The Checklist

Below is a checklist of items that are essential to Roborovski care:

The Roborovski(s)

Make sure that you get the Roborovski/s AFTER you finish setting up the cage! They hate being in confined spaces, especially if you have not bought a carrying cage to escort them from the pet shop to your house.

A Cage or Aquarium

The 'Housing' page will provide you with more detail on this section.

A Hamster Wheel

Never get a metal wheel or plastic wheel with gaps between the running surface as it is  very easy for the Roborovski's to trap a leg between between them, and as they are much faster runners, it could easily result in serious injury. More info here.

A Water Bottle

Never let the water bottle hang up too high, and never get one where the spout is too hard for the Robos to draw water out of. It might be hard to attach a normal bottle to the side of a plastic or glass aquarium, so get one that easily sucks to it with suction pads (refer to the image). These are now much more common in pet stores.

Standard water bottles are very common in pet stores, and hang on to the wires of a cage easily, buy one designed for mice or gerbils.

Thoroughly wash out the water bottle before use.

Food and Bowl

Please refer to the 'Feeding' page for a list of edible and inedible foods. Food bowls aren't essential, but they are normally over-priced. A good idea is to get one from a yard-sale or boot-fair, or use a ceramic dish.

Bedding and Nesting Material

Ensure that your choice is *safe* for your hamster - see this page for more info.

Nesting Material (not essential, look above for reasons why). Get nesting material that is either made from strips of kitchen cloth or even better ( ad cheaper) is to make the bedding yourself, just tear up lots of fine strips of J-cloth and that'll do them nicely. If you are going to buy it from a shop, then avoid buying cotton.

Carrying container

This is essential because if you don't buy one of these or forget to take it with you at the time you are going out to buy your Roborovski/s, then all the pet store will give you to transport the Robo to his new home is a tiny, not properly insulated or ventilated dark cardboard box. This is acceptable for Syrians, but not for Roborovski's because they get startled easier. It is better to buy a small plastic fish tank) to transport him home. Make sure you fill it with bedding material a tiny bit of food in one corner, one play-thing(maybe a wooden brick with holes in it) and a water bottle.

Gnawing Objects

Because Roborovskis are rodents, their teeth grow all the time. It is therefore essential to provide them with something they can gnaw (bite) on. There are many different types of these objects available from pet stores (mineral stones haven't been the most effective with my hamsters).

A cost-saving idea is to cut off one thick branch from a hazel nut or apple tree. Make sure with the owner of the tree that it has not been treated in any way with paint or pesticides, as this could get into the Roborovski's stomach and harm him badly. Tic and Tac didn't actually take any notice of the apple tree branch I cut for them at the beginning, until I smeared it with hamster yogurt drops (their favourite treat!) and they are now going at it all the time!