The Omlet Blog Category Archives: Hamsters

12 interesting facts about hamsters

Hamster popping up from tube of Qute Hamster Cage

Hamsters are captivating little companions. They may be tiny, but like their cheeks, they’re packed full of character and charisma. From hamsters in the wild, to our beloved domesticated pocket pets, here are 12 interesting facts about hamsters

1. From Syria and beyond 

Hamsters are rodents from the subfamily Cricetinae. They were brought to the United States from Syria in the 1930s, but there are wild species of hamsters that populate Europe and Asia. In fact, there are at least 26 species of hamsters all over the world, but only 5 of them are docile enough to be kept as the domesticated pets we know and love today. 

2. Some to handle, some to observe 

While there are only 5 types of hamsters that are kept as pets, they each have very different characteristics. These different species are:

  • Syrian or Golden 
  • Chinese
  • Roborovski 
  • Winter White or Russian Dwarf 
  • Campbell’s 

Some hamsters, like the Syrian, prefer to live alone, while others require a social grouping in order to thrive. Syrian hamsters and species like the Roborovski are extremely active after the sun sets – running the equivalent of a human marathon every night! Because of their tiny stature and quick strides, Roborovski hamsters aren’t ideal to handle and are best observed in their cage – but build them obstacle courses or mazes, and you can watch these pint-sized powerhouses in action. 

3. Hamsters = hoarders

Hamster comes from the German word hamstern, which means “to hoard.” This is because of the pouches in hamsters’ cheeks that enable them to carry food and supplies back to their burrow. This behavior that wild hamsters exhibit carries over into domesticated hamsters – even though it isn’t necessary for survival. You may see your hamster fervently stuffing their food bowl contents into their mouths, making their face grow two to three times larger than usual. In fact, a hamster can fit up to 20% of their body weight in their cheek pouches alone! 

Some hamsters stuff one side or the other, while others will stuff both cheeks full. Their pouches don’t have salivary glands, so the food or bedding being carried in their cheeks remains dry until being deposited at its destination. If you observe your hamster regularly, you’re likely to notice them hauling their food or bedding around their enclosure this way. 

4. Pups are like puppies 

Like canine puppies, hamsters are born with their eyes sealed shut and their ears folded down. They’re also born without fur, with teeth that have not yet erupted from their gums. Baby hamsters are called “pups”, and develop quickly. 

During the first week of age, hamster pups will begin growing their fur, and their teeth will emerge from the gum line. At 2 weeks of age, their eyes will open, followed shortly by their ears perking up around day 17 or 18. By 4 weeks old, most hamster pups are weaned, and look like miniature versions of their parents. 

5. Pets with poor eyesight 

Hamsters are color-blind, and don’t have great eyesight. Interestingly, even though they’re blind to color, they don’t see in black and white. A hamster’s eyes are made up of 97% rod cells, and just 3% cone cells, and are likely to only perceive colors on the green spectrum.

Hamsters are also very near-sighted, meaning they can’t see at a distance. This is one of the reasons why a hamster will accidentally walk off of a ledge or platform – they are unable to properly gauge distances. They can however see much better in the dark than humans, given that rod cells pull light into the retina. 

6. Scent glands to guide the way 

Since they don’t see particularly well, hamsters rely heavily on scent to find their way. They have scent glands which they rub on objects along a path, depositing pheromones much like a breadcrumb trail. Also called “sebaceous glands”, these pheromone-emitting glands are situated just over the hips of hamsters. These spots are more noticeable in males than females. 

Hamsters can leave a scent for various reasons. Different amounts of pheromones can “bookmark” a location that a hamster wants to remember, attract a mate, or act as a territorial warning. This odor is not noticeable by humans, but the glands may be visible if your hamster has flattened the hair around them while grooming themselves or as aging hamsters experience a thinning hair coat. 

7. A too-short lifespan 

Like other members of the rodent family, hamsters grow and mature quickly, and procreate efficiently, but have fairly short lifespans. Syrian hamsters live just 2-3 years in captivity  – and this life expectancy is even less in the wild. Other types of domesticated hamsters have a life expectancy of 2-4 years.

Feeding your hamster a quality diet and housing them in a well-designed hamster cage will help them live their lives to the fullest. To help them get adequate exercise, be sure to bring them out of their cage several times a week. Build mazes out of cardboard, building bricks, or other material that won’t fall over on your hamster, or let them spend time in a hamster-safe playpen. Some of the most common causes of premature death in hamsters are obesity, stress, wet tail (diarrhea) and heart disease – all of which can be mitigated through proper diet, exercise, and enclosure placement and hygiene.  

8. Tiny but mighty 

Hamsters range in size from the largest breed –  the European hamster at 8-11 inches long, to the smallest – the Roborovski hamster at around 2 inches long. Of domesticated breeds, the Syrian hamster is the largest, coming in around 4 inches long – roughly double the size of a Roborovski hamster. 

They may be small, earning them the title “pocket pets”, but hamsters are mighty little animals. They have strength, stamina, and intelligence, making them one of the most entertaining small pets to observe. Running on wheels, completing mazes, climbing through tubes, and burrowing through bedding are just some of the amazing and amusing activities of pet hamsters. 

9. Ever-growing incisors 

Members of the rodent family have front teeth, called incisors, that never stop growing. In hamsters with good alignment, the incisors should wear down against each other when a hamster eats. However, some hamsters’ teeth don’t line up properly, and their incisors may become overgrown as a result. If they become too long, incisors may protrude outside of the mouth, creating sores or the inability to eat properly. To combat this issue, offer your hamster apple stick chews or other hamster-safe chew toys to help whittle their teeth down. 

10. Prolific procreators 

The heat cycle (fertile window of females) for hamsters is based on the sun. Steady warm temperatures and long daylight hours trigger the heat cycle in female hamsters. Typical breeding seasons in the wild for hamsters take place in the spring and summer, and they can produce multiple litters in each season. However, in captivity, hamsters can breed all year long since temperatures remain constant indoors, and indoor lighting gives the illusion of sunlight.

The gestation period for hamsters is just 16-22 days depending on the breed of hamster. The average litter size is 6-8 pups (babies), although litters of up to 26 pups have been recorded. 

11. Burrowing is basic  

Hamsters love to burrow. In the wild, they will make their homes in the earth by digging into the substrate. The deeper a hamster can get, the more content they will be. A deep bedding tray is essential to foster this natural behavior in domesticated hamsters. 

To help your hamster burrow to their heart’s content, choose a soft, loose bedding like recycled paper or shavings (note: shavings can get caught in the fur of long-coated hamsters). Make the bedding as deep as possible, and watch as your hamster digs themselves into contentment. 

12. A diverse diet 

Traditionally, the diet of a hamster consists of seeds, nuts, grains, and small amounts of fruits and vegetables. In the wild, hamsters may even eat insects or small lizards, but these should never be offered to domesticated hamsters. Domesticated hamsters should be fed a pelleted diet formulated for them, or those made for mice and rats. There are “trail mix” looking diet options for hamsters that contain seeds, nuts, cracked corn, and various other treats sprinkled throughout, but hamsters will inevitably pick out their favorite pieces and leave the more nutritious offerings behind. 

If you want to supplement your hamster’s diet, offer treats in small quantities and only occasionally. This will encourage them to eat their nutritious pellet feed for the majority of their diet. Some ideas for treats include: 

  • Leafy greens 
  • Apple pieces 
  • Cucumbers 
  • Seeds (such as millet or sunflower seeds) 

Discover with your hamster and Omlet 

We hope you found these hamster facts fascinating, and that it created a deeper desire to understand your small animal companion. Because hamsters are amazing animals, we’ve created amazing ways for you to bond with and care for your pocket pet. From the Qute Hamster Cage to our expertly curated hamster guide, we’re here to help you discover ways to interact with your hamster and create a truly joyous connection. 

Boy playing with his hamster in the Qute hamster cage bedding tray

No comments yet - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Hamsters


How to cool down a hamster

Boy feeding his hamster in pull out tray of Omlet Qute hamster cage

Hamsters don’t appreciate the warmer weather as much as we do. Whilst great family pets, something these small pets aren’t so good at is regulating their body temperature, making them highly sensitive to changes in weather. But with a few tips and tricks, you can learn how to beat the heat this summer with these tips on how to cool down a hamster.

Too hot for Hammy to handle?

Hamsters originate from all over the world, but mainly in European and Asian grasslands and deserts. The diverse habitat of their environment means that extreme fluctuations in temperature are not uncommon for hamsters in the wild. Despite this, domesticated hamsters are not accustomed to such climates. In fact, they actually live comfortably at a temperature consistently between 65 – 75°F. When temperatures rise above this, the effects can, at worst, be fatal.

Unlike us, hamsters are unable to sweat or pant to cool themselves down. In the wild, hamsters are naturally shielded from direct sunlight when they burrow. But, as domesticated pets, they need the help of their owners to stay safe. Fortunately, it’s easy to keep them cool with the correct setup.

Signs of hamster heat stroke

It’s important not to wait until your hamster is already showing signs of distress to take measures. But, should you find your hamster in an unexpected situation when temperatures rise rapidly, watch out for the following signs of heat stroke:

  • Constant thirst 
  • Open mouth breathing
  • Loss of coordination
  • Loss of appetite
  • Drooling
  • Running in circles
  • Collapse

If your hamster is showing any of these symptoms or you have any concerns about heat stroke, contact your vet immediately.

6 tips for keeping your hamster cool

Prevention beats cure every time, so taking these steps will ensure a summer of safety for your furry friend.

  • Avoid sunlight

You might enjoy basking in the sun, but your hamster won’t. Choose a location for their cage that’s out of direct sunlight to keep them as cool as possible. You should also avoid any areas close to fireplaces or radiators. Omlet’s Qute hamster cage is ideal for your hamster’s summer setup, with optional wheels to make relocating easier than ever. For more information on where to put your hamster’s cage, read our hamster guide.

