Like most living creatures, Roborovski dwarf hamsters have five senses they rely on for self-preservation. They allow for prey detection, marking territory, feeding and mating. In addition to their five senses, Robos are also sensitive to temperature. Take care to maintain a living environment in a range from 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit range and humidity of 40 percent to 60 percent.
Born with their eyes closed, Robo dwarf hamsters begin to see at approximately 5 days of age. These hamsters are nearsighted, so they can see only things up close. Always monitor your Robo closely when he is outside his cage, as he may run into hazards. In particular, be careful when he’s in an exercise ball.
Robo hamsters are sensitive to sound. They can become scared by loud noises like household appliances, barking dogs, loud music or rambunctious children. If your Robo seems skittish to sound, keep him somewhere in your house where he'll have relative peace and quiet. Stressed hamsters can be more prone to illness. Meanwhile, Robos can become accustomed to the sound of your voice, which can aid in bonding.
Robos use their whiskers as a way of “touching” and exploring things, and they often groom themselves as well as their cage mates, using their sense of touch to remove dander and tiny bits of debris from fur. They also have strong gripping claws that allow them to shimmy up plastic tubes in their cages and get exercise on a wheel. Their sharp sense of touch makes Robos escape artists, so make sure their cage and all of its entry and exit points are always well secured.
Robo hamsters have a keen sense of taste that helps them forage for food. Your Robo’s discerning taste can prompt him to pick through commercial food mixes to find only the tastiest morsels, which decreases the nutrients he takes in. Feed your Robo a pellet diet instead, supplemented by small servings of green vegetables, to keep him healthy. Avoid fruit, which is too high in sugar for a Robo.
A Robo hamster’s sense of smell helps him mark territory in his cage, find a mate and identify sources of danger. Rodents in general have such sensitive olfactory senses that they can be prone to respiratory diseases when they breathe in harmful particles. This is one reason why cedar and pine are not considered good choices of bedding for Robos.
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Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.