Meeting a Russian hamster at home cannot be an improvisation. Food, the presence of a relative or not, a cage, accessories, diseases … It is important to bypass the issue of caring for your Russian hamster.
All round, but weighing only a few tens of grams, the Russian hamster is a cute rodent. However, this very common little Nac is little known. Did you know, for example, that a Russian hamster can eat meat?
Good care of a Russian hamster requires a balanced diet and a suitable cage (the famous wheel is no legend!). We must also take into account its modest size and its sometimes intimidating nature; therefore not recommended for young children.
Who is a Russian hamster?
The Russian hamster is a small hamster. While its cousin the golden hamster can weigh up to 150 grams, it doesn’t exceed 50 grams, making it lightweight among domestic rodents.
The Russian hamster, or Roborovsky, has a very soft coat and can be of several colors; her original dress is gray with a black stripe on the back and 3 white spots on the sides. It lives in the cold deserts and steppes of Kazakhstan, where it lives in colonies in burrows.
These groups are very hierarchical with dominant hamsters and lots of fights! This little beast can travel many miles to find food which it stores in its cheek pouches to bring back to its burrow. Its life expectancy is quite short, as it does not exceed 2 years.
This little pet, especially active in the evening, is very interesting to watch. However, there are a few rules to follow when caring for a Russian hamster.
What does a Russian hamster eat?
Like humans, the Russian hamster is omnivorous, meaning it eats a little of everything!
In practice, we will distribute complete food for dwarf hamsters. It contains all the necessary nutrients for its health. Pay attention to the number of seeds, these animals are prone to obesity in captivity.
Similarly, it is absolutely necessary to avoid giving them cakes or sweets, even in small quantities.
The Russian hamster can also receive fresh food. Basically it’s about:
- Vegetables: lettuce, dandelion, carrots…
- Fruits: apple, apricot, strawberry, pear, grapes…
- Several small pieces of ground beef or cheese
The calcium found in dairy and meat is especially beneficial for full-length Russian hamster cubs (if I may say so!). You can also provide essential vitamins and minerals in the form of a salt lick.
What cage for a Russian hamster?
The cage should be high enough and spacious enough for our little friend to exercise in it. Russian hamsters need exercise. 60x30x30 cm – the minimum dimensions for one animal. The bottom should be lined with bedding (for example, based on sawdust). Don’t forget to place accessories such as:
- Izba (a Russian hamster needs to hide during the day)
- Special cotton for the hamster to make his nest
- Dwarf hamster wheel (the distance between the bars is different from the distance between the golden hamster wheels)
- Tunnels, stairs or ladders…
- Bottle for water
- Bowl for throwing away food (even if the villain will carry food in a hiding place of his choice)
A suitable cage is an important component of your pet hamster’s well-being. In addition, it should be placed in a quiet place away from drafts. And preferably not indoors due to the sometimes noisy nocturnal activity of this small rodent.
Should a Russian hamster live alone?
Unlike the outgoing guinea pig, which needs company to be happy, it is not recommended to raise hamsters in pairs or groups. It is a solitary animal that lives very well on its own. Cohabitation of several animals is often chaotic, punctuated by numerous fights and injuries.
If you absolutely want to have multiple Russian hamster babies, you will need a large cage with one gender for each animal.
Is the Russian hamster recommended for children?
Caring for a hamster is not always easy: it is agile, fragile, and can bite if it gets scared. Children under 7 years old are generally not recommended, but of course it all depends on the maturity of the latter.
A healthy animal is mobile (except during the day when it sleeps a lot), has a beautiful coat, eats regularly, rides on a wheel and excretes a small dry droppings. A change in his behavior should alert you. Many veterinarians are consulting sick hamsters and they are getting more and more help.
After all, making a Russian hamster happy is not so difficult! This very cute animal will reward you handsomely.
See also: What are the breeds of dwarf rabbits and what are their features?