View Full Version : half OT - Knitting for pet hamster?

05-07-2007, 01:14 AM
so i have a new pet hamster. why? don't have a good answer, needed a small pet like a hole in the head. first the OT part, i got it 48 hours ago, lost it already at like 5 p.m. but she's been found!!! YAY!!!!!! (thank goodness because i'm sure the cat would have found her soon enough. she got away from me when i was holding her, i didn't let her run loose on purpose or anything and i promise it won't happen again!!!!) (SIGH!)

ok, so i wasn't allowed to have hamsters as a child, but i've done my reading and i know they like bedding, read that tissues and paper towels and such are good, but NOT to use wool (like roving wool i take it) or fluffy cottons because it can clog their GI system and get stuck in their cheeks and feet... i was wanting to knit her a) a blanket and b) some kind of hamster hammock for the habitat.... does anyone know if this is just an all around bad idea or if maybe cotton yarn would be okay since it's not the fluff stuff she could easily eat or would acrylics be safe? anybody know?

thanks! :)

05-07-2007, 02:16 AM
As knitters and hamster owners, my roommate and I wondered this, too. We decided it probably wasn't a good idea, since it seems like they can and will eat anything (or get their feet caught in it). I'd be interested to see if anyone comes up with anything, though!

05-07-2007, 05:28 AM
The hamster will eat it! My sister's hamster just ate a huge hole in her pyjamas as someone left the (clean) laundry pile beside her cage and she pulled the corner in and ate it. They rearrange their cages and sometimes never sleep where they are meant to! Our hamster has a small hamster bed and she likes chewing it, and sometimes uses it as her toilet instead. We buy purpose made hamster bedding, its actually just wood shavings/saw dust, but presumably with no chemicals or anything in it.

05-07-2007, 06:04 AM
Hi boyforpele13,

It's a cute idea, but I think anything knitted or any kind of fibers used in knitting would probably be bad for the hamster. I have always had hamsters, and only gave them squares of toilet paper every evening so they could make their beds.

I would also suggest buying your hamster a little house. A hamster won't sleep in a hammock like a ferret. It's good to get a hamster house without a bottom because it's easier to clean. Give your hamster 10-15 toilet paper squares every evening. Lift up the house and take away any paper that looks dirty. Hamsters, like most animals, like their own smell so always leave a few pieces of the old paper so he will know it's still his bed. Be sure to separate the paper squares so that your hamster can handle the paper more easily.

The hamster will be much happier if he has a place to hide and lots of bedding to bury himself in. This is a good hamster house:

http://www.petco.com/Shop/petco_Product_R_2492_PC_productlist_Nav_243_N_26+1 01_sku_966622_familyID_13576.aspx

And this kind of wheel is best (because he won't catch his feet in it):
http://www.petco.com/Shop/petco_Product_Nav_243_sku_932671_R_2625_enemerch_1 .aspx?cm_re=243-_-TopSellers1-_-932671

It's a lot of fun to watch him take all the squares of paper into his house and arrange them just so! One of my hamsters always carefully stuffed paper into the door of his house so he wouldn't be disturbed while he was sleeping. :teehee:

If you have any more questions, I'd love to talk about hamsters with you!

05-07-2007, 06:13 AM
Petco does sell some stuff that looks a lot like wool roving for hamster bedding. I used it for my 2 before they went to hamster heaven (ok, they were my kids' hamsters!) I never looked at the fiber content on the bag -- I'm sure it wasn't wool.

They only used it for nesting materials, however, I'm sure any handknit items would be chewed up right away.

Enjoy the little rodents -- they are pretty cute and fun. Have you gotten a hamster ball yet? Those are a blast. Nothing funnier than the sight of a hamster in a plastic ball, rolling around the living room. Just watch those stairs!


05-07-2007, 08:25 AM
when I had a gerbil as a child, the pet cat was also a concern.... so I crocheted a little halter for the gerbil so he could "walk" around the room, but not get away from me and into the jaws of the cat. I don't remember all the details, but it was just chainstitch, hitched together at a couple places with a long cord.......

05-07-2007, 03:48 PM
Awwwwwwwwwww, hamsters are awesome! I almost adopted a guinea pig a few weeks ago but figured my husband would KILL ME! Of course, I've got 3 cats as well, so I figured the poor guy would end up as dinner.

Yeah, I agree about the chewing thing. You could always make him some of his own knitting needles out of dowels that he could chew.

What is it about the fact that we just HAVE to knit things for our animals, no matter what kind they are? I just saw a pattern for a knitted lion outfit complete with a fluffy mane that I'm thinking of trying for Nora, my puglet princess.

Have fun with that fluffy guy!


PS: Hey! How about a knitted cover for his cage? Then he could be all comfy and toasty warm on cold nights!

05-07-2007, 06:25 PM
wow, i totally didn't expect such a response with the hamster thing, how awesome! :)

the habitat i got for her actually has a home in it and the whole thing is a wheel, it's pretty neat http://www.arcatapet.com/fullsize/9254.jpg

her favorite spot is that little "pod" from the tubing that sticks out on the bottom, she spends almost all of her time in there, although she was traumatized from her escape yesterday and went straight into the home when i put her back in (you can see it in the top left in that pic). i tore up some tissues after doing some more reading and put them in there for her, which seemed to make her happy and when i came home today, she had a little tissue nest inside the little pod. i like the TP idea way better than tissues, thank you!

after reading some more and from your responses, i've decided if i MUST knit something for her, i decided it will be the harness (GREAT idea!) or a cardigan or scarf that she only wears for special occasions. ;)

05-07-2007, 07:58 PM
About the hamster balls - Plum (our hamster) has one that glows in the dark. :D If we ever decide she needs a different one, I'm going to get her the one that's got the plastic car shape around it. :roflhard: Her favorite thing to do in the ball is roll into the bathroom and get stuck. :roll:

05-08-2007, 01:38 AM
Wow! That's a wonderful habitat!

