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Like most families we've had our fair share of hamsters over the years, the kids love them and although I'm not so keen myself (those horrible little feet!) we currently have a rather large white Syrian hamster called Froddo (my fifteen year old named him after her favourite current obsession).
We usually just have one hamster at a time but when we had dwarf hamsters a few years ago we had four (all female) who got on so well that we never had to separate them and when one died the other three very obviously mourned her and were never the same afterwards, it was really strange to watch actually.
The main thing to remember with hamsters is that they need plenty of room - they'll spend most of their lives in their cage so get the best and biggest you can possibly afford. Our hamster has a three storey cage with plenty of plastic tubes to squeeze through and room for lots of hamster toys and activities. He has a wheel but doesn't use it as much as most hamsters we've had, he'll have a little go here and there but prefers the gnawing toys my daughter buys for him and is more than happy to spend his time going in and out of the numerous tubes.
We control his diet quite strictly as he's a total gannet and was getting very fat indeed, I realised one night that he was emptying his bowl into his bed and stashing food - all night long you'd hear him munching the food he'd hidden and then he'd go and eat from his refilled bowl. We've learned where to look now to make sure we're not feeding him extra when he already has a meals-worth of food hidden in his bedding! Fresh water is always made available for him through a drinking bottle and this is changed daily regardless of how much of it he's drunk.
I bought him a ball so he can run around the floor and he likes that sometimes, you can tell when he's not in the mood as he just stands still in the ball and those times we just put him back in his cage until he's ready to come out for a play.
Froddo doesn't mind being handled but not all hamsters will tolerate it, a hamster bite bloomin' KILLS so if you have one that doesn't like to be picked up I suggest you leave him well alone.
Hamsters are a super pet for kids, they don't take a huge amount of effort to look after and are a very rewarding little animal.
We bought our hamsters a couple of weeks ago from a local pet shop. We bought two complete with the cage, which cost us £30 all in, which is cheap compared to some reviews that i have read up to now!
There are some good and bad points to our hamsters, but mostly good. I think they make a very nice pet, that is easy to handle, and is very friendly if treat in the right way.
Our hamsters, we think, are completely insane! One of them, which we named copper, likes to climb up the cage, do some acrobatic stunts, then let go and drop onto the cage floor? Hilarious to watch, but i cant help feel it has gone insane. I even went through the trouble of going back into the shop and telling them about it, but apparently this is normal!! They have a wheel in the cage and also get let out once a day too, so i cant understand it.
The cage we have has an opening which slides open. The hamsters must be smart, and they work together to open the cage and let themselves out! I was in the bath the other day and saw one of them running past the door, naturally i shot out of the bath faster than I ever thought possible, to collect it. I then sat and watched them for a minute, and saw how genius they are at working together. They bite the bars on the door and pull it up, while the other one does the same from the other side!! I actually could not believe that they worked together to escape, we have has to lock the cage with tie wraps to stop them doing it haha!
Hamsters are very fun, great to play with, but be careful when holding them. Ours like to poop on us whenever they can! It is annoying but funny at the same time. They can be noisy too, especially when they run on their wheels. Both of ours like to run as fast as they can, then do their acrobatics on the top of the cage and drop off, which can be noisy too.
Hamsters are funny, and great to play with. They make an excellent pet too, especially when you have crazy genius hamsters like ours!
You may well be wondering if I have lost my marbles after reading the title of this piece. You are not alone, I frequently question my sanity and occasionally stumble across one of the aforementioned marbles staring in stupefied wonder - generally trying to figure out when exactly I lost that particular one!
Our beloved hamster 'Roxy the Rock Chic' passed away peacefully in her sleep yesterday. This gloriously entertaining furry fiend was well past the average age for a hamster, almost three and a half years old. But from our first meeting this little creature nibbled her way well and truly into our hearts; this was no ordinary hamster and I will be so bold as to say that she was more super-hero like than hamster.
The decision to get a hamster was in all honesty a compromise agreement with my daughter; she is an animal lover, a very determined one at that. After a three month barrage of 'Mom can we get a pet' and multiple explanations of 'Honey, I work full time.... pets are a very big responsibility'; well I was worn out and I relented. Much debate followed as to exactly what type of pet would fit well into our family and the conclusion was that as we would both be away from home during the day a hamster would be a good choice for us. And that was when our adventure began.
From the moment we saw this beautiful badger like creature (her colouring was black, white and cream with black slashes coming from her eyes across her cheeks like a gothic queen) we were smitten. Whilst all the other hamsters in the shop were snuggled up in their beds as their genetic make - up dictates, this little beauty was sitting at the front of her cage observing the activity on the shop floor. She was a rebel, a strong one at that, going against what is the norm for her breed. I already liked her very much indeed and my daughter was as enraptured as I.
We asked the shop attended if we could please hold the hamster and this was when the fun really began. I am trying to be diplomatic but in all honesty this shop assistant was not trained in animal handling and his actions that followed were very foolish indeed. He unceremoniously opened the top of the cage, thrust his hand in and attempted to grab this rebellious little creature; did the hamster run and hide? No she didn't and nor did she flinch, as quick as a flash this feisty hamster reared up on her bottom and growled - YES GROWLED - at the foolish shop assistant. I started to giggle helplessly and my daughter eyes as wide as saucers started to giggle too, the shop assistant blushed and the hand in the cage started to ever so gently quiver. He gulped, looked at me and asked 'you sure you want this one? She doesn't seem to have a very good temperament...', I happily said yes, this feisty hamster was growing more and more entertaining by the minute. I also knew that it was his actions that had caused the hamster to react as she did and I was pleased that she had stood up for herself.
What followed was a ten-minute stand off between man and hamster with the hamster definitely winning and my daughter and I avidly watching this very entertaining dual. I had come to the conclusion at this point that the hamster was smarter than the shop assistant and the exasperated man eventually muttered, 'you can't have the hamster if I can't get it out the cage!' After deciding that the shop assistant had been tortured enough I politely asked if he could give me some hamster food and let me try, he agreed. I put a little food in my hand and slowly lowered my hand into the 'war zone'; I was apprehensive as this was one tough hamster and I really was hoping that she would like me! We waited for fifteen minutes with my daughter and I breathing deeply and the shop assistant regularly huffing his displeasure, needless to say if I had a sock to hand it would have been unceremoniously stuffed in the foolish mans mouth. Eventually I passed the hamsters test with her deciding to sit in my hand to be lifted out of the cage, much to my daughter's and my delight and the shop assistants shock; I figure that she wanted out of the shop far away from the foolish man and perhaps smelled a bit of rebel in me too.
