My first hamster was during University; my house mates and I had gone to Pets at Home to buy some fish. However, we saw a hamster trying all different strategies to escape: through the bars at the top of her cage, breaking off the water bottle, climbing up all her items in the cage to the top etc. We realised we had to take her, and so we took home Princess Amelie Houdini.
She was very low maintenance, with constant handling she was friendly and didn’t bite, she was fine with new people and her food was very low cost. She was the perfect University pet, but also for children or perhaps those who have moved into their first homes.
There are so many different kinds of hamsters for you to choose from. The best known species is the Syrian, which are about 6 inches long and typically golden in colour. There are others, which are smaller such as the Chinese, Roborovski and Siberian species which come in a variety of colors and grow to just two or three inches, fitting neatly in the palm of your hand.
Hamsters cages need to be cleaned about once a week. This involves taking out their bedding (always best to wear gloves whilst doing so) and giving the cage a quick wipe down with just a sponge and cleaning solution. Dry and replace with fresh bedding and fresh water. This whole process takes about 15/20 minutes.
So playful and sweet
With regular contact, you can tame your hamster. Like cats, give them your hand to smell before handling and if they accept go ahead and carefully pick them up. If handling isn’t your ideal activity, you can create mazes for them using cardboard boxes and old toilet rolls or let them to roll around in a hamster ball.
This one is a negative as well as a positive. If the hamster is for children or as a ‘starter’ pet, the low life expectancy of around 2-3 years, depending on which species you have opted for. This allows you to give your little pet all your love, and perhaps act as a gateway to an animal with a longer life span.
The hamsters need very little care. They will give themselves exercise, groom themselves and entertain themselves.
Easy to feed and water
Hamsters will need feeding depending on the species once a day. Their diet consists of store-bought nuts and seeds. However, to keep it interesting for them, you can treat them to well washed fresh fruit and veg, avoid citric fruits, as well as once a week hard boiled eggs or cottage cheese.
Size of habitat
If you’re going away/travelling with your hamster, their cage is small enough for you to carry about. It often has a handy carrying handle which will allow your little traveller to come with you or visit your friends and family whilst you’re away.
Inexpensive to buy
Hamsters are pretty cheap to buy. The cage, bedding, food, wheel and actual hamster should only be around £70. To keep up the maintenance, the bedding costs around £6 for about 10 weeks and their food is about £3 for 10 weeks.