How to Make Your Hamster Happy
Hamsters are really cute little pets. They’re also fairly easy pets to take care of. However, taking care of your hamster and making him or her happy is a bit more complicated than many of us think. Important in making your hamster happy is seeing to his or her entertainment, exercise, and interaction with humans. But while this may take some time and effort, with a little perseverance, you should have no trouble at all.
Creating a Happy Space
Meet your hamster’s basic needs.The foundation of a happy hamster is a hamster whose basic needs are met. Without basic needs like food, healthcare, and a good home, your hamster will not be happy. Make sure to:
- Provide good and fresh food. Consider making your own fresh hamster food out of leafy greens, carrots, and other vegetables.
- Take your hamster to the vet if he or she is ill.
- Make sure your hamster’s cage is located in a space that is heated, cooled, and has a constant temperature. An optimal temperature for hamsters range between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid temperatures below 60 and above 90 degrees.
Provide your hamster with a large cage.Since your hamster will spend most of his or her life in your cage or container, make sure that the cage is spacious enough so your hamster can move around, exercise, and explore as much as he or she wants. Ultimately, if you coup your hamster up in a tiny enclosure, he or she won’t be happy.
- Your cage should be a minimum of 2 square feet. Ultimately, though, an enclosure twice this size would be good.
- Avoid small glass aquariums.
- The more hamsters you have co-habituating, the larger your enclosure should be.
Outfit your hamster enclosure with all of the necessary trappings.Ultimately, a happy hamster needs a happy and interesting environment. If your hamster is wanting for basic items, he or she will not be happy. Make sure to include:
- Wood shavings or a similar substance to blanket the floor of the cage. Hamsters like to burrow, so make sure there are some areas where the shavings are deep. Avoid cedar or pine wood shavings, as they might be toxic to hamsters.
- Soft bedding. Make sure there are a couple of areas where you provide your hamster with soft bedding. This could be an old towel, part of an old t-shirt or something similar.
- A water bottle.
- A food dish.
Put the cage in a quiet room.Make sure to put your hamster’s cage in a safe and quiet area. Hamsters, like people or other animals, need a safe and quiet area so they can live without anxiety or danger. Make finding a safe and quiet area a priority.
- Avoid putting your hamster in a place like the kitchen or a family room. A place where the TV is constantly running or people are talking may disturb your hamster and make him or her irritable.
- Avoid putting your hamster in a place where the family dog or cat can get next to or near the cage. Your cat or dog might stop at nothing to get to your little friend.
- Avoid putting your hamster where small children can access the cage without supervision. The big danger here is that a small child will allow the hamster to escape.
Providing Entertainment for Your Hamster
Get your hamster a wheel.Hamster wheels are one of the most popular toys that people get for their hamsters to play with. The best thing about hamster wheels is that it not only provides your hamster with entertainment, but it will also help your hamster exercise and keep fit.
- Provide one hamster wheel per hamster.
- Make sure your hamster wheel is the appropriate size for your hamster. As there are different varieties of hamsters, you will want to make sure your hamster does not have a wheel that is too large or too small.
- Make sure your hamster wheel is properly maintained. Take it out of the cage from time to time. Clean it and service it. If your wheel is rusty, discard it and purchase a new one.
Setup a tube system in your cage, if you have space.One great way to promote hamster happiness is to setup a hamster tube system in your hamster’s cage. A hamster tube system will provide a lot of opportunity for your hamster to play and explore new areas. This will stimulate your hamster’s brain and keep him or her active.
- Provide an appropriate sized tube system for your cage. Don’t take up the majority of the space with a tube system. You need to leave plenty of room for a hamster wheel, other toys, and more.
- Change the tube system around every so often. Provide your little friend with opportunities to explore new areas by changing the tube system around.
- Try to make it so there are cozy places to rest and sleep in the tube system.
Provide a variety of other hamster toys.While a hamster wheel and a tube system will provide a lot of fun, entertainment, and exercise for your hamster, you should also consider a number of other hamster toys. A variety of toys will keep your hamster busy and entertained. Consider:
- Cardboard boxes. Boxes are a great place for your friend to hide or play in. Consider constructing a two story hamster house out of tissue boxes.
- Popsicle sticks. You can fashion a number of hamster toys, like ladders for them to climb, and bridges for them to cross, out of popsicle sticks.
- Empty toilet paper rolls. These are great for your hamster to crawl through or for them to chew.
Interacting With Your Hamster
Handle your hamster often.While many hamsters (like Syrians) are solitary animals, they do like companionship, too. Provide your hamster a friend (in yourself) and handle your hamster every couple of days.
- Handling your hamster often does not have to be a strenuous activity. You can do this simply by holding your hamster gently, allowing him or her to rest in your hand, or allowing them to crawl all over you.
- Make sure to handle your hamster every day or two. Neglecting your hamster will hurt his or her socialization and affect his or her happiness.
