‘How much do hamsters cost?’
This is a question that continues to boggle the minds of many aspiring pet owners worldwide.
Hamsters may be relatively tinier than most common house pets like cats and dogs. But the cost of maintaining these cute, little furballs can easily run into thousands of dollars.
If you’re a potential hamster owner but are wondering whether adopting these pets is a financially sound decision or not, this article is for you. Read on for everything you need to know about the cost of hamsters.
Cost of Purchasing a Hamster
A hamster will cost you anywhere from $18 – $25. However, the actual price depends on several factors. Examples include;
1. Type of Hamster
There are five main types of hamsters. Although they share the same genetic makeup, these hamster breeds may vary significantly in their physical characteristics, personality, and cost.
a) Syrian Hamsters
Also known as Teddy Bear hamsters, Syrian hamsters are the most popular hamster variety. They’re famous for their friendly personality and ease of maintenance.
Syrian hamsters have a lifespan of about two to three years. And due to their relative popularity, these hamsters also happen to be the most affordable.
b) Chinese Hamsters
Chinese hamsters stand out for their long tails compared to other hamster breeds. They’re also easy to handle and care for.
Just like Syrian hamsters, Chinese hamsters live for about 2 – 3 years.
c) Campbell’s Russian Dwarf Hamsters
As their name suggests, Campbell’s Russian dwarf hamsters are relatively small. These hamsters have a lifespan of 1 – 2 years.
Due to their smaller size, Campbell’s Russian dwarf hamsters are a bit difficult to handle. Therefore, they’re ideal for older children and adults.
d) Winter White Dwarf Hamsters
Winter white dwarf hamsters are considered the second-smallest hamster breed. The hamsters derive their name from the fact that their fur appears white in the winter and gray in the summer.
Winter White Dwarf hamsters also live for about 1 – 2 years. They’re perfect for older kids and adults.
e) Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters
Roborovski dwarf hamsters are the smallest hamster type but the longest-living, with a lifespan of 3 – 4 years. They’re also the most expensive hamster breed to buy and maintain.
Besides their small size, Roborovski dwarf hamsters also have an inclination towards biting. That’s all the more reason to handle them with care.
2. Selling Facility
You can buy a hamster from a breeder or a pet rescue home. Expectedly, buying from a breeder will cost you more. That’s regardless of the animal’s age.
3. Geographical Location
The cost of buying a hamster varies from one country to another. The above-listed $18 – $25 price range applies to the United States.
In the UK, a hamster costs between £5 and £15. That’s roughly USD6.1 to USD 18.3.
In Australia, hamsters are classified as exotic pets. Local laws prohibit the ownership of hamsters as the animals are viewed as a threat to the local ecosystem.
In China, hamsters cost between 10 Yuan (USD 1.50) and 1,000 Yuan (USD 148.28). This is probably the largest price range, indicating that there could be other factors to consider in between.
Lastly, the cost of a hamster is R80 to R100 in South Africa. That’s between USD4. 86 and USD6.02.
Cost of Owning a Hamster
In addition to their initial purchase price, hamsters come with additional maintenance costs.
For instance, you’ll need to get your hamster the right supplies. Some of these items can last a couple of months. Others may need frequent replacing.
Below are the main supplies every hamster requires, along with the average cost of each product;
• Bed and Bedding – USD10
• Hamster Wheel – USD10
• Toys – USD2 to USD20
• Exercise Ball – USD6 to USD14
• Food Bowl – USD2 to USD8
• Water Bottle – USD5 to USD20
• Hamster Cage – USD10 to USD50
• Food – USD5 to USD10 per month
All the above-listed items, except food, may be considered part of the initial setup costs of owning a hamster. That means you may not need to purchase them every month.
It’s also worth noting that hamsters do not require intensive grooming. A simple pet-safe toothbrush (replaced monthly), toothpaste, and a fur brush may be all you need to groom your hamster.
Lastly, hamsters are among the most resilient pets. These animals can spend their entire lifespan without ever falling ill. You should be worried more about injuries than diseases. That said, it’s still important to schedule regular pet visits. Routine medical inspections can help you uncover hamster diseases before they become life-threatening, thereby saving you huge medical bills.
Put together, the monthly cost of maintaining a hamster comes to around USD50. That works out to USD600 per year.
A hamster can be a welcome addition to your household. But before you decide to bring a hamster home, ensure you understand the cost implications of purchasing and caring for these cute animals.
Remember, you want to shower your hamster with all the love he can get. After all, the two of you will only be together for three years.