HOUSING A HAMSTER
The hamster’s home should be safe and secure and big enough for the hamster to play. The cage should be placed in a quiet place, away from draughts and away from direct sunlight.
You may opt for a hamster wire cage, plastic or glass containers.
Hamster wire cages are one of the main options of housing a hamster. The best advantage of hamster wire cages is the good ventilation since fresh air can get to the hamster from different directions. These types of cages are the most ideal for Syrian hamsters. A hamster wire cage is not ideal for dwarf or roborovski hamsters since they can escape from in between the cage bars.
IMPORTANT: If you use a hamster wire cage, then make sure that the base, flooring levels, ladders and ramps of the cage are not made of wire. The best are those made of plastic, which are safe for hamsters to walk on. If you mistakengly got a hamster wire cage that has its floorings made of wire, then you have to put strips of cardboard weaved through the wire to avoid the hamster’s feet slipping through.
Plastic cages, glass containers and aquariums are other sources of housing your pet hamster. In a plastic, glass container or aquarium, the hamster is not affected with draughts but there is little ventilation which is not good for hamsters. It may also be difficult to clean and thus it is not very hygienic. Plastic cages, glass containers and aquariums are ideal for housing dwarf and roborovski hamsters. Rotastak cages may also be available from your pet store. Click here to read a hamster article about rotastak hamster cages.
Providing your hamster with tubes makes the cage more interesting for the hamster to explore. There are many kinds of tubes to choose from and these can also be added to a plastic cage. Some homemade hamster toys ideas are: tubes, hamster houses and ramps.
The hamster's cage should be cleaned at least once a week and the potty area should be cleaned daily. To clean the cage more easily, at the bottom of the cage one can put some sheets of paper - preferably without any ink.
Wood shavings are not ideal, as hamsters may suffer from the wood shavings dust and get a skin reaction from it. The best hamster bedding is paper based bedding like toilet paper and tissue paper. This type of bedding is the most comfortable and hygienic for hamsters. Also you can give the hamster a toilet paper roll to play with, since most hamsters like tubes.
The right temperature for your hamster
Hamsters are most comfortable at temperatures between 65°F / 18°C and 80°F / 26°C. It is essential to keep your hamster in a room with such temperature. If the room is too hot, try to allow the room to cool down, like placing a small fan 60cm away from the cage. Also, you can place a beach rock (the size of the hamster) into the hamster's cage. The hamster will usually go and sleep or sit on it to cool down. Just make sure that you water the rock and leave it to dry before putting it in the hamster's cage.
Traveling with your pet hamster
Are you planning on taking some flights and want to bring your pet hamster along for the ride? Traveling by car is pretty straightforward, but if you are planning on flying somewhere with your fuzzy friend, you'll need to do some homework first. Click here to read a detailed article about the things you need to do to travel abroad by plane with your pet hamster.