HomeBuying GuidesPetsHow To Buy The Best Hamster Cage - Updated 2022

How To Buy The Best Hamster Cage – Updated 2022

Looking to buy the best Hamster Cage? Check out our guide below and you’ll be well-placed to select the right one for you.

When people purchase a hamster, they frequently spend a lot of time examining the animals before selecting the ideal one. People, on the other hand, tend to put a little less consideration into selecting a cage. Instead, they choose the one that looks hip or the one that best suits their budget. The correct hamster cage will assist you in providing the greatest and healthiest life for your pet.

You’ll need a well-ventilated hamster cage with plenty of area for your hamster to move about. It must be both escape-proof and safe: your hamster should not be able to damage itself simply by walking around the house. You’ll also enjoy a cage that is simple to clean, as you’ll be doing it frequently.

Extreme temperatures are difficult for hamsters to endure. Keep your hamster’s cage away from draughts and direct sunshine to keep him healthy.

Important factors For A Hamster Cage

Hamster cages come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

When it comes to hamster cages, there are just three main types to choose from: wire, plastic, and aquarium.

A wire cage is a good option as long as the bars are close enough together to keep your hamster from escaping. The wire cage is adaptable, provides decent ventilation (just keep it away from draughts), and is simple to clean. Climbing the bars could also be entertaining for your hamster.

On the negative, you must ensure that your hamster does not gnaw on the bars, as this might cause tooth damage. Opening and shutting the cage may shock your pet, so proceed with caution. Your hamster will be able to throw food and bedding between the bars of a wire cage.

Plastic: To a human, a plastic cage appears colourful and exciting, and it’s extendable, so you can make it as big as you like.

Purchasing a plastic hamster cage, however, has a number of drawbacks. Your hamster will gnaw on whatever it can get its teeth on, and a plastic cage provides plenty of bad possibilities. Tubes and other accessories must be used with caution because a plastic cage usually has insufficient ventilation, and a Syrian hamster (the larger type) can become stuck in the tubes. Cleaning plastic cages might sometimes be tough.

Aquarium: A glass aquarium is ideal for dwarf hamsters (the smallest type) since it has no bars through which the animal can squeeze. This style of cage is simple to open and maintain. However, a well-fitting mesh top is necessary to prevent your hamster from escaping. Ventilation isn’t an issue as long as the top allows air to flow freely.

On the downside, this style of cage can be heavy, and any accessories you acquire will need to be glass aquarium-compatible.
Features of a Hamster Cage

There are several more factors to consider before selecting a new home for your hamster, in addition to the cage type.

Size: Depending on where you live, different standards for allowable sizes may apply. Because hamsters like to walk around, especially at night, the larger the cage you can purchase (that will fit safely in your home) is preferable. See the FAQ section for particular dimensions as recommended by the National Hamster Council.

When looking for a hamster cage, there are a few things to think about in terms of safety. The hamster should be unable to escape completely or even partially. There should be no sharp edges that could injure your hamster or tempt him to chew. When the hamster is climbing, the cage should be made so that it has a small possibility of dropping a long distance.

Ventilation: As we said briefly earlier, your hamster requires fresh air. One of the most important things you can do to ensure that your pet has a happy and healthy life is to provide adequate ventilation.

Accessories: Having a choice of accessories supplied with the cage is always appealing, whether it’s a food dish, drink bottle, wheel, climbing toys, or tubes. However, don’t get too caught up in making sure a cage includes everything you want because many individuals choose to modify their cages with hand-picked accessories. You can put whatever accessories you like in the hamster cage if it’s big enough.

Cleaning: You’ll be cleaning your hamster’s cage on a regular basis. You may find yourself shirking your cleaning obligations if it’s tough to disassemble or contains hard-to-reach locations, which could be damaging to your hamster. Choose a hamster cage that is simple to clean. You’ll be glad you did it later.

Accessibility: If you have huge hands and the hamster cage only has a little door, taking your pet out for some TLC will be difficult. Look for a cage that allows you to get to your hamster quickly without allowing him to escape.

Prices of hamster cages

On a hamster cage, you can spend a little or a lot of money. Whichever option you choose, your decision should be based on what is best for your hamster, not just on price.

Cheap: Cages that cost £15 to £25 may appear to be great, but many are too small and lack appropriate ventilation. You might be able to locate a cage acceptable for a dwarf hamster in this price range, and if you look hard enough, you can even find something suited for a Syrian hamster. Before making a final decision, make sure you’re satisfied with the cage’s construction quality.

