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Old 12-29-06, 08:35 PM   #1
roughrider504
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Hamsters?

Any hamster owners here? I am thinking of buying one, but dont know that much about them. I just have a few questions [Stacey?]. How bad do they stink? My room is aready musty, and I dont mind spraying a little Febreeze every once in a while. Are they rather cheap to keep up? I change the wood chips/whatever every week or so? Where do I put the hamster while I am doing this?

A little harder question. I am allergic to animal dander and had shots for years for it. My dog doesnt affect me anymore, but would a hamster?
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Old 12-29-06, 08:40 PM   #2
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Here ya go! Hamsters are cool. I used to always have a hamster. Until I got into snakes.

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Old 12-29-06, 08:42 PM   #3
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I have parakeets, and i change the wood chips ever 2 weeks. But, they tend to do there business in one particular area leaving a huge pile after a while. i have read that while you are cleaning the cage you can put the hamster into a ball and let him roll around the room. i would actually keep a small cage for him to be in for a few minutes. A hamster should not affect you allergy since you aren't allergic anymore. I can't give you a guarantee that you wont be allergic, you just have to see.
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Old 12-29-06, 08:42 PM   #4
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Talk to Stacey, our resident rat expert. She may have some ideas for you.
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Old 12-29-06, 08:43 PM   #5
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You're still a hamster person after you get into snakes. You just consider hamsters less as pets and more as "chow".
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Old 12-29-06, 08:45 PM   #6
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1) hamsters must have something to chew on...their teeth grow rapidly, and need to be worn down on something. I just used disposable wooden chopsticks....rubbed them free of splinters, and let him chow down.

2) hamsters are great escape artists, even top center cage doors will be defeated. In other words, buy a freaking lock for the door...I'm totally super serial holmes.

3) get a wheel that has ball bearings....I am not joking. Hamsters are quite possibly the world's most energetic rodent...I swear to god Harry was on that blasted wheel around 10-12 hours a day. Dude had to have a crack stash somewhere.

4) they smell if you don't take care of them.

5) they will bite you if you try to wash them....you have been warned.

6) they are very hard to catch if they get loose.

7) hamster balls are totally cool....the little hairballs love em!
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Old 12-29-06, 09:18 PM   #7
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Rough, I'm really not familiar with Hampsters at all. But there are basic truisims for all rodents, chewing as Catonic mentioned. Unless you really have your heart set on hampsters, may I suggest that you take a friendly look at rats. Not that I don't like the little furballs, but if you're looking for a pet to interact and develop a friend relationship with, then rats are by far a better choice. I could go on all night about the positive aspects of rats over hampsters... but that's not your question.

I'm not a big fan of wood chips for any rodent. The aromatic oils in pines and cedars can werak havoc on their respiratory systems. I much prefer a bedding product called 'CareFresh' it's a grey, recycled paper product. I like to microwave it for about 45 seconds before placing in the cage, just to kill any nasties that might have made a home in it. An inch or so is all you need, change it weekly.

As for your alergies... the only real way to find out is to expose yourself to it. If you know someone, spend some time with theirs or visit a pet shop and explain your situation to the person who is tending the exotic pets. See if the can accomidate you.

Most importantly, find yourself a COMPOTENT vet first... Before you need them. Do your homework, know the needs of the animal. Join a hampster (or rat ) owners msg. board, ask questions. Education is crucial.

To me, your just another person. To your little furry friend, you are its world.
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Old 12-29-06, 09:25 PM   #8
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Febreeze is actually very poisonous to many animals - best not to use it.
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Old 12-29-06, 09:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catatonic
6) they are very hard to catch if they get loose.
PM me for plans for a fool-proof hamster trap. This is for when you want it captured alive. Totally humane and non-injurious.
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Old 12-29-06, 09:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catatonic
1) hamsters must have something to chew on...their teeth grow rapidly, and need to be worn down on something. I just used disposable wooden chopsticks....rubbed them free of splinters, and let him chow down.

2) hamsters are great escape artists, even top center cage doors will be defeated. In other words, buy a freaking lock for the door...I'm totally super serial holmes.

3) get a wheel that has ball bearings....I am not joking. Hamsters are quite possibly the world's most energetic rodent...I swear to god Harry was on that blasted wheel around 10-12 hours a day. Dude had to have a crack stash somewhere.

4) they smell if you don't take care of them.

5) they will bite you if you try to wash them....you have been warned.

6) they are very hard to catch if they get loose.

7) hamster balls are totally cool....the little hairballs love em!
Vega on her trainer, on a "bad" day! now....
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Old 12-29-06, 09:58 PM   #11
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Another vote for the rat, they make the best rodent pet and in a fight they will kick hamster a$$.
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Old 12-29-06, 10:13 PM   #12
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I hope the pet store has some mice! I am reading a bit about them, and they seem more fun than hamsters. You can add some reasons why mice are better than hamsters if you want Stacey.
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Old 12-29-06, 10:27 PM   #13
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I have nothing to add to this thread, except this:

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Old 12-29-06, 10:29 PM   #14
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My hamster chipper died

and hamsty

and homer

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Old 12-29-06, 10:36 PM   #15
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We've got about 9 gerbils.

