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MY 6 year old want a hamster. Why should she have it?

(41 Posts)
Dorange Wed 11-Sep-13 13:43:01

We live in a rented 2 bedroom flat and dogs or cats are a big nono no.
Thinking about giving in since she js an only child, maybe will be good for her to have a pet.
Why shouldn't I give a hamster to her?

mercibucket Wed 11-Sep-13 13:46:22

they bite?

70isaLimitNotaTarget Wed 11-Sep-13 14:00:44

Never had hamsters but the reasons I don't like them......(if that's what you want to hear grin )

They are asleep when you want to play and awake all night when you are asleep

They have weird little tails

They can be bitey

They escape

Richard Top Gear Hammond is nicknamed "The Hamster" (good enough reason in it's own right I reckon)

Dorange Wed 11-Sep-13 14:06:12

or why should I let her have it?
Btw, it's going to leave in her bedroom so activity during the night might be an issue.....

LazyGaga Wed 11-Sep-13 14:24:29

Friend has just got two Russian Dwarf hamsters for her dc - grey and white, very pretty. Their cage is moved in to the bathroom at night so they don't disturb anyone.

They were awake and playful when we were there at 5pm the other day.

Sorry, you wanted reasons against? grin

Dorange Wed 11-Sep-13 14:37:00

I just want to decide....never had hamster before

Yorkieaddict Wed 11-Sep-13 14:45:02

I would get her one. I think its great for children to have pets. I wouldn't leave it in her room overnight though, they are very noisy at night, or at least ours is.

DS loves his, and its been good for him to have the responsibility to look after it, although if I don't remind him he would forget to feed it! The downside is if anything goes wrong. We are taking ours to the vet to be put down this evening as it is very unwell and the vet says nothing can be done. sad

SlobAtHome Thu 12-Sep-13 14:09:49

I wouldn't get her a hamster. They are not suitable childrens' pets despite what a pet shop will tell you. They are usually kept in cages that are too small and they are more likely to bite than say.....

RATS! Rats make wonderful pets, they tame quickly, they are very intelligent and interactive. Provided you get a big enough cage and do your research on proper rat care, a pair of rat boys would be lovely pets for a child. (NEVER have a lone rat, it would be very cruel)

However remember that you are getting her a pet, but the animal(s) are COMPLETELY YOUR responsibility. Getting rid of them ever because a child has lost interest is not acceptable.

Also, do not get from pet shops. You will end up with a poorly bred animal with all sort s of possible issues and they will not have been handled enough so will be harder to tame.

Mama1980 Thu 12-Sep-13 14:14:29

I don't like them and my brother who does have one gets really annoyed with the night time noise.
Having said that I gave in and got a also have 3 cats fish and a tortoise and they make one serious racket! smile(except the tortoise who is silent but surprisingly fast!)'

Dorange Thu 12-Sep-13 20:54:13

Rats, no, they give me iiikes
I wouldn't get small cage anyway, I had my eyes in those huge ones with lots of levels
But the noise is putting me off, I don't want to be moving the cage every night.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Thu 12-Sep-13 21:11:01

You can get silent wheels (I thinks it's the wheels that make most of the noise. I know my mice used to love whirling round at 3am.)

Could you put a cover over the cage or does that upset their day/night balance?
I put a cover over my guinea-pigs when they are in at night for winter. One of my pigs used to like a 2am cardboard box chew....hmm

stargirl1701 Thu 12-Sep-13 21:12:44

God, no. I had hamsters as a child. They are up ALL night long making noises. Rats or gerbils would be better.

Dorange Thu 12-Sep-13 21:13:02

I don't know wither 70isa, I need answers.

lade Fri 13-Sep-13 07:53:46

My six year old has a hamster, and it is a great pet for her.

I'd recommend you get a Syrian hamster, as they're easier to train, and when you buy it, ask the shopkeeper which ones are bold. The bolder ones are much easier to train. It takes about two weeks, but both my children have successfully trained their hamsters.

