Monday, 30 April 2012


Let me start off this post by saying well done to everyone who completed the A-Z challenge, and a big thanks to everyone who followed me along!

Zucchini, or in other words courgette is a summer squash (fitting as we are hurtling towards summer) which your hamster can have as a tasty treat. Munchkin loves his, as do Pea and the chinese boys, so why not give it a go? Only in small amounts though, larger amounts can cause upset tummies :(.

They look quite a bit like cucumbers on the outside!

Saturday, 28 April 2012


Young hamsters are by far the cutest (in my opinion). Nothing beats their cute little faces staring at you with wonder. Here are some facts on young hamsters:

  • Baby hamsters leave thier mothers at 3-4 weeks
  • They sleep a lot more than adult hamsters
  • Hamsters can remember their relatives, so babies will remember their mum
  • Once baby hamsters are a week old, the parents will most likely not eat them

Now of course come the cute pictures!

X is for X-ray

If a hamster is ill, or has had a fall and a vet feels it is necessary, the hamster will undergo an x-ray just like any other animal or human. I think these look fascinating.

Here is the only picture I could find on the internet *shocked* of a hamster x-ray:

Last but not least, apologies for the late post computer had issues :(.

Thursday, 26 April 2012


Although in the wild hamsters are desert animals in most cases, and do not need to drink a lot of water you need to make sure it is readily available at all times. Change it every 1-2 days and make sure the bottle is working properly, easy enough.

The only time you need to worry about how much/little your hamster is consuming is if you have a dwarf species and they start drinking A LOT of water. This is one of the signs of diabetes in our little friends, and one of the things I noticed about Little Man that suggested he had it :(.

Another use for water is obviously baths, so I will take a moment to mention that you should NEVER EVER bath your hamster in water. It doesn't need it, doesn't like it and can be dangerous for them. Give them dishes with chinchilla sand instead and they will bathe them selves :).

Wednesday, 25 April 2012


There are loads of vegetables that are safe to feed your hamster, and provide them with a variety of food so they don't get bored. Here is a list of safe and unsafe veggies your hamster will love:


  • Asparagus
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Bok Choy
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage (Limited amounts)
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Chard
  • Chestnuts
  • Chickweed
  • Chicory
  • Clover
  • Corn on the Cob
  • Cucumbers
  • Dandelion Leaves
  • Endive
  • Green Beans
  • Kale
  • Parsnips
  • Peas
  • Radicchio
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Sweet bell Peppers
  • Swiss Chard
  • Turnip
  • Water Chestnuts
  • Water Cress
  • Zucchini

  • Potatoes (Raw)
  • Raw Kidney Beans
  • Eggplant
  • Fool's Parsley
  • Avocado (Contains Cardiac Glycosides)
  • Tomato leaves
  • Spices
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Leeks
  • Scallions
  • Chives
  • Pickles

Tuesday, 24 April 2012


When owning a hamster you have to expect the unexpected. Whether it be a tame hamster from a pet shop, a sudden escape or a surprise litter, these little guys certainly keep you on your toes.

When I got Little Man he took 3 months to tame. I did not expect it to take this long at all! It was kind of the same with Munchkin, but when Pea came to me she was tame, even though she hadn't been handled in weeks! Then there is Winter, always finding new and unexpected ways to try and escape.

I wasn't going to do this for U but something unexpected happened today and I thought I could tie it in. My partner rescued a gerbil...

He has been christened Dante (previously Jackson) and is a year old, and rather chubby. I will do a proper post on him after the A-Z challenge :)

Monday, 23 April 2012


Believe it or not hamsters can have tantrums too. Just the other night Pea was having a moody episode, and sulking in her cage refusing to come out. Not a clue why, typical girl I guess ;).

Munchkin also has loads of tantrums, but he had a lot more when he was an adolescent hamster. How many of your hamsters have tantrums? It can't just be mine :D.

Saturday, 21 April 2012


Syrian hamsters, my favourite type! All hamsters are wonderful in their own way, but syrians have a special place in my heart. They are the biggest of the hamster varieties, most of the time they are the cuddliest, and I find they have the most profound personalities, at least out of my lot.