  • Fan their cage

Now that you’ve picked the perfect spot for your hamster’s cage, keep temperatures cooler with a fan for those especially hot days. Never place a fan directly on a hamster as this will cause them stress and for temperatures to drop too low. Don’t forget – a temperature between 65 – 75°F is ideal. Instead, keep an electric fan at a distance, simply pointing it in the direction of the cage to circulate cool air around the room.

  • Summer snacking

Nothing beats a refreshing treat to cool down over the summer. Your hamster will appreciate a refreshing snack in the warmer weather too. Try freezing a few of their favorite fruits and veg – think of it as a hamster ice pop! A few popular options include watermelon, carrot and pear but this isn’t an exhaustive list. Find a few more suggestions on our hamster food list.

  • Frozen accessories

If temperatures get too high, use a frozen towel for your hamster to keep cool. Simply wet a towel and place it in the freezer for a few hours. Wait until the towel gets cold before removing and draping over your hamster’s cage. To ensure you don’t block any airflow, only cover half of the cage with a towel if you try this.

If you have a Qute cage, your hamsters will benefit from the draft-free ventilation system. Designed to keep hamsters cool in summer and warm in winter, the cage has been crafted with your hamster’s safety at the forefront.

  • Limit playtime

It might not sound like too fun of a tip, but it’ll keep your hamster safe. Hamsters love to play – it’s great for physical and mental stimulation, as well as creating a bond between pet and owner. But, handling your hamster too much can quickly increase their body temperature, making them uncomfortable. Using frozen treats, however, is a great alternative to keep them mentally stimulated during this short period of time when playtime may have to be cut short. 

  • Stay hydrated

Hydration is key! Hamsters should always be provided with fresh water throughout the year but it’s especially important to keep their supply topped up in summer. During this season, just like us, you’ll find that hamsters drink a little more than usual to stay cool. On average, they’ll drink 0.33 fl oz per 3.5 ounces of hamster. If you do notice this amount increase excessively, though, they could be dehydrated.

Omlet and your hamster

Omlet supports the needs of pets all year round. From the scorching summer to the freezing winter, our ingenious products have been designed to keep your furry and feathered friends happy and healthy. Shop hamster cages and hamster cage accessories to build your hamster’s perfect setup and a wondrous connection with your pet.

Hamster with paw up against Omlet Qute Hamster Cage

No comments yet - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Hamsters


Hamster personalities explained

Hamster in their cage nibbling at food

Hamsters may be small, but they have large personalities packed into their pint-sized bodies. Since they’re easy to take care of, they’re great pets for owners of all ages. And, when provided with the right habitat, hamsters will delight their owners by displaying their intelligent and vibrant personalities. 

How are hamster personalities determined?

Just like other pets, different attributes play into how your hamster may behave. While personalities are unique to each hamster, some aspects that may determine how they act include: 

  • Gender
  • Breed 
  • Age

The following factors will help you decide which hamster may mesh best with your family. 

Male vs female hamster personalities 

There are some key differences to consider when weighing if you should get a male or female hamster. Both can make great pets, but it’s important to take note of how their respective genders may affect their personalities. 

Male hamster personalities 

Males are generally larger than females and may grow longer, more dense coats that may require grooming. They’re also typically more outgoing and tolerant of being handled. Male hamsters can be territorial, but are typically not as defensive of their space as females. On the whole, male hamsters are known for being easygoing and more playful than females. 

Female hamster personalities 

Females are usually smaller than males and have a reproductive cycle that will affect their demeanor. A female hamster will go into heat every 4 or 5 days, and may act moody during this time. Female hamsters in heat may become aggressive to their owners or cage mates, sleep more, and be less tolerant of being handled. In addition to being temperamental, they also emit a musky odor during their heat cycle that may be off-putting to their owners. Females are more prone to being territorial of their space with both humans and other hamsters. 

5 hamster breed personalities

Like gender, the hamster breeds you choose will influence their personality. Did you know that there are over 20 types of hamsters in the world? Many of these are wild species that have not been domesticated, like the Mongolian hamster, Turkish hamster, and the European hamster. 

Only some breeds are kept as pets due to their human-friendly temperaments and tolerance of being handled. And, among these, some breeds are known for being more easy going than others – so be sure to consider their breed carefully before bringing your hamster home. 

Syrian hamsters

Syrian hamsters are also known as “golden” or “teddy bear” hamsters. This breed is larger than the rest on our list, but is known to be the most friendly toward humans. They are laid back, easy to tame, and warm up to their owners quickly, displaying social behaviors with them. However, they prefer a life of solitude (even in the wild), and do not do well housed with other hamsters. 

Hand-feeding your hamster will help build a bond quickly, and before long your Syrian hamster will look forward to your daily visits. They’re also great companions for small children, as their size makes them easier to handle. 

Russian dwarf hamster 

These small, curious creatures thrive in small groups in the wild. For this reason, it’s best to keep at least two, if not more, to recreate this social structure. No more than 2 males should be kept together, however – otherwise they may become territorial. Several females can cohabitate nicely. 

Because they bond with their peers, it may be slightly more difficult to bond with this breed. Due to their size, they may be more timid at first, but will warm up to humans faster if they are hand-fed. 

Chinese dwarf hamster 

Also known as “striped” hamsters, this breed likes to live a life of solitude much like its cousin the Syrian hamster. This small breed is fast, but slower to warm up to their owners at first. Shy in nature, the Chinese dwarf hamster takes patience to tame. 

They can be tamed with daily handling and hand-feeding sessions. Chinese dwarf hamsters are prone to biting when frightened, so it’s best to go slow and avoid sudden movements or loud noises while working with your pet. With enough time and commitment, they too can grow accustomed to being handled by their owners. 

Roborovski dwarf hamster 

Also known as “robo” hamsters, this little breed is the smallest and most active of domesticated hamsters. They’re so active in fact, that they have been known to run the equivalent of four human marathon races – every night. Being the “hummingbirds” of hamsters, they are very fast and may be difficult to catch and handle. They also prefer to live in same-sex social groups. 

When active, robo hamsters make more noise than other breeds, and will exercise all night long in their cages. Because of their high energy, they aren’t a laid-back, cuddly breed, and are not suitable for young children. 

Campbell Russian dwarf hamster 

This breed prefers living in pairs, but may successfully be kept in a social group. And while they may resemble the Russian dwarf hamster in appearance, the resemblance stops there. They’re actually known to be very territorial and temperamental. 

This breed is not a good choice for children, or for those wanting to handle their hamsters regularly. Campbell Russian dwarf hamsters have earned a reputation for being biters – sometimes latching onto a finger of their owners. While each hamster is their own unique self, caution should be taken when considering this breed. 

Bringing out the best in your hamster

In order to bring out the best in your hamsters and have them display their full personalities, they need stimulation and exercise – and a place to crash when they’re done. The Qute Hamster Cage by Omlet gives your tiny family members a place to use both their minds and bodies to feel their best. The Qute is perfect for any hamster owner because it: 

  • Is easy to clean in minutes flat 
  • Has integrated feeding and exercise stations 
  • Allows you to place your hamster in any room due to its sleek design 
  • Can be used to transport your hamster around the house thanks to the pull out bin 

But even though the Qute has everything you need to take care of your hamster and meet their needs, you can offer enrichment outside of their cage. Unleash your creativity and design a hamster maze from household items, or have your children practice the dos and don’ts of handling their hamsters to let your hamster explore the world beyond their cage.  

Omlet and your hamsters

Hamsters are great starter pets for children, or as an addition to a family with other pets. With the Qute hamster cage, your hamster will be well protected from other household pets, while providing enough stimulation to keep your busy buddy engaged and content.  And, with the addition of wheels for the Qute hamster cage, you can bring your hamster along to other areas of your home to make sure they feel like a cherished member of the family.  

Hamster with paw up against Omlet Qute Hamster Cage

No comments yet - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Hamsters


Dos and don’ts of hamster care for kids 

Boy interacting with hamster in Omlet Qute Hamster Cage with his mother

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 dos

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: 

When 

Your hamster’s ready to play when they are awake and active, usually at night. 

How 

Always handle your hamster gently so they don’t get startled, and provide creative outlets for playtime through toys or homemade elements. 

Where 

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. 

The don’ts

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 
  • Cucumber 
  • Small pieces of carrot 
  • Broccoli 

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. 

Children playing with hamster in its playpen

No comments yet - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Hamsters


How to wake up a hamster

Waking up a hamster is not always recommended, though there are certain ways you can do this to ease them out of their naptime. Considering they sleep mostly during the day, disturbing them to clean their cage or feed them is often inevitable. We look at how to wake up a hamster, in the politest way possible.
Many people believe that hamsters are nocturnal animals, meaning they are most active throughout the night and tend to sleep during the day. However, this is not quite the case. A hamster’s sleep pattern tends to be slightly different. They are classed as crepuscular mammals, meaning that they are most active at dusk and dawn.

It is important to understand how your hamster sleeps to ensure that you have a healthy and happy little friend. You should also know when to leave them alone because even though they are cute you would not want a hamster in a huff!

sleepy white hamster with black eyes and long whiskers snuggled up in cozy hamster bedding

How to wake up a hamster

It may be disappointing to find your hamster fast asleep during the day when you want to play, but a hamster has its own routine, and although this can be adapted slightly, this is something you will have to accept.

You can always compromise and alter your daily patterns to suit your hamster, by waking a bit earlier or not going to bed until later at night. This might not be a solution for small children however, as that could result in other problems!

If you ever need to wake your hamster up, it’s important you know how to do this in the right way

As prey animals, they want to feel safe, and they are used to hiding in the wild. This is why their sleep pattern has evolved over time so that they are more active at night when other predators might be on the hunt! Its exhausting being so small, which is why hamsters are sleepy little animals and their sleep is so important. So when a hamster wakes, they need to be treated quite delicately so they can adjust as naturally as possible.

Move slowly

You want to wake up your hamster without scaring the poor thing and jumping out on them loudly and quickly is certainly the wrong way to go about it. Slow down your approach, especially if there are excited children ready to play. Don’t rush to wake them up as they could be in a deep sleep, and will not appreciate being woken up suddenly.