Mid-range: You should be able to discover exactly what you need in the £25 to £50 area. The majority of these cages are large enough for your hamster and include extras that will keep him happy and healthy.

Expensive: Spending £50 to £100 and up often means upgrading from a cottage to a mansion.

Syrian hamsters are territorial by nature. If you put two in the same cage, they will fight and may damage or kill each other.

Cleaning Hints for Hamster Cages

Despite your hamster’s best efforts, living in a cage means that things will get dirty very soon. On your pet’s waste, black mould and fungus can form, and as a hamster’s urine breaks down, it releases ammonia, which is hazardous to hamsters. You should clean your hamster’s cage at least once a week to keep it healthy. If you have a Syrian hamster, you may need to clean the cage twice a week or more – trust your instincts. A fast step-by-step tutorial for cleaning your hamster’s cage is provided below.

Remove the hamster from the room. While you’re working, carefully remove your hamster from the cage and set it somewhere safe.

Remove all of the extras. Remove any removable items like toys, meal dishes, drink bottles, and wheels. Make sure to discard any expired food and to empty the water container.
Get rid of the bedding. You’ll have to scoop the bedding out by hand if the cage is too huge or too dangerous to dump it. (Wear gloves; you’ll be handling animal excrement and want to be safe.)
Clean the cage and its contents. Clean and thoroughly dry the cage and all accessories using an approved, pet-safe disinfectant.
Replace the bedding. Burrow your hamster in a thick layer of bedding.
All of the accessories should be replaced. Return all of your hamster’s belongings to the cage, including toys, food dish, water dispenser, and wheel. Make sure to provide fresh food and drink.
Return the hamster to its owner. Return your hamster to its cage.
Please wash your hands. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water.
Maintain vigilance. Keep an eye on how your hamster’s cage looks and smells to determine when it’s time to clean it.

Place the cage on a high enough place to keep your hamster safe from any other pets in the house.

Hamster FAQs & Facts

Q. What size cage should my hamster have?

A. If you’ve ever seen a hamster race in circles in its wheel, you know how much they enjoy moving. Many specialists say that hamsters can sprint more than five kilometres in a single night. An energetic animal requires space to roam. A Syrian hamster should have a minimum of 155 square inches of usable floor space, according to the National Hamster Council. A dwarf hamster requires approximately 124 square inches of floor area. This is, once again, the bare minimum. In most circumstances, it is advisable to get something bigger if you can afford it. However, hamster personalities differ, and some may feel more at ease in a smaller setting.

Q. Will my hamster be able to squeeze out of a wire cage?

A. Your hamster will attempt to escape from his cage. When he does, he will either discover that it is impossible, escape, or become stuck. It should be the only possibility that it is impossible. As a result, the bars of a Syrian hamster’s cage should never be more than half an inch apart. If you have a dwarf hamster, the distance between the bars should be half that, which may be difficult to come by. If you have a dwarf hamster, a different sort of cage is the ideal alternative.

Q. My hamster is acting strangely today. What could it possibly be?

A. There are a variety of reasons why your hamster is sluggish, doesn’t eat, or doesn’t move around much. The best thing to do is have him examined by a veterinarian. However, if the cage is poorly ventilated or dirty, the hamster’s own urine may be making him sick, and his symptoms will return as soon as he returns to the cage. It’s critical that your pet’s cage is well ventilated, odor-free, and equipped with safe bedding. Your hamster’s respiratory difficulties can be caused by the incorrect bedding.

Q. How big should a double hamster cage be?

A. Aim for a size of 24 inches by 12 inches and a height of at least 12 inches.However, if you want your hamsters to be active and happy, acquire a larger cage—bigger is always better when it comes to hamster cages. Syrian hamsters require a large amount of space to run and play, and the cage’s actual floor space is critical for this.

Q. How often should hamster cage be cleaned?

A. Every week or so, thoroughly clean your hamster’s cage.
You can achieve longer intervals between cleanings if you have a really large cage.
You should spot check your hamster’s cage on a daily basis if possible.
This entails removing any wet or soiled litter, as well as any uneaten fresh food, from the cage and replacing it with fresh litter.

Q .Why is my hamster biting its cage

A. Boredom, attention-seeking behaviour, tooth growth management, and the simple joy of chewing are the most typical reasons for cage biting. Apart from being a little annoying to have a hamster gnawing on his bars in your room, bar chewing can result in broken teeth and other unpleasant mouth injuries.

