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For those people who can't have cats and dogs in the home, a hamster may be one of the best pets to own. Don's be tempted into an impulse buy, however. Hamsters, while adorable and snuggle and inquisitive, may not be the best pet for everyone. Here are some important questions to consider before you dive headlong into a relationship...

Consider adopting a hamster rather than purchasing one at your local pet store. There are many young hamsters who were purchased on impluse and later surrendered to the local animal shelter when people realized there is, indeed work involved with these cute critters.

Although they must stay in a cage, they can still roam the house when handled with care. Small rolling balls make excellent ways for hamsters to roam the house, and can provide hours of entertainment (but never let them roam outside of the cage unattended).

Small children should always be watched when around hamsters so neither one gets hurt.

The hamster needs a cage to stay in. These can be either wire or plastic cages. The plastic kind often allow for add-on rooms and tubes, giving the hamster extra room to move around and explore. The cage should have cedar chips on the bottom to absorb waste products. Some types of hamsters, such as Sylvan hamsters, are territorial and cannot be housed together, so ask what kind of hamster you are buying. Keep the cage in a draft-free area, and keep in mind that hamsters usually stay awake all night and will often keep people awake while they are running in their hamster wheels. You can also purchase various types of toys and little houses to place in your pet cage to keep the hamster entertained. You will also need to supply your hamster with food and water. The water is kept in a special hanging water bottle, that hangs from the side of either type of hamster cage. A hamster cannot drink from a bowl. Hamster food is special food that comes marked as suitable for hamsters and consists of dried seeds and nuts. You can also give them occasional lettuce or other green vegetables as treats. Hamsters make great pets and can provide years of enjoyment and entertainment for the whole family. Be sure to keep your pet's cage clean and provide him with plenty of fresh water and clean food and you will have years of fun together.

Learn more about the best pets for kids:

 

stacymantle
Author: stacymantle
About the Author

Stacy Mantle is a freelance writer who currently resides in the southwestern deserts of Arizona with a few dogs, several cats, and a very understanding husband. She is a regular contributor to Pet Age Magazine, Catster, Animal Behavior College, and of course, PetsWeekly. Many of her stories and articles have been translated into several languages, and now reach an international audience. She is also the author of a bestselling urban fantasy/thriller, Shepherd's Moon; a humor book entitled, Conquering the Food Chain: Living Amongst Animals (Without Becoming One), and a line of Educational Activity Books for children.


Critter Facts

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