My syrian Munchkin is a sable banded, and around 1 and a half years old. I love him to bits, and after owning him I don't think I will ever be withut a syrian hamster. If you are new to hamsters the best variety to get is a syrian due to their easy-to-tame nature and large size.

The only downside to having a syrian is they need a lot of space, which means big cages. This wasn't an issue for me but I know for some people it can be :).

Some basic facts:
  • They are solitary and must never be kept in groups or pairs
  • They come in a lot of colours, so are very popular
  • They need at least 75x50cm cage space
  • They are the biggest of the domesticated hamster species

Friday, 20 April 2012


Hamsters can eat mild radish as a delicious treat! However, it can be harmful if large amounts are consumed (much like all treats). Only give to a fit and healthy hamster, not the sick or elderly.

Small nugget of information for you all there, and something I didn't know either!

Thursday, 19 April 2012


Super late, I know and I'm sorry! I had work experience today and its all been very full on and well...I forgot.

So, quiet is my q. Hamsters have super sensitive hearing so any loud noises are 10 times louder for them. Because of this it is best if you keep noise low when around them, so you don't scare them or hurt their ears :).

Wednesday, 18 April 2012


Considering our furry friends are in their cages 80%+ of the day they need to be provided with a lot of stimulation and play activities. These can be wooden toys, chew and tunnels, or plastic, or even cardboard, just as long as they have something.

The main thing is obviously wheels, which I have covered before, and then there are a variety of other stimulating toys you can provide them with. Currently, Munchkin has a puzzle hanging from the top of his cage with almonds in and he has to work it out to get the sweet treat. They all have wheels and loads of cardboard toilet roll tubes, houses, bridges, tunnels and more. It can also be a great way to fill your spare time by making your own hamster play things.

It can be a lot of fun accessorizing your cages for your pet, just alway make sure they have enough to keep them occupied when you are not around.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012


I, along with many others, have more than likely considered giving their hamsters a juicy piece of orange as a treat. Luckily I checked if they could have it on the internet first! Apprently, citrus in any form is toxic to our little friends :(. That means lemon, lime, orange and more are compeletely out the window when it comes to treats. 

Although that rules a lot of treats out, there are still many MANY treats out there for our beloved pets (see noms for more treats) and I love to spoil mine so they get plenty ;).

Monday, 16 April 2012


Hamsters are Crepuscular which means they are most active at dawn and dusk, but they are often up most of the night. This is because it is the safest time for them when they are in the wild, but it also means they don;t make as good a child's pet as people think. They are often up when a child is going to bed and so they cannot have the quality time needed with their hamster :(. They also don't approve to being woken up ;)

Saturday, 14 April 2012


Hamsters, believe it or not, can eat meat. They enjoy chicken (cooked, unseasoned) as a treat, and tiny amounts of hams (although I don't like feeding them ham). They also LOVE mealworms, another m, apart from Munchkin who is one odd little hamster o.o. So as a very rare treat, feeding your hams a little chicken is a good idea. It is packed full of protein, which i s why it is often suggested for pregnant hamsters, and makes a tasty little titbit.

Don't feed them beef! That is pretty much the only mainstream meat I would say avoid. The rest are fine in small amounts(and most LOVE mealworms!)

Friday, 13 April 2012


You have all seen them, I can gaurentee if you own a hamster it will have come up at some time or another. Hamster leads/leashes. They look like a fantastic idea, take your ham anywhere without the worry, but they are TERRIBLE.

They are so bad for the hamster, they restrict movement and can crush their little bodies. Pulling them around is no good either. This post is short and sweet, I just wanted to take the oppertunity to say NO to hamsters leads. Grr.

Thursday, 12 April 2012


Although hamsters love fresh fruit they cannot eat acidic types such as oranges. As kiwi is acidic steer clear of it when choosing a tasty treat, instead go for apple, banana or pear.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012


This applies to new hamsters more than older ones, but still occasionally happens with Munchkin. Hamsters can be very jumpy around us heavy footed humans simply because we are so much larger than them! If you approach them from behind or above they can't see you so you may make them jump, sometimes quite significantly.

