Any Hamster owners here?? Past owners of Hamsters?

  1. I just bought one today for my kids (and me, I always wanted one)
    I've read a ton of books about them, but I don't know anyone who has ever owned one.

    If you do/have, let me know your experiences, tips etc. Good and bad ;)
    I'm a realist.

    ps- the hamster is really cute, but we don't know whether it's a he/she because it's too young to sex. girl= penelope, boy= arthur according to the kids.
     
  2. never a hamster but gerbils growing up. i think hamsters like to exercise so be sure to get him/her a wheel.
     
  3. I have a wheel. I have way too much.
    We have the set below, plus all of the tubing that comes out with a little loft attached to the tubing. It's crazy.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. I had two, sort of by default... my friend and her roomies had dwarf hamsters that were supposedly all boys and a few weeks later there was one of MANY litters and I took in one that was being picked on. And then a friend of the family had rescued a really large hamster from a group of abusive children (they were THROWING the poor thing!) and brought it to my house to take care of.

    They are good pets for kids because they're rather low maintenance.

    Handling from the beginning helps them become more comfortable and less likely to nip.

    They love having fresh foods or pieces of cereal... I'd put in occasional treats of fresh fruits, veggies, cheeses, unsweetened cheerios or cornflakes.

    For extra exercise, and probably the entertainment of your kids, they have these plastic balls you can put them into so they can run around, breathe, but not get out.

    They tend to live about 18mos to two years.

    I don't know what kind of hamster you got, but the dwarf hamster I found out can be prone to tumors. That was a long process of antibiotics, vet appointments and nightly attention... which, was an incredibly long hassle for a free little hamster! But I couldn't let her suffer. And since there can be weird problems like that, it is good to find the name of a vet that does specialize in small animals, just in case you ever need to make an appointment. I felt sort of ridiculous calling and making an appointment for my hamster, but at the same time, you're taking on the responsibility of giving them a healthy life and if an issue arises it is good to be prepared!
     
  5. Oh, hamsters! Brings back really good memories :p I'll write more about it when I have the time (I reallllyyy need to sleep hehe... it's 2 am), BUT one thing I will say is that if the hamsters seems to be getting "fatter" by the day, it could be a SHE and she could be PREGNANT! (yup, happened to me! :yes:)

    Hamsters are pretty fun and low maintenance, if you don't have to care for a mommy and her babies (that's a whole other story hehe).... just make sure your kids aren't too rough with it cause it needs some adaptation time to get used to being handled :yes:
     
  6. i've had around 11 hamsters. some were gifts...others were from unwanted pregnancies!

    they make wonderful pets but please remember to change their bedding, food and water daily. they can get very sick (not to mention smelly!) if u don't!

    like Blue said, give him/her some treats in the form of fresh veggies or fruits but take them away if they don't finish it in a day. u don't want it to rot and make him/her ill.

    teddy bear hamsters need to be 'groomed' with a barbie brush (u know, the plastic ones that come with the doll). also, keep the cage away from drafts, direct sunglight or in the bed room (being nocturnal, they can be rather noisy)

    good luck!!
     
  7. We have a mini hamster, it's a sweet pet thats really easy to take care of. It belongs to my kids, but we all love the little guy...

    As has been stated above, hamsters are easy to have and low maintenance, as long as the food, water & bedding is kept fresh. They are curious and friendly little animals, and make good first pets imo. The only problem is that they don't live very long (2 years maximum) and are rather fragile when it comes to illness. I've had many mini hamsters, and they can easily catch a cold and die, so you have to prepare your kids that they won't be around for ever.

    If you take it out every day and let it get used to sitting in your hand, it won't bite. And remember that hamsters are night animals, normally they sleep during the day and are awake at nighttime - and make lots of noise when digging/running in the wheel etc. So, you might want to place the cage far away from your bedroom...

    It's OK to play with a hamster during daytime, but if you wake it up many times, it might get angry & tired. Best to let it sleep and take it out when it awakes by itself. They also get stressed by to much attention, your kids will probably want to show their new pet to their friends. But waking the hamster to play with several new kids at the same time will scare it, especially if there is a lot of laughing & shouting around. Calm environment & few kids at the same time is much better for hamsters (and parents...)
     
  8. I had a hampster when I was 8, named Minnie Mouse. I let her roll around the house in a Hampster ball because it freaked the cat out. Then she rolled down the stairs. RIP Minnie Mouse.
     
