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Small pets

Help - new hamster not drinking!

7 replies

MimiSam · 30/10/2011 14:09

We got our first hamster (female, about 8 weeks old) 4 days ago. She appears not to have drunk a drop of water since we brought her home. I have checked that her water bottle works (by shaking it and tapping the end and water definitely comes out), but just in case I bought another one and attached that too. The pet shop owner said not to worry, they don't drink much and as long as they have access to water, they'll drink it if they want to. But I am worried. I have given her small pieces of cucumber and carrot in the hope she gets some mositure out that that. I have marked the water bottles and she is definitely not drinking. Is this common? What should I do?

OP posts:
LordOfTheFlies · 30/10/2011 14:36

I don't know about hampsters but my 2 guinea-pigs don't drink much either. I give them fresh daily but they don't seem to touch it. They do have lots of veg twice a day, and like your hamster, this is where they get their fluid.If they get grass or danilions from the garden (not sprayed) we wash them,so there's moisture from them too.

Is she peeing well? What's the texture of her droppings?
These I find are a good indicator.

LordOfTheFlies · 30/10/2011 14:38


Flippin spell check first LOTF

MimiSam · 30/10/2011 14:44

She's peeing a tiny bit, pooing fairly frequently (but don't know about the texture, haven't felt it!)

OP posts:
LordOfTheFlies · 30/10/2011 16:19

I give my boys a bowl to drink from (dog bowl with a rubber ring to keep it still). I have seen them at the bowl dipping their faces in. I bought 2 bottles as well but they seemed to leak.

Their droppings are well shaped, firm (and plentiful) I haven't gome squeezing them either [hgrin]. But not dry and clumped together. I presume hamster poohs are the same, but smaller.
And you'll find the pee patches on the bedding.

LordOfTheFlies · 30/10/2011 16:20

Meant to add: I don't think a water bowl would be a good idea for a small rodent, due to safety. Mine are full grown piggies,

RubberDuck · 31/10/2011 14:50

My guinea pigs barely touched their water at the start, either and tbh, it's only one that drinks a noticeable amount now (and I think that's just because she likes the sound of the water bottle ball rather than her being genuinely thirsty - and it STILL only equates to less than half a cm lower in the water bottle by the end of the day). I remember really worrying when I first had them home, but like LOTF's piggies, they were getting most of their liquid from their fresh food.

I'd expect a hamster to need even less water than two big piggies. Is the cage somewhere close by that you'd hear the water bottle going if they did drink?

RubberDuck · 31/10/2011 15:57

Found this for you MimiSam which might reassure you: How much do hamsters drink?

Basically in summary:

  • hamsters are desert animals and don't need a lot of water
  • will get lots in their food
  • if you're really worried then a small water bowl until they get used to the water bottle might reassure you (a lid from a jar of coffee or similar could be used).
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