Hamsters are cute and homey animals. Although they are not high-maintenance, these pets may have some behavior patterns or habits that are not familiar to you.
That’s why today we will look into some FAQs that our readers have about rising and keeping a hamster. You will find much information about housing the animals, and good practices that keep them healthy.
Keeping a hamster FAQs
1. Can I keep a guinea pig & a hamster together in a cage?
For example, hamsters are nocturnal animals, so they sleep in the day and be very active at night. In the meanwhile, guinea pigs need to rest in short periods during the day and night. The sleep patterns of the two, therefore, will clash, making them fatigued.
Another important reason why you should not house these two animals together is their sociality. While hamster prefers solitude, guinea pigs tend to thrive in a herd. At best, they will tire each other out with their habits.
At worst, the two of them may get into conflict with each other.
Hamsters and guinea pigs, for their difference in behaviors, are best housed separately, to avoid the risk of them killing or injuring other animals in their presence.
Read More: How to tell if you have a sick hamster.
2. Why does my Syrian hamster keep biting the cage bar?
You may wonder why your hamster keeps biting the cage bar, but by no means should you panic! Biting the cage can indicate many things for a hamster.
It could be just their health practice to prevent the teeth from growing too long, or it could be due to boredom. In some extreme cases, if the animal bites.
3. Can I keep a male and female hamster together in a cage?
You can keep a male and a female hamster in the same cage. However, you should know that hamsters are animals that breed quite easily. Once you house two hamsters of opposite sexes together, very soon you would find the pregnancy signs in the female ones.
A female hamster typically gives birth to up to 20 babies at a time. Which are normal for long-time owners and breeders, but can be quite hard to handle for new owners.
Therefore, if you are not prepared for a colony of hamster babies, then we recommend keeping the hamsters of opposite sexes in different cages.
Read More: How to take care of the hamster.
4. How can you prevent your hamster from biting on the cage bars?
If you want to prevent your hamster from biting on the cage bars, first you should investigate into why the animal does it from the first place.
Within the multitude of causes for the bar-biting behaviors in hamster, the most common cause is their healthy practice for keeping their teeth at the right size. When you’ve identified that this is the reason, then having more toys or chewing aids in the cage should solve it.
Another common cause of bar-biting behavior in the hamster is boredom. To address this problem, it’s best that you introduce more toys into his daily routine and play with your animal from time to time.
The most alarming condition that leads to hamsters biting bars is stress. Look to it if your hamster is feeling pressure from its surroundings: is its cage near an ultrasound source? Is there any predator present?
Are the animals in the house fighting, or the hamsters themselves are not getting along? The excessiveness of bar biting can imply the animal’s stress, which you should solve before it gets out of hand.
Read More: about hamster food faqs from the professional vet.
5. How long can you go without cleaning a hamster’s cage before the hamster dies?
There is no definite answer to this. A clean and hygienic living condition is good for a hamster, but not necessarily the factor that decides whether it lives or dies. In theory, your rodent should be fine as long as you give it food and water.
With that said, not cleaning the cage does affect negatively the well-being of a hamster. If the environment they live in is filthy, then the animal will get stressed and sick more easily.
Read More: How to clean the hamster cage.
6. Do hamsters need out of cage playtime every day or are they okay to stay in their cages?
Again, there is no definite answer to this question. Any hamster needs a good amount of time playing and working out. If its cage is big and there are plenty of hamster toys inside, then the animal would do just fine being locked.
On the other hand, if you give them a smaller cage, and don’t give them many toys for them to “break a sweat”, then it’s recommended to take them outside so they can exercise to their heart’s content.
7. What causes your hamster to chew on the cage bars all the time?
Owners often notice that their hamsters keep chewing on the cage bars. As much as this behavior annoying, or even worrying, that is a common practice for these rodents.
There are many reasons why hamsters chew on the cage. Most of the time, they do it to abrase their teeth and keep them from growing too long.
In other occasions, the playful animals just bite on the cage to try it out as a leisure activity. From time to time, this behavior may indicate too much stress.
If you notice excessive chewing, we strongly consult your vet to check the hamster living conditions.
8. Why is a small cage bad for a Syrian hamster?
Not only a Syrian hamster, but any breed of hamster would suffer in too small cages.
The reason is that in nature, these animals run wild. In a day, they could run up to miles a night.
This restriction will hamper animal health and well-being.
There are standardized sizes for hamster cages, or you can consult your vet for the best measurements.
Hamsters make great pets, and they will bring you much joy being a member of your household. If you have any more questions about hamsters, ask and our experts will answer!