10 things you need to know about this rodent before you get one

Today the editors of the magazine decided to take a closer look at a particularly cute animal: a hamster. For some time now, this little rodent has settled in many French houses. If you want to adopt one, find out everything you need to know about this mammal.

Remember! Cartoons of the 90s were some of the best cartoons in the whole world. Bottle in mouth, we were all glued to Pokémon and dreamed of building our own Charmander.

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A few years later, another being took over our hearts: Hamtaro. This animated series is about the daily life of a little hamster owned by a little girl. As soon as the owner is gone, the rodent leaves the cage to join his friends.

Hamtaro. Photo credit: iseephoto.com

This Japanese cartoon contributed greatly to the success of the hamster in France. We no longer count the number of children who wanted to adopt after watching Hamtaro.

It must be said that this mammal is an ideal pet for all family members, provided that they know how to care for it. The hamster requires a minimum of daily care. As you already understood, this rodent is not a stuffed animal.

In this top, find out 10 things you need to know about this ball of fur before giving it a place under your roof!

Hamster: what breed to choose?

Photo credit: stock_shot / Shutterstock

There are about 500 species of hamsters in the world. You may not know, but only five of them are considered pets: the golden hamster, Russian hamster, Campbell’s hamster, Chinese hamster and Roborovsky’s hamster.

Due to its complaisant disposition and large size, the golden hamster is very popular. This type of rodent is easy to deal with. Therefore, this murid is suitable for families with children.

For its part, the Roborovsky hamster seduces with its small size. This hairball is on average 5 to 6 centimeters long and weighs 15 to 30 grams. Intimidating by nature, the dwarf hamster is not easy to tame. For example, he does not like affection.

Aside from their physical differences, the other three species have one thing in common: they climb easily.

Hamster lives mostly at night

Photo credit: Illustrative images

It’s no secret: a hamster is a nocturnal animal. He sleeps all day in his little hiding place, and at night he overflows with energy. As soon as the sun sets, the hamster becomes active: it washes, eats, drinks and walks in its cage.

Attention, it is desirable to place the cage in an isolated room. Otherwise, you may be disturbed by noise. Finally, you must accept and respect the rhythm of your hamster’s life at the risk of disrupting it.

At night, the hairball builds up food reserves before exercising. No wonder the little rodent loves to run on a wheel. This physical exercise allows him to blow off steam and keep fit.

In the wild, a hamster comes out of its burrow to eat. He learned to run very fast, escaping from predators.

hamster is very fragile

Photo credit: illustrative images

The hamster is a fragile animal. During his life, he can become infected with an incalculable number of diseases.

For example, a hamster can catch a cold if its cage is in a draft. If left untreated, a cold can turn into a fatal pneumonia. Diarrhea can also kill an animal in a very short time.

This mammal may also have hairballs in the stomach. They are called trichobezoars and prevent the hamster from eating normally. The latter may have skin problems or suffer from diabetes. This disease mainly affects Campbell’s hamsters.

It is advisable to take your pet to the veterinarian when he changes behavior dramatically.

Hamster is not tactile

Photo credit: stock_shot / Shutterstock

The hamster is a shy and fearful animal. Some species do not like human contact. First, you must accustom the hairball to your presence. This step will allow him to identify you.

A word of advice, never try to catch him off guard. The little rodent felt attacked and bared its fangs. Be patient until the animal feels confident with you.

Once this step is finished, you can gently pet it. Depending on his temperament, he may take refuge in your hand. Then you can hold for a few minutes.

Sometimes a hamster cannot be tamed, no matter how hard you try.

Hamster needs space

Photo credit: Illustrative images

Despite their small size, the hamster needs space to thrive. A cell with a floor is highly recommended. It must be equipped with a very fine mesh so that the hamster does not escape.

Inside you can install tunnels, a berth, a wheel and stairs. Indeed, the hamster loves to climb everywhere. These elements are essential for the welfare of the animal.

Like any animal, a hamster loves to roam freely. In this case, some precautions should not be neglected. It is necessary to secure the room in which the hairball will walk.

Do not forget that this type of rodent can get into any corner of the room. Thus, you need to keep a close eye on it. The door to the room must be closed, otherwise the hamster may run away.

Hamster loves being alone

Photo credit: Illustrative images

The hamster is an independent animal and is not afraid of loneliness. In most cases, this rodent hates to share its territory with another species. This forced cohabitation can quickly turn into a bloodbath.

Indeed, the hairballs will not hesitate to fight until death comes. If you want to have two hamsters, it is recommended to place them in two different cages to ensure their survival.

Rest assured, this animal lives very well on its own. On the other hand, dwarf hamsters like Roborowski do well in pairs.

A hamster can swallow his… litter!

Photo credit: Illustrative images

Like a rabbit or a guinea pig, a hamster is an animal that practices caecotrophy. He can eat some of his excrement. This behavior is completely normal. The hamster swallows his litter because it is rich in protein and B vitamins.

These stools are actually caecotrophs. In other words, they are leftovers from digestion. When the rodent eats them, it seems to be feeding for the second time. Thus, it absorbs more nutrients and minerals.

It should be noted that this type of rodent rarely eats its own feces. If in doubt, it is best to consult your veterinarian.

What does a hamster eat?

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The hamster is a very greedy animal. The omnivorous woolball increases the amount of food during the day and night. It carries and stores food in its cheek pouches.

As a result, his bowl may appear empty, but this is only bait. The hamster tends to stock up in his hiding place. You should avoid overfeeding because it can lead to obesity.

This small rodent feeds mainly on seeds and pellets. Once a week, the hamster needs animal protein: dried shrimp, plain meat (except beef), mealworms, or live or dried cricket.

Finally, the hamster loves fruits and vegetables. Too sweet fruits and canned vegetables can make him sick. Choose fresh foods like strawberries, apples, pears, currants, cucumbers, broccoli, zucchini, or even turnips.

Be careful, chocolate, coffee, tea, peanuts, raw eggs, seeds, citrus fruits, potato peels and plants are bad for your hamster. For more information, feel free to consult your veterinarian.

Hamster doesn’t live long

Photo credit: Illustrative images

The life expectancy of a domestic hamster is not very long: 2-3 years. These figures apply to all species. In most cases, the smaller the species, the shorter its lifespan.

Of course, some rodents can ignore predictions and live longer. To do this, the hamster needs proper nutrition and the necessary care. Otherwise, he may die sooner than expected.

Remember, a hamster is a fragile animal. Their bones break when mishandled or dropped.

Hamster cages should be cleaned once a week.

Photo credit: Illustrative images

As we mentioned above, the hamster is endowed with fragile health. Daily cleaning of his cage provides him with a healthy living environment.

The first step is to disinfect all accessories with anti-odor soap (canopy, bowl, bottle, hoses, etc.). Then throw away the used litter and food scattered all over the place.

Clean the bottom of the cage as well as the metal bars with bleach. Wait a few minutes before washing everything off. When the cage is dry, you can distribute new bedding and all accessories.

The hamster cage must be washed and disinfected at least once a week.

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