Roxy the Rock Chic as my daughter named her was a surprisingly entertaining and loving pet; she adored human interaction and our nightly cuddles were always a magical part of the day. She over the years has astonished us in many ways, most memorably her ability, like Houdini to escape from any type of cage; the first time this happened she went missing for four anxiety filled days and was eventually discovered under the floorboards. But as in the shop when we first met, a little offering of food and the promise of a cuddle resulted in her being captured; this escape and capture routine ultimately became part of our daily lives. No cage could outfox this intrepid hamster; her most genius discovery was jumping up and down in a tube on one of the cages until this part of the tube fell down with her safely nestled inside. Following her nightly escapades she would wait under the bookshelf for morning and whilst I had my morning cup of tea she would amble over to me feet waiting to be returned to her bed to have a well deserved sleep. The first time this happened I ended up with a burn marks on my legs as my tea went flying but with the passing of time this little morning ritual became another of our treasured moments in time.
We buried her in the garden last night in a boxed filled with dandelions (her favourite treat of all) and eyes filled with tears we said good-bye to a very unique member of our family. She will be very sorely missed and my daughter and I have decided that for us another hamster is not an option, how do you find another as exceptional as Roxy? Whilst my daughter was regaling her granny with how I had given her a very lovely velvet jewellery box to bury Roxy in and all the details of the little funeral we had, my mother began to laugh. I looked at her questioningly and a little alarmed and then she said, 'You do realise that the box is not very bio - degradable, you have mummified the hamster.' All of us started howling with laughter and in that moment our hearts started ever so slightly to heal; I like to think that had Roxy known I had inadvertently entombed her that she would have laughed too, at least that is what I told my daughter.
RIP you lovable furry fiend,
I must admit, I don't own a hamster, but my girlfriend does but I find that I do the cleaning while she does the playing.
We have a 9 month old Syrian hamster, we got him in February when he was just 6 weeks old for a local farm , sandy in colour but we called him cookie because we let him run on the bed on the first day of getting him and went straight for the box of cookies that we were eating though the day.
A hamster is such a wonderful creature, loving and has a personality all to itself, Our hamster is very shy with new people and then by the end of it will become very playful, although with me, he'll happier just sleep on my legs if you give him a chance, although when I have my shorts on during the summer, he would quite happily play about in my pockets on the legs.
The cage is more expensive then the hamster, cookie cost us £4 to buy him and about £35 to buy the cage, wood shavings and everything else that goes with a hamster. Now his bigger, we brought him a bigger cage and I took a day to join them together to make, what can only be described as a mansion for a hamster.
We normally clean him out on a Saturday but normally clean his wee corner out at least once during the week if it gets too bad. Although we do change his water every other day and his food we normally fill every 2 or 3 days depending on how much his storing in his bedding area.
Cookie is probably one of the few hamsters I know that is up by about 5 in the evening and back asleep by about 12 at night and then up again at about 5, in time for my alarm to go off. Once I leave to go to work, apparently within 20 mins his normally back asleep.
Although like all hamsters, his teeth grow constantly and this shows due to the fact that the bars in the corners of his cage are now bare metal and very very slowly wearing away. We keep all sorts of hamster safe wood treats in his cage to give him a chance to keep on norring and they seem to be enjoyed very well.
Unfortunately, they only live for a max of 3 to 4 years and once your attached to any hamster, it's hard to think there be gone in the next couple of years, but I do try to make my time worth it with cookie and his normally out running around on the living wood floor, finding the next thing to nor on.
As a summery, I feel very lucky to have a hamster as tame as our cookie and well behaved with kids. I'd suggest a hamster to anyone who wants a pet that is both love in maintenance, cheap to keep but gives tons of pleasure.
Anyone who regularly reads my reviews on here will now know that I am a hamster mad lady (I use that term loosely by they way lol). It all started a couple of years ago actually when I moved into a flat share. We badly wanted a pet but wasn't allowed one as it was rented and so I begged my landlord to allow me a hamster, I was actually half joking at the time and he agreed to it much to my amazement. Even after he agreed though, me being me needed time to really think about it as any pet to me is a commitment.
Well I went to Pets At Home and instantly fell in love with my first Syrian boy who was later named Colin Alfred. It really was love at first sight for me and I bought him. He was the best £8.00 (at the time) I ever spent though the cost of his home and all the bits he needed cost me a small fortune lol. I was well and truly hooked though and that led to the purchase of another long haired Syrian boy (my beloved Trevor Arnold) and then when poor Colin died instead of maudling cos I was so upset I then went out and bought Doris Pearl and Edna Deidre to which 2 days after having them Edna died in my hand and Doris turned out to be a boy after all and who is now named Eric Donald who is a Russian dwarf. At the same time of buying them two in pets at home I bought my first short haired, female Syrian hamster who is now known as Maud Francis and intended on no more hamsters but having 3 at this point I decided another wouldn't hurt when I spotted Reginald Arthur who reminded me a little of my long lost Colin. So I ended up with four hamsters then..... happily to which then it seemed a good idea to mate Trevor and Maud and 16 days later I ended up with 11 babies to which I lost 7 of those and ended up rearing four of them, three girls and one boy and the boy is now called Englebert and also lives with me making it 5 hamsters and me nowadays lol!
For now.....I mean I always say no more and then get hit by a huge want so I have stopped ever saying never lol!
So lets talk about types of hamsters we can get our mitts on. Well according to the hamster society (yep I'm a member of The Southern Hamster Society believe it or not lol!) there are actually about 24 varieties of hamsters known to man however only about 5 on the market.
These come in varying colours with short, long hair and satin finish. They vary in size from about 12cm -16cm and the males are usually more docile than the females and somewhat smaller. Well mine are anyway! They typically live between 1 1/2 - 2 years with some being known to last about 3 years. These are not as speedy as other hamsters I know of and to which I am listing which is great for me!
