Having a good hamster habitat is key to keeping a healthy and happy hamster. There are many options that you can buy at the pet store, and plenty of tutorials for how to make your own cages and habitats at home. However, every habitat requires the same fundamentals in order to keep your hamster happy.
- Bedding: There should be enough bedding for your hamster to be able to dig and build tunnels with. Depending on the size of your hamster, this may require several inches of bedding.
- Space: Some cages that are available in stores have lots of plastic tunneling, which takes up a lot of space inside the cage. The tunnels themselves may also be too small for your hamster, and risks leading them to suffocating.
- Hamster Wheels: Hamster wheels are great exercise tools, but need to be a certain size. Your hamster should be able to run while keeping their back completely straight, on a closed running surface, and with one closed side.
- Sand Bath: Hamsters like to have a sand bath available to keep themselves clean, as cleaning them with water can lead to health complications. You can get the sand bath grit at a pet store, and it should be placed in a large container so that your hamster has plenty of room to roll around.
- Hiding Spots: Hamsters are shy creatures, and benefit from having places in their habitats that they can burrow into and hide. Good examples would be coconut shells, wide toilet paper rolls, or small houses that you can get at the pet store.
- Hamster Balls: While it’s cute to see your hamster rolling around on the floor in a ball, they aren’t always the safest. Most balls tend to have little ventilation, and prevent your hamster from being able to see, hear, and smell their surroundings, which can cause them to panic.
Hamsters are a great low-maintenance option to having a pet, but they should be taken care of properly. Always take some time to do research on any pet you are considering, and take just a little time to make sure that they are living happy and healthy lives.