When a family member couldn’t care for their hamster any more, we took her on. We allowed my younger siblings to rename her, hence the name “Hammie”. She was very friendly, clever and mild-tempered.
Pros: -On the whole, hamsters are low-maintenance compared to dogs or cats who can be notoriously needy/destructive. She was fed/watered regularly, taken out to play every day and cleaned once a week, and it never felt like work. -It taught my younger siblings some responsibility without overwhelming them.
Cons: -No matter how hard you keep a rodent’s cage clean, they have a very distinctive smell. Long after she passed we could still get the hamster-smell in the corner of the room where her cage stood. -Very noisy at night. Chewing the bars of the cages was our hamster’s favourite pastime and it drove me utterly insane! -She became very ill in the last month of her life, and we had to have her put to sleep. The vet informed us it was simply old age, but it was increasingly difficult to watch her become sicker and sicker.
A lot of people see hamsters as a waste of time or not real pets, but I can tell you that this is a misconception. Ours had personality. She was intelligent and a sweetheart. She figured out a way to pry open her cage roof at night, and would go walkabout in my bedroom. My chihuahua would sniff her out and we’d put her back to bed, only for her to try it again! We ended up tying the roof shut (which I secretly felt bad about). She was a smart lil cookie. :)