Thinking of keeping a pet hammie? Here are some tips for first-time owners.

Make sure you purchase a habitat for the hamster that is adequate in space and suitable for the hamster's needs.
Cages sold for rats are not suitable for hamsters. The wire spacing is too large and your hamster may escape. Syrian hamsters love climbing and the tunnels that are offered in regular cages sold for hamsters work very well. Dwarf hamsters are best housed in a glass aquarium, as most wire cages designed for hamsters are not escape-proof due to the large spaces between the bars (don't buy a cage with more than 1cm of spaces between the bars).

Plan the housing arrangement of the hamsters according to their breeds.
If you are thinking of keeping Syrian hamsters, it is important to house them individually. These furkids have the tendency to become territorial starting at about the age of five to eight weeks. Hence, they are likely to fight, often to the death or at least until one is seriously injured. On the other hand, Dwarf hamsters can be housed together. However, do remember that fights may still occur.

Meeting the essential needs of your hammie.
Besides room for water, food and toys, choose an exercise wheel that suitable for the size of your furkid  (E.g. minimum 20cm for a dwarf hamster and 28cm for a Syrian). On the ground, there should be a layer of at least 3 inches of bedding. Avoid using wood shavings as they cause many health issues and contain harmful oils.

Make sure the cage escape-free!
You'd be amazed at how clever hamsters are at escaping, they're like mini Houdinis! Make sure all holes are sealed (even if located at the top of the cage as hamsters are quite good at climbing), and make sure that no loose or removable parts can be removed by your hammie. Make sure that if you have a wire cage be sure they can't fit they will get stuck or could escape


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