Taking Care of Your Hamster

Hamster are very delicate, Also they are swift and get away easily., Following tips will help you take care of your hamster.

What type of hamster transport cage do you need?

If you are the one  transporting the hamster  to its new home, it should be as stress free as possible. Obtain a suitable cardboard box, or better yet,  a transport box  that you can reuse for vet visits.

Hamster transport box or cage

Whatever the type of box, it must be closed, have enough ventilation holes and be darkened. In the dark,  the animal feels safe , because the box looks like a burrow. Otherwise, the changing stimuli during the journey can frighten him and cause him stress. Get home by the shortest route and save it a longer trip than necessary.

It is best to bring the hamster home as quickly as possible, in its special box for transport . Indeed, the unusual situation in which he finds himself pushes him to redouble his efforts to free himself. If he manages to make a hole in the box, you will suddenly see him exploring your car, or the bus.

Hamster transport bag

Once properly tamed, you can also transport it in a transport bag, visit our page ”  Tame your hamster  ” to achieve a degree of confidence with your hamster to be able to transport it as well.

How to welcome a new Hamster to your Home?

Before bringing the animal home, its cage must already be ready. It is for this reason that a good number of Internet users  buy their cage on the internet after having compared the prices  and a few days later, go to a pet store to look for their hamster.

When you get home, you can gently place the animal in its new home. It’s even better if you place the transport box in or against the cage and  let the hamster discover  its new home on its own.

Once home, put the box in the cage, open it, and wait for the hamster to come out on its own. Then put in his house the handful of materials from his old nest that you took from the store; they smell like it. As a welcome gift, now offer him some food, if possible what he was used to. At this time, you cannot do more.

Now everyone naturally wants to take a look at the newcomer. But give him time to get used to this unfamiliar environment and  overcome the stress of transport . After two or three hours, you can sit down next to the cage and talk to her softly.

For the first few days, only contact him in the cage. To make yourself like him, you must first get him used to it. Attract him with a treat . If he climbs into your hand to take it, it’s a big step towards  a relationship of trust . But don’t go overboard. Even if it comes towards you on its own, wait a few more days before you stroke it or take it in your hand.

Caution  : Hamsters are very agile and can get away in no time at all. If he bites you, do not let him fall in surprise, the fall can be fatal! Never take it by the skin of the neck . This is what the mother hamster does, but she is small and sweet. A large human hand may not only make him suffer, but also injure him, especially in the back of his neck.

To succeed:

Do not put the cage on the ground: It must  rest on a stable and high support . This will help the hamster to tame, and  the feeling of being prey will go  away. In addition, he will better perceive what is happening with his human companions.

How to get hamster used to new home

In most cases, it takes about a week for the hamster to get used to its new home.

To help your hamster:

  • During its adaptation, cover the cage with a light fabric. He will be able to explore his cage in peace.
  • Just feed it and change its water.
  • At first, do not change the arrangement of the cage, he will feel at home there more quickly.
  • Ask curious visitors who want to meet your new friend to wait a bit.

The different stages of adaptation of Hamster

Exploration phase: after the very early days, where it most often withdraws into its house, the hamster begins to explore its environment by smell and squint. With a scrutinizing air, he sniffs the air, the circumference of the cage, then traverses its entire space and, thanks to its vibrissae , makes contact by touch with its immediate environment. It is usually the corners of the cage that he pays his greatest attention.

Marking the territory: to feel at home, hamsters mark their habitat with their own scent. They secrete a substance contained in glands which are in their sides.

The construction of the nest: it usually happens the first night. If you have added new materials to your hamster’s cage, he will hasten to bring them to his nest. All that is soft will be carried in its vast cheekbones, the stiff straws will be seized and carried between the teeth. Hamsters bring an individual touch to their final installation: some arrange their materials as is, others reduce them to small pieces, tearing them apart with their incisors.

How to Tame you Hamster:

They have been raised under human protection for so long that hamsters are no longer truly wild animals.

The hamster you bought has certainly known for a long time, too, that humans are not a danger to them, unless the previous owner has mistreated them, which is exceptional. However, with their lower and upper double incisors , hamsters can bite forcefully – if they feel threatened, frightened, or caught by surprise. Then all the instincts that are useful to them in a natural state wake up. The most important thing for your new companion is to get used to your hand and its smell.

The best time to take care of your hamster is in the evening, when it regains its liveliness. Don’t try to wake him up just because you have the time and the inclination to play with him. Even when he wakes up on purpose, he still needs some time to himself. He wants the peace to go and inspect his cesspool and eat something .

So, to devote yourself to him, wait until he’s finished with this evening ritual. The more you take care of him regularly, every day and always at the same time, the faster he will have confidence in you.

The three main stages of taming

st step  : After a week, you can begin to connect with your hamster. Simply put your hand against the cage , talking to the animal, and wait for curiosity to prompt it to sniff.

