Hamsters are such cute pets and are so easy to take care of. Hamsters make perfect pets for kids to help teach them responsibility for caring for pets, as hamsters and kids can amuse each other so easily. Here is some experienced advice about hamster care and what to look for when outfitting your hamster with habitats, extensions, and toys that are safe and fun for hamsters and kids, big or small.
When I first owned hamsters, not that many years ago, their cages were aquarium boxes with four clear acrylic walls and wire mesh tops. Cage floors were generously covered with shredded cedar to hide the poop and absorb the smell. The cages usually held a feeding dish, a hanging water tube, and a spinning wheel to keep the hamster from getting totally bored. If you were really into your hamster, you'd put him into a clear plastic soccer-sized ball so he could roam around the house and bump into things. (That's not that great an idea; my Teddy Bear broke his leg like that.)
But that was then. Today's pet hamsters are not 'caged.' Their homes are called 'habitats,' which are toys in themselves with tunnels, wheels, balconies, and burrowing areas built right into them. Many are also modular; some seem as if they could go on for infinity.
Things To Consider When Purchasing Hamster Habitats and Toys
When purchasing today's hamster habitats, you want to make sure that they sturdily support your hamster and have enough free space for him to move around, that the functional spaces, like the tunnels, the wheels, and the borrowing areas are large enough for him, and provide sufficient air. Also, you want to make sure that each component of the hamster habitat connects securely to the other units in his habitat system. It is dangerous to let your hamster out of his toys or habitat.
If you have small hamsters and they will be housed together, their home needs to be large enough for all of them to have individual space. Remember that most types of hamsters cannot live together in the same habitat, so be aware of this before acquiring hamsters.
Here are several habitats and habitat accessories which I've chosen to share with you, based on their reputation for being sturdy and safe.
1. Hagen Habitrail Cristal Hamster Habitat
Hagen is an international pet supply company with a reputation for well-made merchandise. The company's Habitrail items for hamsters and other small pets are no exception. This Cristal Hamster Habitrail is a sturdy home for one or two small hamsters with a 16" by 10" by 9.5" housing, holding containers for water, food, burrowing, and an exercise wheel quite compactly. It articulates with other items in the Habitrail line of hamster products through use of the Habitrail Lock Connectors (see item immediately below this).
2. Hagen Habitrail Connectors
Habitrail units don't just hook up to each other; they need connectors to do so. And many of the connectors are interesting environments in themselves. There are plain, flat, circular Lock Connectors, and then there are more elaborate connectors that provide experiences for your hamster in themselves, like the Tower Connector shown above to the left of the habitat. There are Elbow Connectors, U-Turn Connectors, Tee Connectors, even Window Connectors, and many other really fun connectors as well. All are available from this page at Amazon.com.
3. Habitrail Ovo Home
Though it may not be apparent, the Habitrail Ovo Home is fully enclosed in clear plastic. It has all the fineries of the poshest hamster habitats, even a loft. The Habitrail Ovo Home is available in pink and blue.
4. Habitrail OVO Suite
Now, if you want a habitat that already has several Habitrail connectors included with a few pathways for your hamster to roam, look no further than the Habitrail OVO Suite that includes the cage, windows, food and water containers, and 2 OVO trails, 3 elbows, 1 tee, 1 cube, 11 lock connectors, and an exercise wheel all in one. Of course you can add more - when you're ready!
5. Habitrail OVO Mini Maze
The OVO Mini Maze is such a cool attachment to your hamster's Habitrail. It's a place for your buddy to burrow and hide out if he wants to. There are two entrances to the lower level, and the chewable cardboard maze give him something to munch on. The OVO Mini Maze is shown with an OVO Elbow Connector.
Oh, and you'll need these - replaceable Chewable Mazes - 3 in a pack.
6. Habitrail OVO Club Trainer
If your hamster habitat is without a training wheel, he definitely should have one. The Habitrail OVO Club Trainer is great to keep your hammy trim as he spins in this Habitrail attachment. The ergonomic design also gives your guy plenty of air.
7. Super Pet Run-About Hamtrac
The Super Pet Run-About Hamtrac is a delightful way to keep your hamster or other small pet from getting carried away when he's out of the cage. Just place your pet in his ball (sold separately) and place the ball on the Hamtrac. He'll do the rest. Hamster, gerbil, and mice owners review this pet toy highly. This toy is sold on Amazon.com, as are the Super Pet Run-About Balls. If the Hamtrac is not available at Amazon.com, you may be able to find it at Direct Pet Supplies.
8. Super Pet Dazzle Hamster Exercise Carriage
Here's another great and fun way to exercise your hamster. The Super Pet Dazzle Exercise Carriage can be adjusted for stationary or free-roaming use. There's an exercise wheel inside that moves the carriage. Available in pink and blue.
9. Habitrail OVO Loft
Isn't this an adorable OVO add-on to a Habitrail or stand-alone habitat for a small hamster, mouse, or gerbil? It really has everything an active small pet needs, but in miniature. And you can hook up the Habitrail OVO Loft to other Habitrail products.
10. Hamster Bowls
If your hamster habitat extends very far, you may want to provide additional food and water to your pet at his rest stops. Also, some hamsters don't care for drip-type water delivery, so a separate water bowl might be desirable. Habitrail's Mini Food and Water Bowls are the perfect answers to these needs and are available at Amazon.com.
Never heard of a hamster potty? While it's true that hamsters sure seem to 'go' where they want, this Super Pet Hamster Potty comes with instructions to train your hamster to go in this potty. I think it's worth a try!
Have fun with your pet hamster; keep him busy and safe!
That's the buzz for today!