Adjust their environment

A hamster’s sleep schedule means they begin to stir from their slumber at dusk and dawn, or during low-light hours. So you might be able to gently wake your hamster by adjusting the lights and dimming them in the room. By making the room dark enough, your hamster should respond to the change in light.

Hamsters sleep more in colder temperatures. Warming up the vicinity of your hamster’s cage acts as a gentle alarm clock allowing your hamster to wake up in a cozy environment. No one likes waking up in a cold house, and that includes hamsters!!

Offer them a treat

Sometimes the allure of cooking smells coming from the kitchen will wake even the heaviest of human sleepers, and when you do wake up after a nap you might feel a little hungry. The tempting smell of some yummy hamster food can do the same with your hamster!

Hold a little tasty hamster treat close to their nose and the delicious smell could stir them from their siesta. Make sure you don’t hold it too close, as this could scare them but they could grab the treat and scurry away to nibble on it alone. If that doesn’t work you could tempt them with some fresh food or give the food bowl a little shake. That’s certainly one almost guaranteed way to wake your hamster.

Talk softly or humorously

Do you “coo” and make silly noises around a baby? Hard not to really! Hamsters respond to gentle noises and soft voices. Making funny sounds or humming a calm tune will alert them to your presence as they will recognize the sound of your voice. They might be small but they are incredibly observant and clever little creatures.

Gently blow on your hamster

This may sound a little silly, but it can work, and it doesn’t cause little hammy the hamster any harm. In fact, they may quite like it. If your hamster is sleeping out in the open in their hamster cage and is within reach, you could lightly blow on them. Think of a soft delicate summer breeze rather than a gale-force wind! Remember your size in comparison to your hamster!

white qute hamster cage with see through bedding tray against a painted blue wall in the living room

What not to do when waking up your hamster

The most important thing to remember when it comes to disturbing your hamster’s sleep schedule is that you need to be considerate. There are definitely ways you could bother your hamster that would be deemed inconsiderate so here are a few things to avoid!

Be loud

As prey animals, hamsters are constantly on alert, and could get easily stressed. Even if a hamster is awake or just relaxing it’s still a good idea to be gentle and play nice, after all, they are only small, and our size and volume could be somewhat intimidating! Loud noises, in general, will be very unpleasant, whether it’s playing loud music, shouting across the room or just raising your voice a bit. Hamsters have very sensitive ears.

Shake their cage

This is a definite no-no, a hamster’s cage is a safe place. They can snuggle up in their cozy nests and hide away from everything around them, or play peacefully in their comfortable habitat. The Qute Hamster cage offers an innovative design where you can see into the clear bedding tray. This way you can see where little hammy is and you can certainly avoid shaking the cage to see where they are or to wake them up!

Make them jump

Hamsters are delicate mini mammals and it doesn’t take much to scare them. Creeping up on them and making them jump will only stress them out. So, try not to startle your hamster and be conscious of your own behavior around them, considering how sensitive they are.

If you are concerned that your hamster is unhappy then it is a good idea to try to learn a bit more about the Body Language of a Hamster. Like all pets, if things become a little unsettled and they feel stressed this could result in behavioral issues and a lack of trust towards their human families.

Picking them up

If you haven’t already startled your hamster and they are still fast asleep then it is certainly not recommended to attempt to pick up or poke them to make them wake up. There is no gentle way to do that! Be warned, hamsters do have very sharp teeth and they could bite if they feel threatened. After all, you are trespassing on their territory!

Fast or sudden movements

Avoid quick and sharp and sudden movements, this will startle the little one and could be quite distressing. Hamster’s natural instincts are pretty sharp so they will see this sudden movement as a threat.little girl holding a grey hamster in her hands in front of the qute hamster cage in the living room

What time should a hamster wake up?

Hamsters follow their natural sleep pattern, and while they can adapt to a slightly different routine it will never completely change to suit you (it will most likely need to be the other way around!). They will always stir during those low light hours, and while we can interfere with that slightly by warming up the room or altering the lights, you will only be able to change the schedule by an hour or two.

A hamster’s sleep will also depend on the species, as different varieties have distinct sleep schedules and needs. Hamsters usually sleep for about 12-14 hours a day, but they have polyphasic sleep-wake patterns. This means they sleep on and off throughout the day rather than one continuous sleep cycle.

One way to keep an eye on your hamster’s sleep pattern is to keep a diary and track their schedule. Spend a few days writing down precisely when they are asleep and awake. Follow this by feeding them at the same time each day. Over time you can alter the feeding time by a few minutes, which will ultimately affect when they wake.

Is it bad if my hamster sleeps at night?

There could be a number of reasons why your hamster sleeps at night, a couple of reasons may be that they are hibernating or could be sick. The age of your hamster will also affect how much they sleep. Stress and depression can also be factors, or they may have been overstimulated during the day when they should have been sleeping. Just like a small child, if they are overtired, they will struggle sleeping because the routine has been altered.

Hibernation can occur if your hamster is housed in a cold environment that drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don’t live in a cold environment but notice that your hamster is sleeping more often than not, then check the temperature to make sure there isn’t a draft anywhere that could be causing a drop in temperature.

Otherwise, respiratory and digestive issues can be common in hamsters so if they are more lethargic than normal then it would be a good idea to take them to a vet to check and make sure they are okay.

Conclusion

Hamsters are very common pets for small children and so it’s imperative to learn about your hamster’s personality and behavior. This way you can make sure they are happy so that you can keep them and your children safe.

Key points to take away from this:

  • Avoid waking your hamster unless it’s done properly
  • If you notice increased sleeping at night they could be sick or unhappy
  • The location of the hamster cage is important – place the cage in a darker corner of the room so they can sleep during the day
  • Wake up your hamster slowly and calmly
  • No sudden movements, cage shaking or shouting!
  • Sleeping 12-14 hours a day is normal, that’s the sleep they need

It’s always worth thinking about how you would like to be woken up. Unlikely it would be by an enormous person running towards you shouting, especially when it’s earlier in the morning than you were expecting. A little hum in the ear, a yummy, cooked breakfast and a cup of coffee is a much nicer way to start any day!

No comments yet - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Hamsters


Ideal Christmas Presents for Little Ones (Humans and Pets)

Whether you’re buying a present for an animal loving child or for your own little pet, we’ve got the perfect gifts, big and small. Check out these top tips, now at an amazing price in the Omlet Black Friday Sale! 

Shelters and Play Tunnels

Give your rabbits or guinea pigs something fun to play with on their run this winter with Zippi Shelters and Play Tunnels. Available in green or purple, the shelters are a great way of providing a safe and secluded place for your pets to hide, or as a platform they can jump onto and watch the world go by. 

The play tunnels can be placed independently anywhere on the run for your pets to chase each other through, or be connected to the shelters to create a maze that mimics their wild burrows. Entertainment and safe spot all in one! 

Caddi

The Caddi Treat Holder is the perfect stocking stuffer for chickens, rabbits or guinea pigs, or their owners. The Caddi can be filled with a range of pet appropriate treats, and will swing as the animals peck or bite the treats. It’s the ideal both mental and physical challenge, with the added bonus of a tasty reward! 

Hung from the roof of your hutch and run, the height of the Caddi can easily be adjusted, and it’s super easy to remove it for refilling and cleaning.

Qute Hamster and Gerbil Cage

The Qute allows hamster and gerbil owners to get closer to their pets. The modern design means you will be happy to display the piece in your kitchen or living room, and the large, crystal clear bedding tray makes it easy for pet owners of all ages to see what their pets are up to. The bedding tray also offers a convenient way of getting your hamster or gerbils out of the cage for playing, socializing and exercise. 

Geo Bird Cage

Upgrade your parakeet/budgie or other small birds’ home this winter with the stunning Geo Bird Cage. The Geo has got everything your bird needs to become a natural part of the home, and you can accessorize with baths, mirrors and toys for your pets to enjoy.

Eglu Go Hutch 

Do your current pets need a home improvement? The Eglu Go Hutch is the perfect way of keeping rabbits or guinea pigs in the garden. The handy integrated hutch and run solution allows your pets to run in and out as and when they like during the day, and when it’s time for a nap they can curl up in the safe and insulated house. In winter you can move the hutch closer to the house, making cleaning and spending time with your pets even easier.

No comments yet - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Birds


What’s The Difference Between a Hamster and a Guinea Pig?

hamster and guinea pig next to each other with yellow stars

Hamsters and guinea pigs are relatively low maintenance pets that make a great choice for new pet owners. The two animals have several fundamental differences, though. Knowing what these differences are will help you make the right choice when choosing your pet.

Wild hamsters live across large areas of Europe and Asia, notably in Syria, China and Russia, which are the ancestral homes of most hamsters kept today as pets. These little rodents prefer dry, warm climates.

Guinea pigs are native to the mountainous regions of South America – Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. However, they belong to the same broad family as hamsters – the rodents. This kinship is a bit misleading, though, as the animals have distinctly different needs and dietary requirements.


Hamster vs Guinea Pig

closeup of brown guinea pigWhile these two critters do have things in common, their different habitats and ways of life mean that a hamster’s home setup is very different from that of a guinea pig.

One major thing that differentiates hamsters and guinea pigs is lifespan. Hamsters have shorter lifespans than guinea pigs, generally living for 2 to 4 years. This is because they are small and have metabolisms that work much faster than their guinea pig cousins. Guineas generally live from 5 to 8 years, with some individuals reaching 10 years.

Another key difference between the two is their size. As we mentioned above, hamsters are much smaller than guinea pigs, with the average size being in the region of 5-15cm. Even the smallest guinea pigs are larger than the biggest hamsters, with the average guinea being 20-30cm long. This means that guinea pigs need larger enclosures.

While the size of the animal and its enclosure needs to be considered, these factors don’t have a huge impact on general pet care. The following differences are the ones that need to influence your decision.

The four main differences between hamsters and guinea pigs

1. Sleeping patterns

This is possibly the biggest difference between the two species. Hamsters are generally nocturnal creatures, which means they prefer the nightlife. Many hamster owners will be able to tell you how their hamster starts running in its squeaky wheel at 1am!

