Photography of Hamster

How Much Do Hamsters Cost? Hamsters typically cost between $10 and $20, but the total cost of owning a hamster includes additional expenses such as housing, food, and veterinary care.

Understanding the Initial Cost

When purchasing a hamster, the initial cost can vary based on the breed, age, and location. Here is a breakdown of the initial costs you can expect:

  • Common Breeds: Syrian hamsters, Dwarf hamsters, and Roborovski hamsters generally cost between $10 and $20.
  • Specialty Breeds: Rare or exotic breeds may cost more, ranging from $20 to $50.

For more information on how to take care of hamsters, check out our related articles.

Setting Up the Habitat

Setting up a suitable habitat for your hamster involves several essential items beyond the initial purchase price.

A spacious and well-ventilated cage, costing $30 to $100, is necessary, with options including wire cages, plastic cages, and glass tanks.

Bedding, costing $5 to $15 per month, can be made from paper-based materials, aspen shavings, or hay.

Monthly food and water costs range from $10 to $20, with a balanced diet comprising hamster pellets, fresh vegetables, and occasional treats, along with a water bottle or bowl.

Accessories like exercise wheels, chew toys, tunnels, and hiding spots, costing $10 to $50, are crucial for your hamster’s mental and physical stimulation.

Ongoing Costs

Owning a hamster involves regular expenses to ensure their health and happiness. Here are some ongoing costs to consider:

  • Food and Bedding: The monthly cost for food and bedding ranges from $15 to $35, which includes regularly purchasing fresh food, bedding, and treats for your hamster.
  • Veterinary Care: The annual cost for veterinary care ranges from $50 to $150, covering routine check-ups, vaccinations, and emergency care services.
  • Additional Supplies: The cost of additional supplies varies and includes items such as replacement toys, cage cleaning supplies, and potential habitat upgrades.

Unexpected Costs

hamster inside cage while eating

While hamsters are relatively low-maintenance pets, unexpected costs can arise:

  • Health Issues: The cost of treating health issues ranges from $50 to $200, covering common illnesses such as wet tail, respiratory infections, and dental problems.
  • Emergency Vet Visits: Emergency vet visits, which can be necessary for sudden illnesses or injuries, typically cost between $100 and $300.

Read about common hamster health issues in our detailed article and hamsters disease in Wikipedia to be prepared for any situation.

Total Cost of Ownership

The total cost of owning a hamster varies depending on your choices and unexpected situations.

In the first year, the initial setup costs range from $70 to $200, with ongoing costs between $200 and $500, totaling $270 to $700.

In subsequent years, ongoing costs are estimated at $200 to $500 annually.


While the initial cost of purchasing a hamster is relatively low, it’s important to consider the ongoing and potential unexpected costs associated with their care.

Proper budgeting and preparation can ensure a happy and healthy life for your new pet.


You can save money by making DIY hamster toys from safe household items, providing cost-effective enrichment.

Shredded paper and hay serve as affordable alternatives to commercial bedding.

To reduce veterinary costs, regular check-ups and preventive care can help catch health issues early.