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Hamster Breeds, Dance, Games, Cages, Supplies, & Toys | All About Hamsters

Author J. Davis. Published on May 28, 2011 - 12:32 am (3610 views — 1974 words)

Cages
Wire hamster cages are great for the pet owner, since cleaning is as easy as snapping off the wire, but pet hamsters also enjoy chewing and they will chew on the wire bars if they have been in a hamster cage for an extended period of time. It is all-important to provide things for your pet hamster to chew on for entertainment.

Syrian hamsters are quite different from their Dwarf counterparts. They would rather be caged on their own, even when they are from the same litter or were caged together in a pet store. The desire to be alone only increases as a Syrian hamster gets older. They will fight and could injure each other if they are not separated.

Unlike Dwarves, Syrian hamsters favor open floor space as opposed to tubes, but they still love to have a wheel to play in. Syrian hamsters also love having different levels in their cage, which can be connected with ramps or a ladder.

The best hamster cages are those that provide your lovable pets plenty of room to roam, play, sleep, exercise and just sit and observe life round them. They require room for their food and water, their exercise wheel, and of course their toys. With these conditions, any pet hamster will live a long, happy, healthy life.

Recommended Supplies
A water bottle that drapes over the side. Luna Bug uses suction cup water bottles, but it is risky because the water bottle can fall off. (If your hamsters like to play with their water bottle, suction cups probably aren't the way to go).

An 8 1/2' comfort wheel are great for any hamster, even dwarves. They are easy to clean, easy to move with the stand, and very cost effective.

Like any animal, hamsters need out of the cage time to play. It is recommended to get a safety ball that they can run around in for 20-25 minutes a day.

Hamster Dance
What would any hamster article be without a reference to Hamster Dance! Hamster Dance was one of the first internet MEME’s before there were viral video’s. Check it out!
http://www.hampsterdance.com

Hamster Game
Also here is a fun game called Lively Hamster where you have a pet hamster you have to take care of.
http://petgames.my-pet-care.com/hamster-games/lively-hamster.html

General Hamster Knowledge
Furry little cute cuddly hamsters are actually in the rodent family. In the wild hamsters burrow underground all day to avoid predators. They eat a variety of foods, including dried berries, nuts, fruits, and vegetables.

Most wild Hamsters feed on seeds primarily, but will occasionally eat insects. They have a pouch on each side of their head that they stuff food into to bring back to their colony to eat later. The golden hamster was discovered in 1839 but it wasnt until 1930 that they were able to breed them in domestication. Hamsters were first discovered in Syria by zoologist Israel Aharoni.

Nowadays hamsters are easy to breed in captivity and are established as some of the most popular small house pets. They are also used as lab animals in more developed countries.

Hamsters are stoutly built, with very short tails and have small furry ears, short stocky legs, and wide feet. Their thick, can be black, gray, honey, white, brown, yellow, or red depending on the species, or a mix of any of those colors.

Hamsters are nearsighted, colorblind and actually have very poor eyesight. But they do have a very good sense of smell and can hear extremely well. Hamsters use their sense of smell to distinguish gender, find food, and discover pheromones. They are also particularly responsive to high-pitched noises and can communicate in the ultrasonic range. They are extremely susceptible to rapid temperature changes and drafts, as well as extreme heat or cold.

Hamsters are omnivores which mean they will eat pants and animals. They eat most things, and although they should regularly be given a diet of normal hamster food, it is enjoyable for both the owner and the hamster to experiment with other things, such as vegetables, fruits (though these should be removed once they go rotten or bad) seeds and nuts.

Hamsters have very sharp teeth. They have two pairs in the front of their mouths and these incisors never stop growing and thus must be regularly worn down.

Golden Hamsters which is the most popular sold in pet stores are generally solitary and will fight to the death if put together with another hamster. Some species of hamster form close, monogamous bonds with their mates and mate for life. If separated, they can become very depressed. This happens especially in males. When depressed males will become inactive, gluttonous, and even show some behavioral changes similar to those in human depression.

All hamsters are excellent diggers, constructing burrows with one or more entrances and with galleries that are connected to chambers for nesting, food storage, and other activities. This is the reason for the popularity of "hamster tubes" used in pet cages. They will also use tunnels made by other animals. Hamsters do not hibernate but they do "close down" a number of systems, such as breathing and heartbeat rate, for short periods of time. These periods can last up to seven days. Hamsters are known to stockpile large amounts of food in their homes, making it possible to leave pet hamsters alone for a few days without food.

Hamsters become fertile between one month to three months of age. The females reproductive life only lasts about 18 months, but male hamsters remain fertile much longer. Females go in heat about every four days. Breeding season is from April to October in the northern hemisphere, with litters of up to13 young. They have a gestation period of 16 to 23 days.

