How much does a hamster cost?
Ashburn, VA

How much does a hamster cost?

Ashburn, VA

How much does a hamster cost?

$100 – $250 average cost for hamster, cage, & supplies
$15 – $30 average cost per month

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$100 – $250 average cost for hamster, cage, & supplies

$15 – $30 average cost per month

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
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Jennifer Carlson
Written by
Jennifer Carlson
Edited by
Kristen Cramer
Fact-checked by
Tara Farmer

Average cost of a hamster

A hamster costs $100 to $250 on average, including the animal itself, its cage, and other necessities. Hamster food and bedding costs $15 to $30 per month. The total cost depends on the hamster’s breed, the size and type of cage you choose, and whether you buy a ball or toys.

Average cost of a hamster
Factor Average cost
Hamster $20 – $25
Cage $40 – $100
Wheel & toys $15 – $40
Food & water containers $10 – $40
Food $5 – $20 per bag
Bedding $10 – $25 per bag


A hamster costs about $20 to $25 at a pet store, depending on the type. Bear hamsters, or Syrian hamsters, cost slightly more than dwarf hamsters and are a little bigger, growing up to 5 to 7 inches. Short-hair Syrian hamsters are known as Golden hamsters.

Dwarf hamsters grow to about 3 to 4 inches long and come in the following varieties:

  • Winter White or Djungarian (DJ) hamsters, which are the most social and playful breed

  • Roborovksi (Robo) hamsters, which are the smallest and fastest breed

  • Chinese dwarf hamsters, which prefer hiding and burying themselves in bedding


The hamster’s cage will cost $40 to $100, depending on its size and features. Large cages with tubes and decorations cost more but allow the hamster more freedom and entertainment.

Wheel & toys

A hamster wheel and toys will cost $15 to $40. Because they’re nocturnal, hamsters love running on their wheels at night. They also need some type of chew toy, wood stick, or mineral chews to keep their teeth from growing too long.

An enrichment toy like a hamster ball costs $5 to $10 and allows the hamster to run around outside its cage while being protected from danger.

Food & water containers

A food bowl and water dispenser cost $10 to $40 total, depending on the size and retailer. You may be tempted to get matching bowls for food and water, but hanging water dispensers are more hygienic and require less maintenance.


Hamster food costs $5 to $20 per bag, which lasts around 1 to 2 months. Hamsters should get a balanced diet of pellets, fresh fruits and veggies, and treats.


Hamster bedding costs $10 to $25 per bag. You should change their bedding once per week to keep their cage clean and sanitary. You can also use newspaper or unscented toilet paper to lower your monthly costs.

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Hamster cost factors

Several factors affect the cost of owning a hamster:

  • Breed: Dwarf hamsters are smaller and more common. They cost slightly less than the larger Syrian hamsters and are more social.

  • Number of hamsters: Syrian hamsters are friendly with humans but don’t get along well with other hamsters. Most Dwarf hamster breeds, on the other hand, are more social and can live with other hamsters of the same sex.

  • Location: Hamsters cost less at pet stores like Petco or PetSmart than from breeders. However, breeders often have rare breeds or information about the hamster’s genetic background. Shelters and pet rescues are more affordable but vary more in availability.

  • Vet visits: A vet visit costs $40 to $80 for routine checkups or $100 to $800+ for emergency visits if something happens to your hamster.

  • Insurance: Pet insurance costs about $15 to $50 per month or $180 to $600 per year. However, since hamsters have short lifespans and are unlikely to need any major operations, you should weigh the costs and the benefits.

  • Cremation: Pet cremation costs $40 to $175 for hamsters. Losing a pet is emotional and difficult, especially for young kids. Cremation allows pet owners to honor their friendship and keep or scatter the ashes.

A hamster nibbling on food in a cage
A hamster nibbling on food in a cage

Hamster care tips

Follow these tips when getting and caring for a hamster to make sure they’re happy and healthy:

  • Clean their cage regularly to prevent bacterial infections.

  • Supplement their diet with fresh fruit and veggies in a separate bowl. Remove uneaten food before it spoils.

  • If you use sand in their cage, make sure to get a dust-free variety.

  • Make sure to always be gentle when handling your hamster. If you’re unsure any children in your home will be gentle, consider waiting until they’re older to get a pet.

  • Never leave your hamster alone with other pets or animals, even smaller pets like guinea pigs or rabbits. This can evoke a stress response and affect their well-being.

Hamster FAQs

How long does a hamster live?

On average, hamsters live for about 1 to 3 years. Syrian hamsters tend to live slightly longer than smaller dwarf breeds, but their total lifespan will depend on their level of care and well-being.

What do I feed a hamster?

Hamsters are omnivores with a wide variety of safe foods. You should feed them hamster pellets as well as fresh foods. The following table shows the foods that hamsters can and cannot eat:

Hamster foods
Safe Not safe
Apples Lemons
Pears Limes
Peaches Bitter almonds
Melons Apple seeds
Bananas Raw kidney beans
Berries Raw potatoes
Grapes Raw garlic
Hay Raw onions
Unsalted nuts, grains, and seeds Raw rhubarb or its leaves
Cooked eggs Chocolate
Mealworms Sugary foods
Herbs (basil, sage, parsley) Salty foods
Carrots Junk food or chips
Broccoli and cauliflower Red meat
Cucumber Salty or blue cheese
Celery Bread
Bell peppers Avocado pits or skins
Greens (spinach, lettuce, kale) Spicy peppers
Plain, cooked chicken or turkey Eggplant
Cheese (small amounts) Deli meats

Does a hamster hibernate?

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Pet hamsters can sometimes enter a temporary state of “emergency hibernation” called torpor in harsh environments. However, domestic hamsters rarely hibernate because their living conditions are warm and comfortable.

Finding & choosing a hamster

Follow these steps when you’re in the process of finding a hamster:

  • Look up pet stores, shelters, or breeders near you.

  • Read customer reviews online.

  • Make sure the seller has a business license or a USDA license for breeders.

  • Review their selection of breeds and ask questions about them.

  • Ask if they have any offers or deals on food or equipment.

Questions to ask a pet store

Asking questions like these can help you find a hamster from a reputable source:

  • What is the overall cost of a hamster?

  • How many hamster breeds do you have?

  • Which breed would you recommend?

  • Can I have more than one of this type of hamster?

  • Does the hamster need any vaccinations or vet visits?

  • How long does this breed usually live?

  • What food and treats would you recommend?

  • What enrichment activities or toys would you recommend?

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