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 to young children and adults.
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.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO KNOW THE DIFFERENT SPECIES OF A HAMSTER
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.
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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 (.22 – .33 lbs) and 175 – 225 g (.38 – .49 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 loves to be cuddled.
Russian Campbell and Chinese hamsters can grow up to 4 inches in length and weigh 30-45 g (.066 – .088 lbs). The dwarfs are heightened up to 3-4 inches (8 -10 cm) when it reaches adulthood and weighs about 25-35 g (.055 – .077 lbs). And lastly, the smallest of them all can approximately reach 2-2.6 inches (5-6 cm), the Roborovski Hamsters.
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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 prefers to be alone.
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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 hamsters and ease them with their aggravations.
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SPECIES OF HAMSTERS
If you want to understand your hamster or if you are still undecided which hamster is the best fit for you, the great way to start this is by knowing what groups do 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. Roborovski, Campbell Dwarves/Hybrid, Winter White or Chinese.
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Syrian hamsters or first known as the Golden Hamster was discovered and named way back in the late 1800s. George Robert Waterhouse founded the new species 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. Ears are moderately small 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 for 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
- They don’t produce unpleasant smells, poop and pea are easy to clean
- Syrians are the least likely to bite among other hamster breeds
Cons of choosing a Syrian Hamster
- Syrian Hamster prefers to be alone; this makes them aggressive when blending with other types.
- 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
Campbell Dwarf Hamsters/ Campbell Russian
They are friendly to their neighbours and can easily be tamed. 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.
They can be tamed but it can be challenging. They 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.
Winter White Dwarf / Siberian / Djungarian/ Hybrids
When it comes to the topic of Dwarf, many people even uneducated breeders would simply place all small hamsters under Dwarf species but that’s incorrect. 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.
Winter White Dwarf hamster has a vast combination of colour, compared to Syrians, who only have the golden appearance. Their 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 in an accredited pet breeder.
This hamster has softer wool in comparison to a Syrian. Their coat/fur also changes colour depending on the heat or temperature their surrounding is. If you live in a cold country, expect their coat to turn white during winter hence, the name.
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Roborovski / Robowski
Roborovski is the smallest in dwarf hamsters. But they are the most terrible when it comes to speed and taming. They are always moving at a quick speed and are harder to tame. This hamster is not suitable for the care of children, even with supervision. Because of their size, they can quickly be squashed and result in broken bones or escape.
They are not recommended to be a pet for small children since Roborovski is one of the hardest to tame and prone to biting. If you choose to have a Roborovski, it’s important to have patience and accept that you might never tame your hamster.
Pros of choosing a Dwarf
- Because of their size, they run fast on their wheels, 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 hamster with bigger faeces, dwarfs’ poop is tinier and more comfortable to clean. And there is no awful smell which makes it enjoyable for children to practice a cleaning routine
- 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
- Roborovski is not for petting, although they are the latest known breed of domesticated hamsters. This little critter can grow only 2 inches, and their unwillingness to handle makes them a snob and no fun for children
- Because of their sizes, injury or sickness can get rapidly worse. Wet tails are contagious illness prone to dwarf hamsters, especially when their home gets too crowded and not cleaned properly. Without immediate treatment, this disease can be a cause for a quick death
Chinese Hamsters are the only hamster that has a 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 hamsters is also not easy to find in pet shops. Some people would mistake them as Dwarf hamsters until they see their visible tails and very skinny body.
They weigh about 30-45 g (.066 – .088 lbs) and length at 8-13 cm (22-33 in). Chinese hamsters have a lifespan between 2-3 years.
Now that you know 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 too much of your time. They do not desire a lot of attention and social interactions. Hamsters can entertain themselves in 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.