All animals in danger deserve to be saved, and hamsters are no exception. If you’re an animal lover, I’m sure you agree with me. I understand that those who want to rescue a hamster mean well but before you jump to this commitment, you need to educate yourself first especially if you never had a hamster before.
If you are considering getting a pet hamster, read on because we will talk about more reasons why you should choose to save a hamster’s life and why adopting is better than buying one.
So, how do you rescue a hamster? If you are looking to buy a pet hamster, consider adopting one instead; with many hamsters abandoned, adopting is a great way to rescue a hamster. For one, it will save you a couple of dollars, but more importantly, you will save a life. First, let’s talk about a common misconception about hamsters.
WHY ADOPTING A HAMSTER IS IMPORTANT
Here are the reasons why rescuing a hamster is important as much as adopting a dog or a cat.
They are often misunderstood
Hamsters are often abandoned because their owners were turned off when they got bitten by these misunderstood creatures. Hamsters don’t bite intentionally, but rather, instinctively; they have poor eyesight, and as a result, if you touch or handle them carelessly, you might startle them which can cause them to bite you.
Because of this, many people think that hamsters are scary and mean pets. But if you take your time researching about hamsters and how to tame one, you will know how to prevent them to bite you, and even know how to make them warm up to you. Now that you’ve got an idea about why hamsters bite, you’ll also have more courage to rescue one!
They are easy to look after
Taking care of hamsters isn’t at all difficult. All you need to do to keep their cage clean, feed them proper hamster grub, being sensitive to their needs, health condition, and so on, your hamster caring journey should be a pleasurable one to take. There’s a ton of articles about hamsters, so researching about them is a breeze.
In addition, I have written several articles tackling facts about hamsters like this one, and you can refer to them should you ever need a helping hand in looking after your hamster, if you do decide to adopt one.
Unlike dogs, you don’t need them to take for an hour walk, unlike a cat, you don’t need to make sure that the top of your bookcase is filled with break-proof displays. Hamster’s poop is the easiest to clean, they keep themselves clean (meaning you don’t need to spend time giving them a bath – you should never give them a bath).
Hamsters are perfect for a busy person
Unlike cats and dogs, hamsters generally do not enjoy cuddle sessions with us human beings. That being said, they can be an ideal pet for people who are busy, because they won’t demand and don’t need you to spend time with them as much. So long as their basic needs are met, i.e., food, clean shelter, safe exercise wheels, and all other hamster stuff, you’re good to go!
And of course, you should regularly check on your hamsters. If you notice that their behavior is odd, or if they are not as energetic as they usually are, then it might be time for you to consult a veterinarian.
Hamsters are low maintenance
As mentioned, because hamsters do not require much attention from their owners, they are easy to maintain. But getting sick is almost always inevitable, you should have an emergency fund for your little furry pets in cases where you need to bring them to a veterinarian.
Food supplies come in different packet sizes and last a long time, treats are very cheap too, hamster toys and chew toys last for a while. The most expensive thing you might have to buy is a suitable cage (not more than $50, if you are creative enough, you can spend a lot less).
The hamster bedding is also something that you might have to buy often, but they don’t cost as much as a week’s worth of dog and cat food.
Getting pet insurance for your pet hamsters is very important; it is a great way to reduce your vet bill costs of up to 80 per cent. That’s a huge saving! That being said, there are several pet care companies that offer this service and if you’re now considering getting your new hamsters insured, definitely shop around and look for the best hamster insurance deal that suits your needs.
You can bring out your creative side
If you love decorating things, such as your clothes, room, house, garden, and so on, you can also decorate your own hamster’s cage. With colourful hamster beddings and hamster accessories available online and offline, drawing out your creative side through designing your hamster’s home is a great way to have fun.
And if you have kids who are just as creative as you are, you might want them to get involved in the creative process, too. Just be sure that the materials that you are going to use are safe for your hamsters. I have written a few articles about the safety of hamsters, so you might want to have a look at them.
They have a short lifespan but deserve a loving home
Hamsters are the perfect pet for people who can’t do a lifetime commitment that other types of animals require, such as dogs or cats. However, with their short lifespan (they live between 3-4 years or even shorter if they become sick or was unethically bred), they still deserve to live in an environment where they can be happy and healthy for the rest of their life. Read this list of common hamster diseases.
This is why it is important that we, as owners, are equipped with knowledge about hamsters to ensure that we are able to take care of them properly. And this is also the reason why I am biased towards rescuing a hamster instead of buying one. If you know that you can, and you are willing to give a better life to abandoned hamsters, please do.
