So you are thinking about getting yourself a pet Hamster. You’ve heard they’re good beginner pets, but do they make good pets? I did some research, and here is what I found out!
Hamsters are amazing and affectionate pets. They can be great house pets if you take the time to socialize them and learn about their basic body language. However, you must know that Hamsters require more care than people typically expect, so it’s important to be prepared before bringing home a new Hamster.
If you are up for the challenges of becoming a Hamster caretaker, go for it! Hamsters are awesome pets.
However, if you don’t think you’ll be able to handle a Hamster at its worst, it might be better to wait a couple of years to give yourself the chance to prepare a home for a new Hamster.
The Pros Of Owning A Pet Hamster
Being a Hamster lover, I truly believe these little creatures can be great house pets.
Hamsters are full of personality and have a way of bringing joy to your days. There are so many people who would be great Hamster caretakers, but what about you? Do you think you’re a good match for a Hamster?
1. Hamsters Can Use A Litter Box
Hamsters poop a lot. They poop endless number of times throughout the day. However, it is pretty easy to clean up when they are litter trained.
If you get yourself a Hamster, you can surely teach them to use a litter box.
In general, domesticated Hamsters prefer to be clean and keep their water in one place. By putting a litter box where they chose to make their bathroom, you can teach your Hamster to use it.
You don’t have to worry about your Hamster peeing and pooping all over your house. You may find it difficult to litter train a Hamster who has not been spayed or neutered though.
Unaltered Hamsters will spray urine and scatter poop as a way to claim their territory.
2. Hamsters Are Relatively Small
Hamsters are considered as pocket pets.
Unlike other pets, like dogs or cats, they do not occupy a large portion of your house. This basically means that you do not have to dedicate a huge portion of your house to your Hamster.
Hamsters can be kept in a fairly small space, when compared to most other house pets.
3. Hamsters Do Not Usually Smell
You must have heard that Hamsters are smelly and messy pets. However, this is a myth.
Most of the time, Hamsters will not smell up anyone’s house and you won’t have to worry about covering up their odor.
Hamsters are meticulously clean animals. They don’t have a discernible body odor, and even their poop doesn’t have a strong smell.
The only part of Hamsters that tends to have a strong smell is their urine, which has a high ammonia content. However, as long as you keep your Hamster’s enclosure clean and scoop out their litter box every day, you shouldn’t have to worry about having a smelly house.
4. Hamsters Have A Short Lifespan
On an average, Hamsters have a lifespan of 2-3 years. The age can vary based on the Hamster’s breed and living conditions.
Indoor Hamsters tend to have a longer life expectancy than outdoorHamsters. However, they rarely live after 4 years.
This means that Hamsters are pets that will not stay with you for a long time. You will not have to force yourself into any long-term commitment.
5. Hamsters Can Be Trained
Hamster are very intelligent and can be trained to do tricks. This is a lot of fun and a great way to bond with a pet Hamster.
You can train your Hamster to come to you when you call them or even jump through agility courses.
Hamsters are really amazing creatures, and it’s so interesting to work with them and see how their little brains work.
It can be a little difficult at times to teach them tricks, but if you’re up to the challenge, Hamsters can be a great pet for you.
6. Hamsters Love To Be Pet
If you’ve ever wanted a pet you could sit with for hours, Hamster are for you. They love to be pet and massaged.
Give them scritches on the top of their head or behind their ears and they will melt into the floor. If you stop petting them, most Hamsters will nudge your hand to ask you to keep going because they like it so much.
Some Hamster will even squeak to show that they are relaxed and content.
If you adopt a young Hamster, you might not notice this behavior until they get older. Young Hamsters tend to be fidgety and full of energy.
They don’t settle down for extended periods of time. However,as they get older, Hamsters will inevitably calm down and enjoy a good massage while spending time with you
7. Hamsters Are Usually Gentle
As prey animals, Hamsters are almost always very gentle creatures. They may be very shy at first, but once a hamster is comfortable around people, they will be happy to come up to you for treats or petting.
Hamsters aren’t going to jump up on you like a dog, and they are not aren’t going to lash out at you like a cat when they get annoyed.
Hamsters are very gentle pets and enjoy spending time with you and being pet.
However, Hamsters can show aggressive behavior if they are afraid and feel cornered, but it’s not their first instinct.
The Cons Of Owning A Pet Hamster
Sometimes pet Hamsters are a little more trouble than you bargained for.
