If you’ve been a reader on our site for a while now, you know why we don’t recommend you get your hamster from a pet store. But if you’re not aware, we’ll definitely touch on that a bit later.
Hamsters were domesticated in the 1700s after a female Syrian hamster was found in Syria. They have been house pets for nearly 300 years now. With further research and experiments, scientists were able o breed hamsters into domesticated ones.
In this article, I’ll give you a list of ethical hamster breeders categorised per country so you can browse the list more easily. But before that, let’s discuss a bit more:
WHY WE DON’T RECOMMEND PET STORE HAMSTERS
Hamsters from pet stores are usually bred and supplied by hamster mills, which barely meet the minimum requirement for hamster care. Many of these hamsters are from some family lineage, while the breeders would experience often produce the most popular type of hamster featuring unique looks.
This practice will result in a hamster with health issues such as neurological, behavioural, and breathing problems, to name a few. Many not ethically bred hamsters often die young, leaving the hamster owner in utter disbelief.
WHY GET HAMSTERS FROM ETHICAL HAMSTERIES
When a hamster is bred with care, it comes with good genes, great behaviour, and can live out its natural lifespan. The cost of hamsters from licensed breeders is usually around $40-$60.
Often, there’s also a waiting list depending on how busy the breeder is or if you’re looking for a specific coat/eye colour. Some hamsteries also implement a waiting list to ensure that the person is not just getting a hamster out of compulsion.
HOW MUCH DOES A HAMSTER COST
From a pet store, a hamster usually costs between $10-$20. Hamsters from ethical and experienced breeder charge between $40 to $60. Since these hamsters are free from genetic health problems and very likely to live out their natural lifespan.
TPet stores also give hamsters away for free when a hamster has not been sold and is over three months old. But you might have to pay a small adoption fee.
ADOPT/RESCUE A HAMSTER
If you decide that buying a hamster is not a route you want to take, yet you still want one, why not adopt a hamster?
Hamsters get abandoned all the time for various reasons. Fortunately, people with good hearts out there founded hamster rescue centres where they nurture the hamster until it is ready to be adopted.
If you decide to adopt a hamster, depending on where and how you found the hamster, you might have to pay for something or nothing at all. For example, as mentioned before, pet stores will allow you to adopt a hamster for a small fee.
But if you find hamster owners looking to rehome their pets, they either don’t charge you anything or simply ask you to pay a small fee for the food, toys, cage, and other accessories with the hamster.
You can also go to rescue centres. Sometimes they charge an adoption fee to either see if you’re serious or gather funds to keep the shelter running.
We cover this topic intensively in our article why rescue a hamster.
ETHICAL HAMSTER BREEDERS
Now that you have decided how to get your fur baby, here’s a list of ethical breeders. I listed them below and categorised them per species of hamsters. On the right side, you’ll see the location of the hamstery and see if they are near you.
As you can see, the list is not that big yet. So, if you know an ethical hamster breeder near you, leave us a comment below so we can add them here.
MUST-READ: Ethical hamster care book
Dwarf Hamster Breeders
Dwarf hamsters are no harder to breed than Syrian hamsters, but they can be more complicated because there are many subspecies. Please message us if you know other ethical Dwarf hamster breeders near you.
- Happy Hamster (South Carolina, US)
Chinese Hamster Breeders
Unfortunately, we haven’t found ethical hamster breeders for Chinese hamsters. Please let us know in the comment section below if you know anyone.
Syrian Hamster Breeders
Syrian hamsters are the most common species of hamsters to be bred since they’re pretty much the oldest line of hamsters. It’s best to contact the hamstery first. Most of them have a waiting list and want to check your location to ensure you’re nearby or arrange a way for you to pick up the hamster.
- Cheeks & Squeaks (California, US)
- Cloverline (Alberta, CA)
- Happy Paws (California, US)
- Holmden Hill Haven (Ohio, US)
- Hubba-Hubba Hamstery (Oregon, US)
- Nantucket Hamstery (Illinois, US)
- Pearl Hamletry (Maryland, USD)
- Petits Prince (Quebec, CA)
- Poppy Bee (Virginia, US)
- Silversage Hamstery (British Colombia, CA)
- Strong Brew (Ontario, CA)
- Eximus Hamstery (West Midlands, UK)
- Hamstery Phalene (Netherlands)
SUMMARY AND FINAL TIPS
I understand that not everyone has access to ethical breeders. For example, many parts of Asia, Africa, and Latin America don’t have laws that protect these animals. It’s understandable that if you don’t have ethical hamster breeders near you, getting one from a pet store might be your only option.
But before you go do that, perhaps you can check if there are hamster rescue centres near you. Instead of giving your money to chain pet stores, maybe you can save an abandoned hamster and give it another shot at a happy life with you.
I hope that this list of ethical hamsteries has been helpful. If you know or have experience with fantastic breeders but are not on this list, leave us a comment below with the name and ways to connect to that hamstery so we can add them here.
Check out our articles if you’re a first-time hamster owner:
- Hamster care for beginners
- Common mistakes new hamster owners make
- Basic items a hamster needs
- Common hamster health issues
- How to choose the right hamster cages
- Types of hamster cages