Welcome to HamstersInfo.com! Your one-stop source for everything hamster-related. Whether you are experienced or doing the research before adopting one of these fuzzy friends for the first time, we are here to offer knowledge and support. We want nothing more than to help you be the best hamster parent ever.
My name is Everly. I am a Milwaukee-based mom of 2 and have been a proud owner of many hamsters throughout my life. Like many of us, my introduction to hamsters happened when I was very young.
My family saw several hamsters come and go through the years, and I enjoyed playing with them, but I never fully appreciated them until I grew up and my own children decided to jump on the hamster bandwagon.
At that point, I was determined to learn all I could about caring for these adorable pets. Enough about me; let’s talk hamsters!
All About Hamsters
For those unfamiliar with hamsters, classifying them is not always easy. They have some of the physical features of small rodents like mice and voles, but the temperament of calmer domestic pets like bunnies or guinea pigs.
So what are hamsters exactly? They are rodents, which explains the similarities with mice. They are part of the subfamily Cricetinae, which includes other creatures such as voles and marmots.
Strange as it may sound, there are hamsters in the wild. These nocturnal creatures live all over Europe and Asia. They live much the same way as other rodents, foraging for food, burrowing into holes, and protecting their territory. These hamsters are slightly different genetically from our chubby-cheeked pets, but for the most part, they are the same.
Types of Hamsters
There are several different types of domestic hamsters, each with their own unique features
Teddy Bear Hamsters, also known as Syrian hamsters, are at the top of the list of popular hamster breeds. It is easy to see why: they are chubby, fluffy, easy-to-handle, and friendly. At about 7 inches long on average, Teddy Bears are large enough to be easily pet and cuddled.
Russian Campbell and Russian Winter White Hamsters are both dwarf breeds. Dwarf hamsters tend to look more like mice. They are also timid and can be skittish like mice, so owners must be cautious and gentle, or else they may be spooked and run off while being held.
Chinese Hamsters are mid-sized hamsters with a lot of energy. They love attention and make great companions, even though they are less cuddly than other breeds. They can also be aggressive to other hamsters, so be careful when introducing them.
Roborovski hamsters are the tiniest of domestic hamsters. These little angels often grow to be only about 2 inches long. Due to their delicate stature, they require gentle care. Their temperament tends to be docile and sensitive, so they need to be kept away from stress and given plenty of cozy hiding spots in their enclosure.
The color variety is one of the pluses of hamsters as pets. These cuties are available in a classic golden color and in white, dark brown, various shades of gray, and many more combinations. They also may have smooth fur or long fluffy fur that causes them to look like little mops.
History of Domestic Hamsters
Our everyday domestic hamsters have an interesting and adventure-filled history. In 1930, a zoologist in the Middle East discovered the Golden hamster and recognized the potential of this adorable creature as a pet. He brought one and its litter of babies to Israel with him, where they ended up being shipped and bred around the world.
It is understandable why hamsters are a beloved household pet and are popular among children. Hamsters are fluffy, small, have chubby cheeks, and are available in various colors. For the most part, they usually have a docile disposition with humans and rarely mind being handled.
Thanks to their naturally cuddly vibe, hamsters have become a favorite animal in children’s literature and entertainment. Countless picture books, chapter books, TV shows, and movies feature hamsters as leads or supporting characters.
Planning for a Hamster
Like any pet, hamsters need responsible, prepared owners. Before you take that trip to the pet store be sure you have asked yourself the basic questions
- Do I have enough time to give to a hamster? Hamsters are easy-care pets for the most part but do require some work and attention. If your children are the ones who want the hamster, talk with them about what responsibilities come with it, and be realistic about what they can handle. You may end up doing most of the pet care if your kids are young or lose interest in their pets over time.
- Can I afford to care for a hamster? Hamsters are not expensive to buy and their accessories and food tend to be reasonably priced. Nevertheless, people on a budget may find that the monthly extras add up, and you might have to ditch some luxuries in favor of your fluffy friend.
- Can I keep my hamster safe? You’ll need a cage of course, but you’ll also need to think about which room or area you’ll keep your hamster in. It will have to be a place without too much noise or excessive light. If you live with other people, will they be kind to your pet? If you have other pets like dogs or cats, you will have to think about how to keep them safely separated from your hamster.
Once you’re answered these questions and decided to move forward, you’ll need the right cage and accessories for your hamster. You can find some great detailed information about that in this guide.
You’ll also need to pick up hamster food. You can pick these items up at the same pet store where you’ll buy your hamster, but it’s often much easier to find them online. Online shopping allows you to choose from a wider selection of items and oftentimes save money too.
You’ll find a lot of useful information here on hamstersinfo.com. Come back often and search for whatever topics you need help with. We’re always expanding and adding new things to help you on your journey.