21 Facts You Need to Know Before Breeding a Hamster Pet

Breeding hamsters can be a fascinating and rewarding experience for pet owners who are curious about the process and eager to watch the birth and growth of their adorable pets.

However, it’s essential to ensure proper care, understanding, and knowledge when it comes to breeding these little creatures.

The journey from mating to giving birth requires a good amount of attention, resources, and commitment.

Before embarking on this exciting endeavor, it’s crucial to educate oneself on the key facts and considerations pertaining to the breeding and reproduction of hamsters.

This includes understanding their sexual maturity, mating habits, gestation period, and how to safely care for the female during pregnancy and after the birth of her offspring.

Furthermore, understanding the potential risks and challenges associated with breeding will play a significant role in determining whether this is the right path for both the hamster owner and their pets.

The following paragraphs will explore 20 essential facts that every aspiring hamster breeder must be aware of, providing valuable insights and guidance for those looking to deepen their understanding of the process and take on this exciting challenge.

By the end, readers will have a comprehensive understanding of what it takes to breed hamsters successfully and responsibly.

1. Do Hamster Bites Hurt?

Hamster bites can be painful, although the severity of the pain may vary depending on the type of hamster.

Smaller hamsters, such as dwarf hamsters, have a greater tendency to bite due to their territorial nature, and their bites might hurt more than those from larger hamsters.

It is important to understand that hamsters typically bite when they feel scared or threatened, rather than being naturally aggressive. 

Hamster bites can be discouraged and reduced by gradually training the animal to accept being handled.

Precautions such as washing hands before and after handling the hamster, and avoiding the smell of food on your hands can also minimize the chances of being bitten.

In some cases, a sudden bite from an ordinarily tame hamster may indicate that the animal is sick or injured.

Common signs of hamster illness or discomfort include lethargy, loss of appetite, hair loss, wet tail caused by loose stools, sneezing, or respiratory difficulties. 

If your hamster displays any of these signs, it may require medical attention or a visit to the veterinarian.

2. Do Hamsters Make Noise at Night?

Hamsters are known to be nocturnal animals, which means they are most active during nighttime hours.

Being nocturnal, it’s common for hamsters to make noise at night as they perform various activities like digging, eating, and spinning their exercise wheel.

There could be various reasons behind the noise that hamsters make at night, including disturbance in their sleep schedule, uncomfortable living conditions, illness, faulty exercise wheels, and hunger. 

To maintain their sleep cycle and overall well-being, it’s essential to provide them with a comfortable and spacious environment.

One way to reduce noise caused by hamsters at night is to invest in a silent exercise wheel, which allows the hamster to exercise without causing too much noise.

Additionally, keeping the hamster’s cage far away from your bedroom and keeping the doors shut can also help minimize the disturbance caused by their nocturnal behavior.

Providing adequate toys and enrichment items, such as cork logs, a sand bath, and chew toys, can help keep your nocturnal pet occupied and potentially reduce noise levels.

Remember, a well-engaged and satisfied hamster is more likely to be less noisy at night.

3. Do Hamsters Stay Awake All Night?

Hamsters are primarily crepuscular animals, meaning they are most active during dawn and dusk.

Although they might not be fully awake throughout the entire night, they have a higher tendency to be active during nighttime hours compared to daytime hours when they mostly sleep in their burrows, both in the wild and in captivity.

That being said, individual hamsters can display variations in their sleep patterns, much like humans do. It’s not unusual for a hamster to be awake and playful at irregular times. 

However, it is essential to recognize and respect their natural sleep cycle and refrain from disturbing them while they rest.

In the wild, hamsters usually avoid coming above ground during bright daytime hours due to safety concerns. 

They prefer spending this time underground, engaging in activities such as sleeping, snacking, digging, and arranging their nests.

In a domestic setting, understanding their natural preferences can help pet owners create a healthy and supportive environment for their hamster pets.

