PUT EXTRA MONEY IN YOUR POCKET
https://www.ebates.com/r/SYBIL414?eeid=29041

Thinking about getting a hamster

Chinchillas, Beavers, Cavies, Caybaras, Guina Pigs,Mice, Nutria, Rats Etc.

Moderators: Ash, TamanduaGirl

User avatar
Juska
Posts: 2182
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2008 10:08 am
Location: Pennsylvania, US
Contact:

Thinking about getting a hamster

Postby Juska » Tue Jun 21, 2016 11:28 am

I've been considering adopting a Syrian hamster lately. I've looked on Craigslist and other local venues but there don't seem to be any being [professionally/hobby] bred, given away or adopted out by rescues, that aren't a few hours away from me. So I may go to the PetSmart I used to work at and see if they have any young-ish ones. I'd prefer a male for their more calm temperament. Color isn't really an issue, all hamsters are very cute so I'm looking for tameness more than anything. I think a hammy would be a nice pet because I work during the day and a hamster wouldn't miss me much during that time ;)

I was also mulling over building my own cage but the Rat Carriage House from Martin's Cages looks tempting as well: http://www.martinscages.com/products/cages/rat/

18" x 11" x 16", two ramps, two balconies, drop-in 3" plastic pan and the rat version of this cage comes in a powder-coated option whereas the hamster version is galvanized only. Should be more than enough room for one hammy.

If I built my own cage I'd probably do one of those deep bedding pans on the bottom so they have lots of burrowing room, and doing a wire ramped part on top with toys and water/food. The deep bedding would allow for better absorption of waste as well.

This is all hanging on whether or not my boyfriend is allergic to them. He doesn't think he is, but we are going to go to PetSmart and see if he reacts in any way around them first, before I buy or build anything. He became allergic to my rats once they grew into full adults, but rats are a little less...sanitary than hamsters, I think. At least, I don't think they like to roll in their own pee quite as much as my boys did, haha. I would like to try and give him a place to take dust baths too. Is chinchilla dust a suitable material for that? I don't think I've never seen actual hamster dust bath material. Or would something like soft play sand for kids be okay for that?

It's been a long time since I've actually had a hamster. I used to take care of the ones at PetSmart when I was in pet care so that's the most recent experience I've had with them.
Pet parent of Emo the border collie mix, Conte the schnoodle and Namira the harlequin cat!
User avatar
minervasden
moderator
moderator
Posts: 894
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2004 9:02 pm
Location: Ohio
Contact:

Re: Thinking about getting a hamster

Postby minervasden » Tue Jun 21, 2016 1:33 pm

A hamster cage should have at least a footprint of 360 square inches which is about the size of a 20Long aquarium. The smallest minimum I've seen be accepted by rescues and some hamster groups is 24"X 12"X 12" A larger one story is preferable to a smaller footprint multi-level.

Aquariums and diy bin cages are good ways to have deep bedding. You can make varied levels with your furnishing choices. There are some nice diy Ikea hacks too.

Many hamsters choose a corner(s) for urine. Short Wide mouth jars make nice litter boxes for hams who will consistently use them.

Play sand or commercial chinichilla sand is fine. The chinchilla dust can cause irritation. Syrians won't roll in the sand but they will get it into their fur by walking through it and digging. Sand is also good litter box substrate.
I stay in the dark because too much light will blind you
User avatar
Juska
Posts: 2182
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2008 10:08 am
Location: Pennsylvania, US
Contact:

Re: Thinking about getting a hamster

Postby Juska » Tue Jun 21, 2016 1:54 pm

Thanks! :) Yes, I read about the difference between the chinchilla dust and sand, I will keep that in mind for sure.

Here is the stock photo of the R640 cage I was talking about: Image
They come with plastic pans now and they can be powder coated which I did with my rats' cage I got from them.

