This is the second most important element for hamsters. The wheel allows the hamster to get enough exercise. It therefore allows him to run enough to meet his needs.
The essential accessories
A good wheel adapted to its size: minimum 20 cm in diameter for a dwarf hamster (ideally 25 cm or more), 25 cm in diameter for a Syrian hamster (ideally 28 cm or more) A suitable water point (preferably a wide-billed bird drinker or a shallow water bowl, rather than a bottle that does not allow hamster to drink naturally and causes problems).
Several hiding places: house (minimum 14 cm long and 12 cm high for a dwarf hamster, minimum 18 cm long and 12 cm high for a Syrian hamster), cork tunnels, roots (no mopani which is toxic). A chinchilla sand pot (or bath soil) big enough for the hamster to roll around in.
Warning: Don’t use bird sand, beach sand or construction sand….
You can also use sopalin or toilet paper. The material put in must disintegrate easily in contact with water to be not dangerous if the hamster swallows it. This will allow the hamster to make its nest.
Beware; cotton sold in pet stores or pharmacies is extremely dangerous for hamsters. It can wrap around their legs and cut them off, or around their necks and strangle them.
How to choose the right wheel for my hamster?
The wheel is the most important element of the hamster cage. Indeed, hamsters like to do a lot of wheel works. It is essential to provide your hamster with a suitable and good quality wheel.
The wheel must be silent, it is more pleasant for you but also for your hamster which is in the center of the noise and which has very fine hearing. It must rotate well, must not vibrate or tremble. The wheels sold with the cages are rarely suitable; many hamsters don’t like them. Bar or bilateral bar wheels are dangerous for hamsters.
The wheel must be big enough for him. The hamster should have a straight back when running in it, it should not need to lift its head. It must be at least 20 cm for a dwarf hamster, 25 cm minimum for a Syrian hamster. However, A wheel is never too big for hamsters. The bigger it is, the more comfortable and fun it is.
Which house and hiding places for my hamster?
Your hamster will appreciate having many hiding places at his house. A large house with large doors is one of the most important elements of the hamster’s habitat. Hamsters like houses with several rooms so that they can arrange a bedroom area, a toilet area and a pantry area.
The houses must be at least 14 cm long and 12 cm high for a dwarf hamster, 18 cm long and 12 cm high for a Syrian hamster. The hamster must have at least one spacious house that rests on a thick layer of bedding. It is preferable to use bottomless houses. If the houses have a bottom, they must be more than 10-15 cm high to be able to put a lot of litter in them.
You must be careful with the size of the entrances to hamsters’ houses and toys. For a dwarf hamster, they must be at least 6 cm high or wide for houses and 5 cm for toys. For a Syrian hamster, they must be at least 7-7.5 cm high or wide for houses and 6-6.5 cm for toys.
It is important to offer to your hamster one hiding place per floor, and one buried under the litter box. Homes with removable roofs are preferable, as they allow easy access to the nest to clean it or check that the hamster is fine in case of illness.
The hamster’s bowl, it is important?
The bowl is not an essential element of the hamster. Hamsters are animals that like to look for food.
You can therefore hide it in different places in the cage. This method has the advantage of occupying the hamster, but it is less easy to monitor food consumption.
To give to drink to your hamster, you have two options: a bird drinker (or water bowl), or a baby bottle. Water troughs allow the hamster to drink in a natural position. Choose one with a wide beak so that the hamster can easily drink. As some water is in the open air, it is better to change it every day. To keep the water clean, it is advisable to place the water trough on a floor without litter. A bowl with low edges is also suitable. It must be heavy enough that the hamster cannot turn it over and also be at most 1.5 cm high.
Baby bottles have the disadvantage of being able to clog up at any time. If you choose this option, be very careful and check the bottle twice a day for proper functioning.
Sand bath for my hamster
The sand bath is a very important thing for hamsters. It allows them to clean themselves by rolling in it. They can also put some in their mouths to clean their teeth.
Be careful, you shouldn’t take just any sand. Only chinchilla sand purchased in pet stores is suitable.
Do not use sand from the beach, which contains many bacteria and whose grains can be harmful. Do-it-yourself sand or bird sand is also not suitable, their grains can be hurtful.
You must put the sand in a large container enough for the hamster to roll in. In order to prevent the hamster from putting it everywhere, it is advisable to use a closed container except on one side, such as candy jars. The Roborovskys need to have at their disposal large sandy beaches.
The hamster’s nest
The hamster’s nest is the place where your hamster will sleep. It is therefore a very important element of its habitat.
Special hamster cotton is available in all pet shops. You should know that it is very dangerous for the hamster. If the hamster eats it, it will not be able to evacuate it and may cause intestinal obstruction.
Finally, cotton contains many long, very strong yarns. If the hamster wraps a thread around a leg, it can break its leg, and while struggling, it can also cut its leg. If he wraps a thread around his neck, he can strangle himself. The same is true for “cozy special hamster” and pharmacy cotton. In order for your hamster to build a cozy nest for itself, give it odorless strips of white handkerchief.
You can give it to him at will. You can also give him green, dust-free hay. The hamster will take it for its nest.
The hamster’s Pipes.
Plastic pipes should be avoided. They are difficult to clean properly, which leads to the proliferation of bacteria. In addition, they are transparent, which is not very interesting for hamsters who prefer dark pipes. If you use hoses for rats and ferrets, be careful that the hamster cannot get a leg caught in them.
However, pipes are elements that hamsters appreciate very much. You can use cork or cardboard tunnels. The diameter of the pipes must be at least 6 cm for a dwarf hamster, 7.5 cm for a Syrian one. They should not be more than 30 cm long, so that the air can circulate properly inside. If your hamster urinates in it, it is advisable to wash them at least twice a week so that the smell of urine does not bother your hamster.