Hamsters are fairly popular pets, but they can be a challenge to keep if you’ve never lived with one before. They engage in a lot of unique behaviors that you won’t experience with a cat or a dog. Here are some of the most common behaviors and how to deal with them, according to a professional veterinary clinic.
Stuffing his cheeks
As a new owner, walking in and seeing your hamster’s face puffed up can be quite alarming. You may worry that your pet is having an allergic reaction or experiencing a psychological problem. However, this behavior is completely normal!
Hamsters are natural food hoarders, which means packing those cheeks with as many tasty morsels as possible. Your pet will likely deposit his tasty treasures in special hiding places throughout his cage, so don’t be alarmed if you find food hidden in tunnels, underneath sleeping areas, and more.
Chewing like crazy
For being so small, hamsters sure can chew! That’s because their teeth continually grow. If you don’t provide your pet with adequate things to chomp on, he may end up chewing on other things inside his cage. Overgrown teeth can also be a major problem if you don’t accommodate your furry friend’s chewing behavior.
Make sure there are plenty of fun things to chomp on inside the cage. Hay and wood blocks make great chew toys, but your pet store likely has a lot of other fun things for your hamster to chew on.
Making himself disappear
Owning a hamster can be a lot like owning a tiny Houdini! If you can’t find your pet, don’t be alarmed. He probably didn’t escape from the cage. Instead, he’s probably just found himself an amazing hiding spot.
Hamsters love to dig and burrow. In the wild, they are prey animals, which means they’ve become experts at making themselves scarce. Just leave him be. If you want to encourage his burrowing behavior, try filling a box with shredded newspaper and let him dig away!
Staying up all night
Because hamsters are prey animals, they have evolved to do all of their living at night. That means your pet will spend the day sleeping. If his nighttime activates keep you up all night, consider moving his cage to another room.
Your veterinary clinic can answer other behavioral questions you might have about your hamster. Click here to know more animal health tips.