getting hamsters


11 Years
Oct 27, 2008
Pittsburgh, PA
we are thinking of getting hamsters, and we decided on russian campbell hamsters. does anyone have experience with this breed, or advice in general?

how should I choose a hamster (know that it is healthy, friendly, etc.)?
I can't help with hamster info but the internet has lots of good info. When we researched small rodent pets for our granddaughter, we decided on a guinea pig. Hampsters and gerbils are nocturnal and will be sleeping when you are awake and vice versa. Guinea pigs (cavies) are awake during the day, rarely bite and make really good pets. We've been very pleased with our little guy and our grand daughter loves him. Google "small rodents as pets" and you will find lots of sites to research.
I like hamsters, but I would recommend the larger varieties before the dwarf types. Some of the dwarf ones (russian and otherwise) are lovely individually, but on the whole I have found that they are not usually the friendliest. All my nasty hamsters have been the russian dwarf ones.

In terms of picking one, look for traits you'd look for in other animals, bright eyed, clean furred and so on. If it's from a pet store it probably won't be tame, but it doesn't take long to tame them, just pick them a couple times a day for a couple minutes each time, and soon they won't mind. Hope that helps!
we considered guinea pigs, but my younger brother is afraid of them, and they also require a larger cage which we do not have room for. we decided on this breed of hamsters because they are pretty friendly and not as territorial as some of the other breeds we looked at.
After burying goodness knows how many hamsters that we got for my DD, we bought her a pair of rats.
Much MUCH better pets in my opinion. Smart, friendly and less likely to bite. On average they live longer than hamsters too.
There was an excellent thread in this category awhile back about having rats as pets. You might look for it before you decide on hamsters for sure. If you can't abide the rat's naked tail, I'd go with a guinea pig or gerbil.
ETA: The thread I mentioned:
Last edited:
Russian dwarf hamsters are very territorial. I used to breed them. Once they were out of their cage they were fine and not bitey but reaching into their cage to get their food dish and they came after ya.

Desert dwarf hamsters are not biters but they are quick and hard to hold.

Chinese dwarf hamsters were pretty cool. Easy to handle.

That being ive had some awesome syrian hamsters. I prefer the males. They just seem easier to tame. I had this one male that learned how to open every single door on his cage, i had to put my boot on top and use clips on the other doors. I saw him walking up the hallway with my cat walking beside him. I could do anything with him.
I had an escape artist syrian hamster too! Mine was a female though. I had to duct tape her exercise ball shut 'cause she could unscrew it. She was awesome.

Gerbils are a lot of fun too, and I've never had a mean one. They move pretty darn fast though. And some of them jump.
When I was a kid, I got a pair of hamsters. The day after I got them, one bit me, and then I was a little nervous to reach in there. I'm sure they could have been better pets if I had held them more, but we got off to a bad start. As someone else mentioned, they are nocturnal--I had to take out their exercise wheel at night because they kept me awake with the running all night long! My son's preschool teacher kept rats in the classroom and said they were great with the kids!
im done with hamsters. and i agree when i they say DONT go with the littledwarf or robos. Get a stabdard size hamstr - less bitey. The SWEETEST hamster i have ever had was a longhaired male. But then i got rats. Hamsters are recommended for ages 12 and up,rats are recommended for ages 5 and up.And now I have to sell my babies

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom