20 Ethical Hamster Breeders Near You (2022)

Hamster breeders

When you think about “small pets”, a hamster is probably one of the first animals to pop into your head. Well, you’re not alone! Hamsters are some of the most common pets, with about 1.5 million American households own a hamster.

If you’re looking to own a hamster as a pet, it definitely makes sense. They’re inexpensive, adorable, and tons of fun to care for and watch.

While hamsters are available in most, if not all major pet stores, you might want to turn to a local hamster breeder to get your new pet from.

This is because smaller-scale hamsters breeders usually, but not always, ethically produce hamsters that are well cared-for and healthy — something that likely doesn’t happen with big pet stores.

Because of this, we’ve collected a list of the few hamster breeders that exist throughout the United States! Please note that we don’t know all of these breeders personally, and your own research on a breeder is required.

American Hamster Breeders

Below we’ve collected 20 hamster breeders from around the United States. Hamster breeders are surprisingly uncommon, and a breeder couldn’t be found in many states. However, if you happen to live near any of these breeders, they may provide a great opportunity to get your first pet hamster!

Breeders can specialize, or they can breed a variety of hamsters. Among the most common types are Syrian hamster breeders, Chinese hamster breeders, and Dwarf hamster breeders (many kinds)!

Alaska

Homegrown Hamsters
Providing Alaskans with tame Syrian hamsters while following IHANA’s breeder code closely. Their website has a nice detailed hamster care guide for first time owners, and they also offer to take back hamsters judgement-free if you can no longer properly take care of yours.

 

Arizona

Home Sweet Hammy Home
While not a breeder, Home Sweet Hammy Home is a nonprofit small pet rescue that takes in and adopts out hamsters and other small pets. The owner Carrie is extremely knowledgable and caring, creating incredible enclosures for the animals in her care and making them available for purchase. She also works to fight misinformation and give owners all of the knowledge they could possibly need.

 

California

Cheeks and Squeaks Hamsters
This breeder has a waitlist that’s almost a year long, and it’s clear why that is! Cheeks & Squeaks breeds ethical hamsters, and they’re all pedigreed — meaning that each animal’s ancestry is known for 5 generations at minimum. Their hamsters are also tamed, beautiful, and come with an adoption goodie bag and access to the owners’, Erin and Tony, wealth of knowledge.

 

Furball Critters
With both Syrian and Campbell’s dwarf hamsters, this breeder is very established and also breeds rats and chinchillas. Furball Critters prides themselves on their non-biting guarantee and has messaging based around the suitability of hamsters as pets for kids. In addition to their hamsters, they also sell a variety of appropriate supplies.

 

Happy Paws Hamsters
Monica of Happy Paws Hamsters is a very passionate breeder for 4+ years and is mentored by the owners of Cheeks and Squeaks! Taking a “quality over quantity” approach, this hamster breeder has an impressive collection of breeding hamsters, and works to take the time to educate owners on proper hamster care. Their Facebook page is also full of adorable pictures of their new hamsters!

 

Colorado

Rysa Hamstery
While it appears this breeder is currently on a haitus, Rysa Hamstery is a small Colorado breeder run by two young enthusiasts that closely adhere to ASPCA care codes and PACFA breeding codes.

 

Florida

Nyx Hamstery
A very active Florida hamster breeder breeding Syrian, Dwarf, and Chinese Hamsters. Operating since 2020, Tialynn has been running this hamstery with her husband. They have many satisfied customers, resulting in a waitlist of several months.

 

Speckled Hamstery
A great small hamster breeder focusing on high-quality, healthy Syrian hamsters. They specialize in short hair, long hair, and satin fur types, and also have rex carries. Speckled Hamstery also breeds a variety of colors, including tortoiseshell, yellow, black, silver grey, golden, dominant spot, and chocolate in both solid and banded varieties.

 

Hawaii

Hamsters are illegal in Hawaii

 

Illinois

Nantucket Hamstery
Located in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, Nantucket Hamstery maintains an extensive waitlist and is currently working their way through it. They provide their owners with a wealth of hamster knowledge and ensure that all hamsters sold are well-socialized and as healthy as can be.

 

Maryland

Pearl Hamletry’s Hamsters
A Rockville Maryland Syrian hamster breeder that puts an emphasis on both hamster wellbeing and their genetics. Much of their focus is on silver gray, rust, cream, banded, satin, and combinations of these genes. They’re also very involved with other ethical hamster breeders around the country.

 

Michigan

Lou’s Pet Shop
A popular local pet store with all kinds of animals and animal supplies in stock. While breeding hamsters isn’t their primary focus, they do take an ethical approach at breeding small batches and raising/socializing them.

  • 📍 Location: Pointe Woods, MI
  • 🌐 Website: louspetshop.com
  • 📸 Social: Facebook
  • ☎️ Contact: (313) 885-1560

 

Missouri

Hillcrest Hamstery
A small but long-standing Missouri hamster breeder that posts their hamsters, both pet and for sale, on their Facebook page.

 

New Jersey

Country Counties Hamstery
A self-proclaimed “very small scale” hamster breeder that keeps only two breeding hamsters at a time to ensure that every hamster is properly cared for and socialized.

 

Ohio

Holmden Hill Haven
Breeding since 2003, Holmden Hill Haven is one of the longest-standing hamster breeders out there! They work with a wide variety of colors, patterns, and coat types, and every litter is bred with a specific goal in mind.

 

Oregon

Hubba-Hubba Hamstery
Owned by life-long hamster enthusiasts, Hubba Hubba Hamstery’s hamsters have been regularly handled and go home litter box trained, with a pedigree certificate, life-long support, and a gift bag of items to help with the transition. Their website has a ton of useful information, as well as a simple waitlist process.

