Hamsters, belonging to family Cricetidae, order Rodentia and class Mammalia, are animals native to Israel, Armenia, Syria, southeast Europe, the United States, Greece, and Romania. They are rodents, similar to voles, rats, guinea pigs, and mice, and are commonly used for scientific research. Syrian hamsters are commonly kept as pets in many parts of the world. Hamsters range widely in color such as reddish brown, cream, albino, and piebald. For many people, hamsters are easily kept as pets because they are relatively inexpensive, small, and are associated with low maintenance. These and other reasons make hamsters adorable, fantastic animals in their own respect.
Peculiarities of Hamsters
Hamsters are famous for very many features. First, they are territorial animals. Common species of hamsters exhibit territorial behavior, and usually will not allow other hamsters nearby. Even in breeding season, female hamsters kick out their male counterparts as soon as mating is over. Hamsters, regardless of which species they belong to are hoarders; they like to store up food for later. Thus, hamsters are commonly seen with bulging cheeks, transporting food to their burrows. Third, hamsters are nocturnal animals that is, they usually roam about in daytime, and retreat to their burrows at daybreak. Hamsters also have incisors that grow continuously. This is a vital adaptation of hamsters for feeding. Also, hamsters are carriers of flu-related diseases. These diseases can be easily transferred from hamsters to humans by biting or by coming in contact with infected objects. Hamsters also enjoy cuddling. They like to be carried up in the hands or on laps as a symbol of affection. Hamsters are very prolific, giving birth to 3 or 7 babies on the average per breeding season. Because of their rapid reproduction rate, hamsters have been banned from Hawaii in the United States. Hamsters are promiscuous. Male and female hamsters are used to having more than one mates. And last but not least, there are at least 20 species of hamsters. This makes hamsters one of the most diverse species of rodents.
Hamsters and Bananas
In general, hamsters enjoy sweet, tasty foods including applesreference and buds. And of course, bananas are no exception. Bananas contain fructose, which makes it enjoyable for hamsters. Fructose, which is the sweetening component of banana is good for hamsters’ body. Bananas also contain vitamin C which is good for hamsters as it helps improve their eyesight. In addition, bananas contain mineral elements including iron, magnesium, and calcium which help to strengthen body bones and tissues in hamsters. Bananas yield antioxidants to hamsters. Antioxidants help prevent cell damage that usually result from free radicals in the body. Potassium in bananas helps regulate fluid levels in hamsters and helps in body metabolism. And so, is beneficial for hamsters’ heart and digestive health. Bananas also contain fibers which is also beneficial for hamsters’ digestive system. There are recommended quantities of bananas for different species of hamsters, and veterinarians advised that the stipulated quantities are not violated because of their potential detrimental effects on hamsters. For Dwarf species of hamsters, about one-quarter teaspoon banana is recommended once every two weeks. This is typically due to the small digestive tract of the Dwarf species. Dwarf species is typically smaller than other species of hamsters. The Syrian hamster is the largest species of hamsters. Thus, they have larger digestive tract than the Dwarf species. So, veterinarians recommend that one-quarter teaspoon of banana should be fed to this species twice per week. Another species of hamsters that is commonly kept as home pets is the Roborovski species. And because this species compare in body size to the Syrian species, it is recommended that one-quarter teaspoon of banana should be included in their diet twice per week.
Harmful Effects of Bananas on Hamsters
Even though hamsters enjoy eating bananas and blueberriesreference quite much and often, bananas, have detrimental effects on their well-being when it is fed to them too often or in higher quantities than what veterinarians recommend. Feeding too much banana to hamsters can cause diabetes and obesity. Diabetes is a health condition whereby the level of blood sugar is higher than the threshold while obesity is a condition whereby an animal grows bigger than normal resulting from accumulation of fats in the body. Also, feeding large pieces of banana to hamsters usually choke them. Thus, it is crucial to chop banana into smaller pieces before it is fed to hamsters. In addition, feeding too much quantity of banana to hamsters will likely affect other nutritional components of their diets. Veterinarians advise that feeds comprising different food kinds should be offered to hamsters rather than separate food substrates. Thus, a mixture of seeds, vegetables, and apples, for example, will be a more ideal feed for hamsters. The best feed for hamsters is that close to their feeds in the wild. Also, feeding banana peels to hamsters may result in the hamsters ingesting parasites and micro-organisms into their digestive tracts. One thing that is vital in feeding hamsters is moderation. Too much quantity of feeds result in digestive problems such as diarrhea, constipation, and stomach disorder in hamsters. It also results in food wastage. Hamsters will not eat food that lasts longer than 12 or 24 hours in their habitats or feeding dishes.
How to Take Care of Hamsters
Of course, the most potent way to take care of hamsters is to feed them well although moderately as emphasized before. Apart from main feeds, it advisable to provide sufficient materials for hamsters including cardboard, paper towel, wooden treats, and cubes, so they always have something to gnaw on. It is also vital to provide good bedding for hamsters. Bedding materials such as cedar shaving causes skin irritation in hamsters and should be avoided altogether. It is essential to change hamsters’ bedding regularly. This is just as important as scrubbing their cage thoroughly. Their shelter should be spacious as well. Wooden material make a good bedding material for hamsters than plastics.
Hamsters are loveable, adorable mammals. And they make good pets because of their small to medium body size. Bananas make a good feed for hamsters but adequate, modest quantities must be fed, depending on species. Preferably, balanced feeds should be fed to hamsters to keep them in good health.