Move over cats and dogs — it’s time to give way to hamsters.
Part of the rodent family, hamsters are increasingly becoming popular pets now — they are cute, playful, easy to maintain, don’t require walks and need to be fed just once a day.
Sudhir Sharma, a hamster breeder and owner of Petlands in south Delhi’s Defence Colony, said they’ve witnessed nearly a 100 per cent increase in demand over the last year.
“In the last month alone, we sold about 30 hamsters, guinea pigs and some rabbits. They are easy to breed, all you need is a room,” Sharma said.
Depending on the breed, hamsters can cost between Rs 2,000 and Rs 3,000 a pair.
Ashish Sakhuja, 23, who supplies hamsters, said he sold nearly 50 pairs last year. “The good thing is that they can be taken anywhere and are happy playing inside their cages.”
Sakhuja explains that it’s legal to keep hamsters since they come under ‘exotic pets’ category and not wildlife.
Sharma even stocks accessories for hamsters — beds, vanity sets, cars, balls, toys etc. “They are safe and don’t require inoculation. If they get frightened and ‘bite’ you, its just a little nip,” he said.
Schoolteacher Sapna Dimri, 40, a Gurgaon resident, said her family has been keeping hamsters for 4-5 years. “When my daughter Gauri 10 asked for a pet, we bought her a hamster as we couldn't keep a dog.”
Popularity of rodents as pets seems to have grown after films like Stuart Little and even in Bollywood, where Kunal Kohli’s last film, Thoda Pyar Thoda Magic featured a hamster as a pet.