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Golden HamsterAlthough a favorite of young children, the little hamster can be a big responsibility, and most experts agree that the parent should shoulder most of the responsibility to ensure that it is properly cared for.

The average life span is 2-3 years, so admittedly hamsters are not as big a long-term commitment compared to dogs or cats, but they do need a fair amount of love and attention throughout their lives. Play and exercise, good hygiene, proper hamster nutrition and plenty of love is required to keep your pet hamster happy and thriving.

Hamster fun facts - DID YOU KNOW?

• Hamsters can only see about 6 inches in front of them, and depend largely on their two other highly developed senses -- hearing and smell -- to find their way around.

• Breeders have found that they can manipulate the sex of hamsters before they are born by simply changing the room temperature! A warmer environment usually results in more male hamsters, while a cooler environment results in more female hamsters.

• The most popular breeds for pet adoption are Syrian or golden hamster, and the Russian Dwarf hamster both of which come in a variety of coat colors. Other popular breeds include the light gray Dwarf White Russian, and the sandy-colored Roborovski hamster.

gray hamster• Like pet dogs, hamsters have been trained to respond to their names when called.

• Notorious hoarders, hamsters can fill their puffy cheeks with food up to 20% of their body weight.

On the Web, discover more fun facts and information about hamster care and feeding, tips on buying the common golden or Syrian hamster from pet shops and shelters, advice on cages and exercise equipment, and lots of pictures on the cute, furry critters that most kids find irresistible...

More about hamsters around the Web:

Buying a Hamster
- Get advice on buying a hamster from pet shops, breeders, shelters and rescue organizations, with related resources.

Dwarf Hamster - Check out tips on their care & temperament, how they differ from golden hamsters, with facts on feeding, breeding, illnesses & medical care.

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