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Please tell me about Hamsters

(25 Posts)
aristocat Thu 04-Nov-10 14:43:37

i am considering getting a Hamster, we have never had one before but do have a cat.
obviously i will keep them seperate!

i have seen threads recommending rats but i dont really like their tails if i am honest, just looking for any advice.

thanks smile

Gaelly Thu 04-Nov-10 16:26:55

As a child we had many pets and to be honest the hamsters were not the fav. They are nocturnal and make noise at night when everyone else is sleeping. When you want to play with them they want to sleep. I dont fancy rats either as rats don’t have bladders so constantly pee just like mice. Have you thought about a guinea pig? Good luck on your choice of pet!

herbietea Thu 04-Nov-10 16:35:43

Message withdrawn

GrungeBlobPrimpants Thu 04-Nov-10 16:47:41

We have had Syrian hamsters - the fact they are nocturnal actually works for us. Very easy to look after. All have had different personalities, some prefer handling more than others. Sheer cute overload. They can be very noisy at night so think about where you'd put the cage.

Not sure how they'd do down with a cat though. Our neighbour's cat likes to look in the window, licking his lips wink

PestoEatsGunpowderPlotters Thu 04-Nov-10 16:58:37

We used to have one. He was gorgeous, clean, and very friendly once he'd got used to us handling him. He would wake up at about 4.00pm as the dds would give him his tea when they got in from school. We trained him to do his wees in an 'on its side' jam-jar. This means you can just rinse it out several times of day and the sawdust doesn't get smelly.

I would recommend handling every day from the start so that it gets used to you. The first day or two we did get bitten a couple of times (probably due to people putting an enquiring finger towards him - they are a bit short-sighted, so bite to find out what it is.) But didn't bite at all after that initial few days.

We had a rotastak cage with lots of tunnels and compartments and put sticks of apple wood in, for him to gnaw on (their teeth keep growing, so need to be kept down).

At Halloween we popped a little dug-out pumpkin in his cage! And the dds used to build him lego mazes to play in.

He was about 2 or 3 when he died and is sadly missed. sad

Good luck if you do decide to get one.

aristocat Thu 04-Nov-10 17:50:16

thanks ladies for your help smile

still undecided ATM

Ryoko Sun 07-Nov-10 15:58:40

Hamsters are boring, think as pig shit, bite, don't like em, get a couple of Gerbils far better.

PestoEatsGunpowderPlotters Sun 07-Nov-10 16:00:44

no they're not

Ryoko Sun 07-Nov-10 16:04:33

Yes they are, Gerbils are playful sweet little things, that love running around, exploring and playing, Hamsters are like wind up toys that bite, they waddle along on the floor, had a couple of Russian ones and Dwarf ones, most boring pets I've ever had, even the water snails where more interesting (and didn't bite).

LadyCad Sun 07-Nov-10 16:18:52

I was resolutely anti-hamster for years until we got one for DD last spring.Now I am reformed, he really is the most rewarding pet.

They are boring if they're not given enough to do, I think most of the cages sold as being suitable are too small. We make toys and food-hidey-holes from cardboard tubes and stuff, he chews them up and then we make some more!

He has never bitten, they only bite if they feel threatened.

LadyCad Sun 07-Nov-10 16:20:33

Pesto right.

Ryoko wrong.

grin

bellavita Sun 07-Nov-10 16:22:08

DS2 is 11 on Thursday and he has asked for a hamster. We have been to have a look....

I am interested in this weeing in a jam jar thing - how the hell do you train them to do that?

PestoEatsGunpowderPlotters Sun 07-Nov-10 16:46:03

You watch where they first wee in their cage. Then you clear away the soiled sawdust and put a bit of it into the jam-jar and it encourages them to use that as their toilet.

I have had 2 hamsters and trained both to use a jam jar in this way. After they've wee=ed in th jar you just rinse it out with warm water & dry it and put it back. Both of my hamsters used to like going back in afterwards (as it was warm) and having a good old wiggle around grin

AmazingBouncingFerret Sun 07-Nov-10 16:54:06

Aww we love our hamster in this house!
Such a little escape artist though. One time he managed to get out and our Staffordshire bull terrier brought him back to me in her mouth, slightly wet, no worse for wear but very disapointed that he had been caught!

bellavita Sun 07-Nov-10 17:10:38

So I have to go on bloody "wee" watch then... shock. So after I have done the first bit of soiled sawdust in the jam jar, do I have to keep putting a bit of fresh sawdust in the jar each time I have cleaned it out?

PestoEatsGunpowderPlotters Mon 08-Nov-10 09:24:27

No. Once he's wee-d in there the first time, just rinse it out in warm water and put it back. He should then go in there of his own accord.

If he doesn't, then put a bit of soiled sawdust in to encourage him. Once he's got the hang of it, you don't need to do it anymore.

Good luck!

Summersoon Mon 08-Nov-10 20:31:38

@ Pesto: I am most impressed with your hamster training methods! smile
I never thought of that. It is true, though, that hamsters will choose a toilet area and stick to it unlike my great big fat lump of a guinea pig. He had an accident on me (first ever) the other day and it was like a waterfall - I didn't know such a (comparatively) small animal could have such a huge bladder. Sorry, I digress.

Enchantica Mon 08-Nov-10 22:40:43

Hi there, personally I am for rats nowadays but I know they aren't for everyone. I also think gerbils can be very good pets for children too but so can Syrian hamsters. Can I just add in that my rats don't pee everywhere lol, they scent mark here and there but nothing major at all. Just in case people get the wrong impression of ratties ;)

Personally, if you are looking at hamsters, then go for a nice Syrian. The smaller ones tend to not like being handled quite as much and are fast for young children. The little ones are fun to watch though! Also, have a look into shelters in your area as they often handle their animals more than pet stores do.

Happy hamstering

aristocat Tue 09-Nov-10 22:32:48

thanks all ..... love the wee in a jam jar grin
i have been looking at cages and like this one

what cage do you recommend?

aristocat Tue 09-Nov-10 22:47:51

or this one?

PestoEatsHurricaneWarnings Wed 10-Nov-10 08:58:36

Aristocat, have a look at

these

grin

admylin Wed 10-Nov-10 09:07:20

Dd has 4 gerbils and her friend has a hamster. She says the hamster smells alot stronger than the gerbils. Also the gerbils are awake and playing during the day wheras hamsters are nocturnal.

aristocat Wed 10-Nov-10 14:50:33

OMG pesto those are mad!

i have been into the pet shop and i am won over grin all of the little furries are gorgeous - it was feeding time for them

thanks ladies smile

Housemum Tue 30-Nov-10 10:58:13

Check out the hamster club websites (I think the main one's called the National Hamster Council) and see if there are any breeders near you - you can get great hamsters from pet shops, but from the limited experience I've had (DD1 had 2 pet shop and 1 breeder hamster, DD2 has 1 breeder hamster) the ones from breeders can be more easily handled as they have been handled more than the ones in the big pet shops. Also, they are often bigger - ours is a comparative monster!

aristocat Thu 23-Dec-10 16:23:08

just wanted to update we have two Russians. they are white/grey and gorgeous smile

thanks for all your help

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