Hamsters make for great pets for young children as they are friendly, cuddly and easy to look after. However, it is still important that your hamster is provided with the right living conditions in order to make them a happy companion.
Like with most things in life, caring for a hamster only requires a little common sense and as long as they have enough food, water, attention and a clean cage then they will be happy.
Light and dark
The first thing you need to know about hamsters is that they are nocturnal, which means they are awake at night and sleep in the day. With this in mind, you need to put your pet somewhere where it can sleep and not disturb you and where you can sleep and not be disturbed by it. If you feel that that place is your bedroom remember: hamsters like to go on their exercise wheel when they are awake so always be sure to keep the wheel well oiled to prevent it from squeaking!
Unlike many other rodents, hamsters are not vegetarians. They don't eat exposed meat rather specially prepared meat that is mixed with all their other food. Although it is possible to prepare your own hamster meals, hamster food is readily available from most pet shops. You can also treat you hamster to some honey sticks, which, perhaps more than anything, will make it happy. But too many treats can cause stomach problems and can lead to operations, so be careful.
Always remember to make sure your hamster has clean drinking water as dirty water can be fatal for some hamsters. The container must also be cleaned, if not then the water might get contaminated.
Toys are a must! With a variety of toys around your hamster will be extremely happy. The classic favourite 'the hamster ball' never fails to bring your pet joy, and it's a great way for them to explore without getting lost!
Your hamster lives in a cage, which can sometimes get a little on the dirty side and therefore needs to be regularly cleaned out. Clean the cage at least once a month and the beddings too. Cotton and newspaper shredding are a great and cheep way to bed your pet's cage.