Easy Hamster


Do you know anything about the history of hamsters?
Where do hamsters get their names from?
What is the lifespan of a hamster?
Should I buy a hamster?
Are there any places that don't allow hamsters?
My hamster has escaped, help me!
My hamster is dead, what should I do?
What are the two symmetrical spots on my hamsters sides?
Do hamsters really like those balls?
Can I interpret the hamsters body language?
Do hamsters make noise?
Can I travel with my hamster?
How can I stop my wheel from squeaking?
Is it safe for my hamster to jump off the table like that?
What is the difference between a syrian and dwarf hamster?
My hamster has fur loss but there is no other symptoms, what could this mean?
It's too hot for my hamster, how can I keep him cool?

Do you know anything about the history of hamsters?

The story of hamsters has been embellished and idealized over the years... here is what probably happened... In 1839, British zoologist George Waterhouse found hamsters in Syria, naming them "Cricetus auratus," the Golden Hamster. The hamster's fur was on display at the British Museum.
Around 1930, zoologist and Professor at the University of Jerusalem Aharoni found a mother and litter of hamsters in the Syrian desert. By the time he got back to his lab, most had died or escaped. The remaining hamsters were given to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where they were successfully bred as Syrian Hamsters. They were a bit bigger than the ones Waterhouse found, so they were named "Misocricetus auratus."
The hamsters were shipped to labs all around the world. In 1938, hamsters reportedly reached the United States. Many Syrian Hamsters descended from the original litter found in Syria except for a few that were brought into the United States by travellers who found them in the desert.
Hamsters are now used for scientific research. Because hamsters are so disease-free and breed so rapidly (they can have a new litter every month!) and because they are so friendly and easy to handle, they are a popular choice among scientists.
They are often used for cardio-vascular research, as their cardio-vascular system is remarkably similar to that of the human.
In the wild, hamsters are a nuisance to farmers. Hamsters have been known to hide in excess of 60 pounds of grain to feed them through the winter.

Where do hamsters get their names from?

Hamsters got their name from an old German word associated with storing food. (The word "hamper" comes from the same root.) A well-known characteristic of the hamster, same with many other rodents, is to stuff their cheeks full of food, as if they were hampers.

What is the life span of a hamster?

It varies from species to species, and pureness of breed is a factor. The approximate life span is 3 years. Dwarf hamsters live approximately 1-2 years, except the roborovski, they have an average life span of 3 years, sometimes more.

Should I buy a hamster?

It is really up to you, and I cannot decide that for you. Here are a few things to think about though. Hamsters require lots of care and attention like other pets, when it is ill then you must have the money to take the hamster to the vet immediately as they deteriorate quickly once ill. They are fun to play with, and watch. The cage should be cleaned at least once a week, and you should change the food and water daily. Also allow some out of the cage time. Also, the taming process can sometimes be long and difficult depending where you get them from. If you think you can do this, and you want a hamster, then go for it!

Are there any places that don't allow hamsters?

So far I only know that Hawaii does not allow its residents to own a hamster. A law was passed, hoping to keep disease away and to prevent escaped hamsters from reproducing and messing up the ecosystem. Chinese hamsters (part of the ratlike family of hamsters) are illegal in California.!

My hamster has escaped, help me!

Close all doors and windows, and try to figure out what room your hamster is in. If you are having trouble, try placing a bowl of food in each room. The hamster is bound to get hungry, so you will be able to tell which room he's in by whichever food dish is touched.
Once you have narrowed down your search, start looking under chairs, beds, in corners... put yourself into the frame of mind of the hamster.
You could get creative/inventive and devise your own traps. Apparently one of the best ways is to get some sort of deep bucket with a ramp heading up to it, with some food as bait. The hamster will fall into the bucket, and then cannot climb out. When you find your hamster, try to find out how the hamster escaped and prevent it for next time.

My hamster is dead, what should I do?

This happens to all animals at some point. The best thing you can do is bury your hamster in your backyard. In some cases you may have to determine what caused the death (If it was old age then there is nothing you can do) However if the hamster died from wet tail, you may have to follow extra precautions to prevent any other hamsters in the house from getting it, and you need to thoroughly disinfect the cage and everything in it.

What are the two symmetrical spots on my hamsters sides?

They are flank (or scent) glands. Hamsters rub against things and mark their territory with them.

Do hamsters really like those balls?

If your hamster starts biting the sides of the ball like crazy, then most likely, he is trying to tell you that he doesn't like the ball. Some hamsters do however, and some may not like it at first, just give them some time. Never leave the ball unattended, especially near staircases. A hamster can run in the ball for 20 minutes at a time. Just make sure you take the hamster out for breaks so they can drink water ect.. Hamsters like to run around freely too. Just watch them carefully when you let them. Remember to clean the ball when your hamster is done with it and let it properly dry out.

Can I interpret the hamsters body language?

Convulsive movement, as well as sudden continual face washing, signifies fright.
Defensive raising of both front paws can be observed in males that have been unexpectedly attacked by females and have no way of escaping. According to my observations, this gesture prevents or at least delays an even more serious attack.
Puffing up the cheeks and showing the abdominal regions are to be construed as a threat. Lying motionless on the back shows resistance and fear, or could even be shock. Stiff-legged walking of a young animal, with its tail stiffly stretched up and its hindquarters turned toward the adult hamster, denotes fear and submission; it propitiates the old animals. This can also often be observed in vanquished adult hamsters.
Stretching and yawning with half-closed eyes is an expression of cosiness and inner peace, just as much as frequent and at the same time joyous and languorous washing. *Reciprocal cleaning between mother and children, and also between males and females, that live in harmony with each other indicates affection. Stroking the head with a paw, sometimes for a long period and sometimes only quickly and in passing, denotes tenderness.
Reciprocal knocking over can have very different meanings; fighting, if there is biting; coital foreplay, if the animals lick each other's stomachs and genitals; playing, if the partners cavort around with each other for a short time only.
"Sitting up" is sometimes noticed, if something excites the hamster's particular attention.