It can take three to four days, depending on your character.

Step 2 : hold out a small treat between your thumb and forefinger . But if you don’t want him to disappear into his house right away with his treat, don’t let go as soon as he tries to grab it, with his teeth or front paws.

Step 3 : While he eats, you can gently stroke him carefully along the sides. Do not approach it unexpectedly from behind or from above, this gesture scares a hamster which is not yet perfectly tamed.

Recommendations for children

  • Grab your hamster carefully.
  • Respect his moments of rest.
  • Do not stroke it too long or too often.
  • Wash your hands afterwards.

How to Carry a Hamster:

When your hamster has already got used to you a bit, you can try to get him out of his cage, taking some precautions. There are several ways to do this:

First method : pass one hand under the hamster and put the other on it, so as to enclose it in a dark and warm hollow. Young animals feel very safe there.

Method two  : put your hands together, so that the fingertips of one hand are resting on those of the other hand and the thumbs against each other. Put this “roof” on the hamster. As soon as your hands completely surround it, close by squeezing your little fingers tightly.

Third method : grasp the hamster with one hand, passing the thumb and forefinger around its abdomen, between the front legs and the back legs (see drawing). You need to hold it firmly without tightening.

Fourth method : a simple process for the uninitiated: you present the hamster with a small container in which it can easily fit (a cardboard box or an empty coffee box). Usually, he immediately slips into this interesting hiding place and you can take him out of the cage.

Don’t: grab a hamster by the skin of its neck. Only very young hamsters accept it because they are carried like this by their mother.

Our advice: as long as you do not feel very sure in the way you handle the animal, stand on top of a table or some other support, so that nothing happens to it. it was slipping out of your hands.

Five rules for grabbing a hamster

  • Never suddenly wake up a hamster that is sleeping soundly.
  • Never tighten it too tight.
  • Leave him in peace if he slips away, squeals or growls. It means he doesn’t want to be disturbed.
  • Do not catch him if he rolls onto his back and bares his teeth. He takes this defensive position when he feels threatened.
  • To separate fighting hamsters, put on leather gloves.

What to do when a hamster bites?

Hamsters have sharp , chisel-shaped incisors for breaking down their food, which is often hard. It is also thanks to them that they defend themselves against their enemies when they are at large. More than one dog must have given in to a wild hamster that bit its lips or ear, the hamster usually managing to escape into its burrow. But even your domestic hamster can bite, if he feels attacked and gets scared. Yelling or punishing does not make sense and would only make the terrified animal even more mean.

Catching a hamster takes skill. If you tighten too much you hurt him, if you won’t be tight enough he may fall.

To avoid its inconvenience, it may be useful to invest in anti-bite protective gloves, at least for the first time:

How to heal the wound : squeeze the bite area well, then apply tincture of iodine or other disinfectant. If you continue to have pain or if the wound becomes inflamed, see a doctor.

How to clean Hamster’s Cage:

Hamsters are very clean animals and take hygiene seriously. In their cage, they set up their own cesspool and clean themselves often and thoroughly. In addition, they do not have a marked body odor unpleasant to humans, like white mice for example.

It is important to invest in a hamster toilet / bath to facilitate the maintenance of the cage.

Obviously, you have to put quality sand in it in order to keep a hamster in good health.

Simplified cleaning plan

Once a day : clean the cloaca (with an old spoon or a small shovel).

Once a week : clean all the accessories, feeder, wheel, various games with hot water, and pass the brush through the “bottle”. Twice a week: change all of the litter.

If your hamster’s nest has no bottom, remember, before lifting it, to first slide under a small board that will allow you to collect the provisions that the animal has accumulated there, without them. mix with the litter.

Once a month: renew the nest materials, making sure to leave a small amount of old materials. Wash the bars and the floor in hot water.

Important: Above all, do not use detergent, hot water is sufficient.

Daily maintenance

  • Feed the hamster with fresh food , preferably in the evening
  • Fill the seed tank
  • Check the corners and the nest; remove spoiled food
  • Remove urine-soaked seeds from the nest, as well as any excess wet food as they dry out quickly
  • Ensure the cleanliness of the saucer containing the food
  • Remove dirty litter from the toilet area
  • Renew the drinking water after having previously cleaned the container
  • Let the hamster frolic in the room or in its play crate
  • Control the health of the hamster

Maintenance once or twice a week

  • Remove all of the litter
  • Thoroughly clean the cage, pen or vivarium with hot water, or at most  vinegar to remove the smell of urine (other detergents may be harmful to the hamster)
  • Also wash accessories such as the wheel, toys or even objects to gnaw on
  • Scrub the trough with a brush and renew the water
  • Wash the bowl
  • If necessary,  change nesting materials
  • Replace branches and paper rolls
  • Ensure the filing of the incisors by regularly offering the hamster things to gnaw on

How to Keep your Hamster Clean

The hamster spends a large part of its time caring for the body . Upon awakening, all hamsters make a complete and thorough toilet, after that it is more superficial. The toilet is primarily used to put the hair in order . It takes a tidy coat to keep the body warm. The heat loss to the outside is in fact less if the bristles are smoothed against each other, thus retaining a large quantity of air between them in tiny intervals. Furthermore, in cases of great emotion – in conflict situations for example – we sometimes see the hamster suddenly start to feverishly clean his face. This is a kind of substitution reaction.

