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 Caring for a hamster.

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Twixoman
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PostSubject: Caring for a hamster.   Sun May 24, 2009 12:15 pm

http://nbpfaus.net/~pfau/melissa/hamstercare.html

Housing:

Hamsters are solitary animals; although siblings may be housed together during the first ten weeks of their lives, they will soon become territorial and fight with one another. In addition, if a male is housed with a female there is the possibility that the female will produce babies, since hamsters are sexually mature at six weeks of age. Therefore, it is best if you keep your hamster in his or her own home. The best type of housing is either an aquarium (at least 10 gallons) or a metal cage whose bars are close enough together so that your hamster cannot squeeze through the bars. If you place your hamster in an aquarium, make sure that you purchase a lid that fits snugly onto the top of it. Some pet shops also sell cage clips to assure extra protection against a hamster escaping. To provide a nesting area as well as a material to absorb the hamster smell and excrements, you will need to purchase pet bedding. For my hamsters, I use a pet bedding called CareFresh. It is environmentally friendly, recycled, and biodegradable. It is also very absorbent.

FEEDING AND WATERING:
Once you have established a secure housing facility, it is necessary to purchase food, a food dish, and a water bottle. Hamsters' food and water must be refreshed on a daily basis. Some of my hamsters enjoy sitting in their food bowls as they eat their food. Therefore, depending on your hamster's personality, you may consider purchasing a food bowl that is large enough for the hamster to sit in. The bowl must also be heavy enough so that the hamster cannot tip it. I feed my hamsters a variety of seed blends by Kaytee. Feed your hamster about 2 tablespoons of food daily. Hamsters also enjoy eating fresh fruits and vegetables (don't feed them too many carrots, though; they then suffer from diarrhea). Often times at pet shops you may see vitamins that are either added to the hamster's food or water. However, if you feed your hamster a nutritious diet, these vitamins are not necessary. Because hamsters eat a high protein diet, a constant supply of water is mandatory. Often times hamsters chew through soft plastic water bottles. To prevent this from occurring, purchase a hard plastic water bottle or a water bottle that is held by a bottle guard.

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