10 Fun Facts about Hamsters You Probably Didn’t Know

Reviewed, fact-checked & edited by Marcella Raskin.
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Do you know what a hamster is? They are small, furry creatures that make great pets. They are known for being playful and active, and they love to explore their surroundings. Hamsters are also very curious, which can sometimes get them into trouble. Continue reading to learn more fun facts about hamsters!

Hamsters can run up to 4 miles per hour!

If you’ve ever seen a hamster run, you might be surprised at how fast they can go! Hamsters can easily outpace humans on their short little legs and can run up to 4 miles per hour, that’s incredibly fast for such a little animal, and it’s one of the many reasons why they make such great pets.

Hamsters can run up to miles per hour

That’s the equivalent of you running almost 30 miles per hour! To put that into perspective, Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man, can only run up to 27 miles per hour.

They can become addicted to running. Do you have a hamster wheel in your pet’s cage? Many owners like to provide their pets with a wheel, as it gives the furry little creatures a fun way to exercise. Hamsters can run up to 8 miles on a wheel!

However, if you don’t provide your pet with a wheel and they become bored, they might start running around in their cage nonstop. If you notice that your hamster is spending too much time on its wheel, you might need to add a few more toys and activities to the cage to give your pet enough entertainment.

They can carry their babies in pouches on their bodies.

Most female hamsters are born with two to four pups per litter, and the pups are born without fur. The mother will carry her babies in special pockets on her body, also known as pouches, until they are old enough to be independent.

When the mother hamster is looking for a place to raise her babies, she makes sure that it has burrowing materials, such as dried grass. She will use the grass to create a nest inside of her pouch, which they will spend the first few weeks of their lives inside.

A hamster’s teeth never stop growing!

Hamsters have teeth that grow throughout their entire life. That’s not the only strange thing about a hamster’s teeth, though. They also have two sets of teeth, one that grows in while the other is worn down.

One way to help wear away the hamster’s old teeth is with a special treat called a hamster block, which contains all the nutrients a hamster needs to grow healthy and strong. These healthy treats are hard as wood, so when the hamster chews on them, it helps wear down their teeth.

Hamsters grow and re-grow their teeth throughout their lifetime, and because of this, they must chew on things to wear their teeth down. This is a natural behavior for hamsters, and it’s thought that they do this to keep their incisors from growing too long. If a hamster does not wear down their teeth, it can cause serious health problems like infections, malnutrition, and even death.

Hamsters can save their tails when they shed them.

Did you know that some hamsters can shed their tails just like snakes? That’s right, some hamsters can drop off part of their tail to escape predators.

After they drop off their tail, the hamster will quickly grow a new one. This is because the cartilage that makes up their tails can grow back within just a few weeks.

And while it looks strange, the hamster will continue to run around just fine with its shortened tail.

Hamsters are nocturnal animals.

Hamsters run

Hamsters are nocturnal creatures, which means that they sleep during the day and stay awake at night, busy exploring their environments. The Syrian hamster, also known as the golden hamster, is considered to be the most nocturnal of all the hamsters, as it will only sleep about 5 hours a night.

They’re very curious creatures, resulting in them getting stuck in tight spaces such as shoes! It’s probably a good idea to check your house for hamster activity before putting on your shoes, just in case.

The fact that hamsters are nocturnal animals has made them difficult to study and somewhat mysterious throughout history. People used to believe that all wild animals needed to sleep at night, and therefore domesticated animal species such as pigs and chickens would also need to sleep at night. It wasn’t until the 1930s that people discovered that some animals, like hamsters, are active at night.

Females can get pregnant within just a few hours of giving birth!

You might think that a female hamster would spend a lot of time taking care of her babies after she gives birth; that’s not the case at all!

After a mother hamster gives birth to her litter of babies, she can get pregnant again within just a few hours. During this time, the mother’s body prepares for another pregnancy by re-entering estrus, which is the period in her life when she is capable of mating.

It takes about 16 days for a female hamster to gestate, which is when she carries her pups inside her until they are born.

The gestation period for hamsters depends on the type that you have. For example, a Syrian hamster gestates for only 16 days, while a dwarf hamster will gestate for about 18 to 21 days.

Hamsters are known to share burrows with other hamsters.

Most Syrian hamsters will live in colonies, which means that more than one hamster is occupying the same area simultaneously. The colony will usually be made up of male and multiple female hamsters who work together to make their own tiny home.

A Syrian hamster colony is usually about 5 to 20 members strong, and the inhabitants do not fight with each other. However, a male may go out of his way to battle another male for a female’s attention, leading to some awkwardness in the family!

When it comes time for mating season, a Syrian hamster will usually only mate with one female in the colony.

Although it may seem unsafe for a hamster to live in a group, they are much less likely to be eaten by predators when grouped together. This is because there are more eyes looking out for danger and more pups running around playing!

By living in colonies, hamsters can divide the labor needed for the group. It’s not unusual for one or more hamsters in a colony to be responsible for building, maintaining, and defending their home.

They communicate through scent.

Hamsters can communicate with each other through scent glands that are found all over their body. Hamsters will put their scent on objects to mark them as their own, which is usually done when they enter a new area.

However, since hamsters live in colonies, they fight for territory by using scents to claim a new area. In addition, the scent glands of a female will tell a male hamster if she’s old enough to mate or not when they come in contact with each other.

Hamsters love to eat.

Hamsters love to eat

Hamsters are omnivores. This means that they eat botanical materials as well as flesh. In the wild, they’ll hunt and eat baby birds, insects, eggs, and even small mammals.

When given a chance, hamsters will usually choose to eat over anything else. When a hamster finds a treat that it likes, it will remember where to find more food; a typical hamster diet includes all manner of things, including grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and even small insects. Note that while some hamsters will eat meat or eggs in the wild, not every hamster will eat these things, and it is important to keep a close eye on your pet.

They’re very hungry animals that love to snack throughout the day. However, it’s important not to overfeed your hamster because obesity can be a serious health concern in these little guys, just like it is in humans.

Hamsters have poor eyesight.

Even when they’re held, hamsters may not see their owner, and when they’re put on the ground, they’ll often walk right into walls or objects to get around! It’s important not to let your hamster out of its cage unsupervised.

They rely on their sense of smell and hearing to explore their surroundings. If a hamster smells something interesting, you’ll likely see him put his nose to the ground and sniff around.

The senses of smell are fundamental to hamsters; this explains why they like to explore and chew.

Hamsters have a cheek pouch to carry food and nesting materials. When the hamster is ready to unload, they have cheek pouches on both sides of their face!

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed learning about hamsters! What do you think is the most interesting thing that we learned today? Let me know in the comments below.

Author

  • Joanna Perez is a Certified Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Practitioner, a passionate blogger, writer, traveler, wife, and mother of one boy. Joanna loves to share her thoughts on parenting, health, wellness, and lifestyle. She is a Certified Women Empowerment Life Coach and has done courses on Life Mastery, Happiness, Health, and Success. She also has studied Neuroscience for Parents and took the Skilled Helper Training Course. She believes in helping people become the best version of themselves and strives to provide quality informative and inspiring content. She loves animals, especially her two cats, and can often be found taking photos of them as they pose for the camera.

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