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The pet hamster preferred by Group 4


Agbayani, Saria Eblahan, Mary Rose Englis, Debeelee Estipular, Jessica Marie Forbes, Iara Lopez, Mikaela Malenab, Herbert

Submitted to: Ma'am Labay, Lilian

February 09, 2012


Hamsters are rodents belonging to the subfamily Cricetinae. The word “hamster” comes

from the German word “ham stern” whish means to “hoard.” Hamsters are considered as crepuscular animals. Only a few hamster species are widely kept as pets but really, hamsters are one of the most popular smaller rodents widely kept as pet in many countries today. They are often used as lab animals in more economically developed countries. These animals are sometimes accepted even in areas where other rodents are disliked. Hamsters are omnivorous, they eat most things but they should regularly given diet of normal hamster food. They have very poor eyesight but a keen sense of smell and excellent hearing. Most species of hamster have expandable cheek pouches in which they can carry and store food. Hamsters are hindgut ferments; they most eat their own feces in order to digest their food for a second time to obtain the proper nutrients from it. When bringing a new hamster home, do not expect that it will come to your hands immediately as the hamsters will still be afraid and shy of you. In order to have your hamster trust to you, you should occasionally give him treats and avoid handling him until he will gain trust in you and will come on your hands on his own. Patience is an important factor. This topic will enable us to get to know more about cute and adorable little animals like Hamsters. Having pets is like having a responsibility too to take care and love this animal like one of our family members. There are different types of hamster in the world , we will introduce them to you briefly so that when you want to have your own pet; you‟ll have the idea and knowledge about these animals.

A. History of the Hamster

It began in 1930 with only one mother and twelve young hamsters that a zoologist found in the Syrian Desert ,situated in the Middle East to the north of Israel. Deep in a burrow eight feet underground he came upon a hamster mother and her twelve litters. By the time he got his tiny family back to his laboratory in Jerusalem. All but three of them had died or escaped. These three, however, continued in excellent health and within four months the first litter of Golden Hamsters ever to be born in captivity was delivered. As they matured, these babies were interbred, and as the tame hamsters multiplied they were used in research experiments too. Soon they began to attract widespread attention in the scientific world. Because hamsters were so disease-free and bred so rapidly ,they can have a new litter every month and because they were so friendly and easy to handle, they came to be highly regarded as laboratory animals and their fame spread throughout the world accordingly. And they're often used for cardio-vascular research, as their cardio-vascular system is remarkably similar to that of the human‟s own system. From Jerusalem, scientists took them to laboratories in France, England and, in 1938, to the United States. All present-day Golden Hamsters in captivity with the exception of a few brought back by travelers and military men are the descendants of that first tiny family found in Syria. In Syria and other Middle Eastern countries where hamsters are common, the farmers do not only harvest their own fields, they dig into the hamsters' granaries as well. In each burrow they find a storage bin which may hold anywhere between 30 and 60 pounds of grain which the hamsters have stored away for the winter.

Hamsters got their name from an old German word associated with storing food. The word "hamper" comes from the same root. One of the characteristics of the hamster, like many rodents, is to stuff their cheeks full of food, which is a hamster-like activity.

B. General Information about Hamsters
Hamsters Taxonomy Hamsters belong to the same taxonomy family as gerbils and mice.

Class Mamalia Order Rodentia Suborder Myomorpha Family Critidae

Housing Hamsters are nocturnal. As a desert animal, the Syrian or Golden hamster instinctively burrows and hoards food. Adult Syrian and Chinese hamster are fiercely territorial and should be housed singly or alone. While winter white Russian and Campbell hamster are social, however it is still ill advised to introduce new individuals to a group. Hamster can enter torpor if the temperatures fall below 41˚F (5˚C), particularly when exposed to short days.

Normal Physiological values Temperature: 97-102.3˚F Pulse: 250-500bpm Body weight: Adult male 85-110g 36.1-38.9˚C

Adult Female 95-130g Typical Life span: 2-3yr/ 18-36 months maximum of 4yrs.

Sexual Maturity: 6-8 weeks Gestation: 15-18days Birth Weight: 2-3g Litter Size: 4-12 Weaning age: 3-4 weeks Target Environment: 50-68F or 20-24C maximum 17 6wks (F) and 8wks (M)

Target environmental humidity: 40-60% Water Intake: 9-12 ml/day


Things to know about Hamsters
There are a lot of things to know about hamsters. In choosing to own a hamster, can be a

very rewarding experience and lead to countless hours of enjoyment. But with it, comes responsibility in the way of proper maintenance and care. These are some information for you to know more about hamsters and how to deal with the responsibility of having a pet hamster.

