(Disclosure: As required by FTC regulations. I was sent a Qute hamster cage from Omlet. I donated it to a grateful local family due to my house being on the market and my uncertainly as to where I will be living. I received no monetary compensation for this post)
Having a hamster or gerbil is a child's right of passage. I sincerely believe that. Of course there are exceptions, like for those who have allergies or are living in a zero pets allowed home situation. Otherwise it should be "game on", I say. Having a little pet teaches a child to respect animals, be responsible for their care and marvel at handling a little life in their hands.
I myself went through a plethora of little furballs. Mice, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs....even rats. (They are actually very intelligent and social. They make great pets) They all lived full lives but they were short lifespans, especially for the hamsters. Once they passed on, I was soon bugging my parents to go to the pet store for more. I was bordering on having a "hamster problem" to be honest. Just...couldn't...get...enough...
"You can never be too rich, too thin or have too many hamsters" ~ Me
In deciding whether a hamster is right for your child, it helps to know a few facts. And you never know when that hamster question will come up in Jeopardy. "I'll take Hamster Facts for $1000, Alec". (From www.animalhospitals-usa.com)
Hamsters are small, virtually tailless, velvet-furred rodents with enormous cheek pouches. They originated in the Middle East and southeastern Europe. The most common and popular, is the golden or Syrian hamster. Color and hair-type varieties of the golden hamster include cinnamon, cream, white, and "teddy bear" (the long-haired variety). Most of the hamsters sold as pets descendants of 3 littermates domesticated in 1930. (How cool is that?)
Hamsters are very popular pets today because of their availability, affordability, small size, cuddly appearance, often docile temperament and relatively clean habits.
- Scientific name: Mesocricetus auratus (Try saying that with crackers in your mouth)
- Potential life span: 2-3 years (So about 30 in people years per year)
- Adult body weight: 100-150 grams (Adult females are slightly larger than adult males)
- Desirable environmental temperature range: 65-75 F
- Ages for first breeding: male: 10-14 weeks; female reproduction: 6-10 weeks
- Gestation (pregnancy) period: 15 1/2-16 days
- Average litter size: 5-10 young (Wow! That is a lot of hamsters if bred regularly)
When thinking about my little pets, I remember just how fun it was to pick out names. I can recall Snert, Hercules, Ben, Athena, Spooky, Hey-you, Sparky and Dustie. (I also had a garter snake named Bubbles and a young abandoned crow named Edgar)
The cages back then were pretty simple and not all that practical. Being a "hamster mommy" I was responsible for cleaning out and changing their bedding often. Taking the cage apart was awkward and the cages themselves were very cage-like. (Go figure) I can close my ears even now and hear that squeaky wheel that got a work-out, especially at night when they were most active it seemed.
Nowadays hamsters and gerbils can live in style thanks to a company called Omlet. They are the creators of the Qute Hamster & Gerbil Cage - which they refer to as "the most beautiful and easy to clean animal home in the the world".
Lower portion can be removed to take your pet into another room.
No squeaking wheel sounds here!
Not just for a child's room. Can be in the livingroom or family room too.
The cages are now available in three different colors, white, walnut style and birch style. They come with or without lower storage area. Prices range from $149 to $169 and right now, there is NO CHARGE for delivery to the USA. Just use the code: QUTEFREE14US at checkout.
I was unable to embed the video given the format but if you are interested in purchasing one, I'd highly recommend watching it on their website. CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO.
So if you're thinking of adding a hamster or gerbil to your family, which in turn will create some long-lasting memories for your kids, go for a Qute Cage. And if you're 50 years young like me, consider treating yourself to the love of a little creature. They may not live long, but they pack a whole lot of amusement and character into their 2-3 short years. And one is never too old for that.