What You Need Before You Get A Hamster

A hamster is a great choice for a pet requiring specific items to care for properly. Before you bring your new friend home, make sure to stock up on the correct essential supplies. Discover what you need to grab before bringing your hamster home.



Hamsters need enough space to live and play to be happy and healthy. Most of the cages sold for hamsters at the store are too small. According to the ASPCA a hamster needs a minimum of 360 inches of floor space to live comfortably. The larger the cage the better. Actually, the best home for your hamster isn’t a cage but a forty gallon glass aquarium. This enclosure is large, easier to clean, properly ventilated, has space to play and place toys and keeps them from escaping.

Cage Bedding

Hamsters enjoy digging and burrowing and must build a nest to rest. That’s why bedding is so important. Helping absorb urine and odors. Bedding is usually the supply with the most total cost because it is repeatedly purchased. The best bedding is a mix of paper-based and aspen wood. Put the aspen on the bottom to form a base and then add about a handful of the paper-based. The cheaper aspen bedding is good for digging and absorbing and the pricier paper-based is soft making it better for nesting, so you won’t need to add as much each time.


Your hamster needs areas and accessories for sleeping, hiding and playing.


Your hamster needs a soft, private spot to sleep and relax. You can buy one or make one yourself by cutting holes out of a box or plastic tub and they will build a next inside.


Nocturnal activity in the wild consists of miles of running so when in captivity you will need to provide an exercise wheel, tunnels and ramps for your hamster to explore and avoid boredom. Typically, an eight inch wheel is big enough and the running surface should be solid, void of rungs with space gaps which could cause injury.

Toys and Chews

Although they are optional, toys and chews will entertain both you and the hamster. These toys can include puzzle playgrounds, see-saws, ladders, steps and swings. You can make your own platforms placed at various heights around the cage to encourage climbing.

Food and Supplements

Your hamster will need food and water in the cage. Water bottles can be attached to the cage itself or in a holder. You really don’t need a food dish because hamsters forge for their food in the wild so you can scatter the food in the cage just as easily. Hamsters need food which contains a balance of carbohydrate, fat, protein, vitamins and minerals. Hamster food can come in the form of seeds, grains or pellets. There are also a number of fresh fruits and vegetables you can feed your hamster.