Hamsters can get a bit of a bad name. Maybe someone’s told you they smell, they’re noisy or are boring animals to keep.
Being told these things could put you off the idea of keeping one as a pet. Although hamsters do have some cons (like all pets!) when it comes to keeping them, there are a lot of great reasons why they make good pets. You shouldn’t rule off this furry friend just yet!
If you’re considering owning a hamster but still aren’t sure whether they’re right for you, then here are fifteen reasons why hamsters are good pets and why you should keep one!
1. They are naturally clean animals
Although you might not think it, hamsters are actually very clean animals. Not only do they constantly groom themselves to make sure they always look pristine, but they also typically only urinate in one corner of their cage and don’t tend to smell.
This makes them quite easy to litter train as you can simply put a tray or container in the corner your hamster normally uses as his bathroom. Your hamster will quickly learn that the litter tray is where he needs to urinate and will start “going” in there.
Training your hamster to use a litter tray can make cleaning his cage a lot easier and less work
Every few days, you can just replace the litter in your hamster’s litter tray. This can drastically cut down on the amount you need to do for a full clean on your hamster’s cage. You might also be able to get away with going longer in-between cage cleans!
2. They are low-maintenance
Hamsters do require some work, but they are relatively low-maintenance pets. Other than feeding, cleaning your hamster’s cage, and providing him with enrichment, there’s very little work involved to keep your hamster happy.
Unlike some pets, hamsters don’t need walks, constant attention, and they won’t chew up your favourite pair of shoes. A weekly or fortnightly clean, daily feeding, and some play-time is all your hamster requires to be healthy and content.
This makes hamsters a great pet for people with busy lifestyles or for those who don’t have as much time to devote to a more time-consuming pet.
3. They don’t cost too much to keep
Other than the initial starting costs, like purchasing a cage, accessories, and the hamster itself, this furry friend will not burn a hole in your pocket like other animals. Even the recurring costs, like food and bedding, are fairly low and should only cost you around ten dollars a month.
Hamsters don’t need flea and worm treatments, and they don’t have costly vet bills even when they do become unwell.
You can even reduce the cost of keeping your hamster by making your own toys and DIY bin cage. A DIY bin cage can be made by buying at least a twenty-gallon container (these are dirt cheap and can be found at most hardware stores, or even a large supermarket!) and cutting out a big enough hole for adequate ventilation.
You can then attach wire mesh to the hole, as you don’t want your hamster to escape! All these materials can be bought for less than $15, which saves you some money, whilst also giving your furry friend the perfect habitat to live in.
4. They are fun to watch
Even if you don’t plan on holding your hamster (with some species, this can be quite difficult!), they are still incredibly interesting to watch in their cage. Whether your hamster is carrying a truckload of food in his cheek pouches, running on his wheel, or simply sitting upright like a meerkat to investigate a noise, he’s entertaining to observe!
Taking your hamster away from his cage can also be a lot of fun. You can fill a cardboard box with toys and obstacles, which gives your hamster exercise and enrichment. You could also build your own maze for your hamster and hide treats behind certain walls. This can be interesting for you to watch and also stimulates your hamster’s mind to stop him from getting bored!
5. They don’t make too much noise
You wouldn’t want to keep a hamster in your bedroom at night time because they are very active at night and like to run around due to being crepuscular.
Other than the noise from running on a wheel (this noise can be reduced by purchasing a silent wheel!), hamsters don’t make too much noise.
They won’t bark or squawk like other animals.
This means hamsters are a great pet for people living in shared accommodation or for those who want a bit of peace and quiet when they’re relaxing at home.
6. They don’t take up much space
Hamsters don’t take up a lot of space, which makes them ideal pets if you don’t have a huge house, but still want a furry companion. Most hamster cages can easily fit on a chest-of-drawers or table, so you don’t need to worry about your living space being compromised.
Additionally, if you want to kick back with a film with your hamster, then he won’t hog the sofa or bark up a storm during emotional moments.
7. They are low-commitment
Sadly, a hamster’s life expectancy is only around two years. This is unfortunate, but it also makes them low-commitment pets. Dogs can live over ten years, and cats can live well into their late teens, which means they take a lot of dedication and commitment to look after. If you’re strapped for time or don’t want to commit to a pet for a long period, then hamsters are ideal.
8. They come in a lot of colors and types
Hamsters come in a lot of shapes, sizes, and colors. Syrian hamsters have often nicknamed the teddy-bear hamster and are much bigger than Dwarf hamsters.
They also come in a plethora of colors, such as cream, honey, black, sable, and grey. There are also different coat types and patterns to choose from!
