Mini hamsters are popular among many pet owners worldwide, mostly due to their small size and adorable behavioral traits. Owning a mini hamster can be a very rewarding experience, though it’s still important to keep your mini hamster’s health needs in mind. Mini hamsters can be pets that require minimal maintenance, as long as you have a general understanding of their needs. Here is some general information about mini hamsters, which will help you better understand how to provide them with proper pet care.
Sexing Mini Hamsters
A common question among many mini hamster owners is how to determine the gender of their hamster. This can be very difficult to determine, especially if your mini hamster has not yet reached full maturity. As a general rule, there are a few subtle differences between male and female mini hamsters that will be more apparent as they grow from baby to adult. To sex your hamster, you can use these simple tips:
Watch for developing testicles. On larger male hamsters, the testicles will become visibly apparent much earlier than with mini hamsters. Often times, you may not even notice testicles on a male mini hamster. However, if you look closely, especially when your mini hamster has reached maturity, you may be able to detect them.
Identify the scent gland. On some types of mini hamsters, the male will develop a scent gland around their “belly button” area, which may be able to be detected. This scent gland is not present in some larger hamster breeds, such as Syrian hamsters.
Use distance as a guide. As a general rule, the distance between the anus and the reproductive glands on males and females is visibly different in mini hamsters. In males, the reproductive glands will be slightly farther up on the body than on female mini hamsters.
Mini Hamster Behavioral Traits
A common behavioral trait that many mini hamster owners notice is that some mini hamsters will run in circles around their cage. This is often mistaken for hyperactive behavior, when it is in fact a sign that your hamster requires a more productive outlet for their excess energy. You may want to install a tunnel system inside your hamster’s cage, or invest in a small running wheel. Plastic rolling balls can also be used if you need to exercise your mini hamster outside of their cage.
Mini hamsters, just like any other type of small animal, do require constant cleaning of their cage in order to control odor. Many pet owners tend to complain about the smell of hamsters, when this is actually a sign that your hamster’s cage requires attention. Caring for a hamster involves constant cage maintenance, and may also require you to purchase a high-quality bedding material that may help to control excess odors. However, it’s also important not to be overzealous in your cage cleaning. Using disinfectant products may seem like a good idea at the time, but it can actually harm your mini hamster’s health.