|$ $ Primary Expenses: $65 - $320||$ $ $ Continuous Expenses: $150 - $350|
Hamsters are small, furry, and endearing rodents that originally come from several areas of Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.
There are 26 species of hamsters, but the two most common are the Syrian hamster and the Russian or dwarf hamster.
Over the years, hamsters have become what has been known as ‘starter pets’: animals that are supposed to be the best option for teaching small children about how to care for a pet when they have never had one before.
But some of their traits don’t necessarily make them perfect pets for little kids.
Let’s review some of the main characteristics of hamsters, and how much it costs to have one.
Table of Contents
Is A Hamster The Right Pet For Me?
The main question here, is do you want a hamster for you, an adult, or is it for your children? How old are they?
Small rodents are delicate: they need to be handled and taken care of properly.
Hamsters have short lives, from 2 to 4 years, so even though it’s not a long-term commitment, it involves having to deal with its death in a short period of time.
Unlike other rodents, hamsters tend to be solitary, so it would be better to have just one instead of getting several at a time.
However, they do enjoy being held on your hand and spending time with humans, once they feel comfortable.
Hamsters tend to be active mostly during the night or early morning, so playtime with your hamster should always respect its sleeping schedule.
These are the main expenses you’ll have to make when getting a hamster.
Adopting Or Buying A Hamster
Hamsters are usually available at local shelters or rescues to adopt.
Sometimes people give them as gifts to people that can’t take care of them or get them only to realize later that their lifestyle doesn’t match with the needs of the hamsters.
You can find hamsters from $5 to $35, depending on what the adoption fee includes.
Buying a hamster isn’t that expensive either, it will cost from $5 to $40.
The price here will vary whether you buy it at a pet store or a breeder.
Cages or Habitats
Even though hamsters live better by themselves, their cages or habitats should be big enough to provide them with all the space they need.
There must be space to put a water bottle, a food dish, toys, a hideout, and any other accessories you want.
The size of your hamster is very important here.
If you get a wire cage with a plastic base, your hamster could fit between the wire and escape, so this is an important element to have in mind when buying their habitat.
There are ones made completely of plastic or even glass, with ventilation on the top.
You’ll find plenty of cages that already come with a food bowl, water bottle, a hideout, and even an exercise wheel.
Hamster cages tend to cost between $30 to $180.
Plastic exercise balls cost from $5 to $30, exercise wheels from $10 to $20, and tunnels or plastic tubes to attach or put in the cage will be between $5 and $25.
Hideouts for hamsters are usually made of plastic, wood, or ceramic because they enjoy chewing on things.
You’ll find those from $8 to $20.
These are some of the basic things you’ll have to buy either monthly or annually for your hamster.
Hamsters are omnivores, so they eat a variety of vegetables, fruits, grains, and even some small animals.
There are dry mixes available at pet stores or supermarkets, that generally have most of the nutritional requirements your hamster needs.
These pouches will cost a year from $50 to $100.
It’s also recommended to give your hamster some fresh fruits and vegetables like carrots, broccoli, sweet corn, and apples.
The best kind of bedding for hamsters are the natural ones, such as Timothy hay, botanical hay, or paper.
Bedding tends to cost from $60 to $120 per year.
Hamsters need to be constantly chewing things to keep their teeth from overgrowing.
When this happens, it can cause serious health problems, so they must have toys made for this.
You can find sticks or balls, mostly, from $4 to $15.
Annual check-up prices will vary greatly depending on the town or city where you live.
Another thing you have to consider is that not every veterinarian is specialized in hamsters, so this could increase the cost.
Annual vet visits generally cost from $35 to $100.