Are you thinking of having a pet at home? Have you considered choosing a hamster?
This article will give you some great ideas on what it’s like to have hamsters at home and help you make your decision.
Having Hamsters as Pets
Many assume that hamsters are ideal pets for kids (which they are!), but you do have to take into account that hamsters are actually nocturnal animals which might not adjust well with a younger child’s playtime schedule.
However, once you get accustomed to each other’s timings, having a hamster can really bring a lot of fun and joy to your home.
Different Types of Hamsters
Before you decide on bringing home a hamster, you should know that there are five main types of hamsters and they each behave differently.
These are: Syrian Hamster, Campbell’s Russian Dwarf Hamster, Winter White Russian Dwarf Hamster, Chinese Hamster and Roborovski Hamster. The most popular and biggest among them all is the Syrian Hamster.
Syrian Hamsters as Pets
The Syrian hamster is also known as Golden hamster due to its prominent golden brown fur color although there are several coat mutations for this specie recently. They are generally solitary in nature so you should only place one Syrian hamster per cage. The only time they meet others is when pairs mate, after which the female Syrian hamster keeps the male away.
Syrian Hamsters make very good pets for children as they are relatively maintenance-free and are manageable due to their huge size. Unlike dwarf hamsters, they remain tamed after a long time of not being handled although we suggest that you handle them every day to keep them accustomed to you. They are very friendly towards humans and like to be cuddled.
An ideal pet for both children and adults.
Campbell’s Russian Dwarf Hamsters as Pets
This type of hamster is alternately known as ‘Russian’ or ‘dwarf’ hamsters, due to their relatively small size. Unlike the Syrian hamsters, the Campbell’s hamsters are sociable and can live in groups either in pairs of the same sex, or even in large same-sex groups.
However, there are always chances that groups may fall apart and get into territorial fights so it’s essential to keep a close watch on aggression and separate them when necessary. A different sex pair can breed a litter of babies every 18 days, so think twice before having them together if you don’t want to breed many baby hamsters.
These hamsters are also generally faster and can be a little difficult to handle for really young children.
Winter White Dwarf Russian Hamsters as Pets
Winter White Russian hamsters or Siberian hamsters weigh not more than an ounce and measure only a little over three inches. During winter months, their fur color changes from dark grey to white, thus the Winter White name. Some even completely turn white.
They are moderately sociable and will surely get along well with its group. However, there might be some intermittent arguments among the hamsters. They have similarities with Campbell Dwarfs so it can be quite difficult to distinguish them apart. They were once considered to be of the same species until scientists later found out that both are different.
As with the Campbell’s hamsters, the winter white can be a little more difficult to handle due to its small size and speed.
Chinese Hamsters as Pets
Chinese hamsters live in pairs or in small groups. Their tails are longer compared to the other hamsters which enable them to attach to objects (like a finger or clothing) and wrap themselves around it just like a mouse would. A pair may produce babies every 21 days but they are generally not as productive as the Russian hamsters. Chinese Hamsters usually have calm, shy behavior. They are often tame when handled and are very fun to look at inside their cages doing their routine.
The Chinese Hamster may take a while to get used to you as they’re generally more timid, especially when they’re young. But once they get accustomed to you, they can become really endearing and their lovable-ness can really grow on you.
The Chinese hamster would make a great pet for a gentle and patient owner.
Roborovski Hamsters as Pets
Roborovski hamsters are the smallest (and fastest!) among all the other hamsters.
These speedy little hamsters only grow up to about 1.5 inches in length. Their tiny size enables them to easily escape from cages and slip through your hands so extra care has to be taken to ensure that their cages are suitable for them and that they don’t run into places that may get themselves hurt.
Roborovski hamsters are usually sociable and can adapt well with members of their own breed (especially when introduced since young). Their funny antics are always amusing which make them excellent pets that are fun to watch. You can literally sit by their cages for hours just watch how they zoom around and interact with each other. They also don’t require additional grooming and have less maintenance issues.
Robrovski hamsters are also extremely adorable but their speed and size may make them less suitable for young children or first time owners.
While some claim that Roborvski hamsters cannot be tamed, having personally kept 4 Robos (how they’re sometimes affectionately called), I’ve found that it just takes some time (usually a few weeks) and patience for them to get used to you. After which, they’d be happy to voluntarily approach you when you place your hands in their cages.
So have you decided on which type of hamster you’d like to have as your pet?
Remember, no matter what your decision is, don’t base in just on impulse and how cute they look. Keeping a pet is a commitment that you make with each other. Whichever hamster you choose, show it love, care and patience and you’re surely have a great time with your pet hamster.