Did You Know Singapore Has A Hamster Society?

PHOTO: UNSPLASH/RICKY KHARAWALA
Sad truth: Many pet owners don’t put a lot of thought into hamsters: whether it’s caring for them or the reason to buy them in the first place.
For one, hamsters are so tiny and fragile, and you need some seriously steady hands to handle them – otherwise, they might give nasty bites. So, dear people, please never buy a hamster for young children. Giving someone a living creature is literally giving them extra responsibilities and commitments they didn’t sign up for, which could lead to improper care and negligence or even abandonment.
And this is where Hamster Society Singapore comes in. The non-profit, all-volunteer group of animal lovers has observed a great need in our community to assist, rescue, foster and rehabilitate unwanted, neglected, and abused hamsters.
Officially approved and registered as a society on 4 Mar 2019, Hamster Society Singapore is committed to ending the cycle of neglect, abuse and wanton breeding by providing quality education, resources and advocacy on proper and responsible hamster care. (By the way, Fatpouches is my recommended one-stop hamster online shop.)
Most importantly, Hamster Society Singapore screens all adoptive applicants to ensure that hamsters go to qualified adoptive homes.
What are some common cage needs for hamsters?
• Bedding: Paper-based and aspen bedding (half-half)
• A sand bath: Unscented sand such as Wild Sanko Hamster Sand Bath, WitteMolen Bathing Sand, Versele-Laga Chinchilla Sand, Exo-Terra Reptile Desert Sand
• Other Accessories: Hidey house, tunnels, bottles, sand potty
❌ Mineral chews: A good food mix should already have enough minerals in them. Click here for information about hamster food and nutrition.
❌ Cotton wool: Cotton could cause serious internal damage for your hamster.
❌ Hamster balls: It causes hamsters stress, traps heat, has poor ventilation, may cause infections from urine and faeces, and worst of all, may cause injuries or even death. Invest in a hamster playpen instead.
Types of hamsters
Syrian Hamster
Personality: Social with humans but not with other hamsters. This species is territorial and might fight to the death, and therefore must be kept solo.
Size: Largest hamster breed
Food: Bunny Nature Hamster Dream Expert (For Syrians), Rodipet Organic Syrian Hamster Food (Junior/Senior), Higgins Sunburst Gourmet Food Mix for Hamsters and Gerbils
Cage size: Must be a minimum of 80cm x 50cm like this one
Hamster wheel: Minimum of 27cm
Lifespan: 2-3 years
Activity level: Most active during the evenings or night-time
Campbell’s Dwarf Hamster
Personality: Might nip when stressed. Not very social with humans. Personality plays a big part.
Size: Small
Food: Bunny Nature Dwarf Hamster Dream Expert, Rodipet Organic Dwarf Hamster Food (Junior/Senior), Higgins Sunburst Gourmet Food Mix for Hamsters and Gerbils
Cage size: Minimum of 70cm x 40cm (for solo hamster) like this one. Note: If 2 hamsters are kept together, their enclosure size must increase too. Can be kept in same-sex pairs only if they are from the same litter. Upon maturing, they might become territorial, so always have a backup enclosure ready.
Hamster wheel: Minimum of 21cm
Lifespan: 2-3 years
Activity level: Typically sleeps during the day
Winter White/Djungarian Hamster
Personality: Very sweet and friendly with humans
Size: Small, similar to dwarf hamsters
Food: Bunny Nature Dwarf Hamster Dream Expert, Rodipet Organic Dwarf Hamster Food (Junior/Senior), Higgins Sunburst Gourmet Food Mix for Hamsters and Gerbils
Cage size: Minimum of 70cm x 40cm (for solo hamster) like this one. Note: If 2 hamsters are kept together, their enclosure size must increase too. Can be kept in same-sex pairs only if they are from the same litter. Upon maturing, they might become territorial, so always have a backup enclosure ready.
Hamster wheel: Minimum of 21cm
Lifespan: 2 to 3 years
Activity level: Typically sleeps during the day
Roborovksi Hamster
Personality: Sociable with humans and hamsters
Size: Smallest of the hamster breeds
Food: Bunny Nature Dwarf Hamster Dream…