HAMSTER BEHAVIOR

Hamsters, in their wide variety, are one of the most popular pet not only in America, but in the whole Western world. In fact, there’s a big chance that you had a hamster as your first pet. And there are good reasons for that. First and most important, they are very fun to play with. They eat tiny portions of food (the average is a dessert spoon a day), are inexpensive and very accessible, in almost all local pet shops. The downside of having a hamster is their short life span- two and a half years and even four if you take really good care of him.

In the wild, the hamster’s behavior is similar to what he does in our homes, except that in the wild he has a way bigger house. Mainly, there are 5 things a hamster does in the wild and most surely in his comfy cage as well.

Syrian hamsters are solitary.

syrian hamster

You should never put a Syrian hamster in a cage with another hamster because they will most likely fight to death. Remember the Golden Rule: one Syrian hamster-one cage.

They don’t ask for a hamster companionship, they don’t need it and most important, they should never get a hamster as a roommate. They prefer you! Just think at this: in the wild, the mother hamster drives her babies away from home at the age of three or four weeks. Even if it sounds cruel the little ones survive.

Hamsters are crepuscular.
hamster sleep
Do you want to play with your hamster and all he does is sleeping? So what do you do? Let him sleep a bit more, hoping he will wake up soon and you could play around with him. But he doesn’t. He sleeps and sleeps… and sleeps.

And when you get to bet he wakes up and runs up and down in his cage and even plays with his wheel helping you sleep well and tight. Don’t be worried that your hamster might be lunatic!

The hamster is just crepuscular : they are active during twilight: at dawn and at dusk . Thinking at the high temperatures in the Middle East, everyone should be crepuscular.

So, if you want to play with your hamster during the day when he is supposed to get some sleep, try to wake him up gently and if he is in the mood for playing, play with him for a couple of minutes or as long as he is willing to. But don’t overdo it. Just think… If I woke you up at 3 am because I wanted to play with you, wouldn’t you be pissed of? The hamster has the same feeling.

I advise you to try to accustom your hamster with 3-4 hours of sleep and then to wake up for a snack and some play and so on. All you have to do is be near him when this happens.

Tips: hammyAt a temperature below 10° C (50-60° F) your hamster will hibernate. So, be very careful with the heater.

The hamster chews his way (he does a lot of chewing).
hamster-behavior-chewing-bars
Hamsters must chew. Like all rodents, they are gifted with nice chiseled front incisors which grow permanently. You need to provide him with things to chew so he can shorten his teeth.And is fun to watch, too.

You can give him a small twig or you could put small pieces of food directly in the cage. You will really enjoy looking at him while he chews whatever he finds in his way.

 Hamsters are big stashers (this one is pretty fun to watch)
hamster-behavior-big-mouth
They have the natural behavior to store, bury and even move food or bedding. Just like Chip & Dale, your hamster will store food that will be more than enough to help him survive even the roughest times.

In the wild, hamsters spend hours in burrowing, stashing, digging and moving his food, bedding or his chewing toys. That is why you should be very careful with his diet. By giving him sweets you put him in danger because they could cause his pouches to get stuck.because they have weak eyesight, hamsters use their whiskers to detect the environment and their high sense of smell tell them what belongs to them or what place they belong to.

hamster grooming A hamster that is constantly washing and scratching himself doesn’t mean that is sick or with parasites. that is a sign that the hamster is clean and healthy, too. They are by nature odor free and this might be one of the reasons your parents bought you a hamster as a pet. But they manifest the passion for cleaning not only towards them but towards their home too.

Don’t be worried thinking that he is messy or that he urinates all over the cage. Many hamsters have special areas in which they sleep, eat and eliminate. I only hope my neighbor would be so clean smiley. If you want to have a happy hamster you need to provide him healthy food and also to make sure that you take from the cage all the remains. You will be gratefully rewarded.

Image credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

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