BUSTED: Myths and Misconceptions

Being the proud owner of a cute and fluffy hamster is great. But what if you’re wandering around believing some of the biggest hamster myths and misconceptions out there? Well, you may be harming your tiny family member. 

Many people believe they know how hamsters are, what they need, and how to take care of them. However, it’s surprising how many hamster owners know very little about this species.

So, we are here to present the 9 biggest hamster myths and misconceptions and put them straight. 

Let’s get into it!

Hamsters Are Happy in Small Cages

Being happy in small cages may be one of the biggest hamster myths. Of course, believing that a tiny creature only needs a small space to live in makes sense. But that is not the case.

Hamsters love to explore, run around, and need adequate space to do so. So, we always recommend purchasing the biggest cage possible for your hamster. 

Another hamster misconception that falls under this myth is that taking hamsters out of the cage to run around makes up for a small cage. It does not. Ultimately, hamsters need to have enough space to venture around when they’re most active, which is at night. Chances are, you’re asleep.

So, get a big cage for your hamster, so they can do their thing no matter what time of day it is.  

Hamsters Are Cheap

You can buy a hamster for around £15, which is incredibly cheap when compared to the cost of a dog. But just because hamsters are inexpensive to purchase doesn’t mean keeping them is cheap. 

Hamster cages, wheels, bedding, and food can all add up. Still, they’re not as expensive as other animals but don’t be fooled into thinking they barely cost anything. 

Hamsters Are Herbivores

This hamster myth can create serious problems with the health of your hamster. Many people believe that hamsters only eat fruits and veggies. After all, we’ve all seen the cute pictures of hamsters nibbling on a piece of cucumber. 

However, hamsters are, in fact, carnivores, just like we are. So, their diet is best with fruits, veggies, and meats. Cheese, eggs, and chicken are all favourites with hamsters. 

Not feeding your hamster the correct diet will mean they’re not receiving the proper nutrients, which can cause health issues down the line. Ensure you’re in the know about what’s best to feed your hamster

Fluffy Bedding Is Best

No, no, no. Fluffy bedding, which looks cosy and cute with your hamster all wrapped up in it, is a complete no-go. Fuffy bedding for hamsters usually has synthetic fibres, which can damage your hamster’s health.

So, paper-based natural bedding is the way to go for your hamster. Although not as fluffed as others, this bedding won’t harm your hamster. 

Hamsters Don’t Need to go to the Vet

Hamsters not needing to go to the vet can be a dangerous hamster misconception. Unfortunately, even when a hamster is clearly under the weather, many people don’t take them to get treatment.

It is essential to understand that hamsters are living, breathing animals. Yes, they’re tiny and cute, but no, they’re not stuffed toys. If they get sick, they may need to see a vet. So, before you buy a hamster, this is one hamster myth to 100% know is a myth.

Hamsters Like to Have a Partner

The misconception that hamsters like to have a partner isn’t a complete misconception. In fact, some breeds of hamsters, such as dwarf hamsters, can get on very well with a friend. But breeds such as Syrian hamsters are very much lone rangers. 

Overall, hamsters are better off alone, with their own cage and space to do their thing. But, if you do want to own more than one hamster, opt for a separate cage for each one. 

Hamsters Only Need a Small Hamster Wheel

First of all, you should always provide a hamster wheel for your pet because, in the wild, hamsters love to run and can cover a considerable distance in a single night.

Hamsters need a lot of exercise, so giving them a wheel is essential. However, just because they’re small doesn’t mean the wheel should be small. If it’s too small, this can hurt their back. Similarly, if the wheel is too big, they can struggle to get it turning.

Head to our hamster wheel guide for recommendations on the perfect hamster wheels and sizes. 

Hamsters Are Great Starter Pets for Children

The hamster myth that hamsters are great starter pets for children is a myth but also a fact. Hamsters are small, cute, fluffy, and easy to handle for children. However, children will still need the help of an adult to care for their hamsters.

Hamsters require daily feeding and a weekly cage clean, which may be too much work for a child. They can also carry bacteria and bite if irritated. And the obvious reason hamsters aren’t great starter pets for kids is because they’re nocturnal. So, when your little one is trying to sleep, the hamster is up and about making a racket!

Hamsters Are Aggressive and Bite a Lot

Hamsters are aggressive and bite a lot is a hamster myth that is only partly true. Hamsters are not inherently aggressive, but if they think they are in danger, they will defend themselves.

Put it this way; if someone tried to grab you in the street, you wouldn’t be calm about it. So, if you try to grab at your hamster, tease it or startle it, then it’s understandable if they get a little defensive. 

The key is to be calm and gentle with hamsters, and biting, or aggression should be non-existent. 

Hamster Myths and Misconceptions

Hamsters, although teeny weeny, are complex animals. The appearance and size of a hamster can make people believe things that simply aren’t true about the species. So, if you’re a hamster owner or thinking of becoming one, you must learn as much about these fun-loving creatures as possible.