Once tame, ours always wake in tune with our patterns, so they're up having a run when the girls get up and then they have a second run in their balls in the evening. The hamsters live in the DDs bedrooms, but once you get used to the noise, you tend not to hear it any more.

The one thing I would say is to buy the right sized cage. Too many of them are too small, and it is virtually impossible to get the right size from a pet shop. The hamster heaven from zoo plus meets RSPCA guidelines. heaven

As your DD is only 6, you will be the one cleaning out the cage, and you will need to supervise that your DD holds the hamster correctly. We've found it to be a great pet!

Dorange Fri 13-Sep-13 07:58:43


PickledMoomin Fri 13-Sep-13 08:07:00

What about a guinea pig? They're lovely to handle and don't nip. DD had a two for her 6th birthday

youbethemummylion Fri 13-Sep-13 08:13:12

Hamsters get sick really easily, they have terrible habit if literally rotting to death. Gerbil, mouse etc would be far better and whatever you get get two (same sex) or will be bored and destructive

Sparrowfarts Fri 13-Sep-13 08:21:35

DD2, 13, has a Syrian hamster in her room - she doesn't mind his noise, but you can't be sure of that before you get one. He is a friendly extrovert, doesn't bite and is fascinating to watch going about his business in his big cage (a Hamster Heaven with a 'pet shop' cage attached to the top, penthouse style, which houses a good-sized wheel). Relative to his size, he lives in more spacious conditions than the rest of the family.

Be wary of cages with lots of tubes - ours was inclined to move into the tubes with all his kit and refuse to come out, which is neither healthy nor sociable, so we just have a short tube run up to his penthouse now.

He is an excellent companion for a teenager who spends a lot of time in her room.

OohMrDarcy Fri 13-Sep-13 08:33:36

Hamsters are gorgeous animals - I have had many over the years, starting with a syrian at about your daughters age.

I would recommend a syrian over russians / chinese / robs - they are hardier and easier for a child to tame. I had russians and robs as an adults and whilst they are absolutely gorgeous and great fun - mine escaped a few times and it was sheer luck that got them rescued!

As someone has said - most hamster cages on the market are actually too small to be safe for a hamster, in my opinion that is the cause of lots of stressed animals. I bought a new syrian (first since having kids) in february as a birthday present to myself - we got a rat cage for her along the lines of this

I also bought wooden bridges etc to keep her occupied. Means she can nibble anything she likes and its fine - we didn't bother getting her a house as the tray is nice and deep so I can provide deep woodshavings and bedding and she makes herself a much more natural home.

My DD (6.5) basically wishes she was hers - every time I clean her out DD is there helping, she offers to refresh her water every day (still offers most days 6 months on) and is really good with holding her etc.

Even DS (3.8) is able to hold her a bit though can't pick her up himself as he squishes her a bit much

You can get silent or virtually silent wheels - again go bigger than you think necessary, they need their backs as straight as possible when running!

Dorange Fri 13-Sep-13 11:18:45

will the hamster throw wooden shavings all over the bedroom?
I absolutely love the idea of guinea pigs but aren't they much too big for a bedroom? Specially because I'm thinking about putting the cage on the top of a chest of drawers if that's ok......

Dorange Fri 13-Sep-13 11:22:24

[[ cage 1]]

Dorange Fri 13-Sep-13 11:23:56

[[ cage 2]]

Dorange Fri 13-Sep-13 11:25:22

Which one is best for one hamster?
Rats are no no for me.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 13-Sep-13 11:27:10

I wouldn't recommend guineas in bedrooms TBH.
They need much more space
The hay (that they 100% must have) smells more than the guineas but there's no getting away from it.
And they can be quite noisy when they are just going about their normal day-to-day life.
Our boys used to tear cardboard, be wheeky, squabble over food in the eatly hours (this was in their winter night cage, in another bedroom with a duvet on the top)

I'd have to say though, if I didn't have GPs I'd want female rats........grin

Dorange Fri 13-Sep-13 11:28:53

Oh and they just smell bad if the cage is not cleaned often right?

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