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Who has/had a hamster? Pls help me decide if I want one?

(24 Posts)
Anothernamechanger1 Tue 17-Jan-17 19:20:29

I had hamsters growing up. My first was a gorgeous male Syrian. He would run around my bedroom floor whilst I did my homework, he'd sit on my lap whilst I watched tv.... he died about ages 2 and I got another one, a female. She was a demon. She would bit me every time I tried to pick her up. I ended up scared of her and being glad when she died. DC want a pet but can't have cat/dog as in rented and I don't want GPs or rats. They'd love a hamster but what if I never get one like my first hamster?! Is there any way of helping that up happen? My local rescue have 2 waiting for homes..... I just don't want to make a mistake!!

BlessThisMess Tue 17-Jan-17 19:30:20

We just bought DD2 a hamster for Christmas - our first. The advice from Pets at Home with a young hamster was to take it slowly at first. We had to make sure our hands smelled of the cage sawdust before holding our hand near her for her to sniff and choose to climb on when she felt ready. Apparently if you grab them and scare them, they remember and never really get over it.
Ours seems pretty happy to climb on us and run around now. She did give DD1 a quick nip a couple of days ago for no obvious reason but apart from that, she hasn't.

TheColdDoesBotherMeAnyway Tue 17-Jan-17 19:40:16

Our boy sounds like your first hamster smile
He's really friendly, he has never bitten anyone (although he has nibbled our fingers curiously when we have handled any foodstuff recently grin). He falls asleep on us sometimes and stares at us from his cage when he thinks we aren't giving him enough attention (i.e. All of our attention!)

We bought him from an independent pet shop. The sales assistant advised us to put a hand in the display cage and pick the one who came over to us, rather than the 'prettiest' one. We followed that advice and he has been tame from the start, although we took it slowly at first.

Make sure you get the biggest cage you can find, the ones in the likes of Pets at Home are too small. Ours is a Hamster Heaven (without the tubes and 'penthouse' though as he was chewing them from the inside and sleeping and weeing in the same place). They also need a much bigger wheel than is available in most shops.

Any more questions just shout

KingJoffreysRestingCuntface Tue 17-Jan-17 19:43:20

Hamsters are amazing.

My first was called Bonjela. She was lovely. Really friendly.

Anothernamechanger1 Tue 17-Jan-17 20:03:09

Bonjela! Ha love it!

You don't think I would regret it? Iv looked through a few old threads on here and someone else had one that sounded just like my second one! DC are 8 and 10 so not 'little' but am I silly to think it would be a pet to 'handle and cuddle'? Eldest DC could really do with something to stroke, but aren't most likely to just run around on you? I used to think my first one was a one of a kind!

Anothernamechanger1 Tue 17-Jan-17 20:05:02

I obviously know they are nocturnal and I was a teenager when I had them but I remember it being up quite a bit? Realistically what kind of time could I expect it to wake? Would it hate being kept downstairs where the 'noise' is in the house? I don't see the point if it was shut away in a room we weren't in and didn't see it much but at the same time aren't they more likely to be aggressive if they are woken in the day?

TheColdDoesBotherMeAnyway Tue 17-Jan-17 20:31:47

Ours is sometimes happy to sit and be stroked and sometimes runs around like a mad thing, I think it just depends on his mood. He wakes at varying times in the evening, he's usually pretty easy to wake up though if we want a cuddle - he can hear the opening of his food storage tub from across the room grin

He lives in the main living room, he seems able to sleep if he wants despite the TV being on. I'm the same as you - I don't want him hidden away and ignored.

Anothernamechanger1 Tue 17-Jan-17 20:34:29

thecold do you wake yours up in the day at all? Is it cruel to do that? We don't go to bed late (even me) so I'm not sure we would see much of it?

TheColdDoesBotherMeAnyway Tue 17-Jan-17 20:40:42

I don't poke him or even go into his 'nest', but at around 7ish I fill his food bowl and as I said he wakes as soon as he hears the tub opening and comes out to investigate. Then later on if he gets up before I go to bed I'll take him out, otherwise I just leave him to it. He's asleep at the moment but came out briefly earlier when I fed him, he ran around the rug a bit and then filled his cheeks and took himself back to his warm bed when I put him back in the cage smile

Anothernamechanger1 Tue 17-Jan-17 20:44:06

The DC want to be able to get it out after school.... they asleep by 8pm... maybe I have a false hope on having one?

