The hamster: adopting and raising a hamster at home

 The hamster: adopting and raising a hamster at home

The hamster: adopting and raising a hamster at home

Hamsters are suitable pets for children because they are gentle and easy to take care of. They are part of the rodent family but are distinguished from others by certain particularities such as their rather short tail, large and short legs, and small ears.

  • Size:                            12 to 15 cm
  • Weight:                     120g
  • Life expectancy:   3 years
  • Gestation period: 22 days

Origin and characteristics of the hamster

Originally, hamsters were distributed in North and South America, Asia, and Europe. In 1930, Dr. Aharoni took in a wild female golden hamster in northern Syria. This hamster gave birth to 12 little hamsters which were domesticated. The domestic hamsters of today would derive from this breeding of Dr. Aharoni. In 1931, he sent several hamsters to the United Kingdom, then to the United States in 1938 to use them in the laboratory. It was only in 1945 that hamsters were introduced into the trade and today are among the pets adored by children and adults alike.

Hamsters are sturdy with a tail a little shorter than their body length. They have tiny ears, short legs, and wide feet. Their fur is thick and long. It can be black, gray, white, brown, buff, yellow, or red. Moreover, the lower parts of their body are white with shades of gray and black.

Hamsters are nocturnal animals, so it would be wise to place their cage in a place where their nocturnal activities will not wake you up.

How to take care of your hamster?

If you've just adopted a hamster, then you're probably going to need to spend some time getting to know your new friend so that he becomes domesticable and trusts you. It's important to note that you might need a lot of patience because being able to hold your little furry ball in your hands probably won't happen overnight. The best way to start approaching your new pet is to offer treats. Put a treat on the palm of your hand and put your hand in the cage, so that the hamster approaches it. You will need to do this in the evening when the hamster is most active.

After a few days, you can try to hug your hamster. If he seems uncomfortable or tries to bite, gently place him back down and give him a treat.

Remember that you should never disturb a hamster while it sleeps and you should never make loud noises around its home.

What house to build for his hamster?

Le plus important à retenir sur la maison du hamster est qu’il a besoin d’avoir beaucoup d’espace pour courir. Vous devrez également toujours vous assurer que le plancher de la cage de votre hamster a un revêtement d’au moins 4 cm de profondeur de literie appropriée parce que les hamsters adorent enterrer des choses. Par ailleurs, acheter des copeaux de cèdre ou de pin n’est pas une bonne idée dans la mesure où certains hamsters peuvent développer une réaction allergique leur causant des problèmes de respiration.

Wire and plastic cages are the two most popular forms of hutches for hamsters. If you opt for a wire cage, your little animal will tend to climb everywhere, something that hamsters love to do. There are also many models of plastic cages on the market. These hamster houses are very easy to clean, and they provide protection for your pet.

When setting up a cage for your hamster, you shouldn't forget about toys. In addition to the usual hamster wheel, you can select others such as wooden chew toys that provide a fun activity for your hamster. A very important element in a hamster's cage is also to create a place for it to hide, especially for sleeping.

The hamster: adopting and raising a hamster at home

Food and health: what you need to know for the hamster

Wild hamsters eat seeds, grains, and grasses as well as some insects. Pet hamsters must have a similar diet to their wild cousins. Hamsters like fruits and vegetables, but you have to be careful how much you give them. Hamsters are small creatures and too much fruit and vegetables in their diet can cause diarrhea. A small cube of apple, carrot, or cucumber is enough. Usually, hamsters love carrots the most, but remember that they are high in sugar, so don't give your pet too much.

Hamsters are fairly weak animals, they are so small that injuries and illness can quickly become serious. If you notice any signs of illness in your hamster, you need to see a veterinarian as soon as possible. Signs to look for include loss of appetite, inactivity, wrinkled fur, sneezing, wheezing, wetness around the tail, and diarrhea.

The reproduction of the hamster

The best time for hamsters to have babies is when they are between 10 weeks and 15 months old. Breeders use pairs with one male and one female, as well as groups of hamsters with one male and several females. Pregnancies usually last 16 to 22 days, depending on the type of hamster. When female hamsters are about to give birth, they may become restless, active and may bleed a little. It is then necessary to provide them with nesting materials.

Mothers and litter should not be disturbed for at least 7 days after birth, especially if the mother has never given birth before.

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