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Hamster Care for Beginners

February 1, 2015

Hamsters are very hard to resist. Those adorable little faces are super cute! Hamsters are quite easy to care for, which is one reason they are so popular as starter pets. Hamsters do have specific habits and needs, just like any other animal. Your local vet West Greenwich gives some basic tips on hamsters and their care in this article.

Basic Facts

Hamsters live about three years on average. These little guys do not see very well, and are actually colorblind. While there are several different varieties of hamsters, there are four that are typically sold as pets, with the Syrian hamster being arguably the most popular. Hamsters do not like roommates, so plan on one hamster per cage.

Hammie Habits

One thing people are often unaware of is that hamsters are nocturnal. Small children with early bedtimes may not get as much enjoyment out of a hamster, because Hammie might be waking up when his human buddy is going to sleep. If you’re considering getting a hamster for a young child, this is one thing to keep in mind.


Hamsters are naturally omnivores, and need a variety of food to be truly happy and healthy. Hammie can have a basic commercial food for his basic diet, but you will need to supplement it with fruits and veggies. There are quite a few things hamsters can eat, but you’ll always want to do some research before giving your pet something new, just to be sure it is safe for him. Hamsters can also enjoy bits of cooked meat, eggs, crickets, mealworms, and even a bit of peanut butter.


There are several types of cages you can use for hamsters. Ventilation is very important, so we recommend either an aquarium with a mesh or wire top, or a wire cage with a solid bottom. You’ll need to add proper substrate, toys, bedding, food and water dishes, a solid exercise wheel, and at least one hidey-hole or house. Hamsters are very sensitive to sound and temperature, so you’ll want to be sure to put the cage in a place that is quiet, out of direct sunlight, and neither too hot or too cold.


While your hamster can keep himself amused with enough toys, he will be friendlier and happier if you interact with him daily. Be very gentle with your hamster, and speak to him softly while you are petting him.

If you have any questions about caring for hamsters, please contact us at any time. As your local vet clinic West Greenwich, we are happy to assist however we can. To read more pet care articles, please visit our site here.

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