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Creating the right home for your hamster

Making sure your hamster has a suitable place to live is the first step to keeping your pet healthy and happy. 

hamster in tunnel © RSPCA

Here's what your hamster needs for a comfortable home:

  • A comfortable, dry, clean place to live, in a quiet place where they can rest undisturbed. 
  • No draughts or damp - make sure they aren't exposed to draughty or damp conditions. In the wild, hamsters live in warm, dry climates.
  • Predictable light - hamsters need to be kept in a room where the lights go off at more or less the same time each night. Try to avoid erratic hours of lighting. Hamsters are also sensitive to bright sunlight.
  • No ultrasound - hamsters should be housed away from household objects that can generate ultrasound, such as a television, computer screens, vacuum cleaners or sources of running water. Hamsters are very sensitive to high-frequency sounds that we can't hear, and they can find this stressful.
  • Appropriate bedding and nesting material - don't give hamsters nesting materials that separate into thin strands, such as cotton wool or similar 'fluffy' bedding products. They can be seriously injured if this gets tangled around their limbs or if it's swallowed.
  • A suitable home cage - wild hamsters live in deep burrows and naturally build nests. They quickly dig burrows and can escape easily from poorly constructed cages. Pet hamsters prefer to occupy a cage with a solid floor covered by a suitable litter material.
  • Places to hide - see our guide to shelters for hamsters.
  • Clean and dry cage clean their cage regularly, and make sure they have dry bedding and nesting material.

Read more on creating a good home for your hamster in our guide to home cages for hamsters.

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