TheColdDoesBotherMeAnyway Tue 17-Jan-17 20:55:28

He's rarely out that early without being woken by food - dd2 did have a stroke when I fed him earlier though, he will also get up if I put fresh food in the cage during the day.

What about gerbils or guinea pigs as an alternative?

Anothernamechanger1 Tue 17-Jan-17 20:56:41

No I don't want to have GPs (have had them) haven't had gerbils, aren't they diggers?

altik Tue 17-Jan-17 21:03:58

Our hamster was tame enough that she woke up in time to come out and have a play before bed. She would wake up about 6 every evening to come out.

Also agree with pp to buy a hamster heaven cage. Then you avoid the endless squeaking on the wheel. If you buy it from Zooplus, it's not that expensive and if you google you should find a discount voucher for a first time sale. Excellent customer service too.

We tamed our first hamster by letting her climb into a box and then we'd let her climb over DD sat in the bath. She got used to the smell and never bit. She was the tamest but none of our hamsters bit. Just invest the time to tame them at first and take it slowly.

I miss our hamsters, but we have a cat now, so I wouldn't have a hamster now.

TheColdDoesBotherMeAnyway Tue 17-Jan-17 21:04:03

They need deep litter yes - I had them as a child and look after a neighbours' when they are away. I find them harder to handle than hamsters because they are more skittish but they are very cute.

Anothernamechanger1 Tue 17-Jan-17 21:20:58

Yes not keen on gerbils to be honest and I know nothing about them which also puts me off!

Sitting in the bath with them is a good idea for the DC! Would you rescue one? I'd rather rescue but at the same time how much handling would it have etc as when it's awake all the people have gone home?

TheColdDoesBotherMeAnyway Tue 17-Jan-17 21:39:05

Mine has just got up. He's on the sofa next to me watching Dave Gorman grin

TheColdDoesBotherMeAnyway Tue 17-Jan-17 21:42:09

Regarding the rescue ones, could you go and see them and handle them to get an idea of their temperaments? How old are they? They live such short lives I would be put off by any older than 5/6 months sad

Anothernamechanger1 Wed 18-Jan-17 06:20:43

One is 8 months and I can't remember the other? Where else would you get one from? There aren't any pet shops near me other than pets at home?

Preference for boy or girl? I obv has both and preferred my male but that may be co incidence?

HPFA Wed 18-Jan-17 06:25:17

Hamsters make lovely pets but you must have a big enough cage - the aggression you describe is often due to living in too small cages. The Hamster Heaven is great but cheaper alternatives are the Alaska or Barney cages. Do not buy a cage from a petshop -the cages mentioned can all be bough online.

Anothernamechanger1 Wed 18-Jan-17 06:51:27

My second one had the same cage as my first one though? We are talking over 20 years since I had one and it was a bog standard cage back then so it possibly didn't help.

TheThingsWeAdmitOnMN Wed 18-Jan-17 06:52:17


I'm not sure if you've read this thread...

But I wrote what I thought about getting another hamster on there if you fancy a read.

Anothernamechanger1 Wed 18-Jan-17 10:23:30

THabks for sharing your thread, but it's all conflicting! Really 50/50! Did you get one in the end?

Anothernamechanger1 Wed 18-Jan-17 21:02:27

I rang the rescue, theyvhave a girl who's 1.4 yrs and a boy who's 10mobths. They said both are tame and fine to be handled. But the Age of the girl puts me off as not enough time for my DC to get close ? Would have 1 year max with it? I don't think that's a good thing? The boys apparantly makes an awful noise sometimes? They said a strange squeak that they normally make when in pain/fear but it's been checked over by the vet and it's fine so they don't know why it does it but it's happy to be handled?

TheThingsWeAdmitOnMN Wed 18-Jan-17 23:53:30

Sorry, I wasn't the OP on that thread, I posted on it. Short story - we got one, she was adorable. Absolutely lovely. However, we were apparently extremely lucky as many aren't. She died in Nov (not even 2) and I was heartbroken. I wouldn't get another one though, not for a child under 13 as they are awake at younger kids bedtime really & their nature us hit & miss, with the ratio of 'miss' being very high.. They aren't easy to handle (many bite, ours didn't), she was always 'on the go, exploring' and didn't ever want to just sit. She loved climbing around me in all my clothes 😁 Lots of reasons I explained more fully on the other thread under this user name.

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