Preparing a Hamster's Cage: Step by Step Guide
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If you have decided to adopt a hamster as a pet, it is important to be informed about its specific care, feeding, and even how you should prepare its cage. For this reason, here at AnimalWised we'll offer you a simple step by step guide to preparing a hamster's cage.
Have you decided that a hamster is the best pet for you? Read on and learn how to keep your hamster healthy, safe and happy!
Of course, the first step to prepare a cage for a hamster is to buy it. Not any cage will do, as there are certain hamster breeds and types - like the Roborovski hamster - that require narrow bars, as otherwise they can escape between them.
Indifferently to what material it is made from, check that it is a quality cage, firm and large enough for the new tenant to have room to run around and exercise. There are many kinds of hamster cages: we recommend choosing one of at least 80 x 50 x 70 cm (32 x 20 x 28 in). If it can be a two-story cage, all the better.
Before purchasing a cage for your hamster you must think where you will place it, as it should be away from drafts and direct sunlight and it must be protected from other pets such as cats and dogs, who will see the hamster as prey.
Start preparing your hamster's cage by adding a drinking fountain. We recommend the "feeding bottle" type ones, as they are more hygienic, have high capacity and remain securely attached to the cage without spilling liquid.
Then, add two feeders. If we review a hamster's feeding requirements we will see it needs a feeding bowl for vegetables such as beans, zucchini, cucumber and apple bits, among others. The other feeder will serve for cereals such as oats, soy or sunflower seeds. The second feeder, which your hamster will use for the cereal, can of the dispenser type. This is a good tool for owners who are somewhat forgetful.
Don't forget to check what are the forbidden foods for hamsters so that you don't accidentally poison your new pet.
Here comes the most typical and basic element of the hamster cage: the wheel. It is an indispensable tool for your new pet to exercise during the day, allowing it to relieve accumulated stress. It is important that the wheel is not barred, that is, it should be completely smooth so that the hamster's legs will not get caught in it.
The cage should have a nest in which our little hamster can rest and store its food reserves. In the market you will find very original ideas like small huts or soft balls. The nest requires a material in which your hamster can feel at ease. Get something that it can break and that is not harmful if swallowed: we recommend dry hay.
Remember that the size of the house or nest should match the size of the hamster: some cases, such as the Syrian hamster, will need a larger one.
Add some elements that encourage the hamster's physical activity, such as a tunnel, stairs or a walkway. Search your usual pet shop toys that will distract it and keep it busy during the day.
At the base of the cage you must place a substratum that you must change regularly. Its basic function is to absorb urine and feces; it's useful to keep your hamster dry and clean, but your pet will also use it to dig in and have fun.
Choose cage substratum made of wood - except pine and cedar - so it can also gnaw it if desired. Remember that hamsters need to gnaw on things to clean and wear down their teeth; caring for a hamster's teeth is extremely important for their health.
Done! This is our step by step guide to preparing a hamster's cage.
Remember to do some research to your particular hamster's breed and its specific requirements and lifestyles. There are shelters and centers that have hamsters up for adoption; we always recommend adopting pets and giving them a safe and respectful home rather than buying them from breeders.
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