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Sat Nov 10, 2012, 09:04 PM

Hamsters?

Hello fellow pet lovers,

I just got a free hamster for my classroom. Couple of questions for experience hamster owners:

1. Could he be left in school over the weekend if he has enough food and water? I would bring him home for longer breaks.

2. What "toys" are safe for hamsters? I bought some stuff at the pet store, but saw willow balls and little twigs... Seems like a shame to buy stuff like that when I have trees in my yard. I know about paper towel tubes.

3. How often should I change the litter? Is a week OK? (Assuming it isn't stinky by then.)

Thank you for your replies. femmocrat

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Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply Hamsters? (Original post)
femmocrat Nov 2012 OP
Rhiannon12866 Nov 2012 #1
femmocrat Nov 2012 #5
TorchTheWitch Nov 2012 #2
femmocrat Nov 2012 #6
TorchTheWitch Nov 2012 #8
ginnyinWI Nov 2012 #3
femmocrat Nov 2012 #4
ginnyinWI Nov 2012 #7
TorchTheWitch Nov 2012 #9

Response to femmocrat (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 01:38 AM

1. Sounds adorable! I've had a pet mouse and rat, but never a hamster

But I found this information on the ASPCA website. My mouse liked fruit (blueberries!) , as well as his regular food and water is really important. My mouse was big on company, but I'd had him since he was a baby. One thing to consider is whether they turn down/off the heat at the school on weekends and holidays. These little guys can catch a chill pretty easily.

http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/small-pet-care/hamster-care.aspx

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Response to Rhiannon12866 (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 09:49 PM

5. Thanks for the link. That is a great site.

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Response to femmocrat (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 07:31 AM

2. he definitely needs an exercise wheel in his cage

I think with enough food and fresh water he should be fine over the weekend, but make sure that the school doesn't turn the heat down or off over the weekend.

One of those clear plastic exercise balls that you put the hamster in and let him roll himself all over the room (same concept as the exercise wheel in the cage) would be fun especially for the kids.

Hamsters have a bit of an odor even in a clean cage (they're just kind of stinky critters), but they are often tidy about doing their business in one corner and not all over the place. Unfortunately, that can actually make the "dirty cage odor" worse.

Some carrot sticks and other veggies are good for them, too, just not too much or too often.

The exercise wheel is a must though. They spend soooooo much time running on them.

We had a number of hamsters when I was a kid though not all at the same time, but that's all I can really remember about them. Some of them did the tidy corner bathroom thing and some of them peed where ever they felt like it. Their favorite time to pee or poo always seemed to be when you were holding and playing with them though.


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Response to TorchTheWitch (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 09:51 PM

6. I bought a second cage so I can have one at school and one at home.

I will bring him home on the weekends. I got him from a fellow teacher who leaves hers overnight, so I think the temperature will be OK then. I'll check with our custodian though, to be safe.

Thanks for the good tips!

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Response to femmocrat (Reply #6)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 12:55 AM

8. You're very welcome!

I wish I could remember more about when we had them when I was a kid, but that's all I can really remember.

Hope you have lots of fun enjoying your new little addition to the classroom and your home! They are very cute little buggers.




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Response to femmocrat (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 12:51 AM

3. I echo what reply #2 said

And you can most likely expect the critter to live about 2.5 years. Ours reached that ripe old age and then got a disease that usually affects them sooner or later. Forgot what it is called but they get all shaky and go into a decline. He died peacefully enough in his sleep.

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Response to ginnyinWI (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 09:45 PM

4. Awwww.... so sorry.

They sure are cute little critters. And no trouble at all! I am really enjoying having one.

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Response to femmocrat (Reply #4)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 11:07 PM

7. my daughter had Archimedes in her dormroom at college.

Then she brought him home for the summer and we kept him after that. We had one of those balls and he'd run all over the downstairs in it and freak out the cats.

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Response to femmocrat (Reply #4)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 12:59 AM

9. Isn't fascinating how they curl up in a perfectly round ball

to go to sleep? I never could understand how they could contort themselves into such a perfect little round ball of fluff.


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