Hamster cages are the main part of keeping a hamster. These litter bundles of fluff are classified as rodents and belong to the subfamily Cricetinae of the order Rodentia. There are 19 species of hamsters spread throughout seven genera in this subfamily. They have earned a reputation for being popular tiny pets in recent years. The most well-known species of hamster is the golden hamster, also known as the Syrian hamster. There are several other kinds of hamsters that are widely kept as pets. These include the Campbell’s dwarf hamster, the winter white dwarf hamster, and the Roborovski hamster.
Because they are more crepuscular than nocturnal, hamsters spend the day underground in the wild. This helps them escape being eaten by other animals, as crepuscular animals are more likely to be crepuscular. The majority of their diet consists of seeds, fruits, and leaves. However, they have been known to swallow insects that burrow into the earth. They have a stocky physique, and among of their distinguishing features include long cheek pouches that reach their shoulders and are used to carry food back to their burrows, a short tail, and fuzzy feet.
Before they were brought into human households in the 1930s, hamsters were solitary creatures that lived adjacent to arid environments such as deserts, steppes, dune complexes, and even sparsely inhabited rocky regions. In the fertile parts of the Aleppinian plateau, which spans the border between northern Syria and southern Turkey, there was a thriving population of wild hamsters. There are confirmed sightings of them in the wild.
Hamsters have the capability to burrow underground and have thick fur because of the habitat in which they evolved. Within the span of a single day, the temperature in the desert may shift from scorching to freezing. Hamsters have adapted over time to be able to survive in such an environment.
Wild hamsters have a greater variety of patterns and colors than their domesticated counterparts do. Wild hamsters usually have hair on their backs that is a light brown or grey color, which allows them to disguise themselves from potential predators. In addition to this, they have white stomachs, which reflect the surface temperature and protect them from either overheating or freezing to death.
Hamsters are considered omnivores since they will eat both meat and vegetables. A varied diet in the environment, consisting of seeds, grass, and even insects. Hamsters kept as pets in hamster cages are able to survive on a diet consisting just of commercial hamster chow, but their owners can also give them other foods such as fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts. Even though hamsters may consume the food that is sold in grocery stores, it is best for their health if they also eat fruits and vegetables. Hamsters will remain healthier this way.
Fruits and vegetables are both suitable foods for hamsters to eat, but it is essential to know which ones they prefer and how much of each to give them.
Hamsters benefit greatly from eating fruits that do not include citrus as well as the majority of green leafy vegetables. To a hamster, junk food, chocolate, garlic, or any other products that are salty or sweet should never be given. Peanut butter is one of hamsters’ favorite foods, but you should be careful while feeding it to them because it has a tendency to become stuck in their cheeks. Hamsters have a well-known habit of banding together in the Middle East in order to go on foraging expeditions in search of tasty insects.
Hamsters are able to recover nutrients that were digested in the hindgut but were not absorbed by the body because they are hindgut fermenters and routinely ingest their own excrement (a behaviour known as coprophagy).
- The word “hamster,” which derives its name from the German word “hamsters,” literally means “hoard,” which is exactly what our hamster friends like doing.
- The genus name for hamsters in the scientific world is “Cricetinae” (a family of rodents). This region is home to a total of 18 species spread across seven separate genera, some of which include lemmings and mice.
- The Syrian hamster is the breed of hamster that is kept as a pet the most frequently. They like being held and are sometimes referred to as teddy bears, short hair, or luxury hamsters. Teddy bear hamsters are also called luxury hamsters.
- Even though the first hamsters were found in Syria, the species has since dispersed all over the world, and can currently be found in Greece, Belgium, and northern China, among other places.
- It is possible for a hamster to live for two to three years if it is given the proper care and attention.
- Hamsters have teeth that are constantly growing in and changing. You should provide them with a wide variety of chew toys and chew sticks so that their teeth can be naturally worn down and maintained at a healthy length.
- Because hamsters like to keep their habitats neat and often relieve themselves in one or two unique spots, it is simple to educate hamsters to use a litter box or, at the very least, remove filthy bedding on a daily basis to keep their quarters clean.
- The vast majority of hamsters are extremely quick runners, and because of the size and shape of their hind feet, they are capable of running in the other direction.
- Hamsters are very good at keeping a low profile. Provide them with a large amount of substrate in their environment for them to dig beneath as well as a hollow space for them to hide in.
- Dwarf hamsters are only around two to four inches long, although Syrian hamsters may reach a length of about six inches when fully grown.
- Hamsters are susceptible to being startled suddenly. Always approach your hamster from the side, say their name, and announce your approach with your voice.
It is imperative that a pregnant hamster receives more care and attention in order to ensure a healthy delivery. Make certain that your hamster has access to an adequate amount of food. This should include vitamins and minerals such as calcium and protein, and ensure that its surroundings is clean and comfortable for it. When everything is prepared, you should offer your hamster some privacy while she gives birth. After the delivery, you should leave the pups two weeks to eat before you interact with them in any way.
Identifying the pregnancy
Pay attention to any changes in your hamster’s behaviour
Maintain a close watch on your hamster’s level of activity as well as its disposition in order to identify any shifts in the animal’s actions. For instance, it’s very uncommon for pregnant hamsters to display heightened restlessness, anxiousness, or even violence.
