CannibalismThere are some pretty scary rumours about hamsters being cannibalistic. It isn't all lies though. Hamsters can be cannibalistic, but please do not fear. They aren't some crazy mythical tribe on some lost island waiting to eat any other hamster that comes by. Hamsters may become cannibalistic for two and only two reasons. The first reason is more common then the second and is seen when Mother hamsters eat their young. This is done when a pup dies or is ill. If the pup is ill then it likely would have died painfully or lived a short life otherwise. This may also be done if the mother is under a lot of stress. In her eyes this is what is best in order to bring more little hamsters into the world. They eat dead babies in order to keep the predators from being attracted to the nest, which is what happens in the wild. It's eat or be eaten.
The second reason a hamster may resort to cannibalism is if a cage mate passes away. I've never actually seen this myself and it seems to be less common then it used to be. They will not eat each other alive, they eat the body of a deceased cage mate once again to stop predators from becoming attracted to their home. This isn't really necessary now, but hamsters still have many of their wild instincts.
Feeding meat to your hamster will not make it become a cannibal and it will not make it want to eat you. Feeding meat does not give it 'the taste for blood' despite what some... imaginative people may tell you. It's part of nature and you should not feel angry with your hamster for doing this, it's instinct not some grudge against the other hamster. A lot of people also blame their hamster for killing it's cage mate, remember this is very unlikely. The cage mate likely died from some other cause. So while it is gross and perhaps a little creepy it is nature.
Coprophagy is very normal and very healthy. But what is it, exactly? Well it's when your hamsters eat their own feces. Yes, doesn't that sound lovely? Certain droppings still contain needed nutrients that aren't extracted the first time, so your hamster may reach down and eat some of his droppings as they come out. They know which is good and which is just plain garbage. It's gross, but normal so don't worry about it.
As with any pet, a hamster will require care for its entire life, which could be 2-3 years or longer. This commitment requires not only routine feeding, care and time spent with the hamster but provision of vet treatment if the hamster becomes ill or injured which can be costly. Although proper care will go along way to keep a hamster healthy there may still be times when prompt vet treatment is needed, once a hamster is ill it can deteriorate quickly. Be sure that you are able to care for your hamster for it's full life, once you have your hamster is it completely dependent on you and you are responsible for its life. Luckily hamsters are rather simple to take care of once you know how!