Hamsters are such clever pets, and when treated to a well-enriched habitat, they’re even more fun to have around. In this guide to creating the perfect home for your hamster, we’ll cover everything from selecting the right cage to choosing a cosy bed. Whether you’ve already got a hamster or if you’re preparing your new pet’s home ahead of their arrival, you’ll find these tips helpful.
Do this before you buy a new hamster cage
Hamsters do best in quiet environments. Before you choose their new home, look for a place where there are no loud noises or vibrations from TVs, speakers, fans, etc. Hamsters like comfy temperatures around 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, just like most people do. You’ll want to ensure that the spot you choose isn’t too drafty, too cold, or too hot. Keep the cage away from air conditioning vents and out of direct sunlight to ensure that your cheeky little friend stays comfortable.
Keep in mind, hamsters are nocturnal. If you’re bothered by little noises, you might want to pick a spot other than your bedroom.
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Creating the perfect home for your hamster
Take a moment to imagine yourself as a hamster. Not only are you adorable, you long for all the comforts of home – features that let you dig and climb to your heart’s content. You’re a bit wily and adventurous, and you’ll take opportunities to escape seriously.
Now that you know a bit more about what’s going on in that furry little head, here are some tips for picking the best hamster cage. Here are some things to look for:
- Plenty of room to roam.
- Adequate ventilation so your hamster can breathe freely.
- Tightly spaced bars to prevent escape. A busy house is a dangerous place for a hamster, particularly if there are larger pets roaming around.
- Built-in accessories like a wheel and a nest box. Look for a quite wheel that won’t squeak loudly while you’re trying to relax.
- Expandable features or multiple levels. Hamsters enjoy exploring, and they absolutely love to climb ladders and run through tubes.
- A deep tray to prevent bedding from spilling over and creating a mess as your hamster digs and tunnels through their bedding.
Need more info? This complete guide to the best hamster cage will answer all of your questions.
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Choose quality hamster bedding
Hamsters love to chew and shred their bedding and nest material, so choose something that’s safe and natural. Absorbency is another important factor.
Be sure to clean your hamster’s bedding frequently, long before it starts to smell bad. Smaller cages tend to need more frequent changes.
Get a hamster-safe drinking bottle
Hamsters need valve-less drinking bottles that allow them to sip easily. Attach the bottle to the side of the cage, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Be sure to replace your hamster’s water every day.
Add food and accessories to your hamster home
Hamsters need to stay occupied. Here are some ways to keep them comfortable and active.
- Create a comfortable nest area where your hamster can set up housekeeping. Most hamsters will place food inside their nest area, and they’ll build a cozy bed inside, too. Leave this area alone when you clean the cage, unless you notice that it has been soiled. Don’t feel too bad if you have to disturb it – your hamster will happily rebuild.
- Sprinkle food on the floor of the cage instead of putting it all in one dish. Your hamster will satisfy their natural “seeking” instincts and have fun gathering all the bits.
- Your hamster will be happiest when there’s an opportunity to exercise, so add a wheel if the cage didn’t come with one, ensuring that it’s large enough for your hamster to keep their back straight while they’re running, since bending backwards can cause problems.
- Hamsters like to stay clean. A little dish filled with chinchilla sand is ideal for the job.
- Add fun features like climbing ladders, tubes, and hidey holes, and feel free to change the setup often so your hamster feels as if new adventures happen frequently. Pet stores and online shops have tons of options to choose from, including many that are either impervious to chewing or safe for your hamster to chew on.
- Provide something safe to chew on. Untreated wood blocks and large chew toys are perfect.
Hamsters are so much fun! Once you’ve created the perfect home for your hamster, you’ll enjoy observing your pet. Be sure to interact frequently and do consider a hamster ball for safe out-of-cage adventures.