If you own a hamster, there are a number of facts that can actually help you take better care of it.
These rodents are pretty low maintenance, but it still helps to know as much as you can about them.
These facts will give you some fascinating insight into your pet.
1. Hamsters get Scared Easily
Hamsters are definitely known for getting scared very easily. This is why it is so important that you are careful when you go handle them. Even one sudden movement could spook your pet, which in turn might hurt your bond with them.
The heightened fear sensitivity of hamsters is a natural instinct that has served them well throughout history. It has helped these animals stay one step ahead of predators, which is very useful to say the least.
2. Your Hamster’s Teeth Keep Going
A hamster’s teeth don’t stop growing once they reach adulthood. These animals are pretty good at keeping their own teeth at a healthy length by chewing on things. If you have a pet hamster, you’ll want to provide it with some things to chew on to facilitate this process.
When your hamster has things to chew on, they will get the physical and mental stimulation to stay healthy throughout their life. Wooden hamster toys can be great for this, but you need to choose carefully. You don’t want to give your hamster anything that could splinter off and cut their mouth.
3. Hamsters Become Active at Dawn
Hamsters wake up and start becoming active when the sun comes up. They are also active during the late evening hours. This can be difficult to deal with, especially if you have a traditional sleep schedule. If your hamster is keeping you up at night with its nocturnal noises, you can try putting the cage farther away from your bedroom.
4. They are Skilled at Escaping
Anyone who owns a hamster should be aware of just how incredibly slippery and elusive they can be. These rodents can squeeze through very tight spaces, which makes it easy for them to escape from an unsecured cage or habitat.
Make sure that your hamster’s enclosure does not allow for them to get out in any way. If your hamster gets out of its cage, it could easily get injured or worse. This is especially concerning if you have any cats or dogs in the house.
5. Hamsters can have Genetic Conditions
There are a number of genetic medical conditions that your hamster could have. Some of these animals are born with certain diseases that have a hugely negative impact on their health. This includes kidney disease and a heart disease.
It is crucial that you take your hamster to the vet if you notice any signs of illness. This includes lethargic behavior, increased aggression, diarrhea, or other concerning symptoms. The sooner you get them looked at, the better off they will be.
6. There are Nearly 20 Different Hamster Species
A total of 18 different hamster species have been discovered or bred over the years. Each of these species has their own personalities and quirks. It is therefore important that you take the time to explore your options before deciding on one in particular.
7. Hamsters are Omnivores
Hamsters are omnivores, which means that they eat both plant matter and other animals. In the wild these animals eat everything from small insects to fruits and vegetables. Some of the best snacks for a hamster include carrots, broccoli, spinach and apples. They need a high-protein diet with only a little bit of fat.
8. Most Hamsters Don’t Do Well with Cage Mates
A lot of hamster species don’t do well when they are kept with others of their own kind. For example, Syrian hamsters should never be kept together in the same cage. There are certain other kinds that can tolerate a cage mate. Sometimes it is a good idea to keep siblings together, but never more than two in the same enclosure.
9. Hamsters are very Intelligent
While it might not seem like it sometimes, hamsters are actually very intelligent animals. They are also fairly easy to train. You should be able to teach your hamster to stand up and even jump on command without much effort.
If you are going to train your hamster, make sure to use positive reinforcement. A delicious treat can go a long way towards motivating your hamster to do just about anything.
10. Hamsters Clean Themselves Often
You will most likely notice your hamster cleaning itself on a fairly regular basis. These animals clean themselves with their mouth and paws. It might be necessary for you to wash them from time to time though.
If you ever need to wash your hamster, just fill up a shallow bowl or dish with soapy water. Hold them gently but firmly while wiping their fur off with a soft cloth. You should only wash your hamster if it has something sticky on it or is dirty in an area it cannot get to itself.
- Hamsters are startled very easily, and you should never wake up them while they are sleeping.
- A hamster’s teeth continue to grow until they die, but they keep them at a healthy length by chewing on things.
- Your hamster is most active in the late evening hours and at dawn.
- These animals can squeeze through the smallest cracks and openings, so make sure their cage is secure.
- There are a number of genetic conditions a hamster can have, including heart defects.
- There are lots of different hamster species, each of which have their own unique personality.
- Hamsters are omnivores, so they eat both plant matter and other animals.
- A lot of hamsters do not get along very well with their own kind in the same cage.
- These animals are exceptionally intelligent and usually pretty easy to train.
- Your hamster will clean itself on a regular basis, but you might need to wash them sometimes.