Have you been considering adopting a hamster? Then you should read today’s article to find out more about the things you shouldn’t do when you welcome this small rodent into your family. Beginners are often lacking in experience and can make innocent mistakes that could have easily been avoided by learning more about what the real needs of these small creatures are.
It goes without saying that hamsters are easier to care for than, say, dogs. Nonetheless, they too deserve a nice and peaceful life and so it’s best not to let yourself get carried away by the excitement of the moment. Here are some of the most COMMON ERRORS beginner hamster adopters commit, a not-to-do list:
1) PLACE THE CAGE IN THE KITCHEN OR NEAR AN OPEN WINDOW. Avoid putting your hamster in noisy rooms where people come and go at all hours. Hamsters love quiet places, far from draughts and direct sunlight, and far from the TV and kitchen, where the strong smell of food bothers its finely honed sense of smell. Make sure he has plenty of things to play with, a dish for his food, a source of water, a bed to sleep in and, more importantly, an exercise wheel.
2) ADOPT TWO OF THEM. Hamsters don’t need company, they are solitary creatures, egoistic really, and they don’t like to share their things with fellow hamsters. If put in the same cage, they might fight, or they could mate and then you’d have a cage full of hamsters!
3) FEED THEM ONLY SUNFLOWER SEEDS. Hamsters do, without a doubt, need to eat sunflower seeds, but just like us, they need a varied diet of healthy food. So prepare a good mix of seeds (soy, barley and millet), give them plenty of vegetables and sometimes treat them to walnuts, almonds and pine nuts.
4) WASH YOUR HAMSTER. Hamsters should never be washed. They are very clean animals and see to their own hygiene. What you might do is provide them with a little basin of Chincilla sand. If you smell unpleasant odours coming from the cage, it could be time to change the litter box!
5) AWAKEN THEM SUDDENLY. If your hamster is peacefully sleeping, with that cute little smile under his whiskers, then let him be. We know it’s hard not to give him a little caress on the head when you see him like this, but waking him up when he’s fast asleep can actually be dangerous to his health. If you want to play with him, do so in late afternoon or evening, when he is wide awake and well rested.
Now that you have a better idea of what NOT to do, go ahead and get one. And remember, treat your hamster like one of the family, give him plenty of love and care every day!