I’m getting a hamster. What kind should I get?
Thats entirely up to you. Read the hamster page on this site to find out a bit more about the different species. Hamsterama’s personal favourites are the dwarves.
One or two?
If you’re getting a Syrian, remember that they are solitary animals and should never be housed with another hamster. They will always fight, and sooner or later one of them will be killed by the other. If you get dwarves its best to keep them in pairs or small groups, as they are sociable animals who like company. Remember to make sure they are the same sex, or you’ll end up with a litter of unexpected babies.
Can I keep two dwarf hamsters of different species together?
This rarely works, even if the two are both young when introduced. Keep the same species together. This works best if the pair are litter mates or are introduced at a very young age.
I think my hamster might be pregnant! How can I tell?
It is very difficult to tell. She will only look more fat than usual about 2 days before giving birth. She may be building a nest and will usually be more active than usual. Dwarves are pregnant for around 19-21 days (Syrians only 16 days) so the best thing to do is to wait and see! See the breeding page for more information.
How many babies do hamsters have in a litter?
Dwarves generally have between 4 and 6 in a liter, although 7 and 8 are not uncommon. Syrians also tend to have between 4 and 7 babies, but can have as many as 17 in a litter.
My hamster’s nails are looking quite long. How do I go about trimming them?
Hamster’s nails generally start to look quite long and overgrown once they reach an advanced age and they should not need them clipping regularly like many other animals. Hamsters (and humans for that matter) have what is known as a ‘quick’ in their nail. The end of the nail will be white, whilst nearer the foot, the nail will be a pinkish colour. Take a pair of baby nail clippers and cut just below the pink line. If you cut above the quick, the nail will bleed. If you’re not confident, you may want to ask the vet to clip your hamster’s nails for the first time. That way you can observe how to do it should they ever need doing again.
My hamster has escaped and I’ve no idea where he is! Help!
Hamsters can be regular little escape artists, but don’t fret, hamsterama has the perfect solution. The first thing you should do is close all the doors, and get any other animals such as cats or dogs out of the house if possible. Put piles of your hamsters usual food mix in the corner of each room. Observe which pile of food gets eaten to determine which room your hamster is in. Once you know which room he is in, you can trap him. Take a bucket and put some bedding and some strong smelling food (such as cheese or cabbage) inside. Then, using books, build steps up to the top of the bucket. The hamster should clamber up to the top, smell the delicious food and fall in, but not be able to get out!
Help! I think my hamster might have something stuck in her cheek pouch! How can I get it out?
This is a problem one of my hamsters experienced in the past. (He had managed to fill his pouch with bedding and sunflower seeds. This would have been easily removed by himself if he had not ‘corked’ this in with a rather large peanut!)
First make sure that whatever is in the cheek pouch is actually stuck. (Sometimes dwarves have their pouches full constantly, emptying and refilling in between.) This will be characterised by a large lump in one cheek pouch. The hamster may constantly be trying to remove things from his pouch, but to no avail. The hamster may also appear lethargic, due to difficulties eating and drinking.
Getting the stuck object out is a 4 handed job! Get somebody to hold your hamster upside down, then take a wet cotton bud and use it to gently push out the object. You may find it easy to push the object forward, then remove it using a pair of tweezers. Be careful not to scrape the insides of the hamsters mouth. The cheek pouches have a delicate lining which is easily lacerated. Leaving objects stuck in your hamster’s pouch may cause it difficulties when it tries to eat and drink. Stuck objects may also cause the hamster problems with its eyes. However, do not attempt to remove any object unless you are sure it has become lodged, as removing it may be quite stressful for the hamster.
I’ve got 2 dwarves in the same cage who are always fighting. Should I separate them?
When two or more dwarves are kept together, fighting is usually a fairly common occurance. This is part of their normal play and should not be interfered with. In my opinion, fighting hamsters should only be separated if the fight results in any blood being shed by either hamster. This is defined as serious fighting.
If your hamsters do seem to fight, keep in mind that many fights occur through lack of space and food. Fights can also occur where hamsters are establishing the dominant hamster in a pairing or colony.
Remember, if your hamsters are Syrians, they should NEVER be kept together. They will always fight, whatever the circumstances. They should be separated immediately, as the fighting will always eventually lead to death.
What is the maximum number of dwarves I can keep together?
Virtually limitless. Dwarves are generally very happy to live in colonies as they are very sociable animals. The only limits on numbers is the amount of space available. Remember to keep the same sexes together. Pet shop staff should be able to help you with this. If you are having difficulty sexing your hamsters, take a look at the ‘Male or Female‘ page.
I heard that dwarves do better when they have company. I’ve got a dwarf but he lives on his own. Should I get him a friend?
A hamster that has become used to living on its own will not usually tolerate the addition of a new cage mate. The hamster will have established itself in its new home, and will recognise this as its own territory. Adding a new hamster to your existing hamster will be stressful for both. If you have bought your hamster very recently, it may be a good idea to see if you would be able to pair it up with one of its littermates. Remember to get the same sex though.