Hi! Here I am going to show you everything that you need to know for when you get your first hamster. The first thing that you should do is click HERE to take the quiz on Is a Hamster the Right Pet for you?
The first thing to think about is what kind of hamster you want. There are 4 domestic hamster types, also known as the kind of hamster you can have as a pet. They are syrian hamster, dwarf hamster, chinese hamster and roborovski hamster.
Your first hamster really depends on who you are! Find yourself below, and I will tell you my recommendation. (Remember that this is only for your first hamster) Click HERE to take the quiz!
If you are interested in hamsters and would like to own a number of hamsters in the future, but do not know much about them, I recommend that you follow this basic order: First get a Syrian hamster, then a dwarf hamster, and then a robo. If you are thinking of getting a Chinese hamster, then you may want to get it in between Syrian and Dwarf.
Syrian – If you are aged 3-8, if you are not crazy interested in hamsters, if you don’t have much time to spend with your hamster, or are nervous to get a hamster, if you don’t know a lot about hamsters, if you are not obsessed with hamsters, if you are looking for a little bit of cuteness and fun once in a while, or if you want a family hamster this hamster is perfect for you!
For you I would recommend a Syrian hamster. They are cute and fun, and they are big so that they are easy to find if they are lost. They also don’t run very fast so they are easy to catch. Other hamsters are also known to bite a lot. Syrian hamsters are known to be quite tame and love their owners almost instantly. While it can take up to a year to tame a dwarf hamster, taming a syrian may only take a couple of days. These hamsters are also nocturnal and do not require so much time to play.
Dwarf – If you are obsessed with hamsters, aged 12+, know almost everything about them, have a strong love for hamsters, don’t mind having a nippy hamster, if you will play with your hamster every day, are okay with having a hamster that you might not be able to tame and are confident in your hamster care skills, a dwarf hamster is a great choice for you!
For you, I would recommend a dwarf hamster. I do not usually recommend dwarf hamsters because they are more for experienced hamster owners. Even if you do really love hamsters, I would still recommend that you get a Syrian first. This way you can build your basic hamster care skills, and then you will be ready for a dwarf hamster. Putting this aside, Pikatchu is a dwarf and she is my first hamster. I did get her because I was very confident of my hamster knowledge, thus creating this website. Dwarfs are very fun and energetic and absolutely adorable. It takes a while to tame them, but once you do tame them, you create a strong bond that will last forever.
These are the most popular hamsters. Unfortunately, I do not know much about Chinese hamsters, but I would recommend getting a Chinese hamster if you find yourself in the middle of the characteristics for Syrian and Dwarf hamster. If this is your first hamster, I do not recommend that you get a roborovski. You definitely need experience to own a robo.
Before you actually get your hamster, you are going to want to get a cage.
A great thing about getting a hamster is that you can also pick its home and make it as fun and cute as you want, but when choosing a cage you have to be aware of how enjoyable it is for your hamster too. After all, they are the ones living in it! In this article, I will tell you about many of the different hamster cages, some tips for buying hamster cages, and the cages you should not buy.
You want your hamster cage to be big. The bigger the cage the better, because it gives your hamster more freedom. If you don’t have a very big space in your house for your hamster, just make sure that your cage is as big or bigger than these measurements: 360 square inches in North America, 589 square inches in Europe and the UK (Not including Germany), and if you live in Germany your cage minimum is 741 square inches. Please note that levels do not count as extra square inches!
Here is a huge piece of advice: DO NOT BUY A CAGE FROM YOUR LOCAL PET STORE!
Cages in pet stores are often too small or uncomfortable for your hamster. They are generally overpriced, and there are many better ways to make a good home for your hamster.
Some of the pet store cages will look like this:
These are the things that you should include in your hamster’s cage!
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Though hamsters themselves may be inexpensive, their cages require time, effort and money. To make a safe, fun and stress free environment for your hamster, there are a few things that you need to put in your hamster’s cage.
