The Complete Guide to Chinese Hamsters & 20 Facts

by Hamster Care

Find out everything you need to know about Chinese hamsters, like how to take care of them properly, build them a good home, and feed them healthy food. Our complete guide is great for both new and experienced owners of Chinese hamsters.

What is Chinese Hamsters?

The Chinese hamster is a small rodent that lives in China and Mongolia. It is also called the striped dwarf hamster. Their grey-brown or dark brown stripe runs down their backs, making them easy to spot. Chinese hamsters are popular pets because they are friendly and don’t require a lot of care. Most of the time, they weigh between 30 and 50 grams and live for about two to three years.

Chinese Hamsters: Origin and History

Chinese hamsters are a type of hamster that comes from northern China and Mongolia. They are also called striped hamsters or dwarf hamsters. Charles W. Campbell, a zoologist, was the first person to find them in the early 1900s. Since the 1950s, people have kept Chinese hamsters as pets. They are popular because they are small and look cute.

They are different from other kinds of hamsters because they have a long tail. Chinese hamsters are considered an endangered species in the wild because people are destroying their homes. But a lot of them are raised in captivity to sell as pets.


Chinese hamsters

Physical Characteristics of Chinese Hamsters

People often keep Chinese hamsters as pets because they are small rodents. Here are a few things about their bodies:

  • Size: Chinese hamsters aren’t very big. They grow to be about 7 to 10 cm long (without the tail).
  • Body: They have a long, skinny body with a pointed nose and big, round ears.
  • Fur: The fur on a Chinese hamster’s back and sides is usually brownish-grey, and the fur on its belly is usually white or cream-colored.
  • Tail: Unlike other hamster species, Chinese hamsters have a long, hairless tail that can grow up to 4 cm long.
  • Their eyes are big and round, with black pupils and a dark ring around them that looks like eyeliner.

Overall, Chinese hamsters have a unique and cute look that makes them popular pets among people who own pets.

Habitat and natural range of Chinese Hamsters

Chinese hamsters live in parts of northern China, Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, and even some parts of the United States. They usually live in grasslands, fields, and rocky areas, and they burrow underground to stay safe. They are often kept as pets in captivity because they are small, easy to care for, and friendly.

Chinese Hamsters Behavior and Temperament

Small and active, Chinese hamsters are generally thought to be friendly and easy to handle. Because they are known for being curious and playful, they are often kept as pets.

Chinese hamsters are nocturnal, which means they are most active at night. They are also natural burrowers, so it is important for their health to give them a space where they can dig and tunnel.

When it comes to their personalities, Chinese hamsters are usually friendly and like to be around other hamsters. But it’s important to introduce them slowly and watch how they act together to make sure they get along. Some Chinese hamsters may be more shy or skittish than others, so being patient and handling them gently can help them feel safe and trusting.

Overall, Chinese hamsters can be great pets for people who are willing to take care of them the right way.

Size of Chinese Hamsters?

The size of a Chinese hamster can change based on its gender and how old it is. Adult Chinese hamsters are usually between 3.5 and 4 inches (8.9 to 10.2 cm) long and weigh between 1 and 2 ounces (28 to 57 grams) on average. Most of the time, male Chinese hamsters are a little bit bigger than females.

Chinese Hamsters Care

Chinese hamsters are small rodents that are very active and make great pets. To take care of a Chinese hamster, give it a cage that is at least 24 inches long and has a lot of bedding for burrowing. Give your hamster a variety of foods, like high-quality hamster food, fresh vegetables, and treats every once in a while. Give them a bottle or dish of clean water.

Give your hamster lots of chances to get exercise by giving it toys, an exercise wheel, and time to play outside of its cage while you watch. Clean the cage often and look for signs that the pet is sick. Chinese hamsters can live for three years or more if they are well taken care of.

Common Health Issues of Chinese Hamsters

Chinese hamsters often get respiratory infections, problems with their teeth, diarrhea, and a wet tail. Poor ventilation or drafts can lead to respiratory infections, and a lack of chew toys or a diet that doesn’t wear down teeth enough can cause dental problems. Diarrhea can be caused by stress, a bad diet, or a bacterial infection.

Wet tail is a severe form of diarrhea that, if left untreated, can lead to dehydration and death. Chinese hamsters can avoid and get better from these health problems by going to the vet regularly and taking good care of themselves.

Nutrition and Feeding Requirements for Chinese Hamsters

In the wild, Chinese hamsters eat things like insects, fruits, vegetables, and seeds. In captivity, hamsters should eat a good quality commercial hamster food along with fresh vegetables, fruits, and protein sources like mealworms or hard-boiled eggs every once in a while. The hamster should only be fed once a day, in the evening, and the amount should be changed based on its age, weight, and activity level to keep it from getting fat.

Fresh water should always be available in a drip bottle or shallow dish, and the area where the bird eats should be kept clean to stop harmful bacteria from growing.

Housing and Cage Setup for Chinese Hamsters

A cage with a floor space of at least 450 square inches and a height of at least 12 inches is recommended for housing and setting up Chinese hamsters. The cage should have a solid floor, more than one platform or level, and a place to hide. Aspen shavings or paper should be used as bedding, and it should be changed often.