They are treated badly
Some hamster owners choose to abandon their pets when they are moving home. The helpless creatures are either left behind or are placed in a tiny cage where they can’t move that much which causes stress and worse death. If this isn’t enough reason for you to rescue one, then I don’t know what will convince you more than this.
With pet abandonment on the rise, I think that more people should opt to rescue/adopt a hamster instead. I’m not saying that everyone should do it, but if the people who do increase in number, then that should make a difference to some mistreated animal’s life. At the end of the day, we all have our own preferences in life, but if this is something that speaks to your heart, then there’s no reason not to do it.
Hamsters are not meant for kids
Another reason for abandoning hamsters is that some parents think that hamsters are good for children, but when kids decided that they don’t want the hamsters anymore or got bored or scared of them, the poor rodents are abandoned. Again, if this is something that resonates with you, then you may want to consider adopting a hamster than buying from a pet shop.
Parents or adults getting very young kids a hamster without helping them understand the needs of a hamster and the kid’s responsibility is one of the common mistakes that a new or inexperienced hamster owner make.
Hamsters need a lot of understanding and space of their own (they like to be left alone) while kids want to play and interact with them which is the perfect combination of hamsters being abandoned.
I’m not saying kids should never have a hamster, owning one would help you child understand empathy, responsibility, and patience. But if you decide to let your kid have a hamster, you have to make a commitment as a parent too. You will be the main responsible for this hamster’s life and your kids will only be there as helper.
ADOPTING A HAMSTER: WHERE AND HOW
Obviously, this would depend on where you are located. In the US, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, and the rest of Europe, adopting a hamster is pretty normal and you shouldn’t have a hard time finding a rescue centre.
However, Asia, Latin America, and Africa might be different. Often, hamsters can only be bought, but you’ll never know, before getting a hamster from a shop, reach out to your local animal rescue centre, they will be the most knowledgeable for this.
But before you move forward, please read this article of beginner’s guide in owning a hamster and rundown cost of taking care of a hamster. While we want you to rescue a hamster instead of buying one, you should remember that being a great hamster parent is also being able to provide everything they need.
Ways To Adopt a Hamster
Here are the ways you find hamster for adoption:
This will be the number one place you should look for, the place doesn’t have to be specifically for hamsters only, often, rescue places for dogs and cats have leads on hamsters too.
You can contact your local police station to find if there are animal rescue centres around you or you can find both government-run and private run sanctuaries.
These are perfect places, they are the number one places that people contact when they had to leave their hamster behind if they are moving away or can no longer look after them.
If you ever had a pet and had to bring it to the vet, you know that there are many cases that a heartless pet owner would bring their pet for some service to the vet and never come back (for various reasons).
Usually, the vet clinic will contact the police and see if they can track the owner, if not, the next in line of inquiry would be rescue centres and sanctuaries to see if they can home these now homeless hamsters.
Some vet clinics might keep the hamster in their clinics and put a sign that they have pets that are up for adoption. Either way, clinics can point you in the right direction if you are adopting a hamster.
Alright, I know most pet stores would sell animals but what you don’t know is if it’s a hamster and they had it for more than 3-6 months, they would put them on “up for adoption” list.
While on some cases, owners would bring their pets for grooming or vet check-up and never pick them up. In this case, if the owner is uncontactable, the pet stores would place the hamster for adoption instead.
Facebook Groups or Sub-Reddits
These two social media platforms are full of active users and can definitely help you find a hamster to adopt.
Sometimes, even the owners themselves would post that they have to find a new owner for their hamsters, often, it comes with the cage, accessories, food, toys, beddings, and all other things.
For Facebook group, look for either “hamster rescue groups” or simply hamster care groups. The members are very knowledgeable and very alert when a hamster is in need.
Check out these active Facebook groups for hamster owners.
Where and How To Adopt a Hamster
- PetsAtHome (a.k.a [email protected])
- RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) AU & UK – check their site
- bestfriends.org (USA) – check their site
- weecompanions.com (USA) – check their site
- petfinder.com (worldwide) – check their site
- ladybirdanimalsnctuary.com (Canada) – more information
- PAW (Canada) – check their site
- Blue Cross for Pets (UK) – more information
- pets4home (UK) – check their site
I hope that this article gave you more reason to rescue a hamster. Do you have any questions or you just want to share your thoughts about rescuing a hamster? Feel free to share it through the comment section below!