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Old 12-06-2021, 03:33 PM   #1
chifupy
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Default What hammy to buy for 9 year old and where to buy

Hey all hammy friends and fans,
I used to breed dwarf Russian hammies in South Africa just for fun. Fast forward a few decades and I have a daughter who is turning 9. She's very grown up and responsible so I'm certain she's ready for a small pet. I've heard the Syrian's make good pets. Is this true? Which are better? Syrian's or Russian dwarf/ winter whites? We live in Potters Bar and I would like to get her one for Christmas. Anyone know someone selling near here? I don't want to get one from a random pet shop. Thanks for any advice.
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Old 12-07-2021, 07:57 AM   #2
Ria P
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Default Re: What hammy to buy for 9 year old and where to buy

Hello and welcome to HC!

It is very important that you want a hamster as much as your daughter just in case your daughter loses interest and you end up looking after the family pet.

I'm glad that you don't want to buy in a random petshop because they sell small, awful cages with tiny wheels and plastic huts for houses, hamster balls and give people outdated information.

A Syrian is easier to handle because of their size but a lot depends on the individual hamster's personality regardless of species. As you know, the majority of hamsters sleep during the day so your daughter may not be able to interact much with her pet. This is something i would point out to her just in case she expects a hamster to be a cute and fluffy playmate.

You could contact people or rescues who rehome unwanted hamsters because that way you could find out about a hamster's personality and routines.

I rehome myself sometimes. If you want to consider going down this route, you would need to be able to proof that you have a suitable enclosure and set up. As a general guide, a minimum of 80cmx50cm and 20cm wheel for a dwarf and 100cmx50cm with a 28cm wheel for a Syrian plus a big house, sandbath, paper based deep substrate and plenty of enrichment. The use of a hamster ball for exercise is unacceptable because that's dangerous and cruel so you would need to have a large playpen of safe freeroaming area for out of cage time.

I find that male Syrians are often calmer than females but saying that, i currently have a very lively male foster Syrian who wants out of his cage soon as he sees me.

If you have a look on the Forum there are sections for the different species of hamsters and there's a thread called "Let's see your cages" under Housing.
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Old 12-07-2021, 09:44 AM   #3
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: What hammy to buy for 9 year old and where to buy

Hello. Glad you're doing your research I would say absolutely, yes, a Syrian would be a good choice for her first pet. They are somewhat larger to handle and, in my view, easier to tame. And to form a bond with. Some people may disagree! But generally Syrians are seen as the easiest first pet and taming and bonding should be much easier. All hamsters can be fast, but a tamed Syrian is, again in my view, less fast and much easier to handle and interact with. Some of them even go to sleep on you. They have their fast times of day and their slower times of day.

Where to get one is the tricky thing. Apart from rescues and adoptions, there are mainly only pet shops. There are official breeders but it can be hard to find one from a breeder - breeders seem quite scarce these days. And by breeders I mean proper breeders who are registered with the National Hamster Council. Beware of people advertising who call themselves breeders. Breeding genetics is a very specialised thing.

I would say first port of call could be a rescue - they have often tamed the hamsters already and given them good care and regular handling. And they often have litters of babies as well (taking in a pregnant hamster eg). There are also private adoptions on places like Gumtree and Pets 4 Homes but the hamster may have already had a not so good start and be harder to tame for your 9 year old. You maybe need to go with your instinct with that. Some people are genuine (ie a well cared for hamster but child is allergic eg), some, the hamster is terrified of hands after inappropriate handling by small children who've got bored.

Whereabouts are you? Uk? Region? To see where the nearest rescue is. I know of a good one in the North/Midlands.
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Old 12-07-2021, 11:16 AM   #4
Ria P
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Default Re: What hammy to buy for 9 year old and where to buy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipity7000 View Post

Whereabouts are you? Uk? Region? To see where the nearest rescue is. I know of a good one in the North/Midlands.
Potter's Bar. I need to google this location.
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Old 12-07-2021, 01:03 PM   #5
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: What hammy to buy for 9 year old and where to buy

Sorry missed it was Potter's Bar. Hertfordshire. Tuftyfluffs are in Borehamwood Herfordshire (breeder). You could try contacting her but she's sometimes slow in replying.

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