How to look after your hamster. Housing: Your hamster can have a wire cage with a plastic base or a plastic hamster home.. Don’t use a wooden cage or your hamster will chew its way out! Multi-level cages are a good idea as they add interest to the hamster’s environment – but be careful with plastic tubes as big hamsters may get stuck. The hamster must have a place to rest and hide, and another area for play, exercise and feeding. Hamsters must always be kept indoors. The room should be warm.
Keep the cage away from direct sunlight, draughts and constant noise. Cages should be cleaned out on a regular basis. Hamsters can catch nasty diseases from dirty cages. Remove any dirty bedding every day and look for hidden food that may be going bad. Once a week, remove all bedding. Rinse the cage with warm water and mild detergent and wait until it is dry then put in clean bedding. Avoid synthetic bedding and newspaper as this could harm your hamster if it ate it and might block its cheek pouches.
Bedding made from barley straw, chopped for extra comfort is suitable. It fluffs up to provide a natural, warm bedding that is ideal for your hamster. Wood shavings can be used. Feeding: Your hamster needs feeding with a hamster mix every day. As hamsters are nocturnal an evening feed is best. It will normally wake at feeding time. A heavy, earthenware food bowl will keep the food dry and clean. Your hamster will chew a plastic bowl. The bowl must be cleaned every day.
Too much green food is bad for your hamster. To help keep your hamster’s teeth healthy, you need to provide lots of hay and perhaps a gnawing block and apple twigs to chew. Some natural treats you can provide your hamster, in small amounts, are carrot, apple, celery, peas, raisins and swede. Never give sticky foods, such as boiled sweets, as they will stick in its pouches. The best way to provide fresh drinking water is to use a water bottle, attached to the front of the cage.