New Pets Cards N°06. Presentation of the Hamster

The hamster is a small rodent weighing 80 to 130 grams. Its average lifespan is 3 to 4 years. It feeds on specially adapted pellets or seeds, oat flakes, bread, vegetables, fruits. Its water can be supplied with a vertical bottle.

A hamster eats about 15 grams of food and drinks about ten milliliters of water per day. The hamster cage must measure about 1500 cm2 (~ 30 by 50 cm), it must be covered with litter (wood chips) and equipped with games (wheel, tunnels, ladder, branches ...).

The hamster often lives alone and its activity is rather nocturnal.

Hamsters can reproduce from the age of two months for males and a month and a half for females. The breeding season usually lasts from May to September. The gestation lasts 15 days and the litter size varies from 1 to 14 small, breastfed for 3 weeks. The little ones open their eyes at the age of 15 days.

Handling the hamster must be delicate, in the palm of the hands, to avoid injury. Aggressive hamsters are seized in a towel and should always be avoided by the skin of the neck.

Hamsters can present skin diseases, which must be cared for the welfare of the animal. Dental problems and digestive disorders (diarrhea) are often severe and should be treated promptly.