Q and A's

There are lots of commonly asked questions about hamsters, and how they are looked after etc. and I thought that it might be helpful to put up some Q's and A's to help people who are not quite sure about some things when looking after a hamster.

If you would like to ask a question about hamster care, just email hannah_animal_tales@yahoo.com, or ask the question in the forum, and I will reply as soon as possible, and with your permission will post that Q and A on here.

Q: My hamster's not eating very much recently, is he ill, or just not hungry?    
     What should I do?

A: The best thing to do is take him/her to a vets. Also, is she drinking less too? Is she less energetic than usual? If she is then it is more likely that she is unwell, but even if she is still as energetic as always, and still drinking normally, it is still best to take her to a vets just in case. Even if the worst news is said, at least you will know you saved her the pain of whatever illness she may have had. I have had lots of hamsters before, and some have had illness and have had to be put down, and it is heart-breaking, but at least you know you have done the right thing.

Q: How much fresh fruit and vegetables can I give my hamster? What         
     fruits/vegetables/foods can't I give her?

A: It is best not to give your hamster too many vegetables or fruit, as if you give them too much it can upset water balance, as fruit and vegetables have quite a high water content. I would recommend feeding your hamster fruit or vegetables no more than twice a week, though I don't give Willow fruit or vegetables that often. Do not give your hamster too much, they only need a small amount as they are only small. DO NOT feed your hamsters tomato leaves, sweets made for humans, lettuce, citrus fruits, garlic, onions, pickles, raw kidney beans, baked bread or anything similar, salty foods, or raw potatoes. 
For a full list of what not to feed your hamster, visit this post.

Q: How often should I clean out my hamster's cage and how often do I feed
     her change her water?

A: It is best to clean your hamster out once a week. If you wait longer than that, they can get very smelly, which is not nice for you or your hamster. You should feed her once a day, and change her water at least once every 3 days. Try to give her food at roughly the same time each day, it is better if you have a routine. (This is not overly-important, I just recommend it.) Her water should be in a drinking bottle, not in a bowl, as the water can easily get contaminated, and make your hamster ill if it is in a bowl.

Q: Can my Syrian hamsters share a cage?

A: Hamsters definitely CAN NOT share a cage. This is very important, as if they share a cage, they will fight, and one is likely to kill the other. Sometimes hamsters even eat each other, so you have to be very careful. Each Syrian hamster should have a separate cage. Even if they are a mating couple, they should only be put in a cage together for a maximum of 15 minutes.

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