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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

My girls are very keen for a hamster but I really don't know that much about them. My only real experience is when my sister kept them aeons ago. They are old enough and gentle enough. We have cats and fish, have had guiinea pigs and rabbits. Can I have advice on housing and where to purchase them from and also the different types ref handleability and friendliness.

Thank you

Jane
 

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I've always had Syrian hamsters which are the largest of hamsters and I'd say easier to handle. The dwarfs are pretty fast and small.
Don't get from any pet shops as they are not well bred meaning they could have all sorts of health issues and also they won't be hand tame!

Go to a reputable breeder. Usually if you type in hamster breeders in your area it sometimes comes up but there is also a very good hamster forum called hamster central so if you go in there and seek out a hamster breeder you should get a few responses.

As for cages you need to get a minium of 80cm long x 50cm depth. Syrians need lots of floor space and very often people make a huge mistake of buying them rotastack cages,habitrail cages and rydon cages which are all no good for syrians! Or dwarfs really.
I have the hamster heaven cage made by savic for my girl.
You will also need a large wheel the size being between 8 inches and 11 inches if u only get a small size they will curve there backs causing injury.

It's very good to see someone like yourself doing research before going out and getting a hamster. :)
 

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Hey

I've been keeping hamsters for 20 years, I've had 50 odd of them, of all the different types. My advice for a hamster for children would be a Syrian, as they are larger, slower and generally more docile than the dwarfs. Roborovski's are incredibly fast and more for watching than handling, Russians can be nippy little buggers (and it can really hurt when they do nip!), which kids could find offputting, and Chinese are too fragile for heavyish handling. If you really want a dwarf I would go for a Winter White, as they are generally more like Syrians temperament wise. You would have to look for a breeder for WW though as its difficult to find purebred ones. I am also going to say, I live nowhere near any breeders so every single one of my hamsters have come from pet stores and I've never had a problem with any of them. Every one was healthy, well lived, and tamed up nicely. My current Syrian, Chinese and Dwarf are all from [email protected], none bite/nip, they are lovely and tame, love being held and come to the front of the cage as soon as they know I'm near. In my experience with them it's how you keep them not where they come from that makes them tame. With regular, gentle handling, there is no reason a pet store hamster won't make as good a pet as a breeder one.
 

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I would never support pets at home. I don't condone how they breed there small animals. They are bred in rodent farms,mothers have litters one after the other without a rest and then when they become no good are gotten rid of!
Not a care goes into the health of these animals the mother could suffer with tumours etc but yet they still breed from them.

If you want a healthy pet and one that is from a good breeder where you know the background of the mum and dad and know that there's no history of tumours etc and you don't need to spend time taming them up because there already tame and cuddly then go to a reputable breeder.
 
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Hey

I've been keeping hamsters for 20 years, I've had 50 odd of them, of all the different types. My advice for a hamster for children would be a Syrian, as they are larger, slower and generally more docile than the dwarfs. Roborovski's are incredibly fast and more for watching than handling, Russians can be nippy little buggers (and it can really hurt when they do nip!), which kids could find offputting, and Chinese are too fragile for heavyish handling. If you really want a dwarf I would go for a Winter White, as they are generally more like Syrians temperament wise. You would have to look for a breeder for WW though as its difficult to find purebred ones. I am also going to say, I live nowhere near any breeders so every single one of my hamsters have come from pet stores and I've never had a problem with any of them. Every one was healthy, well lived, and tamed up nicely. My current Syrian, Chinese and Dwarf are all from [email protected], none bite/nip, they are lovely and tame, love being held and come to the front of the cage as soon as they know I'm near. In my experience with them it's how you keep them not where they come from that makes them tame. With regular, gentle handling, there is no reason a pet store hamster won't make as good a pet as a breeder one.
I thought you were only 18-19?
And I have said this before but it keeps going over your head, just because you haven't had problems with animals bought from petshops does NOT negate the fact they come from BREEDING MILLS.....

To the OP, Blade seems to have covered it all so I won't repeat :)
 

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Blade's main point about petshops is their health. Yes with care and attention they can be just as tame but that won't change their bad genetics which makes them more prone to health issues.

