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Hamsters - Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the life span of a hamster?

A.  Syrian hamsters usually live from two to three and a half years, with an average age of eighteen months to three years. A few can live over four years, but this should not be expected. Dwarf Winter White, Russian, Campbell’s’ and Chinese hamsters, usually live from eighteen months to two years.

Q. Why does my hamster sleep all day?

A. Hamsters are for the best part nocturnal. They sleep by day but are very lively at night. They will be seen out during the day for short periods of time. The best times to see you hamster are early morning and during the evning.

Q. Should my hamster be eating his poop?

A. Yes! Hamsters have a different digestive system to humans. Hamsters produce two types of faeces — one that's partially digested containing lots of nutrients, and one that's just waste. Hamsters practice coprophagy, eating the nutrient-filled excrement to get the nutrients from it and digest it fully.

Q. Can I train my hamster to toilet in a hamster potty?

A. You can obtain hamster potties from good pet shops or use a glass jar and place it in a corner of the cage that you think the hamster is using – make sure that the toilet is big enough for the hamster to get in and out of and turn around easily. Collect a small quantity of wood shavings that your hamster has already urinated on and place it inside his new toilet. Then clean your hamster cage out including all equipment. This will eliminate all odours. Put everything back into the cage, placing the new toilet in an area you consider to be the best place for it. If it doesn't work first time, keep trying!

Q. Do hamsters get lonely?

A. Syrians are solitary creatures. One of the most important things you can do for your hamster is to give him the living conditions his instincts demand. Usually Dwarf hamsters can live together in small groups. However you should always watch to see if they start fighting. If serious fighting is seen and sustained over time the hamsters should be permanently separated.


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