Feeding, Activities and Handling of the Hamster

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In the wild, the hamster spends many of the hours of the day engaged in various activities, such as looking for food, raising young and making nests. In captivity, it gets everything served.

You must therefore give the hamster the opportunity for different activities so that life in the cage does not become boring. Without activities and challenges in the cage, the hamster can get what are called behavioral disorders. It can, for example, start to chew a lot on the sprinklers in the cage. Little exercise can also lead to poor musculature and obesity.

Even if the hamster has a large and well-stocked cage, it still needs to go exploring outside the cage at regular intervals. You should always keep an eye on the hamster during these air trips and take particular care that it does not gnaw on electrical wires, disappear into loopholes, get stuck in doors or the like. You can create a safe enclosure on the floor with exciting, harmless things to investigate.

Since the hamster likes to dig burrows and tunnels in the soil, a large box with small animal litter or bacteria-free soil can be an ideal playground in the evening hours when the animal is most active.

In the summer, if the temperature permits, the walk can take place in an outdoor enclosure. If the hamster is kept outdoors, you must be present at all times. The hamster is incredibly fast and can quickly try to crawl under or over the enclosure. Therefore, the enclosure should have a roof, also to protect the hamster from attacks by birds of prey and strong sun.


The hamster is not very social and does not need petting and cuddling. It can still get used to human handling so that it does not feel threatened by this. If the hamster feels threatened, it can defend itself by biting.

It is important that adults make sure that the children treat the hamster in a careful and calm manner. The hamster is a fragile animal, and harsh hugging and cuddling can easily lead to broken bones. The animal should not be lifted high, but rather handled while sitting on the floor. You can, for example, sit on the floor when the hamster is running around freely and let it take the initiative to contact you. If you give it a treat and pat it gently, you will eventually gain the animal’s trust.

It is important to respect the hamster’s circadian rhythm. It should not be woken when it is sleeping. Handling must take place on the animal’s terms and during its active period.


You can also give protein as additional feed in the form of e.g. a piece of liver, dog biscuits or boiled egg whites once a week. You can buy food mix for hamsters in the pet shop.

Fruit, vegetables and hay are given as supplementary food in small portions, but be aware that stiff straw can damage the cheek pouches. The hamster also greatly appreciates fresh grass and dandelion leaves. Abrupt changes in the hamster’s eating habits can give the hamster diarrhoea, so new types of food should be introduced gradually.

The hamster must always have access to fresh drinking water. It is best to use a drinking bottle and change the water daily. You should regularly check that the drinking nipple is working.

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