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nismosmama
11-27-06, 11:06 pm
I took in an abandoned hamster baby today. I know she is about 1 month old, but I have no idea what 'type' of hamster she is. I am looking up information on proper care and housing to make sure I give her the best life possible. Can anyone tell what she is? Here is a few pics of her:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v124/sdxicana/Picture049.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v124/sdxicana/Picture056.jpg

crazywiggy
11-28-06, 11:40 am
Hi there,

You have a Syrian hamster. (They come in all different colours and can have long or short hair but they are all the same species).

Syrian hamsters are extremely territorial and must be housed alone. Like all small pets they need the biggest cage you have space for. They also like toys such as tunnels, cardboard tubes, a running wheel (solid so they don't hurt their feet) and a hidey house to sleep in.

I think that's the basics covered, I'm sure there are others here who will give you more detailed information.
By the way - your hamster is really cute!

wickedrodent
11-28-06, 12:07 pm
What a cutie! Have you picked a name yet?

She is a Syrian.. Make sure you dont try and put any other hamsters in the same cage as her, they are solitary and must be housed alone..

I see you are using Carefresh, good choice.. It seems to work the best (in my opinion) for my hamsters.. Make sure you have enough, so she can bury herself, Secret (my Syrian hamster) doesnt like hideyhouses (not any of them) they only thing that she likes is to bury herself in carefresh..lol

In the first picture, I see you have some sort of blanket/fleece material..
You need to take it out.. She will chew it up and swallow it, the best bedding is a few strips of plain white unscented toilet paper, they love to make nests with it.. and even if they swallow it, it wont hurt them.

For food, I dont have a specific type that I always buy, but I stay away from anything made from Kaytee..

My hamster loves cherrios and animal crackers as treats. Make sure they are the sugar free, whole wheat cherrios.. (no more than 2 cherrios OR one animal cracker per day.)

Fruits and Veggies can be given as treats, but only in small portions. Some hamsters like them, some dont.. For yours, half a grape (per day) OR a small piece of strawberry OR banana.. but only pick one per day.. if you were to give them in excess, they wouldnt be able to handle all the sugar.

For housing, In my opinion wire, multi-level cages work best.. especially for Syrians.. My recommending size is at LEAST a 14in x 28in or about a 1x2 cube sizes..

The cage I came up with was a one level bird cage, that I turn into a hamster mansion.. for only $37.. you cannot buy an actual "hamster cage" this big and sturdy for cheaper or even the same price, Plus it came with two food dishes, and a grate at the bottom, which I made into a second level. The cage comes in blue (shown below) and sea green.

I have tryed just about every "petstore" hamster cage imaginable.. and really (in my opinion) they are all NOT worth the money... at all..

The sams are "ok" but they really dont provide enough space, ventilation, and the tubes are horrible to clean..

The Crittertrails are the same as sams, but are even harder to clean.. Same with habitrails..

Aquariums worked the best (besides wire cages) but they are a pain to clean, if you have not worked out a good system, plus the ventilation is terrible, and they are rediculusly heavy..

Wire cages made for hamsters are quite small, and they dont have them same "cute" effect that the bird cages have, also I think I have only seen one wire hamster cage that has bars small enough so that they cannot squeeze through it...

Wow, sorry for the long drawn out details, but I have spent over $200 on different hamster cages, and found none to be really good...

Ok.. Here are the pics..

*NOTE* I have not added the bedding on the first floor. Nor have I added food, water bottle, and other basics..

The dimensions to the cage are 13in wide, 25 in long, and 22 in tall.. I put Secret (my Syrian hamster) into it right after I took the picture.. She loves it.. Its double the size of her old cage.. (it was a one level 1x2) I am probably going to add a third level as well.. but not right away..

http://img147.imageshack.us/img147/8876/hamstercage112706001ca3.jpg

http://img147.imageshack.us/img147/7575/hamstercage112706002qp4.jpg


If you have any questions, that need answers right away, feel free to IM me.. My yahoo is pinkrubberduckies11 and my msn is [email protected] Oh, and my email is [email protected]

