If there is one pet on the planet that can make you happier than a child on Christmas morning, it is a teddy bear hamster. They are tiny, are full of energy, are balls of fluff, and they are a pet that will bring you joy day in and day out. What are the facts about teddy bear hamsters?
Teddy bear hamsters are extremely social once they are adjusted to being handled, are easily tamed, are crepuscular (meaning they are up come dusk and dawn), are very easy to care for, are playful at times, take up very little room, and live around two to three years.
Teddy bear hamsters offer individuals, families, and even classrooms the opportunity to have a tiny little friend that does not require the extensive care that other, more common pets might entail. However, if you are new to owning a teddy bear hamster, you may have a few questions that need answering. Continue reading to discover everything you need to know about teddy bear hamsters.
What is a Teddy Bear Hamster?
Hearing the term “teddy bear hamster” may instantly propel you into the thought of a tiny brown bear roaming about a cage within your home. Well, they don’t hold this name for no reason. However, this is just one of the few terms that have extended from the term “Syrian Hamster.” It is a member of the hamster subfamily and originates from a small region of northern Syria and southern turkey.
Teddy bear hamsters were first put into captivity early on in the 1900s and were very quick to adapt well to living among people. They are considered rodents, but are a far cry from a rat or even a mouse. They are very small, growing around 4-7 inches, vary in color, and have soft, medium-length fur. They have short stubby legs, very petite faces, tiny pink noses, and are quick to scamper off when they get the urge.
What is a Teddy Bear Hamster Temperament Like?
Teddy bear hamsters, even with those tiny legs, do have the ability to move as fast as lightning, but are they darting out of fear or fun? It is important to have a pet that has a generally pleasant demeanor and the teddy bear hamster will not let you down in this area. They are crepuscular animals which means they typically snooze off and on throughout the day and come out the most during the early morning hours and evening.
When they do wake from their slumber, they are the most enjoyable little creatures. Teddy bear hamsters are curious, they are great diggers, and love to explore new surroundings when taken from their cages. They are very playful and once they have been trained properly to be handled, do incredibly well being handled as much as their owners would like. This makes them the perfect pet for those seven or seventy!
Do Teddy Bear Hamsters Like Being Handled?
To go off of that, teddy bear hamsters are very fond of being handled. However, there are a few things you must do in order to induce this sentiment in them. These hamsters are not naturally inclined to be handled, but are extremely adaptive. When they are young they are inclined to nip or bite those that are handling them. This biting occurs because they initially feel threatened and are using the action as a means to keep themself safe.
However, over time and through more handling, the teddy bear hamster will begin to adapt and get more comfortable. It will start to familiarize itself with regular handlers and will begin to start to trust the process. Once this happens, the biting will subside and they will typically be very pleasant to keep within your hands, on your shoulder, or even running about your lap. But first, a little work to tame them must be done.
How Do You Tame a Teddy Bear Hamster?
It may seem like training something so small would almost be impossible. After all, taming is reserved for dogs, horses, and birds, right? Wrong. Although tiny and small, this does not equate to their capacity to be trained. As previously stated, teddy bear hamsters are not naturally inclined to enjoy being handled, but with the right technique and adequate, consistent practice, they will be more than comfortable with this type of interaction.
When you first come home with your teddy bear hamster, give them time to acclimate to their surroundings for a few days or a week. Once they are comfortable, begin to offer them different treats that let them know they are in a safe place, but resist handling them. Once they begin to take the treat from your fingers, begin to offer the treat in the palm of your hand. After they willingly come to your palm and are not afraid, you can attempt to hold them.
This last step is the most important. It is imperative that you do not try to grab them as they run away or quickly pick them up without them being calm and aware. This will give them the sense that they are being attacked which could lead to you repeating the process. Simply scoop them up gently and let them run on your hands until they are comfortable enough to venture out. Patience and gentleness is the key to taming your tedding bear hamster.
What and How to Feed a Teddy Bear Hamster
You may be inclined to believe that teddy bear hamsters are only plant eaters, but these tiny rodents are actually omnivores which mean they are more than happy to gobble up different fruits, vegetables, grains, and insects. The primary food for teddy bear hamsters is grain, and are provided well through store-bought mixtures that are pre-prepared. They should be given about a tablespoon daily along with fresh water.
Beyond grains, hamsters love different vegetables and fruits added into their daily diets. Greens like carrot tops, romaine lettuce, spinach, and other dark vegetables are happily accepted. Different fruits like apples, strawberries, bananas and pears are also a welcomed treat, but should be given in moderation and too much can cause them to have diarrhea. All of these items should be removed from the cage within a day if uneaten.
When it comes to how to feed your teddy bear hamster, the process truly could not be any easier. For their premade food, simply give them a tablespoon of the mixture into a bowl every morning or every evening as they are waking up and leave it until the next day and the dish is empty or until the food needs to be changed. For all other items, they can be given as you see fit as a treat either within your cage or can be munched on as you hold your hamster.
How Should a Teddy Bear Hamster Be Housed?
Now that you know how to feed them, you might be wondering what exactly their housing should look like where they are going to spend the majority of their mealtimes. Teddy bear hamsters may be small, but they love to burrow and explore. Because of this, you should try to get them a cage that has as much room as possible and always ensure that the space is inescapable (they can be masters of escape if provoked by poor caging).
Beyond the size, a teddy bear hamster's environment should always include high-quality bedding at the bottom that will help to assist in their playful burrowing, but also will be the material to hold soilings. A critter potty can be inserted in an attempt to control their messing and is oftentimes very successful. Many also love tunnels, exercise balls, and hamster wheels. These should be included to help promote activity and play for your hamster.
Some hamsters also enjoy having a designated bed in their environment. This does not have to be something professional, but can be as simple as a small, soft towel. They also should have (as previously mentioned) a water bottle within their environment as well as a food dish that is always stocked with fresh nibbles. Chew toys are also great to have within their cages to help keep their teeth strong and healthy.