Habitat Sweet Habitat: Hamsters

Setting up a habitat for your new hamster? Here’s what you need to know.

Choosing a Habitat

  • Only house one hamster per habitat.
  • Your hamster requires a wire cage or a 20-gallon aquarium with a wire-mesh top. It should be large enough for a food dish, water bottle, exercise wheel and a hiding area. There should be sufficient room for all cage accessories and for your hamster to move around freely.
  • Cages with tubes, tunnels and hideaways are good as they provide exercise and relieve boredom.
  • Minimum cage size is 12”x12”x12” with wire spacing no larger than ½“ apart.
  • Your hamsters cage should be placed in a cool 65-75°F (18-24°C), low humidity area, out of direct sunlight.

Play & Hide

  • Hamsters love exercise, so ensure yours has a wheel for running. Remember, hamsters are nocturnal and may use this wheel at night.
  • Hamsters also enjoy running in an exercise ball when outside of their cage.
  • A small house inside their cage should be provided as hamsters like to hide and sleep inside enclosed spaces.
  • Your hamster’s teeth never stop growing, so you will need to provide chew toys at all times.
  • Hamsters will shred materials to make a nest. Nesting materials made of natural ingredients should be offered.


  • Your hamster’s cage should be lined with absorbent bedding such as recycled paper, aspen or pine shavings. Line the cage with a minimum of 1-2” (2.5-5cm) of bedding.
  • Cedar shavings are not recommended for small pets.
  • Bedding should be spot cleaned weekly and completely changed every other week.

Shopping List

❏ Wire Cage (minimum size 12”x12”x12”); maximum bar width ½”
Living & Outfitting ❏ Water Bottle
❏ Crock Food Dish
❏ Hiding/Sleep House
❏ Tunnels/Tubes
❏ Chew Toys
❏ Exercise Wheel (solid, no rungs)
❏ Exercise Ball
❏ Nesting Material
❏ Fortified Hamster Diet
❏ Hamster Treats
❏ Salt Wheel
❏ Bedding

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