Best Hamster Cages To Buy

Bestseller No. 1
Rosewood Pico Hamster Cage, Extra Large, Silver
  • Large and feature packed home for syrain and russian hamsters and mice.
  • High quality design and finish.
  • 50cm wide, 36 cm deep and 47cm tall; 8.5mm bar spacing
  • Supplied complete with unique loft den (improved design), water bottle, food dish and solid wheel.
  • Easy clean design: all components are fixed to the wire top, so as you lift this off everything is removed leaving you with an easy clean base.The cage is easy to assemble with clip-free secure corners
Bestseller No. 2
PawHut 5 Tier Hamster Cage Carrier Habitat with Exercise Wheels Tunnel Tube Water Bottle Dishes House Ladder for Dwarf Mice, Blue
  • MULTI-LEVEL CRITTER CAGE: Sturdy multiple level construction of this hamster cage kit is built from durable plastic that offers multiple platforms for exercise, fun, relaxation, and exploration for small pets like hamsters, mice, gerbils, etc.
  • READY TO GO STARTER KIT: This hamster cage starter kit includes the house, ladders, water bottle, food dishes, and exercise wheels. Play tubing system promotes activity and allows your small pet to move freely.
  • PET-FRIENDLY DESIGN: Pet-friendly design won't pinch or provide gaps for paws to get caught on or stuck in-between, and the material of the cage is non-toxic and pet-friendly.
  • QUICK ACCESS: You’ll love the large front door for entry and exit as well as a detachable plastic tray ,allows for easy access to the inside of the critter cage.
  • DIMENSION: Overall Dimensions: 51.5L x 36 W x 59 H cm, Bottom Tray Size: 47L x 30 W x 7 H cm.
Bestseller No. 3
Little Friends Grosvenor Rat and Hamster Cage with Wooden Shelf and Ladder, Large, 78 x 48 x 36 cm, Black
  • The Grosvenor cage is ideal for rats, hamsters, chinchillas and other similar sized small pets
  • The cage comes with a wooden shelf and ladder.
  • All accessories shown included. house, wheel and bowl. super narrow bar spacing 1cm.
  • This cage is part of our space saving range and is easily collapsible for storage.
  • Measures l: 78cm w: 48cm h: 36cm
Bestseller No. 4
CBROSEY Aivituvin 3 Tier Hamster Cage, Guinea Pig Habitat with Chewing Toy,Hideout,Seasaws,Food Bowl, Ferret House-Leakproof Plastic Tray
  • ★ Upgraded with wire mesh walls allow attaching water bottle and exercise wheel. (Product doesn't include a water bottle and exercise wheel). No leak plastic tray for easy clean and give your hamster a healthy life.
  • ★ Fully accessorized habitat includes chewing toy, feeding bowl, hideouts, seesaws, ramps to keep your lively pets always active and in good health.
  • ★ Three levels give your small rodent a roomy place to burrow and run. The clear acrylic design allows you to enjoy watching your hamster play.Overall size:38.98"L x 19.69"W x 24.02"H
  • ★ The 100% Non-TOXIC wood and acrylic design of this hamster cage protection for Guinea Pig's sensitive feet make the little paws unable to get stuck.
  • ★ Wire top roof provides proper ventilation. Large open front door for easy feeding. Ideal cage for hamster, ferret, hedgehog, chinchilla, gerbil, rat, furry friends.
SaleBestseller No. 5
Ferplast Criceti 9 Hamster Cage, 46 x 29.5 x 23 cm
  • Robust wire net structure and plastic bottom
  • Fully accessorized for your hamster's comfort
  • Including nest, bowl, drinking bottle and wheel
  • Easy cleaning thanks to the removable base
  • Easy to clean
SaleBestseller No. 6
Ferplast FSC Wooden Cage for Hamsters HAMSTERVILLE, Mouse and Small Rodents, Multi Storey, Accessories Included
  • Cage for hamsters, robust wire net and FSC certificated wood, sourced from forests managed in a eco-sustainable way
  • Providing different levels for your pet's movement and activities, also ideal for mice. Overall dimensions: 60 x 34 x h 49 cm
  • Special liquid resistant shelves, practical and easy to clean
  • Large pull-out plastic tray for dirt collection, easy cleaning and maintenance
  • Complete with wooden house, water bottle, bowl, wheel, ladders and shelves
Bestseller No. 7
Pawhut 5 Tier Hamster Cage Carrier Habitat Small Animal House with Exercise Wheels Tunnel Tube Water Bottle Dishes House Ladder for Dwarf Mice, Green
  • MULTI-ACTIVITY HOME: Five-tier design features platforms, tunnels, ladder, house, ladders and exercise wheel - giving them plenty to do and room to move around freely. Suitable for small pets like hamsters, mice and gerbils etc.
  • PET-FRIENDLY: Plastic structure is non-toxic for safety. No gaps mean they won't get their paws caught or pinched so they don't hurt themselves.
  • HANDLE AND DOOR: Easy to carry around. Front door allows easy access for your pet. Detachable plastic tray so you can clean inside and refill essentials easily.
  • DIMENSIONS: 58H x 46L x 30Wcm. Door: 9H x 13.5Wcm. Exercise wheel: Φ13 x 8cm.
Bestseller No. 8
PawHut Hamster Cage Rodent Mouse Pet Small Animal Kit Large Wooden hut Box Double Layers Easy Clean
  • SOLID STRUCTURE: Made of fir wood with excellent workmanship. This rat cage can be used both indoor and outdoor. Resistant to sun and humidity.
  • HABITAT FOR SMALL ANIMALS: Perfect for hamsters, mice and other small animals. Four organic windows enable a direct view to all levels
  • EASY ACCESS & CLEAN: The top cover of the grille can be opened easily, offers good ventilation. Includes removable sliding bottom tray for easy maintenance.
  • AMPLE SPACE: Equipped with several platforms, a bowl and seesaw to have fun, and this hamster house has 2 levels that are connected by a ramp.
  • HAMSTER CAGE DIMENSION: Overall Dimension: 115L x 60W x 55H (cm). Assembly required.
Bestseller No. 9
PawHut Wooden Hamster Cage Mouse Rats Mice Rodent Small Animals Hutch Exercise Play House Pen 115L x 60W x 58H(cm)
  • Habitat For Small Animals: Perfect living home and exercise area combined in one, suits for hamster, guinea pig and other small animals
  • Sturdy Frame: Robust wire net and sustainable wood structure in superior strength for durable use.
  • Adjustable Roof: Features large lockable opening door for easy access, top roof angle is adjustable from 30 to 60 degree.
  • Easy Maintenance: Waterproof and easily clean tray makes it possible to get your pets stay comfortable.
  • Overall Dimension: 115L x 57W x 55H(cm); Platform Size: 112.7L x 24.8W(cm); Tray Size: 112.5L x 56W(cm).
SaleBestseller No. 10
Ferplast Cage for Hamsters, Small Rodents CRICETI 15 Two-storey Hamster Cage, Accessories Included, White Painted Metal with Plastic Frame and Bottom, 78 x 48 x h 39 cm
  • Comfortable two-storey cage for hamsters. Made of painted metal mesh, frame and edges reinforced with a roomy bottom in sturdy plastic, it contains dirt and litter preventing escaping
  • The roof can be fully lifted and locked by means of special safety locks. It also allows easy access to the interior of the habitat
  • Bottom and net are easily separable for internal cleaning. The habitat is complete with a feeder, a drinking bottle, a small house, a wheel, a shelf with a ladder
  • Ideal to be connected to modular habitats for hamsters, allows to create an entire playing area for your rodent

