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View Full Version : I want to buy a hamster?



dynamic_solstice
June 8th, 2008, 07:09 AM
I really want to buy a hamster but am battling against my Mum who does not like rodents. If I do get one it will be in my den away from the main family rooms and will not cause them any trouble. I used to have a cat which was killed and I miss something to stroke indoors!

Any tips?

Tanya
June 8th, 2008, 08:03 AM
they are quite smart... (can learn to come when called and sit up etc) smell very little, eat anything, will ride around happily on your shoulder, are too big to slip under a door and love to snuggle

hampsters can be grouchy and being nocturnal... not to in to being held when you are awke

however... if you aren't paying rent.... the person who is DOES and SHOULD get the final say on pets...

I hope you win...

Stormbeard
June 8th, 2008, 09:31 AM
Get a syrian.

Also, we've got a rat and he's lovely. Your mother has a difficult time distinguishing between domesticated and wild visuals of rodents.

Dark_Tezcatlipoca
June 8th, 2008, 09:47 AM
They vary greatly in personality. I had one named Chunky, she was the sweetest hamster, would NEVER bite me. She died of old age and was well cared for because of the handling and the exercise ball. However, I had one that had similar patterns, named Chunky Jr. and she would bite people EVERY time. No one wanted to grab her and so she died alone, of obesity.

mephistopheles
June 8th, 2008, 10:47 AM
If you do get one, get a proper hamster cage. My mother INSISTED a fish tank with a heavy screen top would work. Um, no. It didn't. Little bastard gnawed through the top like 4 separate times, and god forbid I forgot to dump a load of books on top after I finished cleaning the cage or holding him or something. I had to go on Rodent Quest more than once.....

Scarlen
June 8th, 2008, 11:13 AM
Do you have any friends with hamsters? If so ask them to bring it over so your mom can experience it, see for herself how adorable they are. Especially if it is a well adjusted hamster. I ran a pet store for many years and sold hundreds of hamsters. I found that people that did proper research and asked a lot of questions had the happiest hamsters. I suggested this many times and found good results. Do a research paper on hamsters and present it to your family. I did this myself when I wanted my first rat. My mom was dead set against it and wouldn't even entertain the idea. My paper was not long but explained things well, like dispelling the myths about rats. I then took her to the pet store to see some baby rats. I got her to hold one without telling her what it was. She thought it was cute. When I told her it was the rat I wanted she had already formed a positive opinion on it and couldn't take it back. She spoiled the rat worse than I did once it came to live with us. I have had rats ever since. That was about 18 years ago.

Have you considered dwarf hamsters? I personally think they are even cuter and have more personality. Many people have a notion that dwarves are nippy and anti-social. Not true. If they are socialized well and treated properly they are more loving and more fun to play with. They can be kept in numbers too, where Syrians (regular) hamsters cannot. There is a new breed of hamsters in the mainstream now called Campbell's Dwarf Hamsters. They are usually black/grey in colour and have the most peaceful disposition. They are great for kids since they are not prone to nippiness and are very forgiving. They cost a little more but are worth it.

Hamsters are tricky little devils. They have three things on their mind: Eating, Sleeping, Escaping. They can squish into and under the tiniest cracks. If they skull can fit through, they can fit. And their skulls are very small (not alot going on inside lol). They require very little variety in their diet and can live long prosperous lives on a dry diet of grains, seeds, and nuts. Too much wet food can upset their matabolism.

As always, I recommend rats as the best pocket pet. But it is a personal choice. Whatever you go with I am sure you will have a wonderful time with it. If you have any questions about animal care I would be happy to share my experiences on the matter.

ObsessedFae86
June 8th, 2008, 11:42 AM
If you do get one, get a proper hamster cage. My mother INSISTED a fish tank with a heavy screen top would work. Um, no. It didn't. Little bastard gnawed through the top like 4 separate times, and god forbid I forgot to dump a load of books on top after I finished cleaning the cage or holding him or something. I had to go on Rodent Quest more than once.....

oh yes! I have had to go on rodent quests as well..be sure to get a good, sturdy hamster cage and be sure to keep the latch closed..so easy to forget...:giggle:

sarabethv
June 8th, 2008, 12:08 PM
Buying a living critter just to have something to pet = not a good idea.

Don't get a hamster just because you might think they are small and you can keep it in a cage until you want to take it out and pet it. They are individuals and still living creatures. Do the research and determine what sort of pet you really want. Is there a reason you don't want another cat?

Hamsters are a lot of work, and depending on the individual can either be really sweet or really mean. We bought one years ago when my son was young and she hated both him and I. She was also pregnant (so much for the pet store telling us it was a he). My son couldn't put his hand in the cage or she would bite him (so much for teaching him responsibility) so I wound up cleaning and taking care of her. Finally, she met my Dad. She loved him. Rode around in his pocket and sat on his shoulder. We gave her to Dad and she lived a long and happier life.

Discuss with your Mom the sorts of pets she would be okay with. Tell her you really miss your cat.

P.S. Rats do make wonderful pets (but again differing personalities).

Dark_Tezcatlipoca
June 8th, 2008, 12:35 PM
Have you considered dwarf hamsters? I personally think they are even cuter and have more personality. Many people have a notion that dwarves are nippy and anti-social.

I read in a book that dwarves never bite. Is this not true?

Tabby
June 8th, 2008, 12:47 PM
Actually, I have found that gerbils have a much better temperament than hamsters. In fact, I've talked to quite a few people that feel the same way. I have gerbils, 4 boys and 2 girls, and they are a lot of company and tons of fun! They have escaped on the odd occasion but I'm one of those paranoid types, since I have 7 cats too, and check their cages often.

Good luck! I love my little buggers, they are great!

Pink_sheep
June 8th, 2008, 07:48 PM
I read in a book that dwarves never bite. Is this not true?
Not in my experience! I had a dwarf hammie that took a real dislike to my brother-in-law and gave him a VERY nasty nip on the hand!

Kaylee
June 8th, 2008, 08:09 PM
I read in a book that dwarves never bite. Is this not true?

Biting would depend on the specific animal's tempermant but dwarves move a lot faster than Syrians. I had a Syrian who was sweet and calm, smart and loved to be held, one sister had one that was skittish but liked to be held if it was done slowly, and my other sister had one that was termpermental but very smart and liked attention when she wanted it. I've heard male Syrians are the calmest hamsters but I really think it depends on the animal.

It's been awhile since they passed but one sister has gerbils now. They are fun to play with but they're very quick and chew on everything. Our hamsters very rarely chewed on their cages, they'd chew on their chew toys instead, but the gerbils got moved into fish aquariums because they were constantly chewing new holes in the cages.

Hamsters and Gerbils really do best in large aquariums or even large plastic totes with holes or screen in the lid because there is less to chew on. Wire cages are bad for teeth and the plastic habitats with all the tunnels, while cool to look at and lots of fun for some animals, are expensice and they chew on them a lot. Their stomachs are not made to handle plastic. I moved my hamster into a tote, but that was because she was geting too big for her habitat and I was afraid she'd get stuck in the tubes. It was a lot bigger and she loved having room to play.

Oh, and also, while they don't really smell, females (hamsters and gerbils both) go into heat every few days and they do smell a little then. Kind of a sickly sweet smell, not dirty cage but definitely off so you have to vigilant about cleaning. You don't want a dirty cage on top of the heat smell.

Willow Rosette
June 8th, 2008, 08:26 PM
IMHO Rats and Guinea pigs are much more social. Id spend some time at the pet store or human society and get to know them before you make a decision.