A. Kinds of Hamsters
There are 5 types of hamsters. These are: the Syrian Hamster, Dwarf Campbell‟s Russian Hamster, Dwarf winter white Russian Hamster, Roborovski Hamster and the Chinese Hamster.

a. Syrian Hamsters
The Syrian Hamster lives alone in the wild and it feels much happier when it‟s alone in captivity too. Syrian Hamsters can be aggressive with each other and may seriously hurt each other. Never keep Syrian Hamsters in a pair or a group. Syrian Hamsters are commonly found in pet stores. Syrian Hamsters are sometimes referred to as „Golden Hamsters‟ due to its original wild golden coloring, although today there are many different color and coat mutations. It is also sometimes referred to as „Standard Hamster‟ or as the „Fancy Hamster‟. A Long Haired Syrian Hamster is sometimes also referred to as the „Teddy Bear Hamster‟. A female Syrian Hamster is larger than a male Syrian Hamster.

b. Dwarf Winter White Russian Hamster
The Dwarf Winter Russian Hamster is also known as the „Djungarian Dwarf Hamster‟. It originated from the steppes of the Northern Kazakhstan and Siberia. When kept outdoors it gets a white winter coat. This is a natural

protective color during a period when its original habitat is covered in snow. Hamsters are most comfortable at temperatures between 65˚ F / 18˚C and 80˚F/26˚C and should be housed indoors. Dwarf Winter Russian Hamsters can be housed in a group, preferably of the same gender. They can only be housed in groups if brought together from a young age.

c. Dwarf Campbell’s Russian Hamster
Dwarf Campbell‟s Russian Hamster is closely related to Dwarf Winter White Russian Hamsters.Because of its thicker coat, the Campbell‟s appear somewhat larger than Dwarf Russian Hamster, but in fact it‟s not.Campbell‟s Hamster tends to become fatter in captivity than the Russian Hamster. The Campbell‟s coat is yellow-brownish with a thin, sharply lined dorsal stripe. Its coat turns slightly greyer in winter. Dwarf Campbell‟s Russian Hamsters can live in groups of the same gender. Dwarf Campbell‟s Russian Hamsters are around 811cm long

d. Roborovski Hamster
The Roborovski Hamster is also a short-tailed Dwarf Hamster, but its yellow –brown coloring and striking whiskers lend it a totally different appearance to the other two short-tailed species of Dwarf Hamsters. Roborovski Hamsters are much less known and they breed very few young. The Roborovski Hamster is the smallest Dwarf Hamster. Its body measures only 4-5.5 cm in length and its tail is barely visible. Its back is I a brownish-yellow with grey under color. Sometimes the yellow on its back appear somewhat rusty in color. Roborovski Hamster doesn‟t have dorsal stripes. Roborovski Hamsters can live in groups of the same gender and may live up to 3 years.

e. Chinese Hamster
The Chinese Hamster is a long-tailed Dwarf Hamster and not closely related to other Dwarf Hamsters. The Chinese Hamster‟s coat is not as wooly as that of other species. Its fur lies close and dark-brown dorsal stripes on its back is

not always clearly visible and its belly is light grey. The Chinese Hamster has dark ears, lightly edged. The male has a strikingly large scrotum. Chinese Hamsters have a quiet temperament and are easily handled even at first they might be a bit aggressive, but with patience and time they get tamed too. The average life span of a Chinese Hamster is from 1.5 to 2 years. On average the Chinese Hamster is 10-12 cm long and the male is larger than the female.

B. How to take care of Hamsters
Owning a hamster can be both a rewarding experience and a great responsibility at the same time. At first it may seem tough but as long as you have patience it will work out in the end.

1. Choosing a Pet Hamster
Hamsters are popular pets for children but they aren't always the best pet for small hands. Different breeds are known for different traits and any potential owner to be should learn about the choices they have before picking one out to take home. Also specific kinds of hamsters should not be kept together while others enjoy company; therefore it is important to research your hamster of choice if you plan on getting more than one. •Chinese Hamsters- small and not as common as other kinds of hamsters. •Dwarf Hamster Varieties - several varieties exist and are similar to Chinese hamsters. •Syrian Hamsters - several color variations go by different names but are all types of this hamster.

2. Choosing a Healthy Hamster
Not every hamster in the pet store is of optimal health. Moving from supplier to store to a new home can be a stressful period for baby hamsters and they will often get sick from it. Learn how to choose a healthy hamster and what to watch for after you take it home. Hamsters that are younger are best as they will most likely be friendlier. Choose an active hamster and one that doesn't look

like he has a wet bottom or weepy eyes. Even if a cage seems to have a few sick hamsters it is probably best to avoid buying any hamster from that group since hamster diseases are very contagious. 3. Hamster Cages and Supplies There are many hamster cage options available online and in pet stores; but some cages are better than others. Several cages ,like the ones with all the tubes and colors, may look cool but aren't very functional and difficult to clean while others aren't good for hamsters to live in at all. Smaller hamster breeds also have different cage considerations than the larger Syrian varieties. It's a good idea to get your hamster cage all set up with bedding, water bottle, chew toys, and other necessities before bringing your new hamster home. Check out what you need before you get your hamster, or just make sure you have what you should for the hamster you have now.

