Being at uni with no pets is so shitty, so this year I decided to get a hamster to take with me. I’d never had a hamster before and was not ready for the madness, but after just 5 days I’m already in love with hamsters.
I wanted to get my future hammy the best cage ever so looked up everything. The best cage for hamsters, especially Syrian hamsters, is a large wired cage with a deep bottom so there can be plenty of burrowing. I found the ideal cage at Pets at Home (probably to the U.K. what PetSmart is to the U.S.). It’s their own make Large Hamster Cage.
Just out of curiosity I decided to search nearby on eBay and someone 6 miles away was selling the exact cage for half the price of a new one! They gave us their leftover food, cage cleaner and sawdust too. I love the people’s online auction house.
I also read online that new homes should be allowed to ‘set’ for a couple days before becoming a little guy’s apartment. So a few days before I’d planned to get the hamster (I needed my mum to drive me there, lol) I whipped out the free sawdust and got setting up. The cage already came with a water bottle, tubes that went outside the cage, a house, a wheel and a second floor with some little stairs. Hamsta’s Paradise. (So sorry…)
Rather unfortunately this new cage seemed startlingly similar to the litter tray, according to my cat. I couldn’t get the lid on the cage quick enough.
Picking the lucky guy
A few days later I was very excitedly whizzed off to the local Pets at Home to pick my new furry friend. I was dreading going in case there was only two hamsters left and I had to leave one there, but when I got there there was about 10 to choose from! And picking ended up being quite easy…
In one of the cages there were 3 hamsters all cuddled up together. Two of these were asleep. The other, however, was sat on top of their siblings eating a carrot. This was an attitude I admired and I picked that hamster. It turned out she was a girl and I almost instinctively called her Winnie. She just looked like a Winnie. So home came Winnie.
On the way out we picked up some more food for her, another chew toy (I had already bought some special edition chew blocks that were Pride themed a week earlier, naturally…)
I had to bring her home in this mini cardboard box and she shaking and rattling the whole way, I felt so bad for her expecting her to be terrified. Little did I know how not terrified she was…
The advice was to put the box in the cage and open it up and let the hamster get out in their own time. It took Winnie all of 5 seconds to come out. Once I opened the box she literally POUNCED out and was swinging from the bars of the cage. The cat was baffled, as was I.
She wouldn’t stop running around her new home for at least an hour. It was crazy, but of course a good sign.
Getting to know her personality
After a few days of having her here I have a good idea of her personality. She sleeps in her tube during the day (totally ignoring the perfectly fine house she has with soft AF bedding), and hoards all her treats in there too! I don’t think she’s quite yet realised no other hamsters are going to turn up and steal it.
She love love loves the wheel and definitely runs miles every day on it. We’ve got her in the ball most nights now too and she loves chasing the cat in it. Very hyper hammy.
She isn’t really keen on being handled but it doesn’t scare her which is good. She will happily take food off my hand and walk on it to get from A to B, but I don’t think she has the ability to sit still long enough to just be handled and petted for a minute. Maybe she’ll change in a little while.
I will try to keep posting updates on her but I’m very bad at sticking to posting schedules…oops.
And if any hamster owners have advice on how to help (literally) handle these fur balls, I’d really appreciate it!