Hamster Frost in the hands of new owner Kelly

A big new world for Frost

Trapped in a wooden hut far too small and with a guinea pig she should never have been housed with, Frost’s early life must have been so stressful and frustrating.

The Syrian hamster arrived at our Burford rehoming centre in Oxfordshire inside a mop bucket in September last year, as her owner knew that the tiny rodent wasn’t getting the care she needed.

Both Frost and her hut rival were bought from a pet shop as a pair – despite Syrian hamsters being solitary creatures, and guinea pigs needing the company of their own kind to be happy.

Frost with Kelly and son Kane
Frost with new owners Kelly and Kane.

But, thanks to new owners, Kelly Grellier and son Kane, Frost was in a loving new home within four days, with a palatial cage more than big enough for her needs.

For Kelly and 15-year-old student Kane, who live in London, the greatest reward has been knowing that they’re giving Frost, who they named after a character in the computer game Rainbow Six Siege, the very best life she deserves.

They had been eager to welcome a pet into their home for a while and chose to rehome a hamster due to the animal’s nocturnal habits fitting so well into their busy lifestyles and inner-city living.

Frost in her cage

Kelly said: “Because we live in a flat, and I travel a lot for work, she’s perfect for us because she’s awake in the evening so we just get to pet her and watch her running about.

“And then she goes back in her cage and explores in there for the rest of the night. So, it means we can give her really give her a lovely quality of life.”

Some scars from Frost’s past remain – she tends to get through food too quickly and stash away large amounts as she had grown so used to competing with the guinea pig for it in her previous home.

Frost emerging from bedding in her big cage
Frost's early life was spent in a cage far too small, but now she has a palatial home.

“We can’t give her too much food at once otherwise her store gets too full,” said Kelly.

But Frost is now as happy as she can be, and she’s made her owners happier too.

Kane said: “I like the element of responsibility, like cleaning out the cage. It’s just lovely being able to come home and see her.”

And Kelly enjoys the challenge of coming up with creative ways to bring Frost crucial enrichment, such as creating fun tunnels and obstacles - both inside and outside of her cage.

Frost out of her cage exploring

“Every time I clean her cage, I rearrange it and think of new things to put in for her to play with and explore,” she said.

But best of all, Frost has become part of the family.

Kelly added: “When Kane and I are together in the evenings in the living room, it’s really lovely to have Frost as a part of it. She has become more and more tame and can now scale up the back of the sofa and join us while we watch TV. She is part of our time together.”

Sadly, this wasn’t the first case of its kind that Blue Cross has experienced, due a widespread lack of awareness of small pets’ needs among those that sell them.

The ideal home for a hamster is a large wire cage with a plastic base no smaller than 60cm by 30cm, by 30cm tall. Wood should be avoided as it absorbs urine and quickly becomes smelly and unhygienic.

Find out more about keeping hamsters happy.

— Page last updated 19/05/2020