nismosmama
11-28-06, 12:51 pm
Oh wow, thank you for all the info! That is great to know about the fleece! I put it in there because I figured it would help keep her warm, but I will take it out ASAP. What is the idea temperature for hamsters? Are they very delicate with cold and hot, or is their temp similar to what I would have for my pigs? I LOVE the bird cage! I will definitely look into that. I was actually thinking of building her a CC cage above the pigs cage. They won't have any contact of course, but it would make it easy to have them in the same location since I have a tiny apartment. I've seen mesh cubes and I was thinking about making her one out of those.
I do have some questions about their characters and tempraments. Obviously I know now she is to be kept alone, but are hamsters known for leaping off of things?? Do they get hurt easily? She scared the bejisus out of me yesterday when I brought her home because she literally leaped out of my hand as I was holding her! Good thing she fell on carpet, but I was sure she was going to be hurt. But it was like nothing for her. Then when I put her in the cage she started climbing to the top of the cage then leaping all the way down!! Oh my, she has been quite entertaining to watch but I am just so curious as to whether this is normal hamster behavior. I told my husband it looked like we had a spaz hamster, haha! I do have a wheel for her that's plastic, so she can't get stuck on anything, and she loves it! She's been on that thing constantly running up a storm. Her cage is pretty small, but I had to get her something for the meantime, and since she herself is so tiny its ok for the time being. I will however get her a bigger place as soon as possible. I can't wait to make a fun playground for her!
How big do Syrians get? I know she is only like 1 month old and she is super tiny, so I'm wondering what their average weight gets to. Also, what illnesses are they suseptible to? When I just got her she was very spaztic, screeching like crazy and jumping when we even tried to touch her. Now she is a little more calm and she doesnt immediately try to leap out of my hand when I hold her, but I'm still trying to get her used to us. I was afraid she may have been sick, but I think she was just scared.
Also, are Syrians known to bite? Should I be weary of that?

Wow, so many questions, thank you for all your help!
Is there a website or forum like GuineaPigCages.com for hamsters that I could go to?

cookie_gal
11-28-06, 12:57 pm
You've got a heinz 57, she's a partial banded hamster with golden and grey colouring. Most importantly...she's gorgeous!

wickedrodent
11-28-06, 01:16 pm
What is the idea temperature for hamsters? Are they very delicate with cold and hot, or is their temp similar to what I would have for my pigs?


Just a normal temperature.. the same temp. as the pigs will be fine, as long is its not too hot or cold. Also, make sure the temp. remains constant, no changing a lot... example: not 70 degrees one day and 90 the next.. or the opposite.


I do have some questions about their characters and tempraments. Obviously I know now she is to be kept alone, but are hamsters known for leaping off of things?? Do they get hurt easily?

They do tend to jump, especially when you first get them.. I would recommend putting her in a ball (or other container) sitting in the bath tub, and letting her run around (make sure you plug the drain.) That way, she can get used to you without being able to jump all over the place.


How big do Syrians get? I know she is only like 1 month old and she is super tiny, so I'm wondering what their average weight gets to.

Hm, Im not sure of their weight, but I do have a picture of my hamster.. She is an adult, and as big as she will get. http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d96/princessfionachanel/Secret7-24-06007.jpg

This is a picture of another hamster I had (Stormi, he was also an adult in the picture) http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d96/princessfionachanel/stormieating.jpg


Also, what illnesses are they suseptible to?

Wet tail. Its caused by them getting stressed or eating too much of certain foods (iceburg lettuce for one.. make sure you dont feed her any iceburg, it contains too much water) If she has wet tail, her poop will be very watery.. Dont buy any of the "dry tail" or other genaric products from petstores, they can make it worse.. She would need antibiotics from the vet.


Also, are Syrians known to bite? Should I be weary of that?

I have never had/played with a Syrian who bit more than a few times (out of more than 15...) although, they can bite if your hands smell like food (make sure you wash your hands before handling her.


Is there a website or forum like GuineaPigCages.com for hamsters that I could go to?

Hamsters galore! (http://groups.msn.com/hamstersgalore) Its a REALLY great site.

nismosmama
11-28-06, 02:21 pm
Thank you for all your answers :).
A couple more questions though, hehe.
Do they sleep alot? Are the nocturnal?
Also, what should I look for as far as illness. Seems like I should look for runny poop, but what about physically?
And one more, how often should their cage be cleaned? Since she has carefresh her poops are obviously hiding because I don't see any, so wondering if I should clean it maybe like once a week?

thank you again!

wickedrodent
11-28-06, 02:38 pm
Thank you for all your answers :).

Your very welcome :D


Do they sleep alot? Are the nocturnal?

Yes, they are nocturnal, although I have noticed some sleep more than others. I have had Syrians that have been awake before 4pm.. and others who did not wake up until 11pm.. It really depends on the hamster.

The worst thing you can do is to wake a sleeping hamster (well, at least by trying to pick them up, or poking them, ect..) I have found that making a high pitch whistle, or squeek (by putting your lips together and breathing in like you are sucking through a straw.. if that makes sense??) draws them out of sleep, but still keeps them in a happy mood. Also, when they are awake, giving them a cherrio (I have not ever had a hamster that did not like cherrios) is another way to tempt them out of the cage.


