Individuals can purchase hamsters from pet shops, breeders and rescue shelters. The type of hamsters available for purchase may vary based on the location from which the hamster is purchased.
Pet shops normally sell hamsters that are the result of large breeding operations. These types of hamsters often have not had any human interaction before they are purchased and may have a hard time assimilating to life as a pet.
Hamster breeders often try to breed hamsters with new or interesting colors and features. These types of hamsters are normally handled very delicately by the breeder from the time of their birth until they are sold. Because of the work associated with breeding hamsters, these types of hamsters may cost more than those sold at a pet shop.
Hamsters of all types are available from rescue shelters. Some owners give their hamsters to shelters when they can no longer care for the animals. Other times, shelters are forced to take in abandoned animals. Local shelters often advertise adoption events at which these hamsters can be adopted for a small fee.