They may be adorable, social bundles of joy, but these little Hamsters have a knack for getting into trouble.
Although Hamsters are not the most difficult pet to take care of, but they do have a number of drawbacks that you will need to be prepared for.
As you go through this list, really consider if you are up to the commitment of having a pet Hamster, even when they are being little devils.
1. Hamsters Do Not Make Great Pets For Children
Hamsters are not good pets for young children. They have a skittish nature and can be aggressive toward children who want to cuddle with their pet.
Hamsters are also more difficult to care for than people expect. Instead it’s better to have a Hamster as a family pet. Children can be helpers while they learn to respect the small animal’s boundaries.
Hamsters are actually very high maintenance pets. They require a lot of attention and space, and have very specific dietary needs.
A Hamster will require as much upkeep as a dog does, and most children are not ready for that kind of responsibility.
2. Escape Artists (Is Your Home Safe For A Hamster?)
Hamsters are escape artists and will leave no chance to run away. A small opening in their cage, and they are gone. Being prey animals, it is in their instincts to run away from things.
Hamsters have a lean body structure and incredibly designed paws. They have the ability to squeeze their body through tiny openings. Also, Hamsters are pretty good at hiding. So, you might have a difficult time finding a lost Hamster.
While on the loose, a Hamster might end up hurting itself or find itself in danger. Therefore, if you plan to get yourself a Hamster, you must hamster-proof your home first.
3. Cost Adds Up Pretty Quickly (Might Prove To Be Expensive In The Long Run)
Although most people consider Hamsters to be low-budgeted pets, this is just partially true. The fact that Hamsters do not cost much is true. The first few steps just cost a couple of hundred bucks. However, the cost of regular maintenance, food, and health checkups piles up pretty quickly.
Hamsters should be provided with fresh fruits and vegetables on a regular basis. There are times (off-season) when vegetables and fruits are extremely expensive,. However, owners are left with no other alternatives than to buy those at higher prices.
Also, you must be aware of the fact that Hamsters can be medically treated by exotic vets only. These vet visits might pinch your pocket a lot. Therefore, make sure that you are ready for the same.
4. Regular Exercise & Interaction (They Easily Get Bored)
Although Hamsters make entertaining and loving pets, they need plenty of exercise and interaction. Lack of physical stimulation can lead to several health problems in them.
Hamsters even get sick due to a lack of physical and mental stimulation. For instance, a bored Hamster might damage his teeth by chewing on the bars of his cage. Lack of exercise can make the Hamster obese in no time. Obesity, in turn, leads to several other health problems such as diarrhea and diabetes.
Also, if you do not socialize with your Hamster from the start, they will become destructive and aggressive with passing days. Therefore, you must try to spend at least an hour each day with your Hamster. You need to select the favorable activities and need to understand what your Hamster likes and enjoys the most.
Besides interacting with them, provide them with plenty of toys in their cage. Hamster wheel and chew toys are a must for them. These toys enrich our Hamsters’ lives besides keeping them engaged.
5. Allergic To Hamsters (You Might Have A Difficult Time)
It may sound weird to you, but some people could be allergic to Hamsters. Therefore, you must make sure that none of your family members are allergic to pets or fur.
Their fur is one of the main reasons for the allergy. Some people are allergic to Hamster’s droppings or urine. The cage accessories can also be a matter of concern for some individuals. The bedding material which you use for your Hamster might not suit you.
If you are not sure whether you or other members of your family are allergic to Hamsters, spend time at your friend’s house who owns a Hamster to find out.
6. Hamster Vet Care Can Be Expensive
One of the significant problems that most Hamster parents go through in their initial days is finding an exotic Hamster vet in their areas. Finding a vet for a Hamster can prove to be a difficult task for you. Unlike dogs or cats, Hamsters cannot be examined by a regular veterinarian.
Also, the exotic vet visits pinch the pocket a lot. So, make sure that you are ready for the same. The bill amount can range anywhere between a 50$ to 500$ per visit, depending on the severity of your Hamster’s health problem.
Before getting yourself a Hamster, it is essential to find out everything about the exotic vet in your area. Keep note of the visiting hours and address of the vet’s clinic.
7. Hamsters Are Fragile
Hamsters are much more easily hurt than cats or dogs.
Hamsters have a delicate bone structure. They can get injured if they are squeezed too hard or held in the wrong way.
You always have to be very careful when handling a Hamster to make sure you don’t hurt them.