Caring for Hamsters

Are you looking for a pet that is easy to care for? Hamsters are very popular choices, and often become a child’s first pet. These cute little creatures are fairly low maintenance and inexpensive, and can be quite adorable. They do have specific needs, however, and may not be right for everyone. If you are thinking about bringing a hamster into your Saint Lucie County home, you’ll want to do a bit of research first to ensure a hamster is the right pet for you. Here are some of the basics of hamster care.


Hamsters are quite enthusiastic about eating, and may empty their bowls several times a day. Don’t fall for those begging eyes every time, however, or you could find that your furry little pet has become quite a butterball. Hamsters like to hoard their food, so Hammie could be taking food from his dish and hiding it somewhere in his cage, or even in those cute little cheek pouches. For more information on caring for small rodents, see the article ‘Gerbil Care‘.

Hamsters are best fed a seed mix or pellet food. You can supplement this with green veggies, raisins, apple slices, cauliflower florets, or dog biscuits. It’s best to feed Hammie either in the morning or at night, as this coincides with their natural habits.


There are several options for hamster cages. Wire cages, aquariums, cage/aquarium hybrids, and modular units are all acceptable choices. In the wild, hamsters use separate areas for their dining rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms, and you may find your hamster using different corners of his cage for specific purposes. These little furballs are fond of digging, so make sure your hamster has thick bedding. Hamsters are quite active, and do need a good amount of exercise, so be sure to get exercise wheels, and possibly tunnels for Hammie to use. You’ll also want to think about where you will put your hamster’s home before you get the cage. You won’t want to keep Hammie in your bedroom if you are a light sleeper, for instance, as hamsters are nocturnal, so they are most active at night. If you have a cat, you’ll want to make sure that Kitty can’t reach the cage.


Hamsters are fairly budget-friendly pets. You can estimate spending about $70 annually on food, treats and toys, and around $200 on bedding and litter. Cage pricing varies, but you should be able to get an acceptable cage for around $35 to $40 dollars.

Our Advice on How to Caring for Hamsters

Why are hamsters considered a popular choice for a first pet?

Hamsters are popular as first pets due to their small size, relative ease of care, and lower maintenance costs than larger pets. They are appealing for their adorable appearance and playful nature. Being nocturnal, they are active during times convenient for school-age children.

What is an appropriate diet for hamsters, and how should their feeding be managed?

An appropriate hamster diet includes a balanced seed mix or pellet food supplemented with fresh vegetables like greens, apple slices, and cauliflower. Avoid overfeeding, as hamsters often hoard food. Feeding once daily, ideally in the evening, is recommended to match their nocturnal habits.

What are the various habitat options for hamsters?

Hamsters can be housed in various habitats: wire cages provide good ventilation, aquariums offer a draft-free environment, and modular units create an engaging space. Each type should have a secure lid, ample bedding for burrowing, and enough space for exercise wheels and tunnels. The choice depends on your space, the hamster’s needs, and personal preference.

Why is it important to consider the location of a hamster’s cage in your home?

The location of a hamster’s cage is crucial for their wellbeing and comfort. Hamsters are nocturnal, so placing the cage in a quiet area where nighttime activity won’t disturb your sleep is essential. The location should avoid direct sunlight, drafts, and predators like cats. This ensures a safe, comfortable environment for the hamster and a peaceful coexistence in your home.

How can a veterinarian assist with the care and wellbeing of pet hamsters?

Veterinarians play a crucial role in pet hamster care by providing health check-ups, addressing medical issues, offering dietary guidance, and advising on habitat setup. Regular vet visits ensure your hamster’s wellbeing and can help prevent health problems, making them an essential part of hamster care. For a comprehensive assessment of your hamster’s health and wellbeing, consider our ‘Veterinary Diagnostics’ services.

Please contact your Saint Lucie County vet with any questions on caring for your pet hamster.

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