• June 8, 2023

Pros And Cons of Owning a Pet a Hamster

Hamsters bite.  Males are slightly less apt to bite than females, but all can bite, and have long narrow teeth that really dig in.  Some don't even let go right away.  A bit annoying, don't you think?  Hamsters from pet stores generally come from warehouse breeding operations and are usually not accustomed to being held, so you have to tame them.  This is not a simple task if a person is worried about being biten.  Even fully tame hamsters might bite. 

Hamsters are nocturnal.  A nocturnal animal is one that stays awake at night.  Chances are you don't.  However, your cute new pet will be up very late, running on the wheel, or chewing on the cage bars.  Some owners remove the wheel to keep the pet quieter at night, but this is actually cruel as you are interfering with the animals natural habits, and not allowing its needs to be met.  If you are unable to keep the hamster in a room other than your bedroom, you need to be prepared for this.

They have some smell.  For a small creature they poop a lot, and their urine has a smell.  They should have the corners of their cages cleaned at least every two days, with a full cage cleaning done weekly.  Just a note here, cedar shavings may smell nice to you, but are toxic to small pets.  I honestly do not know why some stores still sell cedar shavings for pet bedding.

Hamsters need to get out.  Like most caged animals, they should be taken out of their cages daily, preferably at least twice daily.

They need big cages.  You might think that because you see them in stores in small cages, that a small cage is acceptable.  However the animals are still young, and although they do not get huge, they have a natural requirement to run.  A wheel is important to have, but is a poor excuse for having the pet in a small cage that does not allow running room.

They cannot live in pairs.  Except when young, hamsters are solitary animals for the most part.  When they mature, if the do not have enough space, they will kill their cage mate.  Even in some breeds that are marketed that you can keep more than one together, there is never a guarantee. 

Pet hamsters are fragile.  A young child could hurt or kill one if they drop it or squeeze it too tight, as such they are not reccommended for young children who have not learned how to be patient or gentle   Most parents "think" their children are gentle, but until the child tries to hold an animal who does not want to be held, one never knows for sure.  Will the child spank a pet who bites them?  If so, they are not ready for a pet, because hamsters do not have the mentality to understand this. 


Short Lifespan.  Hamsters only live a few years, so if you are bored of them, it is not as long of a commitment as with a cat or dog. 

Cuteness.  Children are drawn to cute pets, because they are small they easily appeal to children.

Hamsters are cheap to buy and easy to feed.  They eat prepared hamster food, seeds and such.  They can be given small bites of fruit and vegetables as well.  Making them a more economical pet than larger animals, or those who need meat. 

You can leave them for a couple days if you are going on holiday.  Make sure they have food and water, and they are usually fine for about 48 hours.  Beyond that you may want somebody to check on them once a day. 

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