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You only need to login to Pinterest to be confronted with a whole host of cutesy animal images of pets wearing adorable little outfits. If you want an Instagrammable pet photo opportunity, then putting them in clothes might seem like a tempting idea. But can hamsters wear clothes, or would this distress them?
Hamsters do not need clothes. Unlike humans, they have fur that serves as a way of regulating their temperature and stopping them from getting too cold. What’s more, putting clothes on your hamster could be dangerous for them.
So, while you may see hundreds of adverts for hamster clothing all over the internet, it might not be a great idea; let’s take a closer look at why this is.
Can I Put Clothes On My Hamster?
Before you go rushing out to buy a teeny hamster outfit or break out your knitting needles, ask yourself why you want to put clothes on your hamster.
One of the most common reasons that pet owners want to dress up their pets is because they think they will look cute.
And it’s true, who doesn’t find a hamster dressed in a sweater adorable? But that doesn’t mean that the hamster will be impressed.
If you are wanting to put clothes on your hamster for your own entertainment, it pays to take a while to consider whether your enjoyment is worth getting your pet stressed out.
And in reality, your hamster will become stressed by this.
Hamsters may be intelligent, but they will almost definitely become confused when you start adding layers to their already warm fur. It is likely that your hamster will try to escape when you are dressing it, which will be highly stressful for them.
Another reason that hamster clothes tempt some pet owners is that they are concerned that their pet won’t be warm enough.
As humans, we are accustomed to donning a few extra layers when heading out into the cold, especially during winter.
At this time of year, particularly in colder climates, even inside the house can have a chill. So, you might think that you are doing your pet a favor by giving them a hamster jacket or sweater. But the truth of the matter is; they don’t need it.
Like many other furry animals, hamsters have their own coat, which works perfectly well when they are in the wild and so will work just as well in captivity.
When they are in the wild, hamsters will head underground when they want to sleep or get cozy, and this also helps to keep them snug.
When you keep one as a pet, it is important to provide your hamster with some nesting material that they can snuggle into and keep warm. This will be more than sufficient, and adding clothes into the mix could cause your hamster to overheat.
Finally, you might wish to consider the hamster’s natural instinct to chew. This is normal behavior at the best of times, but when the hamster feels uncomfortable, they might attempt to chew at the clothes to get them off.
If they are made from materials that have small fibers, these could serve as a choking hazard for your pet or become trapped in their pouches.
What’s more, if a hamster manages to unravel some wool, for example, they may become tangled in this or get it wrapped around their teeth and potentially injured.
What Is The Best Nesting Material For Hamsters?
We have established that your hamster will not benefit in any way from being forced to wear clothes, and this certainly isn’t necessary to keep your pet cozy during the colder months.
As we have discussed, the best way to keep your hamster toasty is to provide them with some nesting material. Not only will this be enough, but they will also have the freedom to use as much or as little as they please, emerging if they become too hot.
There are plenty of materials that can be used for hamster nesting. One of the most easily accessible and affordable is shredded paper or tissue.
Although because this is not as absorbent, it will need to be changed more frequently. You can also use wood shavings on the base of the case, such as Aspen shavings, which your hamster will love to burrow underneath.
Hay is another common choice, but you should make sure that this is purchased from a pet store rather than collected from outside as this may contain mites or bacteria.
However, there are a lot of pet owners who have considered using cotton balls or something similar, and this is not appropriate and should not be used for your pet.
The reason for this is that these materials tend to be difficult to digest, and it is likely that some of the bedding will be swallowed or get tangled around their teeth or limbs. Natural materials that are soft will always be the best choice.
Can Hamsters Have Fabric In Their Cage?
We have touched on the fact that your hammy might chew on their clothes, which can cause various problems.
Similarly, it is never a good idea to use strips of fabric in the cage. Some people will make the mistake of using these for bedding or for their pets to play in.
However, if the hamster chews on these, even when they are loose and not used as clothing, small pieces of fabric could cause some unwanted digestive issues, choking, and if this is allowed to continue over time, even death.
What can I give my hamster to chew on?
To help keep a hamster’s teeth trim, one of the best things that you can give them is wood. It is essential never to use pine or cedar as this can be dangerous to hamsters. Otherwise, you can find multiple wooden hamster toys, offer a clean, untreated block of hardwood or even a whole walnut.
Is fleece OK for hamsters?
It can be tempting to use fleece in your hamster’s cage as this is a much thicker type of fabric, but in reality, this can pose just as much of a risk. You might find hamster snuggle sacks or hammocks made from fleece, but you should never use it for your pet’s bedding.