Species of Hamsters: What are the types of hamster

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Owning a pet hamster is always charming at any time. This furry ball of small creatures can give you a day to day relief after a hard day’s work or tons of school activities. Hamsters are recognized as rodents.

They can allure you with their different sizes and unique compositions of colours. Hamster has a deep background, and through the years of cultivating this species, hamsters gained massive popularity, both among young children and adults.d

Hamsters are typically quiet mammals, and they are omnivores, eat a lot of foods – leafy vegetables, juicy fruits such as cucumber and bananas, and of course meat. In this article, we will discuss about the different species of hamsters.

Usually, hamster plays around their shelter and run on their hamster wheels when they feel happy and energetic. Hamsters burrow up on their wood shavings or paper bedding or spread their body when the weather is hot. If you are planning to have a hamster at home, this is an excellent guide for you in choosing which hamster is best for your care.

ALSO READ: How to take care of a hamster if you are a beginner or Should I get a hamster?

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO KNOW THE DIFFERENT SPECIES OF A HAMSTER

Species of hamsters

To provide hamsters with proper care and nourishment, you need to know the different classifications of hamsters such as Syrian, Dwarf Hamsters, Winter White, Roborovski, and Russian Campbell.   Hamsters shouldn’t be in pairs or groups in a cage because they are territorial. 

ALSO READ: Interesting facts about hamsters

Size and Weight of Hamsters

Hamsters are small beings that grow differently in terms of size. A Syrian hamster can reach its potential scale of 6-8 inches (16-20 cm) and weighs between 100-150 g (3.5-5.3 oz) and 175 – 225 g (6-8 lbs) if pedigree. They are also called teddy bears or black bear hamsters, which are the biggest type of household hamsters. They are easier to cuddle and also love to be cuddled.

Russian Campbell can grow up to 4 inches in length and weigh 30-45 g (1-1.6 oz). The dwarfs are heightened up to 3-4 inches (8 -10 cm) when it reaches adulthood and weighs about 25-35 g (.88-1.2 oz). And lastly, the smallest of them all can approximately reach 2-2.6 inches (5-6 cm), the Roborovski Hamsters.

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Different Personalities

Like any other household pet, hamsters have distinctive traits and personalities. Some can be easily tamed while others can get a little bit scared and startle upon your contact and others can be defensive and vicious.

Hamsters can also get depressed and moody; you can notice this if they are acting a bit lazy and not eating well. They are also naturally nocturnal beings and prefer to be alone.

You should also know that the behaviour and personality of the hamster depend on the comfortability of their cage. So, it’s important that you use the right cage size and safe hamster bedding.

Personalities and behaviour can also vary depending on if you have a male or female hamster.

If you are thinking of getting a female Syrian hamster, remember that they are notorious chewers. This means, that if you use a wooden or plastic cage, there’s a very high chance that your female Syrian will chew through them. This is because, female Syrians get bored easily, even if you provide a big cage and lots of toys.

The best solution is to use a glass tank for your hamster (it’s chew-proof!), add lots of chew toys, let your hamster go out in the playpen for 10-minutes a day, and rearrange the cage maximum of once every 3-4 months.

ALSO READ: How to tame a hamster

Behaviour

No matter how adorable these beings are, they can also bite. Routines of hamsters are an excellent way to find out if they are stressed out or healthy. A sign of yawning in hamsters can indicate that they are sleepy or tired. They tend to hiss, and that’s a sign that they are in an aggressive mood and best left alone.

Knowing the behaviours of hamsters is an excellent way of dealing with unhealthy factors such as, feeling pain, sickness, and at times pregnancy. You’ll notice your hamsters grind, lean back, sniff, and groom themselves. These signs can help you comfort your hamster and ease its aggravations.

ALSO READ: Accidental pregnancy guide

Physical Differences

Aside from the size, the most significant thing I have to mention here is the male hamster’s balls. Yep, their cherry, the testes, the testicles. Male hamsters can and will grow really big pairs of cherries, if it’s your first time having a hamster, you will even feel like something is wrong with them.

If you get a “female” hamster from the pet store, the staff often make a mistake in sexing hamsters. After a few months of having your “baby girl”, if the pet shop made an error, you will notice massive testes growing on your hamster’s behind.

SPECIES OF HAMSTERS

If you want to understand your hamster or if you are still undecided about which hamster is the best fit for you, the great way to start this is by knowing what groups they belong to. This article is a useful guide that can give you beneficial pieces of information and facts about the types of hamsters. You can choose from different breeds, whether a Syrian, Dwarf (Roborovski, Campbell Hybrid, Russian/Winter White) or Chinese.

ALSO READ: Best big hamster cages

Syrian Hamster

Syrian hamsters - Species of hamsters

Syrian hamsters or first known as the Golden Hamster were discovered and named way back in the late 1800s. George Robert Waterhouse founded the new species and was presented at a meeting in the London Zoological Society.

Robert described the furry ball of tiny animals exactly how teddy bear hamsters are now today. The furs are long, soft like silk, and deep golden yellow in colouring. The ears are moderately small and compacted in the head. And the upper parts of the body are white, the same as the tail and the feet.

Hamster is a delicate species that needs attention and dedicated time to clean out their shelter. When taken care of properly, Syrian Hamsters can have a life span of 2.5 – 3 years. It is crucial to be sure that you can adapt your lifestyle to the obligations of making pets of one. 

