Don’t forget your housekeeping duties! Remove droppings, uneaten food and soiled bedding every day. Every week, remove
and replace all the bedding, and scrub the bottom of the cage with hot, soapy water.
The enclosure should be placed away from direct sunlight and drafts, and lined with an absorbent bedding such
as timothy hay, aspen shavings, shredded paper or pelleted bedding. Do not use pine or cedar chips, as the fumes from these
products can be harmful to your pets.
Hamsters are big on exercise, so please make sure yours has a wheel for running. Hamsters also like to hide
and sleep inside enclosed spaces, so you’ll need a small box with an entrance hole or a small flower pot for this purpose.
And they love crawling through tubes, which can be homemade (empty cardboard tubes from paper towels and toilet paper!) or
purchased from a pet supply store. And finally, you may notice that your hammy is a major creature of comfort. Remember to
regularly give him small pieces of paper towel or napkin to shred and make a nest with.
A hamster’s teeth grow continuously, so your pet will need to chew—a lot—to keep his choppers
in tip-top condition. Make sure he always has a piece of wood or twig that has not been treated with pesticides, other chemicals
or paints. Pieces of dog biscuit will work well, too.
It’s important to get your little guy (or gal) used to you, and used to being handled. Start by feeding
your hamster treats; once he’s comfortable accepting treats from your hand, you can gently and securely pick him up.
Hold him for a short time at first, and then gradually increase your time with him.
Once you’ve hand-tamed your hamster, every day you should let him play outside of the cage, in a secure,
enclosed area, while you supervise. Be sure to remove any electrical wires from the area, and anything else your curious pet
could, but shouldn’t, gnaw on.