closeup of hamster and leaves

When furry family members are part of your move, understanding the do’s and don’ts of transporting a pet becomes a priority. What happens when your pet is a small animal that lives in a cage? Take a look at the top tips for moving with a hamster.

Use a Travel Cage

Your hamster can’t travel without a cage. But that doesn’t mean that you need to take along their entire at-home Habitrail in the car. Instead, use a travel-friendly alternative.

Larger cages are awkward to transport, and glass tanks can easily break. Choose a small cage with metal bars. Hamsters are expert chewers — making it possible for your pet to escape from a plastic or cardboard travel container.

Remove Regular Bedding

The regular shredded paper that lines the bottom of your hamster’s cage may not stay put during the move. If you’re using a metal or slated travel cage, smaller shreds can escape, littering your car. Swap shredded paper for larger pieces of plain (un-inked) newsprint, paper towels, or a washcloth.

Provide a Hiding Place

The trauma of traveling isn’t easy on your pint-sized pet. A hiding place gives your hamster a way to feel safe and secure. Choose a soft or cushioned hiding place. Hard plastic models can cause serious injury if they fly or bump around in the car. Avoid tiny tubes or anything that your pet could get stuck in during the move.

Bring Along Food

If the move is long-distance, bring your pet’s favorite food with you. Don’t place the food in their cage as you normally would. Most likely, it will only end up spread across the bedding. Keep the food with you, dishing it out during rest stops as needed.

Provide Plenty of Water

Stop dehydration before it starts. Attach your hamster’s regular water bottle (or get a smaller-sized one to fit in the travel carrier) to the inside of the cage. Routinely check the bottle to make sure that it’s not leaking and still has enough water to hydrate your pet.

Avoid Excessive Handling

While you may want to take your hamster out and play with them en route, this can pose dangers to you or your pet. Hamsters can bite when startled, stressed, or aggravated. A long car trip is a stressful situation that can irritate your hamster, making the pet more likely to act aggressively.

A quick bite to the hand, and you may drop the hamster. In this type of situation, your scared hamster is not likely to sit still on the car’s seat. Instead, your pet may run and hide — and you may have a hard time finding the small animal inside of your auto.

Keep Temperatures Constant

The ideal ambient air temperature for a hamster ranges from the mid to high 60’s to the low 70s Fahrenheit. Exposure to too-cold temperatures can lead to a lethal false hibernation, while higher temperatures can cause heatstroke.

When the weather won’t cooperate, make sure to keep the car’s temperature in a range that your hamster enjoys. If you need to stop to eat or use the restroom, bring the hamster (in its travel cage) with you. Leaving the hamster unattended in a cold or hot car is dangerous.

A car parked in the shade on a hot day can reach an indoor air temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit within an hour. Parking your car in the sun can cause a sharper — and quicker — rise in temperature. Even if the temperature doesn’t seem extreme, the inside air could prove fatal for your hamster.

Do you need expert help with your next major move? Contact Modern Movers for more information.

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