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(11 Posts)
stillnotsorted Tue 18-Nov-14 15:45:35

Thinking of a hamster or two for dds. Woman in shop said the following. Is she correct?:

1. You can keep dwarf Chinese hamsters together in the same cage

2. A small cage would be fine, even for two. A large one would make them feel insecure as they are dwarf

3. Outside, connected tubing for play isn't needed as dwarf hamsters don t really like going in tubes

4. Dwarf Chinese hamsters don t nip as much as Syrian ones

PixieofCatan Tue 18-Nov-14 17:06:21

I'll be honest, I know nothing about hamsters but I saw your thing about cage size and thought that it didn't seem quite right as with other rodents the advice is to get as big as possible. This site suggests the same:

Find out if you have any family friendly hamster breeders around you. I have rats and my local NFRS breeder also breeds hamsters, mice and gerbils. I've been in her shop and have been able to pick all four types straight out of the cage with no issues. The hamsters I had as a child would nip if you went near them.

Breeders are usually better than pet shops, who buy animals from rodent farms more often than not. Do not believe the signs in pets corner and other shops about buying from proper breeders, I've been in various ones who admit that they gets theirs from a rodent farm in Essex, I live on the south coast of Sussex so the poor creatures are being driven down in large groups in small boxes. Also ask to handle one of them, if a shop doesn't let you, don't buy from them.

I don't know if certain breeds are nippier than others but being handled from a young age certainly does affect things.

PCBurnsarrestedme Tue 18-Nov-14 17:14:42

I thought handling was not recommended for dwarf hamsters but could be wrong. We have always had syrian. Sociable chaps, single occupant, like being handled

PixieofCatan Tue 18-Nov-14 19:45:32

Oh really? Yeah, I don't know about hamsters! But still, breeder is always better if you can find one. If they are okay to be handled then a breeder will have handled them iyswim? Is there some sort of hamster appreciation society? They d be able to advise you on breeders if there is one.

PixieofCatan Tue 18-Nov-14 19:56:41

Sorry, I went into generic rat-advice mode, asking to handle rats is a big thing in buying them imo.

CleaninQueen Tue 18-Nov-14 21:02:59

None of our dwarf hamsters were red friendly. Our Chinese fought and had to be in a separate cage. I wouldn't get a cage from a pet shop as they don't care or the welfare and just want money all of the cage are too small for hamsters they like having as much space as they can as they then don't have to protect their territory as much. I wouldn't recommend dwarf hamsters if you haven't owned them before.

stillnotsorted Wed 19-Nov-14 02:07:17

Thanks for the advice and links. Having read around I think I m now going to buy one male Syrian hamster from a breeder. A few other questions though:

When is the breeding season?

Are there disadvantages to getting a hamster?

goodasitgets Wed 19-Nov-14 02:33:51

A Syrian needs a BIG cage. Look up hamster heaven cage and that's the size recommended by the RSPCA
Wodent wheels are amazing wheels and v quiet when spinning as well
Toilet train it grin you can get a pet toilet and if you get a good hamster it works really quickly (I had one that flat out refused but the others were all fine)
Local pet shop or breeder. Don't go near p@home, I had two from there that both died at 12 weeks from the same problem sad

stillnotsorted Wed 19-Nov-14 15:25:50

Thanks. How do I train a hamster to use a toilet?

goodasitgets Wed 19-Nov-14 16:07:28

Buy hamster toilet (p@home sell them). Put soiled bedding in it. Hamster goes to loo in it. Done!

stillnotsorted Wed 19-Nov-14 18:31:15

Sounds easy enough. If only kids were that easy....

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