There are 16 different breeds of hamster including the largest, the Syrian, which must live on their own. Many other breeds are smaller and can sometimes be kept in pairs. Hamsters are nocturnal and in the wild will sleep all day and come out at night.
Hamsters can suffer from wet tail, a bacterial disease that can be fatal if not treated – look out for sudden weight loss or if your hamster stops eating.
To handle your hamster you should gently cup them into your hands.
Hamsters need a dry food mix every day scattered in their cage to let them search for their food. They can have an occasional treat of fruit or vegetables.
Syrian hamsters are best kept in large cages they can climb that measure at least 80cms long and 35cms high. Dwarf hamsters are best kept in a glass tank with a wire lid that also measure at least 80 cms long and 35 cms high.
Shredded paper is the best bedding to use and soft tissue is great for bedroom areas. Tubes and toys should be changed every week on clean out day to keep their surroundings fun and exciting!