Also, what should I look for as far as illness. Seems like I should look for runny poop, but what about physically?

Here is a site that explains a lot of different hamster illnesses..
Hamster illnesses and diseases - common illnesses affecting hamsters (http://www.ask-the-vet.com/hamster-illnesses-diseases.htm)


And one more, how often should their cage be cleaned? Since she has carefresh her poops are obviously hiding because I don't see any, so wondering if I should clean it maybe like once a week?

Once a week is good, as long as it is a good size cage. Although if it is a smaller cage, I would suggest cleaning it twice a week. Since, the smaller the cage, the more piled up the poop will get.

Shaffy
11-28-06, 11:08 pm
Hamsterific! About hamsters for hamster lovers! (http://hamsterific.com/hamsters.html) Great site! has a fourm and everthing even a form area on GPS. that how i got here.

nismosmama
11-29-06, 09:59 am
Oh My Goodness! Ok, I just have one question, is there such a thing as a quiet wheel??? HAHA! Because WOW, I had NO idea how active this little girl was until last night! She was on that wheel from like 10pm until at least 2am! I mean, i could not sleep. I have a very small 1 bedroom apartment, so its like no matter where in the apartment her cage goes,I can hear that wheel, haha! Its a big yellow plastic wheel, I see some people have wheels that look different than the one I have, so I'm wondering, do some wheels make a difference when it comes to how loud they are? Hehe, I love watching Bella going all crazy and just running away for hours, but when its 12am and I am trying to sleep so I can wake up at 5:45am for work, its not so fun anymore. I'm sure there has to be some solution right? I couldn't believe she wouldn't get tired! :P

wickedrodent
11-29-06, 12:15 pm
This is the best, most silent wheel..

PetSmart - Super Pet Silent Spinner (http://www.petsmart.com/global/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=84552444180 7874&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302047891&ASSORTMENT%3C%3East_id=2534374302023695&bmUID=1164824055124&itemNo=2&In=Small+Pet&N=2047891+4294965743&Ne=2)

My hamster runs on it all the time, and she hardly makes a sound. Make sure you get the larger size though, you dont want her hurting her back, if its too small..

Percy's Mom
11-29-06, 09:25 pm
Yep, if you have a runner, that's an awesome wheel. Just about silent, and completely solid, so little toes can't get caught. You can also find it online at 6.5" Super Pet Silent Spinner Small Animal Supplies (http://www.critterstore.com/sp-61414.html) so you don't have to support PetSmart to get one.

HowietheGreat
11-29-06, 11:16 pm
She does look like a golden mix. I have a huge soft spot for Syrian hamsters. I had them growing up and always found them to be sweet tempered. Mine loved grapes cut in half. If her food bowl looks to be consistently empty, peer around-she will be hoarding. It is adorable watching them stuff their cheeks with their goodies. Make sure she is eating her veggies and not storing them. I have also found it helpful to keep "wet tail" medication on hand but I had them years ago so I am not sure if it is still recommended. She is adorable!!!

nismosmama
11-30-06, 03:51 pm
Percy's Mom, or anyone else, do you all know of another website that sells the silent spinners? That Critter site doesn't have them available at this time :(

Percy's Mom
11-30-06, 05:26 pm
Larger one at Target: Target : Silent Spinner Exercise Wheel (http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html?asin=B0006IK0PQ&AFID=Froogle&LNM=B0006IK0PQ|Silent_Spinner_Exercise_Wheel&ref=tgt_adv_XSC10001)
Strictly Pet Supplies: Strictly Pet Supplies (http://www.strictlypetsupplies.com/productdetails.php?sku=045125614145)
Become.com: Become.com - Shop results for silent spinner wheel (http://www.become.com/shop?q=silent+spinner+wheel&utm_campaign=become&utm_source=yahoo&utm_medium=sem&utm_term=silent+spinner+wheel)

There are probably quite a few more. I just searched on Yahoo! (http://www.yahoo.com) for "silent spinner wheel".

KaceyH
12-11-06, 05:36 pm
I would like to add a silent spinner wheel is too small.
:(
Syrians require an eight inch wheel.
Be careful to take things slow as syrians can get an illness called wet tail as menchioned. Over the counter medication for the treatment also *tends* to make things worse in over 40% of the time so there is a low risk. Wettail is an illness in which the hamster becomes dyhydrated and it is shown by a dirty bottom and diarhea. Wet tail if not kept hydrated and taken to the vet kills within ussually three days. So if your lovely hamster ever gets wet tail give alot of cucumbers and water. I recomend this site: Hamsterheaven.co.uk I am a member and they answer many questions and help you gain alot of knolege.