How Much Do Hamsters Cost?
Hamsters, considered a nocturnal member of the rodent family, can come in a variety of breeds. A hamster will be distinguished by its markings, size and color.
How much do hamsters cost?
- On average, a hamster can cost $6 to as much as $30. This is going to depend on the breed you want to purchase, color, size and the store you purchase it from. For example, a white Syrian hamster can cost $6 to $11. These are usually eight weeks old and have a white and cream colored fur coat.
- Russian Dwarf Hamsters have a lifespan of three years and are very energetic. These types of hamsters are ideal for children over the age of 10 and can cost $15 to $25.
- A Fancy Russian Dwarf Hamsters are almost the same as the Russian Dwarf Hamsters, except they have black and white fur; this hamster can cost $16 to $25 at local pet stores.
- Winter White Hamsters have black and gray fur and are seasonally available. These hamsters are very active and retail for $16 to $25.
- Robo Dwarf Hamsters have a longer lifespan as they can live up to 4 years. They have a mustard and white fur and can cost $16 to $24.
- An adult Syrian hamster, commonly referred to as a teddy bear hamster, can cost $6 to $20 each.
- If you’re new to owning a hamster, it’s safe to say, once you factor in the extra costs below, you can spend anywhere from $150 to $225. This will all depend on the number of supplies and the type you purchase. PetMD.com recommends a budget up to $200.
Types of hamsters
- Campbell’s: This hamster can measure up to five inches and will usually be gray in color with a white belly. Living well together with other hamsters, its lifespan tends to be shorter than most hamsters at two years maximum. Due to their small size, some owners find them hard to maintain and handle.
- Chinese: Striped, gray or with tails that similar to a rat, the Chinese hamster is about four inches long and will be darker in color, usually gray. These hamsters will have longer tails when compared to other breeds and are happy living alone. One perk with this type is that it tends to have a gentle demeanor.
- Dwarf: The dwarf hamster maxes out at four inches in length and is one of the smallest hamsters you can purchase. On the market, you will commonly find five types: the Campbell’s Chinese Dwarf, Roborovski, Russian and Winter White. Living close to four years, it’s known to be fast and can come in a few variations. Unlike most hamsters, the dwarf is comfortable living solo.
- Roborovski: The Roborovski, also known as a desert or robo, are the smallest breed, measuring just two centimeters when born. Known for their white spots, which look similar to eyebrows, the Roborovski is well known for its running, particularly at night, when it’s known to run three to four human marathons.
- Syrian: The Syrian hamster can often be referred to as a teddy bear or golden hamster. This particular breed will have larger cheeks, small eyes and stubby tails. Common colors will be black, chocolate, silver and a light gray.
- Winter White: The Winter White, sometimes referred to as the Siberian, is a dwarf hamster that grows up to five inches in length. This hamster has a dark stripe running along its back and is usually gray in color, but in the winter, this color changes to a white coat.
What are the extra costs?
- Hamster food can cost anywhere from $5 to $11 per two-pound bag, depending on the brand and type. A two-pound bag should be able to last about six weeks. You can also supplement their diet with seeds, carrots and some grains. Plan on spending about $10 to $15 per month.
- Specialized hamster cages can include obstacles as well run-about wheels or balls, which are used to help the hamster run endlessly. An open-air cage made of plastic, steel or wire will suit it best. These types of cages can retail for $25 to $150.
- While optional, hamsters don’t mind playing with additional toys. These smaller toys can cost a few dollars, depending on what kind of toy you purchase. Additional accessories, such as a smaller chew toy, can cost upwards of $10. These types of toys are recommended to help the hamster maintain good dental health.
- Cages will also require hamster shavings to be used as its bedding. A new bag of shavings will have to be purchased every month and should cost about $5 to $15 per bag.
- If any health problems persist down the road, a vet visit may be required. Checkups can start at $40 and go up from there.
- A carrier to tote it from one place to another can cost $10 to $15.
- Vitamin supplements, while optional, can cost about $5.
Tips to know:
- Hamsters don’t really have a long lifespan. In fact, most hamsters only live up to three years, no matter how much care they receive. As they grow older, the hamsters can become territorial, and because of this, it’s best not to introduce new hamsters.
- Aside from the hamster food that comes out of the bag, it doesn’t hurt to mix things up a bit. Consider feeding your hamster a treat such as carrots and oatmeal.
- If a hamster continues to bite, don’t bite back. Instead, try to play around with it for a few hours a week. By doing this, you can train the hamster not to bite back.
- Cleaning a cage should be done with water and vinegar. This organic cleaning mix will clean the cage and be harmless to the hamster’s health.
- Where are hamsters from? One of the most popular hamsters — the Syrian — was discovered in 1797 in the Middle East. During an expedition in 1930, zoologist, Sheikh El-Beled, discovered a golden hamster along with 11 babies living in a wheat field. He brought all 12 back to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and from there, they quickly multiplied.
- There are 20 species of hamsters, all related to mice, voles and lemmings and only five are kept as pets. All hamsters are active at night and have terrible eyesight; however, their sense of smell, touch and whiskers help them navigate throughout the day.
Pictures of hamsters
How can I save money?
- The best way to save money is to adopt a pet. There are several rescue groups and organizations that will allow you to adopt a hamster owner at no cost. These groups can be found via an online search or by talking with your local Humane Society. PetFinder.com is another great resource that’s able to connect you with local shelters.
- Instead of purchasing shavings for the cage, consider shredding up toilet paper rolls when you’re done with them. Always avoid cedar chips, though, since this type of bedding tends to cause respiratory problems.
- Consider supplementing your hamster’s food with items such as vegetables and fruit. This is a great way to mix up their diet and save money.
- Hamsters are commonly found at big chain pet retailers such as Petco and Petsmart. If you plan on purchasing it here, be on the lookout for special coupons and/or promotions. For instance, at the time of this writing, Petsmart is offering buyers 10% off their purchase when a special coupon code is used.
- Browse Craigslist to see if any previous hamster owners are getting rid of their hamster along with the supplies. Oftentimes, you may be able to find a hamster, complete with all the supplies, for less than $50.