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If you're looking for a hamster, or your own hamster needs to be rehomed, or your hamster had babies that need to find good homes, this page is for you.

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Hamsters South Africa does not support the sale/trade of hamsters.

This is to discourage irresponsible "backyard" breeding, breeding mills, and overcrowding/bad housing in pet shops, etc.


Only reputable breeders will be deserving of reasonable compensation for their knowledgeable and correct efforts to provide a properly bred hamster.

Unfortunately, there are currently no approved ethical hamster breeders in SA.


Registered rescue centers are also approved to charge adoption fees towards compensating for fostering/quarantine periods and veterinary expenses. Be aware that these adoption fees are actually way lower than the costs they may have accrued to ensure that a healthy hamster is adopted (if possible, please consider making an additional donation, which will be most appreciated).


If you are looking for a hamster, please consider adopting an unwanted hamster from a rescue center first.

Mature animals also need love and actually make wonderful, easier pets.

They often adapt into your home with a lot less effort than having to train a baby hamster from scratch, in terms of taming/handling, potty training, etc. Plus, the shelter/foster can advise you on it's personality; whereas a baby's true nature will only emerge later and you therefore won't know if you are getting a ghost hamster, timid personality, exceptionally active character, etc.



(We assume that you separated the mom & dad as soon as you discovered the litter, since another pregnancy can occur within minutes of her giving birth) 

  • Do not use a flash when taking pictures of any hamsters because this stuns and/or frightens them like a lightning storm would, and can also damage the eyes. Rather take photos during daylight hours without a flash.

  • Do not disturb the nest or take photos of the babies until all eyes are fully open - the mom can feel they are under threat and will kill the babies to protect them from being taken by what she could perceive as a predator lurking. She could also get stressed and reject them.

  • As soon as you realise your hamster is pregnant, or has given birth, please ensure the best care and nutrition in order for the important health of mom and babies:

  • START ADVERTISING FOR NEW HOMES AS SOON AS YOU SPOT THE BABIES! They can be booked for collection when they are 4 weeks old. Use a pic of mom until the babies eyes are open and you can take a few snaps of them.

  • Generally, babies can go to new homes when they are 4 weeks old, but 3.5 weeks at a push (definitely no younger). Please refer to the topic about Grouping & Pairing for explanation as to why they cannot be kept together.

  • Some people believe that hamsters fair better if kept with their siblings for up to 8 weeks old. In this case, they will need to be separated into male and female cages at 4 weeks old because they can actually start breeding after this age, which is not good for the little girls' bodies & health while they are still mere babies themselves. 

  • Distinguishing the different genders in young hamsters is often really difficult (even for experts) and we therefore recommend that you take the babies, with an extra cage, to your nearest exotics vet to assist you more accurately in this. Most pet shops are not reliable places for this assistance....many oopsies occur at the hands of these places because their sexing is too often inaccurate. Otherwise, please see our Sexing section to see if you can actually identify them yourself.

  • When the babies reach 8 weeks old, they will each need to be separated into their own housing to avoid territorial fighting/bullying that could affect their confidence and taming. They are definitely ready for adoption at this age.

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  • Advertise the babies, or your own hamster that you cannot keep, on pet adoption groups/pages, as well as on your community pages, put a flyer at your local vet, etc.

  • Please do not simply surrender the hamster/s to a rescue center because they're there! These places are often already inundated with animals, and they rely on donations to cover expenses until they find homes. It can also often be difficult to find homes or fosters for all.

  • As advised above, START ADVERTISING LIKE CRAZY as soon as you discover that a litter has been born. They can be booked to go to homes at 4 weeks old. There are so many hamsters looking for homes, so don't just rely on the HSA group where most members already have their fill of furries.

  • Kindly do not try to make money out of a litter! Concentrate on getting them into good loving homes with proper habitats.

  • Also note note that it is illegal to sell animals on Facebook & Marketplace.

  • WE REPEAT: Do not use a flash when taking pictures of hamsters (and never take any pics of babies while they are still bound to the nest).

  • When putting hamsters up for adoption, don't be shy to insist on correct conditions for yours to be adopted into (e.g. correct size habitats & wheels, food, bedding, etc.). You have every right to insist on checking the conditions first before the hamster leaves you (live video calls are best).

