Author Archives: Spacemonkey

What To Look For When Buying A Syrian Hamster

Not everyone is able to buy from a breeder so it’s always important to try and buy from reputable pet shops. Check the cages to see if they are clean and the animals look well cared for before purchasing, it can save a lot of heartache later on.

A healthy hamster should look clean and well groomed, no discharge from the nose or bottom, clear bright eyes and  alert ears (unless he/she has just woken up in which case they will be folded slightly). They should be plump to the touch but not too fat or too skinny. Watch them for a while before selecting one to see if they look alert and curious.

This picture shows a hamster in the prime of health, if you aim for a little one who looks like this you’ll hopefully have years of enjoyment from your pet.

Making A Hamster Cake Treat

I have made lots of these for my Hamster’s birthdays over the years and they love them, they are also really simple ;)

Hamster Cake Recipe

You need:

Unsweetened muesli or similar oat based cereal
1 ripe banana
Shelled sunflower/pumpkin/mixed seeds (found in health or bakery aisle at supermarket)
Finely chopped Apple (optional)
Raisins (if not in muesli mix)
Hamster safe chocolate drops (or similar treats)
Skin of cucumber or apple.

Take the seeds, raisins, chopped apple and the muesli and mash in the banana, mix thoroughly so it sticks together and is evenly covered and sticky. Compact and compress mix into a small dish and garnish with Hamster chocolates or whatever decoration you prefer and cut cucumber/apple skin into a shape or letters/numbers depending on the occasion, place on top.

Put dish in the fridge to set for a few hours. You end up with something looking like this :)

When set (about 1 hour) either add the whole dish to the cage or cut a slice and serve.

NOTE: Some people feel feeding chocolates isn’t a good idea and would prefer not to, this is fine, they can be replaced with fruit or nuts, but I figure a one a year treat won’t hurt. When making for diabetic dwarf hamsters you can omit the sweet fruit and stick to seeds for decoration.

How To Catch An Escaped Hamster

It can be very upsetting when your little friend escapes but try not to panic, there are several steps you can take to maximise your chances of finding them quickly. It’s best to start these steps as quickly as you can, waiting and doing nothing isn’t a good idea if you want to recapture them safely.

Do A Thorough Search Of The House

•  Start in the room the hamster’s cage is in and work outwards one room at a time.
•  Look under cabinets, drawers, shelves and bookcases, don’t forget to look inside, behind, and under everything.
•  Look in boxes and draws, shoes, purses, backpacks and bags.
•  Check under chairs/sofas and beds for any holes the hamster could have climbed inside.
•  Search under fridges, cookers, washing machines and other appliances. Again, look for holes the hamster could have got into.
•  Check anywhere warm and dark, like the room the water heater is in.
Whilst you are searching, make a note of any holes in the floors or walls they could have got into.

Finding If They Are Hiding Anywhere

•  Remember, your hamster will be most active at night so this is the best time to track them. Turn off the lights and sit quietly in a central location so you can hear any noises, have a torch (flashlight) handy.
•  Place the cage on the floor with a ramp leading up to the door (you can use CD/ DVD cases or books to construct this)
•  Put tin foil on the floor with a small pile of food and water in a jam jar lid/bowl in the middle. Do this in every room close to the wall, your hamster may be frightened and they tend not to want to come too far out in the open and often follow the walls when moving around.  It helps to put out strong smelling food like cheese to attract them, but tie it down, any commotion with them pulling at it on the tin foil will alert you to their presence.
•  Place flour on the floor next to any holes or places you can’t search, tiny footprints may give you a clue where they are hiding.
•  If they like using their wheel place this close to the wall in the room they were last seen, some can’t resist taking it for a spin. Put a few pieces of bigger hamster food in the wheel, this will create a fairly loud noise as they rattle around.

Just for clarification, by tin foil I mean this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aluminium_foil

If You Spot Them

Move slowly and don’t make sudden jerky movements, you’ll frighten them back into where they are hiding. Have a fairly big sheet or towel handy, your hamster will likely be scared and moving very fast, throwing a sheet/towel over them may give you valuable seconds to recapture.

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If Your Hamster Has Gotten Into The Wall

You will need to be patient and try and tempt him out using the foods mentioned above. If it is a male hamster a female can often encourage them to come out, if you don’t have one see if you can borrow one for the night from a friend or fellow forum member. If you suspect your hamster has fallen into the cavity and can’t get out you may need to call in the fire brigade/RSPCA (or local animal welfare organisation) who may need to remove fixtures and fittings in the house to get to them.

The Bucket/Bottle Trap

This method has been around for years but it’s quite effective, to construct this you will need:

•  A bucket/plastic storage tub/cardboard box
•  Sellotape
•  Scissors
•  An empty plastic soft drink (soda) bottle

(Please note a ‘stunt’ hamster was used in these photos, not a real one)

Cut the top off the plastic bottle making a hamster sized hole. Use the sellotape to cover the sharp edges.

Make a ladder using books/CD/DVD cases as a ladder leading up to the box (this picture is a rough guide to how it should look, I’m sure you’ll be able to construct something better) Balance the bottle on the books and tub and place a piece of cheese in the end furthest away from the opening. You can also use peanut butter smeared on a cracker.

The hamster will smell the food and enter the bottle to grab it

It will tip the balance and fall into the box, unable to get out.

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Hopefully your furry friend will not be away for too long, I hope some of these ideas will help :)

© Spacemonkey 2011