Hamsters are cute with their small bodies and cute way of stuffing food into their cheeks!
But did you know that hamsters are not only cute, but also surprisingly strong and energetic?
Let’s take a look at the surprising side of hamsters together!
～ Basic information. ～
※Here, the length and weight of the golden hamster, which is the origin of the common name for hamsters, are shown.
Length 13～18cm. Weight 120g.
They mainly live in dry areas and regions such as Europe depending on the breed.
During the day, they live in burrows to avoid being found by enemies, but at night they come out of their burrows to look for food and start their activities.
They have a cute appearance, but are animals with a strong sense of territory.
Hamsters often eat nuts, grains, vegetables and fruits, but wild hamsters also eat insects.
Animals that are also popular as pet breeders.
If you want to keep a rare animal, you may need to follow the laws established by the country. This time, I will introduce whether it is possible to keep a hamster at home in Japan.
Hamsters are becoming more popular as pets because they are easy to get used to humans. It is generally better to keep one hamster per cage. Since they are animals with a strong sense of territory, they are not suitable for keeping multiple animals in the same cage.
However, it may be possible depending on the compatibility and breed.
For small-sized hamsters such as Roborovski hamsters, it may be possible to keep multiple animals in the same cage, but for larger-sized hamsters such as Golden Hamsters, it is said to be difficult.
What to eat if you keep it at home?
When it comes to hamsters, many people think of sunflower seeds, but they are not suitable as a staple food because they are high in fat. It is best to give them a small amount as a snack.
Instead, the best thing to give them as their main food is commercially available pellets. Since some vegetables have a lot of water content, it is good to give them while adjusting the amount.
Also, animal protein is necessary nutrition, so please give them a little boiled chicken without seasoning or pet food.
Basically, since they are omnivores, it is desirable to give them pellets, vegetables, fruits and grains in a balanced manner.
About the breeding environment.
There are two main types of cages for keeping hamsters: wire mesh and aquarium types.
Wire mesh types are good for ventilation and are suitable for summer, but there is a risk of hamsters biting the wire mesh and getting injured.
On the other hand, aquarium types are good for insulation and are perfect for cold weather, but in summer, heat tends to build up.
Recently, there are also types that combine the functions of both wire mesh and aquarium types called plastic cages, but they have the disadvantage of being small in size. Some people have started to make their own original cages by arranging clothes cases.
Since there are merits and demerits depending on the type of cage, it is a good idea to choose while paying attention to the points you value.
In addition, you will also need exercise wheels and toilets to relieve lack of exercise, nest boxes that can be used as hiding places, and bedding materials.
Since hamsters’ teeth continue to grow, providing them with chew toys such as wooden blocks can help relieve stress.
One important point when keeping hamsters is temperature management.
They are weak to heat and cold, so if the indoor temperature is too low, they may go into a state of pseudo-hibernation. Pseudo-hibernation can be fatal in the worst case, so it is a good idea to use a pet heater to make it more comfortable.
It is also important to create an environment where they cannot escape. In particular, wire mesh cages may have gaps that hamsters can slip through, and they may also have enough strength to pry open the door, so be careful.
Why do hamsters hoard food on their cheeks?
Many people have seen hamsters stuffing their mouths full of food with their small bodies. It’s a very cute gesture, but there’s a good reason for it.
Hamsters have cheek pouches on either side of their faces that can hold a lot of food.
The reason why they have the habit of stuffing food is that hamsters are nocturnal, and in the case of wild hamsters, they go out to look for food at night.
During the day, there are many enemies and they cannot frequently leave their burrows, so they need to bring back a lot of food during the active night hours.
That’s where the cheek pouches come in handy. Wild hamsters live in an environment where food is not always found every day, so they feel relieved when they store a lot of food in their cheek pouches and bring it back to their burrows.
This instinct remains in pet hamsters as well, so when you clean their nest box and open it up, you may find a lot of stored food!
Why do hamsters have short tails?
Hamsters are also part of the mouse family, but while mice have long tails, hamsters have very short tails.
In the first place, the tail of a mouse is an essential part of its body that allows it to climb to high places and maintain balance. However, since hamsters often live in dry areas and no longer need to climb trees to survive, their tails have degenerated and become shorter.
However, there are some breeds of hamsters such as Chinese hamsters that have long tails, so it seems that not all hamsters have short tails.
Which is better a hamster’s ears or eyes?
In conclusion, it is said that ears are good and eyes are bad. In human terms, it is similar to nearsightedness where only the surrounding things can be seen vaguely.
Also, the scenery that appears in the eyes is not in color but in black and white.
On the other hand, hearing power, which is the power of the ears, is superior to that of humans and can hear even faint sounds. Therefore, it is said that wild hamsters communicate with each other using ultrasound.
Even if their eyesight is poor, they may be able to distinguish and judge their owner’s voice.
Why do hamsters like sunflower seeds?
As I mentioned in the section “What do they eat when kept at home?”, it is well known that hamsters love sunflower seeds. But why do hamsters like sunflower seeds in the first place?
In fact, hamsters are said to prefer high-fat foods. Sunflower seeds are said to be their favorite food because they are surprisingly high in fat.
It’s easy to want to give them a lot because they look so cute when they eat, but be careful not to overfeed them as it can cause obesity. By the way, nuts and beans are also said to be high in fat.
Why do hamsters escape?
As people with experience raising hamsters may know, hamsters can escape from their cages if given the chance.
First of all, wild hamsters have a habit of coming out of their burrows to patrol the area to make sure there are no enemies around.
Even pet hamsters don’t know that the inside of their cage is the safest place, so they may want to check for enemies around them or try to escape. Also, if the environment where the cage is placed is noisy or disturbing, it can be stressful for the hamster and they may try to escape to find a more comfortable place to live.
There are several ways to prevent them from escaping, such as taking them for indoor walks or using a joint house with a tunnel to relieve their lack of exercise.
Of course, it’s also important to make sure that the lid of the cage is securely closed so that it can’t be easily opened.
How far does a hamster who likes a spinning wheel run in one night?
Hamsters are nocturnal and become active at night. The most famous thing they do is to start running on a wheel and making a rattling sound. Did you know that they run an incredible distance?
It is said that they run about 20 km in one night. In addition, wild hamsters are thought to run more than 20 km because they need to search for food at night.
Although there are individual differences, pet hamsters may run a little less than wild hamsters, but it’s still amazing that they can run such a distance in one night.
Type of hamster.
・Great balkhan mouse-like hamster.
・Greater Long-tailed hamster.
・Iranian mouse-like hamster.
・Baluchi mouse-like hamster.
・Hotson’s mouse-like hamster.
・Long-tailed dwarf hamster.
・Ladakh dwarf hamster.
・Tibetan dwarf hamster.