A hamster’s emotional health is as important as its physical one. As a hamster can easily fall into a depressive and gloomy mood, it is important to ensure that it is living a happy and interesting life. It is like any other pet, it needs care, love, and appreciation.
And if these are provided it surely will contribute back to its owner. You will notice your hamster’s happiness from the following signs:
1. Proper appetite
A hamster’s diet is very diverse, they can eat seeds, fruits, vegetables, cereal and many other foods. If its appetite is good, and it’s eating all kinds of nutriments this is a sign that it is happy.
And if it is very comfortable, it will tend to store some food in its cheek pouches and then pile them up in a certain area of the cage. This means that it is satisfied with its food and want to keep some for later.
2. Exhibition of normal behavior
An abnormal activity can be easily detected by the owner, especially if the owner knows all the hamster’s habits. The normal behavior of the hamster includes several important notices, these include a good amount of movement and activity.
Hamsters are curious and active animals so you should be able to see the hamster play on the wheel or at least move around its cage. If not this could mean that it is depressed.
3. Calm and relaxed
Activity and movement is indeed important for your hamster’s emotional health, but at the same time extra movement and pacing can be a sign of anxiety and nervousness. A hamster will move in repetitive motions or in circles when it’s anxious or scared.
4. Often grooming
Grooming is a very important sign of happiness. If the hamster is comfortable it will clean itself regularly and in a calm manner. On the other hand, excessive grooming can mean the opposite.
If your hamster spends too much time grooming and picking their fur, this could mean that they are stressed or that they’re having skin problems. If you suspect that, check their skin for any damages or emptiness of fur and contact the veterinarian immediately.
5. Normal sexual activity
The hamster’s simplest instinct, just like all animals is exhibiting sexual interactions. This does not only mean intercourse, it includes the territorial behaviors that males have. This means that they perform territorial marking to claim their area as theirs as well as claiming the female.
This in addition to the seasonal mating requirements, as female hamsters are seasonally polyestrous, they will have the urge to mate 2-3 times per year. This urge is seen on the female when it raises its tail. If the hamster is depressed it will not express its instinctive sexual activity.
6. Satisfaction with its home
You can detect if your hamster is content with its home or not by realizing certain behaviors. These behaviors include biting, climbing or trying to escape its cage. If you notice these signs, this means that your hamster is uncomfortable in its home. It could mean that the cage is too small, too dirty or just boring.
7. Creating a comfortable home for itself
When a hamster is comfortable in its environment, it tends to organize its living area. Which means that it will divide its cage into 3 portions: a sleeping area, a food pilling area and a waste area. It will create a cozy bed for itself by pilling up and wood or paper shredding placed in the cage.
8. Friendly with its owner
A hamster’s affection can be easily noticed, especially if it’s a social one. It can interact with its companion through certain actions when it is happy.
But, if it is unsatisfied it will show aggression to their owner. And even though hamsters can be slightly aggressive in nature, they will only bite or harm their owner if they’re uncomfortable.
9. Yawning and stretching
This behavior is a simple yet great indicator of the hamster’s happiness. It is often done to grab your attention or even to make you think that they adorable. A yawn or stretch means that your hamster is completely comfortable and relaxed. It is far away from being a sign of sleepiness, but rather a sign of satisfaction.
10. Likes to cuddle
If the hamster feels extremely safe and comfortable with its owner, it will show signs of enjoyment when you pet it. Moreover, it will try to stay on your shoulder or on your lap and it might even sleep there.
11. It runs towards its owner
When a hamster notices its owner approaching, it will run towards him/her. This is a sign of affection and excitement. But this level of bonding can’t be reached easily, you will have to create a relationship with your hamster to get this type of attention from it.
Another sign that tells that your hamster is having a normal comfortable life, is that it estivates. Estivation is similar to hibernation but it occurs in summer. Hamsters tend to sleep when the temperature exceeds 27 degrees Celsius.
13. High activity at night
A hamster is considered a nocturnal animal, which means that its highest activity during a whole day is at night. So observing some movement and action during night is one of the signs that your hamster has an adequate sleeping schedule and a productive life.
14. Attentiveness and awareness of its surrounding
When your hamster realizes the sounds and movements around it but at the same time isn’t easily frightened of them, this mean that it’s perceptive and curious about life around it. Which is an important indication of its statisfaction.
15. Change in behavior when the owner is away
The best way to notice that your pet is originally happy is their change in behavior when you stay away from them for a while. If you are giving them the safety and assurance they need for a happy life, they will feel depressed in your absence. This can be contradicting but it makes you realize how important you are for them and how much you bring them joy.
After all, it is really not hard to keep your hamster alive, but it needs much more than the basic needs of life for it to be happy. Feeding it and giving it shelter isn’t always enough, you have to invest in your relationship with your pet and keep it entertained. If you do, you will realize that it’s paying you back for all the care you gave it.