Guinea pigs, on the other hand, are mostly active during the day, taking naps whenever they feel the need. Rather than sleeping for one long spell each day, they recharge their batteries whenever they feel like it. They do tend to sleep more during the night, though.

2. Social needs

Hamsters and guinea pigs have completely different social needs. In the wild, guinea pigs live in groups of three to ten individuals. They have evolved to be social animals and will soon become sad and stressed if they are denied this interaction. Lonely guinea pigs have even been known to die when left in isolation for too long.

For this reason, it is highly recommended that owners should keep at least two guinea pigs. Keeping just one can work as long as someone is willing and able to step in and do the socializing. Because of their need to be with other animals, guinea pigs will be much more willing than hamsters to spend time, play and interact with humans. This factor – and their handy habit of sleeping at night – can make them the superior choice for children who want to play with their pets.

Hamsters are loners. That, at least, is the case with the Syrian or Golden hamster, which is by far the most popular pet hamster species. While they can live with companions, the other hamster species are perfectly happy – and may in fact be even happier – living on their own. Many hamsters that are kept together can become aggressive towards one another, especially if two males are being kept in close quarters.

If looked after properly and hand-tamed from an early age, hamsters will form a bond with their owners and will be glad to spend time with them. An unsocialized hamster will often bite, though, and this is another off-putting thing for children.

3. Diet

cute hamster cleaning itselfThe dietary requirements of hamsters and guinea pigs are probably the most significant difference between the two species. Hamsters are omnivorous and will eat pretty much anything they can find. They famously store food in their cheeks for later, making their cute faces puff up, almost doubling the animal’s size.

The easiest option for feeding a hamster is to buy a pre-made food mix that has all the things they need, rather than sourcing your own insects and extra protein to supplement the plants and vegetables in their diets. You can feed your hamster fresh fruit and vegetables, as long as they are washed, and as long as they don’t completely replace the hamster mix. Grains and cereals make a good addition to their diets, too. Also, be sure to provide your hamster with something to chew on, such as a piece of wood or some straw, as this helps keep their teeth in check.

Unlike hamsters, guinea pigs are vegetarian. In the wild, they eat fruits, plant roots and – most importantly – lots of high-fibre grasses. As with hamsters, domestic guinea pigs should be fed a specially made food mix. However, these often have lots of carbohydrates and not enough fibre. For this reason, your guinea pigs will also need lots of fresh vegetables, fruits, grass and hay alongside their food mixes. Hay is crucial for keeping the guinea pigs’ teeth in check, and it also ensures a healthy balance in the stomach bacteria the animals need for digesting their food efficiently.

4. Space

Hamsters are always kept indoors, as they need to be kept somewhere consistently warm. Being small creatures, they don’t need a huge amount of living space, and an enclosure such as the Qute can be incorporated into a room as an attractive part of the furniture as long as they are taken out of the cage for daily exercise and play.

Guinea pigs, in contrast, need a larger hutch and a run, as they are not only bigger than hamsters but need to be kept in groups. Some are kept indoors throughout the year, but if you have space for a guinea pig run in the garden, the animals will love it, and children will be able to interact with their pets in the most effective way.

The upshot here is that a hamster can be easily accommodated if you only have a small indoor space, but a guinea pig can’t.


Overall, both hamsters and guinea pigs make great pets, and both are low maintenance. The key differences between the two are size, lifespan and diet. When choosing which of these wonderful little animals to keep, it mainly boils down to personal preference. As long as you care for them properly, they will soon form a close bond with you.

No comments yet - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Guinea Pigs


Can you feed pets a vegan diet?

 

Some animals, such as rabbits and guinea pigs, are herbivores. Others, like hamsters, are omnivorous. Finally, there are also carnivores like cats that cannot survive without meat.

All animals need to have their nutritional needs satisfied. However, this does not mean you can’t have a vegan dog. Vegan cats, though, are a lot trickier.

Can my dog have a vegan diet?

If you were to meet a species of animal for the first time and had to make an accurate guess about its diet, you would get lots of clues by looking at its teeth. The teeth of a dog, like the teeth of a bear, proclaim loud and clear that this animal is an omnivore – that is, one that eats both meat and vegetables. If you think of your dog as a domesticated wolf, you get a good idea of its natural diet.

However, as the panda proves, a supposed meat-eater can sometimes get by perfectly well on a vegan diet. A panda’s teeth are similar to any other bear’s – long canines for meat-eating and molars for grinding vegetation. And yet pandas don’t eat anything other than bamboo. So, if a bear can be vegan, does that mean you can have a vegan dog?

The answer is yes – but it’s a yes with lots of small print! A dog requires a diet that contains the fats and proteins it would get from meat. It is dangerous to ignore this basic need and simply feed your pet with whatever you please. Some dogs have delicate stomachs. Also, a low-fat/high-fibre diet can cause potentially life-threatening problems. A diet that excludes meat should never be fed to a dog without the advice of a professional pet dietician.

The collagen, elastin and keratin found in meat diets are not easily replaced by veggie equivalents. Your dog will also need the ‘long chain’ omega-3 fats found in animal products such as egg, fish and some meats. Vegan omega-3 fats are not the same as animal-derived ones.

All of which presents a headache for the vegan dog owner. There are, however, products available that claim to let your dog live a healthy, meat-free life. Before you take the plunge, it is essential to seek professional, scientific advice and guidance. Compromise is usually the best choice here – a vegan diet supplemented by some of the animal-derived essentials. Crickets, for example, can provide lots of the amino acids and keratin a vegan diet lacks, and they’re 65% protein.

Can my cat have a vegan diet?

The compromise approach is even more important for cats. These are amongst the planet’s true carnivores, obtaining all their dietary requirements from other animals.

The main challenge with minimizing the meat in a cat’s diet is that, unlike many mammals (including dogs), cats cannot produce certain proteins. They have to absorb these from the meat and fish in their diet. Amino acids are another issue – cats deficient in the animal-derived amino acid taurine, for example, usually succumb to a specific type of heart problem.

Even a fortified vegan cat food cannot be confidently recommended. Turn the situation on its head, and try to imagine weaning a rabbit onto a meat-only diet, and you will get some idea of the challenge – and the ethics – involved.

There are some lab-grown ‘meat’ products in development, with vegan and vegetarian cat owners in mind. However, whether these will arrive – and remain – on the market any time soon is hard to guess.

For many vegan pet owners, there is a huge ethical issue involved in feeding the animals they share a space with. Ethics, however, include the animal’s needs too, and it’s an almost impossible issue to resolve when it comes to cats. If you are able to reduce but not eliminate the meat in your cat’s diet, that’s the safer option.

Top 10 pets for vegan households

There are, of course, plenty of other pets that don’t eat meat, or that eat some meat but can still thrive on a meat-free diet. Here are our ten favorites.

1. Rabbits. No problems here – rabbits are happy vegans, with diets based on hay and vegetables. You could argue that the soft pellets they eject and then eat are animal products of a sort, but they are simply semi-digested vegetation.

2. Guinea pigs. Like rabbits, these wonderful little characters thrive on a 100% vegan diet.

3. Hamsters. Most hamster owners give them store food, you don’t always know what’s in it. However, hamsters, like rats and mice, can do without meat.

4. Gerbils. Like hamsters, gerbils are omnivorous. They have sensitive stomachs and need a quality pellet mixture. Too much fresh produce can harm their digestive system.

5. Mice. Although they will eat pretty much anything in the wild, mice can thrive on vegan diets; but it is still best to use a food mix prepared specifically for them. This ensures that they will not be deficient in any of the vitamins and minerals they need.

6. Rats. These are the most omnivorous of rodents, but as long as you feed them a vegan mix that has been fortified with all the nutrients they need, they will thrive. Be careful, rats who eat too much animal fat tend to become fat and die prematurely.

7. Chickens. If you watch a free-range hen, it soon becomes clear that she will eat anything – grass, beetles, worms, and everything in your vegetable patch if you’re not careful! Most chicken feed emulates this mix of plant and animal products. However, it is possible to buy vegan chicken feed, and circumstantial evidence suggests that hens can thrive on it. However, they are likely to produce fewer eggs, and you will not be able to stop them scratching for worms and bugs, no matter how vegan the layers pellets are!

8. Parakeets and parrots. Vegans will have no obstacles to face with budgies and parrots, unless the birds are being bred. Egg-brooding female birds need a protein boost, normally delivered via an egg-based food or cooked meat. Vegan alternatives are available, though.

9. Finches. Many finch species enjoy bugs and mealworms as treats, but these are not an essential part of an adult finch’s diet. These birds thrive on a mixture of seeds and fresh vegetables.

10. One for reptile fans. When you think of pet snakes and lizards, you probably have an image of dead mice or doomed crickets. However, there are a few commonly kept pet reptiles that eat a 100% vegan diet, the most popular being the Green iguana. Getting the balance of vegetables just right is very important for the animal’s health, but meat is certainly something you won’t have to worry about.

There is no shortage of choice when it comes to vegan pets. Keeping a vegan cat or dog is a much trickier proposition, though. And with all these animals, a balanced diet that matches the pet’s nutritional requirements should be your primary goal.

1 comment - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Birds


Can I keep chickens with other pets?

Dog and chicken interacting with help from the Omlet Eglu Cube chicken coop

You can keep chickens with other pets when the proper preparations and precautions are in place. Some pets like cats and dogs may have an innate prey drive that chickens can trigger, so it’s important to take introductions slowly to ensure success. With these tips, you’ll be able to confidently introduce your current pets to your chickens, or introduce new pets to your existing flock with confidence. 

Keeping chickens with dogs

Dogs are the most common pets in the world, with millions kept as pets across the country. So, if you’re among the many dog owners, adding chickens to your family is possible once you consider your dog’s temperament and trainability. 

Assessing your dog 

If you’re a dog owner, the first thing to consider is their temperament. Different dog breeds may also react differently to birds as part of their nature. For example, breeds like Labrador Retrievers or German Shorthair Pointers may become easily excited around birds due to their natural hunting and retrieving drives. Other breeds that may have increased prey drives include: 

Regardless of their breed, if your dog becomes excited or overly curious around small animals, their behavior will likely carry over to chickens. If your dog loses their mind over the birds at your backyard feeder, or drags you to investigate the park ducks on your evening walks, they’ll likely stress out your flock – and themselves.  

