Statistically, the most popular pet choice is the Syrian hamster. They are sometimes called teddy bears because of their cuddly softness. In fact, the earliest hamster originated in Syria, hence the name, but later spread to Greece, Belgium, and northern China.
Syrian hamsters are not only cute, but they are also very smart. No wonder these shaggy little rodents continue to be a popular pet choice. Here are some interesting facts to help you bond with your pet hamster and learn more about hamster behavior, including the life expectancy of a Syrian hamster.
Baby Syrian Hamsters
Syrian hamsters have a gestation period of 15-18 days. A Syrian hamster can give birth to 5-10 babies. Baby hamsters are called cubs. They are pink, hairless, and born blind. Puppies are vulnerable and completely dependent on their mother. Hair and teeth start growing in about a week.
After two weeks, your hamster will begin to see, walk on its own, and have a fully formed coat. Hamsters are weaned at two weeks of age. This is the perfect time to handle a puppy destined for life. Puppies should be kenneled at 4-5 weeks of age. Otherwise, the mother will resist.
Syrian Hamsters’ Life Habits
Syrian hamsters are territorial mammals, so when they reach maturity at 8-12 weeks, they need to live alone and start fighting with each other. Syrian hamsters should never be kept in pairs or groups once they are mature. It is always advisable to stick to the same hamster as even the smell of another adult hamster in the same house can cause panic. So, it is necessary to prepare a Syrian hamster house for them.
Syrian hamsters are nocturnal, most active at night, and have been known to live longer than that, although the life expectancy he has is 1-2 years. Although it has a shorter lifespan compared to rabbits and cats, it still carries a lot of responsibility during that period, and twice a day he needs the attention and care of his owner. So make sure your lifestyle can accommodate this before you bring your kids home.
What They'll Need
Cage: Hamsters need a lot of space. Hamsters need a lot of space to run and play. Hamster enclosures should have at least one or two platforms/ladders/tubes for extra space and interest. The distance between strips should not exceed 12 mm. Otherwise, the head may get stuck or come loose. A large hamster enclosure is of great necessity.
Exercise wheels: Hamsters are full of energy and can run up to 14km in a day, so wheels are essential to keep them happy. We recommend starting with a running wheel that is 12 inches or larger. If your hamster arches its back while running on a running wheel, it's too small. You should invest in something bigger to avoid health problems. Most complete cages on the market should only come with wheels suitable for small hamsters, you will need larger wheels.
Home: Syrian hamsters need a home inside a cage where they can hide and sleep peacefully. The darker the better for these, so look for something that provides them with a nice little cave environment.
Substrate: A good substrate is very important to absorb urine and protect your feet. Examples of suitable substrates are dust repellent rodent control wood shavings or Carefresh. This should be at least 1.5 inches deep so they can dig happily.
Bedding: It is important to use only animal-safe bedding. Fluffy fiber bedding is not recommended as it can entangle limbs and ingest material, fabric, or paper. Having two types of bedding to choose from is another great way to enrich your enclosure as it can stimulate the mind when building a nest.
Water bottle: Make sure your pet can reach the drinking spout and refill it daily. Spout water bottles are prone to clog, so it's important to clean them regularly and check the water flow daily for problems.