Hamsters are Rodents in the Cricetidae family. They are nocturnal/crepuscular, meaning they are more active at night or at dawn and dusk.
Why you should get a hamster
Hamsters make great pets. They are so cute, fluffy and soft! Hamsters are easy to take care of like fish, only you can play with them. It’s also easier to convince your parents to get a hamster than a dog or cat, and unlike a dog, you do not need to take your hamsters on walks. In fact, stores may sell hamster leashes, these can be harmful!
There are many different species of wild hamsters. These are just the domestic species.
- Syrian hamster: This is what most people think about when they hear someone say “hamster”. They are the largest species, around 5-7 inches. You may also know this as the Teddy Bear hamster, Fancy Bear hamster, or Golden hamster. These are nicknames, the proper name is Syrian. They should never be housed together.
- Chinese hamster: The Chinese hamster has a slightly longer tail and thinner body than other species. They are usually 3-5 inches. They should never be housed together.
3. Winter White dwarf hamster: Also known as the Djugarian hamster, Winter Whites grow to about 3 inches. They can be housed together, though I personally don’t recommend it in cages.
4. Russian Campbell’s dwarf hamster: The Russian Campbell’s dwarf hamster is usually 3-4 inches. They can be bred with the Winter White. They can be housed together, but don’t recommend it.
5. Roborovski dwarf hamster: Roborovski hamsters are the smallest species. They grow up to 2 inches. They can be housed together, but I don’t think it’s necessary, I wouldn’t say I don’t recommend it.
Hamsters need large cages. Fifteen inches (38.1 cm) x 30 inches (76.2 cm) at the minimum. If the cage is too small, your hamster will bite or climb the bars of their cage, or mesh on the lid. They will also climb the glass of the cage if it is an aquarium. Neither of this is good, it means your hamster is stressed. Hamsters need an exercise wheel, 8 inches at least for a dwarf/Chinese hamster, but Syrian hamsters need at least a 10 inch wheel (I recommend getting an 11 inch wheel, because for small hamster such as Roborovskis, it’s not too big for them to push, and it’s also big enough for Syrian hamsters!). Hamsters need wooden chews, because their teeth do not stop growing, so they need chews to keep them short.