4. Hamster Diet
There are available food and seed mix available in pet shops. Hamsters can also eat rice, corn, apples, nuts, pasta and bananas. Make sure to avoid any citrus fruit because it may be harmful to hamsters.

5. Taming Hamsters
In taming hamsters it is much better if owners start taming them while they are young. While handling adult hamsters it is much better to gain there trust first. It may take a few weeks and patience is required. And it is better to handle them daily to keep them tame.

6. Toys for Hamsters
Hamsters need activities and enrichment to keep them happy and healthy. They also need chew toys to keep their teeth neat and trim. A variety of hamster toys exist in pet stores but other pet rodent toys often work great as hamster toys too.

7. Hamster Breeding
Hamster breeding is not something the casual hamster owner should do. It is best left to hamster breeders who are breeding for specific qualities and

temperaments. When accidents happen and sometimes you end up with baby hamsters, learn a bit about hamster breeding and see what you can expect with a pregnant hamster.

C. Advantages and Disadvantages of owning a pet Hamster
Every pet has its own advantages and disadvantages. It is also a good idea for future hamster owners or any future pet owner to know the advantages and disadvantages of there future or current pet.

a. Advantages:
1. 2. 3.

Hamsters don‟t need daily walks like dogs. They are cheaper than other pets. Hamster food is also cheap and can last for a long time. And you can also feed them other types of food like fruits and grains, just try to avoid any citrus fruits because it can be harmful to hamsters. They don‟t bite as long as you teach them to be tame and handle them with care. They are silent animals, they don‟t bark or meow. Yearly check-ups and shots are not necessary Although they are soft and fury they do not shed there fur. Hamsters are also known to be non-allergenic


5. 6. 7. 8.

b. Disadvantages:
1. 2.

Hamsters don‟t come when you call there names. Although they are cheap, hamsters need fresh and dried food daily as well the cost of beddings or sawdust.


Hamsters are a bit time consuming because you need daily handling and feeding.

4. 5.

A hamster needs daily handling to keep him tame. If you are unable to clean the cage within a week or so the cage will begin to smell.

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In the wild hamsters burrows can be up to 2 meters deep. Hamsters are color blind. A human year is equal to 25 hamster years. Hamsters are very good at escaping from anywhere. A male hamster is called a 'buck' and a female called a 'doe'. Hamsters are allergic to Cedar. Hamsters can only see up to six inches in front of them. Hamsters can drink milk as long as it does not go sour. Because hamsters are desert animals, they like to conserve water and so it is quite normal for them to eat their own droppings so they can save as much water as possible.

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The gestation period for the female hamster is 16 days. Hamsters can have up to 7 babies at a time. Baby hamsters are called 'puppies'or 'liters'. Hamsters cannot swim and therefore do not need baths - they clean themselves without any difficulty anyway.

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Hamsters can remember their relatives. Hamsters can be taught their name and will come to you when you call it. When dwarf hamsters are pregnant, you can determine the sex of the babies. By controlling the temperature in the room where the mother is kept, you can manipulate whether she will have more boys or girls. If you keep her in warmer temperatures, she will have more boys. If you keep her in cooler temperatures, she will have more girls.


Pets are meant to bring happiness and companionship to there owners. There are many different pets that are available now a day. In choosing the perfect pet for you, your family and your life style should need to know what type of pet are suitable for you. Owning a pet brings happiness into your home and responsibility as well. Families with pets can teach there children more about responsibility. Hamsters are one of the most common pets and are easy to take purchase in a pet store. They are great with families, but parents still needs to assist their child in handling there pet hamster. Patience is also needed in taking care of pets and that applies to hamsters as well. There cages need to be cleaned daily.There food must be dry and fresh everyday. Hamsters also need to be handled everyday to keep them tame. Like any other pet, hamsters have there own needs and special attention; but they also need there owner‟s love and affection. Owners should research more about hamsters, consider there type of family and life style before purchasing a hamster. Preparations before the pet is brought home are also needed, to assure that the hamster‟s cage and any other needs are already there for him to use. Owning a hamster or any kind of pet, a pet owner must know there responsibilities as an owner and also shower them with there love and care.

Animal Corner (2012). Retrieved February 2, 2012, from Bartlett, Patricia P. (2003), The hamster handbook. Hong Kong Hill, Lorraine (2001), Hamsters A to Z: Owning the perfect small pet.New York, T.F.H How to take care of Hamsters (2009). Retrieved February 4, 2012, from /hamster-cages/wire-cage Kruszer, Adrienne (2012). Hamsters: Choosing, caring for, and handling pet hamsters. Retrieved February 4, 2012, from Merriam Webster Inc. (2003), Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary ( 11th ed.) Siino, Betsy S. (1997), The Hamster: An Owner's Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet (Vol. 54) .Howell book House. Vella, Nadia (2012), Types of hamsters. Retrieved February 3, 2012, from Simple pet care (2012). Retrieved February 3,2012, from Answer Bag (2006), Retrieved February 4, 2012, from

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