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Are hamsters the right animal for you?

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Are hamsters the right animal for you?

Počalji od Admin taj Ned Jun 19, 2016 12:42 pm






  • Who is the hamster for? Hamsters are only awake in the evening and at night, and dwarf hamster are as well very small and quick, so they are unsuitable as animals for young children. If older children look after them, an adult must be responsible for ensuring they are cared for properly every day.
  • Do you have the time for hamsters? Caring for hamsters takes time - they will need feeding, cleaning out and health checking every day. These tasks are best done in the evening when hamsters are naturally awake to avoid disturbing their sleep.
  • Do you have the space for a hamster? Hamsters need a large cage, and must be kept away from other animals in a quiet and comfortable place indoors. Syrian hamsters can as well be very noisy at night so keeping them in bedrooms is not ideal.
  • Can you afford hamsters? Consider the cost of specialist housing, food, bedding, toys, holiday care and veterinary fees. If you need to separate dwarf hamsters because of fighting, you will need to buy more cages, toys and bedding.
  • What will you do when you go on holiday? You will need to find a responsible person to look after your hamster every day whilst you are away.


This is basic information only, so if you decide you can care for a hamster you’ll need to obtain more detailed information beforehand.
It is important to ensure you can commit to your hamster forever. However, if in future you can no longer care for an animal you purchased from us, please contact Pets at Home as we will try to rehome him/her via our in-store ‘Support Adoption For Pets’ centres. Never abandon any animal or release them into the wild.

About hamsters

Hamsters are nocturnal so they spend most of the day sleeping and become active in the evening and at night. They do not like being disturbed when they are sleeping!

Dwarf hamsters

Dwarf hamsters are very small, move quickly and are sensitive to rough handling, so may be better suited as animals for older children or adults. Dwarf hamsters live for around two years although some may live longer.
There are three species of dwarf hamster commonly kept as animals:

  • Russian hamsters can be beige, brown, or black and white and are lively and sociable.
  • Chinese hamsters have a longer tail than most hamsters and are either a grey-brown colour with a black stripe, or white with a grey stripe. They’re great climbers and will hold on to your fingers with their paws.
  • Roborovski hamsters are smaller and quicker than both Russian and Chinese hamsters and can be hard to handle until they get used to you. They’re usually a sandy colour with a white stomach and white eyebrows.

Syrian hamsters

Syrian hamsters can make good family animals if cared for properly, and with patience and gentle handling, they can become tame and enjoy spending time with their owner. Syrian hamsters generally live for two to two and a half years.

Do I like company?

Dwarf hamsters

Female Chinese hamsters may be better off alone as they may fight, but other dwarf hamsters (including male Chinese hamsters) are generally sociable and can be kept in same-sex pairs or groups. Choose a pair or group of siblings that have grown up together, and buy them at the same time so they already know each other. New individuals will not be accepted into the group later on. To help your hamsters live happily together, provide lots of space and hiding places in their cage so they can get away from each other if they want to. Check them daily to make sure they are getting on. If any of your hamsters are housed alone, you will need to provide them with companionship by spending time interacting gently and positively with them every day.
If your hamsters start to fall out with each other it will be necessary to house them separately to prevent them injuring each other

Syrian hamsters

Syrian hamsters are naturally solitary animals, which means your hamster will need to live alone. Their territorial nature will lead to fights if they’re kept as a pair. If you’d like to have more than one hamster, consider keeping dwarf hamsters, or other species such as rats, mice or gerbils, as they naturally live in groups. You will need to provide your hamster with companionship by spending time interacting gently and positively with them every day.
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