Dogs without a prey drive or with little interest in birds will likely not pose a problem to your chickens, but all dogs react differently when new pets enter their territory. Usually, most dogs will adjust to the new backyard occupants just fine after an acclimation period. You will likely see your dog expressing interest in your chickens at first – hanging around and sniffing the coop. They may even express a desire to interact with your chickens through playful postures and behaviors. Understanding your dog’s body language around your chickens will help you determine what their relationship will be like.

Chickens are prey animals, and can be hurt easily. Dogs cannot play with chickens as they would with other dogs or even other pets. It’s important to teach your pup that chickens are fragile friends – not toys or something to hunt. 

Teaching dogs to get along with chickens

Unless leashed walks make your dog overly excited, their first encounter with your chickens should be done with a dog collar and lead. Make sure their collar is tight enough that they don’t slip out, but not so tight that it’s uncomfortable. Walk your dog up to your chickens’ enclosure and let them sniff. Maintain a tight leash until you see your dog’s reaction, and allow the lead more slack slowly to reinforce good behavior. 

Let your dog watch you spend time with your chickens. This should be done with your chickens in the safety of a strong walk in chicken run. If your dog does more than sniff or hang around the run, take a step back and approach their interaction from a different angle. 

It could take several weeks for your dog to fully accept your chickens. Some other ways to help your dogs adjust to your chickens include: 

  • Setting up chicken fencing around the outside of your flock’s run for your dog to observe them at a distance.
  • If your dog has a run or playpen, place it next to your chickens’ run and slowly decrease the distance over several days until they are side-by-side. 
  • Reward your dog with their favorite treats each time they are calm around your chickens. 

Make sure to never leave your dog unattended with your chickens – especially in the beginning. Even if they can’t get into the run with them, an excited dog’s barking can easily stress your flock out. 

Keeping chickens with cats

Cats are more difficult to train than their canine counterparts, and are decidedly less predictable in their behavior. But the good news is that most cats don’t see a large hen as potential prey the same way a dog might. Most cat owners will agree that their cats show little to no interest in their chickens. In fact, cats and chickens have a somewhat symbiotic relationship. 

Birds and their feed attract rodents, which a cat would much prefer over your hens. So, when your cat is able to patrol your chickens’ surroundings, chances are good that any potential rodent problem will be nipped in the bud.

Some cats may show increased interest in your hens. This largely depends on your cat’s breed and temperament. Cats will pose a greater threat to chicks rather than grown hens, but by keeping your flock in a strong chicken coop and run, you’ll ensure they stay safe from your cat.  

Keeping chickens with guinea pigs

It may be tempting to keep some cute cavies in with your chickens, but in reality it’s not wise. Chickens will likely pick on them, and with their short legs, guinea pigs can’t get away from them quickly. Their dietary requirements are also very different, and your chickens may eat your guinea pigs’ food in favor of their own, which means neither animal will be getting the nutrients they need. If you have cavies and want to house them near your chickens, it’s best for them to have their own guinea pig hutch and run. 

Keeping chickens with rabbits

Rabbits on the other hand are fast enough to fend for themselves against chickens, and if raised together from a young age, can do well around chickens. Still, they require their own dietary needs and clean sleeping quarters. They don’t roost like chickens, so they’ll need their own burrowing space in the run or under the coop. 

The easiest way to achieve this is by adding walk in chicken run partitions. This will allow you to create “rooms” for each species to ensure they all get what they need. You can open the partition doors to allow everyone to be together whenever you’d like, or create a third space as a common area. 

Remember to try to give each species as much space as possible in their respective areas to make them feel safe and comfortable. 

Brown rabbit hopping behind chicken

Chickens and other pets

Chickens can also mix happily with goats, and with female ducks (males will tends to bully them). Ironically, they do not mix with birds in an aviary. They will eat anything that falls to the aviary floor, but they will also happily peck the other birds whenever they can and may attract rats and mice, which will cause problems for the smaller birds.

If you live in a rural setting, you can keep chickens with other barnyard animals. Chickens mix happily with: 

  • Goats
  • Sheep 
  • Cows
  • Alpacas or llamas
  • Pigs
  • Female ducks, guinea fowl, peacocks, geese, or pheasants 

Any other avian species kept with chickens should be docile and preferably female, as males can bully hens. Smaller birds like quail or pigeons will likely get pecked at by chickens, so it’s best to stick with larger birds as run-mates. Small pets like hamsters, gerbils, turtles, or frogs should never be kept with chickens – they will be pecked at and killed. 

Omlet and your pets 

Omlet has all of the pet products you need to keep your furry and feathered family members healthy and happy. Having multiple types of pets is exciting, and through our line of chicken coops, chicken runs, and walk in run partitions, you’ll be able to create a safe haven for all of your animals to enjoy. And, by knowing that Omlet products are protecting your flock, you can rest easy knowing that you’ve provided them with the best chicken housing solutions available. 

Dog watching chicken through Omlet Eglu Cube chicken coop

No comments yet - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Budgies


World Hamster Day – 10 Reasons why Hamsters Make Great Pets!

With World Hamster Day upon us on April 12th, what better time to celebrate these furry favorites? There are many reasons why so many people decide to get a hamster. Here are 10 of them:

1. Hamsters are friendly!

Golden hamsters, once they have been successfully hand-tamed, form strong bonds with their owners. Although they don’t enjoy the company of other hamsters, they rely on their owners for company and interaction. Chinese hamsters can become very fond of their owners too, although they can also thrive in groups (unlike the Golden). The relatively large size of the Golden hamster makes it easier to handle than the smaller breeds, too.

2. Hamsters are easy to look after

A pet hamster pretty much looks after itself during its nocturnal adventures, and in terms of equipment, all it needs is a suitable cage with a few toys.

3. Feeding hamsters is not expensive

Although a hamster stuffs all the food you give it into its cheek pouches, this doesn’t            Photo by Lucas Pezeta from Pexels                          mean they’re greedy!

The hamster simply hoards the food in its favorite corner and doesn’t actually eat very much on any given day. Your bag of dried food will last several weeks, especially when supplemented with a few slices of fresh fruit and veggies.

4. Hamsters are healthy!

These little rodents are generally healthy during their short lives, as long as they are kept in a suitable cage and fed a nutritious diet. The biggest hazard they face is sustaining injuries through falling, so they need to be handled with care.

5. Hamsters love to Explore

Endlessly inquisitive, hamsters love getting out and about in a hamster ball. If you can set up a secure enclosure, they will love exploring its every nook and cranny. Leave some treats hidden in the enclosure or stuffed into wicker balls, and the hamster will have a great time tracking them down and rooting them out. They also love playing on ladders or in runs.

6. Hamsters Don’t Need Intensive Training!

Hand-taming a hamster is the beginning and end of the necessary training. There’s no pressure to teach obedience tricks or toilet training, making them a very low-maintenance pet.

7. Hamsters Don’t Take Up Much Space

These are small mammals, making them suitable even for small flats.

8. Hamsters Are Very Clean

Unlike most rodents, hamsters choose one spot in their cage for the toilet, making them very easy to clean out. They are also scrupulously clean themselves, forever fussing with their fur. This means their human friends don’t have to do any of the pet washing.

9. Hamsters are Calming

Nothing seems to ruffle a hamster. No woofing, no running away in a panic. They scurry around content and are the most relaxing things to watch outside of a peaceful fish tank!

10. Hamsters Don’t Shed Fur

Many people with allergies say that hamsters cause them no problems. This is linked to the fact that they don’t send tiny bits of fur drifting through the air or sticking to carpets. A hamster is nothing to be sneezed at!

12 April – World Hamster Day

On 12 April, hamster owners all over the world celebrate their furry friends. They are one of the most popular pets in the world, and yet they have only been kept as pets for the last 90 years or so.

The story of pet hamsters begins on 12 April 1930, when Israel Aharoni, a zoologist and professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, captured a female Golden (or Syrian) hamster and her litter in Aleppo, Syria. Little did he know that this female would be the source of ALL pet Golden hamsters!

The hamsters were kept as laboratory animals, but escapees became the source of most of the wild Syrian hamsters in Israel today. Descendants of Aharoni’s captive hamsters were shipped to Britain in 1931, and the Zoological Society of London acquired a pair in 1932.

This pioneering pair were the Adam and Eve of British hamsters – in 1937, descendants of these pioneering rodents were given to private breeders, and these were the source of all the Golden hamsters in the British pet trade. If you own one, it’s 99,9% certain that its ancestry goes back to those London Zoo hamsters.

Mitochondrial DNA studies have confirmed that all domestic golden hamsters in the UK and the USA are descended from a single animal – the one captured in 1930 by Israel Aharoni.

That international brotherhood and sisterhood of hamsters is certainly something worth celebrating!

Photo by Silje Roseneng on Unsplash

 

No comments yet - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Hamsters


What illnesses do hamsters get, and how can they be treated? 

Hamster sticking their head out of tube in the Omlet Qute hamster cage

If you’ve recently added a hamster to your family, or are considering getting one, you may be wondering what illnesses hamsters get, and how they can be treated. Thankfully, since hamsters are active pets with hearty appetites, it’s usually apparent when they aren’t feeling their best. We’ve outlined some of the most common ailments that hamsters may experience, and what to do if you notice anything amiss with your small mammal friend.

How healthy are hamsters? 

Hamsters are generally healthy animals that live full, but relatively short lives. Depending on the breed of hamster you have, the life expectancy for even healthy hamsters is between 2-4 years. But, over the course of your time together, you may see your hamster acting “off” or even display obvious signs of illness. It’s important to perform regular health checks on your hamster to identify any potential problems early on. 

By checking in with your hamster daily, you’ll be able to see if there are any issues with their coat, teeth, eyes, or paws, and note any behavioral changes. It’s a good idea to get your hamster established with a veterinarian that treats hamsters as soon as you get them – that way both you and your veterinarian will have a baseline for your hamster’s health. And, if you notice anything wrong with your hamster, a quick phone call or visit with the vet will help put your mind at ease. 