  9. I don't have any hamsters.. just a lonely rat. Hams are adorale though ! Here's some photos. :yes:

    hamster corn.jpg

    hampsterrolling.jpg

    hamgrape4.jpg

    hamster sleeping.JPG

    hamster spinach.JPG
     
  10. For fresh food, yep, definitely change it every day or actually only leave it in there for a few hours, or give pieces they can finish immediately. In my experience I only filled the food bowl up every few days or even once a week depending on the hamster's moods because I'd fill it up one day and she'd bury most of it and then I'd clean the cage out and the entire bottom would be full of uneaten food... and she liked to hide it and dig it up. And it just got to be so wasteful. So just use your best judgement with that... I was like wow that little thing eats so much! Just to find out it was underneath all of her bedding, lol.
     
  11. I've only ever had one hamster in my life who we named 'chocolate' and he was the MOST adorable hamster ever! mix-match of brown and white and SUPER friendly... He passed away just slightly less than 10 years ago and I think I'm still not over it.. :crybaby: I don't think I could ever own another hamster cuz I'd always be comparing and I don't think another one could match up to him.

    Actually my sister got him as a birthday present and the first day he came home she actually had a huge girls sleepover for her birthday so that baby hamster spent his first night home playing and socializing with a large group of noisy and excited girls. We always say he was so social (never ever bit anyone) and friendly and not scared of strangers because he got all that love that first night! :yes:

    We'd give him paper towels and stuff that he'd use along with the woodchips to build a little 'nest' which he used as his bed. He'd soften it up by stuffing it into his cheeks and pulling it back out. He was super cute and active.. always running on his wheel. We also had one of those balls he could run around in and he loved it! Of course.. have to be careful to only leave him on the ground floor and ensure the basement door is closed! But sometimes he'd escape from the ball, but he'd always come and find one of us soon enough!

    Regular changing of his water/food, woodchips made him a happy camper! Also, he loved attention and loved to play and would actually get sad if we didn't play with him everyday. He'd let us know he wanted to come out and play by climbing to the top of his cage and swatting at the door/latch. We got in a habit of leaving the top unlatched but closed (if that makes sense) like, it looks closed, but if he pushed on it, the latch/door would move. So Chocolate was one smart hamster! He soon learned that he could push on the latch and climb out. That was the only "trick" that we taught him.

    Sadly his passing was very sad and tragic. Awhile afterwards (around a year and half), we got a hamster (girl) for our cousins and while they went on vacation we agreed to take care of her. Well, they stayed in separate cages, but I guess from the sense of smell or sight or whatever, they could tell they were of the opposite sex and that whole night the girl hamster was doing all she could to get his attention - making noise, running on her wheel. Well we thought it was real cute and all.. aww.. they're flirting! but we were kinda worried, so we put them on opposite sides of our living room so they couldn't see eachother and went to bed. The next morning we woke up and to our horror when we looked into the girl hamster's cage, she was on her back and there was remnants of foam coming out of her mouth and she was no longer breathing. We were absolutely horrified and all you could see Chocolate doing was pacing back and forth in his cage.

    We will never know what happened that night, but our hypothesis is that she must've gotten too excited and got a heart attack or something similar and started foaming at the mouth. We can only assume that it was super traumatic for Chocolate to be able to hear/smell what was going on, but not being able to do anything about it and he was never the same after that. Our lively active hamster stopped running on his wheel and became extremely introverted - he almost seemed to go into hibernation.. always sleeping or running to the comfort of his warm nest. He started to get a lot of white hair - his brown coat grew smaller and smaller. It was very very sad, and one day he just passed away peacefully in his sleep. :crybaby:

    We gave him a burial with a ceremony and all.. RIP Chocolate!

    Sorry for the long post... so many memories & emotions still.. even tho it was so long ago... :crybaby:
     
  12. Awwww Jadecee!!!
    Thank you for sharing Chocolate with me/us.
    Losing a pet can be really hard on anyone, and your hamster sounds like he was really a wonderful pet so I can see why you are still sad over his loss.

    I hope your new little guy/girl gives us just as many fond memories.
     
  13. awww.. thanks winona! I'm usually ok.. but reminiscing brings it all back!

    I think if I ever get a new pet - it will be a cat or dog. I don't think I could get another hamster. Although the attachment to a cat or dog may be even greater, but I guess my thinking is... there is great joy in giving love to someone!