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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Care Guides > Syrian Hamster Setup Steps

Syrian Hamster (Mesocricetus auratus)

Experience Level: Beginner

Hamsters

Did you know? Syrian Hamsters require brushing to keep their hair free of debris like food and bedding material. Hamsters can carry half of their body weight in food stored in their cheek pouches. Hamsters will carry the food and store it in a special hiding place.

Step 1Choosing a Habitat

Housing
• Hamsters can learn to enjoy human interaction, but they’re not crazy about other hamsters, so only house one hamster per habitat.

• Your hamster needs a home large enough for a (A) food dish, (B) water bottle, hiding area and an exercise wheel. Minimum cage size is 12x12x12" with wire spacing no larger than 1/2" apart.

• Multilevel homes are preferred since they provide additional space for exercising.

• There should be plenty of room for all cage accessories, and for your pet to move around freely.

Cage Placement
• Place the habitat in a cool 65-75º F (18-24º C), low humidity area, out of direct sunlight.

 

Step 2Play and Hide

These items are essential for your Hamster’s comfort, health and well-being.

Exercise Wheel
(C) Remember hamsters are nocturnal and may use the exercise wheel after your bedtime. Syrian
Hamsters also enjoy running in an exercise ball when outside of their habitat.

Hide House (not pictured)
• Houses should be easily cleaned. Edible homes give the additional benefit of encouraging normal chewing behavior.

Chew Toys (not pictured)
• Your Hamster’s front teeth never stop growing. Your pet will need lots of healthy things to chew on like treat sticks and chews. Chew toys should be available at all times.

Nesting Material (not pictured)
• Hamsters will shred material and make sleep areas. Paper or cotton fabrics are acceptable.

Step 3Bedding

Bedding
(D) Hamsters love to hide and burrow, so provide lots of clean aspen, pine or recycled paper bedding. Line the home with 1-2" of bedding.

• Cedar bedding is not recommended for small pets.

• Bedding should be spot cleaned weekly and completely changed monthly.

 

Traits and Behaviors

Easily Startled
• Be careful, especially when waking your pet. If scared, they may bite. Always handle gently.

Exercise
• Hamsters have a lot of energy and need to run on a wheel, or in an exercise ball, every day.

Clean
• You’ll notice your hamster grooming frequently while awake.

 

HEALTH
New surroundings and environments can be stressful for pets. Prior to handling your pet, give her 3-4 days to adjust to her new surroundings while monitoring her behavior for any signs of excessive stress or illness.

 

THINGS TO WATCH FOR
• Cloudy, sunken or swollen eyes

• Overgrown front teeth

• Bare patches in the fur

• Diarrhea or discolored droppings

• Lethargic behavior

• Weight loss; not eating or drinking normally

• Sneezing; discharge from the eyes, nose or mouth

If you notice any of the signs described above, speak with a PetSmart store associate or small animal veterinarian about the health of your pet.

PETSMART CARES
Pets purchased at PetSmart are part of our exclusive Vet Assured™ program; a program designed by PetSmart veterinarians to help improve the health and well-being of our pets.

The program includes:
• Specific standards our vendors agree to meet in caring for and observing pets for common illnesses.

• Specific standards for in-store pet care.

• The PetSmart Promise: If your pet becomes ill during the initial 14-day period, or if you’re not satisfied for any reason, PetSmart will gladly replace the pet or refund the purchase price.

 

 

syrian hamster in habitat

HEALTH

New surroundings and environments can be stressful for hamsters. Prior to handling your pet, give her 3-4 days to adjust to her new surroundings while monitoring her behavior for any signs of excessive stress or illness.

THINGS TO WATCH FOR

• Cloudy, sunken or swollen eyes

• Overgrown front teeth

• Bare patches in the fur

• Diarrhea or discolored droppings

• Lethargic behavior

• Weight loss; not eating or drinking normally

• Sneezing; discharge from the eyes, nose or mouth

If you notice any of the signs described above, speak with a PetSmart store associate or small animal veterinarian about the health of your pet.

PetSmart Cares
Pets purchased at PetSmart are a part of our exclusive Vet Assured™ program; a program designed by PetSmart veterinarians to help improve the health and well-being of our pets.

The program includes:
• Specific standards our vendors agree to meet in caring for and observing pets for common illnesses.

• Specific standards for in-store pet care.

• The PetSmart Promise: If your pet becomes ill during the initial 14-day period, or if you’re not satisfied for any reason, PetSmart will gladly replace the pet or refund the purchase  price.