 

Pennsylvania

Hamster Tracks
Breeding hamsters since 1994, Hamster Tracks is one of the best hamsteries out there with very knowledgable owners. They breed to show standards, and are always working to improve their genetics. Of course, they also put a lot of effort into education and proper housing.

 

Tennessee

Winterbell Hamstery
Located in Knoxville, Winterbell Hamstery strives to ethically breed healthy, happy, & friendly Syrian & Campbells Russian dwarf hamsters that conform to the National Hamster Council’s show standards & to the IHANA breeder’s code of ethics. All hamsters are housed excellently, socialized, and documented, and females are only bred a maximum of two times.

 

Utah

Brookside Hamstery
Operating since 1989 and “always in business”, Brookside is owned by Bill Devlin. This hamstery is very personal and produces some beautiful hamsters, including blue, gold, black, het-silvergray, cinnamon, HSG blonde, and DEW.

  • 📍 Location: Orem, UT
  • 📸 Social: Facebook
  • ☎️ Contact: (239) 228-0207

 

Virginia

Poppy Bee Hamstery
Poppy Bee Hamstery has a 2-3 month waitlist for their hamsters, and it’s clear why that is! They follow California Hamster Association and Ontario Hamster Club code of ethics for both husbandry and breeding, and they put a lot of effort into making sure their hamsters enter the right home. Check out their website for the impressive colors and genetics that they work with, too!

 

West Virginia

White Rose Hamstery
Beautiful hand-raised hamsters that are friendly, curious, and calm around people. They currently work with silver grey, cream, black, and yellow-based coat colors, including tortoiseshell.

 

Finding An Ethical Hamster Breeder

An “ethical hamster breeder” is a relatively loose term, but it essentially means a breeder that has all of the means and knowledge necessary to breed a hamster properly, and does just that.

They provide excellent care and respect to the hamsters they create while they’re in their care, and work to educate owners so that they’ll take care of their hamsters post-purchase.

Essentially, an ethical hamster breeder is the exact opposite of the rodent mills that supply most of the large pet stores. If you care about where your pet is coming from, searching for an ethical breeder is absolute essential.

How do you find a breeder like this, though? Below are a couple of things to look for in your hamster breeder:

Ethical Goals

If the primary motivation behind a hamster breeder’s business is monetary, turn and run the other way. This should never be the case.

Ethical hamster breeders work to improve the species as a whole, striving for each litter to be healthier than the last.

To determine a breeder’s goals, simply ask them what they are! A proper hamster breeder will be very passionate and happily share the story and motivation behind their work.

Healthy Genetics

Hamster breeders should never use pet store hamsters to breed. Hamsters that come from rodent mills tend to carry a mess of many genes — many of which can cause serious health problems, or death, if combined poorly.

Not only is it dangerous to mess with genetics like this, but it’s also ethically wrong! Hamster breeders work to combat rodent mills, so purchasing hamsters from them is a step in the opposite direction.

Breeders will never admit to using pet store hamsters in their lines. Therefore, it’s important to ask about the parents of a hamster you’re looking at.

Good hamster breeders will be able to show pictures and documents for parents, and will typically know all the jargon when it comes to breeding and genetics.

Proper Husbandry

Even if a hamster breeder has hundreds of hamsters, every one needs to be given the same care and respect that a hamster would get if it were all alone.

Cages should be plenty large enough to provide ample room to run around (at least 450 square inches), a quality running wheel should be present, there should be several toys in the cage, and healthy hamster food and water should always be present.

To make sure a breeder is meeting these standards, simply ask for pictures of their setup! Usually breeders will have this on their website, but a good hamster breeder will provide pictures quickly if not otherwise available.

Proper Breeding Frequency

This is a two-fold trait, holding relevance with both individual female hamster breeding and total overall breeding.

Individually, female hamsters can not breed under 4 months, and shouldn’t be bred over a year old (due to stress/complications). So, females have a very small window where they can be bred.

This means that a female should only be bred twice, maybe three times, and each litter should be genetically different from the others.

The second aspect is overall breeding frequency. Essentially, a hamster breeder shouldn’t be overbreeding; they should only breed as many hamsters as needed.

The best hamster breeders have waitlists, allowing them to make sure that every hamsters that’s bred has a home waiting for it. While it’s not inherently bad for a breeder to have extra stock, it can be indicative of shady practices.

Transparency

Lastly, hamster breeders should be advocates for hamsters, and this is done through breeding transparency.

Breeders of the highest caliber will be so transparent, you shouldn’t need to ask many questions at all! Their husbandry, genetics, mission, and day to day activities should be clear on social media or their website.

If you do have to ask questions, though, you’ll want a hamster breeder that answers them quickly and thoughtfully.

Cost To Buy A Hamster From A Breeder

If you’re buying a hamster from a breeder, you should expect to pay more if you were to go to a large pet store. At pet stores, a hamster may cost $5-$15. From a hamster breeder, it’s more around $50.

For the incredible care difference that hamsters receive, this price difference is ridiculously small. Hamster breeders provide much better care and produce much healthier hamster than rodent mills — and that comes at a cost.

It’s important to note that the hamster itself isn’t the only purchase you’ll be making, so set some extra money aside! You’ll need about $100 in start-up costs for a cage, bedding, wheel, toys, water bottle, food, and treats.

Make sure your hamster’s setup is ready to go before they’re brought home! The moving process can be stressful, and it’s important that they have a ready-to-go cage to hunker down in.