Frequently Asked Hamster Questions And Answers – Part 2

What Kinds of Hamsters Are Kept As Pets?

The pet hamster world is dominated by five species. The Syrian hamster is the most prevalent (Mesocricetus auratus). This hamster comes from Syria, as its name suggests. The hamster is known by the nicknames “teddy bear,” “golden,” and “black bear.” Syrians are usually 6 to 7 inches long and have a life expectancy of 2 to 2.5 years, though they can survive longer. Syrian hamsters are nearly double the size of other pet hamster species.

Campbell’s (Phodopus campbelli) and Winter White dwarf hamsters are two species of Russian dwarf hamsters (Phodopus sungorus). The Campbell’s is available in the widest range of hues. Campbell’s are 4 to 5 inches long and survive for 1.5 to 2 years on average, however they can live for longer. Winter White dwarf hamsters are 3 to 4 inches long and can survive for 1.5 to 2 years. Their coat changes colour in the winter, making them stand out. As the number of hours of sunlight decreases, their coat lightens to help them blend in with the snow. In their winter coats, they do not breed.

The Chinese hamster (Cricetulus griseus) is smaller than the Syrian hamster and is occasionally mistaken for a dwarf. Although it belongs to the mouse-like hamster family, its care is similar to that of dwarf hamsters. Chinese hamsters are not as popular as Russian hamsters, which is likely due to their mouse-like look. They are 4 to 5 inches long and live for 2 to 3 years. They are native to China and Mongolia.

