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The Hamstery

Polecat Hams is run by Cat, and is based in the north east of England. Cat is a member of the northern hamster club, and is also on the committee as treasurer. Cat is also an affiliate member of the midland hamster club.

Cat first started keeping hamsters in January 2012 while at university. Later that year, they joined the Northern Hamster Club and started attending their shows, and was hooked. However, time and space meant that breeding could not happen for a few years!

Polecat Hams became a registered prefix with the National Hamster Council in January 2016, and the hamstery's first litter arrived later that year. Current aims are to concentrate on husky and agouti roborovskis, and yellow Syrians, with future plans to also breed rust and chocolate Syrians and red-eyed roborovskis. Polecat Hams follows the NHC Code of Practice.

As well as hamsters, Cat is also a lover of cats, and intends to own one or two in the near future.

The hamstery name was suggested by another breeder, as it has links to another one of Cat's hobbies - feel free to guess what that hobby is!

What's different with a hobbyist breeder?

Many commercial pet shops source their animals from large scale breeders and rodent mills. These animals are bred with minimal thought given to the pairing, and with minimal handling for the pups before they are split from mum and transported across the country to pet shops. Unsurprisingly, this results in pet shop hamsters that are timid, flighty, difficult to tame and liable to bite.

A good hobbyist breeder, on the other hand, will put a lot of thought in to the pairing. The pups will be handled from two weeks old, when their eyes open, to ensure that they are tame before being rehomed. There will likely only be one or perhaps two litters at a time in the hamstery, so the pups will get a lot of attention! Hamsters from a hobbyist breeder are much more likely to be confident and at ease in their new homes, less likely to bite, and altogether just friendlier from the beginning.

Another thing to consider is, when breeding animals for show, size, health and temperament are big considerations for the breeder. This tends to result in hamsters which are genetically pre-disposed to be chunkier, healthier and friendlier than their rodent mill cousins.