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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

 

How long do hamsters live?

Syrians usually live on average two years, some have been known to live three or four years. Dwarfs usually live around one and half years and Roborovski usually around three years.

 

What type of hamster should I get?

Really, this is up to you, depending on your experience. If you are a total beginner a Syrian is most certainly recommended. Syrians Hamsters are very hardy hamsters so they are more suitable for beginners and younger children. On the other hand, some dwarf hamsters are fast and hard to handle.

Russian Campbell hamsters are sociable and it is recommended they live in a large cage with the same sex species in which to keep him or her happy. In some cases though, hamsters may become territorial and fight. It is not absolutely vital that they are kept in pairs or groups it is just a friend to keep a hamster happy. Winter white are very much the same as Russian campbells.

Roborosvki hamster are small and fast. They are not recommended for beginners at all. A beginner would expect to be able to pick up his hamster and play and cuddle it. Roborosvki hamsters are very fast, very hard to catch and indeed, they are very hard to handle. So maybe not the best type of hamster for a beginner. They are also sociable and do well in pairs of groups of the same sex.

Chinese hamsters are not usually found to be as sociable as other dwarf species. They are very small, and can be very fast. Not really recommended for a beginner…but do well with beginners, but still they are fast and hard to catch sometimes.

 

Can syrian hamsters live together?
No. Syrian hamsters are solitary hamsters that means they like to live alone. Housing adult Syrians together can lead lead to serious fighting and sometimes death. The only companion a Syrian hamster needs is a human friend to play with him everyday.

 

Can I bath my hamster?
No a hamster should never be cleaned with water. Hamster are very fragile and can easily become ill. You can however give your hamster a dish of chinchilla sand in which they can roll around in and help clean their fur. Make sure it is sand and not dust, dust is too fine for a hamster.

 

My hamster escaped? Help?
Firstly close all doors in your house then place a pile of food in each room and check regular to see if any has gone missing. If you notice any gone you'll know the hamster is in that room. Check everywhere, hamsters can get into the smallest spaces. You could also setup a bucket trap, place a bucket in a room and inside put some food and bedding inside. Put some books up to the top of the bucket like a staircase. Hopefully the hamster will climb up the books smell the food in the bucket and jump inside.

 

Can Syrians and dwarfs live together?
No Syrians are solitary meaning they like to live alone. Also mixing different species of hamsters isn't a good idea, they wouldn't live like that in the wild.

 

OMG! My hamster is eating it's own poop?
Don't worry that is perfectly normal. Hamsters don't always absorb all the nutrition in food they eat first time around so to get all the nutrition they need they will eat their own poop.

 

How do I tame my hamster?
See this page for info on how to tame your hamster.

 

Why does my hamster sleep most of the day?
Hamsters are nocturnal meaning that they like to sleep during the day and wake up in the evening or night.

 

My hamsters wheel squeeks, is there something I can do to stop it?
Yes, you can rub a little vegetable oil on the axel where the wheel spins. You will have to do this regular as it will eventually wear away.

 

What are the different types of hamster?
There are 5 types that are kept as pets: Syrian, Campbell's, Winter White, Roborovski and Chinese. There are lots more but these types aren't kept as pets.

 

How often should I feed and water my hamster?
Food and water should be changed daily. Any uneaten food should be thrown away.

 

Do I need to clean my hamster?
Hamsters don't need to be cleaned, they can clean themselves with their paws. You can help them though by providing a dish of chinchilla sand.

 

Is Pine/Cedar a good bedding?
No Pine and Cedar should never be used as a hamster bedding. They both contain something that is harmful. The best choice is either Aspen or Carefresh.

 

What is the best nesting material?
Plain unscented toilet paper, hamsters just love to shred this. it is also completely safe if your hamster swallows any. You should avoid the following: fluffy bedding, cotton wool and newspaper.

 

Do I need to trim my hamsters nails?
Yes, if they start to curl under. It is not recommended that you clip your hamsters claws yourself, a vet will do a fine job of completing this task. When you take your hamster to have his claws cut, ask the vet to show you how it's done. But then if you still don't feel confident doing it then don't because you could catch a quick or cut a toe off, which can be very painful for a hamster.

 

How old is my hamster?
There is no possible way to tell the age of a hamster. If your hamster is lively, his coat is very neat, he's not bald or anything he will be quite young. But remember, when buying your hamster/s ask how old they are, so you will always know.

 

What do I feed my hamster?
In your local pet shop, you should be able to buy a dry hamster mix, that will be a fine diet for your hamster as long as there isn't too many sunflower seeds in it. Too many sunflower seeds may cause your hamster to become overweight. A list of fruit and vegetables that can be eaten is listed here.

 

Why are my hamsters teeth so long?
Your hamsters teeth are so long because they have not been clipped by a vet. It is a simple procedure the vet will do, he will scruff your hamster and simply cut his teeth with small animal clippers, this MUST be done if you feel your hamsters teeth are too long, If it is not done, it will prevent a hamster from eating and he will starve, and could even die. You can help keep a hamsters teeth short by providing hard chews such as dog biscuits.

 

Can my Black Bear Hamster and Teddy Bear Hamster live together?
No, Black Bear's and Teddybear's are a nicknames pet stores sometimes give to Syrian Hamsters. Syrian hamster are solitary, meaning that they like to live alone and don't like the company of another hamster. Caging them together can lead to serious fighting or even death!

 

How often should I handle my hamster?
They should be handled at least daily, for at least 10 minutes. Especially dwarfs because if not handled regular they will become untame again.

 

Why does my hamster seem to sleep all the time?
Hamsters are nocturnal, meaning they like to sleep during the day. Hamsters will sleep most of the day and will usually wake up for a couple of hours during the evening.

 

How often can I give my hamster fruits and veggies?
Fruits and Vegetables can be feed once or twice a week in small quantities. Too much can lead to diarrhea or wet tail in Syrians.

 

My hamster has wet tail, what do I do?
You need to get your hamster to a vet asap. There they will prescribe a medicine that will cure the disease. Some pet stores will sell a product called Dri-tail, which they say will cure it but in actual fact it won't. This medicine isn't strong enough and will just cover the symptoms.

 

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