10 Common Mistakes New Hamster Owners Do

fluffy hamster

There are quite a few different mistakes that hamster owners make.

Many of these mistakes can have serious consequences for your rodent friend. It is therefore important that you know what to avoid doing with these animals.

This article can help you care for your hamster in the best possible way.

1. Feeding their Hamster an Improper Diet

One of the biggest mistakes that people tend to make with hamsters is not providing them with a healthy and nutritious diet. You don’t want to choose just any food to give them. It is important that you give your hamster a nutritious loose seed mix and/or pelleted diet.

The only human foods that hamsters should have are certain fruits and vegetables. This includes things like carrots, apples, melon, broccoli and spinach.

2. Keeping the Wrong Hamsters in the Same Cage

There are certain hamster species that typically do not get along very well together. This includes Syrian hamsters, which are notorious for not getting along well in the same enclosure. Even dwarf hamsters shouldn’t be kept together if they are the same sex.

When you know which hamsters you shouldn’t keep in the same cage, you will have a much easier time caring for them. The last thing you want is for your pets to start fighting and possibly injure each other.

  Why Do Hamsters Fight Each Other?

3. Not Putting in a Proper Exercise Wheel

Your hamster needs to get exercise on a regular basis, and a wheel can help out a lot with that. You should absolutely put one of these wheels in their cage or habitat. Make sure that you take the time to find the right one.

A metal exercise wheel is very durable and will last a long time, but it might hurt their teeth if they chew on it. Plastic wheels don’t last as long, but they are safer for your pet. You must keep this in mind before making a final decision.

hamster eating cookie

4. Choosing the Wrong Bedding Material

The material that you choose for your hamster’s is bedding is also crucial. You need to make a point of selecting a material that is non-abrasive so they will have a comfortable place to rest inside of their own cage.

There are a few materials in particular that are great for hamster bedding, including wood pulp and recycled newspaper. Both of these materials are soft and will make for a great place for your rodent to rest its weary head.

5. Not Being Aware of Common Signs of Illness

As a hamster owner, you will need to be well aware of the common signs of illness among these animals. Some of the symptoms of a sick hamster that you should look out for include diarrhea, lethargic behavior, drinking more than usual, and changes in appetite.

The sooner you get your hamster to a veterinarian, the more likely they are to remain healthy. You don’t want to simply ignore these things in hopes that they will get better.

  10 Facts About Hamsters

6. Putting them in Too Small of a Cage

The minimum recommended cage or habitat size for a hamster is 24 by 12 by 12 inches. If you are going to keep two hamsters in the same cage, it should be larger. 

An adequately sized cage will help with keeping your hamster mentally and physically healthy. When these animals are kept in an enclosure that is too small for them, they tend to become stressed fairly easily. This is not good for their overall health at all.

hamster popocorn cinema

7. Putting the Cage in the Wrong Area

When you are deciding where to put your hamster’s cage, there are some things that you will need to take into consideration. This includes where your bedroom is, because they are likely to make a good amount of noise at night. If you want to get your full eight hours of sleep each night, you need to keep this in mind.

It is a good idea to put your hamster’s habitat or cage in any area of your home that doesn’t get much foot traffic. This will be good for you and your pet.

8. Not Cleaning Their Cage Regularly

It is imperative that you keep your hamster’s cage clean at all times. This will help with preventing disease and infection. It also reduces the chances of your hamster becoming stressed, which can take a serious toll on its health.

Make sure that you clean out your hamster’s cage at least once every week. This will help you keep your rodent friend healthy through the long term.

9. Allowing Your Hamster to Become Overweight

An overweight hamster is not healthy and more prone to disease and illness. You will therefore need to keep it on a healthy diet and make sure it gets plenty of exercise. You should ideally weigh them every couple of months so you know if they are getting too fat.

  Do Hamsters Get Lonely?

10. Not Interacting with the Hamster

Hamsters might seem like very independent and aloof creatures at times, but they need interaction on a daily basis. You should make a point of handling your hamster each day for at least 10-15 minutes. This will strengthen the bond with your pet while keeping them mentally and physically stimulated.


  • A proper diet with plenty of protein and minimal fat is necessary for keeping your hamster healthy.
  • There are certain types of hamsters that should not be kept together in the same cage.
  • Make sure that you put an appropriately sized wheel in your hamster’s cage so it can get plenty of exercise.
  • Choose a soft and non-abrasive material like wood pulp for their bedding.
  • The minimum cage size for a hamster is 24 by 12 by 12 inches.
  • It is a good idea to keep your hamster’s cage in a part of your house that doesn’t get much foot traffic.
  • Know the common signs of hamster illness so you can recognize them before it is too late.
  • Clean out your hamster’s cage one a week to keep it healthy and happy.
  • Keep track of their weight to make sure they don’t get too fat.
  • It is always a good idea to handle your hamster and interact with it on a daily basis.
Was this article helpful?