Dwarf Winter White And Dwarf Campbell's Russian Hamsters:
Well I own a Dwarf Campbell Russian. Measuring between 8 - 11cm the differences between the Winter White and Campbell are basically colour and that the Campbell has a thicker coat that a winter white and is usually a little more fatter. Both come from Siberia way and the winter whites coat was because thats the colour it always was in the wild and for some reason still is. The Campbell is usually grey with darker black line/s on it, really small pointy ears and boy they are fast little movers these! Like Roborovki hamsters which I'll come onto in a moment from a young age you can raise these to live with other of the same kind of hamsters but saying that there are cases of this not working out with infighting even if you keep to the general rule of same sex only! These hamsters though have a short lifespan and the research I have done into these (because I own one) says that they are lucky to make it 1 1/2 years old. These are very highly susceptible to diabetes and store (in their cheeks like all hamsters usually do) about half of their own bodyweight in food! Instead of other varieties of hamsters though they don't bury it but keep it in their cheeks lol.
These have really stumpy tails that are barely visible and are tiny, usually measuring between 4 - 5.5cm and yep once again these are speedy little things. These are usually light coloured with longish hair and can live as long as 3 years and like I stated earlier these can again live in same sex groups quite happily from a young age.
These hamsters are known to be the quietest hamsters there are according to my research. Typically being grey in colour, their hair is thinner than other dwarf varieties usually. These are notoriously known for being aggressive when you first get them but easy to tame over time and with patience. Measuring between 10 - 12 cm these have expected life spans of between 1 1/2- 2 years but like to live alone as they're known for fighting.
Choosing Your Hamster:
Do what I did! Research before you buy one! I bought books and found out exactly how to care for my new pet before I ever bought one home! I mean did you know your rooms temperature shouldn't fall 18C for you hammie to be happy and comfortable? Did you know that not only do you need to regularly clip your hamsters nails, but maybe even there teeth too (this isn't a nice task by the way!) and that you shouldn't feed them tomatoes, pork, potatoes, cheese or watermelon and that giving them chives, onions or garlic can make them cross? There isn't much I don't know about diabetes in hamsters its rife and it pays to know these things so I do advise you to get a good little book on them!
A hamster of any size doesn't need more than a teaspoon of dried food a day plus some raw fruit and vegetables and of course a ready supply of water....and of course rodent treats and things to gnaw are are essential.
My motto is the bigger the cage the better in my experience! Syrians benefit best from runged cages, dwarfs are better in tank styled cages and of course you need to make sure they have things in there to keep them amused and to burrow in. A wheel and the likes is again essential as are tubes and the likes to keep them active and remember to shove them somewhere where they won't wake you up at night and out of draughts!
Diet is important and I purchase good quality food for my lot. Hamsters can be as fussy as we are and my lot like Harry Hamster food at the moment which gives them a very balanced diet. You can buy vitamin drops though personally I didn't notice any difference in the well being of my lot at all. I do check them for fleas and mites and things like that but basically I've never had a problem with any of that at all. Cages are simple enough to clean and again there are products out there deliberately designed for this activity. Worms can be a problem in hamsters, I've had that with one of my Syrians and basically although there is treatment you can get off the vet for this it isn't always curable however my hamster doesn't seem to be suffering and the problem isn't as bad as what it once was!
For me these furries are the highlight of my life. My lot have a ham trac, balls and even a play pen. However you do need to be aware that although they love exercise and mine love cuddles you shouldn't let your hamster roam about for too long and in fact the recommended exercise time out of the cage is no more than 20 minutes out of any hour. They need rest like we do after all lol.
As I mentioned at the top of this review we (my hammies and I lol) are members of the Souther Hamster Society. When I tell people this they look at me like I've developed two heads! I pay a small membership a year (I think I paid about £18.00) and this gives me 12 brochures a year from the club with lots of useful information in and news and also...wait for it...... information on hamster shows. Think crufts for hamsters and yes people do take it seriously just look on You Tube for hamster shows and you'll see what I mean lol. I haven't yet showed any of my hamsters and I'm not sure I want to but its all there should you want to take part and travel the country etc.
My advise is to consider your purchase! These may be cute but they are not toys. I'm very much against people buying these for children and shoving them in bedrooms and the likes and believe they should be family pets. They need attention, love and affection like most pets do and although they are referred to as pocket money pets actually mine cost me a fortune on a weekly basis and lets not talk about vets fees if one gets really poorly and your not entitled to any help! When Colin died I had to pay £46.00 for his treatment on the day he died there. Cages don't come cheap... one of my latest ones cost me £60.00. Of course you can keep your spending down but they constantly need stuff!
As you can tell from my review and the fact that I bred my own hamsters babies I'm a dedicated owner and a huge fan of them with a small dream of mine one day to open a rescue centre up for them. They make marvelous pets, amazing mess with sawdust and can if your not careful keep you up all night banging a wheel about but they do give you hours of entertainment and are amazing to watch and I simply adore them!
I have kept Syrian hamsters for a number of years. They are relatively easy to look after and make good pets. They live for around 2-3 years and come in a variety of colours, there is also a long haired variety.
Hamsters are cheap to buy they only cost around £6 from a pet shop. However the cages can tend to be on the pricey side. Especially if you go for a Rotastak cage. Once you have bought the cage and all the accessories they are relatively cheap to maintain. The only things you need to purchase on a regular basis are woodshavings, bedding and food
The cage needs a layer of sawdust and some bedding in the corner for the hamster to sleep on. You can get a paper or fleecy bedding, I prefer the latter.
You need to keep a hamster cage out of direct sunlight and draughts as well as away from other pets in the household. As a child I tried to keep my hamster in my bedroom, however as they are nocturnal animals they like to bite the bars on the cage and run around in their wheels all night. This is not great if you are a light sleeper as it can be wuite annoying having a constant sqeaking in the background.
Hamsters are low maintainence I only clean my hamsters cage once maybe twice a week, they are relatively low maintenence. They have a tendency to go to the toilet in one area of the cage too so you can scoop out the soiled bedding and change it daily if you wish. Hamster pee does have a strong smell to it.
You only need to feed a hamster some hamster mix which is cheap to buy every few days. As hamsters have cheek pouches and like to store food they do have a tendency to remove all the food from their bowl and store it in one area of their cage. So you may think your hamster is starving when in fact they have a huge supply of food tucked away.
You need to make sure that your hamster has a clean supply of water daily.
When you first get a hamster they can be a little nervous. You need to handle them with care for the first weeks. When you first bring your hamster home you should leave him settle into his cage for a few days. After this time you can then place your hand inside the cage to allow him to sniff you, I would also recommend offering a little food to the hamster so they learn to trust you. Once the hamster feels secure and safe it will let you pick it up. You need to be gentle as if you are too rough you will get a bite on the finger, which often draws blood as the hamsters teeth are sharp. I have in the past had hamsters that have bitten for a number of weeks. I used gloves to prevent this from happening but allowing me to hold the hamster. You should never hold a hamster from a height in case they fall as they can get injured. Once they are tame most hamsters will come out of the cage of their own free will and walk onto your hand.
