Buying your hamster


Hamster Care: Shopping for hamster Guidelines

2. Buying hamster Guidelines : six major recommendations!

Buying hamster Tips
Recall these six recommendations when acquiring your hamster!

As soon as you know which kind of hamster you want there are some issues that you have to have to think about when you go to the retailer to pick your new pet.

  1. Choosing a type of hamster
  2. Buying your hamster
  3. Your hamster’s home
  4. Feeding your hamster
  5. Getting to know your hamster
  6. Exercise
  7. Cleaning
  8. Health problems

1. Attempt to go later in the day

Hamsters are livelier in the evening than they are throughout the day. This is when you are most probably to see the actual character of a hamster. If you go to a pet retailer also early in the day it is probably that the hamsters will be sleeping. You are not going to be capable to inform if the one particular you are hunting at is just acting as standard for a hamster, or is usually a small lazier than most.

2. Ask to take a closer appear

If you ask the pet retailer owner to show you a hamster close up this will do two issues. It will show you how the hamster reacts to becoming handled, and it will allow you to see if your future pet appears wholesome. You need to by no means invest in a hamster that has a wet tail, bald spots or lumps (except for the scent glands on their legs). You need to also make certain that the hamster you invest in has clean ears and a clean, dry bottom. Certainly there is normally the opportunity that your pet will grow to be ill at some point following you take them dwelling but you at least want to make certain they are wholesome when they leave the retailer.

3. Watch the way the hamster acts

When the retailer owner handles the hamster you are hoping to invest in then you will be capable to verify out its temperament. Ideally you want to pick a hamster that is lively and inquisitive, and seems to be friendly. You do not actually want to invest in a hamster that is incredibly nervous, and you certainly do not want a pet that is aggressive!

4. Have a appear at the atmosphere

A good deal of a hamster’s wellness and situation can rely on the atmosphere in which it is kept. It is not generally a superior notion to invest in a hamster that has been kept in cramped, dirty or damp situations.

5. Ask about the age of the hamster

From the age of about eight weeks female hamsters can be pregnant so you have to have to attempt and establish the age and sex of the hamster you are hunting to invest in. Hamsters are very best bought at the age of four-six weeks as they are less complicated to tame if you deal with them from about that age.

6. Never be afraid to ask inquiries

Most pet retailer owners will be content to present as a lot data as they can about a hamster, so do not be afraid to ask something you want to know. If you just stand there and accept the initially hamster you are supplied then you are unlikely to get the pet you actually want.

What takes place when you bring a hamster dwelling?

You have selected a hamster and purchased a cage, accessories, toys and meals, but what takes place when you really arrive dwelling with your new pet?

Like any animal, and most humans also, a hamster requirements time to settle into their new atmosphere. You need to place your new hamster in their cage with adequate meals and water, bedding and a location for them to hide away, and leave them entirely alone for 24 hours. This provides your pet time to unwind and get utilised to becoming in their new dwelling.

Getting A Hamster – Guide to buying a hamster

The first few hours and days after adopting or purchasing your hamster are very exciting times, but they do require a little bit of preparation. You’ll want to have your pets’ home all set up, and have plenty of food and bedding ready for them.

This section provides help and advice on taking your first steps with your new pet, from bringing your hamster home to weaning it off its previous diet. As you move forward with your hamster ownership, you’ll need some more detailed information about what to feed your hamster and how to entertain it. We have sections with advice on food and feeding, health sections and toys.

Hamster Colours

Hamsters come in lots of different shapes and sizes, colours and hair textures. Which colours and textures are available depends on the species of hamster in question – those species that have been bred in captivity for longer periods of time often have a wider variety of forms to choose from. To avoid confusion, we’ve divided up the colour lists on a species-by-species basis.

Some examples of Syrian hamster colours are as follows:

  • Beige
  • Black
  • Blonde
  • Brown
  • Chocolate
  • Cream
  • Dove
  • Golden
  • Grey
  • Lilac
  • Mink
  • Sable
  • Tan
  • White

Winter White:

  • Normal (Grey)
  • Pearl
  • Sapphire

Chinese Hamsters:

  • Normal (Wild Type)
  • Dominant Spot

Some Campbell colours:

  • Black
  • White
  • Beige
  • Fawn
  • Normal
  • Opal
  • Argente

Roborovskis only come in their wild type, light brown colour.

Which Hamster Should I Get?

There can be quite drastic differences of size, temperament, and needs between the different hamster species. Which you should purchase or adopt depends on your own situation: how comfortable are you holding smaller creatures? What type of cage do you own? Do you have any preference for gender? Who will be the primary care-giver and are they of an age where they can properly handle and care for the animal? You’ll need to carefully consider these questions in order to make the right decision. Below we’ve included some information that we hope will be of use.


