Hamsters as pets: What types of hamsters are there?

There are various types of hamsters that differ in properties and attitude. Read here about the various variants in which the small rodents suitable as pets can be found. The fur of the Djungarian dwarf hamster is partially or completely white in winter - Shutterstock / Kuttelvaserova Stuchelova

Hamsters can basically be divided into three groups: medium-sized hamsters, short-tailed dwarf hamsters and gray dwarf hamsters. The main representatives of domesticated hamster species are listed below. Other species result from different breeding forms.

Golden hamster: pet in many breeding forms

The golden hamster comes from Turkey and belongs to the genus of middle hamsters. The following breeding forms have emerged from the original golden hamster:

● Teddy hamster
● Angora hamster
● Rexhamster
● Satin hamster
● Russian hamster
● silk hamster
● Pied hamster

The golden hamster reaches a size of around 15 to 18 cm and, like all types of hamsters, is nocturnal and a loner.

Keep the golden hamster in a cage that is at least 100 by 40 cm. Hamsters like to climb, but they also fall easily. So prevent the animal from climbing higher than 30 cm. You can use small animal litter, corn litter or hemp litter as bedding. Do not use plastic for the cage design, it can be toxic to the animals if they gnaw on them. Choose natural materials, such as untreated wood, cork bark or stones. Feed the golden hamster with cereals, hay, animal protein and fresh vegetables.

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Djungarian hamster: No heat, please!

The Djungarian hamster comes from Central Asia, Northern Russia, Northern China and Northern Kazakhstan and belongs to the genus of short-tailed hamsters. It is around 10 cm tall and weighs 45 g. Its fur on the back is gray with a dark eel streak or pure white. The rodent is white on the belly side. This species is best tamed by all dwarf hamsters.

The Djungarian dwarf hamster needs a cage of at least 30 by 70 cm base. Like all hamsters, this species must be able to exercise its urge to move, otherwise behavioral disorders and health impairments are inevitable. A well-structured run with stones, cork bark and apple tree branches is ideal for this. The Djungarian hamster does not tolerate high temperatures, health problems begin at room temperatures of over 30 ° C, the animal can die from 36 ° C. This hamster loves to nibble on young grass and thus feeds itself important nutrients. Basically, the Djungarian dwarf hamster needs between 15 and 20 percent animal protein such as yogurt or curd to build up its cell structure through eating.

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Roborowski hamster: the rodent with the white “eyebrows”

The origin of the Roborowski dwarf hamster can be found in the Gobi desert, in northern China and in Mongolia. The animal belonging to the genus of short-tailed dwarf hamsters is the smallest hamster in domestic animal husbandry. He is around 5 to 6 cm tall, very agile and very nervous. The top of the fur is light brown, the belly is white. A two-arched border separates the top and bottom. The white areas above the animal's eyes are particularly noticeable.

The rodent prefers to live as a loner. Beware of pairs or groups: The Roborowski hamster quickly suffers from stress from its peers without showing it out loud. In many cases, this is fatal. Otherwise, it loves to walk and dig in the sand. So design a cage with a bottom made of fine quartz sand. Add four bowls of more absorbent sand in the corners for the hamster to urinate. Additional design options are offered by cork bark and apple tree branches as hiding places for the rodent.

Campbell dwarf hamster: difficult to tame

The Campbell dwarf hamster comes from Mongolia, northern China and southern Siberia and belongs to the genus of short-tailed dwarf hamsters. This species is very similar to the Djungarian dwarf hamster, around 10 cm in size and 45 g in weight. The fur is light gray with a brown-gold color. The eel line and the three-arc line are present as with the Dsungaren. Campbell hamsters are relatively difficult to tame. Some specimens bite the fingers of their holders so much that it is better to only touch them with leather gloves.

The Campbell dwarf hamster cage should be at least 30 by 70 cm. The risk of intense biting and high stress levels when keeping pairs or groups is high. Therefore, this species should also be kept individually.

Chinese striped hamster: long tail and slim body

The Chinese striped hamster originally comes from Mongolia and northern China. It belongs to the genus of gray hamsters. The rodent is up to 12 cm long and has a longer, slimmer body shape than the Djungarian or Campbell dwarf hamster. Its tail is particularly striking at 1.5 cm in length - the highest value among domesticated hamster species. The fur top is mottled with brown gold and shows an eel streak, the bottom is almost white.

The Chinese striped hamster also likes to pinch his groom's fingers every now and then. A requirement that predestines it for adults rather than for children. The optimal keeping conditions are comparable to those of the Djungarian hamster. To accommodate the climbing talent of the Chinese striped hamster, you can equip the enclosure with wall bars or sisal ropes.

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