Dos and don’ts of hamster care for kids
Thinking about adding a hamster to your family? Hamsters make for fun little friends that are easy to take care of and interact with. But, as with owning any pet, there are some dos and don’ts of caring for hamsters.
Hamsters are an excellent choice for first-time animal caretakers – especially children. They’re low maintenance but still teach responsibility. With the right setup, your child will be able to care for their hamster and enjoy the bond forged through pet ownership.
Hamsters and children
Hamsters are members of the rodent family, but unlike most rodents, they don’t have a noticeable tail. They’re nocturnal by nature, but are very lively and entertaining while they’re awake. Their compact bodies make them easy for children to handle, and they don’t require extensive care.
Many things about hamsters make them a perfect first pet for children, but hamsters should be respected and handled appropriately to avoid injury. Supervising your child with their hamster is always a good idea.
Teaching your child how to take care of their hamster is a great learning experience. Pets like hamsters teach responsibility, love, and commitment. To make sure everyone is happy and having fun, we’ve outlined the most important “dos” and “don’ts” of hamster care.
The needs of hamsters can be easily met, so long as these hamster care “dos” are considered.
Do make sure that everyone respects hamster’s boundaries
As members of the rodent family, hamsters can be skittish by nature. Each hamster has their own personality, but be prepared to take some time to bond with your hamster. Like most pets, hamsters give clues as to how they’re feeling based on how they look and act. Understanding your hamster’s body language is important for knowing when your hamster is ready to play, or when they’re trying to tell you they’d rather not be handled.
Do get creative with playtime
When your hamster is ready to play, they’ll appreciate variety outside of their cage. And putting a fun environment together for your hamster is an excellent opportunity to showcase your creativity too. Get some hamster toys for your little friend to enjoy during playtime, or make a hamster maze from repurposed household items. Watch your hamster interact with their toys, pick their way through their custom maze, and bask in your praise for a job well done.
Do provide a safe space for your hamster
Hamsters are crafty and resourceful, and are known for being escape artists. While they crave time outside of their cage, they should always be watched closely. Make sure their playspace is surrounded by an appropriate playpen that they can’t escape from. But, if your hamster happens to get away from you, there are ways to find a hamster in your home.
The Qute Hamster Cage by Omlet is designed to keep hamsters safely inside. Not only that, but its stylish design is meant to complement any decorating style – making your hamster’s enclosure fit right in with the rest of your house. Your hamster can be artfully displayed in your living areas as a valued part of the family, instead of being limited to an out-of-sight corner of your home.
The Qute Hamster Cage is interactive, but you’ll still want to provide your hamster with plenty of playtime outside of their enclosure. Playing with your hamster gives them valuable mental and physical exercise, and strengthens the bond between both of you. Just remember when, how, and where to play with your hamster:
Your hamster’s ready to play when they are awake and active, usually at night.
Always handle your hamster gently so they don’t get startled, and provide creative outlets for playtime through toys or homemade elements.
Create a safe area that your hamster can’t escape from or injure themselves in.
Do regularly clean your hamster’s cage
One of the most important tasks when taking care of your hamster is to clean their cage regularly. Hamsters like to burrow down in their bedding when they sleep, and soiled bedding can cause respiratory problems when nesting. Your hamster will keep themselves clean, but it’s up to you to keep their home fresh and clean.
The Qute Hamster Cage is easy for kids to keep clean, taking only a few minutes. Depending on the bedding you use, cleaning your hamster’s cage at least once a week is all that’s needed to keep their home hygienic. Daily spot cleanings around eating, drinking, and play areas will also freshen up their space.
Help your hamster live their best life and enjoy your time with them to the fullest by keeping in mind these hamster care “don’ts.”
Don’t feed them a poor diet
Your hamster relies on you to supply their food and water. Choosing a quality diet is important to keeping your furry friend fit and healthy. The majority of their diet should consist of pellets formulated for hamsters. These pellets are usually mixed with seeds and have all the nutrients your hamster needs.
Hamsters also benefit from some fresh food offerings. Good choices include:
- Leafy greens such as kale, romaine lettuce, or dandelion greens
- Small pieces of carrot
As a general rule, your hamster’s diet should consist of 75% pellets and seeds, 20% fresh foods, and 5% treats. Fresh fruit would be considered a treat, as would commercially bought hamster treats. Be sure not to overdo it on the sweets – hamsters can quickly become overweight if fed too many treats.
Don’t wake a sleeping hamster
Don’t force your hamster to play if they aren’t ready. They’re nocturnal, so they will sleep most of the day and be ready to play after night falls. And remember: never wake your hamster up from a nap to play! Your child will need to learn patience when waiting to play with their nocturnal pet.
Sometimes circumstances require your hamster to be roused from their napping. Vet visits, cage cleanings, or other events may have you waking your hamster up from its slumber. Be sure to wake your hamster up the right way to avoid startling them.
Don’t keep hamsters of the opposite sex
In general, hamsters do best as single occupants of their cage. Most types of hamsters are territorial and do not appreciate having to share a space with others. There are some exceptions, as certain types of hamsters enjoy the companionship of others. If you have a type of hamster that lives best in pairs or groups, you’ll want to be sure that you keep all of the same sex together. Accidental “pups” (baby hamsters) can occur frequently if male and female hamsters are housed together.
Don’t use poor-quality bedding
Hamsters burrow as part of their natural behavior. They do it for fun, to find a good place to sleep, and to explore their surroundings. High-quality bedding is essential to keeping your hamster healthy.
Don’t use wood-based shavings for your hamster’s bedding, unless it is 100% aspen. Other types of wood shavings can be toxic to your hamster. Wood shavings are still not the most ideal choice, as they are not soft and can stick to the coats of long-haired hamsters.
Aim for dust-free, soft bedding like paper. Not your average shredded paper, these types of bedding are soft and fluffy and almost resemble shredded cotton balls. This type of bedding is perfect for nesting, burrowing, and digging.
Omlet and your hamster
Omlet wants your child to have the best relationship and experience with their hamster as possible. Our Qute Hamster Cage was designed with young pet owners in mind to give them the unique opportunity to take care of their hamsters on their own. And, the contemporary and chic design makes the Qute a cage you’re not afraid to display in any part of your home. Truly a hamster home within your home, the Qute Hamster Cage by Omlet has everything you, your child, and your hamster could ever want.
This entry was posted in Hamsters