adopt and raise a Roborovsky hamster

The Roborovsky hamster is a dwarf hamster 5 to 6 cm long and weighing 15 to 30 grams, originating from Mongolia. It is golden brown on the back and white on the lower body (throat, belly). He is afraid of people and most often reacts by flight, so he is not easy to tame: he is a rodent that needs to be watched, not handled.

Due to its small size and speed, it is easy to accidentally miss and lose it indoors! Therefore, this is not the most suitable type of hamster for children, unless you explain to them that they can look at it without touching it. Its life span is 2 to 3 years.

How to prepare for the arrival of a hamster?

The arrival of the Roborovski hamster is first prepared by purchasing a suitable cage, preferably made of plexiglass or glass rather than bars, because its small size allows it to squeeze through minimal gaps! Set up a small house, toys and exercise wheels in the cage so he can hide and exercise.

It is also necessary to provide the Roborovsky hamster with something for teething, such as wooden sticks or blocks of mineral salts. To allow your hamster to climb, hang platforms connected by small ladders. Finally, plan the accessories needed for his nutrition and hygiene: feeder, bottles, linen, hemp or cotton bedding. A container filled with bath sand will keep it clean while you ride.

How to choose your Roborovsky hamster?

Head to the pet store at the end of the day, because there the Roborovsky hamsters will be more active and the goal is to observe their behavior. Make sure with the vendor that males and females are well separated if you don’t want to end up with a litter at home! Ideally, the hamster you pick up should be between 4 and 6 weeks old and show all the signs of good health: shiny, dry coat, wide open and unglued eyes, alert ears.

If you see a hamster with a wet tail (wet tail disease), change the pet store as the disease may have spread to others. Ask to run your hand around the cage: these hamsters are very shy, but after a while some will come out of hiding to sniff. It is among them that you can choose the one that appeals to you the most!

Ideally, the hamster you adopt should be between 4 and 6 weeks old.

Caring for a Roborovski Hamster

After the purchase, immediately go home and carefully place the hamster in the cage. Leave him all alone for the first few days because he will be stressed out by the change in environment. It may take longer to acclimatize if you disturb it. Then gradually change his water and food and gradually teach him to see your hand in the cage. Be careful not to wake up the hamster, this can ruin his mood and hurt him even more during the taming stage.

When you tend to the cage, let him come and feel your hand without trying to grab it. For the duration of a complete cage change, you can put him in a hamster park with his toys. He will gladly run over a large space. Ideally, it should be carried out this way every day, and the cage thoroughly cleaned every week. If you manage to pick it up, crouch on the ground to avoid a fatal fall.

Roborovsky diet for hamsters

The Roborovsky hamster is omnivorous; buy a special seed mixture for dwarf hamsters, which should be given one teaspoon per day. In addition, if fruits are great for him, he will not digest most vegetables, except cucumber. These foods should always be given at room temperature and in very small amounts (a small fruit every two days) because they can cause diarrhea.

The Roborovsky hamster can be given the following fruits: apple, pear, banana, apricot, peach, watermelon, cherry, lychee, pineapple, mango, melon… Be careful, kiwi, citrus fruits, peanuts and potatoes are poisonous! Don’t forget to remove any fruit not eaten during the day before it rots. Change the water one or more times a day.

Roborovsky's baby hamsters

Roborovsky hamster health

This hamster is very fragile in terms of digestion, prone to constipation as well as diarrhea, so you should not give him too much fruit. It is also sensitive to respiratory levels, so avoiding dusty bedding is recommended. Wood shavings should also be avoided as they can damage your hamster’s paws. Regularly check that growths do not appear on the abdomen, at the level of the testicles, and the vulva: like all hamsters, Roborovskys are prone to tumors.

Look at the condition of the paws, which should not be scratched, claws and teeth, if you can, check their length. If they are too long, consider giving your dog more chews and taking him to the vet to have his nails trimmed. Finally, to keep your Roborovski hamster healthy, remove any source of stress such as the presence of other animals (cats, dogs) around his cage and let him sleep during the day.

Photo Credit: Bullet #1 and #2 – Mastavindus #3

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