Hamsters have large incisor teeth which continually grow throughout it's life, this means that they persistently gnaw. I have found that every hamster I have owned (I am currently on my 6th) has a tendency to chew on everything in their cage!, I have had plastic houses demolished, the paint taken off the bars of the cage leaving bare metal exposed, the food bowl eaten and in the case of my current cage (a Rotastak Space Command) I have lost an entire floor due to my hamster continually gnawing through the plastic and eventually escaping!
This leads on to another thing you need to be cautious of with hamsters they have a habit of escaping if your cage isn't hamster proof. As I said above my hamster successfully ate a hole big enough to fit through while I was away from home for a few days. This led to him escaping. At the time I lived with my nan and she woke one night to a hamster sat on her bed! of course at 2am in the morning this frightened her and she lifted the duvet this led to the hamster escaping. Now hamsters are nocturnal so unfortunately even though we went through every single room in the house we couldn't find him. I even resorted to staying up at night but he eluded capture. On the third night I put dome food down and I eventually caught him coming out to get it, it was then that we realised Hammy had made a home for himself under the bath by the pipes (which were nice and toasty for him) his nest also consisted of chewed up newspaper which we have no idea where it came from as we don't buy newspapers! Luckily after taking the panel off the side of the bath we rescued the hamster and put him safely back in his cage. I have however friends who have lost hamsters permanently under floorboards or had half of the contents of their kitchen cupboards eaten!
All in all I think hamsters are a great choice of pet, they are great for people who work full time or schoolchildren as they sleep all day and become active during the evenings and like to be handled during this time. Hamsters also provide hours of entertainment. They are little acrobats and if you have a cage with several tubes
The only downside to owning a hamster is that they only have a short life span the longest I have had one for is just short of 4 years. However they are definately worth having as pets as they are really friendly and provide hours of fun.
i have a pet syrian hamster and she is a beautiful creature. syrian hamsters are brilliant at climbing upwards but not so good at climbing down.
for a syrian hamster i would advise a large cage with 2 or more extra floors made from bars. this will give the hamster a chance to climb to their hearts content.
for bedding i would advise shavings because it will stop the hamster from getting smelly
when it comes to the doors on the cage i would advise either keeping the door locked with a padlock or winding a piece of wire to keep the door shut. this is because usually the hamster will be smart enough to be able to escape by biting on the door and the door will pop open. this has happened to me with my hamster 3 or 4 times already.
i just love and adore syrian hamsters.
Living in a rented apartment was never going to enable me to have a menagerie of pets, so I needed to find something small enough to fit into my apartment and to also be able to hide from my landlord if necessary. So I started off with a couple of goldfish but they were a little bit dull and many died soon after purchase. Then one day I nipped into my local pets and home store for a look around and through a sliding glass door spotted the cutest, little Roborovski hamster curled up all on his own. After spending an hour convincing my partner that he would make a perfect easy to look after pet we went back for him.
I think our hamster cost £6.00, but by the time we had added a cage, starter pack, food, bedding, book etc then I think we had spent almost £100!! But he was so sweet that it seemed money well spent to give him a good start.
After getting him home we quickly set up his cage and left him to explore his new home, but we could not help but feel he might be a little lonely. So the next day another trip to pets at home it was to find him a friend. We had asked if they got on well living in pairs and was told that they often did but we needed to be careful just in case they began to fight. So with the other new arrival at home we decided to call them Nugget and Peanut. Although all Roborovski hamsters generally have the same markings of white underside with a brown mottled top they were easily identifiable as Nugget was much bigger than Peanut.
They both seemed to settle in well and were at times hilarious to watch, climbing onto everything they could find, running in the wheel together etc. But when we had had them around 3 months I noticed that Nugget had a couple of dark patches on his rare end. I quickly booked him into the vets to see what the problem was as with small animals if illness strikes it can progress quite rapidly. After giving the vet a bit of a run around as Roboroviskis are very very fast little creatures she was able to identify that Peanut had in fact attacked him up and the patches were bite wombs.
I then took the decision to separate them and brought another cage, nugget soon healed with some salt water bathing of his wombs and they both seemed oblivious to the separation.
After this they both seemed to live quite happily, I always fed them on Pets at Home Hamster Muesli, this was recommended as it is what they are fed on in the shop and would prevent them from getting a tummy upset from a change in diet. They always seemed to enjoy their food, especially the contents of peanuts and banana which seemed to always be the first thing they rummaged for.
I tried not to give my hamsters too many treats, although it is tempting to spoil them it can also make them overweight and rot their teeth. If they were given a treat I tried to stick to fresh veg especially carrot and broccoli although again in small quantities to prevent a stomach upset.
Roborovski hamsters are nocturnal so do tend to only come out at night, but mine were very inquisitive and when I arrived home from work or made to much noise around them they were soon out to see what was happening.
I would not recommend this type of hamster though for small children, although mine have never bitten me they are extremely fast and agile. They are far better as pets to observe rather than play with. You also need to make sure you purchase a cage suitable for dwarf hamsters too as the bars on a Syrian hamster cage are too wide and you will soon find yourself playing hunt the hamster.
When I purchased my hamsters I was told the average lifespan is between 2-3 years, Peanut only made it to 18 months but Nugget lived on to just over two. Both died peacefully in their sleep which I was glad of as it saved the upset of seeing them poorly.
I have since had two more Roborovskis and will certainly continue to keep them as pets. They are cute and fun little creatures with lovely personalities, all have been slightly different which is nice to observe there different characteristics and behaviour. They are fairly low cost and low mantanence pets, as long as you clean them out on a regular basis (min of once per week) and keep them fed and watered they are happy. They also enjoy any toys you can provide them with and love a run in a mini hamster ball.
I live in a small one bedroomed flat with my Fiancé, but have always been a lover of pets. Unfortunately due to the small size of my flat, a lot of pets were out of the question. I would have loved a cat for instance, but allowing the cat to stay cooped up in our small place every single day would just have been cruel. Therefore, I decided to get a hamster. I have always had hamsters in the past when I lived with my parents, and seeing as this was the first time I have moved out of my parents house into my own flat (not including University accommodation), I thought I would choose to get a pet to add to our little household.