Most common illnesses in hamsters 

This is not an exhaustive list, but the following illnesses and ailments are those that hamsters are most commonly seen with. By recognizing the signs and symptoms of each, you’ll be able to determine the best course of action. 

Abscess

Hamsters can develop infections if they have cut or poked themselves, which can allow abscesses to form. Hamsters that chew on the bars of their cage may develop an abscess in the mouth, or you may see an abscess on the sides or legs of hamsters that have cage mates from rough play or fighting. 

Note: Abscesses need to be treated by a vet – do not attempt to drain an abscess at home. 

Colds

Your hamster can actually catch a cold from you. The same virus that causes the common cold in humans can be transmitted to hamsters. Signs and symptoms of a cold in hamsters are similar to those in humans: 

  • Watery eyes 
  • Discharge from the nose 
  • Coughing 
  • Wheezing 
  • Sneezing 
  • Lethargy 

Your hamster’s coat may also appear to stay wet as they continually wipe their runny nose on their fur. 

Treatment for a cold in hamsters includes: 

  • Keeping their bedding fresh, taking care to use a dust-free variety
  • Offer plenty of food and water 
  • Supplement their food with cod liver oil 

Colds will usually pass quickly and on their own,  but if your hamster stops eating or drinking, it may be time for a trip to the vet to rule out secondary infection. Try to avoid handling your hamster when you have a cold to prevent passing it along to them. 

Cuts

Skin abrasions are more common in hamsters that live together. Scuffles, rough play, or challenges to the hierarchy can result in cuts. If you don’t have a safe and secure hamster cage, you may see a hamster with cuts even if they live alone. These are usually from weak or bent cage wires, ill-fitted tubing, or sharp plastic edges. 

Cuts can usually be cleaned at home with warm soapy water. However, hamsters will lick and tend to their wounds, so anything more than a superficial wound may not heal well without antibiotics or other treatment from the vet. 

Problems with the ears 

A hamster that scratches at their ears constantly, seems sensitive around their head when being held, or appears off-balance or walking in tight circles, an inner-ear infection may be to blame. Your veterinarian can prescribe antibiotics or anti-inflammatories to treat ear infections. While seeing your hamster in distress may be upsetting, ear infections usually clear up quickly.

Dry ears are another common problem. Along with incessantly scratching at their ears, you may also notice the skin around your hamster’s ears cracking or flaking. To remedy this, rub some vaseline on their ears with a cotton swab for a few days. 

Problems with the eyes 

Any swelling in or around your hamster’s eyes, discoloration of the eye itself, or thick or colored discharge is not normal, and warrants a call to the vet. Some possible causes include: 

  • Trauma to the eye (a puncture or scratch) 
  • Foreign object in the eye 
  • Trouble with their cheek pouch
  • Oral abscess 
  • Allergic reactions
  • Tumors 
  • Glaucoma 

If your hamster’s eye is so goopy that it is matted shut, apply a warm compress (water on a soft rag) for a few minutes to gently remove the crusted material. Don’t try to force your hamster’s eye open once the material is removed – they should be able to open their eyes on their own after a few minutes of having them cleaned.

Lumps

Being familiar with normal hamster anatomy will help you determine if something isn’t right. Some lumps and bumps are normal (especially in males or lactating females), but you’ll know quickly while handling your hamster if something has popped up suddenly.

Lumps don’t all have scary causes, but you should always have them checked out by a veterinarian. They’ll likely take a small sample with a tiny needle to determine the makeup of the lump. Some potential causes are: 

  • Lipomas (benign, fatty tumors) 
  • Cysts 
  • Abscesses 
  • Enlarged glands 
  • Tumors 

Mange

The parasites that cause mange can’t be seen with the naked eye – but they do cause obvious discomfort in your hamster. Symptoms of mange in hamsters include: 

  • Scratching at their bodies excessively 
  • Hair loss 
  • Red or scaly patches of skin 
  • Matted hair coat 

The mites that cause mange can be seen under a microscope, so your vet will likely take a small sample of the inflamed skin of your hamster. If your hamster is diagnosed with mange, they will need baths with a special shampoo that your vet will prescribe. 

Fleas or lice 

These parasites can infect your hamster if other pets in your household have them. It’s important to keep your dogs and cats on a flea preventative to avoid your small pets from getting them. The same preventatives are not safe for hamsters, so be sure not to apply any flea products on your hamster without direction from your veterinarian. 

If your hamster has many visible parasites, you can bathe them in warm water with a small amount of unscented dish soap (be sure to dry them thoroughly so they don’t get chilled). The lather from the soap will kill the existing parasites – but won’t prevent more from hitching a ride on them later. Treat all the animals in your home for fleas and lice to prevent reinfestation. 

Strokes

Due to their short lifespans, hamsters age rapidly – and sometimes all of a sudden. Part of this aging process may include strokes. Symptoms of a stroke include: 

  • Unsteady gait 
  • Circling 
  • Swaying or other involuntary, repetitive motion

Most strokes are small enough to not leave your hamster significantly impaired. But, no matter the size, there is no treatment or prevention for strokes in hamsters. If your hamster has suffered a stroke, they may need to have their housing adjusted to make them more comfortable. Keeping their food bowl topped off and waterer full will help them stay nourished, and you may need to remove obstacles like their wheel or tubing to prevent injury. 

Issues in the mouth 

A hamster with a poor appetite is surely feeling under the weather. But, sometimes the cause of a poor appetite is actually inside of their mouth. Hamsters are rodents, and as such, their teeth grow constantly. They need to be able to gnaw on applewood toys and be fed a quality pellet as the main staple of their diet to keep their teeth filed down. Reasons other than overgrown teeth that may cause oral discomfort in hamsters include: 

  • Infected cheek pouches 
  • Loose or infected teeth 
  • Oral abscesses `
  • Injury to the mouth or jaw 

If your hamster seems reluctant to eat, but appears and acts fine otherwise, they’ll need to be seen by your veterinarian.

Urinary problems

If you spot blood on your hamster’s bedding, it could be due to an injury, a burst abscess, or a urinary infection. An examination of the hamster’s bedding will tell you if it is the latter problem. A change in urine color, or a lack of urine, indicate health issues too.

Keeping your hamster’s cage clean is good practice for their overall health, but their bedding can tell you a lot about their health. The color, odor, consistency and amount of urine in their cage can point to potential issues with their urinary tract. Signs of a hamster experiencing urinary tract issues include: 

  • Blood in the urine 
  • Thick, cloudy urine 
  • Decrease in urine output 
  • Urine with a foul odor 

Urinary tract infections can turn serious quickly, so it’s best to have your hamster evaluated by a veterinarian if you notice a change in their eliminations. 

Wet tail

“Wet tail” is a term for serious, bacterial diarrhea that causes feces-soaked fur around the tail. This condition can prove fatal quickly for hamsters – not only from the bacterial infection, but from dehydration. 

Offer plenty of water until you can get your hamster to the veterinarian. Wet tail should not be treated at home, as time is of the essence to save your hamster from this illness. 

Preventing illness in your hamster 

The absolute best way to treat illnesses in your hamster is to try to prevent them entirely. Housing your hamster in a cage like the Qute Hamster Cage by Omlet will make cleaning quick and easy – keeping your hamster clean and healthy. The removable bedding tray makes complete bedding changes a breeze, and the wipe-clean plastic surfaces don’t give bacteria a chance to set up shop. 

If you have a social hamster breed, be sure to quarantine new hamsters for a minimum of two weeks before introducing them to your other hamsters. Feed all of your hamsters high-quality feed and offer fresh water daily to keep their immune systems and digestion working properly. 

Omlet and your hamster’s health 

Our Qute Hamster Cage was designed with both humans and hamsters in mind. Our all-in-one hamster home gives your furry friend everything they need to thrive, and cuts down on your time spent cleaning so that you can get back to bonding with your hamster. And, even if your hamster does become ill, the Qute will keep them comfortable while they’re under the weather, and help you keep their home clean with minimal effort – giving you more time to show them the extra love and care they need. 

Boy playing with his hamster in the Qute hamster cage bedding tray

No comments yet - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Hamsters


Which is The Best Type of Hamster for You?

Boy handing hamster, Omlet Qute Hamster and Gerbil CageThere are five hamster species commonly kept as pets. They are all similar in their needs, but with one or two important differences between species.

The most familiar is the Golden, or Syrian hamster, which is also the largest of the five. The others are all in the group known as Dwarf hamsters – Campbell’s, Roborovski, Chinese and Winter White.

Looking After a Golden Hamster

An estimated 75% of pet hamsters are Syrians, largely because they have been popular for many years, and are therefore widely available. This species 6–7 inches long, and is relatively slow moving (compared to the much nippier Dwarf species). This makes them easy to handle, and that is one of the keys to their popularity. A nervous owner will find handling very easy (i.e. the hamster is not going to run up your sleeve or make a bolt for the door before you can stop it!)

The Golden is a loner, and that means its owner will be its only companion – which is great for forming owner–pet bonds. The hamster will usually live for 2 to 2 ½ years, and can be hand-tamed from a very early age, so you will usually have a long and satisfying friendship with these little bundles of fun.

There are different types of Golden hamster. One of the most popular is the long-haired ‘Teddy Bear’. There are also different color varieties, with mixtures of gold, brown, russet, yellow, grey, black, and white.

IDEAL FOR: first time hamster owners looking for a single, easy-going pet that is easy to handle.

Looking After a Chinese Hamster

The Chinese – also known as the Striped, Grey or Rat-tailed – is the least common of the hamsters in the pet trade, although its popularity is growing all the time. There is a lot to love in these little characters – they are very gentle, and once hand-tamed they will love their daily human interaction.

This species grows to a length of between 4–5 inches and, and is dark grey with a darker stripe running down the back. It has a long tail, by hamster standards, hence the ‘Rat-tailed’ tag label. It tends to live a little longer than the Golden hamster, with a lifespan of 2 ½ to 3 years, and like the Golden it likes to live alone. This makes it bond very easily with a human companion.

