Long haired Teddy Bear hamster care
Taking care of a long haired Teddy bear hamster requires a large cage with an adapted and thick litter, where it will have to be alone, all the necessities of hamsters like food, toys, playtime, but what makes them different from other hamsters is that you have to brush them every day and a light cleaning almost daily of their cage to keep their fur clean.
What’s a long haired Syrian hamster?
Long haired hamsters, also called Teddy bear hamsters or Angora hamsters, are Syrian hamsters, usually male hamsters because the females have shorter coats.
So, the long haired Syrian hamsters, start to have long hair once they reach 3 or 4 inches long.
Contrary to popular belief, there are no long haired dwarf hamsters, but only in the Syrian hamster breed.
Long haired hamsters colors : Beige, Black, Blonde, Brown, Chocolate, Cream, Dove, Golden, Grey, Lilac, Mink, Sable, Tan, and White.
Long haired hammies make cute and cuddly pets , they are quite docile, friendly and tame . Angora hamsters are nocturnal and they have a good lifespan ( generally more than 2 years ) compared to dwarf hamsters.
Which to choose, a male or a female long haired Syrian hamster?
If you really want a long haired hamster choose a male, because females have a much shorter coat than male haired hamsters.
Long haired teddy hamsters have a sort of fur “skirt” around their waist, while female long haired hamsters usually do not have that skirt, but may have small tufts of hair present around their shoulders or hips.
There are other reasons, in my opinion, that you may want to choose a male long haired Syrian hamster, such as
Males are calmer than females, so they are easier to tame.
Female long haired golden hamsters come into heat once every 4 days and when they are in rut, these females release pheromones in the air to attract male hamsters and the problem is that these pheromones smell bad!
Getting a single long haired teddy bear hamster or a couple ?
I recommend you to put in the same cage only one long haired hamster.
They are several in the same cage in pet stores because they are still young (less than a month) and as soon as they reach their sexual maturity (between 1 month and 2 months), the fights begin and they must be separated.
If you put a male and a female long haired hamster together in the same cage, expect baby hamsters in less than a month and especially that the female will hunt and may even kill the male after the coupling.
If you want a couple of long haired Syrian hamsters, you will need two cages of at least 800 Inches square each.
What do long haired Syrian hamsters eat?
Their diet is not different from what other hamsters eat.
- A good mix of seeds and grains
- Fresh herbs and a mixture of dried herbs sprinkled in its cage.
- Fresh vegetables
- Protein foods like boiled eggs, mealworms, jerky and insects…
- Treats such as a small piece of fruit twice a week or a piece of nut, half a teaspoon of plain yogurt or Cottage Cheese…etc
If I have a remark here, it is that I would prefer that the Syrian long-haired hamsters drink from a bottle and not from a bowl, to avoid that they wet their fur and carry this water in their nest.
This can create mold in their nest and in their litter box which will open the door for other respiratory and digestive problems.
As for dried herbs, long haired hamsters tend to have them in their fur all the time when you sprinkle them in the cage.
You may want to set aside a special place for them, near their food bowl.
Do long haired Bear hamsters need special bedding?
No. I will ask you to avoid wood shavings and fleece strips to avoid knotting and matting. Some people use Back-2-Nature for bedding in their long haired hamster cage.
I simply recommend using a natural paper-based litter, and the brand I recommend is Small Pet Select bedding .
It’s soft bedding, made with natural paper, safe for the hamster and most importantly it doesn’t cling to your hamster’s coat and even though, it’s very easy to remove during Teddy Bear hamster’s daily grooming sessions.
Instead of using Aspen substrate, you can also use the wood based cat litter, but I do not recommend this substrate for older hamsters, it is not soft.
Test and find out what works best for your hamster and also helps you in your cage cleaning sessions.
All about grooming a long haired fancy hamster
Other hamsters do their grooming sessions on their own and they do pretty well.
But to keep your Angora hamster’s fur and coat clean and insulated, especially when it’s an old hamster, you’ll have to help your Teddy bear in its daily grooming sessions.
You will in fact, after taming your hamster, have to take it in the palm of your hand at least once a day.
It’s good to do this after he wakes up, at dusk and after he finishes his grooming session.
You can use a small plastic comb with wide teeth or just a denture brush, or a children’s toothbrush.
You will brush your Angora hamster’s fur from front to back.
If you come across a ball of tangled hair that you can’t untangle, avoid causing your hamster too much pain and stress by trying to untangle the hair, just take a pair of scissors and trim the tangled hair.
If your long haired hamster does get dirty, you can moisten a toothbrush and wash the dirty fur and then wipe your hamster dry and only put it back in its cage when it is completely dry.
How often should I groom my angora hamster?
First of all, you should know that your teddy bear will get used to the brushing sessions little by little and over time, he will end up loving it and will be more willing to let you do it without getting too agitated.
At the beginning, your teddy hamster’s coat will not be too long and one or two brushing sessions per week will be enough to keep his fur clean and smooth.
But as your hamster’s coat grows, you’ll need to brush your long haired hamster daily and even every time you notice that he has something caught on his coat or entwined in his fur.
Places you shouldn’t brush when grooming a Teddy bear:
Long haired hamsters love grooming sessions, but they don’t like it when you brush their head, their belly.
Also avoid brushing directly on their Scent Tassels, this is a bit of a sensitive area.
Can I trim my Long Haired Teddy bear Hamster’s fur during the warm season?
Long haired hamsters do not shed during the summer and if you cannot ensure a proper temperature and your Teddy hamster seems to be suffering from the heat, you should know that you can trim his fur (do not do it if it is a Show hamster!).
Use scissors and not an electric clipper
Be very careful not to hurt your hamster
Be very careful not to cut off your hamster’s tail or ear
It is also important to brush your hamster well after the cut so that it does not leave hair that it could swallow when it will lick its fur.
Know that if you cut the hair, it will grow back but its fur may not become as long as before.
And you will have to make sure that he doesn’t get too cold during the winter.
Can I give my long haired Syrian hamster a bath?
No, your Teddy bear’s fur should never get wet unless it has a dangerous product on its back, in which case you will only wet a toothbrush and gently clean the area.
you can also use a damp cloth that you need to wring out until there is no dropping water in it to rub out the dirt and the stickiness until it’s gone.
However, to cleaning himself , your angora hamster will greatly need a large sandbox so that it can take its daily sand baths.
Teddy bears tend to just dig in the sand and don’t often roll around.
You can help your hamster by taking some sand and sprinkling it on his fur and then gently brushing it off to remove excess oil that could stick to his fur and create clumps of tangled hair that you will have to cut off.
Should I use a wire cage or an aquarium for my long-haired Teddy bear hamster?
Aquariums can be hot in the summer and wire cages are usually small and can allow mice attracted by the smell of food to pass through if you live in the country.
I recommend the IKEA Detolf, hamsters love them and they are quite large.
The bar cages are usually too small and a long haired hamster needs at least 800 square inches of floor space, for his well being and especially you will need to install a large sandbox in the cage to keep your Teddy bear hamster’s fur clean.
Having a long haired hamster will require you to spend more time grooming and maintaining your hamster’s cage.
You may also be forced to use only paper based substrate which can be costly if you have several hamsters.
Grooming and sand bathing is a daily task in addition to feeding and checking the health of your hamster, so consider this before buying a long haired hamster.