Good luck with your hamster (you didn't tell us her name). I haven't had a hamster for three years now and you are making me want to get another hamster!!! :heart:

05-08-2007, 01:42 AM
ok, she LOVES toilet paper, HATES me. (sigh) i have not officially named her because i am not 100% sure she's a girl, but i'm leaning in that direction. if she is indeed a girl, her name is amelie, if he is a boy, it's englebert hamsterdink. :) maybe one day when/if it's ever more comfortable with me i'll be able to get a couple pics, she's totally adorable.

05-08-2007, 02:14 AM
Boy hamsters have really REALLY big, uh, parts. :teehee: It's usually not too hard to tell if it's a boy.

05-08-2007, 03:28 AM
ok, she LOVES toilet paper, HATES me. (sigh) i have not officially named her because i am not 100% sure she's a girl, but i'm leaning in that direction. if she is indeed a girl, her name is amelie, if he is a boy, it's englebert hamsterdink. :) maybe one day when/if it's ever more comfortable with me i'll be able to get a couple pics, she's totally adorable.

Those are cute names!! But don't worry that she "hates you." She doesn't know you! You could put her habitat in a out-of-the-way, quiet place for a couple of weeks, to let her adjust to her new home. Instead of picking her up, just rest your hand in the cage for a few minutes a day. Maybe put a treat on your hand to make it more friendly to her. Have you seen those little yogurt drops? Always put one of those, or a piece of carrot, apple, etc. in there when your hand is in the cage so that she learn to associate you with something good. Eventually she will get comfortable and maybe even sit on your hand to eat her treat. Then you will know she's getting ready to be handled. If she bites, runs wildly around the cage, or flips over on her back, you will know she's frightened and overwhelmed, and just leave her alone for a while.

She will start to get interested in you when she feels secure and settled. Right now, "surviving" in this new place is all she cares about and all she can handle. Pretty soon, she will start coming to the side of the cage when she sees you, in case you have an interesting present for her!! :heart:

She can learn her name too, so say it to her a lot whenever you are feeding and watching her.

About if she's a boy or a girl--if she is a boy, and she's pretty young, you won't see the boy parts until she's a little older. But they are unmistakable when they do show up!! :aww:

05-08-2007, 04:55 PM
ok, amelie hamsterdink it is then. ;) I've read the females often have more rounded bottoms and she seems to have that too.

05-09-2007, 09:37 AM
Ditto about the, uh, parts. :teehee: For THAT reason, I always get girls. :mrgreen:

He/She will get used to you. Play with it alot and let it walk around your lap. Sit in the bathroom so, if it runs, it can't go far. Stick 'em in your pocket - mine used to like that. Give it treats - food always works.

Um, have you had a tetanus shot lately? Just wondering in case it mistakes your finger for food.

Oh man, I love hamsters! Isn't it funny how someone can mention a hamster and some of us get all crazy and can't shut up about them.

OK, I'm done!

05-09-2007, 08:40 PM
i think it's awesome there was such a response to a hamster posting, got me all excited and now i don't feel like such a dork for getting one and for being so geeked out about it. ;)

i haven't handled her much since the escape since it totally freaked me out, but every time she's awake and i open up the door to her habitat, she dives for the tube and i don't want to torment her... i'm sure it will take time, but she has yet to try to bite me, although she bats at me sometimes with her front paws especially when i tickle her belly, it's pretty adorable. i'm really glad i got her, she is precious, i just hope we'll be closer someday soon. :)

05-09-2007, 09:04 PM
p.s. isn't she cute? :teehee:

05-09-2007, 09:12 PM
p.s. is it normal for them not to drink a whole lot? I had intended and expected to give her fresh water each day, but I wanted to wait and see if I could get an idea of what her normal eating and drinking habits were so I could determine what was "normal" for her before I did and she hasn't drank very much at ALL. i have seen her at the bottle so i know she's aware of its presence and how to use it, but just want to make sure. thanks!

05-10-2007, 12:28 AM
I don't think mine drinks a whole lot...she seems to EAT more than she drinks, but I know she's hording half of that. :roll:

She is cute! Our hamster was jumpy at first. She'd let us hold her, but she would jump for the floor (we'd be sitting on the floor, so not far, but hard to chase after her!), so we started off holding her over a cardboard box so she couldn't get away so easily. And she looooves my roommate's sweatshirt pockets. :roflhard:

05-10-2007, 08:24 AM
Get an empty paper towl tube or toilet paper tube and see if she'll go inside it. Then bring her next to you and let her go in and out of the tube. Once she gets used to having you "in her space," she'll probably be a bit more comfortable. Just handle her as much as you can. That way, she'll at some point understand that you're ok to be around.

May, if I didn't have three cats! I'd actually love to get a guinea pig but I think my two Siamese twins would start salivating. Nora, my pug, would probably think it's a toy and try to make it squeak with her nose.

Have fun with that cutie. Does she have a name yet?


05-10-2007, 10:28 AM
p.s. isn't she cute? :teehee:

She is!! Beautiful coloring.

I can see how she stuffed her house full of paper! :yay:

edited to add: About your question, Syrian hamsters don't drink a whole lot of water. Just keep her bottle filled with fresh water all the time.

05-11-2007, 12:01 AM
YAY! I got one that isn't just her tushy!!!

05-11-2007, 12:12 PM
OMG, I took one look at her mouth and all I could think of was

"Got Milk?"

05-11-2007, 05:21 PM