Hamster Facts: Knowing Your Hamsters

  1. Hamsters need bifocals - they can't see within six inches of their faces.
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  2. Hamsters get their name from the old German word 'hamstern' associated with storing food. Hamsters have been found in the wild with up to 30 or 40 lbs. of stored food in their burrows, that's equivalent to finding around 7,000 lbs. of food in our refrigerator.
  3. Hamsters were first kept as pets starting in the 1930's.
  4. Hamsters species are naturally solitary. So keeping a single hamster isn't cruel. It's safe in more ways than one.
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  5. Hamsters who know one another generally get along fine. However, you may wake up one morning with a bevvy of baby hamsters.
  6. Hamsters don't like strangers (of their own kind). Adding a new hamster to a cohesive group or to an enclosure with a single hamster may start a hamster war. With nowhere to escape inside a cage, serious injuries may occur. Deliberate introductions are possible, but experts suggest not even trying, leave well enough alone.
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  7. Hamsters are naturally nocturnal, so taking a jog or having a snack at 3 a.m. is perfectly normal. So is sleeping at 3 p.m. But that may mean light sleepers hearing their hamster scurrying around at 3 a.m.
  8. Hamsters don't like to be jolted out of a deep sleep, even if it is with the most gentle touch. Generally better to allow the hamster to wake up first.
  9. Hamsters are color blind.
  10. It is normal for a hamster's heart to beat 300 times per minute, and more times if they're caught up watching Desperate Housewives.

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