How do hamsters groom themselves?

For this grooming ceremony, the hamster does not generally put itself in the “squirrel position”, that is to say, standing on its hind legs, but rather sits on its hindquarters. It most often begins with the head. It sticks out its tongue, passes its paws over it in circular motions, and rubs itself several times against the grain, first the muzzle, then the whole head. In the meantime, he licks his paws several times. With more or less acrobatic contortions, he then rubs his stomach, back, thighs and the top of the front legs. After which it uses the teeth and hind legs to comb out the places it can no longer reach with its front legs.


Hamsters are clean animals  that wash regularly. You will not have to do anything except the maintenance of the coat. A sand bath containing chinchilla sand  . One exception:  long-haired hamsters . Brush their fur with a baby brush or a soft toothbrush. Carefully cut any knots that cannot be untied. Never bathe them, it does them more harm than good.

Important: Start grooming your teddy or angora coat as soon as possible. Even young people with still short coats should be combed regularly in order to get them used to it. It will become routine and save you a lot of trouble afterwards.

The teeth

Specifically, rodent teeth are  constantly growing . Your hamster should therefore always have something to gnaw on to wear them down. Beware of  dental malocclusions .


In the wild, hamsters do not wander with too long claws because the claws wear down when they scratch or run on uneven ground. But, in  captivity , the claws can grow too much and injure the animal. Have them shortened by the vet. As a prevention, consider putting rough materials in the cage, such as unglazed raw earth objects or a flat stone.

Nose and eyes

Gently remove any droppings from the nose and eyes with a damp cloth, without rubbing. Do not use chamomile tea to wash the eyes, it irritates them instead of relieving them.

What to do with the hamster during the holidays?

For a short absence: if you are only going away for a day or two, you can leave your hamster alone.

Give him enough food during the previous days, put cool water in his waterer, and leave him an apple or a carrot as another source of hydration. For a long-term absence: if you are going away for several days or several weeks and you cannot, or do not want to take your hamster, you will need to plan to take care of the animal in good time. A neighbor, a friend, a relative or even your pet store can take care of this service without difficulty. In all cases, it is desirable that the hamster remains in its usual cage, this facilitates its adaptation.

Leave a card on which you will have noted the important information: food, cleaning the cage, possible outings for the animal – this last point entails more responsibilities for the person in charge of the care.

Your leaving can be stressful for your pet Hamsters

Females who are expecting young or nursing find it difficult to cope with a change of setting and should not be entrusted to people other than those to which they are used. In reaction to the stress caused by the change, they may indeed devour their young or stop feeding them.

Reactions to return : after a long absence, your hamster may no longer recognize you, but with a little patience, kindness and skill, you will quickly have tamed it again.

In search of a ”  hamster-sitter  “

Do you have to be away for a while? Look for, preferably before the purchase, a person who likes animals who can take care of your hamster during the holidays or in the event of hospitalization. Ask your family or your circle of acquaintances.

Leave them  written instructions on feeding , cleaning , walking and handling the animal . Nothing prevents you from providing our website address of course. Give him the veterinarian’s phone number and yours. As much as possible, leave your pet in its familiar surroundings.

If you can’t find anyone, check with the pet stores, some offer boarding services. Opt for this formula provided that the animal remains in its cage. The hamster, frightened in this unfamiliar environment, will at least have a home and familiar smells.

Travelling with a Hamster

Take the hamster with you : if you are not going to very hot countries and your accommodation is suitable, you may very well take your animal. During the trip, be careful that it is not exposed to drafts or too strong sun. Prop up its cage so that it does not move constantly and the hamster is not shaken too much. For the formalities to be completed at customs, check with your veterinarian or the consulate of the country concerned. Confirm this information in writing (in the language of the country), to avoid any dispute at the border.

Like many other animals, hamsters do not like to move around. For them, a trip is synonymous with great stress. If you really can’t help it, please don’t expose it to drafts or direct sunlight. Long journeys in strong heat are prohibited. The best is to take the animal with its cage and accessories : you will need them there anyway.

To help him cope with the stress of the trip,  darken the cage . But be careful, the air must be able to circulate sufficiently, otherwise the heat will accumulate dangerously inside. Plan enough food.

For hamster keepers

Before touching it, wash your hands as the hamster is sensitive to foreign smells. If you are new to this and want to avoid biting, place an empty box in front of your resident. Then protect the opening with one hand and move your animal safely. Do not hesitate to purchase anti-bite protective gloves