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YAY! I asked my dad if I could have a hamster (I decided not to go so far as asking for a rabbit, ferret, pig, chickens, sheep, and peacocks THEY'RE SO CUTE!) and need some info. I have decided to learn as much about the care and love of any type of animal I may want before I get one.<br><br>
I have a three story cage and I wonder if that is enough room for a hamster, also about diet and the flooring I should use for poopies. Also curious if anyone knows if shelters or rescues have hamsters (I will of course be calling around just in case). So any info? I'm just too excited to be getting a new pet, I love bonding.
 

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Yes, many humane societies and shelters have hamsters. The usually require proof of a cage (bring it along) and charge a minimal adoption fee.<br><br><br><br>
I don't know much about diet or anything, I just always bought "Hamster Food" from the store, and Sunflower seeds for treats. Some hamsters are allergic to certain types of bedding, I don't remember which kind though as it's been a long time since I had any hamsters or mice.
 

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First of all, it's great to see someone actually doing the proper research BEFORE they get a pet. Good for you! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
Yes, rescue is definitely the way to go. There are rescues devoted specifically to hamsters and small animals, and there are also hamsters at shelters and humane societies. Here's a page with a list of a few shelters/rescues that sometimes have hamsters: <a href="http://www.rabbitadoption.org/hamster.html#Hamsters%20for%20adoption" target="_blank">http://www.rabbitadoption.org/hamste...for%20adoption</a> Of course, there are plenty of shelters and rescues with hamsters that aren't on the list.<br><br><br><br><a href="http://www.petfinder.com" target="_blank">www.petfinder.com</a> is also a good tool for finding animals for adoption in your area.<br><br><br><br>
As for care, here are a few good websites to get you started:<br><br><br><br><a href="http://www.geocities.com/calhamassoc/Newsletter.html" target="_blank">http://www.geocities.com/calhamassoc/Newsletter.html</a> - Good articles on various aspects of hamster care.<br><br><a href="http://www.hamsterhouse.com/cgi-bin/YaBB/YaBB.pl?board=HamsterCare;action=display;num=999238009" target="_blank">http://www.hamsterhouse.com/cgi-bin/...;num=999238009</a> - This is a very good article on hamster nutrition/feeding which goes into quite a bit of detail.<br><br><a href="http://www.geocities.com/pets_hamsters/" target="_blank">http://www.geocities.com/pets_hamsters/</a> - This is a pretty decent site for general care info, although it has a few minor problems. The feeding section isn't as detailed as it could be, and it recommends pine shavings. (More on that further down.) Also recommends hay as nesting material, which isn't a great idea.<br><br><br><br>
Unfortunately there is no one huge, comprehensive, perfect website for hamster care as I have found for some animals. But those should be a good start.<br><br><br><br>
Re the shavings issue - no cedar, it's toxic to all small animals. Pine is controversial. Some people argue that kiln-dried pine is okay (not all pine is kiln-dried). Some argue it's dangerous no matter what. Here are some articles about the dangers of pine (and cedar) beddings: <a href="http://www.cavycages.com/pine.htm" target="_blank">http://www.cavycages.com/pine.htm</a> Personally, I wouldn't risk it, especially with an animal like a hamster that does so much burrowing. Safe alternatives are aspen or Carefresh.<br><br><br><br>
A couple of the websites I gave mention hay. Hay is not generally recommended as hamsters may try to pouch it, and sharp pieces can pucture their pouches.<br><br><br><br>
As for the cage - what are the dimensions of the bottom tray (measure around the inside, at the bottom, don't go by what it says on the box!). Some of the multi-level cages I have seen are actually very tiny if you don't count the levels. Is it a wire cage? The cage should be as big as possible. The Complete Hamster website gives more info on cages, and minimum space guidelines. Bigger is always better! Cages can also be linked with tubes to provide more space. Stay away from completely enclosed plastic cages - not enough ventilation. Large aquariums are also okay, if they have a very secure top.<br><br><br><br>
The cage has to have a solid bottom (no wire floors!). Another problem with the multi-level cages is that the upper floors are usually wire. Even if the bottom floor is solid, I don't imagine having any wire floors would be a good idea. Just seems too dangerous to me. I have seen ones with solid upper levels, although I have also read that the very tall cages with multiple platforms aren't good because the hamsters may jump or fall off them.<br><br><br><br>
Anyway, now that I've written a book here...hehe....
 

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Also, I don't think salt/mineral wheels are necessary like the Complete Hamster Site says, and they can cause problems for some animals.<br><br><br><br>
Hmm...that site also says to just clean the cage with hot water...I read that in a book too...but it doesn't sound right to me. I don't know about hamsters, but for guinea pig cages most people use a 1/2 water 1/2 vinegar solution...<br><br><br><br>
Maybe that site isn't as good as I thought it was.
 
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