MEET THE HAMSTER
Known for filling up their huge cheek pouches with tasty treats, hamsters are one of the most popular pocket pets in the US. There are several different species of hamsters kept as pets from the larger Syrian hamsters to the smaller dwarf species such as Campbell’s, Roborovskis, Winter Whites, and Chinese.
2 - 3 years
Good With Kids
Time Needed Outside Cage
Human Interaction Needs
Aquarium tanks of at least 20 gallons have enough room but can be heavy. Some people choose to flip an IKEA Detolf cabinet on its side and build a custom lid, which provides double the required space and an excellent view of your gerbil’s living area. We recommend making a DIY tub/bin cage as they are appropriately sized, inexpensive, lightweight, and easy to clean. Store-bought cages such as Habitrails or similar are not recommended because even with the connecting tubes, they do not have enough floor space.
2 cubic feet with 500 square inch minimum unbroken floor space
Hamsters prefer deep cages with at least 6 inches of bedding, tunnels, nesting materials, and climbing toys.
Cages should have plenty of ventilation but be sure your hamster can’t escape through or chew on the holes. Any cage should have a solid floor since standing on wire can cause injuries and bumblefoot.
Be sure to keep the temperature inside the cage between 70° and 76° F to prevent your pet from going into hibernation, which is very dangerous to them.
Inspect your hamster's cage every day for any signs of chewing.
Hamsters enjoy burrowing and building nests. Soft recycled paper, shredded paper, and paper pellets are all great bedding options either by themselves or mixed. MNPPR strongly recommends avoiding all wood-based beddings due to the general sensitivity of pocket pets.
lots of chew toys (wood or lava)
at least one shelter/hide
toilet paper tubes
bits of fabric
bedding (soft recycled paper
such as CareFresh, shredded paper, or paper pellets)
Always keep your hamster’s food bowl full. To make sure your hamster has the most balanced diet it's recommended to combine Oxbow Hamster & Gerbil diet with either Mazuri Rat and Mouse or Teklad Lab Diet at a 1:1 ratio. Seed mix food should not be used because they are often missing vital nutrients and many hamsters will only eat their favorite tasting pieces causing an unbalanced diet. If your hamster is overweight it may need fewer treats or more exercise.
Finding a suitable feed for your hamster can be challenging. By reviewing the guaranteed analysis on the back of the bag, you can make sure your feed meets the requirements. For adult hamsters, protein should be between 17% - 19%, fat should be within 4% - 7%, and fiber should be maintained between 6% - 15%.
There are many options for store-bought treats made for hamsters but fresh food can also make great treats. Be sure they are not storing anything in their nests that could rot. Hamsters should never get more than 1/4 tablespoon of treats a day or they may become obese.
any citrus fruit
All information shared by MN Pocket Pet Rescue is researched, up to date, and accurate to the best of our ability. We are not a licensed veterinary organization and do not intend to present ourselves as such. All educational material contains our best recommendations for care specific to each species. However, all animals are different and some may have unique needs. MN Pocket Pet Rescue does not assume any liability for the well-being of any animal not under our care. Always use your best judgment and follow veterinary recommendations whenever necessary. If you have any questions or find inaccurate information please contact us.