How to Set Up a Hamster Habitat

by Ali Brown about a year ago in hamster

For a Happy Ham!

How to Set Up a Hamster Habitat

So you’re thinking of getting a hamster? Great! I find they make wonderful small pets. I’ve had a Syrian hamster for over a year now and a Dwarf hamster for about half a year. They are so fun to watch and play with.

But, when I first got my hamster, I knew nothing about hamster habitats and hamster care. I ended up wasting a lot of money when I could have saved it in the first place by buying the proper things right off the bat. Lesson learned.

In this article I will provide information on how to set up a hamster habitat, and what to include. So you can have a happy hamster who enjoys its living conditions as much as possible!

Here’s what you’ll need:

A Properly Sized Cage:

The cages that pet stores provide marketed for hamsters are not suitable for hamsters in most cases. Wire cages can cause problems such as bar chewing and make it more likely your hamster will escape. And, most all cages they sell DO NOT meet the minimum cage size recommendation.

Currently, the recommended cage minimum, for any hamster, is 450 square inches. A good cage is a 40 gallon breeder or even a 55 gallon aquarium with a mesh lid for ventilation. Hamsters love to burrow, play, run and hide. The more space you can give them, the better!

Here's a video called Tank Size Comparisons by a great Youtuber named HoppingHammy

Proper Bedding:

First of all, let’s start off with unsafe bedding. Pine and Cedar wood shavings are unsafe. They can splinter into sharp pieces. Also, they can give off toxic fumes that can harm your hammy’s breathing! Some pet stores also sell ‘fluffy bedding’. Fluffy bedding seems to be great but it is made from fibers that hamsters cannot digest easily if they were to try. Also their fragile legs can get injured if they become tangled in fluffy bedding. Scented bedding is also unsuitable as it contains chemicals that may lead to breathing problems for your hamster.

Safe Beddings Include:

Carefresh Ultra

Carefresh Colors

Kaytee Clean and Cozy (Unscented)

Aspen Shavings

4-6 inches of bedding will keep your hamster comfortable and also will give enough bedding for your buddy to burrow.

A Proper and Properly Sized Hamster Wheel:

First of all , hamsters should have a solid grounded wheel. Such as Kaytee’s ‘Silent Spinners’. The mesh type of wheels can hurt hamster’s feet and give them bumble foot! Secondly, a hamster that’s bending it’s back while running on its wheel is NOT a happy hamster. Syrian hamsters should have a minimum 9. inch wheel and Dwarf Hamsters a 6.5 inch wheel.

Food Dish and Water Bottle:

Of course, hamsters eat and drink, just like any other animal. They will need a food dish and a water bottle. I do not recommend a water dish as they will just throw bedding into it and contaminate the water. From my experience, hamsters love sitting in their food bowls whilst they eat. So, make sure your food bowl is large enough for your ham to do this. Water bottles can be attached by Velcro to aquarium cages very easily.

Something to chew on:

Hamsters teeth are constantly growing, therefore it is important that your hamster has something to chew on. Otherwise, it’s teeth will grow too large and cause harm. Put some chew toys in your hamster’s cage. Change out these toys weekly for variety!

Hideouts:

Hamsters like to hide when they sleep. So, provide a hideout for them. You can use a bendy bridge or a wooden house. They sell these at most pet stores.

Thanks for reading my hamster habitat set up information! Be sure to do your research before bringing home any new pet. It will save you money in the long run, and make your pet much happier.

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Read next: Calling All Wannabe Pet Owners
Ali Brown

Ali is 18 years old and resides in Ontario , Canada. She is currently attending college for Visual And Creative Arts and writes in her spare time.

See all posts by Ali Brown