Article Hero Image

SMALLPET / new pets

So, You Want a Hamster?

Looking for a pocket-sized, furry pet who’s relatively quiet, sleeps during the day, and loves playing hide and seek?


Things to know about hamsters

Hamsters are playful and sociable, range in size from 2 to 7 inches and live for one-and-a-half to two years. They have loads of energy, love exercise wheels and run the equivalent of 20 miles a day. Hamsters are nocturnal and have better hearing than eyesight. Be careful waking them up— they have a tendency to startle easily.

Types of hamsters

There are five pet hamster species, including the Syrian or Golden Hamster. Syrian hamsters should live alone (they’re the solitary types).

There are four species of dwarf hamsters (Campbell’s Russian Hamster, Winter White Hamster, Roborovskii’s Hamster, and the Chinese Hamster). Dwarf hamsters sharing the same habitat should all be the same gender.

Hamsters have a variety of coat colors, including golden, brown, gray, white, and black. Most have cute little white bellies and barely visible tails.

Life with a hamster

Hamsters are extremely active pets; that’s why it’s important they have access to an exercise wheel and ball. Since they’re nocturnal, you may hear some nighttime noises — it could be the sound of your hamsters hitting the gym.

PETSMART CARES: Pets purchased at PetSmart are part of our exclusive Vet Assured™ program, designed by PetSmart veterinarians to help improve the health and well-being of our pets. Our vendors meet a high standard in caring for pets and screening them for common illnesses. This program also includes specific standards for in-store pet care.

The PetSmart Promise: If your pet becomes ill during the initial 14-day period, or if you’re not satisfied for any reason, PetSmart will gladly replace the pet or refund the purchase price.