5 Types of Hamster Breeds
Hamsters are not like dogs, which are the same genus and species but different breeds. Thus, when you look at the various hamster types, you are not looking at different hamster breeds but rather various hamster species, and occasionally even various genera. The top five hamster species kept in homes are listed below.
Syrian hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) are larger and easier to hold than the dwarf species. The best hamsters for kids and people who want to hold their hamster more frequently are Syrians. They need to be kept apart because they are loners. Syrian hamsters have two coat lengths—either short hair or long hair—and a range of colors. The color of your Syrian hamster is largely a matter of personal preference. There is no better color for a pet than another, and no color has health issues linked to the color gene.
You might come across hamsters with adorable names like Calico, Panda Bear, or Black Bear while looking for the ideal hamster to purchase. These names describe the color or pattern of the Syrian hamster. Purchase it if you like the color and the Syrian hamster has a friendly disposition.
Choose a Syrian hamster that is simple to handle and won’t require much chasing around the cage. A Syrian hamster should be able to calmly move from palm to palm without acting alarmed or leaping from your hands, despite the fact that hamsters aren’t typically “sit-on-your-shoulder-or-hands” types of pets. Just keep in mind that Syrian hamsters, despite being more expensive and having less typical colors or patterns, are still Syrians in every way. As with all other Syrian hamsters, you can anticipate the same personality and behavior from them.
Dwarf hamsters are smaller than the Syrian hamsters. They should be kept in same-sex pairs or trios because they are social animals. There are several species of dwarf hamsters available as pets, with Campbell’s, Winter Whites, Roborovskis, and Chinese being the most popular.
Although the needs of each species of dwarf hamster appear to be similar, each has a very distinct temperament and should only be kept with members of the same species. Due to their smaller size and quick movements, dwarf hamsters are not the best option when looking for hamsters for kids to keep as pets. Dwarf hamsters are crepuscular, as opposed to Syrian hamsters, who are rarely awake during the day (most active at dusk and dawn).
When compared to many other dwarf hamster species, they have a wider range of colors and coat types, including standard and satin. The Campbell’s hamsters are lively and entertaining to watch. They are confident and outgoing, and as long as they are handled gently, they frequently enjoy interacting with their caregivers.
However, some Campbell’s hamsters can grow possessive of their space, so choosing a hamster cage that is easy to access is crucial. Although it is best to keep pet Campbell’s hamsters in pairs or groups, at some point they may start fighting and will need to be separated. If this occurs, buy extra hamster cages so you can keep the hamsters segregated. Some Campbell’s lines are rife with diabetes, so be careful which line you adopt from.
Winter White Hamsters
Winter White hamsters (Phodopus sungorus) are similar to Campbell’s dwarf hamsters, but they have a different body shape and different color variations. As pet hamsters go, Winter White hamsters also tend to be a bit more reserved than the Campbell’s. Getting a true Winter White can be challenging because they can interbreed with Campbell’s. Hybrid hamsters are rampant in the United States. Find a breeder who is committed to maintaining the purity of their lines if you have your heart set on owning a pet Winter White hamster.
Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters
They move very, very quickly. Roborovski Dwarfs are also the smallest of the hamster species. Children or people who want to hold their pet hamster should avoid them because they are difficult to handle.
The best way to interact with Roborovski hamsters is through observation because they simply won’t stay in your hands. Many pet owners affectionately refer to these animals as “furry goldfish.” However, roborovskis are entertaining to watch and have the potential to be amiable. Despite their diminutive size, Roborovski Dwarfs need more hamster toys than any other hamster species and need a larger hamster cage.
Unlike the other dwarf hamsters, Chinese hamsters (Cricetulus griseus) are not a true dwarf. They fall somewhere between the Syrian and Campbell’s hamsters in terms of size. Like the Roborovskis, they have special needs. Chinese hamsters thrive in environments with lots of hiding places, so they need a large hamster cage or container. Chinese hamsters are fast and hard to catch, but should sit still once in your hand. Pet Chinese hamsters are illegal in some places, such as California, so check with your state’s Department of Fish and Game or your local hamster club before getting this hamster species.
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