Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hamsters - The Great Escapists

I captured this video cuz' I found it amusing that the hamster is so hyperactive today.

Soil Bedding - To Use or Not to Use

Question from Sandy:
"I just got a pair of pudding hamsters and i bought soil bedding from the pet store in suntec. i see them using this bedding in a couple of cages with hamsters inhabiting them.

But when i surfed around the net, many were saying that it is dangerous to use this bedding. Some say bugs will get in and live in the bedding, some say that it will have a lot of bacteria thus spreading virus, some even say the dirt will go into their eyes and burn the eyes of the hamsters.

I would like to know if what they say is true and if i should change the bedding in case my hamsters are suffering. Hope to hear from u asap"

Hi Sandy,

All beddings have their good and bad points. The key point is to change them regularly to make it hygiene and less impervious for bacteria to attack. Generally all beddings would attract bugs, bacteria and dirt. But you just need to clean the cage regularly and that will be fine.
Regarding the dirt getting into the hamster eyes, it is usually not a concern because hamsters being hamsters are adapted to filter dirt off their eyes with their eyelids.
The advantage of using soil bedding is in its higher absorbency and the "close-to-nature" feel. Hamsters can clean themselves while using the bedding too.
For a small tank, the humidity of Singapore could encourage the formation of fungi. Hamsters can die suddenly from inhaling fungal spores. Hence, they need well ventilated cages. It really depends on the size of your cage and how many hamsters stay in the cage. Perhaps you can show me a picture on that and I can offer you my suggestion. But 2-3 months is simply too long! 1 month is already too long actually.

If you find the soil bedding expensive, then perhaps you should change the bedding. If you're looking for more absorbent ones, you can try compact cat litter.


I can't definitely give you a period of time you have to clear the bedding but I'll just offer some warning signs. 1) If you see the growth of greeny algae, mushrooms, moulds, you must change the bedding. 2) Hamsters would usually pick a spot to urinate, so whenever you see a wet spot, you could just remove it. Definitely must change bedding if you see a huge big wet patch and the top coat of soil feels damp.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Mating Hamsters

Before you even start to mate your pets, it is wise to consider if you can take care of the offsprings. For hamsters, the female gives birth to 3 - 7 babies on an average. You would have to consider if you have enough space and time to care for the new family members.

To mate hamsters, you would need to first introduce the male to the female. Ensure that they can reside together in the same cage peacefully before you leave them alone. Sometimes, the female can get aggressive and you will need to remove the male and introduce him in on another occasion.

Typically it takes about two weeks to a month for hamsters to start mating.

Read the next entry to find out what to do during pregnancy of hamsters and when they give birth...

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Grooming Hamsters

It's good to let your hamsters look good and have a good coat of fur. Therefore, we will need to groom them so that they will shine and be attractive. These are some ways that you can adhere to when you intend to groom your hamsters.

1. Bathing powder/sand

The most basic of grooming hamsters come from bathing them with commercially widely available bathing powder. With a bathing tray and powder, the hamsters will automatically know what to do -- bathe themselves in the powder.

Bathing powder will remove the dirt from their fur and relieve their itching.

2. Brushing hamsters

You can buy hamster brushes in pet shops to brush hamsters. Brushing hamsters is good for bonding between the hamsters and the owner. Secondly, it also gives the hamsters a good coat of fur (smooth and good-looking).

An alternative brush would be used toothbrush. Clean the used toothbrush and it can readily act as a hamster brush.

Brush the fur in one direction, usually from the head to the tail direction. This way, you can make the fur grow in one direction.

3. Bathing with water

Bathing with water requires lots of caution as it could be lethal to hamsters. If you really need to clean them with water, make sure you just wipe them with a wet cloth.

Avoid allowing them to swim in water. It's true that hamsters can swim but they are not meant to perform that activity. They might choke on water without your knowing. Also if you dip them into water, their entire coat get wet. You will need to dry them if not they could develop cold or flu which will weaken them.

Do not let your hamsters to dry themselves. This can be a long process and with some breeze, they would get ill.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Accessories that you would need for the Cage

The following are the accessories that you would need for the Cage. I'll divide the topic into accessories you must have, and accessories that are good to have. The various pointers to look out for in the various accessories will be discussed in detail in other chapters.

Must-Haves:

Water bottles for hamsters to obtain their water supply. Water in the bottles should be changed frequently even though it may not be used up as frequently.

Dish bowl for food to be added in, so that the hamster knows where to get its food and that the bedding will not be badly littered by food.

Running wheel is essential for the hamster to exercise and work out its fats, especially when it is caged. Running wheel comes in various types.

Bathing dish is needed for the bathing powder to get the hamster clean itself.

Nest the hamster with some cosy small houses. Let it have a good place to rest itself.

Good-to-haves:

Toys and Tunnels to amuse the hamster from time to time.

Cooling metal plates for the hamster to lie down and sleep.