In the wild hamsters collect their food early evening and during the
night always ensuring they are safely tucked up in their burrows
during the daylight period. Whilst foraging the hamsters will make
many trips to find their food and each time they will fill their
pouches to bursting point before returning to their burrow to deposit
Most pet hamsters follow this behaviour pattern so do not expect to
play with your hamster until the evening and if you don’t want to be
kept awake all night with the noise of the exercise wheel don’t keep
him anywhere near your sleeping area.
A pet hamsters’ basic diet should consist of a hard food hamster mix
supplemented with treats such as carrot, celery, grass and dandelion.
You need to ensure the diet is balanced and you must never over feed
any one food.
Make sure that all fresh food, especially if picked in the wild, is
washed and dried thoroughly before being given to your hamster. This
is to ensure it is free from chemicals and pesticides and if collected
from the wild that it is free from fouling from other animals.
Because of the hamsters’ method of collecting its food, care must be
taken when fresh food is offered, only feed what he will eat in front
When cleaning the cage remove any old food but make sure you replace
it with fresh. If you don’t your hamster will think it has nowhere
safe to store its food so it will keep it in his cheek pouches which
can lead to serious health problems.
Hamsters are normally hardy little creatures but Wet Tail is a common
ailment brought on by stress. The symptoms can take up to a week to
appear and include lethargy and severe watery diarrhoea and if left
untreated at this stage your hamster can die within 24 hours. If your
hamster shows any signs of this illness you must take it to the vet
As stress is the major cause of this illness it is important to keep
your hamster as stress free as possible. When bringing a new hamster
home you need to isolate it for at least one week to allow it to get
used to its new surroundings.
Whilst hamsters sleep most of the day when they are awake they are
very active and are happy to be handled once you have gained their
trust but this needs to be built up gradually. The calmer the
environment the calmer your hamster will be. If you take him out of
his cage ensure the area you are placing him in is secure as he will
move very fast and is a great escape artist. Handling and playing
with him on a daily basis will build up a bond between you but handle
him with care and do not startle him as like all animals if he is
frightened or feels threatened he will bite.
A pet hamster can be a great pet and in return for a little love and
attention will make you a wonderful companion.