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Which hamster?

(8 Posts)
bananamam Sun 18-Sep-11 11:49:15

DS desperatly wants a hamster. We picked up a lovely little home for it from gumtree but it looks small enough to just fit a dwarf hamster in. We had a couple of dwarfs when DS was much younger and they were fine.

But I have read that Syrian ones are better to handle? Is this true? If so may have to reconsider the cage etc! DS is 4 by the way and very good with his tortoise.

sparkle101 Sun 18-Sep-11 20:29:42


What type of cage is it? Wired or plastic? If it is wired a lot of them aren't suitable for dwarves as they can squeeze themselves down and try and get out.

There are fors and againsts of both syrians and dwarves, syrians are easier to handle due to their size and their slowness (not sure even a word!) they are more likely to be petted, however if they bite then it is a lot more painful and brings out a lot more blood than dwarves, dwarves can be faster and can sometimes not take well to being held.

There are three main types of dwarves: russians, chinese and roborovski (listed in terms of speed from slowest to fastest) I would definately stay away from the last two but russians can be fine, they stay very small but tend to go rounder rather than longer, if you did want to get two they often come in different colours so you could choose two different ones however they are known to fight with each other sometimes as well which would mean having to seperate them.

Dwarves tend to live slightly longer and do not suffer with "wet tail" as much as syrian hamsters do (although they can still get it).

As your DS is four please bear in mind hamsters are nocturnal and there is a chance he won't see a great deal of them as he will be asleep so it may be a case of waking it up near his bedtime and letting it aclimitise before he gets it out, if not happy at being woken up it may bite. This is the only downside with hamsters and small children so I would normally recommend guinea pigs at this age, although you'll be doing all the cleaning!!!

Best of luck, keep us updated as to what you decide, if you go to any good pet shop they will let you see the full range and help you decide but have a read of the intrnet first to see other people's stories!

bananamam Sun 18-Sep-11 21:48:48

Thankyou so much for the replysmile yes Russian dwarf was the type of hamster we had before. We had two and they only very occasionally fought.

Cage is plastic. One of those modular ones. Thankfully the ball for the hamster running at night is almost silent as ds wants it in his room.

Thanks for the advise re handling!! I will totally take that on board.

Catsmamma Sun 18-Sep-11 21:51:31

We had a russian hamster, he was very cute. He was past two and a half when he died.

and I'd definitely get one of the habitrail, plastic set ups....keeps the whiff and the hamster in.

feedthegoat Wed 21-Sep-11 07:34:23

We have just got a Syrian hamster for Ds who is 5.

I asked about behaviour differences between sexes as I remember as a child owning 2 sweet ones (male) and 1 that bit whenever you tried to put your hand in the cage (female). The lady in our local pet shop (who only had females at the time) advised getting a male for a small child as said females come into season very regularly and tend to be nippy then.

I did go for bars and I am glad I did as he loves climbing. He is really friendly too and hasn't bit at all. We have made him a playground of extra hamster toys in a huge deep plastic storage box so get him out and wake him up so ds gets chance to see him about 7pm. Left to his own devices it was more like 9 pm.

I would be wary about having it in his room though. Our little fella is very noisy! I spent another tenner replacing his wheel at weekend for one claiming to be silent after spending saturday night watching tv with subtitles as couldn't hear it on three quarters volumes! We have him at opposite end of a lounge/diner. I can hear him in my bedroom where he is now. New wheel is also not silent!

bananamam Wed 21-Sep-11 12:29:25

Thanks! We got a male Russian dwarf. He is very cute! DS adores him.

He has nipped DP a couple of times but not the kids oddly!

His cafe is mostly plastic but has some very close together bars for him to climb on. I think the deep plastic tub sounds like a great idea and might do that too. Thanks every one,

cornsillx Wed 21-Sep-11 12:30:57

aw - what's his name?

bananamam Wed 21-Sep-11 17:29:00

DS called him buzz hmm grin you can guess after who!!!

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