Dwarf hamsters, like Campbells and Roborovskis, don’t have as much variety in their colors, but they are tiny balls of fluff that are very entertaining to watch! Additionally, dwarf hamsters, unlike Syrians who are strictly solitary, can live in pairs or small groups.
If you want to keep dwarf hamsters together, then you will need to make sure you have a large and spacious enclosure. It’s also a good idea to provide two of everything to avoid your hamsters fighting for territory.
This means two nesting boxes, two wheels, two food dishes, two water bottles/bowls, and plenty of toys. When owning a pair or small group of dwarf hamsters, you should make sure you have spare cages in case you need to separate them.
9. They are ideal in rented accommodation
If you’re hankering for a pet, but you live in an apartment or a house that has a strict no pet policy, then a hamster could be for you! A dog or cat could cause damage to the property, which is why most rented places and landlords prohibit them.
However, a hamster is small, lives in its own cage, and won’t chew or scratch up your carpets and walls. Landlords or letting agencies are much more likely to let you own a hamster, which makes them good pets for renters.
10. They can be very friendly
If you’re prepared to put in the time and effort into taming your hamster, then they can become very friendly little animals! You’ve probably heard that hamsters bite. While this statement is true, hamsters only bite when they feel threatened or scared.
Hamsters will typically give you a few warnings to let you know they’re not happy and don’t want to be touched, such as growling or raising their paws.
If you ignore these signs, then your hamster may lash out and give you a nip. However, when you successfully tame a hamster, they rarely bite and will quite happily perch in your lap and wander all over you.
11. They are a great starter pet
If you’ve never owned a pet before, then hamsters are a good animal to begin with. They ease you into petkeeping slowly and gently as they don’t require much upkeep, other than a clean cage, play-time, and feeding/fresh water.
Additionally, hamsters are also very independent. They will happily keep themselves occupied in their cage as long as you provide them with toys and enrichment. You don’t have to play fetch with your hamster until your arm drops off or have to take him for a walk in rainy weather!
12. They can be good for children
Hamsters can make good pets for children as they teach responsibility. Looking after a hamster can be beneficial for kids as they are completely dependent on their owner for survival, showing children that they have to act selflessly and think of others sometimes.
Hamsters do require work to thrive, but they are a lot easier to keep than other animals. This means children shouldn’t be overwhelmed by their care.
Successfully looking after a hamster shows the child’s parents that they are responsible enough to look after a more complex or time-consuming pet.
13. They are more allergy-friendly
Although hamsters produce some allergens, such as dander from their fur, they are typically more allergy-friendly than dogs and cats. This means hamsters can be more suited for people with allergies.
As hamsters are tiny, this means less dander is produced and there isn’t as much as it in the end. A hamster will only be confined to a small area in one room so their allergens won’t be present in your whole house.
Furthermore, hamsters don’t require constant attention, so you only need to interact with your pet for a small amount each day. This means you will be less subjected to their allergens.
However, if you have severe allergies, then you should consult your doctor before bringing a hamster into your home. Hamsters still need care and work to be happy and healthy.
14. They are good for night owls
If you’re a night owl and stay up late often, then a hamster could be perfect for you. Hamsters are crepuscular, which means they are most active at dawn and dusk.
A common complaint by hamster owners is that they rarely get to see their furry friend because he is always sleeping. If you are already awake until the early hours of the morning, then you’ll be able to see your hamster when he is most active and lively!
15. They are adorable
Tiny, inquisitive, and fluffy, hamsters are adorable little pets. They have tiny little paws, big ears, little noses, and the sweetest faces. They also have the cutest stub of a tail!
Hamsters definitely have the cute factor, which obviously makes them a great pet! Who doesn’t want to own their very own miniature bear cub?
Hopefully, these fifteen reasons have changed your view on hamsters as pets! They are cheap, easy to care for, and lots of fun to watch and own. Although tiny in size, hamsters come with a lot of personalities.
No two hamsters are the same! They might not be as interactive as some pets, but they still make good companions that will bring joy to your everyday life.
You don’t have to fret about your bank balance, keeping your neighbors up with loud barking, cleaning up the mess in your garden, or losing all your living space with a hamster.
These furry friends are great pets for all ages and can be a wonderful addition to any family.
Are hamsters good pets for children? Hamsters can make great pets for children as it teaches them responsibilities and how to care for animals. They rarely bite unless threatened, don’t require too much attention and are relatively clean.
Can I keep my hamster in my bedroom? Keeping your hamster in your bedroom isn’t a very good idea due to how active they are at night. They are likely to keep you awake as they are crepuscular animals and like to roam around at night.
What’s the best place to keep a hamster? A room that is quiet and cool is perfect for hamsters. You want to avoid keeping a hamster in your bedroom as they come alive at night and make lots of noise which could keep you up.