Hamsters are relatively inexpensive to buy, but a hamster should be the last thing on your purchase list, after a hutch, bedding, toys, a wheel, food, a water bottle and a food bowl. The collective cost of all of this equipment can be upwards of a hundred pounds, but if you’re only going to be keeping one hamster then most of this will only need to be bought once.
Whether you want a Syrian, a Chinese or a Dwarf hamster, the prices don’t vary much unless a species is particularly hard to come by in your country. In general, owners can expect to pay between five to fifteen pounds for a hamster in a shop, depending on the business and the type of hamster. Although there are lots of different pets available through shops, it’s good to be aware that there are thousands of hamsters in small animal shelters that need your help, and are adoptable for a similar price!
Hamsters are available in many different shelters
On a week-by-week basis, hamsters cost very little to take care of - mainly just a few pounds for a little bit of food and bedding. Although active, hamsters are really tiny creatures that don’t eat or excrete much, so feeding them once per day and cleaning them out once or twice each week is usually adequate. Of course, this will vary according to the size of your hamster, how many you own, and how large their enclosure is.
In the longer term, there are some larger costs (such as buying a hutch and paying vets fees) that mean you might want to set aside some money every week or so in case of emergency. Alternatively, you may be able to take out hamster insurance to cushion against any vets fees.