1. Hamsters are small and require little space for their cages/vivariums - but, they need attention and time out of their cages every day. You also have to keep in mind a space where it isn't too noisy (no loud blasting music) and where the hamster won't disturb you at night when you are sleeping. It's not a really good idea to keep the hamster in your bedroom, any place in constant light or dark. A covered balcony (without draughts) would be a better choice.
2. Hamsters are affordable to purchase and keep - but, this is relative. The first time purchases make up quite a bill and you must be prepared to purchase items for your pet at regular intervals (new water bottle, wheel, food...etc) for the rest of its life. However, no matter what, they are one of the most inexpensive pets to keep. Pieces of fresh vegetable that is not used for cooking can also be given and this will supplement food you buy. In a nutshell, don't make the mistake of concentrating on getting a hamster at a good price and neglecting all the other needs. This is usually what happens with new pet owners.
3. Hamsters are favorites with children - but they can bite and their bites can draw blood. Each hamster is different and some may never bite especially if they are tamed by you. There are some hamsters that do have a tendency to bite especially if they are not handled by the pet shop owners. Are you willing to keep a hamster that is possibly mean and unsociable if the pet store hasn't handled the hamsters regularly? This means a hamster that you cannot interact with. Others may not want to take the hamster in either.
4. Hamsters hardly get sick - but if they do, are you willing to take them to the vet? Most of the time, very sick hamsters have little chance of survival. The vet bill is also often much higher than the price of the hamster.
5. Hamsters can make some noise at night; wheel squeaking, biting on the cage, or digging or scratching at cage bottoms. This can prove to be terribly irritating. (Hamsters also make little squeaking sounds if they are fighting.)
6. Hamsters do not turn your house upside down - but they occasionally turn their cage inside out! You may have to replace items regularly (like waterbottles if it chews on it) and perhaps sweep around its cage everyday, where they've kicked out shavings. This might not appeal to extremely tidy pple who like to see their house spick and span at all times.
7. Hamsters are crepuscular or nocturnal. Basically, they're awake and active in the dark. Are you willing to play with them when the sun goes down? They get grumpy if they're woken up from their afternoon beauty sleep and may be more apt to bite if disturbed. If you are usually free in the day, you might want to consider a more diurnal animal. However, if you are relatively free in the evenings, this arrangement should suit you fine.
8. Syrian hamsters are solitary - one to a cage at all times (except when they are very young)! ALthough there have been cases of syrians living well together, it is not advisable to take the risk, especially if you are a new hamster owner. Obtaining another set of accessories and a new cage would be the best option. Or, if that is not possible, finding a good home for the second hamster (folow link to the boards where you can search for one) is in order. It is important to note that Russian Dwarf Hamsters can be kept together, but this has to be done at a young age (usually no later than 2 months). Are you willing to get ten cages, water bottles, wheels, etc. if you have ten hamsters or willing to buy another cage if the Russian Dwarfs Start fighting?
9. Hamsters can be left alone,
if necessary for long periods (holidays- I mean one or two days)
and when you're not at home during the day - but they're escape artists
and are hard to find if they've decided upon a cosy hiding place, but
it may be a better option to have a friend or relative look after it
while you are gone just so if the hamster gets out, drains the
waterbottle, etc., there isn't a problem. On the whole, it is much
easier to find a pet sitter for a hamster than for a dog or cat and
usually this doesn't cost at all, since it's usually a friend or
relative who's been left with the job. However, do brief your sitter
about your hamsters habits and needs. I've heard of a case where
the sitter put the visiting hamster with her own and they fought to
10. Hamsters can be quite hardy and generally adapt well but, - they can be hurt easily if they are dropped accidentally at standing height and you definitely can't play rough with a hamster! Neither can you play with them for long periods.
11. Hamsters do not have a strong odor because they clean and groom themselves regularly and do not require baths. But their cages will reek if you are not regular(once a week) in cleaning and they will get sick if cleaning is put off. They also need their cages cleaned if the waterbottle leaks as this can make them sick if it is not cleaned up right away.
12. Hamsters love to explore and are fun to watch - but they do not perform tricks, cannot be hugged like a dog and do not go to you when they're called (at least not usually). Do you need an affectionate and attentive pet?