How Much Does A Hamster Cost To Buy & Raise

He’s tiny, fluffy, and full of energy, and you just can’t wait to take him home! But before you do, there’s something you need to know.

How much does a hamster cost?

We’ve packed this article full of everything you need to know, from the initial cost of your hamster to its monthly expenses. Finding out how much this little guy will cost you, in the long run, has never been easier.

Key Takeaway:

It costs between $15 and $20 to buy a hamster. The price may vary depending on the breed of the hamster and where you purchase it from. The annual costs of this pet are about $600 including vet bills.

Are you ready to find out the price of your hamster’s bedding, bowl, cage, and other needs? Then make sure you check out the pricing lists coming up in this article.

hamster cage

How Much Does a Hamster Cost at the Pet Store?

Are you itching to become the proud new owner of a pet hamster?

Then you’re no doubt trying to find out more about these adorable balls of fluff before you adopt. It’s great to be aware of their annual costs before you commit to bringing one home with you.

So, let’s jump right to the pricing.

How much does a hamster cost?

The average price of a hamster is between $15 and $20. But how much you will spend depends on the breed of the hamster and how popular that breed is where you live.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common hamster breeds and how much they usually cost at the pet store.

How Much Are Dwarf Hamsters?

Dwarf hamsters are energetic little creatures. They make great first pets for children and adults alike.

Dwarf hamsters cost on average $20.

How Much Are Syrian Hamsters?

The Syrian hamster is one of the most popular breeds and has a lifespan of 2 to 3 years. The longer-haired versions of this hamster go by the name Teddy bear hamsters.

The average price of a Syrian hamster can vary between $5 and $20.

How Much Are Roborovski Hamsters?

Roborovski hamsters are the smallest out of all the dwarf hamsters. They have bundles of energy.

A Roborovski hamster costs on average $15 to $30.

How Much Does a Hamster Cage Cost?

To make sure your new hamster feels as cozy as possible, he’ll need a cage that fits all of his needs. Your local pet shop will sell them.

But how much does a hamster cage cost?

Hamster cages cost between $20 and $50. But the final price of the cage can vary.

Here are some factors that can alter how much you’ll spend.

  • The size of the cage
  • The number of doors on the cage
  • The number of levels in the cage
  • If it comes with any special features like a top access flap
  • If it comes with any extra components like a ramp, exercise balls, hamster wheels, or chew toys

So how much are we really talking about?

For your bog-standard cage, you’ll spend about $20. For a cage with absolutely all of the trimmings, you could end up paying almost $200.

Where Should You Get Your Hamster’s Cage?

Your hamster needs a rocking pad to start feeling at home with his new family. A cage complete with an exercise wheel and wooden toys will help keep him occupied and happy throughout the day.

But where can you get the cage from?

Here is a list of some of the best places to get one.

  • Pet stores. Large pet stores usually have a wide variety of cages with wire mesh tops and plastic bottoms. These are the best for your hamster and you will be able to find a good selection of cage sizes here.
  • Online. Searching online is also a great way of finding a well-priced hamster cage. But because a cage is rather large, you might end up paying a lot for its delivery.
  • Chain stores. Some chain stores will have a small selection of cages for hamsters and other pets.

How Much Does Hamster Food Cost?

Your furry friend will love filling his cheek pouches with his favorite grub. You’ll need to set aside some money for his food.

Hamsters don’t eat much, just the equivalent of a tablespoon of food per day. This makes it relatively inexpensive to feed a hamster.

Hamsters love a varied diet that includes fresh fruits, vegetables, and even Timothy hay. But the majority of their diet needs to be actual hamster food, that is, pellets.

So how much can you expect to spend on the basic hamster mix?

Hamster food usually costs about $4 a pound. But the price may vary depending on where you buy the pellets and their quality.

You will need pellets that help to keep your hamster’s teeth down. The best pellets will help you keep your hamster healthy by assisting good digestion.

So How Much Does a Hamster Cost, Buying, and Monthly Expenses?

Looking after a hamster goes much beyond taking him home from the pet store. As with any other small pet, these animals have monthly expenses and vet costs that we have to bear in mind.

How Much Does a Hamster Cost?

The average price of a hamster is between $15 and $20. Prices may vary depending on the breed you pick up at the pet shop.

What Are the Initial Expenses of a Hamster?

Your hamster will need a few things for him to feel comfortable in his new home. You’ll need to buy the following.

  • A cage with the appropriate features to keep your pet entertained such as an exercise wheel and chew toys that will keep your hamster’s teeth down
  • His food bowl and water bottle
  • Hamster bedding
  • Food pellets and fresh fruits and vegetables

So how much will all of this cost?

