If you are thinking of buying a hamster, there are a few points to consider first.
Here are some of the most importants points to consider and perhaps discuss with your family before you rush out to buy a hamster:
As most hamsters only live 2 - 3 years, it is advisable to buy a younger hamster so that you can enjoy a longer relationship with your pet. Younger hamsters are also easier to tame than an older hamster.
Male or Female Hamster
Generally, there are no distinct behavioural differences between male and female hamsters. You should buy from a pet shop or breeder who are knowledgeable enough to determine the gender of the hamster. Make sure you do not house a male and a female hamster together or you run the risk of ending up with an unplanned litter of hamsters.
Cost of a Hamster
Although a hamster usually does not cost very much, the real cost of keeping a hamster is quite substantial. The cost of bedding, food and cage supplies as well as potential veterinary bills should be taken into consideration. In addition you will need to spend time interacting with your hamster to tame it and to clean the cage regularly to keep the hamster in good health.
Hamster Natural predators
Many household pets, such as dogs and cats, are natural predators of hamsters and should be kept away from the hamster to prevent unwanted injuries and death.
Allergy to Hamster fur
If you or any of your family members are allergic to fur, wear gloves when handling your hamster. A short-haired hamster will be a more desirable choice than a long-haired one. Have another family member clean the cage regularly so that the hamsters fur can be kept as clean as possible.
Hamsters are nocturnal
Since hamsters are nocturnal animals, refrain from waking them up in the day to play. Waking up your hamsters and picking them up when they are sleeping makes them irritated and they can nip.
Hamsters are solitary
Hamsters are solitary animals and will fight if you house more than one in a cage. You should follow the one-hamster-one-cage rule. Some species, such as the Russian Campbell dwarf hamsters, can live happily together. However there are many exceptions to the rule and you should always be prepared to buy a cage if you notice fighting.
Choosing from the different breeds of Hamster
There are many breeds of hamster to choose from. Roborovski hamsters, for example, are extremely quick and lively and hence difficult to handle. However, their liveliness make them very entertaining to watch. Choose a hamster that is most suitable to your liking and personality.
Children and Hamsters
Children should be supervised by adults when they are handling hamsters to ensure the safety of the young child and the hamster.
Here are some interesting toys your hamster may be amused with:
The Hamster Wheel is fun for your hamster and will give it lots of exercise. Your hamster will run on this for hours. However, because hamsters are nocturnal, you may hear them at night running on this toy! These can be found in most pet stores anywhere.
Plenty of fun here for your hamster, but be careful your hamster does not get too exhausted. This one is particularly good as instead of the ones which roll around the floor. This one allows your hamster to run but prevents any collisions with the furniture.
Hamsters love to climb and they will have lots of fun running up and down this seesaw. You could put a small toy on the opposite end to your hamster and see how well he or she can balance.
Your hamster will have hours of fun running through this hamster tube. The photo shows a small version, however, you can buy hamsters towns that are quite large, with many tubes for your hamster to run around in.
Popular Hamster Breeds
Campbell's Dwarf Hamster
Winter White Russian (Siberian) Dwarf Hamster