IDEAL FOR: first time owners, or owners looking for something a little less common than the Golden, but with a similar personality.

Looking After a Roborovski Hamster 

This is a lively little pet, and likes to live with at least one other fellow Roborovski – in a same-sex pair or small group. Single animals will do just fine, though, as long as they get lots of human company and handling. They are 10 cm (4 inches) long, and are endlessly curious about the world around them. When handling, you need to be alert, as these are fast movers.

Roborovskis are long-lived, by hamster standards, generally lasting between 3 and 3 ½ years. Being keen climbers and explorers, they will need a cage large enough to accommodate their endless expeditions, so space is sometimes an issue for would-be owners. They also have a rather strong smell, so they need cleaning out very regularly.

IDEAL FOR: owners who want to keep more than one hamster at a time, and have space for a larger cage.

Looking After a Winter White Hamster

This species is also called the Siberian, due to its wonderful color change during the Winter. It is grey-brown for much of the year, with a handsome black stripe down its back. In Winter the fur becomes white, but the black stripe remains.

This little creature reaches just over 4 inches in length, and can live alone very happily, making it a good pet for someone who has lots of time to handle and bond with their pet, and who is not nervous handling a fast-moving, small animal. Winter Whites only live 1 ½ to 2 years, and this makes them less popular than some of the other species.

IDEAL FOR: hamster lovers looking for a change from the commoner species, and who cannot wait to see that wonderful change to wintry white!

Looking After a Campbell’s Hamster

This is another short-lived hamster, with a lifespan of 1 ½ to 2 years. They are usually kept in same-sex pairs or groups, but can thrive alone as long as they get a lot of handling and attention from their owner. Their small size makes them tricky to handle, being both swift and fragile, so they are not suitable for young or nervous owners.

IDEAL FOR: owners who want to keep a group of hamsters together in a larger cage.

Two dwarf hamster eating a snack

No comments yet - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Hamsters


9 things you might not know about hamster cheek pouches

Hamster eating homemade treat

Hamsters are known for adorably stuffing food in their cheeks, giving them a puffy, caught-with-their-paws-in-the-cookie-jar look. But what exactly enables them to carry food in their mouths, and what do they do with it once it’s there? We’ll share 9 things you may not know about hamster cheek pouches so that you can understand your furry friend’s peculiar behavior a little bit better. 

9 things you might not know about hamster cheek pouches 

All hamsters have cheek pouches, but what are they for, and how do they work? Let’s dive into those deep cheek pouches — if there’s still room! 

Cheek pouches are part of hamster anatomy 

What we call a “cheek pouch” is actually expandable parts of your hamster’s oral mucosa, or the lining of the cheeks. When they’re empty, your hamster’s cheek pouch looks like a small, deflated balloon. Once your hamster starts filling their pouches, they can expand all the way back to their shoulders. In fact, a hamster can stuff up to 20% of their body weight into their cheek pouches. That would be like a 120 lb human carrying an extra 24 lbs worth of food around in their mouth. 

They act like a built-in lunchbox 

The main purpose of their cheek pouches is to carry food. In the wild, hamsters use their cheeks to carry food back to their home to enjoy it in a safe, quiet place. Domesticated hamsters exhibit the same behavior. You may observe your hamster depositing its proffered cheek pouch items in their hideout, play tunnels, or hamster sleeping area

Food to-go 

Hamsters can both run and eat with their cheeks full. In fact, hamsters can still eat when their cheek pouches are full. They’ll stuff their cheeks full, then eat some bites before taking their packed food back to their destination. And, even with all of the extra weight of full cheek pouches, hamsters aren’t slowed down by their to-go meals

Dry storage 

Here’s a fun fact: hamsters don’t release saliva into their cheek pouches. This keeps their packed lunches nice and dry and prevents bacteria from building up in their mouths. Hamster dentists are in short supply, so keeping their teeth free from moist food is important for overall oral hygiene. 

Backup baby carrier 

This isn’t something you’ll likely see in your domesticated hamster, but female hamsters can actually secure their babies in their cheek pouches to make a quick getaway, or to serve as an emergency hiding spot. Packing their babies in this way is only used as a last resort when their nest is being threatened. 

Taking out the trash

Hamsters are actually pretty tidy creatures that don’t appreciate spoiled food in their pantries. They’ll use their pouches to stuff and carry spoiled food away from their fresh goods. This too is not very common with domesticated hamsters that have a clean cage, so having an easy-to-clean hamster cage will aid your furry friend in their housekeeping endeavors. 

A wheelbarrow or shopping cart 

How would you like to carry your latest decor or bedding finds home in your mouth? That’s exactly how hamsters sometimes use their cheek pouches — as vessels to carry bedding and nesting or building materials to the home. 

Playing favorites 

Some hamsters favor one side of their mouth over the other, while some will happily stuff both cheeks full. Watch to see if your hamster is a left or right-stuffer, or an ambi-stuffer. 

A potential problem site 

It’s possible for cheek pouches to be punctured or have abscesses form in them. You should keep an eye on your hamster’s overall health, with special attention on their mouths. If you notice any lumps that linger for more than a day, contact your veterinarian. 

Omlet and your hamsters 

Hamsters are amazing animals that are a pleasure to share a home with. Their quirky but lovable personalities are what inspired the Qute hamster cage. We wanted hamsters to have their ideal home, but one that was easy for their owners to keep clean while looking great in any room of the house. With a Qute hamster cage by Omlet, you’ll be able to see your hamster stuff their cheeks along with all of their other adorable behaviors up close and personally. 

Hamster with paw up against Omlet Qute Hamster Cage

 

No comments yet - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Hamsters


Learn More About Your Pet Hamster

All hamster owners know that they make great pets! They are cute and cuddly, but also very independent and clever. Whether you’re a beginner or a long term hamster fan there is always more to learn about these amazing critters! That’s why we’ve put together this Best of Hamsters, a few blog blogs with more information and advice, perfect for teaching your children about their pet, as well as some DIY fun you can do together!

Interesting Facts About Hamsters

A hamster peeping out of a tunnel

Hamsters are rodents from the subfamily Cricetinae. They were brought to the United States from Syria in 1936. There are approximately… Read more


How to Understand Your Hamster’s Body Language

A hamster stood up

Hamsters make excellent pets – they’re fun, cute, and relatively easy to care for. Their cuddly credentials have made them popular pets all over the world. Hamsters bring a lot of joy to a lot of people, but how can… Read more


Want to Teach your Hamster Tricks? Here are our Best Tips!

A tan Hamster in owner's hand

Someone once said that you can train anything that has a brain that connects to a stomach, and that goes for hamsters as well. They are actually very clever little creatures and probably capable of more than you think – like learning tricks for example! Training your hamster is a… Read more


Get Creative – Make a Hamster Maze

A Hamster In a Home-made Maze

Hamsters love to play and explore!  There are many toys and treats available to buy for your furry friend,  but wouldn’t it be great to design and construct an exciting maze for them? They are… Read more


Image of Omlet coloring page

Download this cute colouring page and print for the whole family to enjoy! Send us your finished images, we would love to see them!

2 comments - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Hamsters


Get Creative and Make A Hamster Maze

Hamsters love to play and explore!  There are many toys and treats available to buy for your furry friend,  but wouldn’t it be great to design and construct an exciting maze for them? They are easy and fun to make and will provide hours of fun!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A shallow box, something like a vegetable box from a supermarket or an old suitcase.
  • Thin cardboard to make the walls, tunnels and other parts of the maze.
  • Non toxic glue – we used a glue gun.

Now for the fun part!

Create walls, tunnels, bridges, caves and more, securing them to your box using non toxic glue.  The more things in the maze, the better!

We added a little teepee as a finish point, and placed a treat inside for our hamster to find.  

Not all routes need to lead to the teepee. Some paths could lead to a dead end, or you could give your hamster an option of two different tunnels to go through, leading to two different parts of the maze. The green tunnel or the yellow tunnel…which will your hamster choose? 

Your hamsters will more than likely try to climb out of their maze from time to time so make sure you keep a close eye on them while they are having fun exploring!

Grab some card, glue and a box and get creative!

We’d love to see photos of the mazes that you produce, please send them to marketing@omlet.us and we will share our favorites!

 

No comments yet - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Hamsters


How to find a lost hamster

Hamster with paw up against Omlet Qute Hamster Cage

Have you ever found yourself wondering how to find a lost hamster? Hamsters will seize any opportunity to go on a house-wide adventure. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to make your quest for your missing hamster easier. Stay calm – they may be tiny, but hamsters aren’t as hard to find as you might think. By following our tips, you’ll be reunited with your furry friend in no time. 

Why did my hamster escape? 

It’s helpful to understand why a hamster would want to leave their cage in order to make a plan to find them and to prevent future escape attempts. Hamsters will usually try to escape from their cage for the following reasons: 

  • They aren’t comfortable in their home
  • Their cage is in a noisy or stressful environment
  • If they feel they don’t have enough space 

If you think one of the above reasons may have contributed to your hamster wanting to seek shelter elsewhere, it may be time to upgrade your hamster’s cage. A cage with more room will make your hamster more comfortable. Choose a cage with wheels to easily relocate your hamster to a more quiet spot in the house without jostling them.  

Hamsters may also take advantage of an unsecured or loose cage door, so reinforcing it with clips or other safety features may be helpful to prevent future breakouts. 

6 Tips to find a lost hamster

Many hamsters can be found once they’ve left their cages. The most important things to remember are to be patient and calm – your hamster likely hasn’t gone far. 

1. Don’t look during the day 

Hamsters are nocturnal by nature (meaning they sleep during the day and are most active at night). During daylight hours, your hamster will be curled up in a cozy sleeping spot and will want to remain there all day. Unless you stumble across them while cleaning under furniture, you’re not likely to find your hamster during daytime hours. 

2. Bring out the treats

Leave your hamster’s favorite treats in corners of the room (or rooms) where you think they may be and check to see if any get eaten. Bananas are a great treat to try and tempt them with. You can also place treats inside of a small shoebox or other cozy quarters with some snooze-worthy bedding during the day. This will help encourage your hamster to venture into your makeshift home to take a nap. Check your treats periodically throughout the day for nibbles or maybe even catch a glimpse of your elusive pet. 

