12 Hamster Facts That Would Convince You To Have One As Your Pet
A Hamster is a perfect pet for children and even adults. They are small and typically an ideal pet for people who live alone. They come in a variety of colors and breeds. Their traits vary among their breeds. There are about 25 known species of hamsters. Among which only 5 can be kept as pets.
Wild hamsters prefer living in warm and sparse areas like deserts. This is because they are dry and have very little water.
Hamsters are preferred as pets due to their low maintenance and cute habits which people enjoy looking at. They are less expensive as compared to the other pets available in the market and are also affordable to keep. Also, they can calm and soothe a troubled mind. Often people affiliated with anxiety disorders bring a hamster home.
They belong to the rodent family and can be close relatives to guinea pigs, mice, rats and gerbils.
Hamsters are omnivorous and their diet involves plants, seeds, vegetables and insects. They are small animals whose bones are very fragile. They have small bodies with small furry ears and short legs with wide feet. They have a short stubby tail.
The name hamster origins from the German word “ham stern”, which means “hoard”.
Most commonly there are three types of hamsters; Chinese hamsters, Dwarf hamsters and Syrian Hamsters. These are the most popular pets among hamster owners.
The Chinese hamsters are small rodents that have their origins from China and Mongolia. These are not easily found in pet stores as they are not commonly bred. In many states, a permit is required to keep these adorable pets animals as pets.
The major distinction of these adorable rodents is the color and pattern of its fur hairs. They are banded with light and dark colors. Mostly a dark brown color on its back, a black line along its spine and an ivory colored belly.
These cute fur babies are easy to feed but need a a lot of supervision as they can escape very easily due to its small size. They are about 4 inches in size and can live up to 3 years.
These little rodents are small enough to squeeze and can stay active for short periods during the day. They rarely bite and can be great pets.
These kinds of hamsters can be placed in an aquarium if you cannot find a suitable cage for them. Extra care needs to be taken as they can easily escape when placed outside a cage or an aquarium.
Dwarf hamsters is a term used for many types of hamsters that are small in size, such as the Roborovskis and Russian hamsters. These are similar to the Chinese hamsters but they do not fall into this category. There are two common types of dwarf hamsters. The first is Phodopus campbelli, also known as the Campbell Russian hamster. And the second type is the Roborovski Dwarf hamster which is also known as the Phodopus roborovski.
They are suitable for a first pet for anyone who like something squishy and cute. However, dwarf hamsters are known for biting but can be easily trained not to bite their owners.
They can grow up to 5 centimeters in length and can weigh about 2 ounces. These little rodents can be at risk to a number of health problems including, abnormal hair loss, skin lesions, digestive problems, teeth problems and diabetes.
Syrian hamsters come in a wide variety of colors and are called by names such as teddy bears, goldens and fancy hamster. These are the most popular among pets. They are easy to tame and can be handled by all types of owners.
This kind of hamster is originated from the northern Syria and Southern Turkey. It is one of the most commonly available breeds in pet stores.
Th Syrian hamsters can grow up to 7 inches long and weigh about 7 ounces.
To keep a Syrian hamster happy, one needs to provide it with a great deal of mental stimulation. If an owner doesn’t give it company for a long time, it might escape.
These rodents should always be housed alone as they are territorial and would fight to death with its mate. They need a bigger cage that is properly equipped for activities like running and playing. The cage or house should contain an exercise wheel, toys for hiding, a bridge and some wooden chew blocks.
Here are some cute fun facts about these cuddly rodents that would make you want them immediately:
- Hamsters love to hoard on food.
Hamsters would pack their food in their cheek pouches. They would hoard food on both sides of their faces to snack on later. These chubby cheek pouches could extend from their jaws to their shoulders.
They should be fed pelleted hamster mix and small amounts of nuts and seeds. You can also feed them spinach, apples and carrots in small amounts.
2. They like to sleep in covered spaces.
Hamsters like to sleep in covered and enclosed areas. Paper towel tubes and small flowerpots can be placed in their cages so that they can use them as beds. For bedding, you can use a clean absorbent material such as shredded paper. Always avoid using the shavings of cedar and pine as they can cause respiratory problems.
3. Hamsters like to exercise.
Hamsters have a good metabolism therefore they require a lot of exercise. A hamster wheel is the most common and the most ideal activity to keep them busy. Make sure you keep is oiled, otherwise it would produce a disturbing noise all night.
4. They are very friendly.
Hamsters tend to be really friendly and enjoy companionship. However, they are fond of their own personal space and would not want a mate in their territory.
5. They have continuously growing teeth.
Hamsters have teeth that are always growing. A hamster owner needs to provide their pet with chew toys, sticks and wooden chews to keep them from growing too long.
6. They are nocturnal.
Hamsters sleep during the day and are active and awake during the night. They are said to be most active during twilight hours because that is the time when the bugs are most active. Bugs are natural part of their diet. Another reason for them being nocturnal is the low light, which makes them less available to predators.
7. They are great diggers.
Hamsters possess a natural instinct to dig. They can dig deep tunnels beneath the ground that have one or two entrances. Sometimes they can construct burrows that have galleries connected to chambers for nesting and food storage.
8. They can have a lot of babies.
Hamsters can reproduce very fast. Their gestation cycle is one of the shortest among mammals. Once a hamster gives birth, it can get pregnant again that same day. Also, it can delay giving birth to its infant by nine days.
However, hamsters are seasonal breeders. Their breeding season is from April to October in the Northern hemisphere. The litter is blind at the time of birth and can see once they are two weeks old. They start weaning once they are about 4 weeks old.
9. A female hamster can store its newborn in her cheek pouch.
Female hamsters are known to carry or hide their babies in their cheek pouches when they perceive a threat. She would hold them inside until according to her there is no longer any threat. Sometimes the babies can suffocate if she waits too long for the threat to pass.
10. They keep themselves clean.
Hamsters are good at cleaning themselves and can keep themselves clean by licking their paws and brushing them against the dirty patch of their body, just like cats do.
11.They may not turn out to be good at parenting.
Female hamsters are known to eat their young or end their pregnancies if they find out that the father isn’t around. Some researchers believe, they tend to do this when the litter is too big and they don’t think there are enough resources around.
12. They have a bad eyesight.
Hamsters are colorblind and cannot see far distanced objects. They usually use their whiskers and their sense to smell to navigate themselves.
Hamsters are cute as buttons and can be easily accommodated as a pet in any house. But make sure you take all the necessary precautions in terms of their health. Hamsters are prone to many diseases and can even get a cold of their owner is suffering from a contagious cold. However, in case of any illness or disease make sure you visit the vet along with your pet.
Also, make an habit of removing the soiled bedding every day in order to keep the cage or their house clean. It is suggested that you should wash your little pet’s habitat every once in month in order to keep it protected from germs and bacteria that cause serious illnesses.