters make.
Let’s talk about Hamster baths! Hamsters have to have a sand bath, a bath using water will stress the hamster out and make it’s fur very greasy. A great sand bath is by using a tray and filling it up with reptile sand and then you have a great and safe sand bath. Reptile sand is perfect because other sands such as chinchilla sand are very dusty. Reptile sand is smooth, not dusty, and very soft. Make sure you buy the one without minerals or calcium added, and there has to be no colouring.
And last but not least is the cage! The minimum I would say for a cage is 500 square inches of floorspace. And a glass or plastic cage is recommended. One option is to make a ‘bin cage’. Those are a cheap and amazing option! Bar cages can be good, but a hamster could push it’s bedding out of the cage and it will be messy.
You can find out more about caring for Hamsters (and all kinds of other animals) over on the RSPCA website