Hamsters are small, cute, and furry creatures that will steal your heart and won’t leave a mess in your home. Just as with any pet, they do require a lot of care and attention, but when compared with cats and dogs which are the most popular pets nowadays, they are much easier to manage.
If you are still not convinced that hamsters make a good choice for a pet, or you simply want to learn new reasons to get this furry and fun creature as your faithful companion, our list below will be to your liking.
Hamsters come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and the most well-known type is the Syrian hamster which is golden in color and measures about six inches in length. You can also find smaller hamsters such as the Siberian, Roborovski, and Chinese species which come in a variety of colors and grow to just about two or three inches.
Getting your first hamster is also quite affordable since you can find most species available for the cost of around 15$ to 20$. What’s more, some pet shops that have female hamsters with unexpected litters of pups will allow customers to adopt a baby pup for free.
They are also inexpensive to feed since unlike canned cat or dog food that can lighten the wallet, high-quality hamster food will not make a dent in your budget, and you can find two-pound bags that will last you for weeks.
With less than 10$ you will be able to feed your small companion for close to a month. Similarly, unlike dogs and cats which require expensive meat-based treats, your hamster can enjoy much of the same fruits and veggies that you have in your kitchen. Just remember to wash them, and that they should only encompass around 10% of their diet.
They don’t need a big home
Since a hamster will spend most of its life in the cage, you don’t need to have a huge yard or live near a park for them to play in. Hamster cages or habitats come in many sizes, and you can buy the right one for your living space. What you should always remember is that even if hamsters can live in a small cage, you should still pick the largest one that your home allows.
The habitat of the hamster should be large enough for it to explore, climb, and play around. Remember that some of the available space will be filled with the hamster wheel, toys, and other accessories. Certain plastic habitats come with movable tubes and are an excellent pick for small homes since they allow you to extend the space in smart ways.
Since hamster cages are generally small, if you travel a lot or you’re going away for a period, you can easily take your pet and its cage with you. Most enclosures come with carrying handles to allow for easy transport, and they can fit in most cars.
Independent and fun to watch
Unlike dogs that require a lot of attention, hamsters don’t need your constant company to have fun and not get bored. This does not mean that your new pet will ignore you, since the more you handle it, the friendlier it will become.
As long as you offer your new pet enough toys and means to exercise, the hamster will be more than happy to eat, drink, gnaw, run, nest, and run again on its wheel while you go about your business. Similarly, since hamsters are mostly nocturnal, their most active time will be when you are sleeping.
While at first hamsters may seem a bit wild, with regular contact you can easily tame these cute and energetic creatures. They love to run around and do all kinds of mischiefs, and they are a pleasure to watch since they offer tons of entertainment. Sitting beside the cage and watching your new pet play is exceptionally relaxing.
If you wish to get it outside the cage, you can do it but make sure that there are no doors and windows open that it can use to get outside your house where you could lose it. Hamsters outside their cage will love to explore the new environment and climb up your arms and legs.
They won’t cause a mess
If you’ve ever owned a larger pet before such as a cat or dog, you are probably well-acquainted with having to scoop up piles of poo. With hamsters, you will not have to worry about such things since their waste is very manageable and looks like tiny little pellets.
Hamsters are also very clean animals, and they generally go potty in just one spot. If you have the time, you can also set up a corner and train your new pet to use a litter box instead of the cage. This will make your cleaning schedule a lot easier and will also confine the waste to just one place that can be emptied quickly and frequently.
The hamster cage needs to be cleaned about once a week, and the process is very quick and easy. You just need to take out the old bedding (always wear gloves for this part) and give the enclosure a quick wipe with a sponge and cleaning solution. You can then dry it, place the new bedding inside and you are done. The whole process is speedy and should not take more than 20 minutes.
Grooming and size
Similarly to cats, hamsters will take care of their grooming needs and will maintain their fur fluffy and clean. You won’t have to struggle to get the pet into the bath or pay large sums of money for expensive grooming salons.
Finally, there’s the small size that makes hamsters perfect pocket pets and your kids will love them for that since they will be able to carry and play with them with great ease. Remember that since they are so small, they are fragile too so be careful when your kids are carrying a hamster since even a small fall might injure its legs.
Are hamsters good pets for kids?
