Like the adoption of any animal, choosing a hamster should be done with careful consideration. Let us help you find the perfect little fur friend for you and your lifestyle!
Once you have chosen to adopt, you should consider the type of hamster you want based on information about their breed, their sex and also from where you will acquire one.
Choosing a hamster: which breed?
Before doing research, many people do not know that there are a number of different breeds of hamster. A different breed will dictate a different physique but also a different personality and set of needs.
For example, when choosing a hamster, many fall in love with the smallest breed, the Roborowski Dwarf. This breed, however, is not always docile or tactile. This is the opposite from the golden (or Syrian) hamster, who loves humans. That said, a 'golden' doesn't like the presence of other hamsters.
In total, there are five popular breeds of these small bundles of fur - Syrian, Dwarf Campbell Russian, Dwarf Winter White Russian, Chinese and Roborovski. Make sure to find the one which corresponds to your needs and desires the best!
Choosing a hamster: which sex?
In general, male hamsters are more calm and docile than females. In fact, female hamsters are usually quite lively and more interested in their surroundings.
You will have understood by now that everything is a preference with regard to personality and behaviour. For the first-time hamster owner, you might be better off choosing a male to increase your chances of both cuddles and play-time, and developing a stronger bond, while at the same time familiarising yourself with hamster ownership.
Where to choose a hamster
From a pet shop
The most common means of adoption is to go to a pet shop. However, the conditions in pet shops for hamsters before adoption are not always ideal so it's important to look at this first.
For example, you will often see males and females placed together in a pet shop cage, which can lead to "other little hamster surprises" down the track. You may adopt a female hamster only to realise that she is pregnant shortly after you get her home!
Pet shop hamsters are also less used to being touched or having human contact, which can make the domestication phase more difficult for both them and you.
From a private individual
Adoption of hamsters from a private individual is also very common. If you have found someone willing to give you a young hamster, make sure you know about their personality and level of interaction, and to ask about and see their living conditions.
The key here is make sure that they are used to human contact and come from a well maintained, responsible, and healthy environment.
From a shelter
Many people do not know that you can also adopt hamsters from some shelters. This can be a very good option to help give a hamster a much-needed home and second chance!
Now that you know how to find a hamster, here's how to bring them home!
What's your favourite thing about hamsters?