- Make sure that your cage is 360 square inches if you live in the U.S, or 589 square inches if you live in most of Europe (Germany not included). (Click HERE for more info on cage sizes)
2. Get a wheel! Wheels are important because they help your hamster to exercise like they do in the wild. Unfortunately, cages do not have enough space for your hamster to run around in unless you have a cage that stretches out for 90 miles.
3. Make sure that you have toys! Hamsters need many toys to play with and climb on for entertainment, it will help them exercise and it will also prevent boredom.
4. Get a food bowl and a water bottle! Food bowls are optional as you can scatter feed, and water bottles can be replaced with water bowls, but I definitely recommend food bowls and water bottles. (Click HERE for more info on food and water)
5. Add a sand bath! Sand baths will help your hamster stay clean! (Click HERE for more info on sand baths)
6. Put in some hideouts! Hideouts are little hidey houses for your hamster to sleep and hide in. Your hamster can also hide in these houses if they feel threatened or scared.
7. Bring some chews into your hamsters cage! Chews are important because they grind your hamster’s teeth down. Cheesy chews and flavored wood chews are tasty solutions for your hamster.
And that’s it!
Once you get your hamster, you are first going to want to watch them and figure out what their personality is. Now, you can pick a suitable name for it.
These are 100 hand picked hamster names, ready for your new hamster to use. Good luck finding the one for you and your hamster!
- Little Miss Fatface
Next you are going to tame your hamster. This way, you can carry your hamster and feed it treats without it biting you.
How to Tame Your Hamster
Works for all 5 species of domestic hamster
Step 1-Getting Your Hamster Used to it’s Surroundings
Rustle your hands around in your hamster’s bedding and get them used to having your hands in their cage. Make sure to not show any fear towards them because they will sense this and their trust in you will not grow.
Step 2-Treat Feeding Part 1
After your hamster has settled in, you can start feeding him treats. I recommend taking your hamster into a play pen or bath tub while doing this, as well as feeding the treats in your hamster’s cage. To transport your hamster from their cage to a play pen, place a cup into the cage and let them crawl in. Then, let them walk into the play pen. Make sure to not force them out of the cup, let them take their time.
Place a small treat between your thumb and pointer finger, and lower your hand to the ground, so that it is level with your hamster’s mouth. If your hamster is interested, he will walk up to your hand and take the treat.
If not, do not punish your hamster or force the treat into your hamster’s mouth. This will only irritate your hamster and make it harder to tame them. Practice this a few times with your hamster’s favorite treat. Remember, this could take from a day to a few weeks to master, so be patient. Your hamster will master this step when he takes the treat with no hesitation or fear.
Step 3- Treat Feeding Part 2
Place a few small treats on the palm of your hand and place it in front of your hamster. He will most likely take the treat and find a comfortable place to eat it in.
After you practice this quite a few times with your hamster, he should start to take the treat more confidently, and will soon be comfortable with sitting on your hand while he eats the treat. When he is able to sit on your hand and eat, it is time to move on to step 4.
Step 4- Handling
Lay a blanket and a few pillows down on top of a bathtub, play pen, or empty room with no cracks for your hamster to disappear into. This is so that if they fall they will not hurt them self.
Next, take your hamster into this space and sit down in it with him. You are now going to practice handling your hamster.
Let your hamster get used to your scent by letting him climb over your legs and feeding him treats. When you are both confident and comfortable with each other, place a couple treats on your hand and wait for your hamster to sit on it.
Then, slowly lift your hamster until he is level with your stomach. Let your hamster relax on your hand and then let your hamster walk from one hand to the other. After you have done this a few times, gently place your hamster down.
Repeat this a few times every day, and you should develop a strong bond with your hamster.
Congrats! Your hamster is now tame! Remember to make some time everyday to play with your hamster to maintain a healthy relationship! Good luck! -Iris
And you’re all set! Good luck with your new furry friend! Thanks for reading!