When I first had Munchkin he was playing on my bed. I moved my leg and he shot into the air falling off the bed :(. Luckily he was fine, but it is something that can happen often when owning hamsters.

To prevent your hamster being jumpy:
  • Make sure you talk to it a lot so it gets used to your voice
  • Never approach it from behind or above
  • When picking it up ensure they see your hand first
  • Try to avoid loud noises where possible
These simple steps should prevent your hamster being jumpy, although it isn't gaurenteed. Munchkin is a jumpy hamster even though he is almost 2, and he knows me well XD.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012


For today's slightly late a-z post(sorry!) I am going to cover some of the main illnesses that affect hamsters.

Wet tail - this is a bacterial infection of the gut resulting in diarrhoea. The diarrhoea is severe and droppings are pale, very mushy and may or may not contain mucus. It is called wet tail because the diarrhoea is so severe that the tail and anal area of the hamster is often dirty and 'wet'. Affected hamsters are lethargic, hunched up and are often in pain. This is an emergency situation as affected hamsters can get dehydrated very quickly - it is therefore vital that at the first onset of signs, veterinary treatment is sought immediately. Wet tail is often precipitated by stress which is why it is commonly seen in hamsters who have just been weaned (very stressful for them) and many owners who have just acquired their new pet hamsters from the pet store would encounter wet tail as a disease. It is highly infectious and any equipment that the sick hamster has had contact with should be disinfected thoroughly and left for a period of a few weeks before allowing another hamster to use it.

Cancers are quite common as a disease in hamsters - anything that has such a short lifespan is prone to cancers. There seems to be a higher prevalence of cancers in female hamsters than male hamsters - but this is only because the female reproductive tract is often a site for cancers hence the skewed results. As with most cancers, they can be benign or malignant. Malignant cancers are fast growing and inevitably kill the affected hamsters with great rapidity. Benign cancers as their name implies are often slow growing and is not a death sentence per se. Hamsters seem to be quite prone to getting many different types of benign cancers. The most common cancers in hamsters are ones involving they thyroid and adrenal glands. Signs include hair loss and alterations in their behaviour. Skin tumors are also common in hamsters. Whilst surgery is an option, most hamster owners will opt for euthanasia when the word 'cancer' surfaces whether the condition is benign or not.

Lumps and bumps - if you discover a lump on your hamster don't just leap to the conclusion that it's cancer (it could be), more often than not, it could be an abscess. Abscesses are usually caused by bite wounds from fighting. These often form hard painful lumps under the skin where the puncture wound has closed up. Hamsters can also get abscesses in their cheek pouches - these would've resulted from puncture wounds from food or bedding materials. If you suspect an abscess in your hamster, you will need to take it into the vet to have it drained and antibiotic therapy started.

Hamsters can suffer from what is known as cage paralysis - this is generalized weakness that results due to lack of exercise and a small cage is usually the problem. Choose the largest cage you can afford because your little friend deserves to be in spacious surrounds. Generally providing them with adequate exercise and a larger cage would solve the problem. Sometimes a lack of Vitamin E and D could contribute to weakness and paralysis, if this is the case then vitamin supplementation helps. Some Syrian hamsters also have a hereditary defect which often starts as a progressive hind limb paralysis from 6 months of age. There is no cure for this hereditary disease condition.

Being sick is horrible for any human, so imagine what it is like being a hamster, unable to tell anyone how you feel. Make sure you check your little friend at least once a week for illnesses :).

Monday, 9 April 2012

Harry/Hazel Hamster

Possibly the best hamster food on the market at the moment. I make my own with this as a base, but if you just want to buy a bag of food, no fuss, and feed your hams then this is your best bet. All of mine who have it love everything in it (except the little alfalfa sticks) and nom to their hearts content when they get fed. The only thing I would mention is if you are feeding this to a dwarf hamster (this applies to all dwarf hamsters bar roborovskis) then you will need to remove the corn as they are prone to diabetes.

Otherwise, an all round fantastic food, better than pellets as it gives the hamsters something to forage, better than other foods on the market because it isn't full of nasty colourings, just better! Go buy some XD

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Happy Easter!

