Here is a list of common questions and answers from members. We do our best to answer everything! Have a buzzing question you’d like to get answered? Send an email!
Is there a membership fee for OHC?
At the moment, no, however as we begin to roll out membership perks and newsletters, we will charge a fee. Money raised will go towards funding future shows, awards, and other endeavours!
Do I have to show up to meetings to be a member?
Nope! We love our virtual members, and our members from afar.
What do you do at meetings?
A lot of our meetings involve simply getting to know one another. Usually we have a theme, whether it be lunch, or crafting, or even bin building. We are very “community” focused, so we try to bring together everyone from all walks of life. Your perspective and your story is important to us, so please feel welcome to attend our meetings, no matter how much knowledge you have of hamsters.
Are kids welcome?
Absolutely! Many of our members have children of all ages. Our group is 100% inclusive, so please don’t feel like you need to leave any part of the family at home.
Where can I find a hamster to purchase or adopt? The first place to check are your local rescues and SPCAs. Many humane societies will take in small animals like hamsters and find them home. There is no greater gift than to give a homeless hamster a loving home! You can also try Kijiji or Facebook advertisements, as many people will use those sites to rehome animals. There are also some great ethical breeders to support around Ontario! We do not recommend buying hamsters from the pet shop, though we do acknowledge that might be the most accessible way to get a pet hamster.
Why are pet stores a bad place to get a new pet?
Rodent mills are an integral part in the North American pet trade. Our pet shops are supplied by distributors, who get their animals en masse from “breeders”. These breeders run mills. They put no thought into the health, temperament and longevity of these animals. The animals are money making, profit machines. They are overbred and wildly neglected, mistreated and abused.
Every time you buy a hamster from a shop, you are putting money back into the hands of this store, these breeders, and making more space for more animals to be abused long term. You aren’t rescuing that hamster, though you might provide better for them - you are opening up that space for more hamsters to be born into this hell. You are tacitly and financially approving rodent mills.
Can my hamsters live together?
The short answer is no. Most hamsters prefer to live solitary lives. Syrians and Chinese hamsters are especially solitary. Roborovski dwarfs and Hybrid dwarfs may live communally, but just like people, not every hamster will get along! If you are adopting a pair, ensure you have enough supplies for both should they need to live individually, and watch for chasing.
How can I spot a good breeder from a bad breeder?
What’s an acceptable cage for my hamster?
Ontario Hamster Club follows the 450sq in minimum set for hamsters across North America. However, this is a minimum and we encourage our members to strive above and beyond! Therefore, we recommend 600sq in for our members. The best cages are often tanks, bin cages, or DIYs. You can read more about suitable habitats here.
Where can I get a bin for a bin cage? What bins are acceptable? How do I make it?
Bin cages are often a popular choice for cages. I highly recommend heading over to our comprehensive guide on bin-building for all the details!
What bedding/substrate is safe?
Paper based bedding and aspen wood shavings are the best for hamsters. Most of us prefer paper, but aspen wood is just fine! You can read more about bedding and substrate here.
What food is best given the age/species of my hamster?
Finding good quality food can be tricky. For any species of hamster under the age of 1 year, we recommend Versele Laga Hamster Nature found at Pet Valu or Global Pet Foods, mixed with a high quality lab block. For hamsters over the age of 1 year, we recommend Higgins Sunburst Hamster found at Global Pet foods. For more information on nutrition and food choices, check out our page (WIP).
Where can I get an OHC shirt?
Our OHC shirts are located on Teespring! The profit from the shirts directly goes to funding more OHC adventures.