Every person considers getting a hamster as a pet once in their life, and why shouldn’t they? They are tiny and adorable, and they can take care of themselves. Most people fail to consider that every pet has its own needs and challenges, and not taking care of those things before adopting or buying a new pet will be unfair to the animal.
Many people consider hamsters good beginner pets for children. Others regard them as more accessible to care for than a cat or dog. Hamsters can be housed in comfortable cages, and they can keep themselves entertained for long periods.
However, they need to be monitored for their diet and clean bedding and require play equipment like a hamster wheel and hamster balls.
Let’s take a detailed look at the pros and cons of getting a hamster.
|Hamsters Are Inexpensive Pets
|Hamsters Are Nocturnal Animals
|Hamsters Are Great Pets for Night Owls
|Hamsters Live for a Very Short Time
|Hamsters Do Not Need a Lot of Space
|Hamsters Can Bite
|Hamsters Are Easy to Raise and Own
|Hamsters Are Solitary Creatures
|Hamsters Can Be Tamed
|You Need to Clean Hamster Cages Regularly
|Hamsters Get Attached to You
|Hamsters Need Constant Monitoring
|You Can Decorate Your Hamster’s Cage
|Hamsters Need Constant Care For Their Diet
Pro: Hamsters Are Inexpensive Pets
Hamsters have their list of supplies and playing equipment, but they are much less costly to accommodate than a dog or other pet.
Their cage is a one-time purchase, and you will not be expected to spend much on treats, bedding, and food every month in the United States.
Unforeseen costs come if your hamster gets sick or injured, which should be kept in mind if you want your hamster to live a happy and healthy life.
Con: Hamsters Are Nocturnal Animals
Hamsters are most active at night and sleep during the day. It is futile to try and change their natural sleep schedule, so be prepared to watch your hamster sleep off the day and wake up only when you go to bed.
With this comes another point to consider. Your hamster will be moving around, nibbling on food at night, or working away at their hamster wheel, which might not suit you if you are a light sleeper who wakes up at the slightest noise.
Pro: Hamsters Are Great Pets for Night Owls
For people who love to pull all-nighters but also crave the company of a pet, hamsters are their best friends.
The small and furry animals can enjoy their time running on their hamster wheels, and you can watch and entertain yourself while you study, work out, read, and write in peace.
Hamsters keep you company without disturbing you as you keep late hours, and they make the perfect companionship at night when everyone else in the house is fast asleep.
Con: Hamsters Live for a Very Short Time
The average lifespan of a hamster is 2 to 3 years, which is relatively less compared to dogs and cats. You might consider gifting your children a hamster as they are adorable and easy to pet, but it might be a distressing experience for kids if they cannot handle the death of a pet.
The hamster’s short lifespan can be an appealing factor for those people who cannot make long commitments to their pets. But if you are someone who develops a deep and strong affection for your pets, losing one of them after such a short time can be a significant loss.
Pro: Hamsters Do Not Need a Lot of Space
Hamsters do not want a large cage. They only need a comfortable environment where they can burrow and nest.
They are active animals, and considering their natural routine in the wild, hamsters must play and travel during the night.
A hamster cage needs to be big enough to accommodate tubes and other playing equipment, so they can efficiently move around. The best part is that even the largest cage for a hamster is small enough to be placed in the corner of your apartment.
Con: Hamsters Can Bite
Hamster bites might be small but can cause deep wounds and infections. Hamsters are not aggressive animals, but they can resort to biting when they are scared by sudden movement or squeezed by a child.
Hamsters rely on their senses of touch and smell to check whether a foreign object presented to them is edible, which can be the reason for them to bite your finger if you stick it inside their cage.
While hamster bites are not concerning for adults, children can contract zoonotic diseases, particularly lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, which an infected hamster’s bite can transmit.
Pro: Hamsters Are Easy to Raise and Own
If you provide your hamster with appropriate bedding, toys, and equipment for burrowing and climbing, you can step back and watch it entertain itself for hours without your help.