I just gave all the animals their easter treat and more than one of them woke up to scoff it! They each got a little bowl of scrambled egg, something they hardly ever get and something easter related :D. On the same theme, make sure you never give your hamster chocolate, it is really bad for them unless it is hamster specific chocolate (even then, I don't like giving it).

Everyone enjoy your Easter sunday, and here is a cute picture!

Saturday, 7 April 2012


Dwarf hamsters can be notoriously hard to sex, a lot harder than syrians. A syrian male will have rather large "fun bags", just like my Munchkin. I would say a good 20% of his body is testicle!

Female syrians will be rounder at the bottom, and obviously have no testicles.

Another way to tell is by looking underneath:

The openings in female hamsters are closer together compared to the male.

Dwarf hamsters are harder because they are smaller, and usually faster, but a simple check of their underside reveals all:

The male of the species do have slightly visable balls, but it is usually easier just to check underneath.

Chinese hamsters are another breed who are clearly male or female due to their "fun bags":

Hopefully this post was educational for some :D

Friday, 6 April 2012


Whever possible it is always nice ot allow your furry friends freedom in the form of supervised floor time. I allow mine to run around my bedroom, ensuring dangerous places are blocked off, and this gives them a larger degree of freedom than, for example, a ball or playpen does. They can go pretty much entirely where they like and explore otherwise off limits areas.

Not only is it fun and exciting for them, but it helps the bond between you and your hamster. It is but one part of hamster owning that I love so much, just ensure the spaces are safe :).

Thursday, 5 April 2012


Hamsters are very active creatures and need a lot of exercise. On average in the wild they run a huge 8km a night! To provide them with the tools for this mammoth run they should be given a wheel.

There are a huge amount of wheel types on the market, many of which I have covered before. The main thing to look at is the size. For a syrian you need to aim for an 8" wheel from the beginning. Yes they are tiny when you get them as babies but they grown a lot, and to avoid upgrading wheels every month you should start with the right size :).

Good wheels:

For dwarf hamsters I wouldn't go below 6.5" just because I want the hams to be comfortable.

Bad wheels:

These wheels are a health hazard and can cause hamsters feet, tails or fur to get caught...AVOID.

Another form of excersise is a run around ball. I personally like them because it gives the hamsters freedom without having to watch their every move. Make sure you get one large enough, and never leave your ham unsupervised. I stay in the same room but it means I don't have to watch them just listen.

Lastly is free roaming. You can do this in a safe place with your ham running free but you must supervise at all times.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Djungarian Hamster

Also known as Siberian or Russian winter white hamsters. These hamsters change colour in winter to white so it is easier to hide in the wild. They come in 3 main colours, pearl (white) which do not change in winter, natural (mucky brown, their original colour) and sapphire (a grey/blue).

Most pet shops sell the Russian hybrid hamsters that can often be mistaken for Djungarian hams. You can tell they are winter whites if they change colour in winter, or by their head shape.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Chinese Hamsters

Chinese hamsters are possibly the most misunderstood type of hamster there is. I hear them called dwarf hamsters, when in fact they are not, I hear them called mini dwarf hamsters, what the hell? I have even heard them called mice...granted they are very mouse like in appearance, largly due to their long, thin bodies and longer than usual tails.

I now own three chinese hamsters, two males and one female, and like to think I know a fair bit about them. For starters, they need as much space as you can afford to give them, and preferably deep cages and lots of substrate because they love to dig. 

They are also prone to diabetes just like dward hamsters, and so their diet should include as little sugar as possible. Treats without sugar are much better for their health too.

Male Chinese hamsters are obvious due to their "fun-bags".

Wherever possible chinese hamsters should live alone. Females inparticular tend to fight to the death on many occasions, but males are slightly more tolerant of each other (like mine, but I did not buy them from a pet shop together - see this post for more info).

The best thing about chinese hamsters is they are so friendly. Pea often clings to my finger or darts in and out of my clothing, sometimes even falling asleep in my sleeve or pocket. They are lovely little things and it is a shame they can be so unpopular because of how they look.