  • Please ensure that your hamster/s, babies or mature, are adopted as one hamster per habitat only. If an interested party wants 2 hamsters but cannot prove that they have more than one habitat, you have every right to refuse to let them have your fur kids!

  • Be wary of people who seem to want a male and female together, or your entire litter. This should raise your alarm bells that there could be a breeding scheme on the go, which may also include feeding of other animals who eat rodents! (Note that hamsters are not good food for snakes, but some ignorant people don't know this).

  • It would be a good idea to print our Basic Care sheet and provide that with each adoption (download on the Home page).

  • Do not give the babies to a pet shop (HSA and rescue centers are trying to discourage shops from housing and selling live hamsters and other rodents). However, there are indeed some very caring pet shops who do not buy animals to sell, but will gladly assist and accept your critters to be put up for adoption via their business. Try to locate one of these nice places.

  • If you cannot get your babies adopted out by the time they are ready to leave, and you cannot keep them, THEN please contact your local animal shelters/rescue centers to see if they can assist. Please do not abandon or neglect is not their fault that they were born, or that you can no longer keep them!

  • Please see our stance about your accountability when it comes to handing over your hamster/s to a new owner.



Please check pet adoption pages/groups, shelters, and our Facebook page: HSA: ADOPTIONS before supporting the selling of live animals in pet shops


  • Many people do sometimes consider buying a hamster from a dodgy pet shop or irresponsible owner as a form of rescue, but then face the dilemma that such practice or trade is being encouraged. Do what you think is right with regard to the situation at hand.

  • Please remember that abandoned adult hamsters also deserve good homes. In fact, many will be tame since they have already been pets, and will only need a short adjustment period to build up familiarity and trust with you. You will be rewarded with companionship a lot sooner than if you have to go through the process of taming a youngster. 

  • TIP: For first-time hamster owners, we recommend considering a slightly more mature hamster and the shelter (or owner giving it up for adoption) can often tell you about it's character and personality. They are normally already tame and if you get one that is also confident and sociable, your first hamster journey will be easier and less confusing than taking on a hyperactive, skittish baby that you still have to tame, which can be quite daunting for a first timer. 

  • PATIENCE IS KEY!!! Do visit our taming page for guidelines on the process with any hamster, baby or adult, to ensure a smooth process. The taming process should not be rushed as any traumatic or stressful experience could result in the hamster taking longer to gain confidence and trust in you, and you could even permanently ruin your chances of creating this bond. Many hamsters are abandoned because the new owner did not exercise the necessary patience and they lose interest because it "has not become the pet" they imagined they would have. 

  • Adoption fees are usually applied at REGISTERED RESCUE ORGANISATIONS (NPO's). This fee assists with recuperating much-needed funds in caring for the hamsters and other animals while at the shelter (food, bedding, staff, medical costs, etc.) Home inspections may also be required before granting the adoption, in order to ensure appropriate housing, conditions, etc.

  • In the case of PRIVATE ADOPTIONS, via Hamsters South Africa, a price may not be asked since this goes against ethics - we do not approve of breeding for money or gathering animals for the purpose of selling. However, many private persons have placed hamsters for adoption due to unavoidable situations where they can no longer keep them, oopsie litters as a result of bad advice from a pet shop, unsuspectingly acquiring a pregnant hamster, or rescuing hamsters from bad situations out of the kindness of their hearts. Many such persons have gone to great effort and extra expense to provide a healthy place of shelter (including veterinary costs in some cases), and have given time & effort to tame or build up confidence in a neglected hamster, or kindly raised a surprise litter with great care to ensure optimum health. It would therefore be acceptable and appreciated if you wish to offer some kind of voluntary compensation of your own free will (if not money, then a bag of decent food, or even half a bag of bedding, etc.) 

  • The owner also has the right to request a home inspection and turn down an adoption if they are not happy with any conditions or situations. 

Adoption links
Rescue Centres


You can also ask these places for assistance if you really cannot find homes.

However, please do your very best to find good homes before approaching the rescue centers, which are often already inundated with animals and should not be used as a "dumping ground" without any prior effort from yourself first.

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Transport and lifts


Refer to our travelling tips page for some advice on making the hamster more comfortable on the journey home if it is a fair distance.

If you require the hamster to be given a lift between cities: 

(but please make sure the lifter is aware of the travel tips).





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