Breeders are great, another option is rescues. I'm not side where you are OP but I know there's a hamster needing rehoming on the adoption board :)
 

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I thought you were only 18-19?
And I have said this before but it keeps going over your head, just because you haven't had problems with animals bought from petshops does NOT negate the fact they come from BREEDING MILLS.....

To the OP, Blade seems to have covered it all so I won't repeat :)
Fair enough if you want to get a breeder hamster and that's your choice, I was just pointing out you can get nice tame hamsters from petstores, their not all wildly unhandleable. And I'm a bit more than 18;)
 
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Fair enough if you want to get a breeder hamster and that's your choice, I was just pointing out you can get nice tame hamsters from petstores, their not all wildly unhandleable. And I'm a bit more than 18;)
That really isn't the point as several people have tried pointing out to you :rolleyes:

Sorry for getting your age wrong, for some reason I thought you were still young. My mistake..
 

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That really isn't the point as several people have tried pointing out to you :rolleyes:

Sorry for getting your age wrong, for some reason I thought you were still young. My mistake..
i think i remember her actually saying she was 18..
 

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That really isn't the point as several people have tried pointing out to you :rolleyes:

Sorry for getting your age wrong, for some reason I thought you were still young. My mistake..
cant think why you would of thunk that, youuu numpty

i agree, pet stores are the worst place possiable to get ANY animal from, just because you have been lucky and not noticed anything genetically wrong with your animals doesnt mean there wasnt.
wobbles, how old have your pet store hamsters lived?
have you ever had one reach 3 and a half? 4? 5? what about 5 and a half? how many of your "50 odd" hamsters died before their second birthday?
how many got ill and died as a result? how many had tumours?

animals from breeders live much longer and tend to be more resiliant, less prone to picking up small bugs which can turn fatal with thier lesser immune systems
 

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I don't want my old threads dragging back up, I've admitted I've made mistakes before, and I don't want any more trouble on here. Took me a while to pluck up the courage to post here again. Even people who commit actual crimes get to move on. Past mistakes are just that- the past.

Lil Miss, none of my hamsters have had horrible illnesses, most have lived to 2-3 (Syrians longer than dwarfs). Only one or two actually died of illness and they were fairly old. A couple or so got a tumor/ lump when they were older. Only one died young ( 8 months) and it was due to a pure accident ( a fiddlesticks bridge fell on her:(). I have certainly never experienced any of the problems that other people say they've had.
 

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I'd never had problems as such but now I have rats who are not very well, and now I know more about hamsters and small animals I have realised that they have all died young. None ever made it to 3. The ones I had when I was a child lived longer than that, bred in the animal room at school. I will never buy an animal from a pet shop again :-(
 

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Er as far as I know I haven't murdered anyone:rolleyes: I haven't done anything criminal either as far as I'm aware. I hope your not a judge if you think the few errors I made are "unforgivable", god knows what you'd think of proper criminals.
never said you have committed a crime did i, just because it isnt deemed a crime doesnt make it unforgivable.
 

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Back on topic....

Hi,

My girls are very keen for a hamster but I really don't know that much about them. My only real experience is when my sister kept them aeons ago. They are old enough and gentle enough. We have cats and fish, have had guiinea pigs and rabbits. Can I have advice on housing and where to purchase them from and also the different types ref handleability and friendliness.

Thank you

Jane
Hey, It's great that you're doing research before getting your hammy, and although a good 'google' can get you a lot of information, I've found the up to date info you can get from real pet owners on forums is much better. As people have said for cages, the bigger the better. I believe the minimum for a syrian hamster is 360 square inches. Dwarfs need a lot of space too... not sure on the exact dimensions. I have an IKEA detolf glass cabinet (for my gerbils), that I've turned on its back... it's huge, but definitely the biggest and best tank you'll get for your money!!! 160 x 45 cm floor.

I recommend just having a good riffle through the topics on this forum and maybe hamster specific forums which I don't think I'm supposed to advocate (as they're a rival website) but have already been mentioned previously in this thread.

Enjoy your hamster search... i would recommend rescues/breeders.. there are so many unwanted animals/unexpected litters out there it does seem a shame to encourage mass breeding farms, when there is a surplus of unwanted animals.

Good luck! :D
 
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