There are 25 species of hamsters of which 5 are considered excellent pets. Hamsters resemble a small rodent with a furry coat, small ears, short legs, and wide feet. They are typically black, grey, honey, white, brown, yellow, red, or mixed depending on species, some even have a stripe on their back.
The average hamster lives 2-3 years in captivity and make excellent pets. Each hamster type has traits unique to their breed and most prefer a solitary life. Hamsters are gatherers, mostly nocturnal and territorial in nature.
Contrary to popular belief Hamsters don't have a natural body odor. If their cage is cleaned regularly there is virtually no detectable odor which is partly why they make good pets. It is also partly because they are so darned cute! Their existence has been documented in the wild dating back to the 1700's but it is only relatively recently that they have become pets on a large scale.
In 1948 a highway engineer by the name of Albert Marsh domesticated Syrian hamsters and introduced them to the world as pets. Since then their popularity as family pets has greatly increased and their use in scientific research has greatly decreased. Besides being hoarders and extremely cute, they are prolific breeders so keeping a male and female in the same cage is not recommended, unless you want a litter of pups(name for babies) in about three weeks. More on hamsters here.
Breeding & Babies: Learn all you need to know about hamster breeding and caring for a new litter of babies.
Cage & Habitat: Build a good habitat for your hamster to keep it happy and healthy.
Care Sheet: Before buying a hamster learn what you need to do to prepare your home for hamster life.
Food & Diet: Proper nutrition is important, learn what hamsters like to eat and what you should avoid feeding them.
Types of Hamsters: Learn more about the five most popular hamster breeds as pets.