Hamsters are interesting small animals that are often kept as pets. If you are thinking about getting a hamster, then you are bound to have a lot of questions about these rodents. How much do hamsters cost? What kind of equipment will I need and how much will it cost? In this article you’ll find answers to these questions and more.
How Much Do Hamsters Cost?
Hamsters cost anywhere from $5 to $30. The price depends on the demand for the specific breed in your area. There are over 20 different types of hamsters, however only the following 5 breeds are commonly kept as pets: Syrian, Campbell’s, Winter White, Roborovski and Chinese.
Hamster Equipment Costs
While hamsters themselves are quite cheap, they are not the only thing you’ll have to spend money on when getting a hamster. As I’m sure you already know, you’ll also need to buy a few accessories and equipment.
So, let’s take a look at the things a hamster needs and how much do these things cost.
Hamster cage prices start at $20. When choosing a cage for a hamster, the most important thing is that the cage has a solid base. A wired floor would be uncomfortable for a hamster and it could also cause injuries.
#2. Exercise wheel
Exercise wheels for hamsters cost around $10, but a lot of hamster cages already have an exercise wheels fitted in them, so chances are you won’t be needing to buy one separately.
If the hamster cage you bought doesn’t have an exercise wheel, then this is something you’ll need to buy as soon as possible.
Getting plenty of exercise is essential for your hamster to be healthy. In the wild hamster run around a lot, if you do not make it possible for your hamster to exercise in the cage, then it’s likely to lead to obesity. Depression and other health problems could also occur as a result of not getting enough exercise.
#3. Bedding and Nesting Material
Bedding and nesting material for hamsters cost anywhere from $3 to $30, prices vary depending on the materials. Pine wood shavings seems to be the cheapest option. According to the experts, it’s best to avoid using cotton wool as the bedding material for your hamster. A hamster can easily get caught in cotton wool; and, what is even worse, a hamster can choke on cotton wool if he/she would ingest it.
#4. Feeding equipment
A small ceramic or metal dish suitable for hamsters usually costs around $3. Plastic dishes are cheaper, but not recommended as hamsters are likely to chew on plastic.
Feeding equipment is not a necessity, but it’s still good to have a feeding bowl for your hamster. While a hamster would be happy just to eat his/her food off the floor, it creates a mess and makes it difficult for you to measure how much food your pet is eating.
#5. Water bottle
Water bottles suitable for hamsters cost anywhere from $5 to $12. It’s recommended to get a chew proof water bottle.
While the feeding dish is not a necessity, a water bottle is. A lot of hamster cages, though, already come with a fitted water bottle.
#6. Grooming equipment
A grooming brush suitable for small animals costs around $7.
Hamsters do not need a lot of grooming. They are naturally clean animal and groom themselves. However, if you have a long-haired hamster, then a little help from you might be needed.
Hamster toys can cost anywhere from $0.99 to $15 or even more.
As long as your hamster has an exercise wheel, additional toys are not necessary, but they are recommended. As your hamster will spend most of his/her time in a small cage, it would be nice of you to try to make his/her life as interesting as possible.
Hamster Food Costs
Hamster food costs around $5 for a 5 pound pack, which should last about a month.
If you also buy treats especially made for hamsters, then you can easily spend another $5 a month or even more, but that is not necessary. You can simply use fruits and vegetables as treats for your hamster.
When feeding your hamster it’s important to keep in mind that a hamster should always have access to food. It’s not a question of life or death, but hamsters do like to snack a lot, so it’s good to always keep some food ready for them to snack on.
Hamster Vet Costs
If your hamster gets ill, then he or she might need veterinary treatment. It is difficult to predict the exact cost of veterinary treatment as it depends on a lot of different factors. However, it is unlikely that you’ll have to spend more than $50, including the consultation cost.
To Sum It Up
While a hamster itself can only cost your around $5 to $30, you’ll also need to buy equipment to create a comfortable habitat for your new pet.
In total, if you are looking to buy a hamster and don’t already own any of the required equipment, you are looking to spend at least $60 to get everything you need.
Also, keep in mind that getting a hamster is not only a financial responsibility. Hamsters live around 2 to 3 years, which is not a long time, but during that time, they need to be regularly cared for.
You’ll need to regularly clean the hamster’s cage, change the bedding, add food to the food bowl and make sure there’s always clean water in the water bottle. So, before rushing into the nearest pet shop to buy yourself a hamster, take a moment to think whether you are ready for the responsibilities that come with getting a pet hamster.