Several types of hamster females can become aggressive toward the male if kept together for a length of time. There have been cases of the male dying after an attack from the female. If breeding hamsters, it is recommended to separate the pair after mating to keep the hamsters from attacking each other.

Female hamsters are also particularly susceptible to disturbance while giving birth and may even eat her own young if she thinks they are in danger, although sometimes it can be that she is just carrying the pups in her cheek pouches.

Hamsters are born hairless and blind in the nest. The mother prepares the nest in advance. After one week the young will begin to explore outside the nest. They are completely weaned after three weeks. Most breeders will sell the hamsters to shops when they are anywhere from three to nine weeks old.

Hamsters typically live no more than two to three years in captivity, less than that in the wild. It left alone, hamsters will produce several litters a year with several pups in each litter. Male hamsters typically have very large testes in relation to their body size. Before sexual maturity occurs at about 46 weeks, it is more difficult to determine a young hamster's sex. When examined, female hamsters have their anal and genital openings close together, whereas males have these two holes farther apart (the penis is usually withdrawn into the coat and thus appears as a hole or pink pimple).

It should also be noted that if a captive hamster is left for extended periods (34 weeks and more) with her litter, there is a high possibility that she will eat the litter. It is therefore important that the litter be removed by the time the young can get their own food and water.

The best-known species of hamster is the Golden hamster, which is the type of hamster most commonly kept as a pet. It is sometimes called a "fancy" hamster in pet stores but they are all the same thing. There are also several variations, including long-haired varieties that grow hair several inches long and sometimes require special care.

Many breeders also show their hamsters at breed show and breed to produce a good healthy show hamster and keep one or two for themselves. Quality and temperament are very important when breeding. Breeders of show hamsters specialize in breeding show hamsters, there are also owners who have bred their pet hamsters. These may be the result of a planned or unplanned pregnancy but the hamsters have usually been cared for well and handled regularly, so make very suitable pets. Buying a hamster directly from a breeder means that there is the opportunity to see the parents and know the dates of birth.

Common diseases for hamsters are colds, similar to those hit by humans. For that reason you should be careful about your own hygiene if you have a cold and have handled a hamster. If the hamster sneezes and its nose or eyes runs, the cage should be cleaned immediately. If the hamster is not better after a few days, you should consult a veterinarian. Hamsters are also very susceptible to a disease called "wet tail" which causes diarrhea and apathy. This disease will, if left untreated, lead to the death. There is a medicine called "dry tail", which is to be given to hamsters exhibiting signs of wet tail, "Dry tail" is sold in most pet shops. Hamsters with wet tail should be given extra liquids to compensate for the dehydration caused by the diarrhea. Wet tail can also be caused by sudden changes in environment and handling. Young hamsters should not be subjected to excess or sudden handling.

Hamsters are night dwelling rodents. A pet hamster is still has a greater inclination to night time activity rather than by day. Hamsters are handled somewhat reluctantly during the day, as its biological clock recommends sleep at that time of the day, which may lead to getting bit if an unknowing individual handles one in the day time. Hamsters are very antisocial animals and they must be kept alone to avoid fighting. The only time hamsters should be brought together is for mating. The rule is then to put the female in the territory of the male hamster. Hamsters are liable to escape and they can be very elusive. Obstacles like this are most likely to happen at night. During the day the hamster will normally curl up in a ball and sleep. Its in a rodents nature to want to escape captivity.

Breeds

* Syrian hamster

Also known as the common Golden Hamster is the most popular breed of hamsters in pet stores. They are usually about 6 to 7 inches long. They must absolutely be kept separated, except at mating. They usually live to be about three years to four of age.

* Chinese Hamster

The Chinese hamster has a somewhat longer tail than other breeds. It has a slender body about 4 inches long, which is why it sometimes is called rat-looking hamster. The popularity of the Chinese hamster as a pet is not as great as that of the Russian hamster. They usually live to be about two years of age and may be kept in groups.

* Dwarf Campbells Rusian Hamster

This is the dwarf hamster which is most common as pet hamsters. The length of a grown animal is about 4 inches. Campbells Russian dwarf hamster has fur on its paws and tail, and comes in many colors.

* Dwarf Winter white Russian hamster

This breed of hamsters show many similarities to Campbells Russian dwarf hamster. They are about 4 inches when full grown. Many colors have been bred, but in the winter this hamster changes fur and becomes white.

* Roborovski's hamster

Roborovski's hamster has a length of about 2 inches when full grown, the smallest of all hamster breeds. Its nervousness and insignificant form makes it fast and difficult to manage. This hamster usually lives to about three years of age.