Here are a few points to consider while caring for your hamster in relation to its sleep cycle:

  • Hamsters typically sleep around 6-8 hours during the day.
  • Monitor the sleep pattern of your hamster and make sure they get an adequate amount of rest.
  • Avoid waking them up during their sleep, as it can lead to aggressive behavior and stress.
  • Make sure their habitat is comfortable and safe, to promote healthy sleep and activity habits.

4. Do Hamsters Need Light at Night?

Hamsters are nocturnal animals, which means they are most active during the night and sleep during the day. Due to their natural habits, it’s essential to understand their lighting needs.

Contrary to common belief, hamsters do not require complete darkness to sleep. In fact, they can see better in faint light than in bright light, and some hamsters may even prefer having access to a low level of light at night.

It is not necessary to provide a night light for your hamster, as they can navigate their surroundings using their sense of smell, touch, and hearing.

However, if you choose to use a night light, ensure it is a dim and non-disruptive source of illumination.

When considering the lighting for your hamster’s environment, it is important to avoid:

  • Bright lights: These can cause stress and negatively affect their well-being.
  • Artificial light during sleep time: Exposure to artificial light can disrupt their internal clock, potentially leading to health problems.
  • Constant darkness: Although hamsters are nocturnal and don’t require a brightly lit environment, they do need some access to light in order to maintain their mental and physical health.

By paying close attention to your hamster’s lighting requirements, you can create an environment where they feel comfortable, safe, and well-taken care of.

5. Do Hamsters Need Baths?

Hamsters, unlike most pets, do not require traditional water baths. In fact, bathing them with water can remove essential molecules from their coat, potentially leading to skin problems. 

Instead, hamsters rely on a different method to stay clean: sand baths.

Wild hamsters use sand to maintain their hygiene, as the sand provides natural benefits for their skin and fur.

Particularly, dwarf breeds of hamsters enjoy regular sand baths. They love rolling, digging, and playing in smooth, clean sand, which helps “bathe” their skin and fur.

To provide a sand bath for your hamster, choose a shallow, sturdy container and fill it with chinchilla sand or clean play sand.

Do not use chinchilla dust or sand with added calcium, as they can be harmful to your hamster.

Place the container in your hamster’s cage, and observe how they interact with it. Hamsters usually know instinctively how to use the sand to clean themselves.

It is essential to maintain the cleanliness of sand baths as well, by removing soiled sand and replacing it with fresh, clean sand periodically.

This ensures that your hamster has a hygienic environment to groom itself and maintain a healthy coat.

6. Do Hamsters Like the Quiet?

Hamsters, as pets, have certain preferences when it comes to their environment. One of these preferences is a quieter and stress-free living area.

They are known to be sensitive creatures that can easily get startled by sudden or loud noises.

Creating a calm and tranquil space for your hamster is essential for their overall well-being. Since they are nocturnal animals, hamsters generally rest during the day and become more active at night.

Exposing them to loud noises during their resting hours can disrupt their sleep patterns and lead to stress.

Stress in hamsters may result in various health issues, such as stress-related diseases, and could also affect their overall lifespan.

Thus, it is crucial to provide them with a serene environment to support their emotional and physical health.

Here are some tips to ensure a quiet space for your pet hamster:

  • Place the hamster cage in a room with minimal noise, preferably away from high-traffic areas.
  • Avoid sudden loud sounds, such as slamming doors, yelling, or playing loud music near the hamster’s cage.
  • Ensure that other pets, such as dogs and cats, do not disturb the hamster’s resting environment.

By maintaining a quiet and suitable living space for your hamster, you can help promote their happiness, reduce stress levels, and ultimately provide them with a healthier and more fulfilling life.

7. Do Hamsters Need a Wheel?

Yes, hamsters do need a wheel to fulfill their innate need to run.

Providing a wheel for your pet hamster not only keeps them entertained but also helps them expend their energy in a healthy and productive manner.

A well-functioning hamster wheel prevents your pet from developing physical and mental health issues as well.

Selecting the appropriate wheel size is crucial, as unsuitable wheel dimensions can force a hamster to arch its back while running, potentially causing injury and complications.

For instance, a wheel with a diameter of 27-30 cm (11 to 12 inches) is advised for a comfortable running experience.

