Hamsters are one of the most popular small pets around the globe. They are cute, entertaining to watch, playful, and affectionate. However, there are also a lot of things that are not too appealing about owning a Hamster. Let us discuss it in detail.
You must think carefully before getting yourself a Hamster. If you have got a small kid in your house, a Hamster might not be the right choice for you. Hamsters are skittish and unpredictable. They are sensitive to even small changes. Also, they need mental and physical stimulation to keep themselves healthy.
After owning Hamsters for years, there was a time when I was wondering that I wish I could have known some of these important considerations before owning a Hamster. This could have made my life much easier. (Although I am glad I went ahead and experienced it but still).
As much as it breaks my heart to say it, if any one of the points listed below is an issue for you, please do not get a Hamster.
12 Essentials About Hamsters That People Wish They Had Learned Sooner
A few days ago, I went ahead in the community and asked 1000’s of people the facts about Hamsters they wish they could have learned earlier. Listed below are the most common responses amongst all:
- Hamsters might cause allergies
- Hamsters can prove to be expensive
- Hamsters are not ideal for children
- Hamster are crepuscular
- Hamsters often bite
- Hamsters need regular maintenance
- Hamsters need regular exercise and interaction
- Hamsters are prone to hereditary diseases
- Hamsters are sensitive to changes
- Hamsters do not live for long
- Hamsters are escape artists
- Hamsters need exotic vets
Now, let us discuss each of the above listed points in details.
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.
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.
Not Ideal For Children (Need Adult Supervision)
Hamsters generally make good pets. They are certainly cute and cuddly, which attracts most of the kinds towards them. However, they are skittish. They are not ideal for good for young children. A child below 10 years should not be allowed to handle a Hamster.
Also, Hamsters are quite delicate. If your child does not handle them properly, the Hamster might get hurt. They might even bite in retaliation. The habit of biting Hamsters can make them a challenging pet for kids.
On the other hand, Hamsters make an excellent pet for school-going children. If your child is ready for the commitment, then go for it.
Crepuscular Behavior (Makes Loud Noises)
Hamsters are crepuscular pets, which means that they remain active both day and night. They often make certain annoying sounds, which can be disturbing for some people.
No one can deny the fact that Hamsters are noisy at night. The noise of their wheels, water bottles, toys, etc. along with the squeaks and screams of your Hamster can disturb your sleep completely.
If you are someone, who loves his/her sleep, then keeping your Hamster in your bedroom might not be the right decision to make.
Biting Behavior (Hamster Bites Are Often Painful)
Although Hamsters share a strong and friendly bond with their owners, they, too, can bite just like any other pets. Also, Hamsters tend to bite more than any other rodent. Listed below are some of the common causes that instigate the bite in the Hamsters:
- Hamsters often tend to bite out of fear. If you try to hold them forcefully, then they may bite you out of fear and panic.
- Hamsters can get stressed pretty quickly. Any unwanted changes in their lifestyle can lead to stress in them. A stressed-out Hamster is likely to bite.
- Hamsters are territorial pets. They do not like to socialize. If a Hamster has a feeling that you are invading his territory, he will bite you.
- If a Hamster is sick and in pain, it may bite you when you come near them.
- A hungry Hamster may often mistake you for food. If your hands smell like food, they may definitely try to bite your fingers.
Hamster bites can be pretty painful. Hamsters have long and sharp incisors. These help them to chew most of the things. Hamster bites can easily cut through your skin. If you plan to get a Hamster for your kid, this is an important consideration that you must keep in mind.
Regular Maintenance (Unmaintained Cage Smells Pretty Bad)
Although Hamsters are easy to take care of, they need regular maintenance. It is important to take care of the cage in which you have housed your Hamster.
Hamsters pee and poop multiple times a day. Not cleaning their cage regularly can create a lot of mess. After some time, their cage will start to smell. This, in turn, can lead to health problems in the Hamsters.
Hamsters can suffer from severe health problems such as respiratory issues, loss of fur, bumblefoot, and urinary tract infection, if their cage in not
The cage of a Hamster needs spot cleaning daily. We also need to deep clean their entire cage once in a month or so and change the bedding accordingly. If you have enough time and dedication, it might not be a tough task for you.
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.
Prone To Hereditary Diseases (Which You Might Not Know Before)
Hamsters suffer from various types of health disorders. Some of these problems are hereditary, while others occur due to improper lifestyle. One of the important causes behind hereditary diseases in Hamsters is the improper breeding of Hamsters.
It is important to have the knowledge of such health problems for better care and management of the Hamsters. Heart attack is one of the most common health problems in young Hamsters. Heart diseases can be very difficult to detect at early stages.
Some hereditary complications might even lead to bacterial and fungal infections in Hamsters.
Sensitive Animal (Do Not Handle Changes Very Well)
Hamsters do not handle changes very well. Any small changes in their lifestyle might lead to severe stress and depression. Some of the common causes that can lead to stress in our Hamsters are:
- Sudden loud noises
- Predators or possible threats
- Lack of space
- Sudden change in their routine
- Excessive handling
- Sudden temperature fluctuations
- Boredom and lethargy
- Health problems
If you plan to own a Hamster someday, you must keep in mind the above listed points.
Low Life Expectancy (Not Ideal For A Long-Term Commitment)
Unlike other common pets, such as dogs and cats, Hamsters do not survive for a long period of them. With proper care, most Hamsters tend to live for 2-3 years. Once they reach the age of 2 years, they are considered as old. Therefore, if you have got attached to your Hamster, you might have a hard them when they pass.
With passing days, your Hamster will get attached to your children as well. Therefore, you must think twice before getting a Hamster for your children. It will be extremely emotional and break their heart to see their little one die.
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.
- Why Is My Hamster Trying to Escape? (How To Stop Them + What To Do)
- Do Hamster Cages Need A Lid? (You Must Know)
Exotic Vet (A Tough Task To Find One)
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.