We started out with 2 about 10 years ago. They died after about 3 years. We got 2 more. One died a year later, the other one lasted darn near 4. We got 2 more about 2 years ago. We called them Pinky and Brain, because one was a Shorty McFatfat and the other was always standing on hind legs and was pretty lanky. Up to this point all our gerbils had been males. Well, Pinky, aptly named, was a female. It took them a year and a half to figure out how to "work it" but pinky promptly jettisoned two litters of gerbil pups in about 3 months' span.

We gave the only 2 male babies to the teacher that lives beneath us, to take to her 3rd graders. One died from the first litter as just a little tiny thing. Her second litter was only 3 pups, and two died a few weeks ago, one of them in my hands. They'd already made it past weaning, I'm not sure what killed them, they died less than 24 hours apart.

So we have 5 female kids from the first litter, one female baby (well, 2 months old now) from the second litter, and 2 adults, one of each sex (WHO ARE QUARANTINED FROM EACH OTHER FOREVER NOW!!!)

So if anyone here lives near KC and wants a gerbil or two, just let me know. They all get picked up and held, and they're very tame. Some like to nibble a bit but I've never actually been bitten hard except by the mom when she was preggers with her second litter.

Gerbils are fun, but they're a little more rambunctious and energetic than hamsters. They're also typically lankier and they have longer tails. I personally think they're more fun to have as pets.
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Old 12-29-06, 10:46 PM   #16
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I live next door to New Hampster...does that count?
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Old 12-30-06, 06:04 AM   #17
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I recomend NOT get a Habitrail. That plastic cage thing with all the plastic tubes the hampster can run through. Ive had many hampsters over the years, and every time I got the Habitrail, the hampster chewed right through the plastic tubes and escaped. One escapee got into the walls of our house. We'de hear him in the walls in different parts of the house, now and then. One morning he was sitting on the stairs starving, and I got him back in an aquarium this time.

Also, the plastic wheel to run in, in the Habitrail was extremely loud. I moved my hampster to the basement, the noise was so irritating, and keeping everyone awake at night. Even in the basement I still couldnt take the noise. The metal wheels are much better.

Wire cages are very hard to clean. Ide go with an aquarium. Even though its heavy, its way easier to clean, and it keeps the mess in the cage. I put a big rock, on top of the door in the screen lid I bought. They have 24hrs a day to figure out how to get out.

Also, hampsters like to make a nest with tissues or something, and they like to have a little house to hide in.
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Old 12-30-06, 06:14 AM   #18
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Quote:
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I hope the pet store has some mice! I am reading a bit about them, and they seem more fun than hamsters. You can add some reasons why mice are better than hamsters if you want Stacey.
Mice and rats, while looking similar except for size, are two different critters.

MOUSE




RAT

I don't want to offend the hampster crowd out there or get in to a pissing contest with anyone over the merits of one species vs another so I'll just stay with the reasons I love my rats.

Rats are intelligent... very inteligent. They are affectionate. They are social (with others and their own). They are absolutly awesomely cute, no such thing as an ugly rat regardless of how ugly they are. Rats are the epitome of personality, each has their own unique endearing traits, much like humans, that make them seperate from the rest.

Every morning when we come downstairs our rats are beside themselves with excitement when they see us. The rush the door when we go to the cage and wait patiently while we pick each one up for hugs and kisses, some even queue up for seconds. They get so excited at treat & meal time, some even come out to help get treats or meals.

Our rats love nothing more than interacting with their 'mommies', a quick stop at the cage for kisses and strokes, or coming out with and cozying up on our laps under a blanket while we're watching the TV. Some even like to go on 'adventures' with us... to the post office, yard sales, etc. Never a resturant or grocery tho'. Management will escort you out post haste

The downside is a very short lifespan. Two years is about average, some have made it to three, others only a year or so. Because of this, their quality of life is very important to us.

I could go on and on but I fear boring some folks to the brink of insanity. If your looking at rodents as pets, IMHO you can't go wrong with rats.

One last thing... the attaced pic is this morning when we had some helpers (Gloria, front & Valerie, in the back) getting treat.
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Old 12-30-06, 06:12 PM   #19
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Well, I read rats dont like living alone. I was only planning on getting one, so I am not sure about a rat now. I dont think hamsters like it either. I could get a fish.
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Old 12-30-06, 07:53 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Well, I read rats dont like living alone. I was only planning on getting one, so I am not sure about a rat now. I dont think hamsters like it either. I could get a fish.
That's correct for just about any animal. We all like company. Rat's even moreso. They need to have a buddy or two.
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Old 12-30-06, 08:51 PM   #21
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True, rodents are very social animals...they need another around, otherwise they can get pretty cantankerous.
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