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Old 02-24-2005, 02:57 PM   #1
babyboos
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Default Stop! Thinking of getting a pet hamster? Please read first.

Some things you really need to seriously consider carefully before getting a hamster as a pet. If you are not willing to accomodate these things then I would recommend you choose a fish (NO, I love fish, I am a marine biologist after all!) okay a Cyber Pet then:



You MUST be willing to put aside a "vet fund" in case your hamster needs medical attention. (If you are planning to hold an animal in captivity, please take responsibility for his medical needs - he really cannot leave his cage to get what he needs now can he?!?)



You must be able to provide you hamster with more than his basic physical needs. Water bottles ideally should be refilled daily - you don't like stale water and neither do hamsters. But there is more to caring for your hamster than giving it food and water, he also needs more than his usual four walls to look at day after day. You do not need to be rich to provide some extra stimulation for you pet, just a willingness to be creative in making sure his natural need to explore different sites and objects DAILY is met. If you want some ideas please ask!



In hand with this you must also be able to stay up past 8:00 p.m. (sometimes later) to play with your nocturnal pet, (mainly Syrians) and/or make time during the day to play with your hamster while he is active (mainly dwarves). The idea of keeping a hamster means you are willing to spend time with him daily. You will need to provide for his emotional/stimulation needs during his waking hours. (Failure to do this will make for a very lonely, lethargic, unfriendly hamster.)



You should only have a cat, dog or ferret in the house, IF, you are able to keep the hamster in a seperate room, including runaround ball time. (Dogs have been known to knock over hamster cages, and some will even injure or kill hamsters. For example, I know of one little furball who got a fright from a dog barking in his face, fell and broke his leg as he was climbing his wall bars at the time. Cats and ferrets are extrordinary climbers, so putting your hamster somewhere "high up" is not always a solution. Cats are very determined, and will usually find some way to get what they are after, even if you think they can not).



Finally you really must be willing to put up with the inevitable noise that will come from your hamster's natural nocturnal activities. If this will bother you, or you do not have an extra room, away from other pets, to place your hamster in so that his noise will not disturb you, you should re-think buying a hamster. Also, many people will resort to removing thier hamster's wheel to cut noise. This is not fair to your hamster at all - it would be like someone locking you in a small room with nothing to read, look at, no one to talk to, and no way out. Your only option would be to stare at a wall. Once again, please think it through before you buy him!



I am sure there are other aspects to consider but this is all I can think of at the moment. Please do not think I am trying to put anyone off buying a hamster. I adore hamsters, and think they are great pets, but working with rescue hamsters I really think their numbers would be dramatically reduced if owners thought before they bought!



Thank you for listening and remember an older hamster still has plenty of love to give - give one a chance!
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Old 03-25-2005, 03:01 AM   #2
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Another thing to consider is what you are going to do with your hamster when you go on holiday. Hamsters are quite good in this respect in that (in my experience) they travel well and are not too big to take with you if possible. Other options are to board them either at a pet boarding establishment (some rodent rescues will board small pets as a little money-spinner) or with your breeder if they offer that service. Finally you can ask a friend to look after your hamster for you, ensuring you provide them with all the information they need!
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Old 03-25-2005, 09:13 AM   #3
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Great point Emma, thanks
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Old 05-08-2005, 01:57 PM   #4
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Another thing to consider before you get a hamster.....



The dwarf species are social species, so you should always get at least a pair, preferably litter mates. However, they may fight especially upon maturity, so you must be prepared to separate them and have separate cages for them.



The possibility of fighting IS NOT a reason to only get a single dwarf hamster - they need company of their own kind, it would be wrong to force a dwarf to live solitarily. However there is always the odd one that decides he "vonts to be alone!", and it is a possibility you must be aware of and prepared to deal with.
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Old 08-15-2005, 06:28 AM   #5
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Thats really helped me thank you My cage will be at the foot of my bed in a cosy corner out of direct sunlight. Since I have a high bed the noise won't affect me. And I sleep like a log so if a bomb goes off I probably won't hear it. I have 2 dogs but under no scircumstances are they allowed upstairs. Not long to go before I get my hammy
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Old 01-28-2007, 03:23 PM   #6
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I've just gone through this thread as an "aide memoire", given that our new hammy is imminent...thankfully I'd already considered everything mentioned...Aidan and me are nocturnal creatures so we should both get along fine with our Syrian!

We have no pets and we've got holidays covered so there's no problem there. As for stimulation etc I'm sure that we'll both find it very difficult to leave our new addition alone to begin with although we are aware that "he" (really a "she" but Aidan doesn't know that as he really wanted a male) will need "hammy time", just as we need our own space. He will be housed downstairs so our sleep regimes shouldn't be affected.

I found this really useful. Thanks a lot.
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Old 12-10-2009, 07:18 AM   #7
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Default Re: Stop! Thinking of getting a pet hamster? Please read first.

EMMA - you said dwarfs like to live in pairs?

I tried this when I bought 2, and they were okay for a while, but then one day then both went through a toilet roll tube, the opposite end, met in the middle and almost killed each other.

Female + Male (brother + sister.)

If kept together should it be the same gender?
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Old 12-10-2009, 08:50 AM   #8
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Default Re: Stop! Thinking of getting a pet hamster? Please read first.

Hiya Paul,

First of all, you should never keep a male and female together if you are not intending them to breed, as this is what will happen eventually - but you should especially not let a brother and sister live together as it is not a good idea to let them mate with each other!

Even species who can be social and sometimes live together in the wild can prefer to live alone sometimes, and when you have more than one hamster living in the same cage you should always keep a very close eye on them for any signs of squabbling or fighting. This can happen very suddenly as you have found out, but once they have drawn blood then they should be split up and are usually better left living alone.

Hope this has helped,

Tammy x
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Old 08-25-2011, 08:36 PM   #9
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Default Re: Stop! Thinking of getting a pet hamster? Please read first.

I let Tiberius run in his ball for at least an hour per night. I recently upgraded his habitat to give him more space and more mental stimulation. I like to take him out. He likes it when I handle him and let him run around outside of his cage, but I don't want him getting lost in the house.

Any advice on how I can give him more mental stimulation?

Thanks

Ron
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Old 08-26-2011, 02:03 AM   #10
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Default Re: Stop! Thinking of getting a pet hamster? Please read first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emma View Post
Another thing to consider before you get a hamster.....



The dwarf species are social species, so you should always get at least a pair, preferably litter mates. However, they may fight especially upon maturity, so you must be prepared to separate them and have separate cages for them.



The possibility of fighting IS NOT a reason to only get a single dwarf hamster - they need company of their own kind, it would be wrong to force a dwarf to live solitarily. However there is always the odd one that decides he "vonts to be alone!", and it is a possibility you must be aware of and prepared to deal with.
German hamster forum members would argue against this...they prefer all hamsters to be kept on their own due to fighting. You can't always be there to split them up 24 hours a day. I'd be inclined to listen to their advice as I had two sisters who fought. One almost died from "bullying" they had LOTS of space so I didn't think it would be much of a problem but it was. Plus Germans seem to keep their hamsters in much better environments than we do do over here so I like to follow their advice.
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