Hamster best practices and lessons learned
February 8, 2019 9:14 AM   Subscribe

I've got a new floof in the family, Waddells Hammbletonian Davenport, a long haired male Syrian hamster. Yay! I haven't had a hamster in 15+ years. He has a huge cage, appropriate bedding, and the best water bottle and laboratory-grade rodent food, but I need enrichment/toy ideas. What does your hamster love most?

It's so hard to sort out the good stuff when so much is geared to hamsters being a throwaway pet for small children -- crappy, too-small cages, unsuitable food, very sugary treats. I want Waddells to live as good as possible a life as I can give him.
posted by fiercecupcake to Pets & Animals (7 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Hamster Breeding Club forums would have solid advice. And thanks for the pics- love those floofy hamster butts.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 10:50 AM on February 8, 2019 [2 favorites]

Pumpkin seeds and TP tubes are the way to a floof's heart.
posted by aw jeez at 10:55 AM on February 8, 2019 [4 favorites]

Hamsters love toilet paper tubes so much that if your hamster gets out and you need to catch him, if you put a TP or paper towel tube near where he is, he will not be able to resist going into it. This has been nearly foolproof with all my hamsters over the years.

Pumpkin seeds came immediately to mind for me as well.
posted by Orlop at 11:19 AM on February 8, 2019 [3 favorites]

I wrote about my hamsteropolis previously. They love sand pits and having their own latrine. Highly recommend solid surfaced wheels: get the really big one as most hamster wheels are too small for adult Syrians.
posted by jamaro at 11:56 AM on February 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

Not really for him, but for you: if you haven't read I, Houdini: The Amazing Story of an Escape-Artist Hamster by Lynne Reid Banks, you owe it to yourself to do so.
posted by ubiquity at 12:56 PM on February 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

jamaro, your fantastic ham posts came up when I was scraping AskMe to see what others had done! They've been very useful. Oh, and he has the 12" wheel, which is comically large, but seems to do the trick.

Pumpkin seeds, huh? I'll try that. I found that a piece of pecan was alluring enough that he only cheeked it for a minute before pulling it out to eat.

And OMG, I forgot about Houdini! I read that a million years ago. Now I want to find it again.
posted by fiercecupcake at 1:14 PM on February 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

He's so cute!! Raw veg are good (but only in small amounts occasionally, or he will get diarrhea). Nthing pumpkin seeds! My hamsters all loved their hamster balls, and maze-like creations built with boxes, tp rolls, paper towel rolls, shredded paper, and whatever random things I put in for them to climb on. This is way beyond what I ever did but you could look up The Secret Life of My Hamster on Youtube for ideas!
posted by DTMFA at 4:18 PM on February 8, 2019

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