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How to Take Care of Fancy Hamsters

| Updated September 26, 2017

Things You'll Need

  • Cage

  • Water bottle

  • Hamster pellets

  • Litter

A fancy hamster is a short-haired version of the popular Syrian hamster. It is cared for in the same way as other hamsters and is a popular pet for children. The word hamster originates from the German word hamstern, which means "hoarder." The cheek pouches of the fancy hamster are used to hoard food for later. They will also hoard it in their cage. A fancy hamster is not at all difficult to care for and will provide plenty of enjoyment for its owner.

Care Instructions

House your fancy hamster in a cage that is made for rodents or in a fish aquarium with a tight-fitting lid. Use shredded paper or wood shavings as litter in the cage. The bedding will need to be at least two inches deep.

Use a water bottle that attaches to the side of the cage instead of a water bowl. A hamster will fill a bowl with litter or food and you will find yourself changing the water multiple times a day. Provide fresh, clean water at all times.

Feed the hamster daily with a high-quality small animal pellet mix. Supplement the pellets with small amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as sugarless cereals, whole wheat pasta and sunflower seeds. Any fresh foods that are not eaten within a few hours will need to be removed to prevent contamination.

Change the litter in your hamster's cage at least once a week to prevent the buildup of bacteria. Remove all old litter and hoarded food and replace with fresh litter.

Handle your fancy hamster often to get him used to human interaction. Check him on a regular basis for signs of illness such as hair loss and dampness around the rear end. This may be a sign of wet tail, which is an often fatal disease.


  • It is best to house fancy hamsters separately as they are territorial and will fight. If a male and female are housed together, they will breed constantly and you will soon be overrun with baby hamsters.


  • A hamster that is not used to being handled may bite out of fear. Use gloves or a small towel to handle an unfamiliar hamster until he is used to you.