  • Syrian hamsters come in different colours, with long or short hair as well.
  • Informal names: Teddy bear hamster, Black bear hamster
  • Female Syrian hamsters need the biggest cage

Pros of choosing a Syrian Hamster

  • Very low-maintenance domestic pets
  • Syrian hamsters are clean animals that groom themselves before sleeping
  • Syrians are the least likely to bite among other hamster breeds and the easiest to tame

Cons of choosing a Syrian Hamster

  • They have lousy eyesight, which makes it harder for them to play or learn your face features
  • They spend most of their time curled up in the morning and playful at night when everyone is sleeping
  • Female hamsters can very specific smell that many people would say “stinky” when on heat

Dwarf Hamsters

Dwarf hamsters come in different coat colours, eye colours, and expected behaviour. Below, you will learn more about different types of Dwarf hamsters.

One thing to remember though, Dwarf hamsters (Russian/Winter White, Campbell) are the most aggressive. They can be tamed but requires patience and wearing a thick gloves is vital. Roborovski (A dwarf hamster) is the least aggressive hamster. You’ll learn more about this species of hamster later.

dwarf hamsters - species of hamsters

Campbell Dwarf Hamsters/ Campbell Russian

They are friendly to their neighbours and can be tamed if started young. However, if they have been living alone since 4-5 weeks old, never attempt to house a Campbell with another hamster to avoid fighting and fatal injuries.

Campbells are also called Djungarian Hamsters and originated from Eastern and Central Asia. It was named in honour of W.C Campbell. Their standard wild colour is AGOUTI or a blend of brown and black stripes on their back.

hey are also prone to weight gain hence, watching their food intake must be taken seriously. While making sure they get plenty of exercises is also recommended.

How To Take Care Of A Hamster For Beginners
Russian Campbel | Photo credit: Tommileew via Pixabay.com

Winter White Dwarf / Siberian / Djungarian/ Hybrids

Winter White Dwarf is also known as Siberian, Djungarian, and/or Hybrid Hamsters. Winter White hamsters come in different colours, dark forms and light forms. They might also come in different eye colours, black or red. Dark and light forms are also known as Sapphire Winter White and Pearl Winter White.

Breeds of Hamsters - What are the types of hamsters - Robowski
Winter White Russian Dwarf Hamster | Photo credit: Claudia_RSilva via Pixabay.com

Winter White Dwarf hamster has a vast combination of colours, compared to Syrians, who only have limited coat colours. Winter White colours and patterns are often albinoes, black, sapphire, pearl, black-eyed white, opal, fawn, lilac, platinum, mottled and many more.

This hamster is a rare kind that usually can’t be bought in pet shops. Acquiring a legitimate Winter White requires you to have a pedigree certificate which you can only get from an accredited pet breeder.

This hamster has a softer fur in comparison to a Syrian. Their coat/fur also changes colour depending on the heat or temperature of their surrounding. If you live in a cold country, expect their coat to turn white during winter hence, the name.

MUST-READ: How to take care of a Dwarf Hamster

Roborovski / Robo

Robo hamsters - species of hamsters

Roborovski is the smallest of dwarf hamsters. But they are the most terrible when it comes to speed and taming. They are always moving at a quick speed, harder to catch which means – harder to tame.

If you choose to have a Roborovski, it’s important to have patience and accept that you might never get tame your hamster. However, Robos are the least aggressive specifies of hamsters, meaning if you can catch them, they might not bite you.

Pros of choosing a Dwarf 

  • Because of their size, they run fast on their wheels, and swiftly crawl from hamster tubes, and dwarfs do get excited by goofing around in their den when being playful. This characteristic makes them more loved by pet owners
  • Small sizes are an extreme advantage when planning to design their hamster cages with toys and styling different hamster huts
  • Unlike Syrian hamsters with bigger faeces, dwarfs’ poop is tinier and more comfortable to clean and there is no awful smell either.
  • Dwarfs are easy to carry around and transfer from cages to cages during maintenance

Cons of choosing a Dwarf 

  • Certain breeds of dwarfs are known for biting and running incredibly fast. Also, their hyperactivity makes them hard to handle
  • Taming a dwarf can be very challenging because they are often defensive and territorial.
  • Dwarfs tend to hop in your hands, catching dwarfs rushing around your room can be a struggle
  • Because of their sizes, injury or sickness can get rapidly worse. Wet tail is a contagious illness prone to dwarf hamsters, especially when their home gets too crowded and not cleaned properly. Without immediate treatment, this disease can cause a quick death

Chinese Hamster

Contrary to belief, Chinese hamsters are not Dwarf hamsters. Chinese Hamsters are the only hamster that has longer tail than the other species. The body is long and thin, while its colour is often light brown, dark brown, or grey. This species of hamster is also not easy to find in pet shops.

Some people would mistake them for Dwarf hamsters and even think a Chinese hamster is a Mongolian gerbil until they see their visible tails and very skinny bodies.

They weigh about 30-45 g (1-1.5 oz) and length of 8-13 cm (22-33 in). Chinese hamsters have a lifespan between 2-3 years.

Species of hamster

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Now that you know the facts and information about these fury babies, it’s now up to you to reconsider having them as a household pet. No matter how busy your day is now and then, hamsters don’t require you to put in too much of your time.

They do not desire a lot of attention and social interactions. Hamsters can entertain themselves for a fair amount of time. All you have to do is include toys on your shopping checklists.

They are straightforward to look after, as a matter of fact, all they need is food and replenish their water jug daily and daily exercises. Once hamsters are tamed, they can be extremely jolly running around your body while you get busy with school work.

I hope that you found this list of species of hamsters helpful in figuring out which type of hamster is suitable for you.

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There are various hamster species commonly kept as pets, including Syrian hamsters (golden, long-haired), Dwarf hamsters (Roborovski, Campbell's, Winter White), and Chinese hamsters. Each species has unique characteristics and care requirements. via @thehamstercareblog

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