Often people are not sure whether a hamster will be a good fit as a pet in a household with both children and adults. And are there any specific types of hamsters that are more ‘pettable’ than the others?
Stay with us and read on, as we are going to find out everything about the hamsters and their types in this blog.
Hamsters are basically rodents belonging to the subfamily Cricetinae. Around the globe, hamsters are getting popular as pets, which are quite playful as well. But not all hamsters are domestic; some of them are wild and loves to be in the wild. Let’s explore some of the pet hamsters in the lines below.
What Are the Different Types of Hamsters?
Here are the five most popular hamsters available that can be kept as pets at home, trained, tamed, and groomed.
Syrian hamsters are the friendliest hamsters amongst all the species and types of hamsters. They are golden in color and quite soft and fluffy from the outside. They are small in size, their length ranging from 5 to 9 inches, while they can live for almost 2-4 years, not more than that.
Moreover, there are variations in these Syrian hamsters’ pattern, color, and belly size, but they can be handled quite well. The best thing about Syrian hamsters is that they do not bite.
These 5-inch long Chinese hamsters have a lifespan of almost around 2 – 3 years. They can easily get along with their owners without any hassle or much struggle. It is quite comfortable to handle them if they are properly tamed from a young age. Plus, it’s better to handle them with a good grip; otherwise thanks to their tiny body and quick movement, they can easily squirm out of the hands.
They are energetic creatures, often busy with themselves and, sometimes, their owners.
Roborovski is from a dwarf hamster breed and is considered the smallest hamster amongst all. They can grow only up to 2 inches, while their lifespan is almost 2 – 3 years. You need small but strong housing to keep these hamsters at home. You may use aquariums made up of mesh lids as there is a threat that they might escape from the wire cages easily. Remember that it is an active and agile breed that moves quickly; therefore, to handle them properly, you can provide them with small toys and engage them in other playful activities.
Winter white hamsters are also known as Russian hamsters because of their color, pattern, and friendliness. This species is also considered as the type of dwarf hamsters that can make good pets because of its small size and cuddly feature. They are common as pets in Europe and North America and are liked by both adults and kids.
Their length varies from 3.5 to 4 inches, and their lifespan is almost two years. These hamsters are pretty docile in nature and do not bite. Like Roborovskis, it is also better to house them in an aquarium as they are agile and quick by nature.
Named after Charles William Campbell, the man responsible for collecting the first specimen in Mongolia in 1902, it is another type of dwarf hamster. They are fluffy and agile and have a life expectancy of almost two years. Moreover, their length can increase up to 4 inches maximum. They are considered quite friendly and will reciprocate your love if appropriately handled.
How Many Different Types of Hamsters Are There?
As per Animal Diversity Web, there are 18 hamster species in 7 genera. Apart from the five most popular hamster species explained above, there are other hamster species, some of which are:
- Golden Hamsters
- European Hamsters
- Gansu Hamsters
- Grey Dwarf Hamsters
- Greater Long-Tailed Hamsters
- Mesocricetus Hamsters
- Allocricetulius Hamsters
- Chinese Striped Hamsters
Dwarf hamsters are further divided into different categories.
|Russian Campbell||Chinese Dwarf||Russian Winter White||Roborovski|
|10 cm long||12 cm long||8 cm long||5 cm long|
|Found in different colors||Available in 2 colors||Available in 5 colors||Available in various colors and patterns|
|Specialist breed||Longer tail than other hamsters||Docile||Smallest and fastest hamster|
|2 years life expectancy||3 years life expectancy||2 years life expectancy||3 years life expectancy|
Things to Know About All Types of Hamsters
Some of the features that almost all hamsters share are given below.
- Hamsters’ mouth contains cheek pouches through which they can store food and crush it slowly and gradually.
- The word hamster is derived from the German word ‘hamstern’ which means ‘hoarder.’
- Hamsters can easily dig burrows for themselves while living in the wild. These burrows can be three feet deep. They can also make different chambers for themselves that are suitable for carrying out different activities.
- Almost all hamsters have 16 teeth, including incisors and molars.
- Hamsters are omnivores which means they can eat a variety of food, including nuts, seeds, grains, vegetables, fruits, insects, and meat as well.
- Most of the hamsters are nearsighted, having poor vision.
- Hamsters can’t catch allergies or common flu, and cold.
- Hamsters have pregastric pouches that enable them to digest protein or lactose enzymes.
- Hamsters have the ability to travel more than 5 miles in the wild.
- Hamsters are considered solitary animals, always feeling great when alone.
- Hibernation is quite a difficult phase for hamsters.
- Hamsters have the ability to reproduce as young as four weeks of age.
- They do not usually drink a lot of water.
- Hamsters often eat their offspring if they feel stressed or threatened.
- Chinese and Syrian hamsters are also used in labs for medical research.
How Many Types of Teddy Bear Hamsters Are There in the World?
Teddy bear hamsters are also known as Syrian hamsters, available in a wide range of colors and patterns. They are both longhaired and shorthaired, having Rex or Satin coats. The longhaired hamster is also called a teddy bear hamster due to its fluffiness, popularity, and friendly nature.
Teddy bear is just a nickname given to the Syrian hamsters with a special breed that includes different types of hamsters, such as Golden hamsters, Fancy hamsters, and Black bear hamsters.
Some of the prominent features of teddy bear hamsters are:
|The average length of the teddy bear hamsters ranges from 5 inches to 7 inches.|
|These hamsters might have a small tail along with a stocky body.|
|They consist of short legs, tulip-shaped ears, and wide feet. Their ears are fully covered with fur.|
|Their eyes are round, large, and dark.|
|They are known as teddy bears because of their nose shape, which is pink with a snout end.|
|Their furs are quite fluffy, soft, and golden, making them appear cuddly.|
Hamster Caring: Do’s and Don’ts
First of all, you should know that what type of cage is good for the hamsters. You should also know that they require proper housing that is closed from all sides. Otherwise, hamsters will escape—it is easy for them.
Although they are low-maintenance pets, you have to take care of their food, health, shelter, and other habits to keep them healthy, happy, and playful.
You should always keep the hamster’s fur off dirt as it might cause various infections that might be fatal to their health.
Take extra care of their living arrangements, as we know that they are solitary animals and love to live alone. Don’t bother them much. Lastly, provide them with sufficient place or space for playing, running, and living.
Suitable Pet For a Beginner: Choose Wisely
Most pet owners and experts believe that Syrian hamsters are most likely to be kept as a pet at home. Hence, they are also considered the first choice for children who want to keep fluffy, soft, and cute little pets at home.
They are considered the most suitable one because of their breed and moderate size, whereas small size hamsters might be difficult for kids to manage as they need extra care and require more caution and a little know-how.
Read: Hamster Care Section