There are several breeds of Hamsters, including the tiny Russian Dwarf hamsters, their close cousins, the Chinese Dwarf Hamster, and the most popular, the Syrian Hamster. I have had Russian Dwarf hamsters in the past, and found that not only were they too tiny to handle properly, they were also very nervous rodents. I love to have a pet that I can cuddle and make a fuss of, and I found my Russian Dwarf hamsters preferred to shy away from that. Therefore, ever since then I have chosen Syrian Hamsters. In my hamster keeping experience, Syrian Hamsters are very friendly little creatures, who will grow to trust you the more you handle them.
Handling a Syrian Hamster is simple enough once you have got used to picking them up a few times. The hamster will begin to develop a bond with you, and grow used to your smell, so you will find over time they will decrease in their squirming for escape from your hands! My Syrian, named Chibi, absolutely loves his cuddles. Ten months down and I have found he follows me around the flat in his ball, often resulting in me almost tripping over his ball, and he will happily sit on my shoulder or in my hands without attempting to make a bid for freedom. However, this probably varies per hamster, as like humans, hamsters have their own personalities too.
Hamsters, unlike dogs, are not needy animals. They do not crave your attention, and will happily get along with things in their cage. Chibi often pops his head up at the bars to give me a friendly hint that it is time for his cuddle, but a lot of hamsters are content enough to come and go as they please in their home. This makes them quite an easy pet to look after, but this does not mean that they do not have particular needs you must cater for. For instance, is is advisable that a hamster has a healthy balanced diet. Most hamster food packets provides a mixture of food and vitamins, but there are also foods that you can add onto the side to accompany their usual dry hamster food. Hamsters are able to eat some fruit and vegetables, and you are able to occasionally feed them small chunks of cucumber and tomato, for instance. This also provides your hamster with something else to gnaw on, as they tend to like keeping their teeth short, which is something I will expand on further on. Hamsters can also have the occasional treat, such as yoghurt drops, but I would suggest making these only occasional, as you can make your hamster rather fat if they were a regular food source! Chewing blocks, mineral licks, dried sweetcorn and seed blocks are great ways to enable your hamster to get his or her essential vitamins and minerals, and again, these will help to file the teeth down to a suitable length.
Hamsters cages require cleaning at least once a week. My hamster has been toilet trained, so I find that he does not really make much mess, so once a week is fine for me. When getting your hamsters cage ready for your little furry friend, hamsters like sawdust at the bottom of their cage, and shredded paper or vegetable fibre bedding inside of their bed to keep them warm and discreet. Water should be changed at least once a week in order to ensure your hamster is getting a fresh water supply. There are plenty of cleaning products out there for your pets cage, but I suggest getting a cage cleaner spray that is non-toxic, but still manages to clean the cage out successfully.
So, toilet training you saw me mention? Yes, I shook my head at this statement when I first heard it was possible, but, it really is! I easily toilet trained my hamster. Simply buy a "hamster toilet" or hamster litter tray (available from many pet stores, have a look!), and place it in the corner where your pet seems to go to the toilet. Place some soiled sawdust or bedding in the hamster toilet, and soon you will find that they will start using this toilet. It is highly suggested you try this, as it cuts down on cleaning out the cage as all the urine and faeces is contained in one area, and also makes it a more hygienic area for your pet to live in.
Hamster teeth, like all rodents, continuously grow. If they are not filed down, this can cause great discomfort to your hamster, who will refuse to eat, and will probably be finding themselves in considerable pain. In order to stop this from happening, I suggest buying gnawing blocks, and hard food in order to make your hamster work on it to keep his or her teeth filed down. This type of food is normally quite cheap, so it is a must! Another thing you should note about your hamsters health is that they must get plenty of exercise. Make sure you have fitted a wheel inside their cage for night times, as this is when they are most active, and will be most willing to have a run about. A hamster ball should be purchased to, and try to get your hamster to have a 15 to 20 minute run in it every day or so if you can. Not only does it give them exercise, but it is also incredibly fun watching your little hamster run up and down at top speeds!
So, should you buy a hamster? Well, if you are looking for an easy, but friendly pet, definitely! Hamsters are easy to clean out, and easy to manage. The more you handle him or her, the friendlier and more inquisitive they will become, and you will find yourself forming a loving bond with your little rodent. My Chibi absolutely loves his cuddles and follows me around in his ball all the time when he is running amok in it, and I am sure in time you will also pick up their little quirks and traits. They are an ideal pet for children, as children can be given the responsibility of cleaning out their hamsters cage, as cleaning is very simple, especially if you have managed to litter train your hamster like I had. Hamsters are also very cheap to buy, averaging in at around £7 or so in pet stores, so you are not really breaking the bank buying this little pet. They do not require regular vet trips or a series of injections like cats, dogs or rabbits do, so again, this is a very cheap pet! Hamsters are cute, friendly and easy to look after and do not require a lot of space in the house, so I would highly recommend looking into getting one if you are looking for a new pet! However, I would ward anyone who has another pet, such as a dog or a cat from getting a hamster, as hamsters can become quite nervous around other animals, and a cat's hunting instinct will kick in (even if you are convinced they are the soppiest feline in the world) and they will see the hamster as their next form of dinner. I hope you all find great joy with your new hamster pet if you choose to purchase one!
I know many of you love hamsters, and may at first not be too happy that I am only giving them 3 stars. In the right home of course they can be a 5 star pet, but I think less then half get the right homes. I have not owned a hamster for years, but asked permission for this review, based on previous experience as a pet owner and a lot more from when I worked in a pet shop, and took a few as "temporary pets".
My own hamsters: I got my first hamster when I was 9 years old. I saved up my own money and my Mom let me buy him, but he was totally my responsibility. Unfortunately I did not know any better and tried to lift him up when he was sleeping and was quite badly bitten. After that I was shy of him, and he knew it. Still I did my best to look after him, but did many things wrong. I used newspaper for bedding and fed him mostly table scraps. The one thing I think I did right was to put him in a very deep square plastic box when I cleaned his cage. I would put in dirt and tunnels and grass and hide treats for him, and I am sure the hamster enjoyed these days out. The hamster died at age 2 with bad teeth. I am sure the diet contribute to the fact. One animal likely killed by incompetence.