When you’re considering buying a hamster, you need to be sure that you (or whoever you’re buying the pet on behalf of) are comfortable with handling it. Hamsters are extraordinarily agile little creatures with a lot of energy, a characteristic which can make handling them a little difficult. It is for this reason that a lot of people prefer the Syrian hamster, the largest of the pet hamsters. These hamsters are still fast, but aren’t as quick or as jumpy as their smaller counterparts.

It’s not recommended that children under the age of about ten should hold hamsters unsupervised, or for any child, (even a young teenager) to be given sole care of the animal. The parent or guardian will be given the ultimate responsibility, but this isn’t a chore! People of all ages love looking after and bonding with these characterful critters.


If you already have a cage, then this could determine what kinds of hamsters you can accommodate. For example, if it has bars, then the gap between them will determine whether or not you can have a Dwarf hamster – if the gap is too large, then small varieties such as Roborovskis will be able to squeeze out.


If you have any preference as to the gender of your hamster, you might want to research whether or not the hamster species you have your eye on have any temperament differences between males and females. For example, if you would like a female hamster, then you may need to know about issues such as smell and temperament. For more information on differences between hamster genders, have a look at our Male or Female section.

What Types of Hamster Are The Friendliest?

All species of hamster can be friendly towards their owner, but a hamster’s friendliness doesn’t just depend on what type they are – many people claim that it can also depend on the hamster’s gender, how tame they are, and whether or not they’re being kept on their own.

Syrian Hamsters

Syrian hamsters are usually friendly once tamed, and are a good option in many countries because they can form quite a strong bond with their owners. Syrian hamsters are the largest and one of the most popular of the pet hamsters, partly because their size makes them easier to hold. These hamsters are large and chunky, and slower movers than some of their smaller relatives. Many people feel that this makes them a less stressful option when owners are handling and playing with them.

Another factor contributing to their popularity is that this species of hamster needs to be kept on its own, and so it relies more heavily on its owner for entertainment and excitement. Since they don’t have a hamster buddy to play with, they can be more open to developing bonds with their owners during the hours you’re both awake.

Chinese Hamsters

These hamsters can be tamed to become very friendly companions, although some owners say that some of this species are a little bit timid. They can also move very quickly, so need to be with an owner who is comfortable handling them.

Chinese hamsters can be kept in groups, but they are territorial creatures, and you will need to be able to accommodate two hamster cages if they fight and need to be permanently separated.

Dwarf Hamsters

Campbell hamsters are much faster than Syrian hamsters, which is a trait that puts some prospective owners off. Although this species of hamster is a treat to watch, the speed with which they move can make handling them a bit tricky. Similarly, Winter White hamsters are very speedy and can scamper out of your hands extremely quickly. However, both can be very affectionate pets.

Some owners report that Roborovskis aren’t the friendliest of hamster species, and that they are one of the harder hamster species to tame. For a first-time owner, or an owner who is a little apprehensive about handling these animals, Roborovskis may not be the best choice.

What Types Of Hamster Live Together Best?

For owners who want to keep two or more hamsters together, Dwarf hamsters are recommended. These species can be kept in pairs or groups as long as they are given adequate space. Most Dwarf hamsters will enjoy company from members of their own species, but Syrian (and sometimes Chinese) hamsters must be kept alone. If kept together, these hamsters will get very stressed, even if they are housed in a large enclosure. For hamsters that can enjoy each others’ company, it’s best to stick to the Dwarf varieties, such as Roborovskis or Winter Whites.

If you’re planning on keeping several hamsters together, be aware that despite best efforts, there are no guarantees that hamsters will get on. If they don’t see eye-to-eye and fights break out, then you will need to get another cage so that you can keep them separately. If this might be tricky, then you might want to consider opting for a Syrian hamster, which must be kept on its own. Below are some tips and tricks used for keeping multiple hamsters:


  1. Introduce hamsters when they are young
    It’s a great idea to keep brothers or sisters together, as they have known each other since birth. Hamsters that have been brought up together will usually have already sorted out where they stand with one another.

    If you can’t adopt hamsters from the same nest, then it’s best to introduce them to one another before they are seven or eight weeks old, as hamsters over this age are likely to react very badly to the introduction of a new hamster.