Like many other parents before you, you’ve probably asked yourself “should I get a hamster for my kid?” plenty of times since this little critter appears to be a favorite among young children. However, the answer to this question depends on the age of the child since you should only get a pet hamster for school-aged children, age six and up.
The reason why kids younger than that shouldn’t get a hamster is not that the pets are difficult to look after but rather that they are too fragile. Kids like to play with their pets, and hamsters are very playful, but it doesn’t take much to injure them. Children younger than six are usually not capable of handling a hamster with the gentle touch and supportive hand they require.
So why are hamsters good pets for school-aged children? The first reason is that they are very fun to play with, and they can teach kids the importance of responsibility since caring for a pet is quite a long commitment.
A hamster is a low-maintenance pet not only because of the low hamster price but also due to how cheap it is to raise one. The only expensive item is the cage, but that is only a one-time purchase. The food, bedding, accessories, and toys can all be purchased online or at your local pet shop for cheap.
Other hamster facts for kids that make this pet such a good choice is the wide variety of species available. There are over 25 types of hamsters that all come in different sizes, shapes, and colors so that every child can find a companion that they can love.
Apart from cleaning the cage, feeding and playing with the pet, looking after a hamster is not a big responsibility for a child since the critter is independent, and it doesn’t require grooming from the owner.
Lastly, hamsters have a very short lifespan of only 2-4 years, which means that looking after a hamster is not a long-term commitment. Kids can get bored with their pets fast, and it is easier to get a hamster than, let’s say, a chinchilla that can live for up to 20 years.
Are hamsters easy to take care of?
It isn’t difficult to care for a hamster, but there are a few things that you will need to consider as a new owner. First, the hamster requires a clean cage with plenty of room to play and exercise. Ideally, the cage should have a capacity of 10 gallons or more. All the doors and tops will need to be secured so that the critter can’t escape.
Feeding the hamster won’t be a problem as long as you get food that’s formulated specifically for the pet’s needs. You should, however, try to avoid treat sticks that have high sugar content. These aren’t good for the pet and can cause health problems down the road.
Maintenance is not a problem since hamsters tend to urinate in the same corner of the cage each time. This makes it easy to scoop away the soiled litter each day to keep its habitat odor-free. You can also place a litter tray in the spot it likes to urinate if you want to make the daily cleaning routine go even faster.
You also won’t have to worry about health problems with hamsters since as long as you feed and house them properly and let them get enough exercise, they’ll stay healthy, and you won’t have to deal with costly vet bills. Overall, the hamster cost is very low, and taking care of the pet’s daily needs does not require too much time.
Are hamsters friendly?
Yes, most hamsters are very friendly once they get to know their owner. In general, the friendliness of a hamster depends on the species, gender, how much hand-taming they’ve received, the quality of their environment, and whether they have been kept alone or in groups.
If you are looking for a friendly pet, you should get Syrian hamsters or Chinese hamsters since both species are known for their friendliness. Syrian hamsters are solitary creatures that need to be kept on their own, but Chinese hamsters can be kept in groups.
No allergies and easy cleanup
Because hamsters don’t shed, this makes them a great choice for people with allergies. Since they don’t shed, they also won’t make a mess in their cage or when you’re letting them out to play in your house.
Moreover, another big plus for hamsters is that since they are so low-maintenance and unlikely to make a mess, they are accepted in most no-pet apartments or buildings. This is a big advantage for city dwellers who are looking to get hamsters as pets.
They don’t require special training
Most pets will first need to undergo special training, but that’s not the case when getting a hamster. For example, cats need to be trained not to claw at your furniture, and puppies need to be trained not to wet the carpet.
Hamsters only need to learn one thing: to get used to your presence, and this doesn’t take a long time. Since they spend most of the time in their cage, you won’t have to worry that they’ll wreak havoc in your home.
Are hamsters good pets for owners who need companionship?
Another aspect that you should keep in mind before getting a hamster as a pet is that while these critters are friendly and intelligent, they won’t be awake for most of the day. This means that unless you are the type of person that is up late at night, you won’t get to spend a great deal of time with your furry pal.
As nocturnal animals, hamsters are active a little in the evening, but it is during the night that they like to play the most. This means that if you want to get a pet for companionship and you’re looking forward to playing with it during the daytime hours, a gerbil or a larger pet such as a cat might be a better choice.