If you have kept a pet before, a hamster is one of the best with which to start.Hamsters are gentle and good-tempered, and when handled kindly and patiently soon lose any fear of people, and become very tame.

If you decide to keep a hamster, you will need to buy or make a cage for it, but other that it will cost very little to feed and look after.  Its cage will be easy to clean, and it will not take up much space.

Some people think that hamsters are not such good pets because they sleep most of the day, and are awake and busy at night when everybody else wants to sleep.  But if a hamster is taken out and played with at the same every evening or late afternoon, it will look forward to this, and begin to wake up earlier.

The hamsters kept as pets are usually Golden Hamsters.  This species was thought extinct.  Then in 1930 a female and her 12 babies were found in the Syrian desert.  From this litter the first golden hamsters  bred in captivity were born.  Every pet golden hamster today is descended from that family.

Golden hamsters were originally all golden brown with creamy white on the underside of the body, the eyes are large and black, and the ears are gray and black.  But now there are many other color varieties as well.

You can find white hamsters, cream, gray and all shades of brown, some the same color all over, others banded or pattered in two or more colors.  Some have red or ruby eyes instead of black.

Their coats can vary too.  The short velvety coated hamsters are called satins.  There are also longhaired fluffy ones.                    

Source: Taking Care of Your Hamster by Helen Piers.