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Types of Hamsters - How to Choose the Best Hamster Type

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When choosing a hamster to buy, it's important to know the types of hamsters so you choose the best one for you. Different types of hamsters have different needs and traits.

There are 5 types of hamsters...

  • Syrian hamster
  • Chinese hamster
  • Dwarf Campbell Russian Hamster
  • Dwarf Winter White Russian Hamster
  • Roborovski Hamster

Syrian Hamster

The Syrian hamster goes by many names ranging from Teddy Bear Hamsters, Fancy Hamster, Long Haired Hamster for the hairy ones to Alien Hamster, Black Bear and European Black Bear for the hairless ones.

As their name indicates, Syrian hamsters are from Syria. Because of the cold temperatures in Syria, Syrian hamsters are genetically programmed to go into hibernation for a couple of months.

The important thing to keep in mind is, the temperature needs to be around 16 degrees centigrade as far as possible and there should be adequate food supply in the hamster's house.

Most Syrian hamsters, like all other hamster breeds, do not require any grooming on your part. The only exception to this is the Long Haired Syrian hamster. In this case a simple toothbrush can be used to remove any bedding material that may be caught up in his fur.

Dwarf Winter White Russian Hamster

Winter White Hamsters are known by many names, including Dwarf Russian Winter White Hamster, Siberian Hamster, and Furry Hamster.

Each name accurately describes one aspect of this prized animal, such as the hamster's white winter coat, tiny size, place of origin and furry feet. Perhaps the most descriptive name would be Winter White Russian Siberian Furry Dwarf Hamster - try asking for one of those at the pet shop!

Winter White Hamsters are only 3 to 4 inches long at maturity. Their prominent eyes belie their poor eyesight. Other distinctive features are a curved spine, Roman nose and short tail. Like all hamsters, this species has expandable cheek pouches for transporting food.

These hamsters are among the friendliest of all the breeds. They enjoy interacting with humans, biting and nipping less than other hamsters. However, due to their small size, they are not suitable as pets for very young children, who may inadvertently harm them.

Dwarf Campbell's Russian Hamster

Among the three species of dwarf hamsters, the Campbell's Russian dwarf hamsters is known to be the most commonly found hamsters in pet stores today.

These dwarf hamsters can absolutely become excellent pets. Other than that, they can also get along with other hamsters most especially when they are introduced at a very young age.

Just like the other hamsters, Russian dwarf hamsters need to have a great spacious cage for them to roam and play around. Also, they need to be given nuts, seeds, vegetables, food pellets and other commercial seed mixes.

It is also advisable that owners provide them hamster treats so they do not get bored with the same old food items.

Campbell Dwarf Hamsters grow to be about four inches in length. The males will be slightly longer than the females. They are much smaller than regular varieties, such as the Golden Hamster or the Black Bear Hamster, and therefore must be kept in containers where they cannot squeeze through the bars of the cage.

Roborovski Hamster

Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters are the smallest members of the family of Russian Dwarf Hamsters. They are called Robos for short, and any adjective such as short, little, tiny or diminutive is the right way to describe them.

Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters are instantly recognizable not only by their tiny size, but also by the white spots on their faces where the eyebrows would normally be. Roborovski Hamster is sometimes known as "Husky."

They are shy by nature and can be easily startled and stressed. They are friendly by nature, and not prone to biting. They will run and hide when frightened and due to their small size and great speed, they can easily escape from their owners' hands.

This makes them a less than ideal choice for households with small children and cats.

Chinese Hamster

If you love Mickey Mouse, then you will definitely adore the Chinese dwarf hamsters. You're probably wondering why, but if you have a friend or relative who owns one, you can easily tell the reason why such hamsters are so popular.

The Chinese dwarf hamsters look like mice as compared to other species of hamsters because of their tail and slightly longer body.

Chinese Dwarf hamsters are one of the rarest types to be found when it comes to pet hamsters,they are normally found in the northern desert areas of Mongolia and China.

It is normally better to keep dwarf hamsters in pairs but this is not the case with the Chinese hamster. Two females that are raised from an early age will often get along much better than a male and a female combination.

Chinese hamsters normally live between two to three years, and also they are not as easy to train as other types of hamsters. They can also be a bit skittish,very agile and can sometimes be aggressive.

So You Want a Hamster, But Which One Is the Best for You?

Hamsters are often treated as the obvious choice for parents as first pets for their children, but often the reality of the needs and care of the hamster are overlooked. If you want a pet that needs very little input from you, get a goldfish!

The beauty of hamsters, their friendly nature and playful antics, make them a popular choice for a lot of people. In recent years, different hamster breeds have become more and more widely available. So which one is right for you?

It all depends on who is going to own the hamster. If you are getting it for your kids, you may want to go with a smaller hamster type like the Syrian hamster.

But for adults, bigger types of hamster may be better and more fun.

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