3. Turn the lights off

You may be able to encourage your hamster to move around if the room is dark. At nightfall, turn out the lights and sit quietly with a flashlight ready to turn on if you hear your hamster in the room. 

4. Become a secret agent and look for paw prints

Sprinkle flour or cornstarch across doorways or in front of any assumed hamster hiding spots. Your little friend will pass through the powder and leave footprints on the other side – giving you a clue as to which direction they went. 

5. Stop and listen

Hamsters make some tell-tale sounds like squeaking or snuffling. Listen carefully in a quiet room to see if you hear any of your pet’s sounds. If you left crunchy treats out as bait, listen for the little grinding of teeth or food pieces dropping and hitting the floor. 

6. Get high-tech 

If you have security cameras or baby monitors, set them at floor level to see if you can catch your escapee on film. If you’re able to narrow down your hamster’s location to one or two rooms, set up multiple cameras to catch different angles. 

Finding their own way home  

Sometimes hamsters will come back to their cage on their own, so try leaving their cage on the floor with the door open, with a fresh supply of food, and your wanderer may return. Eventually, they’ll get hungry and appear when you least expect it – so it helps to be prepared. 

Escape-proof your cage 

The best way to avoid having to track down a lost hamster is to prevent escapes from happening in the first place. But there’s more to escape-proofing your hamster’s cage than just reinforcing the doors. Hamsters need to feel safe and secure in their home, with plenty of room to burrow and explore. The Qute Hamster Cage by Omlet offers lots of space both for sleep and play, and has owner-friendly features that make taking care of your hamster fun and easy. 

Placement of your hamster’s home is important. Set up their cage in a location that’s free from drafts and noisy daytime activity, but that’s also in a common area so that they feel like part of the family. The Qute hamster cage is designed to look like a modern piece of furniture that blends in with virtually any home decor style. 

Bring them out for supervised play 

Let your hamster enjoy time out of their cage by providing them with a playpen full of hamster toys. Make sure the playpen you construct or purchase is suitable for the size hamster you have. Smaller breeds of hamsters require smaller bar spacing than larger breeds. Get creative and make a maze for your hamster from cardboard boxes or paper tubes, or construct an obstacle course from wooden blocks or other hamster-appropriate household scraps.  

Omlet and your hamster 

Like all of our pet products, Omlet designed the Qute Hamster Cage to bring you closer to your pet. The Qute cage is easy to clean, goes with any home’s aesthetic, and will make your hamster feel safe and secure – never needing to feel the need to seek out other housing arrangements. It’s easy to avoid hamster escapes and enjoy interacting with your furry friend when you have a Qute cage. 

Boy playing with his hamster in pull out tray Omlet Qute Hamster Cage

No comments yet - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Hamsters


How to Understand Your Hamster’s Body Language

Hamster stood up on green sheet

Hamsters make excellent pets – they’re fun, cute, and relatively easy to care for. Their cuddly credentials have made them popular pets all over the world. Hamsters bring a lot of joy to a lot of people, but how can we tell our hamster is happy too, or not? Like all animals, hamsters have the ability to communicate with one another and with their owners. They use body language much like we do and can display a range of emotions that include being happy, afraid, threatened, curious, startled, angry and many other emotions.

Stretching and yawning

Yawning is often a sign your hamster is feeling comfortable and relaxed, rather than being very sleepy. If your hamster stretches as he yawns, this is even more proof that he is a very relaxed hamster.

Freezing

This involves your hamster staying in one position, sometimes for a few minutes. Its ears are straight up and he is completely stiff to the touch. There are lots of potential reasons for hamsters to stop moving temporarily: they can freeze both out of fear and surprise, or they can pause their movement so that they can listen more carefully to something that they’re unsure about.

Sitting up on back legs, ears forward

Something has captured his attention. Your hamster is standing on its hind legs to see and hear better.

Grooming

Hamsters spend a large amount of their time grooming themselves. When a hamster grooms itself, washing its feet, hands and fur, it means that he is feeling secure and happy.

Chewing

If your hamster keeps biting the bars of its cage, then there may be some things that you need to do to improve your pet’s life. Gnawing on the bars of the cage can indicate one of a number of things, including boredom, a lack of space, or overgrown teeth.

Biting

Hamsters can bite when they’re scared, when they’re stressed, or when they’re confused. if your hamster bites you, then there’s almost certainly a reason for it. Maybe your hamster is in pain, or simply uncertain how to react to you. Never get angry at your hamster but try to understand the reason behind his behavior.

Ears folded back, eyes half closed

Your hamster has just woken up and is still sleepy. It is best not to take out your hamster out of its cage until it has woken up fully.

Running

Hamsters are born to run. In their natural habitat they can run up to 5 miles per night! It’s therefore important that hamsters kept as pets have the opportunity to run, usually provided by a wheel. Hyperactivity and repetitive behavior, on the other hand, can also be a sign of stress. A stressed hamster will move constantly, run on his wheels quickly, try and climb his cage and appears more nervous and alert than usual.

All hamsters will have their own personalities. Spend time watching your hamster and get to know his personality and mannerisms. As you get to know your pet, you’ll be able to recognize when they are their usual selves, and when they are not. Observing your hamster’s body language is a great way to be more “in tune” with the needs of your pet, which can be crucial to their health and well being. Visit our extensive hamster guide for more information about hamster and tips on how to keep them healthy and happy.

Two children watching hamster in their playpen, Omlet Qute hamster cage behind them

13 comments - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Hamsters


Want to Teach your Hamster Tricks? Here Are Our Best Tips!

Two children watching hamster in their playpen, Omlet Qute hamster cage behind them

Someone once said that you can train anything that has a brain that connects to a stomach, and that goes for hamsters as well. They are actually very clever little creatures and probably capable of more than you think – like learning tricks for example!

Why Should I Train My Hamster?

Training your hamster is a wonderful way to vary your daily playtime and spend time together, and it’s something that both stimulates your pet mentally and creates a strong bond between the two of you. It should be said though that this training takes a lot of time and patience, and every hamster is different, so there’s never a guarantee that your hamster will learn these specific tricks, or any tricks at all.

Can I Train a Hamster of Any Age?

As with most pets there are advantages of getting a young hamster when it comes to training and getting the hamster used to you and your family, as they have not yet developed habits and routines that can be difficult to break. This is not to say you can’t teach an old hamster new tricks, but it will take much longer to train him or her.

Where to Begin

The most important thing is that your hamster feels comfortable around you, and that your smell and your voice has a positive association. Try to always stay calm around your hamster, and avoid raising your voice, as that can cause unnecessary stress. Spend a good few weeks together with your hamster before you move on to tricks, so you know that you can trust each other!

Now you need treats. Maybe you already know what your hamster’s favorite is, but if you don’t, we recommend sunflower seeds. They are however very fatty, so make sure that you limit the intake to training sessions or special occasions. You can also try with small pieces of chopped vegetables like carrots or broccoli.

What Tricks Can I Teach My Hamster?

  • STAND
    Start with an easy trick, a good first one is ”stand”. Hold the treat in front of the hamster just over its head so that the hamster can see it but not reach it. As you do this, use your command ”stand”. Your hamster will instinctively stand up to get closer to the treat. When the hamster stands, give the treat and verbal praise. Only give the treat if the hamster stands, as they otherwise won’t understand why they are being rewarded. If your hamster doesn’t stand it might be because he or she is not hungry at that moment, or distracted by something else going on in the room. Try again a bit later. Repeat this a few times a day for a week or two, until your hamster stands even when you don’t have a treat in your hand. Stick to one command at the time, and still always reward the hamster for standing.
  • JUMP
    Now you can move on to another trick. Use the ”stand” command, and then move the treat up and forward and say ”jump”. If the hamster tries to jump, praise him or her and give the treat. If your hamster is happy to jump you can add a hoop into the mix. Hold some sort of hoop between the hamster and a treat, so that they have to move through the hoop to get to it. As they go though, say ”hoop” or ”jump through the hoop”. Start with the hoop touching the ground, and then gradually lift it if your hamster seems to enjoy the game.
  • ROLL OVER
    Another fun and easy trick is ”roll over”. All you need to do is to carefully place the seed on your hamster’s back and ask him or her to roll over. If they do it, reward them with the seed. After a while the hamster will roll over even without you putting the seed on their back.

Boy playing with hamster with Omlet Qute hamster cage behind him


Be consistent with the training, and let it take time, but it doesn’t hurt to shake up the routine every now and then to keep things interesting. Some tricks are easier than others, and all hamsters are different, so be patient and do not push your pet or get frustrated if it’s taking longer than you expected.

If both you and your hamster enjoy the training, there is really no limit as to how much you can teach your pet. You can use toys or build obstacle courses; make up the tricks as you go along and show off to friends and family!

3 comments - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Hamsters


Homemade Hamster Treats

The school summer holidays are in full swing and there’s no better time to do some baking with the kids! Ruby and Harry decided they would like to make some treats for their Syrian Hamster called Ginny!!

So here’s a simple recipe to make some yummy Crunchy Honey Delights!

Ingredients:

Cheerios (sugar-free kind)
Sesame Seeds
Honey
Oats

1. Add sesame seeds and oats into a bowl
 

2. Crush the Cheerios in a small bag, don’t crush them into dust, just small pieces

3. Add the Cheerios to the sesame seeds and oats and mix together

4. Drizzle honey over the mixture and coat well

5. Use your fingers to mold the mixture into small balls that your hamster can hold,
then put them on a baking tray and into the fridge for 15 minutes

6. Heat your oven to 370 degrees farenheit and bake treats for 8-10 minutes and then let them cool completely

7. It’s time for the taste test….. does Ginny like the new treats….?

8. Ginny loved the Crunchy Honey Delights!

Happy Baking and remember to only give your Hamster little treats once or twice a week!

Check out the Qute Hamster House from $99.00.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No comments yet - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Hamsters