Hamsters are generally an easy pet to care for, but they still require a fair level of commitment to give them a happy, healthy life. Find out how to tame your hamster for handling, learn how to find your hamster if it escapes, and get detailed information on spotting, treating and preventing common health problems.
Taming your hamster is particularly important if you want to get the most out of your time together. Handling your pet is one of the best parts of owning a hamster, while it is also necessary when it is time to clean the cage, but at first you will need to be patient and gradually form a trusting bond. Most hamsters can be tamed very quickly with regular, gentle handling, but it is important to continue handling your hamster regularly even after it is tamed to maintain its confidence and trust.
Your hamster may occasionally bite you, but this is only due to fear or stress. You will need to be calm and gentle, and coax your hamster into being handled by offering treats from your palm. But ensure that you do not handle your hamster soon after handling any other food, as it may bite if it senses the smell.
If your hamster escapes its cage it may attempt to chew through various different household objects such as furniture or electrical wires, and in doing so could easily injure itself or even suffer a fatal accident. It is therefore incredibly important to find your hamster as soon as possible. However, it can be very difficult to find a lost hamster given all the small spaces it could be hiding in.
Fortunately, there are various things you can do to try to return your hamster safely to its cage, including searching in some common hiding places, locating which room your hamster is hiding in, and setting a safe trap to catch your hamster.
Even with regular, good quality care, your hamster may still become unwell. You should therefore routinely check your hamster for any signs of disease, illness or injury, and contact your veterinarian if your hamster is suffering from serious or prolonged health problems. An ideal time to check your pet is when cleaning the cage, as this will allow you to observe whether droppings appear normal. If they are soft then this could indicate diarrhea, whereas if there are none present then this may indicate constipation.
The main signs to look for include loss of appetite, weight loss, and behavioral problems, but you should also check for particular symptoms of the following health problems.