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Is a Hamster the Right Pet for You? A Comprehensive Guide

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Is Owning A Hamster Really The Right Choice For You? Can You Keep Up With The Commitments?

Is a Hamster the Right Pet for You? A Comprehensive Guide
Don’t Rush Off To The Pet Shop And Buy Out All The Hamsters!

The charm of a hamster’s large eyes, fluffy appearance, and tiny toes is undeniable, making hamsters a popular choice for small rodent pets. However, before welcoming one into your home, there are essential considerations and often overlooked facts that can influence your decision. This comprehensive guide aims to shed light on crucial aspects to help you determine whether a hamster is the right pet for you.

Activity Level

Hamsters are nocturnal, contrary to the common perception of an active creature running on a wheel throughout the day. Daytime is primarily nap time for hamsters. Consider the implications of late-night play sessions if you are a light sleeper. On the flip side, if you’re a night owl, hamsters can be perfect late-night companions.

When we say they are active at night expect anywhere from 10pm – 4am! Some people opt to have rooms dedicated to their hamsters.

Cage and Space Requirements

While young hamsters may be seen in groups, most mature hamsters are territorial and require individual cages. We never would recommend hamsters to be in the same cage as one another. Female hamsters, especially those with newborns, need a separate and calm space to avoid stress-related issues.

Cleaning the cage weekly is crucial, and it should be spacious enough to accommodate various areas for sleeping, exercising, feeding, and toileting.

Cleaning Requirements

When it comes to cleaning your main focus will be your hamsters cage and anything inside of it. Hamsters will spend the majority of their life in their cages, unless you can hand train them. Even though, they will spend more time in their cage than anywhere else. So it’s important that you keep this space clean, tidy and safe for your new furry friend. You can also purchase new cages if you feel your hamster requires more space.

Maintaining a clean cage is vital for both your and your hamster’s health. Weekly cleaning, along with daily tidying of the bathroom area, ensures a comfortable environment. Occasional deep cleaning using soap and water helps eliminate smells. Wear gloves during cleaning and wash your hands thoroughly afterward.

Supplies and Cost

Owning a hamster involves more than the initial purchase cost. Consider ongoing expenses such as a cage, bedding, toys, water bottle, food dish, food, treats, and potential vet bills for health issues. Calculating the overall cost ensures you are prepared for the financial responsibilities of caring for a hamster.

Children and Hamsters

While often seen as ideal for children, hamsters require gentle handling and adult supervision. Children may unintentionally harm hamsters due to their fragility. Moreover, the nocturnal nature of hamsters might not align with children’s playtime after school. Introducing children to proper handling and providing a hamster ball for supervised activities can enhance their interaction.

Diseases and Health Concerns

Hamsters can carry diseases like Salmonella and lymphocytic choriomeningitis, posing risks to humans. Although being quite rare, it is important you take care.

Regular handwashing after handling or conducting routine tasks is crucial. Items like food bowls and toys should be washed separately from food preparation areas to prevent the transfer of diseases.

Is Owning A Hamster Really The Right Choice For You? Can You Keep Up With The Commitments?

Life Expectancy

Hamsters have a relatively short life expectancy of around two years, although some do live longer our eldest hamster was 4 years of age! The emotional impact of losing a pet within a short period should be considered before deciding to bring a hamster into your home.

It is however a good way to teach older children about death, grief and such. These must be weighed up when taking everything into consideration.

While hamsters make entertaining companions, their suitability depends on various factors. Assessing their activity levels, space requirements, cleaning needs, costs, compatibility with children, health concerns, and life expectancy helps make an informed decision about adding a hamster to your family.


Here at Can My Hamster we help people learn all about their fury little friends. What foods they can eat, what things they can do and how to look after them. Please note though, we are not trained Vets we have just looked after Hamsters for many years. So if your hamster is showing any health concerns ensure you get them to a vet as soon as you can.

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