The Syrian hamster is a small and fluffy pet that is a favorite of many children and adults. The behavior of the rodent is friendly towards humans, so such a pet can be started even in those houses where small children live.
What are the characteristics of a furry pet? How to properly care for him? How to feed a hamster and which cage to choose? Find answers to these and some other questions in our material.
The Syrian hamster is one of the most common rodents and is usually kept in the home. The animal has certain features that should be discussed in more detail.
First of all, veterinarians and biologists distinguish such an unusual characteristic of the Syrian hamster as the changed number of fingers: on the front paws there are 4, and on the hind legs – 5. In addition, it is important to note that often rodents of this species have an aesthetically pleasing coat, which is traditionally dyed golden. Also, hamsters can be beige, black, brown, etc. Moreover, the color can be either uniform (consisting of one color), or include several tones and halftones at once.
Among other things, another unusual characteristic of the Syrian rodents is the length of the coat. So, distinguish short-haired, long-haired and even smooth-haired individuals. Moreover, females have much shorter hair than males.
Syria is considered the birthplace of this animal (whence the name of the breed came from). Later, the hamster was brought to the UK, and from there it spread throughout the world, including our country.
If we talk about the biological characteristics of the rodent, it is important to note that its body length usually does not exceed 12 centimeters in the wild and 20 centimeters at home. Weight varies depending on the sex of the rodent: females can weigh up to 140 grams, and the weight of males, in turn, usually does not exceed 125 grams. However, there are exceptions, the weight of which reaches 200 grams.
A huge advantage of Syrian hamsters is their predisposition to contact with people. For this reason, cute fluffy rodents often become the first pets of young children.
How to choose a cell?
First of all, it is important to note that you need to keep a hamster at home in a large and spacious cage. In no case should banks, cardboard boxes and other improvised containers be used for these purposes. Such conditions for a rodent are considered unfavorable and can cause stress, aggression, etc.
It is also worth remembering that The Syrian hamster is an animal that is nocturnal. Therefore, you should not put a cage with a rodent in the bedroom – your pet will interfere with sound sleep. On the other hand, the hamster itself also does not tolerate loud noises, so in the kitchen, where household appliances are constantly working, or in the living room, where the TV is on, it does not belong. The solution to the placement problem can be to move the cage from one room to another during the day.
In general, the cage for a rodent should be spacious enough. The size should allow the hamster to move freely around his home. Also, the dimensions depend on how many additional elements you plan to install inside the cage.
As for additional accessories, the hamster needs:
- dishes for food and drinkers;
- a place for a toilet;
- running wheel;
Moreover, it is important to pay attention to the arrangement of these objects: the best option is the case when all the elements are located a few centimeters from each other, and the toilet and food places are at different ends of the cage. Thus, the cage will meet all the necessary conditions for keeping a rodent.
How and what to feed?
Since Syrian hamsters can be found not only at home, but also in nature, the animal’s diet should be based on its natural habits. In this regard, the bulk of the animal’s food should be seeds, cereals and herbs.
Zoological stores sell a huge variety of mixtures suitable for feeding a hamster. Usually they contain not only the main food, but also additional elements in the form of minerals, vitamins and other substances useful for the body of the creature.
If you want to make food yourself, then you can do it, by mixing oats, millet, corn grains and sunflower seeds. Periodically in the hamster’s diet, you can enter fresh herbs, fruits, vegetables and berries.
A common disease of Syrian hamsters is diabetes, so try to avoid too sweet foods in the composition of his food.
Among other things, protein should also be included in the diet of the Syrian rodent. Your pet can get this nutrient from foods such as egg white, chicken breast, and white fish.
Don’t forget also Replenish your hamster drinker daily with water.
How to properly care?
The Syrian hamster needs to be carefully and thoroughly cared for. Moreover, this should begin to be done from the moment you acquired the rodent. It should be remembered that animals of the Syrian breed are very sensitive to various kinds of stress.
Therefore, it requires special attention in the first days after the purchase and change of residence. During this period, it is important to protect the hamster from any noise and a large number of people. The animal needs to be given the opportunity to get used to its new home. If you neglect these rules, you can provoke aggression. For the same reasons do not wake the animals during sleep.
Care should include hygiene procedures for cleaning the hamster. However, in this regard, it must immediately be taken into account that the hamster should never be bathed in water. Water procedures should be avoided.
Usually, the animal takes care of its hygienic condition on its own. However, many veterinarians recommend placing a small tray of clean, sanitized sand in the cage to allow your pet to brush its own fur (such sand can be purchased at any pet store). If you notice that the hamster’s hair has dirt that it cannot cope with on its own, then clean its hair with wet cotton pads or napkins.
To keep your pet’s coat clean, clean the cage regularly. Pay special attention to removing food and faeces. It is believed that cleaning of the rodent cage should be carried out at least once every 3 days.
Diseases and treatment
In case of non-compliance with the necessary conditions of detention and care rules, the hamster may develop various diseases. Most of all, Syrian rodents are prone to such ailments:
- the problem of overweight and obesity;
- disorders of the digestive tract;
- eye problems;
- skin diseases;
When the first, even the most insignificant signs of disease appear, you should immediately contact your veterinarian. Ignoring or self-medicating can lead to the death of your pet.
If you want to protect your pet in any way, then you should strictly follow all the instructions of specialists and listen to the recommendations of veterinarians. Show love and care for your pet.
Reproduction and offspring
Breeding Syrian rodents at home is a fairly popular activity among livestock breeders. However, it is worth noting that such activities can be quite difficult and costly (not only in terms of money, but also in terms of time).
In order to start crossing rodents, you should remember a few facts. It is impossible to cross animals from the same litter – this can cause a variety of genetic diseases and abnormalities in offspring. For the same reason individuals for crossing should be purchased from different sellers. In addition, the female and male should be approximately the same age.
The age of sexual maturity of Syrian hamsters is 4-6 months. It is at this time that they can begin to produce offspring into the world. However, until the specified period, the female and male should be kept separately – otherwise conflicts and fights may arise over the division of the territory. After mating, animals should also be immediately separated.
The gestation period for a female special Syrian hamster lasts about 2 weeks. At this time, special attention should be paid to the diet of a pregnant woman – add more fresh fruits, vegetables and protein. After the female has given birth to babies, it is not necessary to carry out any care for the newborns. On the contrary, they should not be touched. Otherwise, the mother may abandon her children, stop caring for them, and they will die.
For 14 days after birth, it is also not recommended to clean and clean the cage. Your task is to provide animals with water and food.
For more information about keeping Syrian hamsters at home, see the video below.