For first-time owners of a pet, hamsters are one of the most popular options. These pets are pretty cute and fluffy and do not require a lot of space; they are usually calm and friendly and are not so small that they can get lost. This makes them a pretty good option for kids, so they can start learning about having responsibility and taking good care of a pet. But when deciding to get a pet, cost is an important factor to consider. Hamsters are on the cheaper side of the spectrum. Throughout this guide, we will cover all the necessary information about owning a hamster.
If we are talking about the cost of the hamster itself, they are not that expensive with a price range between $5 and $50, but the initial cost can be higher as you will have to invest in a cage and toys. So be aware that you will pay around $130 in total for bedding, litter, toys, and food.
Hamsters have an average lifespan of two or three years. The estimated cost that you will pay for the hamster’s lifetime would be around $1,200 and $1,800 or more, depending on the items, brands, and additional care provided. Food has an average cost of $50 to $80 per year, and you might spend $210 a year on bedding and litter.
The cost of a cage ranges between $10 and $150, and it will depend on how many accessories it includes. Also, if you would like to buy some toys, prices are around $20.
Is Having A Hamster Expensive?
Having a hamster could seem like an expensive investment. However, they are an inexpensive way to start having pets, especially to make kids learn the responsibilities of pet care. To take you out of your doubt, let’s break down every possible cost of having hamsters as pets.
One time costs
- Adoption: The cost will depend on the type of hamster you are buying, the age, and what things are included; prices range from $5 and up to $50. You can also get one for free if you get someone who wants to rehome their hamster. If you get a breeder, prices could be between $5 and $20; sometimes, you might get food that they will include as a “freebie,” the price will also depend on the mutation. Here you have some types of hamsters and how much they may cost:
- Teddy Bear Hamster—$5-$20
- Syrian hamster—$5-$10
- Dwarf hamster—$5-$20
- Chinese hamster—$5-$20
- Supplies: In here, you will include a cage, toys, wheels, and exercise balls; these are often bought one time or until they wear out and lose their functionality.
In the following list, you have a breakdown of the averages of how much you will have to pay each time you buy a few items:
- Bedding – $10.
- Wheel – $10.
- Exercise ball – $6 to $14.
- Toys – $2 to $20.
- Food plate – $2 to $8.
- Water bottle – $5 to $20.
- Cage – $10 and up to $150.
- Food – $5 to $10. It could be $50 to $80 per year.
All of these might get you to spend around $400 and even more than $600 per year. Still, it can be less expensive than owning a cat or a dog.
Taking care of a pet is not simply feeding, cleaning, and entertaining them; you will have to take them to the vet every once in a while. Below is a list of these expenses:
- Health care over a year – $30 and up to $300 or more depending on if your hamster develops a health condition or if other services like x-ray and specialized care are needed.
- Check-ups – Around $35 per year.
- Dental care – $25 a year, spent on filers, wooden toys, and other materials that the hamster can use to file their teeth.
- Treatment for parasites – $35 to $100 per year. This is a cost that may be spent and will be determined at yearly check-ups.
- Medications for ongoing health conditions – $120 or more per year.
- Environment cleaning and maintenance – Up to $200 per year. The cage should be clean, mainly because hamsters use the cage as a bathroom and chew stuff from within the same cage. Consider buying replacements for bedding, liners, hut shelters, and water bottles if necessary.
- Bedding – $120 per year.
- Cage liners – $50 per year.
- Disinfectant – $10 for every purchase.
- Hut/Shelter – $20 for every purchase.
- Water bottles – $20 for every purchase.
The cost of entertainment will depend on the hamster; some of them do not chew that much, while others are incredibly active, so you can expect to spend between $20 and $50 per year on toys.
Is Getting A Hamster Worth It?
It will depend on what you are looking for in a pet and how much care and attention you give them. Depending on the type, hamsters can be friendly or solitary; if you get a hamster that needs more attention, it would be good to spend time with them every day as there is a high chance they will love to play.
Overall, hamsters can be excellent company, and as a first-time pet owner, they are a perfect companion and will teach you or your kids pet care and responsibility.
Are Hamsters Bad Pets?
Whether a hamster is a bad or good pet will depend on a variety of factors, so we collected a few pros and cons of hamsters as pets. This way, you can evaluate by yourself if a hamster is a good option for you:
- Hamsters can be really fun to watch.
- They are patient and pretty curious.
- They are not loud and do not make noises.
- Hamsters do not require a lot of space.
- You do not need to take them out for a walk.
- They do not need much attention.
- Hamsters tend to be clean pets; they usually use just a corner as their bathroom.
- They are adorable.
- They typically are low maintenance.
- Hamsters are playful.
- They can be pretty active at night.
- Hamsters are incredibly delicate.
- They can chew cables and shoes.
- You cannot cuddle with them.
- Their lifespan is relatively short, 2-4 years.
- Hamsters have bad eyesight, so they rely on other senses.
- They can be vulnerable to infections.
- They could bite you.
- They can carry some bacteria and diseases, for example, salmonella bacteria, lymphocytic choriomeningitis, and hantavirus.
- If getting one for a kid, adult supervision might be required.
Buying and owning a hamster might be an excellent way to go into the world of pet ownership. If you do not want to commit to a long time due to study or work, the lifespan of a hamster is pretty short. They are also perfect for young owners, those starting to know about responsibility and taking care of things, and for adults with a pretty busy lifestyle that want some company when they are at home.
Additionally, something that makes them so perfect is not just the fact that they are cute, clean, fluffy, and easy to take care of, they are also cheap and affordable to maintain, and you rarely will have to spend over a thousand dollars per year, taking into consideration that the average yearly cost is around $400 and $600.
Hamsters can be pretty fun, so if you have decided to buy and own one, we hope this article has helped you to take this very exciting step.