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All about hamsters - species All about hamsters - physical characteristics All about hamsters - character All about hamsters - habitat All about hamsters - diet All about hamsters - gnawing All about hamsters - wet tail All about hamsters - exercise All about hamsters - longevity

In the wild hamsters tend to live alone. They make their home underground which is cooler and moister than the above ground temperature of the dry desert heat. A hamster's underground home consists of one main area and many passageways where the hamster can store food, sleep and eliminate.

All about hamsters - habitat

The most desirable place for the hamster's home is a well-lit room of constant, moderate temperature (18 to 24C / 64 to 75F), in a place out of strong sunlight that could cause dangerous heating. It is also important to avoid drafts -- especially when wire cages are used.

The floor of the hamster's residence should be covered, including all intermediate levels, with a sufficiently thick layer of litter for rodents. Many types of litter are available in pet stores. Although many materials may work well, some commonly-used materials do not. Don't use cat litter as this may contain dangerous chemicals and never use cotton, wool, tissues or synthetic fibers either as these can kill your hamster. If you want to give him some especially cozy bedding, you can buy Living World® Hamster Fluff.

Hamster bedding materials made of fluffy cotton cloth are very dangerous, as they can tangle around the hamster's neck and limbs as well as pose a choking hazard. Also, they cannot be broken down by the hamster's digestive system.

Regular cleaning of a hamster's home is crucial for the hamster's health. The home must be cleaned at least once a week by replacing the soiled bedding where necessary. Hamsters are fairly neat in their bathroom habits if their enclosure is regularly cleaned. They choose one small location in which to urinate and defecate, making cleaning simple. It is not necessary to use harsh chemicals; warm soapy water is quite adequate.

Another important component
of a hamster's home is a hiding
place where the animal can
rest during the day.

Hamsters (Syrians especially) are expert escape artists. A cage with loose bars should never be used, as the hamsters will pull at these until they can squeeze through and make a dash for freedom. If a hamster does escape, the rule is not to panic. Close doors and conduct a thorough search. If the hamster doesn't show up, leave the cage open and accessible. Most often, hamsters will return to their cages within a day due to fatigue and hunger.

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