Do hamsters make noise?

Hamsters are among the quietest creatures there are - usually the only sound you'll here from them is the squeaking of their wheels or the chewing of their bars.

Squeak - this is a mating call.
Screaming - when they are in distress.
Cough/sneezing - when they are sick.
Clicking sound - may indicate some sort of chest infection, the clicking sound may be fluid in their lungs.

Can I travel with my hamster?

By car: Make sure it's a short journey on a nice, smooth road. Take out anything in the cage that can move around and hurt your hamster. If you are using a special travelling cage, use bedding that's familiar to your hamster.
Make sure there's plenty of food and water, and that the water can't drip. Give your hamster a cucumber or similar wet food before the journey.
Try to have a passenger watch your hamster and hold the cage so it doesn't move too much. Keep the windows closed so it doesn't get too drafty. Don't leave your hamster in the car or in the sun, and stop if your hamster looks sick.
By plane: Most airlines do not have hamsters on their list of animals, so they fall into the "other/general" category. U.S. Air, American Airlines, TWA, United Airlines and Continental require you to put the hamster into the cargo hold.
Delta Airlines allows 1-2 hamsters in the passengar cabin. The cage counts as carry-on luggage and must meet with carry-on size limitations. Delta allows only 2 animals in the cabin at a time, so the airline must be notified at the time the tickets are purchased.
There are some conditions: Fees: $45-$60 (independent of cabin or cargo). In cargo, the fee is per cage, and animal quantity is unlimited.
Age: Hamsters must be at least 8 wks old at the time of travel.
Health: Each hamster must have a veterinary statement of good health within 30 days of travel.

How can I stop my wheel from squeaking?

Try putting some vegetable oil on the axle of the wheel. Or you can get the Wodent Wheel it is the safest and quietest wheel around. The only downside is that they are harder to clean.

Is it safe for my hamster to jump off the table like that?

From my experience, hamsters have an incredible sense of height, and know when is and isn't safe for them to jump. As long as they aren't falling off of a shelf by surprise, they're usually okay. Be careful with younger hamsters - dropping them can cause severe damage. The older ones are a bit more resilient. As well, shock may occur if they suffer a fall. In which case, you need to put them in a quiet place, perhaps stroking them gently. When they are feeling better and begin moving around, you can check for injuries.

What is the difference between a syrian and dwarf hamster?

Syrian Hamsters
Scientific Name: Mesocricetus auratus
Life Span: 2-3 years average, some live longer
Different Names: Golden, standard, fancy, long-haired, teddy bear, alien, black/black bear, and European black bear are all syrian hamsters.
Size: approx. 6-7 inches in length
Gestation period: 16 days
Toes: 4 at the front, 5 in the back

Syrian hamsters are more common as house pets than dwarf hamsters. I would recommend a syrian hamster for a young child as they are easier to handle once they are tamed. It is important to know that syrian hamsters have to live alone, you cannot place another hamster in with one. They are extremely territorial, and if housed together, you could end up with a dead hamster, or badly injured. Although you may see them together at a pet store, it is because they can live together until they are 6-8 weeks of age.

Dwarf Hamsters

Different species: Dwarf Cambells Russian, Winter White Russian, Chinese, Roborovski
Life span:
Cambells Russian:: 1-2 years
Winter White Russian: 1-2 years
Chinese: 2-3 years
Roborovski: 3-4 years

Size: Cambells Russian,Winter White Russian and Chinese:10-12cm Roborovski: 4-5cm
Gestation period: Cambells Russian, Winter White Russian: 18-21 days Chinese: 21 days Roborovski: 23-30 days

I would recommend dwarf hamsters to those who have had some experience with hamsters before. They are much more difficult to handle because of their size and speed. The Roborovski's in particular, smallest dwarf hamster, averaging 4-

My hamster has fur loss but there are no other symptoms, what could this mean?

it's probably completely fine. However I will give some reasons for possible causes:

- Moulting; many hamsters begin to do this around summer and autumn
- Sudden and extreme temperature changes (It's summer, did you get a heat wave or did your house warm up considerably?) If this is the case, fur usually grows back within a few weeks.
- Old age, yes you're right this does happen when a hamster gets older, but interesting to note, the fur loss can occur starting at one year of age and over. So this could very well be the case, and it's nothing to worry about.

You could try adding vitamin drops from your local pet store to the water, this may help fur regrowth.

It's too hot for my hamster, how can I keep him cool?

-If it's really that hot, you can freeze a towel, fold it, and put the cage on top of it.
-Or, you can wet a towel, drape it over a fan, it will evaporate the water more quickly and cool the cage down. Never have the fan blowing directly at the cage, you don't want him to get a draft.
-Put the cage in the coolest room of the house, close all the blinds and curtains in that room (Best to put the cage on the opposite side of where the sun is shining through), if your curtains or blinds are really thin, and don't block out light very well, drape sheets or something over it.
-Another thing you can do is take frozen veggie packages and place them on the outside of the cage around the corners. Hamsters will appreciate a nice cool corner to sleep in.
-If you must use the ice cube idea in a bowl, at least melt the ice cube in your hand a little bit to get rid of the stickiness.
-If you use chinchilla sand for your hamster to play in, you can stick the sand in the freezer for a little bit, this won't freeze it but it will cool it down. If the hamster is hot, he may decide to play in the cool sand.








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