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No animal should ever be left in a cage, they should be taken out everyday.
Hamsters arent throw away pets. They need lots of attention and so do other animals such as guinea pigs, gerbils, chinchillas, ferretts, etc.. They should be taken out every day..
Hamsters may need to be tamed, but after are loveable, affectionate pets. My first hamster (dwarf) just passed away a few days ago :( at an amazing age of 3 years. He was such a sweetheart, loved to eat and play.
Guinea pigs are expensive, yet great pets! There isnt a pet store cage big enough for one, and they need to be kept in pairs. http://www.cavycages.com is an excellent site showing how to make your own cage for way less then a pet store cage. "Cavys" should be taken out for around an hour a day, need unlimited supply of hay, and one cup leafy greens each pig daily. ;) Vet visits can add up to a lot of money. (hundreds to thousands!) They are pretty high maintenance. ;)
I was very interested by your post about hamsters. I also was quite confused by the things you said about them. I am a hamster owner. I have had two adorable hamsters and my second one (Gizmo, a Cream-Banded Hamster) loves me dearly. You may scoff, and not believe how I can tell, but from reading three hamster handbooks, I have found the importance of caring for hamsters and much more such as their emotions. I study hamsters very closely, and still care and love for them. Some of the hamsters may be pushy, but always have a lovable side. 1%-100% I would say most hamsters have a 97% of a loveable, kind side and 3% of a mean agressive side. My first hamster,(Hammie, a Teddy Bear Hamster) was also very loveable. He was fun to watch - He did the monkey bars! Also, let me assure you that hamsters LOVE to be cuddled. I may only be an 11 year old girl, but I have had many experiences with hamsters. Each one only bit me once and I'll say why. Hammie was my first hamster, so I didn't quite understand how to handle the hamster and made a wrong move of handling it. Gizmo is my second hamster and he bit me because he was frightened because too many things were moving around him (Such as too many people). And those are the only reasons they each bit me. So you see, everybody hamsters are a great pet for anybody!!!!!!
Unfortunately, I've found that gerbils do NOT make a good "watch-me" pet. Sure, their antics are fun to watch, but they need to be picked up and petted every day, and hand-fed treats on occasion.
It's true dwarf hamsters can be grouchy, and must be handled often to remain tame. But Syrian hamsters make great pets, they love to explore and can be taught many tricks. I have a lot of experience with hamsters and if you tame them when they are young (1-2 months) then they will remain tame their entire life. Depending on the hamster, some are playful and adventurous, and others are cuddly and docile. My hamsters never got angry or grumpy when I woke them up. Hamsters, despite what you may think do have a bond with their owners. When I go over to my hamster's cage she is happy to see me and comes over to the side of the cage. Hamsters NEVER "readily bite anyone for any reason" as you mentioned above. Hamsters will only bite if the feel threatened or your hands smell like food. There are usually warning signs before a hamster bites, such as a painless nip. I have only been bit twice by my hamsters, and that was only because my hands smelled like food.
PS: Chinchillas also make great pets. They aren't great for children because they are fragile, but they are very curios pets that love interacting with their human companions.
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