How to properly care for a hamster? Here are tips, tricks, and even organic foods for a healthy hamster!
With its miniature mouse appearance, the hamster is definitely not a rodent like the others. It is distinguished from its fellow mice, rats, gerbils, and other rodents by a pair of strongly curved cheek pouches (in which they carry their food).
Sometimes shy, but incredibly lively, playful and curious, the hamster is a real teaser! Most active at dusk and at night. About 10 cm in size at maturity, its lifespan is about 3 years. The annual cost of maintenance is from 40 to 60 euros (excluding veterinary costs).
How to welcome an animal into your home? What should I feed him to keep him healthy? what means of hygiene and care to give him? Here are some tips and tricks to pamper him and offer him a beautiful life filled with love.
The cage you choose for your hamster should be at least 40 cm (he needs space to be happy!) and have a floor and play equipment if possible (wheels, tunnels, stairs, etc.). You should know that hamsters are very clean and love to have a “toilet” in the cage for daily needs. Place 2-3 cm of plant debris in the bottom of the cage, as well as a bowl and a bottle of clean water.
To place an animal in a cage: carefully place the transport box inside, carefully open it and allow the animal to silently exit. Then place the cage in a living space, such as a living room or living room. Leave the animal alone for 24-48 hours, avoiding contact with it during this period, as it needs to acclimatize in the new home!
Warning: All animals may bite, scratch or pinch when stressed. Learn to handle them carefully, especially during the acclimatization phase. Avoid shouting and sudden movements that may frighten them.
What to feed him?
From the first day at home, give your hamster a complete food with a teaspoon of seed mixture for small rodents. Then give him 4-5 “caps” of the mixture every day at the usual time. We recommend the brands Hamiform and Grains de Vie (see slideshow above for product selection).
Advice : Complete kibbles, also called “caps”, are preferable to seed mixtures, which the animal tends to overeat. They guarantee him a balanced diet. You can supplement this diet with treats or selected seeds: rosebuds, blackbird shavings, seeds… plus a few mealworms that little rodents love!
It is not recommended to give fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as cheese, chocolate, sweet or salty foods. Instead, opt for hamster-friendly treats like organic carrot chips or dehydrated organic apples. Remember to remove uneaten food after 24 hours! You can also give small amounts of organic hay or dry grass mixes to small rodents once or twice a week.
Very important : Provide your hamster with clean water at room temperature as often as possible. Once a week, add a multivitamin complex to the water to improve the health of your pet.
What hygiene and care products?
Use a quality vegetable filler. The Hamiform brand offers special litter for rodents, natural and compostable vegetable litter from hemp.
Change the bedding once or twice a week, and at the same time thoroughly clean the cage and its accessories, disinfecting them with a suitable product. Don’t forget to rinse them well afterwards!
The teeth of small rodents are constantly growing. In order for an animal to use them, it needs to be provided with wood to gnaw or mineral stone.
Use the right shampoo to care for his hair. Biogance offers an organic, paraben-free, pH neutral hamster shampoo with 98% organic and natural ingredients for a gentle wash. It is easy to wash off: apply to damp hair, massage and rinse. Repeat the operation, leave for 2 minutes, then rinse.
Alone or with friends? what actions to distract him?
Hamsters have a lonely soul and do not appreciate the company of their fellows. In a group, the atmosphere quickly turns into a settling of scores, especially between individuals of the same sex. In a cage, a hamster fills up alone, especially if he has something to entertain himself and he can count on his owners for a few walks. Warning: never leave your hamster unattended outside of his cage! It should be especially noted that small rodents have no concept of height. They can jump into the void and hurt themselves. They also run the risk of poisoning themselves if they nibble on houseplants because some of them are poisonous. Also beware of the risk of electric shock if they cut through electrical wires! And, of course, keep your hamster away from predators such as cats or dogs.
The hamster is a playful animal that needs exercise and training. Install a wheel, tubes, ladders, booths in his cage… in a word, games and corners that will make him feel good!
Romy Heisenberg, with good advice from Botanic
For reference: Botanic stores offer animal areas where you will find hamsters and small mammals, 100% from French farms that meet strict quality criteria and are committed to sustainability and respect for animals.
Read more: Hamster Practice Sheet at Botanic