New hamster owners should budget up to $200 to cover upfront costs.

What Are the Monthly Expenses of a Hamster?

Once you’re past the upfront expenses, you’ll need to budget for the ongoing care costs of the hamster. Here is a list of just some of the care he will need on a monthly basis.

  • Cage repairs
  • Food and water
  • Bedding
  • Health care and vet bills

So, how much can you expect all of this to cost you?

The monthly expenses of a hamster are about $50 including veterinary costs. That makes an annual cost of $600 and a total lifetime cost of roughly $865.

How Much Does It Cost to Buy a Hamster From a Breeder?

Buying a hamster from an ethical breeder is usually one of the pricier ways to get one. But, the advantage is you might be able to get hold of a specific type of hamster from a breeder that you might not find at your standard pet store.

How much are we talking about?

Buying a hamster from a private breeder cost between $20 and $30.

Regular breeds such as Dwarf and Syrian hamsters are usually less expensive. But, on-trend breeds are more expensive.

How Much do Hamsters Cost at PetSmart?

PetSmart has a variety of different hamsters for sale on their website. You will be able to choose the breed you desire and even what size you would like online.

The average price of a hamster at PetSmart is $23. Some of the rarer breeds like the Fancy bear Syrian hamster are a little bit more expensive.

Hamster Care Supplies and Costs

Your new pet will need care supplies that will help it to stay happy and healthy throughout its life. Here is a list of some of the supplies it will need.

  • Entertainment. Hamsters are active animals and need toys inside their cages that will keep them occupied throughout the day.
  • Bedding. You will need to change your hamster’s bedding once a week for him to stay healthy. He needs enough bedding materials to be able to rummage through and use for nesting.
  • Food. The type of food you give your hamster can help to keep him healthy by providing him with the minerals and nutrients he needs. They also help him keep his teeth down as they continue to grow throughout his life.
  • Vet care. Your hamster might feel unwell from time to time and you will need to take him to the vet. You may be able to set up a payment plan at your local vet.

Now we have seen a list of just some of the care supplies your hamster will need, let’s talk about their price. We’ll also mention some innovative ways to cut some of these costs, or at least reduce them.

Hamster Care ItemCost
Hamster wheel$10
Exercise ball$8
Timothy hay$3 per pound
Nesting material$15 for 50 liters
High-quality food pellets$4 per pound
Vet care$30 – $70

All of these care supplies come at a price.

But, what if you’re on a budget? How can you cut costs and still give your hamster the proper care he needs?

Let’s look at a couple of ways.

Hamster Toys, Bought and DIY

As we’ve seen, buying toys from a pet shop is expensive. But there are some items around the home that are ideal for keeping your pet entertained.

Why not swap a plastic tube for a toilet paper roll?

Toilet paper towel tubes are the perfect size for your hamster to run in and out of. A small cardboard box will also make a great toy and hideout for your hamster.

How Much Will Bedding Cost?

Nesting material is expensive. It can cost more than $15 per 50 liters!

Why not use recycled shredded paper as nesting material for your pet?

This is a great way for you to cover the floor space in his cage and do something to help the environment. Ripped-up toilet paper rolls or paper towels are also economical alternatives to commercial bedding.

The Cost of Fresh Foods

You need to make up your hamster’s diet mainly with hamster pellets. But he will love it if you supplement this from time to time by adding some fruit and vegetables into his food bowl.

Your hamster does not need to eat a lot, just a tablespoon of food per day. So, adding some fresh food to your hamster’s diet should not be expensive.

To give you a rough idea, your hamster will only eat one grape or berry every couple of days. Now, that’s what we call cheap and cheerful!

hamster cage

Bringing Home a New Hamster: One-Time Costs

Are you thinking about owning a hamster? Then, prepare yourself for oodles of fun and joy as these are lively animals that love to eat.

But there’s more to it than just bringing your hamster home.

What are some of the one-time costs associated with hamsters?

Here is a list of some of them.

  • The hamster
  • The hamster’s cage with the appropriate entertainment features and toys such as an exercise wheel and exercise ball
  • His food bowl and water bottle

How much will each of these costs?

  • A hamster will cost $15 to $20. The price will vary depending on his breed and where you get him from. For example, hamsters from ethical breeders are usually more expensive.
  • The hamster’s cage will cost between $20 and $50 depending on how equipped it is. A really fancy one could cost hundreds of dollars. But there are some great DIY ways of cutting the cost of some of the hamster’s toys by using toilet paper rolls.
  • His food bowl and a water bottle are usually about $5 each.