You do not need special training or instructions to handle your pet, and many free online resources are enough to guide you about caring for and handling your hamster.
Con: Hamsters Are Solitary Creatures
Hamsters can be aggressive towards other hamsters, which means they cannot be housed together. Syrian hamsters are mainly solitary, and even though pet stores violate their natural behavior by keeping them in groups, you should avoid it at home.
When these hamsters reach ten weeks of age, they must be separated before they start fighting to the death.
Female hamsters may kill their babies if aggravated and disturbed, and each hamster must have its own space to prevent them from inflicting severe injuries on one another.
Pro: Hamsters Can Be Tamed
Every animal has a unique nature, and the time it takes for you to tame your hamster depends on your patience and gentleness.
Some hamsters do not require much attention to tame them, as they can easily relax around you and other people. For others, it might take several weeks.
Give your new hamster at least 2 to 3 days to let them acquaint themselves with the new environment. You will be surprised to see the taming process getting easier the more you let your hamster relax.
Con: You Need to Clean Hamster Cages Regularly
Hamsters like to live in a clean environment, so ensure that their cages and bedding are spot free and the feces are removed daily.
It would be best to clean their living environment with soap and water every week, a chore that can get tiresome and inconvenient for people with busy working schedules.
A hamster’s cage starts to smell bad if it is not cleaned regularly, which can harm your pet’s health and well-being. You should also pay attention to stashes of food hidden away by your hamster and ensure that the cage is deeply cleaned so that the bedding and rotten food do not contribute to even more smell.
Pro: Hamsters Get Attached to You
Hamsters are wild animals, but they can build a loving relationship with their owners even then.
The hamsters may be skittish and jumpy initially, and it takes weeks to tame them, but once they are comfortable and feel relaxed in your presence, they can be cuddly and exceptionally social.
Hamsters enjoy being petted and may snuggle up and fall asleep in your hand, all to show their affection and trust in you.
Con: Hamsters Need Constant Monitoring
Hamster wheels and hamster balls are a great way to entertain your hamster for hours, but like other pets, you need to take them out of their cage and let them roam around your house.
While your hamster is enjoying a change of scenery, you must constantly watch them and ensure they do not get lost or snatched by a cat nearby.
Using a hamster ball is a great way to provide exercise opportunities outdoors, but do not leave your hamster for too long in the ball. Hamsters cannot stop or maneuver the ball as they like, which causes them to crash into walls and injure themselves.
Pro: You Can Decorate Your Hamster’s Cage
Hamsters require lots of toys and things to gnaw on, burrow, and nest in. They love to climb and dig, so you can give them plenty of area and equipment to keep your hamster entertained for hours.
Many people love to accessorize and decorate their hamster’s cage and create a themed environment like Christmas or jungle theme. With a new set of chew toys, plastic tubing, and even an adorable little hammock, you can make your hamster happy as you spruce up their living environment.
Con: Hamsters Need Constant Care For Their Diet
It is recommended to serve hamsters food in a bowl or dish.
Hamsters need a regular fresh food supply, as they do not like to eat leftovers. They need clean drinking water and prefer a diet of fruits and vegetables, including protein-rich treats like mealworms and different seeds and pellets to meet their requirements.
Feeding citrus fruits, raspberries, apricots, almonds, etc., is not recommended to your hamster, as they can be dangerous for their health.
Hamsters are harmless furry animals that require your care and attention so that they do not injure or hurt themselves. Like other animals, hamsters also have their drawbacks and feasibilities as pets.
You must consider all aspects before adopting or buying them, as the tiny creatures do not deserve to be left untreated or alone just because you were unaware of the pros and cons of getting a hamster.
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My name is Everly. I am a Milwaukee-based mom of 2 and have been a proud owner of many hamsters throughout my life. Like many of us, my introduction to hamsters happened when I was very young. My family saw several hamsters come and go through the years, and I enjoyed playing with them, but I never fully appreciated them until I grew up and my own children decided to jump on the hamster bandwagon. At that point, I was determined to learn all I could about caring for these adorable pets. Read more