Fun Facts About Hamsters That You May Not Know

If you think a hamster is an easy pet to keep. Here are some fun facts about hamsters that might change your mind.

Hamsters are often considered a very petite and lovable pet. Thanks to their characteristics, people often mistakenly think that they will be easy to raise. However, the following article will tell you fun facts about hamsters that may surprise you, as well as give you more interesting knowledge about this lovely animal. 
What Are Hamsters?
Cricetidae is the second largest mammal, with more than 600 species such as hamsters, mice or lemmings, etc. Since the 1930s, scientists have commonly used hamsters as laboratory animals. However, a short time later, hamsters became quite popular. Despite the tiny, adorable appearance, there are fun facts about hamsters that when you hear them, you can "fall back" with surprise.

Despite the tiny, adorable appearance, there are fun facts about hamsters that you can "fall back" with surprise when you hear them
Types of Hamsters
Currently, there are about 25 different species of hamsters, but the most common are Roborovski, White Winter Dwarf, and Syrian. The Syrian hamster, also known as "the teddy bear hamster," is often chosen as a pet. However, considering their native habitat, this species of hamster is in danger of becoming extinct.

In addition, there is the Chinese dwarf hamster. They are often confused with mice because of their long and agile tails, jumping, and climbing. However, some dwarf hamsters can only reach 2 inches as an adult, while a Syrian hamster can grow to over 6 inches. As for European hamsters, they can exceed 12 inches when fully grown.

Today, keeping hamsters as pets is extremely rare in Europe. In particular, they became even rarer when they were added to the IUCN's list of critically endangered animals in 2020. The sad news for hamster lovers is that they could become extinct by 2050.
Habits, Feeding, and Development
The field mouse is an omnivore, and its main food is plants and grains. However, there are still some species of hamsters that eat animal proteins, such as insects or eggs.

In addition, hamsters often have a natural crepuscular form. This means they will be most active at dawn and dusk, with the rest being their sleep time.

Hamsters will be most active at dawn and dusk, with the rest being their sleep time

With the somewhat chubby appearance of hamsters, many people mistakenly think that they are very slow. But no, in fact, hamsters are fast runners, and they can run more than 5 miles in one night.

With proper care, a hamster can live 3 to 4 years in captivity. Besides, in this environment, hamsters will often reproduce better. This is also why they are usually kept as pets or for experiments.

On the other hand, hamsters living in the wild will often dig extensive burrows, up to about 0.5 meters deep and elaborate, consisting of many different "rooms" and branches. In particular, these species of hamsters will have the characteristic of hibernation during the cold months.

Hamsters are born with a complete set of teeth, but they are all completely blind and will gradually develop a vision as they grow up. Even so, Hamsters still have very poor eyesight and are colorblind. However, in return, they have a very good sense of smell. Therefore, hamsters often use some of the scent glands located on their backs to mark space and help them find their way.
Cheek Pouches
You may not know the word "hamster" is derived from the German word "hamstern", which means hoarding, and it is so named because they prefer storing food in their cheeks and burrows.

Interestingly enough, the hamster's cheek pouches also have their names, called displostomes. Their cheek pouches are stretchable and 2–3 times larger than their original size. Besides being used to store food, displostomes are also utilized by mother hamsters to carry their young in dangerous situations.
Hamsters are very easily startled, and they will squeal or scream. Also, they can bite you if you startle them. So, if you've just got a hamster, you should approach him slowly by talking to avoid scaring him.

Moreover, hamsters are intelligent animals and can even learn their names. Therefore, talking to your hamster also helps build trust and teaches them to form associations between words and objects or actions.

In particular, some research has shown that the mood and environment of hamsters both directly affect their health.
Health and Wellness
The hamster's teeth will not stop growing. So, in captivity, you should always have chew sticks and toys on hand to help them sharpen their teeth. If your hamster's teeth are overgrown, you should take them to the vet so they can be trimmed. In addition, their teeth can also break and grow in abnormal directions.

If you are looking for a small animal trained in a litter box, the Hamster is a great choice. They are very clean and do not like to go around in the cage. In addition, there are some species of hamsters that love dust baths, like chinchillas.

If you are looking for a small animal trained in a litter box, the Hamster is a great choice

Unlike most other rodents, hamsters do not overeat. However, they often skip food in the cage if they are not hungry or do not like it.

The health of hamsters is not so good, and they are very susceptible to diseases. Therefore, you should take them for regular vet visits. Especially as it begins to age, an annual vet visit can ensure your hamster is fine and healthy.
Living With Cage Mates
Each breed of hamster will have different physiological characteristics. For example, Syrian Hamsters are solitary animals in the wild, so you should not keep them with a mate in a cage. At 4 to 5 weeks of age, this type of hamster must be separated from its littermates to avoid fighting and causing injury.

On the other hand, for the Dwarven hamsters, this is a highly social species. Therefore, they are suitable for living with a mate in a cage.
Males, Females, and Breeding
A very special thing about hamsters is that the female will often have a bigger appearance than the male. This is because a female hamster can give birth to 6-12 cubs at a time, or more than 20 cubs.

Baby hamsters are often called "pups". You should not touch newborn hamsters before they ruffled and roamed independently.

Baby hamsters are often called "pups"

Like other mammals, mother hamsters also breastfeed. So, to keep her healthy and give her enough energy while breastfeeding, give her protein with small pieces of cheese, cooked egg, a bowl of milk, or a small amount of boiled chicken. In addition, you should keep the mother mouse's habitat quiet after they give birth. Because if the mother Hamster feels threatened, she can eat her baby.

In particular, if the male hamster does not have the instinct to be a father, you should not let him near the baby hamsters. Because most likely, he will try to kill or eat the baby mice, or he may die in the fight with the female as she tries to protect her baby.

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Mary G Mitchell
Mary G Mitchell
An obsessive eater and cook who wants to make your life easier in the kitchen.