The hamster should be fed a basic hamster mix each evening as it wakes and can also be fed additional supplements. If the hamster wakes very late it can be encouraged to wake earlier by feeding earlier in the evening and tapping on the side of the cage to wake the hamster. After a few days the hamster will learn when it is feeding time.
Fresh water should always be available from a position the hamster can reach comfortably. Pet Shops also sell vitamin drops which can be added to water and are beneficial to the hamster. The hamster should never be without access to water.
Hamsters do not need grooming, with the exception of Long Haired male Syrian Hamsters that may need the occasional brush to remove shavings from their coat and this is best done using a soft toothbrush.
Hamsters do not require bathing as they clean themselves and to bath a hamster removes the natural oils from the coat and there is a risk the hamster will catch a chill. Hamsters do appreciate having a dish of sand to roll in though and this helps to remove the greasiness from the coat – in the wild they live in deserts so this is natural for them.
The cage should be cleaned weekly by removing the hamster from the cage and throwing away all old wood shavings and food. Any fresh food that may have been stored by the hamster should be removed after a couple of days to avoid it rotting. The hamster will appreciate it if some of its old bedding is placed in the clean cage along with some fresh bedding.
When cleaning the cage it is recommended that the hamster be checked over for any signs of illness. This is an ideal time to check that the droppings in the cage look normal: soft droppings could indicate diarrhoea, lack of droppings could indicate constipation.