Here's a photo of the R660 with a rat in it for size comparison: Image
The dimensions for this cage are 24" x 14" x 16" so the R640 is 6 inches less long and 3 inches less wide. But it's only $10 more for this one so if the extra space is optimal then I could get that one instead.
Pet parent of Emo the border collie mix, Conte the schnoodle and Namira the harlequin cat!
User avatar
minervasden
moderator
moderator
Posts: 894
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2004 9:02 pm
Location: Ohio
Contact:

Re: Thinking about getting a hamster

Postby minervasden » Tue Jun 21, 2016 2:47 pm

The R660 is definitely the better choice due to footprint size. Any wire levels and ramps will need covered for foot safety.
I stay in the dark because too much light will blind you
User avatar
Juska
Posts: 2182
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2008 10:08 am
Location: Pennsylvania, US
Contact:

Re: Thinking about getting a hamster

Postby Juska » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:41 am

I was thinking of laying some type of wood branches or other material over the ramp, and maybe the shelf, to make it more comfortable on his feet/easier for his nails to be worn down :) Or putting a brick/other material under the water bottle like I had for my rats.

We're going to PetSmart today (probably) to look at some hamsters, and see if Matt reacts to being near them at all. My old co-worker from PetSmart actually told me he put his two weeks notice in yesterday so I hope I can make it in before everyone I knew there is gone :/ He also says the hamsters they're getting in are milled, which is why he's leaving, along with new management being ignorant about animal care despite his best efforts. He is leaving because PetSmart was recently bought out and the new company policies and such are very sale-oriented which is why they began offering milled small pets again. The company originally stopped carrying them due to finding out about the milling, but this new leadership is putting them back, working with the same people who were milling them before. Very sad. But there's not much my co-worker can do at his level to change where they get their animal stock from.

Apparently, things really started going downhill after I left there. Like REALLY downhill. Now I'm finding out about this too...

I would rather not support the milling operation, but not finding any hamsters being given away or adopted out locally is going to make finding one without doing that hard :(
Pet parent of Emo the border collie mix, Conte the schnoodle and Namira the harlequin cat!
User avatar
minervasden
moderator
moderator
Posts: 894
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2004 9:02 pm
Location: Ohio
Contact:

Re: Thinking about getting a hamster

Postby minervasden » Wed Jun 22, 2016 10:33 am

Juska wrote:I was thinking of laying some type of wood branches or other material over the ramp, and maybe the shelf, to make it more comfortable on his feet/easier for his nails to be worn down :) Or putting a brick/other material under the water bottle like I had for my rats.


Those wooden bendy bridges might work for smaller areas like a shelf or ramp. Whatever you decide to use, binder clips are wonderful if you need some help holding it in place :) I even bought metal ones just for hamster purposes.

You've probably considered this already, but do you have any mom & pop pet stores? They generally either breed their own hamsters or get them locally. And keep watching craigslist/other listings. There's still time to get lucky.
I stay in the dark because too much light will blind you
User avatar
Juska
Posts: 2182
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2008 10:08 am
Location: Pennsylvania, US
Contact:

Re: Thinking about getting a hamster

Postby Juska » Wed Jun 22, 2016 10:57 am

There was a pet store like that but they are gone now; out of business. There is the other "pet shop" I used to work at but I know they get their animals from mills and sometimes just random people (any moggie kittens were usually from people who don't spay their cats and end up with a litter).

I will keep an eye out on craigslist. But I am kinda glad there aren't any on there being given away or oops litters. I saw some dwarf hamsters on there the other night but I want a Syrian and I think they were kinda far anyway.
Pet parent of Emo the border collie mix, Conte the schnoodle and Namira the harlequin cat!
User avatar
Juska
Posts: 2182
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2008 10:08 am
Location: Pennsylvania, US
Contact:

Re: Thinking about getting a hamster

Postby Juska » Wed Jun 22, 2016 3:03 pm

I do have a Honeywell air purifier with a built in ionizer...I know those can be bad for birds, but I wonder if hamsters would be okay with it running during the day when neither of us are in the room he'll be in, to reduce any potential allergens. The ionizer is an optional feature that can be turned on.
Pet parent of Emo the border collie mix, Conte the schnoodle and Namira the harlequin cat!
User avatar
minervasden
moderator
moderator
Posts: 894
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2004 9:02 pm
Location: Ohio
Contact:

Re: Thinking about getting a hamster

Postby minervasden » Wed Jun 22, 2016 4:19 pm

Ozone is a by product of the ionizer and the amount produced varies by brand/model. Since ozone is what makes some air purifiers bad to use around pets, just don't use the ionizer and it should be fine.
I stay in the dark because too much light will blind you

Return to “RODENTS”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest