Hamster Care

Pet Lodge USA - Hamster


Some hamsters are territorial and cannot be housed together, such as the Syrian hamster. They will aggressively fight each other and inflict serious wounds.

Please look to adopt a hamster from a local animal shelter or rescue before considering to purchase one from a pet store.

Give your hamster a few days to adjust to his new home before you start picking him up or petting him. Don't let others do it, either. He needs this time to get used to his new surroundings and feel secure. Picking him up and petting him distracts him from adjusting.

A hamster should be handled gently. Any sudden movement or loud noise could frighten him.

The five types of hamsters which are predominantly available as pets include:

  1. Syrian (or Golden) Hamster (from Syria;most common pet hamster;very territorial and must be housed individually)
  2. Chinese Hamster (from China and Mangolia;keep in aquarium or solid plastic cage because they are escape artists)
  3. White Russian (Siberian) Dwarf Hamster (from southwest Siberia;keep in aquarium or solid plastic cage;turns white in winter)
  4. Roborovski Dwarf Hamster (from northern Russia and central Asia;very small;keep in aquarium or solid plastic cage)
  5. Campbell's Russian Dwarf Hamster (from northern Russia and central Asia;keep in aquarium or solid plastic cage)

Helpful hints on setting up your hamster's house:


Readily available at pet supply stores are hamster mixes. These contain seeds, pellets, cracked corn, and grains.

Every couple of days give your hamster a very small amount of nuts, sunflower seeds, fresh vegetables such as lettuce or spinach, or fresh fruit such as apple. Always pick up any and all leftover fresh food before it spoils!

Please keep within the above guidelines and never give your hamster junk food, candy, chocolate, etc.

Fresh water should be available at all times! Use an inverted bottle with a drinking tube. The bottle and tube should be changed daily, and the water as needed.

Because your hamster's teeth continuously grow, have a twig, a non-treated and non-painted piece of wood, or perhaps a dog biscuit for him to gnaw on to keep his teeth in good condition.

After the first few days of adjusting to his new home, gently pick him up and feed him a treat! After he is accustomed to this handling after awhile, he can play on a daily basis in a secure and enclosed room or area while you keep an eye on him. Make sure this area is free from electrical cords and other things that he shouldn't be allowed to chew on or get into.


Seek immediate medical attention if you think your hamster is ill.

Watch for common signs like weight loss, diarrhea, runny nose, shaking, dull-looking eyes, and matted fur.