Hamsters look tailless. If you’ve never owned or held one you could easily be forgiven for assuming it has no tail at all. But they actually have a cute little hamster tail on their back end, and it’s the source of their biggest problems! Today we will learn about the type of tail that hamsters have, find out about the common condition of ‘wet tail’, and what you can do to prevent your hamster from getting sick.
Are Hamsters Good Pets?
Small, fluffy, and undeniably adorable, hamsters make sweet, cuddly, and adorable companions for all kinds of people around the world. Of course, hamsters were not always domesticated, and there are plenty of wild hamsters still roaming the plains of Syria, North China, Belgium and Greece.
Today these cute little mice make great companions for first time pet owners and have been helping teach school children for generations. Hamsters have long been a favorite in the classroom as well, especially in elementary school classrooms where they entertain youngsters by digging into their wooden planks and mysteriously running on their exercise wheels for exercise.
With a lifespan of between two and three years, hamsters can serve as fun companions and topics of conversation and education for the whole family. One of the most interesting things about hamsters, which are members of the rodent family, is that most hamsters don’t have that long tail. What gives? Do hamsters have tails? And if they have tails, what do hamsters use their tails for?
Types of hamsters
The most common hamsters sold as pets include Syrian hamsters, Dwarf Campbell Russian Hamsters, White Russian Hamsters, and Roborvski Dwarf hamsters. They are all members of the rodent family. However, unlike common rodents such as rats or mice, hamsters rarely climb or live in trees. Instead, hamsters burrow, spending most of their time underground.
Closely related to lemmings, mice and voles, there are about 20 species of hamsters around the world. Although we often think of hamsters as pets, these animals are primarily wild. In fact, only about five species of hamsters have been domesticated over the years. All types of hamsters have a tail, but one of them has a longer tail than others, the Chinese hamster.
Hamsters also have a short life span of only two to three years. And a common health problem that hamsters can suffer from is known as wet tail. But if a hamster suffers from a wet tail, doesn’t that mean the hamster will have to have a tail?
Do hamsters have tails?
Yes! Like most rodents, hamsters actually have tails. However, unlike most rodents, hamsters do not rely on their tails for balance when climbing.
What are Hamster Tails used for?
Hamsters are ground dwelling creatures, and their tails are usually designed to stay out of the way when they dig and burrow. Of course, hamsters can use their tails for a variety of other tasks. Hamsters use their tails to talk and protect their sensitive bottoms.
Female hamsters are also known to wrap their tails around male hamsters when they are ready to mate. Your hamster’s tail is an extension of your hamster’s spine. For this reason, it is important to be gentle with your hamster’s tail. Never lift your hamster by the tail or try to clip or cut off its tail, as this can kill the animal.
How Long Can A Hamster’s Tail Be?
For most hamsters, their tail is a small lump that is usually no longer than a grain of rice. However, one type of hamster has a long tail. This type of hamster is the Chinese Hamster, also known as the Chinese Dwarf Hamster, which has the longest tail of all the Hamster species.
The average length of a normal hamster’s tail is between five and six inches. Syrian hamsters have short, stubby tails while the Chinese hamster can have a tail that grows as long as its body. However, this is the only hamster with a long tail.
The short length of a hamster’s tail tells us quite a bit about the animal and its evolution. Remember, hamsters are rodents. Their short tails help ensure that they can burrow very quickly while also helping to protect them from predators by not dragging them behind when they flee.
The short tail of the hamster is also designed to protect their sensitive lower regions, as we mentioned above. Of course, there are still mysteries behind the short tail of a hamster, and there are advantages and disadvantages to your hamster’s tail that you should know about. A serious health problem in hamsters, which we discussed briefly above, is known as wet tail.
Wet Tail Hamsters
Although known as wet tail, this disease has nothing to do with your hamster’s tail. In fact, wet tail is actually a term used to describe the symptom of watery diarrhea that can occur in a hamster that has contracted a type of pathogenic intestinal bacteria.
A wet tail can be caused by Lawsonia Intracellularis or Campylobacter, but other causes of a wet tail can also be stress. Stress in hamsters can be caused by too much handling, environmental changes, dirty environment and so on.
Symptoms of Wet Tail
The most common symptoms of a wet tail in a sick hamster to look out for include:
- A wet-looking back or tail
- Bad odors coming from your hamster or his habitat
- Loss of appetite or lack of interest in eating or handling
- Lethargy or weakness
- Excessive sleep
- Unusual behavior including biting, biting or scratching
- Folded ears
- A bent back
Treatment and Prevention
Wet tail is a serious disease in hamsters and can only be treated with antibiotics available from your vet. Without treatment, hamsters can succumb to wet tail within 48 hours. For this reason, it is recommended that you bring your hamster to see your veterinarian when the wet tail symptom first begins.
Since stress is the main cause of wet tail, to prevent this condition you should avoid stressing them. When they first come home let them sit for a few days before you start treating them. Do not let your cat sleep in the cage of a hamster, or any other animal that lives nearby. And avoid scaring them by walking slowly and carefully.
Hamsters and Hamster Tails
Although most hamsters have short, stubby tails, their tails are an important part of their appearance. Remember, your hamster’s tail helps him communicate and can help protect his sensitive bottom. The other uses of the hamster’s tail remain a mystery, although most experts agree that their tails are essential to their overall existence.
Your hamster’s tail can be a good indicator of your hamster’s health, especially when it comes to a wet tail. Remember, if you notice any signs or symptoms of a wet tail in your hamster, it is important to take your hamster to your vet as soon as possible.
We hope this has been a helpful guide to hamsters and helped answer your question do hamsters have tails! Now we want to hear from you. Did you notice that hamsters were burrowing creatures related to rats, voles, and lemmings? Tell us what you think about hamsters and their cute little tails in the comments section below.