There are numerous benefits to providing a hamster wheel in the hamster’s habitat. Not only does it give them a chance to exercise and stay healthy, but it also allows them to run long distances without having to leave their enclosure.

Hamsters are known to run more than 5 miles in a single night on their wheel, showcasing their impressive capacity to remain active.

When choosing a wheel for a hamster, it is important to avoid wheels made of wire, as they can harm your pet. Instead, opt for a plastic wheel that is both durable and safe for your hamster to use.

By offering a suitable hamster wheel, you will ensure that your pet maintains a healthy and active lifestyle, which is essential before considering breeding hamsters.

8. Do Hamsters Need 2 Floors?

When considering a hamster’s cage setup, it’s essential to provide ample space and enrichment for their wellbeing.

A two-floor cage can offer additional room for your pet hamster to explore and enjoy.

Two-floor cages can be beneficial for hamsters, especially those that require more exercise, such as the Syrian hamster.

A multi-level habitat allows hamsters to engage in climbing behaviors, which can help promote their physical health and mental stimulation.

It also provides an opportunity to furnish the cage with more toys and hiding spots, aiding in your hamster’s overall happiness and well-being.

Pet helpful suggests having a decent-sized cage with multiple floors to contribute to a hamster’s longevity.

It’s essential to take essential safety precautions when designing a multi-floor cage for your hamster.

Make sure that the connections between the floors are secure and safe with appropriate ramps or tubes.

Avoid using steep or overly narrow pathways that may put your hamster at risk for injury.

Additionally, it is crucial to keep basic care requirements in mind, such as providing enough bedding on each floor and separating the hamster’s food, water, and nesting area from its waste area.

In summary, offering a two-floor setup can be beneficial for your pet hamster’s physical and mental health, as long as safety precautions are taken.

In the end, providing a spacious and engaging environment is crucial for the well-being of your hamster.

9. Do Hamsters Like to Be Picked Up?

Hamsters are known for their timid nature, and it is common for them to be initially frightened or stressed when in a new environment or when handling is introduced.

However, with proper care and patience, most hamsters can grow to enjoy being picked up and interacted with by their owners.

It is essential to approach handling your hamster with caution, especially when they are still getting used to their surroundings. To pick up your hamster safely, you can follow these steps, as suggested:

  • Cup your hamster in the cradle of your hand, placing your alternate hand on its back.
  • Run your middle and index fingers down the surface of the hamster’s back.
  • Pet the hamster with light, delicate strokes.
  • Avoid pressing down hard into the hamster’s fur or making sudden, jerky movements.

It is worth noting that individual hamsters may have different preferences and personalities, so one hamster may be more accepting of being picked up than others.

It is important to pay close attention to your hamster’s signals and body language to ensure they are comfortable with being handled.

By gradually introducing interactions and providing a comfortable and familiar environment, you can help your hamster feel more at ease when being picked up.

This will not only make it easier to handle and interact with your pet but can also strengthen the bond between you and your hamster.

10. Do Hamsters Like Litter Boxes?

Hamsters are known to be clean animals and appreciate maintaining a designated area for their bathroom habits.

Introducing a litter box in their cage can be beneficial for both the pet and the owner, as it encourages cleanliness in the habitat and makes maintenance easier.

Hamster potty training can be a relatively simple process since these intelligent pets usually have a preferred spot in their cage where they do their business.

To begin, observe your hamster’s behavior and identify this preferred spot. After purchasing a suitable litter box, place it in that location to increase the likelihood of success in potty training.

Pour enough litter to cover the bottom of the litter box and add some soiled bedding with a few droppings. This will help signal to your hamster that it is okay to use the litter box for its bathroom needs.

Regular cleaning is essential for the continued use of the litter box by your hamster. Empty soiled litter daily, and clean the box at least weekly, but never when your hamster is actively using it.

Though hamsters generally take to litter boxes quite well, there may be instances where they use them for other purposes, such as sleeping or hiding food.

If this occurs, it could be an indication that their cage is too small or they are dissatisfied with their current sleeping area.