At 1.5 to 2 inches in length, the Roborovski dwarf hamsters (Phodopus roborovskii) are the tiniest of the dwarf hamster species. They’re also the only dwarf species that doesn’t have a noticeable dorsal stripe in their natural hue. They have the longest lifespan of any pet hamster species, averaging 3 to 3.5 years. They are tough to handle, yet in their cage surroundings, they enjoy interacting with people. Because of their speed, they are a more challenging pet to keep, and they are not suggested for children.

What Are The Main Differences Between The Species?

The most significant difference is that Syrians are solitary and must be housed alone at all times. Dwarf and Chinese hamsters are social animals that should be kept in couples or small groups.

The only difference between black bear hamsters and ordinary hamsters is their colour. There is no other distinction, either genetically or in terms of care. Only Syrians and Campbell’s are known to have the black gene mutation.

Syrians may be seen living in groups at pet stores, but they must be separated and housed alone once they reach the age of 8 to 10 weeks. Almost every adult Syrian fights. The conflicts are typically lethal, and they mainly happen at night. Syrian hamsters who are forced to live in close quarters rarely thrive or reach their full potential as a happy and healthy pet.

All dwarf species, including the Chinese hamster, thrive in pairs, with groups coming in second and solitary living coming in last. It doesn’t normally matter if they’re of the same sex or mixed sex, depending on whether you want to breed them or not. A dwarf couple will occasionally fight and must be separated.

Bloodshed, abrupt weight loss, and/or frequent chasing about the cage are all classic symptoms of trouble. They must be separated and, in most cases, live alone for the remainder of their lives once difficulties arise.

Cages and toys should also be tailored to the species in question. Many of the wheels are too narrow for Syrians, forcing them to run by arching their backs. Dwarf hamsters have trouble fitting into tubes that are too big for them, resulting in falls. Make sure to inspect each cage for the species you choose and replace any pieces that aren’t appropriate for your pet.

Which Species Is The Most Appropriate For Me?

Species selection is a personal choice. Smaller species are more active, with a proclivity to wander and explore.

Syrians move more slowly and are therefore simpler to handle by children. Syrians are hence the species of choice for children under the age of ten. For children under the age of five, no hamster species is suggested. (If this is done, a youngster under the age of 5 must be closely supervised by his or her parents.)

Hamsters, on the whole, love interacting with humans. They are inquisitive and like learning about their surroundings. All hamster species are nocturnal, thus the optimum time to interact with them is in the morning or evening.

Can Hamsters Be Treated by Veterinarians?

Hamsters are not treated by all vets. Those that do so are known as “exotics” vets. Before you buy a hamster, find a veterinarian who specialises in hamsters in your area. When hamsters become ill, they quickly degenerate. They will require emergency medical attention, and wasting time looking for a suitable veterinarian is a waste of time.

What Are Some of the Most Common Health Issues?

Hamsters are typically healthy creatures, but they do get sick on occasion. Isolate a hamster from other animals if he exhibits signs of disease and seek medical help right once. Because hamsters succumb to sickness quickly, time is of the essence.

Fur loss and heat sensitivity are common health issues in hamsters of various species. Fur loss can be caused by ageing, a poor diet, mites, food allergies, bedding allergies, and other factors. Keep hamsters out of direct sunlight at all times to avoid heat concerns. Abscesses, cancers, heart attacks, and strokes are some of the other problems that might arise. Syrians are susceptible to wet tail, a bacterial infection that causes diarrhoea and commonly develops at weaning time. Campbell’s appear to be diabetic-prone. Check out our Hamster Health Center for additional information about hamster health.

What Is The Best Hamster Environment?

Hamster habitats are frequently found in aquariums. The smallest container to use is a 10-gallon one. Because hamsters thrive in larger living spaces, bigger is preferable. Aquariums are readily accessible and reasonably priced, because they store shavings well and are simple to clean. However, they are sometimes heavy, making cleaning by a tiny child impossible. If you buy an aquarium, be sure it has a lockable, ventilated top.

Hamsters like to live in wire cages. Hamsters, on the other hand, can climb these, so be sure they won’t hurt themselves if they fall. Multiple storeys are far less important than ground floor area. Wire cages should be kept out of draughty regions. A wire cage will spill shavings, making cleanup more difficult.

To keep dwarf hamsters from escaping, wire cage bars must be close together. If the cages have wire wheels, replace them since wire lets a hamster’s feet to fall through and become harmed. Check to check if the doors are too small to allow your hamster to be removed by hand.