- If there are days you are unable to handle your hamster, recruit a friend or family member to fill in for you.
Handle your hamster carefully.When handling your hamster, you need to be gentle and handle your friend with care. Being rough with your hamster could injure your friend or cause him or her to be wary of interaction with humans.
- Do not be rough.
- Do not handle your hamster in a place where you might drop him or her. Hamsters are very fragile animals and you can easily hurt or kill your friend.
- Start handling your hamster by introducing your scent to it by putting your hand in his or her cage and cleaning or repositioning toys.
- Move on to petting your hamster without picking him or her up.
- When your hamster seems comfortable and does not run away from you, pick him or her up.
- Always wash your hands before and after you handle your hamster.
Allow your hamster to run around a secure location.Your hamster will probably enjoy getting out of his or her cage every so often and explore new places. If you’re careful, this can be a fun activity for you and your friend. However, consider:
- Make sure you secure a location in advance so your friend can’t escape. Pay specific attention to making sure your hamster can’t slip under a door, into a vent, or any other opening in the room.
- Remove all other animals from the room.
- Remove all poisons or anything that could hurt your little friend.
- Don’t leave your friend unattended and watch him or her at all times.
- Note that your hamster might pee or poop in the room. Be prepared to clean it up.
Setup a play date for your hamster.While your hamster might enjoy interacting with you, he or she will probably also enjoy playing with other hamsters. Even if you have two or three of your own, you might consider finding someone else who has hamsters and setting up a play date so the hamsters can play together. Consider:
- Make sure they play in a neutral location. A good place might be an old and unused cage that is big enough for everyone to play in. Make sure to put toys in the cage.
- Talk to the owner of the other hamster about health issues. You don’t want your hamster playing with another hamster who might be sick or contagious.
- If you have a Syrian hamster, don’t set up a play date. Syrians are very territorial.
- Never leave your hamster unattended with a new hamster.
- Female hamsters may be more aggressive than males. As a result, you should be careful when allowing females to interact with each other.
QuestionMy hamster is not at all happy. It is scared.wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry to provide your hamster with more toys. Handle your hamster more often and be gentle and soothing. If your hamster is not a Syrian (and is a breed that is more social) consider finding another hamster to pair it with. Consult your vet.Thanks!
QuestionHow would I find the best hamster food?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThe "best" really depends on what your hamster needs and likes. For example, a pregnant hamster should be fed food high in protein, while a hamster prone to diarrhea should be fed dry food. Some hamsters are picky, and won't eat a certain type of food, so you'll have to switch foods often. Most hamsters like mealworms, sunflower seeds, cheese, fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, shrimp,and scrambled eggs. Of course, you have to consider your hamster's health first, then its likes.Thanks!
QuestionIs a hamster ball safe for a hamster?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes and no. Hamster balls are safe if properly used, monitored, and maintained. However, many vets and many animal advocacy groups are critical of hamster balls. If you have concerns, don't use a hamster ball.Thanks!
QuestionHow to train a hamster to run on a hamster wheel?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can start by putting a favorite treat on the wheel to attract its interest. For most hamsters, though, curiosity and natural instincts will suffice, and within a couple of weeks, it will have discovered this new form of exercise on its own.Thanks!
QuestionWhy doesn't my hamster like to use his wheel?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerSometimes hamsters just find some things boring. Maybe your hamster would prefer to get his exercise in a hamster ball instead of a wheel.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I know if I should have my hamster put to sleep because of a large tumor?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou should consult a vet as soon as possible. It is possible that your hamster is suffering. It is also possible that the growth is benign and is not threatening the health of your hamster.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I tell that my hamster's happy?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerWell, there is a test to tell if your hamster is happy. A happy hamster will be willing to try new things, for example food. It will be interested in the novel things and alert, playful and keen.Thanks!
QuestionWhat kind of cheese can my hamster eat?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerEvery cheese, except spicy ones.Thanks!
QuestionCan Syrian hamsters have carrots?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, they can have a variety of vegetables like carrots, cucumbers and greens, and fruit like raspberries and apples.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I tell if my hamster likes me? Every time i walk into the room she hides.wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf you just got the hamster, this is common. Even if you've had her for a while, she might just be reacting to the sudden movement when you walk into the room. Just try giving her treats, petting her, and holding her if she'll let you. This should help make your bond stronger.Thanks!
To make your hamster happy, start by making sure that all its basic needs are taken care of, such as a big, clean cage and plenty of fresh food and water. Additionally, try to keep the cage in a quiet area, since too much noise can make hamsters anxious. Then, provide lots of toys and entertainment for your hamster, such as a hamster wheel or a tube system if there’s room. Additionally, pick up your hamster often for it to get used to you and be very gentle with it so that it associates you with fun and feeling relaxed.
Video: How to Make your Hamster Happy!
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