A couple of years later my mother surprised me with a new one, and one for my brother as well. She bought two males so they would have company and not be alone.... Mine killed my brothers. My Mom was going to buy him another, but I had made a trip to the library and began to learn a bit how to look after the creatures. I said he might as well have mine. I would be looking after it anyway, I could care less who officially owned the animal. It still ended up a fairly aggressive animal, and my brother could never touch it. It got loose and bit my stepfather and disappeared afterward. Three animals now with shortened lifespans because they were chosen by well meaning, but less than competent owners.
The pet shop:
We sold about 3-4 hamsters a week. Mostly as children's pets. At least we were encouraged to be honest with people. We advised them to keep just one and informed parents that most children are not able to handle hamster enough to get them really tame at first. If a parent is not going to help, it is not a good idea to buy one for a very young child. We also told them that hamsters may bite anyway. But still we got people bringing them back in, threatening to give to a friend with a boa etc... as sure enough the wee creature had bitten someone.
I took a few as "temporary pets" and took them home until I could find better homes, as the pet shop was not allowed to take returns. Most of my fish came to me from someone who had tired of them, and I had hamsters and birds from time to time. One fellow just left them in a box on a busy road outside the door. They chewed through before they were found and one escaped onto the road another shortened lifespan there, but the other was thankfully re homed the same day.
Hamsters are cute little things. They can be trained. I trained several to respond to a tap at the cage door by coming to the front and standing up with a paw out for a treat. Of course I only did this because it made it easier to get rid of them. I did not want any permanently. They can become very tame, and many children love them. They are inexpensive and relatively easy to care for.
The downside though is they are often bought for children who are not ready to care for them on their own. One fellow told me he wanted one as he knew the kids would kill it through lack of care and that would give him an excuse not to ever let them have a pup - I refused the sale, my manager agreed.
If you are buying one as adult for yourself, fine. If you want a hamster for the kids, please be prepared to do the work, and the handling yourself. Accept that you very likely might get bitten, and your children may as well. Mice and rats are actually less likely to bite, but of course a rat does far more damage. Be sure the children know how to handle the hamster though and never to touch a sleeping hamster.
My own son wanted one recently. After further discussion though it was more the fancy cage and tunnels he wanted. Most of these are terribly small as well. When he realised the amount of space a proper set up would take in his room, and the amount of work, he changed his mind. Children often want something without realising how much work it will be.
If a parent allows the pet, the parent is responsible.
Also buy as large a cage as possible. Hamsters are active and must have a wheel, but they should have room to scurry about as well. Hiding treats will keep them active and happy. Dried corn cobs are wonderful for their teeth, but even the occasional dog biscuit will do. Be sure your hamster gets plenty of proper hamster food mixes as well. They enjoy hay and even a bit of fresh grass if you are sure no lawn chemicals have been used on it. Of course fresh water is an obvious necessity. So it a lot of cleaning. Keep in mind a dirty cage will draw wild mice to your house as well, and no animal should live in it's own dirt.
Hamsters are one of my favourite pets! bearing in mind i am 20 years old, there not just for the kids! I fell in love with my first russian dwarf hamster and just had to have it. It was recommended that they lived in couples to keep each other company, so i bought two. They got on brilliantly together! however, failing to realise that one was a male and the other was a female, i had a pregnant hamster on my hands within months. Always check the sex of the hamsters before you buy them. However when the babies were born i was pretty excited, and this is where my love of hamsters really started. I ended up with 8 pups. Because they were hand reared from a week old they became a great family pet. There very friendly and loving and the more time you spend with them, the more they communicate with you. They always came out at dinner time and even ate the same food as we did, such as, mash potato, milk, veg, seeds, gravy etc. This also helped the mother build up her strength after birth and also while feeding the pups.
Syrian hamsters tend to be a little bit more anti social than the others, prefering to live alone. They can also be a little nippy when there being handled. All hamsters are low maintenance, they can be left on their own all day and only need to be cleaned out a few times a week. I would recommend a hamster for anyone!
My daughter wanted a pet to look after herself, we already had a dog and weren't in the marketfor another. We decided on a hamster as we thought it would teach her some responsibility. So off we went to big commercial pet store. We looked at the hamsters and she fell in love with Robo hamster, on the little spiel about them that the pet store had above their cages it stated that they live happily in pairs, so we bought two.
We purchased all the other goodies for the hamsters, cage with tubes, a hamster wheel and a ball form the to play in. The first couple of days the hamsters got along fine and would even snuggle up together, very sweet. Sadly, that honeymoon period did not last beyond day 5, they started fighting badly, one was always wanting the wheel and the other couldn't get a look in, this causes friction. It was awful to watch them fight, so I went out immediately to purchase another cage. I didn't really want them to be alone, but I think they would have killed each other if I hadn't, it was clearly not play fighting, they were even squeeking!
These hamsters are very fast indeed, making it quite a task for cleaning them out, with a bit of food as a bribe and a lot of patience they eventually sit on the palm of your hand, in order for me to pop them in the little carrier whilst I clean their cage and bedding. I thought hamsters would be easy for my daughter to look after, sadly this is not the case, these little guys are fast and could easily jump out of her hand in a blink of an eye. I would say whilst hamsters are lovely and cute, they can be a bit of a pain to own, they are alseep all day and awake all night and believe me two of them whizzing around wheels in seperate cages can get very noisey and annoying at 3am. We have to keep ours downstairs, so not to have us all awake all night, they do also smell, not matter how thorough you clean, hamster pee smells. They are also not easy to get someone to look after when you want to go on holiday, people don't seem to mind dogs, but no one is eager to care for the hamsters, it takes a bit of work to win my mum around to having them for us.
Overall, I would say purchasing a hamster, should be carefuly considered and well researched. They are not an easy pet to look after and although very cute, aren't very cuddly. we adore our little fellas and they have thier own little personalities and are very comical to watch. They do bring a lot of joy and I wouldn't be without them now. Just be warned though, children may find them difficult to handle and I would stick to just one as no matter what the pet shops say, they do and will eventually fight.
I'd never had a hamster before and after being bitten by one at primary school it had made me scared of them. However many years later, I came accross Roborovski Hamsters in Pets at Home! I couldn't resist. I bought two, and I bought a cage with bars on with all the usual; food, water bottle wheel etc. It took less than five seconds for them to escape! I purchased a Ferplast Dun, supposedly great for dwarf hamsters as its plastic apart from a barred grill at the top. They jumped to the grill, monkeyclimbed accross and squeezed out! In the end after numerous escape attempts and traps set, I bought a glass fish tank! I've never looked back! Not only are they clear so you can watch them through it, they cant climb up the sides to escape! The only downside was that its quite heavy and so awkward to clean out. Roborovskis are very fun to watch although not easy to handle as they are so fast.