- It’s also possible that your hamster seems lethargic or spends a lot of time sleeping. This may be an indication that the woman is pregnant.
- If you are concerned about any of the changes you detect, you should get in touch with your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Notice if your hamster starts eating or drinking more
If you detect an increase in its appetite or thirst, there is a possibility that your hamster is pregnant. Keep an eye out for any indications that your hamster is eating more food than normal or draining its water bottle more frequently than usual. It was also possible to discover it digging or searching for alternative food sources.
- Remember that fluctuations in appetite can sometimes be an indicator of a more serious medical condition or increased levels of stress. Keep this in mind. If you are concerned, give your animal hospital a call.
Take your hamster to the vet if you aren’t sure if it’s pregnant
Make an appointment with your veterinarian if you are having problems establishing whether the symptoms of a hamster are connected to pregnancy or another illness. It is important that you supply your veterinarian with as much information as possible on your hamster’s current state so that they can make an accurate diagnosis.
- While you are there, you should ask the veterinarian any questions that you may have concerning, the pregnancy, such as the expected number of children or the special diet that should be followed for your hamster.
Figure out how long the gestation period is based on the hamster’s species
To find out how many days your hamster will be pregnant, you can either do a search for the species on the internet or consult your local veterinarian. Both of these options are available to you. For instance, a Syrian hamster’s gestation period lasts for about 16 days, but that of a dwarf or Chinese hamster might last anywhere from 18 to 21 days.
- If you are unclear of the species of your hamster, you should consult with your local veterinarian.
How to care for a hamster in their hamster cages when it is pregnant and giving birth
The maintenance and attention that a mother hamster receives before, during, and after giving birth is of critical. Its importance to the long-term health of both the mother and her young. Before the baby is born, check to see that the cage is properly assembled. In addition, because giving birth requires a lot of energy, you need to make sure that the woman is getting enough water and that she is eating a diet that is regularly high in protein.
Preparing the birthing area
Use Hamster cages that is like a tank
To house your hamster’s progeny, you should get something like a fish tank. Or one that looks like a fish tank but has glass walls. If the hamster cages you now have are made of wire, you should look into purchasing a tank-style cage instead. This reduces the likelihood that the children will be able to escape through the wire bars.
In addition to that, you need to construct a cage that is just one level high. It’s possible that the mother will construct her nest on the second or third level of the cage. Where there are plenty of food supplies. This poses a threat since there is a possibility that one of the newborn hamsters may fall.
Clean the Hamster cages and add extra bedding
You should clean the cage three to four days before the due date of the mother who is going to give birth. The cage should be cleaned as normal, but also, additional bedding should be added. To further cushion the animal, put some more bedding to the cage, which you would normally purchase. Toilet paper that has been shredded can be used instead of or in addition to conventional bedding. If you need to add extra bedding, wool or a commercial fluff should be used instead. There is a possibility that the hamster will get some kind of injury if it eats this bedding or if one of its limbs becomes entangled in the fine threads.
A quick increase in weight growth, nipple protrusion, an aggressive personality, the construction of a nest, and an increase in eating and drinking are all signals that the mother is pregnant and will soon give birth.
Remove the wheel and toys from Hamster cages
Take out all of the hamster’s toys, including the wheel and any tubes or tunnels that may be contained within the cage. These should be removed since there is a risk that the young hamsters will be injured by them.
Remove other hamsters from the Hamster cages
Transfer to a new cage any other hamsters that are already residing in the same enclosure as your pregnant hamster. Other hamsters may be a nuisance to the mother and get in the way of her labour preparations. Alternatively, they might damage the newborns or even eat them.
Providing care during and after birth
Do not disturb the mother or her babies
Squeaks coming from the cage, means the mother is giving birth. You should check on her as soon as possible. Avoid becoming entangled in this process at all costs by exercising extreme caution. The woman will give birth to the baby at intervals ranging from ten to thirty minutes. In any event, the time it takes might range anywhere from a few minutes to many hours.
- If you shock the mother, she may become worried and endanger one of her babies as a result.
- Keep the mother and baby to yourselves until the infants have been alive for two weeks. Until then, they should not be touched.
Continue to supply her with food and water
The process of labor and delivery requires a significant amount of physical effort from the mother. The mother should have access to a water supply and is given a meal that is high in protein.
Be sure that the feeding dish and water bottle are within easy reach. This so that you may restock them without disturbing the mother. Also, make sure that you can easily access to the mother. Restocking is not something that should be done during or immediately after giving delivery. Wait a few hours before examining and replacing anything before continuing.
Keep the mother separated in her own set of Hamster cages
After delivering birth, a woman is able to become pregnant again twenty-four hours later. For the welfare of the mother hamster and her offspring, you shouldn’t put any other hamsters back into the cage. In general, you should try not to communicate with the mother for as long as possible. Maybe up to two weeks. Weaning hamster pups from their mums can begin when the young animals are 3/4 weeks old. This is depending on the breed.
If you intend to keep the newborns for longer than four weeks. You should take special care to separate the babies from their mothers before the age of eight weeks. Put the newborn hamsters in housing areas that are designated for their respective genders. This will prevent a baby boom from occurring. At the age of eight weeks, the hamsters will have the ability to reproduce. It is possible that they may even be able to do so with the mother.