This list describes the five most common pet hamster breeds. A wide variety of hamster types exist and most of them make good pets however some are more popular as pets than others. Each hamster breed has it's own personality types, the most popular pet hamster breeds are as follows.
Chinese hamster: Also known as grey or rat tailed hamsters the adult Chinese hamster weighs 30-45 grams. Significant features include a thin appearance and longer than average tail. Chinese hamsters are excellent climbers and will grip your finger with all four paws when handled. Some states, such as California and New Jersey consider the Chinese hamster a pest and a license is required to own, breed or sell them.
Campbell's dwarf hamster: Burrowing and scent-marking are two character traits that potential dwarf hamster owners should be aware of. The dwarf hamster is more likely to create a tunnel to hide in while sleeping making it impossible to see most of the time. Dwarf hamsters also use their feces as a tool in communicating with other dwarf hamsters so some odor is common but manageable. Dwarf hamsters originate from inner Mongolia. They can be kept in pairs of two males or two females if they are introduced to a cage at the same time.
Roborovski hamster: The Roborovski hamster originates from China and lower Mongolia. It is perhaps the fastest of all tamed hamster breeds and requires a wheel or abundance of room to run. It prefers a solitary life, only one per cage is recommended. Roborovski hamsters are smaller than the other breeds on this page and weigh 20-25 grams fully grown. They are not particularly fond of basic store bought pellet based foods. For that reason many owners prefer to feed them small seed rich foods such as budgie feed. Robo hamsters rarely bite and make good pets in a house with children.
Djungarian hamster: Better known as the winter white or Siberian hamster the Djungarian hamster is found in the wilds of North Western China, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Siberia, and Manchuria. It is roughly half the size of a Syrian hamster and has a lifespan of one to three years in captivity. Common health problems are similar to other breeds with the exception of a slightly higher rate of tumors. Only dwarf hamsters and Djungarian hamsters are capable of breeding with hamsters of another species to produce live hybrid offspring.
Syrian Hamsters: Also commonly known as a golden or teddy bear hamster the Syrian hamster makes a great companion and is a good choice for a first pet. They are sociable, good climbers and have cute puffy cheeks. Their scientific name is Mesocricetus Auratus and they originate from the Aleppinian plateau in Syria. Syrian hamsters are territorial and a limit of one per cage is recommended.
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