Food Dishes and Water Bottle

Your hamster’s diet needs to be mainly hamster pellets. But he will love it if you give him the occasional treat of fruit and vegetables.

Hamsters only eat the equivalent of one tablespoon of food per day so they do not need a big food bowl. Pick up the perfect-sized bowl from pet stores or animal shelters.

So, how much can you expect to spend on a food dish?

The average food dish will cost $5.

How much will you need to buy a water bottle?

The average small bottle for exotic animals will cost $5. More expensive no-drip all-weather bottles tend to be about $10.

Hamsters can drink water from a bowl, but it is best you give it to them in a bottle. This will prevent them from kicking the water over and contaminating it with soiling from their litter box.

A Hamster’s Average Life Expectancy

So, you’re ready to introduce a hamster into your family home. That’s superb!

But before you do, you need to know a couple of important facts about your new pet’s life expectancy. This will help you to prepare to give it the right care for its entire life.

The average life expectancy of a hamster is 12 to 36 months. Hamsters do not live as long as other animals and this reduces their lifelong cost.

A hamster will cost you $865 over the course of its life.

Some hamsters, such as Chinese Dwarves have a shorter life expectancy of just one year. The overall cost of looking after this hamster will be lower. (About $600).

Many hamsters live for longer than a year including the Roborovoski hamster which can live for up to 4 years. The overall cost of this hamster will be higher.

What Is the Cheapest Hamster?

Do you want to adopt a hamster on a budget? Then you’ll need to choose an economical hamster from the pet store.

What is the cheapest breed of a hamster?

Key Takeaway:

Most hamsters are usually similar in cost but Syrian hamsters tend to be the cheapest. This is because they are a popular breed and are easy to get hold of.

You will be able to pick up this breed for anywhere between $5 and $15. Purchasing it from ethical breeders will be slightly pricier, but should still be relatively inexpensive.

The Syrian (Golden) hamster is a common breed. It should not require a specialized diet or premium exotic vet care.

How Much Food Does a Hamster Eat In a Day?

Hamsters do not eat a lot of food. This makes them rather economical pets.

Hamsters will eat 12 grams of food per day. This works out to be about a tablespoon of food.

Do you enjoy a midnight snack?

Well, your pet does too! He chows down on most of his food at night.

Feed your pet hamsters a mix of the following food.

  • Hamster pellets
  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Timothy hay
  • The occasional treat like boiled eggs, mealworms, and nuts

How Much Does It Cost to Feed a Hamster Per Month?

Hamsters only eat a tablespoon of food each day. So, if you’re on a bit of a budget, don’t worry, as the monthly food bill for your furry friend will by no means break the bank!

So, how much are we talking about?

Well, hamsters eat about 12 grams of food per day, that’s just 360 grams per month. One small bag of commercial pellets will hold about 450 grams.

For one small 450-gram bag, you’ll pay about $4. So in one month, your pet might get through the majority of that bag and still have some food left over.

If you give your hamsters a varied diet with fruit, vegetables, and hay, they’ll eat even fewer pellets.

But how much fresh food will he need?

Don’t worry, he’s not going to get through a whole bunch of grapes or a punnet of strawberries. Just one grape or strawberry every few days is plenty.

So, overall, your hamster’s food should cost you less than $4 a month, with fruit and vegetables included.

hamster eating cheese

Are Hamsters Cheap to Take Care of?

Hamsters are energetic animals that make great first pets.

But, are they cheap to take care of?

When comparing them to dogs, cats, and other small animals, hamsters are much cheaper to take care of. Here are a couple of reasons why.

  • Hamsters do not each much. They eat just one tablespoon of food per day and their pellets only cost about $4 a pound.
  • Your hamster’s bedding does not need to be expensive. Making his bedding from recycled paper materials is a great way to reduce costs. You need to change his bedding once a week.
  • Vet appointments for hamsters are less expensive. A visit to the vet might cost you between $30 and $70. The price of a vet visit for larger pets is usually more expensive.

The Cost of Owning a Hamster

Owning a hamster comes with a price. It may not be as much as you would pay for other pets, but it is still worth considering before you sign on the dotted line.

Thanks to the help of this article, we’ve seen that there are quite a few one-off costs when it comes to adopting a hamster. These are the price of the hamster itself, its cage, exercise equipment, toys, food bowl, and water dispenser.

Key Takeaway:

Then come the monthly expenses including food, water, bedding, and vet care. All of this comes to about $600 a year or $865 for the lifetime of the hamster.

At Oddly Cute Pets we strive to always provide you with the best information about caring for your exotic pets.

Have you found this article interesting? Then make sure you check out some of our other odd pet guides.

Thanks for reading!

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