11. Do Hamsters Get Stressed When You Hold Them?

Hamsters can experience stress when being held, as they are sensitive animals that can be easily affected by changes in their environment or handling methods.

Sudden stress can put extra strain on their heart and other body organs, making them more at risk of sudden death, particularly if they are old or have poor underlying health.

It is essential to handle hamsters gently and calmly to avoid causing them unnecessary stress. Washing your hands with unscented soap prior to handling your hamster is advisable, as strong smells can also cause the hamster distress.

Also, giving them sufficient time to get used to your presence and scent can help create a bond and make them feel more comfortable with you.

When picking up a hamster, it is essential to use a careful and slow approach. One method you can use is to create a makeshift “hamster elevator” using a clear plastic 1-liter soft-drink bottle.

Remove the label, cut it in half, and snip off the bottom half so it resembles a cup roughly the size of your hand.

The plastic should be thin enough to transmit the warmth of your hand and can help the hamster feel more secure.

Monitoring your hamster’s behavior for signs of stress is crucial. Some indicators include muscle rigidity, tremors, or changes in habitual behavior.

If you notice these signs in your hamster, it is essential to reevaluate your handling technique and make modifications to ensure your pet’s well-being.

12. Do Hamsters Like Being in a Ball?

Hamsters’ enjoyment of being in an exercise ball can vary depending on the individual animal. Some hamsters may love rolling around in a ball and spending hours exploring, while others may not be as enthusiastic about it.

It is important to note that exercise balls may not be the best option for all hamsters due to various reasons.

Exercise balls can get hot and create an unsanitary environment due to the build-up of urine and feces, potentially posing danger to the hamster.

Additionally, hamsters primarily rely on their sense of smell and touch to explore their surroundings, with their limited eyesight.

Being placed in a ball can restrict their ability to utilize these senses, which may result in increased stress and unease.

When using an exercise ball, it is important to monitor your hamster for any signs of fear or anxiety, such as excessive vocalizing, rigidity, or hyperactivity.

If your hamster exhibits any of these behaviors, it should be immediately removed from the ball.

In summary, while some hamsters may enjoy time spent in an exercise ball, it is essential to consider potential risks and observe your pet’s behavior to ensure their safety and comfort.

13. Do Hamsters Need a Sand Bath?

Hamsters are known for their self-cleaning habits, and they don’t necessarily require a sand bath for maintaining their hygiene.

However, providing a sand bath can be beneficial to their grooming routine and can mimic their natural behavior in the wild.

It’s important to note that while sand baths are permitted, dust baths are not recommended due to potential respiratory issues for your hamster pet.

Not all hamsters will require sand baths, as some individuals can maintain their cleanliness without them.

This is especially true if their enclosure is kept exceptionally clean and they don’t exhibit any health or physical issues that could hinder their grooming abilities.

When providing a sand bath for your hamster, it’s essential to select appropriate sand.

This means avoiding sand with added nutrients and fragrances, as your hamster doesn’t need them, and scented sand baths are usually made for human owners’ preferences rather than the hamster’s needs.

If you decide to offer your hamster a sand bath, it’s a good idea to sanitize the sand by baking it in the oven at 350°F for 20 minutes.

This process will help eliminate any bacteria or fungi present in the sand and ensure it is safe for your pet.

In summary, while hamsters can still maintain their cleanliness without sand baths, offering them one can enhance their grooming routine and overall well-being.

Be sure to use appropriate, unscented sand and sanitize it before use to ensure the safety and health of your pet.

14. Do Hamsters Do OK Alone?

Hamster pets are known for being one of the popular small pets to have at home. Understanding their social needs is essential before deciding on breeding them.

In general, hamsters do fine when kept alone, especially Syrian hamsters.

These creatures are solitary animals by nature, and in some cases, they can even become aggressive and hostile towards other hamsters when sharing a living space.

It is essential to know that not all hamster breeds have the same social requirements.

While Syrian hamsters must not be housed together at all due to their territorial behavior, some other breeds can coexist peacefully, as long as they are introduced to each other properly and housed together from a young age.

