Pet Hamster Habitat and Care
Hamsters can get bored just like the rest of us. So, it's important that your hamster's home is both comfortable and fun for her. Hamster parents generally choose one of two housing options: a hamster cage or an aquarium with a secure (no holes) mesh cover.
Regardless of which type of housing you choose for your hamster, make sure she has plenty of clean bedding. There are two types of bedding, however, that you never want to use for your hamster or other small animals: cedar chips and pine chips. Both have been shown to have adverse health affects on small animals.
Give your hamster plenty to do when she's in her cage. Hamsters love to chew, so provide her with toilet paper rolls and/or paper towel rolls. You can also buy wood and other toys for your hamster to chew at your local pet stores.
Hamsters also need plenty of exercise, just like other pets, so consider putting a wheel in her cage so she can run whenever she feels like it. You may also want to secure a space in your home to let her run free for a certain period each day.
Most pet stores also sell balls that hamsters can use to run around the house. Just be sure if you put your hamster in a ball to run around that you keep an eye on her and put her back in her cage when she becomes tired.
In addition to chewing toilet paper and paper towel rolls, hamsters love to run through them. You can also purchase plastic tubing at your local pet store that your hamster can run through and hide in.
Finally, ensure your hamster has at least one little box in her cage, so she can hide inside when she wants to take a nap.
The Hamster Diet
Don't be surprised if you see your hamster's mouth swollen. Hamsters love to shove as much food in their mouths as they can, which they then take and hide in areas throughout their cage.
Your hamster's diet should consist of hamster mix, which you can find at most pet stores, that is supplemented with fresh fruit (apples and lettuce, for example), alfalfa pellets, nuts, and sunflower seeds.
If you're not sure your hamster is getting the proper nutrition she needs, consult with an exotics vet.
Of course, always make sure your hamster has plenty of fresh, clean water.
Life With A Hamster
Hamsters generally live from two to three years, provided they eat a good diet and get plenty of exercise. Remember to thoroughly clean your hamster's cage – taking everything out and washing it down – at least once a week. And, if you don't want a hoard of baby hamsters running around, never house a male and a female hamster together.