Then not long after, after reading about the terrible abuse case of the hamster that had been microwaved, I had to get a syrian hamster. I did my research, and after falling in love, I now have 4 syrians! 3 were rescues! As some people have said, after the initial outlay they are fairly cheap to keep. One thing I will note is that despite their size they still need a big cage, mine all have the savic cambridge which has bars for them to climb, as well as a second layer. The wheel needs replacing though as it is too small for a syrian. They need at least a cage of 60cm width, there is one I'd love but couldnt afford, or have the space for, its the Hagen Big One! Its a hamster palace.
I'm not a fan of plastic tubes as they are not only hard to clean but also theres risk that a larger hamster such as a syrian can get stuck! I much prefer cardboard tubes, at least that way not only are they disposable but should a hamster get stuck, at least they can chew their way out.
The wheel I reccomend is the Wodent Wheel. They are big enough so they wont hurt a syrians back and they are safe!
Any hamster needs a substrate, I use wood shavings, NOT sawdust. Sawdust is too fine and can cause breathing problems. Wood shavings are soft on a hamsters feet and absorbant. Usually a hamster will wee in one corner making it easy to clean out. They need water obviously and food, water constantly and mine get a tablespoon of food daily. Not too much because they stash it so when you clean them out all the food is wasted. They also like meal worms, and fresh fruit and veg.
To get a hamster tame, they must be handled, a hamster who is not handled will not be tame. Simples. I also like the balls so they get more exercise rolling around the floor, although I know of hamsters who are that tame they run around free range and have recall!
Overall, a hamster, if treated correctly can make a lovely pet, and whilst a reknown for being childrens pets, it is essential that the child is made aware fully of the responsibility, the cage size requirement and how to handle it correctly.
When I was younger I nagged and nagged my parents to let me have a hamster.
Finally when I turned thirteen I was allowed one and I named him snuffles. He was a golden coloured Syrian hamster and he was incredibly tame! I once woke in the night to find him walking across my face! He was infamous for his escape missions as I had an attic bedroom, yet when he did escape he would always end up in the bathroom under the floorboards! My mum used to have to keep an all night vigil in the bathroom with the carpet and floor boards pulled up waiting for him to come out with his face all dirty! Despite all the messing about with snuffles his character made us love him all the more and at around two and a half years after buying him he passed away.
When my husband and I split up and I left with my son I was looking for something that may take my son's mind off things and we had talked about getting a hamster in the past. We went shopping to Pets at Home and purchased another Syrian hamster and my son named him Percy- Don't laugh! He initially wanted to call him Bernard!!!
With Percy we bought a Rotastak cage along with bedding, sawdust, food and treats. Oh and we bought him a really cool run around ball which came in a racing car! The initial outlay is quite expensive I guess at around £50.00 but in terms of other animals not really too bad.
Percy was very quick running around and things and wasn't that keen on being handled. He didn't actually bite anyone but he would turn round quickly and give us a scare! We used to put him in a large plastic box with some sawdust, cardboard tubes and gently stroke him, getting him used to having hands around him.
Unfortunately once my sister left the lid unsecured on his cage and he escaped. He managed to work his way somehow into some cupboards in the kitchen and he had a chew on some potatoes. At the time I didn't think much of this but in the next week I noticed Percy's health deteriorating. He became unsteady, wasn't eating or drinking and looked very unwell. I googled symptoms as I knew he wasn't well and it was on my search I learned that raw potato is actually toxic to hamsters and that the starch has like a poison effect. I rang the vet and was advised to take him in to be seen. When I did the vet advised me it was too late for him and the kindest thing to do would be to put Percy to sleep. She advised us that it seemed his kidneys had failed-which apparently can be quite common in hamsters. It actually broke my heart seeing him try and walk around, knowing that they were going to put him to sleep so I left him there and went home crying. My son was devastated too, even though he was only four. This was his first experience of death and he couldn't really understand. I tried to explain it in a nice way saying that Percy was very ill and so he had to go and be a star in the sky.
I think it is an important thing to note that even though a hamster is very small it will still become like part of your family if you do things right, and as such you and your family will need to deal with things like this and often after a relatively short time as a hamsters life expectancy is around 2-3 years.
I wasn't sure whether to get another hamster after Percy died but in the end we decided this was the best way forward for my son. Again we went to Pets at Home and we immediately fell in love with a greyish coloured Syrian. I named him Jasper!
Jasper is great. He is friendly and was very friendly from the onset however it is important to get your hamster used to being touched and picked up right from the beginning so that they aren't scared by you. We found a good tool for this was holding little bits of his dried hamster food or chocolate hamster drops for him to take from us. Now we can let Jasper run around the front room without his ball-we just make sure he can't go behind the TV where there are lots of wires.
Hamsters are pretty low maintenance really and cheap to keep after the initial outlay. Dried hamster food costs around £2.00 for a bag and really does last a long time; the fluffy bedding is around £2.00 too, as well as the sawdust. It is then up to you which added extras you use. For instance I will buy things like dried sweet corn, and treats occasionally for Jasper.
A hamster will usually need cleaning out around two times a week but in many cases you can do it properly just once a week. Jasper had this thing where he liked to wee in the tubes of the hamster cage we had....total nightmare so in the end I bought a different cage. Now he has a little corner to wee in and he tends to poo on the same levels so I can clean that out regularly without having to clean all the cage and bedding.
A hamster usually will need the bottom of their cage lining with sawdust. This is soft enough for them to walk on, but also absorbent for their wee. They will then need some kind of bedding. I have always tried to use the fluffy bedding but on a couple of occasions I have had to use paper bedding. Both are suitable for use and cost similar but unfortunately Jasper only likes the fluffy stuff and will throw the other out of his little bedroom!
A hamster, like any other animal, needs fresh water and food daily. Hamsters like to store their food and you will regularly see them with their cheeks all full as they prepare to stash it somewhere-in Jaspers case it is in his bedroom! Hamsters can be given fresh fruit and vegetables in small doses....things like grapes with the skin peeled off are great! Just be aware that it may be stashed and as such you will need to clean it out before it goes off.
I would also make sure that you buy a cage with a wheel. Most hamsters love to exercise on these and obviously it is pretty important that they do exercise and keep healthy.