Tube cages are extremely popular. They are simple to expand and can be attractive to the sight. They do, however, take longer to clean. Carefully escape-proof them.

In recent years, clear plastic storage tubs have grown popular as plastic cages. They are available in almost any size. They’re also lightweight and simple to maintain. They’re pretty secure thanks to snap-locking lids. You’ll need to cut a wide hole in the centre of the lid and replace it with hardware cloth to allow for optimum airflow.

Keep your habitat clean, regardless of the one you choose. Once a week, clean your hamster’s cage with water or mild detergent, then thoroughly rinse it.

What Should My Hamster Eat?

It is critical to eat well in order to stay healthy. Hamsters aren’t known for overeating. They save whatever food that is left over for subsequent consumption. They can, however, gain weight if their diet is unhealthy. Obesity in hamsters is most likely caused by eating too many sunflower seeds and/or peanuts. Remove all sunflower seeds and peanuts from any mix you buy as an easy remedy. These should be rationed and fed as treats.

Feed your hamster on a daily basis with a high-quality grain mix or lab pellet. Compared to pressed pellets, lab pellets are bigger. Examine the components of any food you buy, and inspect the bag for freshness and pests. (Freeze the bag for 24 hours before usage to ensure that any bugs are killed.) Always provide some extra food for your hamster, but not so much that he can only eat his favourite pieces.

What Are Some of A Hamster’s Favourite Treats?

Healthy foods given in moderation are the best treats. Remove any sunflower seeds or peanuts from your hamster mix before feeding it, and use them as treats when you play with your hamster. Fresh fruits and veggies in little bits are also welcome.

If your hamster isn’t used to them, introduce fruits and veggies in small amounts to minimise stomach problems. Hamsters love apples, broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, and strawberries. Citrus fruits, tomatoes, onions, and iceberg lettuce are all known to trigger stomach upset. After a few hours, remove any uneaten portions, as hamsters tend to store leftovers with their dry food, causing spoiling.

Small amounts of tofu, scrambled egg (without seasonings or butter), boiled chicken, unflavored yoghurt, and small pieces of bread or cooked pasta are also healthful options. Hamsters like a small dog biscuit every now and then, which also helps to keep their teeth clean.

What Hamster Toys Should I Get?

First and foremost, an exercise wheel. Hamsters may use wheels to run and exercise whenever they choose, which is generally at night. Runged, wire wheels should be avoided since they can cause leg injury.

The second most popular toy is undoubtedly hamster balls. The hamster can securely roam and explore the house with these balls if the owner cuts off stairs and other potential threats. Your hamster will enjoy a variety of commercially available toys. Look for toys that can be cleaned quickly.

Offer your hamster a toilet paper roll with only the final few sheets of plain, unscented toilet paper on it for some quick entertainment. Boxes with holes cut in various areas are also appreciated, and each cage cleaning can be replaced with a new variation. Look for appropriate toys to cycle in and out of your hamster’s cage and be inventive. Your pet will welcome a change of pace.

What Should I Look For In A Hamster When Buying One?

Look for a hamster who is awake, healthy, and interested in his environment. Keep an eye on him at home. Make that the eyes are open and receptive, and that there is no discharge. Look for ripped ears, as well as sores or scabs around the nose and tail, as symptoms of fighting. Feel for sores on his back with your fingers, down to the skin. Examine the colour and texture of the fur by parting it. Look for skin that is smooth, pink, or pigmented. Medical treatment may be required for hamsters with red or scaly skin.

Even if he squirms, always check a hamster’s underside. There should be fur on the abdomen and no bald spots, but look for diarrhoea in particular. Diarrhea can affect any species, but it is especially bothersome in Syrians as a symptom of wet tail. If even one hamster has diarrhoea, do not buy a hamster from that location unless you are willing to make a last-minute trip to the vet.

The best time to purchase hamsters is when they are between the ages of 5 and 10. Younger animals are more vulnerable to sickness since they have been agitated more frequently. If handled regularly, older hamsters may be softer, but age is difficult to detect.

I’ve got a new hamster. So, what’s next?

Hamsters need a while to become used to their new surroundings. In the first few days after purchase, minimal handling is required – and then only by the primary caregiver. To analyse their surroundings, hamsters use their noses. Before touching your hamster, thoroughly wash your hands with unscented soap. Initially, handling should take place as near to the ground as possible, preferably on a carpet. Young and scared hamsters frequently jump.

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