Newest Review: ... up in their beds as their genetic make - up dictates, this little beauty was sitting at the front of her cage observing the activity ... more
The perfect pet for all ages.
Member Name: masterreviewer
Advantages: Cheap to keep and easy to care for
Disadvantages: Life span only averages 3 years :(
Every child should have a hamster. Come to think of it, every adult should have one too. They are adorable little pets and are pretty easy to care for and are a great fun way for kids to learn about responsibilities. Nocturnal, they can be a bit noisy through the night and sleepy during the day but you do get used to it.
You can get them for next to nothing (depending on breed, there are loads but average prices start from around £4.00)
The price soon bumps up though as you need to buy a decent sized cage (you should get one with at least 2 levels as you pet will be spending most of its time inside so be kind!), food, bedding, sawdust or wood chippings, treats etc. Your probably looking at between £70-£100 to get fully equipped.
Be prepared to get bitten more than once! Not all hamsters do, but many to begin with will be nervous and defensive but do not let it put you off. Constant handling is essensial to ensure it has the happiest life, and you hands and fingers remain hole free! I'd suggest buying a hamster ball or activity centre to start off with, just until you are used to each other and hammie is used to being out of his/her cage. If you let them run around straight away, you might find yourself running around with it for hours trying to catch it! They are alot faster than they look and will still be nervous around you.
Food is cheap and available from most supermarkets. They also love fruit and veg (you should never feed them lettuce as apparently they can choke on it). This is the best time to watch your pet fill up its pouches and move all of the food from the bowl to the bed! Be sure not to overfead hammie, just because the bowl is empty, doesn't mean it has no food. Always check in the bed, you'll probably find enough in there to last a week!
Be wary of the water bottle, many of the cheaper types tend to leak and poor Hammie will be walking around in wet sawdust.
There are loads of different types of cages on the market, I think the best ones are the plastic ones with the tubes which you can connect and extend by purchasing more to create a whole play area within the cage.
These types are more expensive as are the extras you can purchase (the cages start from £35 and the connecter parts range from £1.99-£19.99) but they do allow you hamster to have loads of fun and excersize and it's great to see them in action. This also means they are perfect for people who cannot devote loads of time to their pets. They are also easier to clean then the wire cages, are less smelly and the hammie cannot drive you mad by bitting the cage and making a racket at 3am!
Top tip: When buying your hammie, the assistant may put him/her into a cardboard carry box for you to take home. Buy a wire/plastic carry box and ask them to put it in there instead otherwise halfway home, you'll have a fat hamster sitting in your hands with its pouches full of cardboard....I speak from experience!
Summary: Everyone should have a hammie.