Hamster Care for Beginners

Hamsters are very cute little pets, and are among the most popular pocket pals. These tiny furballs are quite easy to care for, although they do have some specific requirements as far as their housing, diet, and entertainment. In this article, a Cameron Park veterinarian goes over some key facets of caring for hamsters.


Making sure your little furball is happy and comfortable in his new home will play a huge role in your pet’s overall well-being. If your pet is a Syrian hamster, he’ll need to live alone, as these cuties don’t do well with roommates. You’ll need at least 3 square feet of cage space for one hamster. Bigger is better, however, so get the largest cage you can. Hammie will definitely appreciate extra room! Once you have the cage, you’ll need to add substrate, food and water dishes, and at least one hidey-hole.


A proper diet is a key component to your little pet’s health. Hammie can have a basic pellet food or seed mix for his main diet. Pellet food is slightly better, because seed mixes offer your furball the option of picking out his favorite bits, which can lead to nutritional imbalances and/or a chubby hamster. In addition to his basic food, you’ll want to offer some fruits and veggies to round out the little guy’s diet. Grapes, melon, and cucumber are a few safe options. Like all pets, hamsters love treats! Cooked chicken, eggs, and mealworms are a few things you can feed your furry pal as a special snack.


To keep your little pet from growing bored in his cage, you’ll need to provide your tiny furball with lots of toys and playthings. Exercise wheels and runabouts are very popular choices. Both are fine, as long as you choose products that are safe for hamsters. Avoid wire wheels, as these can hurt your little pet. You’ll also need to provide plenty of chew toys. Wood, cardboard, paper, and wicker toys are all good options. Just be careful not to give your little furball anything toxic, or anything that could cut, choke, or entangle him. Also, change Hammie’s toys out frequently to keep things fresh and fun.

Do you have questions about caring for your hamster? Please contact us any time. As your Cameron Park vet clinic, we are here to serve all your pet care needs!

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