Are Hamsters Good Pets? Fun Facts For Your Cute Furry Rodent

Joan Agie
Oct 19, 2023 By Joan Agie
Originally Published on Oct 29, 2021
Golden Hamster on wooden chips.

We all know hamsters as funny and cute rodents, who just love to run and play on their small wheel.

The internet is full of hamster videos, that it just feels impossible that one must’ve not felt like getting one after they watch the videos. But how much worth is it, getting a hamster?

Hamsters are small-sized animals belonging to the rodent family, who have grown popular in the past few years for being pocket-sized pets. Hamsters are nocturnal animals; they are more active at night and rest during the day.

This behavior comes from the genetic predisposition of surviving against predators.

But it is possible to draw hamsters from their hiding hole with a pungent smell from foods like boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, apple slices, broccoli and other fruits or vegetables. You can feed them pet food available at your local pet stores.

Keeping a hamster as a pet is considered a low maintenance affair, as they generally eat all the food we can, like leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables and even some flowers paired with occasional treats like eggs and carrots or store-bought treats.

Pet hamsters are very fun pets to have, as they look extremely cute when they’re trying to work out on their wheel or just munch on their food with their cheeks full.

There are two main species of hamsters that are more famous for being pet hamsters; a Syrian hamster (known to be friendliest) and a dwarf hamster.

After reading all about these rodents, do read our related fact files on Chinese Hamsters Facts and are hamsters nocturnal?

Why are hamsters excellent pets?

Hamster is one of the cutest and smallest pets one can own.

They are inexpensive if one wishes to buy them, but it is preferable to adopt one and provide them with a home, instead of paying for one, as the animal industry tends to capitalize on these small pet species, without giving a single care for their comfort or wellbeing.

Hamsters are solitary animals, that is they can live very happily and comfortably alone in a cage where they get food, rest and exercise regularly.

Likewise, hamsters are great pets to introduce to young children to sensitize them about having pet animals. But as hamsters are very small and fragile, too young children, less than eight or ten years of age should look after these pets under parental supervision.

Hamsters are very active and fun pets to have, as they get easily attached to their human companions and are mostly harmless.

Apart from that, hamsters may bite if provoked in their sleep. They can also bite children to defend themselves if they’re being handled carelessly or held too tightly.

It could become a task to clean up their cage every day for optimum level of hygiene. Also, hamsters live for only up to two or three years, which could make some people sad due to their short life span.

Hence, whether hamsters are excellent pets or not is one’s own personal choice. Everyone has different preferences and having a pet always has its pros and cons. So if these conditions fit your bill, you're good to go!

Is a hamster a perfect pet for first-time owners?

If someone has no experience at all of owning pets, an adult hamster is a good place to start, considering the costs involved. Hamsters are fun, easy to live with as they do not create a lot of ruckus or upend your life.

They are low maintenance and do not require a lot of training or exercise. They do most of the things on their own.

A hamster generally manages to keep itself entertained most of the day because it spends most of the day slumbering away and becomes active at night. But it is essential to give the pet hamster at least some time every day to play with them or talk to them.

They get attached to their owner pretty quickly and form a very precious bond.

Hamsters do not need 24/7 commitment and intense training and attention like dogs do. Hamsters even clean themselves regularly and look after their hygiene and health, if they are provided with appropriate toys and wheels in their cage.

They do not need expensive bedding, but simple material like shredded paper or dry peat, something in which they can burrow themselves, is enough bedding for them.

Further, as mentioned above, they do not need expensive pet food from pet stores and live happy and healthy chewing on a piece of carrot as a treat. Hence, if it is one’s first experience as a pet owner, a hamster is a great animal choice, to begin with.

Is taking care of a hamster hard?

While there are many pros in keeping hamsters as pets, they have some cons too, just like a different side of a coin. There are many reasons in which it would be best if one does not opt for a hamster as a pet.

Very small children, mostly below the age of eight years, sometimes do not understand how to behave with pets. While dogs or cats have evolved to understand humans, hamsters do not.

If young children provoke them or handle them carelessly or hurt them unintentionally, hamsters can bite back. A hamster bite can cause diseases like salmonella which causes diarrhea and weakness. Also, it could deter children away from keeping pets or helping any animals in the future.

As much as it is easy that hamsters do not need training for their toilet rituals or health maintenance, it could become a task for people with busy lives to wash the cage and clean it every day to get rid of rodent feces and urine.

Some people may not enjoy the commitment it needs and if one is completely averse to such things, maybe considering getting a pet is not a great decision.

Besides, hamsters are nocturnal animals, hence making a ruckus at night is expected and if that is something one does not want, they can look for other pets.

Also, if one has other animals, especially a cat, at home already, it is advised to not get a hamster, as a cat may see it as prey and try to kill it. That is not something any owner would like to see, would they?

Do hamsters get attached to owners?

Yes, very much so. A pet hamster loves its owner's affection very much.

Hamsters can be very moody animals, but spending at least some time every day with their owner can improve their mood and energy effectively. Setting up a small wheel for them in their cage, or playing with them with a ball will make them playful and deepen the bond.

Hamsters love to be petted and hugged, but not too tightly.

Teaching them to crawl into your hands and sit on your neck and shoulders may take time and patience, but the hard work pays off really well in the end, as they make great companions while moving around in the house.

Teaching them a few easy skills by using positive reinforcement and a lot of treats and toys goes a long way to keep them in perfect health. They even help little children in the family learn a lot about handling and caring for animals in the best way possible.

In the end, how you attach with your pet is all an experience of trial and error, and no pet and owner bond in the same way.

One needs to learn from their pet hamster’s reactions about their likes and dislikes to understand and adapt to keep the hamster’s health well and mind happy.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Are Hamsters Good Pets? Fun Facts For Your Cute Furry Rodent then why not take a look at Burrowing Animals: Fascinating Facts On Hole Gophers For Kids, or Interesting Bible Facts That Everyone Should Know About!

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Written by Joan Agie

Bachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

Joan Agie picture

Joan AgieBachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

With 3+ years of research and content writing experience across several niches, especially on education, technology, and business topics. Joan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Anatomy from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, and has worked as a researcher and writer for organizations across Nigeria, the US, the UK, and Germany. Joan enjoys meditation, watching movies, and learning new languages in her free time.

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