  2. Have a big-enough cage
    Even hamsters who get along really well will struggle to be friendly with one another if they’re kept in a cage that is too small. To avoid this, you will need to purchase a cage big enough for your species of your pet. Have a look in our housing section for more information.
  3. Have more than one feeding area
    One tip used to avoid fights is to supply each hamster with their own food bowl and water bottle. This can reduce fighting, as hamsters can always eat elsewhere if the dominant hamster is feeling protective of her or his food.
  4. Be sure of the genders
    As we’re sure you’re aware, it’s a good idea to keep animals of the same gender together, rather than animals of opposite genders. If you’re not planning to breed hamsters, we suggest learning how to identify hamster genders before you adopt or purchase your pets. It’s not unheard of for shops to incorrectly sex the animals they are selling, or to simply lose track of the individuals they have at that point in time. Hamsters can reproduce really quickly, and since they are often very territorial, an unexpected litter can mean that you have to buy a lot new cages if owners can’t be found in time.
  5. Keep an eye on their behaviour
    Even hamsters that have been getting on well for a long time have the capacity to turn on each other. Some owners have been startled to find that the hamsters they’ve had for years are suddenly grumpy and irritable with each other, or are even attacking one another. If this begins to happen, then you’ll need to separate your hamsters. If one hamster has drawn another hamster’s blood, is harassing the other hamster, or is preventing another cage-mate from accessing food, then it’s time to separate them. Put the hamster that is harassing the other in a new home for a week or two, and then try and put it back in the main cage, or reintroduce the hamsters on a neutral ground.

    If you watch them carefully for a few hours, and after this separation they are still not getting along, then you’ll need to keep them away from each other permanently. This may mean that you have to buy a new cage, but it is what’s best for your pets. It’s not uncommon for these sort of disputes to have really detrimental effects on one or both of your animals, and fights can even prove fatal. To be safe, it’s best to keep warring hamsters apart.

Hamster Varieties

There are several different species of hamster that are kept as pets, but within those species different varieties, or ‘breeds’, have recently arisen. Each species of hamster has different coat colourations available. Syrian hamsters are available in all the different following types, but other species have more limited variation.

  1. Dominant Spot
    Dominant Spot hamsters have a body that is mainly white, but with patches of a different colour on it. These spots may be many or few, and can be anywhere on the body.
  2. Piebald
    Piebald hamsters are very similar to dominant spots, except that they have white spots over a different colour.
  3. Banded
    Banded hamsters are a very popular variety, with a little white band on their middle. The rest of the hamster will be coloured.
  4. Tortoiseshell Tortoiseshell hamsters have yellow spots over a different colour. This other colour will alter the shade of the hamster’s yellow spots – darker base colours will produce darker yellow hues. It’s useful to know that male hamsters cannot have tortoiseshell colouring, because they cannot possess the right collection of genes.
  5. Tortoiseshell and White These hamsters are very similar to tortoiseshells, except they must have patches of white on their body as well. Like the tortoiseshells, they have a main colour and yellow spots, and the precise shade of these yellow spots is determined by their main colour.
  6. Roan Roan hamsters are mainly white, but have specially-coloured hairs that have some areas of non-white pigmentation. Be really careful when breeding roans, because breeding two roans together will produce some malformed babies.

As well as these different hair patterns, some hamsters also have different hair textures: long hair, short hair, rex and satin. Syrian hamsters can have coats of any of the following variations – Campbell hamsters too can have the rex and the satin coats.

Long-haired hamsters

These little animals have much longer hair than any other commonly kept hamster – their individual hairs can grow up to nine or ten centimeters! Their locks will need to be brushed several times a week, which is a lot more than their short-haired counterparts’ coats require. Bear in mind that if kept long then this hair can limit bedding choices, as it can get very tangled in materials such as hay, limiting your hamster’s movement and causing them a lot of discomfort.

Short-haired hamsters

These animals have the coats that are nearest to their wild kind. The hair is short and easy to keep clean and tidy.

Rex-haired hamsters

These animals have wiry, fluffy fur that makes them very appealing. Depending on their hair length, Rex hamsters will either have quite wiry or quite curly hair. It’s a good idea to bear in mind that if you have a Rex hamster, they are very susceptible to eye infections due to a likelihood of developing a slightly malformed eye. As with some other coat types, Rex hamsters shouldn’t be bred together, as their pups can develop severe eye problems.

Satin hamsters

These hamsters have very glossy hairs that give their coat a satin-like appearance. Satin hamsters have very thin hair, but are very visually appealing. As with Roans, we advise not to breed two different satins together, as they can have problems with their pups – in this case, very sparse fur.


There are some genes present in the hamster gene pool that owners should be very careful of. For example, the Roan or the White-bellied gene can cause serious birth defects in baby hamsters if there is more than one copy of the gene present in the pup. We strongly recommend learning about hamster genetics if you intend on breeding these animals. There are lots of good books available on the subject if you need any advice.


  1. Choosing a type of hamster
  2. Buying your hamster
  3. Your hamster’s home
  4. Feeding your hamster
  5. Getting to know your hamster
  6. Exercise
  7. Cleaning
  8. Health problems