However, it is still recommended to keep them separated by sex to avoid unplanned breeding.

Even though hamsters can live alone, they do require some social interaction with humans.

Regular handling and playtime with their human caregivers are important for their emotional well-being, as they are social animals and enjoy forging bonds with people.

In summary, ensuring that hamsters, particularly Syrian hamsters, have their own living space is crucial for their safety and well-being.

However, providing them with regular human interaction is equally important for their emotional health.

15. Do Hamsters Like Their Cage Cover?

Hamsters, being nocturnal animals, appreciate having a darker environment during the day and a comfortable, secure place to rest.

Covering parts of their cage with a lightweight, breathable fabric can create a cozy atmosphere for them.

However, it is essential to ensure proper air circulation and prevent overheating, so do not cover the cage completely.

Partially covering the cage allows for better air circulation and gives your hamster the option to choose between light and dark areas.

Remember to leave one side exposed to natural light as hamsters need to distinguish between day and night in order to maintain their regular habits

A few additional tips to keep your hamster comfortable and happy in its cage include:

  • Place the cage in a quiet area away from direct sunlight, drafts, and excessive noise to provide a stress-free environment for your hamster.
  • Provide hiding spots and small, dark spaces, such as hamster-sized hideout accessories or empty toilet paper tubes, to help your hamster feel secure and comfortable.
  • Ensure that the cage is of adequate size to accommodate all of your hamster’s activities, like playing, burrowing, and exploring.
  • Regularly change out the bedding and clean the cage to provide a healthy and hygienic space for your pet.

By following these guidelines, you can create a comfortable and safe environment for your hamster to thrive and enjoy their habitat.

16. Do Hamsters Get Separation Anxiety?

Hamsters are known to be susceptible to stress and anxiety, which can affect their overall well-being.

Although they do not experience separation anxiety in the same way that dogs or humans might, they can still become stressed when separated from their familiar environment or cagemates.

When it comes to breeding, it is essential to separate hamsters of different sexes to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

However, this separation should be done gradually and carefully to minimize stress for the animals. It is also important to note that same-sex hamsters should be kept separate if they display aggressive behavior towards each other, as it may pose a threat to their safety.

Maintaining a quiet and comfortable environment is crucial for minimizing stress in hamsters, whether they are separated or living with other hamsters.

Some people recommend avoiding sudden movements and loud noises around hamsters, as these can be distressing for them.

In conclusion, while hamsters do not necessarily suffer from separation anxiety like some other animals, they can still be sensitive to changes in their living conditions.

To ensure their well-being, it is crucial to handle separation and breeding situations with care and consideration.

17. Do hamsters get stressed when you move their cage?

Hamsters may experience stress when their cage is moved, as they are sensitive to changes in their environment.

A sudden change in location can cause anxiety and lead to various symptoms of stress in hamsters.

It is essential for pet owners to be aware of these signs and minimize the risk of stress when moving a hamster’s cage.

Some common signs of stress in hamsters include cage biting, excessive digging, and repetitive behaviors like rolling, scratching, and licking.

Hamsters may also exhibit muscle rigidity, tremors, and changes in their habitual behavior when they are stressed.

To minimize stress when moving a hamster’s cage, consider the following recommendations:

  • Move the cage gradually, over a few days if possible, to help the hamster adjust to the new location.
  • Maintain a consistent schedule for feeding, cleaning, and interacting with the hamster to provide stability.
  • Place the cage in a quiet area with low foot traffic to reduce disturbance.
  • Avoid moving the cage too often or during the hamster’s active periods.

By taking these steps, hamster owners can help reduce stress on their pets when moving their cages, ensuring a more relaxed and comfortable environment for the animals.

18. Do Hamsters Need Salt Licks?

Hamsters do not necessarily need salt licks in their diet. The food typically provided for hamsters already contains sufficient vitamins and minerals that cater to their nutritional needs.

However, certain specific circumstances might make salt licks a suitable addition for hamsters.

