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Thinking of getting a Syrian hamster as a pet for 3yo DS for xmas

(15 Posts)
BotBotticelli Mon 21-Nov-16 22:53:41

Is this a nice pet for a child? Obviously I would do all the cleaning and care - hopefully with ds helping me! But I would be responsible.

I've never had a hamster before, always had cats as a child but don't feel quite ready for a cat yet.

But ds loves animals and I think he would love to have a family pet.

Any advice please! Are they easy to care for for complete novices? Are they ok in quite noisy houses?? My two boys are very noisy!

Namechangenurseryconcerns Mon 21-Nov-16 22:59:15

We have a hamster and I've been pleasantly surprised at what a nice, easy to care for, interesting pet he is.
BUT I wouldn't get one for a 3 year old. My youngest is nearly 5 and still can't be trusted to hold the hamster gently enough.
Plus they don't wake up til bedtime and although you can get them out during the day it seems a bit cruel to wake them up just for your entertainment!

MyDarlingWhatIfYouFly Mon 21-Nov-16 23:01:35

3 is too young imo. They can be quite nervous when you get them and a lot of careful handling is needed to tame them. Also noisy environments are not great as they sleep throughout the day.

notagiraffe Mon 21-Nov-16 23:01:52

A cat might be a better animal for a three-year-old. Less maintenance than a hamster. Easily to cuddle but harder to accidentally hurt. Can't escape in the way hamsters can. Or wait another year or two and get fluffy guinea pigs. They are the best pets ever.

RustyBear Mon 21-Nov-16 23:04:07

I wouldn't recommend a hamster for a child that young - first of all, hamsters are mainly nocturnal, and it would probably only just be waking up when your DS was going to bed!

Secondly, hamsters are quick-moving, vulnerable if dropped and have a tendency to bite,especially when scared. I wouldn't have let my children handle one at three, and just watching a sleeping hamster is not much fun!

Twooter Mon 21-Nov-16 23:04:39

To I agree with Namech. Hamsters are great but do usually want affection and contact and this really isn't safe coming from a 3 year old. I'd leave it a few years, or keep the cage locked and just get it out when your Dec is asleep. My youngest was 4 when we had hamsters last, and I'd catch her wondering around carrying them, even though she knew she wasn't allowed to. It meant I had to be permanently I guard that the cage wasn't left open by her or that she wasn't holding them too tight

Jellyshoeshurtmyfeet Mon 21-Nov-16 23:06:21

We had a hamster and she was vicious, even I was scared of her! She hated being handled, but everybody. I have a vet friend who told me guinea pigs are best for young children.

Wolfiefan Mon 21-Nov-16 23:07:23

No. Not a little, nocturnal (and possibly biting!) pet for a three year old. And don't get a pet for Christmas.
Very few pets would like very noisy or very young children. Leave it a few years until you want a cat it then look at rats and other options.

Namechangenurseryconcerns Mon 21-Nov-16 23:20:42

Ah-ours has only bitten once and that was when a tasty finger was poked through the bars against advice! He's pretty easy to handle and my 7 year old can carefully get him out by herself and can clean his cage out completely independently.

expatinscotland Mon 21-Nov-16 23:22:37

I got one . . . for me! But not for a 3-year-old, no.

NoSuchThingAsThePerfectParent Mon 21-Nov-16 23:34:52

Syrian hamsters are like Russian hamsters - insofar as they're little and vicious! I had one that bit my finger as I dropped food in the tray at the opposite end of the cage, and I had to shake my finger and pull it off to release it. It wouldn't let go for ages! Then she had babies and ate them all, but she waited until they were big and then ate them , fur and all. It was not a good experience.

Stabbitha Mon 21-Nov-16 23:42:21

I had a Syrian hamster once. I too thought a cat would be harder and I didn't have children at the time.

He was an evil, sadistic, bitey little bugger. I hate saying it but I was glad when he died.

NaughtyNiffler Mon 21-Nov-16 23:51:58

I think a fish would be more suitable for a 3 year old... I got my DC 2 Guinea pigs for their 7th birthday this year, I think that's about the right age to get a pet for a child

TheFairyCaravan Mon 21-Nov-16 23:55:03

I've got a hamster, he's mine.

I've had about 8 or 9, they've all been friendly, not one has bitten. They like being handled, they're very sociable and they like lots of exercise (not in balls). They are very quick, can climb easily and need a very close eye on when they are out.

I wouldn't get one for a 3yo. I wouldn't get an animal for Christmas, at all.

notagiraffe Tue 22-Nov-16 08:17:16

Wait until they're 7 then get a couple of these. They are sweet natured, scampering, cute as anything and they whistle and sing to you, and love cuddles.

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