How long can hamsters go missing for?
Hamsters can multiply greatly within a very short time. Therefore, it is not surprising that again and again numerous hamsters are abandoned.
In this article you will learn why domesticated hamsters can only survive outdoors for a very short time. In addition, we give you the knowledge about the differences between wild hamsters and pets and appropriate alternatives to release.
Can hamsters be abandoned?
No, the abandonment of hamsters is on the one hand life-threatening for the animal and on the other hand punishable by law.
The small rodents do not find their way in nature. Therefore, the abandonment is not a “release” and for the good of the hamsters.
Therefore, you should not be surprised that releasing the animals can be fined.
Why are hamsters abandoned?
If the keeping of a hamster does not turn out as expected or the animals multiply in unexpected numbers, many play with the idea of “releasing” their hamster.
This is the case, for example, if a female was bought already pregnant and no buyers for the young animals can be found.
Hamsters are also often purchased without the appropriate knowledge around the attitude – mostly for children.
The care seems simple and with little effort.
But already with the night activity and the large space requirement not rarely problems arise.
Instead of a cuddly companion that likes to be petted and is always up for a game, hamsters react stressed and thus sometimes aggressive.
They are difficult to hold securely and also take a while to become tame.
Especially for children they are therefore only conditionally suitable.
Also, if you want to sleep in peace at night, the small rodents are not a good choice in every case.
Before you even have to ask yourself whether you want to abandon your hamster – think carefully about the acquisition and inform yourself accordingly.
Even if others ask you for pre-purchase tips, be sure to disclose the surprisingly large size.
How do domesticated hamsters fare in the wild?
Hamsters bred and kept as pets still have some instincts, such as fear of potential predators.
However, they lack important traits to survive in the wild or even just a garden club.
For one thing, they are not used to foraging.
Moreover, thanks to pesticides, fertilizers, the destruction of grasses as weeds and other interventions in nature, they usually do not find enough food.
This in itself can be a significant problem.
In addition, there is a lack of shelter, significant temperature fluctuations and other animals that can be dangerous to hamsters.
This also applies to road traffic and people.
Your hamster will therefore not be able to cope outdoors.
It is much more likely that he will starve to death, freeze to death, injure himself or be eaten within a short period of time after being released.
If this is not the case, because it unexpectedly finds good conditions, it can briefly provide a large number of offspring if mating partners are available.
This in turn can have a negative impact on native animal life.
So there are many reasons to look for appropriate alternatives for release.
What are the differences between domesticated hamsters and wild hamsters?
There are three main differences between wild hamsters and pet hamsters.
Adaptation to the habitat
In addition, there is the care that, for example, a teddy hamster needs because of its long fur.
But let’s start with domestication, breeding and reproduction as a pet.
1. difference: domestication and breeding
In nature, it is still survival of the fittest. Only healthy, strong and adaptable animals can reproduce.
All others are weeded out.
In domesticated hamsters, on the other hand, hamsters are selected if they are particularly trusting or have a desirable color or pattern.
If the young animals are not separated in time before the onset of reproductive ability, inbreeding also occurs.
Already by this the animals have completely different conditions.
2. difference: habituation
Hamsters kept as pets are accustomed from birth to the fact that they hardly have to search for their food.
In nature, they would already go searching with their mother and learn what is edible and how to proceed.
In cage keeping, this has not been the case for countless generations.
The same applies to hiding from predators. This is also learned and copied in nature from the beginning.
As a pet this is not necessary.
Another important point is the habituation to humans.
Tame hamsters are no longer shy enough towards humans and human dwellings to avoid them.
3. difference: adaptation to the habitat
One look in the pet store is enough to see several different breeds of hamsters at once.
All of these have a different origin and are still adapted to it purely physically.
Already in terms of temperatures, they therefore do not bring the appropriate conditions.
This is true in a double sense. Because a hamster that has grown up in the apartment, physically and in terms of fur could not adapt to cold nights and rain at all.
4 alternatives to abandon a hamster
Abandoning your hamster or even several is not an option. But what alternatives can you find if you can no longer keep the pets?
We show them to you.
Alternative 1 – Animal shelter
Small animals are also taken in by animal shelters. You may have to pay a fee here.
In the best case, animal shelters may even already have inquiries from interested parties, so that a quick placement can take place.
Alternative 2 – Hamster Aid and Hamsters in Need
These are associations that can help you with the placement.
The people behind them care a lot about the well-being of the hamsters, which is why they often act as foster homes.
The associations can be found in many larger cities.
Alternative 3 – Private placement
Another option is to place your hamster privately.
There are some people who have a big heart for animals and like to take in older hamsters.
Prerequisite for a good placement is that you first seek a detailed conversation with the interested parties.
Be honest. Did you underestimate the time factor for the care? Does your hamster have any peculiarities?
Maybe you were sold an unknown pregnant female and now you unexpectedly have several kittens?
The new owner should be aware of the typical problems and also the requirements.
Otherwise he will also soon look for a new place or even abandon the hamster.
Alternative 4 – Reconsider and adapt the attitude
Provided that it is not unwanted and unplanned offspring and thus several hamsters have to be placed at once, you can also reconsider the previous attitude.
The small rodents have a short life anyway, so that often slight adjustments are sufficient to create optimal conditions for both sides.
If, for example, the sleep is disturbed, a change of place of the hamster home can remedy the situation.
If, on the other hand, your animal is not very trusting and tame or even aggressive, it helps to inform yourself further and more comprehensively.
Because often problems in the attitude are responsible for it, which can be solved very easily.
The more you inform yourself about hamsters and the more you know what can cause certain behavior, the better you can arrange the keeping.
And the more joy you yourself will have with the animal.
Ideally, of course, this is done before the acquisition. This way the thought of abandoning a hamster will not arise in the first place.
Even if you already ask yourself this question, a better solution can be found.
My name is Mark and the senior editor
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