For example, in case of a salt deficiency, hamsters can consume special salt licks, such as Himalayan salt licks.

It is important to clarify that these salt licks are different from regular table salt or other salt types used in human foods.

Although salt licks generally do not provide significant nutritional value for hamsters, they can occasionally serve as a source of entertainment or a toy for them.

It is essential to monitor your hamster to ensure they do not overindulge, as excessive salt intake can be detrimental to their health.

In summary, while hamsters do not require salt licks as part of their regular diet, they can be given as an occasional treat or a means of addressing specific salt deficiencies.

It is crucial to provide a well-balanced diet and exercise for your pet hamster to ensure their overall health and well-being.

19. Do Hamsters Need Shots?

When it comes to vaccinations for pets, many people wonder if their hamsters require immunizations in the same way that cats and dogs do.

In fact, there are no known vaccines specifically designed for hamsters.

It is, however, advisable to consult with a qualified veterinarian for safer alternatives and to take your hamster for annual checkups to ensure its well-being.

Hamsters may transmit contagious diseases to humans, such as meningitis.

Hence, maintaining their overall health is essential not only for their well-being but also for the safety of their human caretakers.

As a responsible hamster owner, and especially if you’re planning to breed your hamsters, you should be aware of the importance of keeping a close eye on the health of both parent hamsters and their offspring. Some tips for maintaining hamster health include:

  • Providing a clean and spacious living environment
  • Offering a balanced and nutritious diet
  • Ensuring their habitat has proper ventilation and temperature control
  • Regularly monitoring their behavior, weight, and overall health

Remember, it’s always better to seek professional advice from a veterinarian if you have concerns about your hamster’s health or if you notice any unusual signs or symptoms.

20. Do Hamsters Need Veggies every day?

Hamsters can indeed benefit from eating vegetables every day, as these small animals need them to stay healthy.

However, it’s essential to serve vegetables in the right proportions to avoid overfeeding your pet. Small amounts of vegetables can provide valuable nutrition without causing digestive upset, such as diarrhea or stomach aches.

When providing veggies for your hamster, it’s best to offer a variety of different vegetables each day to ensure a balanced and diverse diet.

This helps prevent boredom from eating the same food and provides a range of vitamins and minerals.

Though vegetables are a healthy supplement, the primary source of nutrition for hamsters should still come from pelleted rodent food.

There are numerous vegetables that are safe for hamsters to consume.

Some appropriate options include carrots, cucumber, bell peppers, and lettuce.

Be cautious with potentially harmful vegetables, such as onions, garlic, and raw potatoes, which can cause significant health problems for your pet.

Here are some helpful tips for providing vegetables to your hamster:

  • Start with small amounts and gradually increase the portion to determine the optimal quantity for your specific hamster.
  • Wash vegetables thoroughly before serving to remove pesticides and debris.
  • Chop vegetables into bite-sized pieces to make them more manageable for your hamster to eat.
  • Monitor your hamster’s reaction to different vegetables to identify any adverse effects or preferences.

By incorporating a variety of vegetables into your hamster’s diet, you can support their overall health and well-being, ensuring they receive adequate nutrition to thrive.

21. Do Hamsters Recognize Their Owners?

Hamsters are capable of recognizing their owners, but their methods of recognition may differ from other pets.

Due to their poor eyesight, hamsters primarily rely on other senses like smell and sound to identify their caretakers.

One of the primary methods by which hamsters recognize their owners is through scent.

As they spend more time with their caretakers, they become familiar with their distinct aroma.

Additionally, hamsters have the intelligence to differentiate between sounds and tones, meaning they can recognize you by the sound of your voice.

It is essential to spend enough bonding time with your hamster to establish recognition and develop a bond.

With adequate socialization, a hamster will begin to recognize and form an attachment to its owner.

It is worth noting that hamsters generally form bonds with only one or two people and are less likely to bond with multiple individuals in a household.

In conclusion, hamsters have the capability to recognize their owners through senses other than sight.

By spending quality bonding time with your hamster and familiarizing them with your scent and voice, a strong connection can be established.

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