Hamster Bobby enjoying obstacles in his cage

Unwanted lockdown hamster finds loving home

Bobby was bought as a lockdown companion, but his family soon realised that they had underestimated the time and care the small pet needed.

The Syrian hamster was sold by a pet store which failed to give the right advice on the minimum cage requirements or general care and enrichment to his unknowing first owners.

Sadly, Blue Cross finds this is often the case when it comes to the sale of small pets, and we urge any prospective owners to do plenty of research before welcoming one into their families.

Bobby soon found himself in need of our help, and our Hertfordshire rehoming team worked to quickly find him a place in foster care while we secured a new home for him.

Bobby looking up at the camera after having a drink from bottle
Bobby's previous family underestimated the time needed to provide adequate care

Sarah Miller, Animal Welfare Assistant, said: “Bobby was bought by his previous family during lockdown last year for company for their teenager who was lonely while not going to school.

“Within a month of buying him, his owners realised they couldn’t care for him as the daughter had lost interest, and they contacted our centre to see whether we could help rehome him.

“We found a foster home for him with one of our team and, within a couple of days, Bobby was in our care.”

“It was clear that Bobby hadn’t been handled at all,” Sarah continued. “His previous owners mentioned that he only spent time outside his cage when his accommodation was being cleaned, when he was put in a hamster ball, which Blue Cross advise against as this can be extremely stressful for them.

Hamster Bobby looking out of his cage with full cheeks
Bobby was taken in by Blue Cross and put into foster care

“Because of the bad advice given at the pet store, his cage was also bare and far too small for him.”

When he was in foster care, Bobby was moved to a much bigger cage – which should be a minimum of 80cm by 50cm and 50cm tall – and was given plenty of toys, handling and time outside of his accommodation.

Playtime for Bobby included setting up obstacles and plenty of enrichment activities in an empty bathtub, which he loved. He soon realised that being picked up meant getting treats – banana chips were his favourite!

And after a couple of weeks, Bobby found the perfect new home with Felicity Hall.

Bobby soon realised that handling meant tasty treats
Bobby soon realised that handling meant tasty treats

She said: “We were originally drawn to Bobby because his little face just seemed so inquisitive.

“Since bringing him home, he's made us smile every day. He was very nervous at first, but we continued the great work Blue Cross started by handling him every day – always on his terms – to build his confidence. 

“He's now the happiest little chap and comes scampering over to the front of his enclosure when we are close in the hope of a banana chip or piece of broccoli. He loves building dens in his bedding and running – he's always running! 

“He has also become quite the character whilst we've been working from home, often timing his midday drinks with the most important moments of Zoom meetings.”

Felicity added: “Watching him scuttle around his enclosure or playpen brings us a lot of happiness, and we're so grateful to have him in our lives.”

— Page last updated 03/06/2021