Hamsters are nocturnal animals naturally so they tend to get up at night time. We wake Jasper up during the day though and get him out to play so that my son has the chance to bond with him and things. I would just say once you try and wake your hamster give them time to come around as they can be a little grumpy when woken up and may be more likely to bite at this time!
You can find lots of little extras in the shops for your hamsters to play with but in my opinion you can't really beat a toilet roll tube! They love to hide so these are perfect and cost nothing!
In my opinion a hamster really is a great pet for a young child. They are not too demanding for the adult in the house and you can get your child involved in cleaning them out and playing with them. They are inexpensive to buy and fun to have. I really do recommend them.
Whilst I have not had a hamster for several years now when I was younger we always had hamsters as pets, they are an ideal pet for children as they are very easy to look after, they need a few basic supplies but other than that their requirements are minimum.
Basic Equipment for a Hamster
A CAGE - This is obvious, there are many cages that you can buy now, they come in all shapes and sizes with various attachable tubes which can link up more than one cage. The first hamster cage I had was quite basic to what you can buy now, it had a large plastic tray at the bottom which was reasonably deep with the remainder of the cage being wire bars, inside it had a metal sloped ladder which led up to a wire shelf. On the front of the cage was a small door for taking the hamster out of the cage. The wire frame simply lifted off of the plastic tray making it easy to clean out. Really I suppose it was similar to a large bird cage. I later had a rotary stack cage, this is a cage that you can buy hundreds of attachments for including various sized and shaped cages and hide out areas all connected with clear plastic tubes, these cages are usually brightly coloured. The rotary stack cages can be massive and with enough attachments could be spread around the entire house!!!! Mine just had 2 main round cages with some tubes to connect them and a small round bed area for the hamster. These cages are ideal for children as they are fun and can be arranged in many different shapes and patterns, they are also attractive with the brightly coloured plastic. So yes a cage is a must have.
FOOD - Again this can be bought relatively cheaply from pet shops or even markets with a pet stall. Hamsters need a small bowl of dried food, this usually consists of dried veg and various grains and rices. I also use to give my hamsters a few bits of fresh fruit and veg as a change, however this does not need to cost much, hamsters eat very small amounts so a few slices of carrot or something from you tea is plenty, although I did have a hamster which ate angel delight (not sure how I found that one out) A bag of food can be bought for a pound or two and will last the hamster several weeks.
A WATER BOTTLE - Again a necessary for hamsters. These can be purchased for about £1 from pet shops or market stalls, they are very basic consisting of a plastic bottle with a screw lid, attached to the lid is a metal tube with a small ball in the end of it, the hamster presses the ball in the tube as it drinks releasing the water from the bottle, or at least I think that's how they work. These come in various sizes as they are the same bottles used for rabbits, however again hamsters drink such a small amount, the smallest size would be plenty big enough!!!
BEDDING & SAWDUST - The sawdust is for the bottom of the cage to soak up any mess, hamsters tend to chose one corner of the cage as their toilet making it easy to just scoop that area of sawdust out each day and replace it with a little bit more. Some people use torn up paper in the bottom of the cage but speaking from personal experience I find sawdust is much more absorbent. As for bedding there are many different types you can get, I use to by a cotton wool type product, the hamsters loved it, it was soft light and fluffy and could easily be made into a net for them to sleep in. With bedding it is best to keep any eye on the hamsters feet as I had a hamster called TJ who managed to get a bit of cotton wool wrapped around his back foot resulting in the blood being cut off to it, he spent a couple of weeks in the vets waiting for the foot to drop off as it was dead, eventually it did and he lived several happy years with 3 feet and a stump but it is worth just checking them every so often as I didn't realise that could happen. Hamsters seem to like something that they can easily carry off and make into a nest type bed. Both sawdust and bedding can be bought cheaply from a pet shop costing a few pounds for a large bag of each, again this will aslt a long time, although it really depends on the size cage you have, the bigger the cage the more you will need.
SOMEWHERE TO SLEEP - Hamsters will sleep pretty much anywhere if they are given some bedding, they will create a nest in the corner of the cage. However I have always bought my hamsters a little house type toy to sleep in. A house was the first one I ever bought for my first hamster, it came apart making cleaning very easy and was made of plastic. Now though you can buy them in all shapes sizes and materials including straw type materials, OK if you hamster doesn't use it as a toilet, plastic is much better for cleaning. Again price varies on these but more basic ones can be purchased for a few pounds.
AN EXERCISE WHEEL - 9 times out of 10 these come with the cage, it really does what it says it gives the hamster some exercise and something to do until you take them out of the cage. So really this should cost nothing.
So really buying a hamster and looking after one really is not that expensive once you have bought the cage, I think this is the most expensive part. Whilst hamsters do make ideal pets for children you do need to be careful with very small children as hamster are very small and quite delicate animals. There are many different breeds of hamsters, some are smaller than others, I personally would say that they slightly bigger ones would be more suitable for smaller children rather than the tiny ones.
BREEDS OF HAMSTERS
The usual long or short haired ones - these are slightly bigger hamsters and would be ideal for smaller children, I had a several of these and they all lived for several years, the first one I had for about 4 years, he started off a a long haired hamster but by the time he died he was going a little bit bald in places due to old age.
Syrian Hamsters - These are quite big hamsters and again good with children, I had one of these hamsters and again she lived for several years
Russian Hamsters - These are very small hamsters and possible not ideal for very small children especially unsupervised, but they do make lovely pets, generally they are grey in colour with a black line down their backs. I had 2 of these hamsters at the same time, they were brothers and lived together, they generally get on well living in pairs, I had not problems with my 2 being in the same cage.
There are many other breeds you can get but these are the ones I have had experience with. All of mine lived for several years. Traditionally hamsters do not live that long but most of mine lived for 3 to 4 years. Hamsters make lovely pets, they are not violent and are quite happy to be taken out of their cage and played with. I had the large plastic balls that they would run around in, it meant they could run around the floor but be safe from our cat. Although we had one hamster that would chase the cat in the ball and was terrified when the ball came apart one day and she came face to face with the hamster!!!!!
A lot of people say that hamsters sleep all day and are awake all night, to some extent this is true, however if you are around the house and the cage is in a place where people are they tend to get into a routine where they are awake when you are, although they may go for a little nap and have a run in their wheel at night, but they are very sociable animals!!!!
Overall I would certainly recommend hamsters as pets, especially for children, they are easy to look after, do not require much once you have brought the basics. All they really need is a bit of love and attention, some food and water and their cage cleaning out every few days and possibly a few toys to play with.