There should also be a water bottle and food dish, as well as toys and a wheel for exercise. The cage should be kept in a place with no drafts and that isn’t in direct sunlight or very hot or cold.

Breeding and Reproduction of Chinese Hamsters

Chinese hamsters are easy to breed in captivity. Females reach sexual maturity between 6 and 8 weeks, while males do so between 10 and 12 weeks. It is best to breed them when they are between 3 and 5 months old to make sure they are fully grown.

When putting a male and a female together to breed, it’s important to keep a close eye on them to make sure they get along and don’t fight. After mating, the female will be pregnant for about 18 to 21 days, after which she will give birth to an average of 4 to 8 pups.

It is important to give the female a good place to lay her eggs and take care of her young. The puppies shouldn’t be touched or messed with until they are at least two weeks old. This gives them time to get close to their mother and learn how to eat.

Overall, Chinese hamsters can be bred successfully and have healthy babies if they are cared for and paid attention to during the process.

Grooming and Maintenance for Chinese Hamsters

Chinese Hamsters need to be groomed and cared for in a few important ways to keep them healthy and happy:

  • Brush their fur often: Chinese hamsters have thick fur that needs to be brushed often to keep it from getting tangled or matted. Gently comb their fur with a soft-bristled brush.
  • Clean their cage often: At least once a week, clean the cage by taking out any dirty bedding and replacing it with clean bedding. Use a mild cleaner that is safe for pets to wipe down the cage.
  • Provide proper nutrition: Feed your Chinese hamster a balanced diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, high-quality pellets, and other healthy foods. Don’t give them treats that are high in sugar or fat.
  • Check for health problems: Look for signs of infection or illness in your hamster’s eyes, ears, teeth, and skin on a regular basis. If you notice anything strange, you should talk to a vet right away.
  • Exercise: Give your Chinese hamster a wheel or other toys that will help it move around and keep its mind active.

By taking care of your Chinese hamster in these ways, you can make sure that it stays healthy and happy.

How long Chinese hamsters live

In a home, a Chinese hamster will live for about 2 to 3 years on average.

How many types of Chinese Hamsters are there?

There are two kinds of Chinese hamsters: those that live in the wild and those that are kept as pets. The wild type is also called the gray or dark-bellied Chinese hamster, while the domesticated type is called the golden or yellow-bellied Chinese hamster.

Chinese Hamsters as Pets

Chinese hamsters are small, active, and social animals that make great pets for people who have the time and money to take care of them properly. They need a cage with a lot of room to run and play, as well as toys and things to do to keep their minds active.

Hamsters are nocturnal animals, which means they are most active at night. A healthy diet for a hamster includes a mix of store-bought hamster food, fresh vegetables and fruits, and treats every now and then. Even Chinese hamsters need clean water to drink all the time.

To make sure they are comfortable with people, it is important to handle them gently and often when they are young. You can also help them feel safe by giving them a variety of places to hide and nesting materials.

Overall, Chinese hamsters make great pets for people who are responsible and willing to give them the care and attention they need to do well.


Chinese hamsters

Interactions with Other Pets and Humans

Interactions with other pets and people are the social interactions that a pet has with people and animals outside of their immediate household. These interactions can have a big effect on a pet’s overall health because they are good for both their body and mind.

Positive interactions with other pets and people can help a pet feel more confident, less stressed and anxious, and better able to get along with other animals and people. But bad interactions, like aggression or fear, can cause behavior problems that may need help from a professional.

Pet owners can help make sure their pets get along well with others by giving them lots of chances to meet new people, proper training and guidance, and a safe, controlled environment. It’s important for pet owners to keep an eye on how their pets act during interactions and step in if needed to stop anything bad from happening.

Overall, a pet’s health depends on how well it gets along with other pets and people. It’s up to pet owners to make sure their pets get the right socialization and training to do well in these situations.

Training and Handling Techniques for Chinese Hamsters

Chinese hamsters can be trained and handled by giving them a safe and secure environment, interacting with them gently, and giving them positive feedback. This can be done by giving treats, toys, and praise when the dog does something you want, like climb onto your hand or be held.

It’s important to be careful with them because they are small and fragile and can easily get hurt if they are dropped or squeezed too hard. Also, giving them a balanced diet, a clean place to live, and regular vet visits can help improve their overall health.

Chinese Hamsters Gender Differences

There are differences between male and female Chinese hamsters in how they look and how they reproduce. Male Chinese hamsters are usually bigger and have a bigger scrotum than females. They also have scent glands on their sides. Female Chinese hamsters are smaller than males, have a larger genital papilla, and have breasts to feed their young.

Also, female Chinese hamsters have a four-day cycle called estrus and can get pregnant when they are six to eight weeks old. Male Chinese hamsters are sexually mature when they are about three months old.

Different Varieties and Colors of Chinese Hamsters

There are a lot of different colors and patterns of Chinese hamsters. Gray, brown, and black are some of the most common colors. But they can also have a mix of colors or a unique pattern, like the dorsal stripe that runs down their backs.

There are also different kinds of Chinese hamsters, such as those with dominant spots, those with recessive spots, and those with bands. The spots on the bodies of the dominant spot Chinese hamsters are white, while the spots on the bodies of the recessive spot Chinese hamsters are bigger and less even.

Banded Chinese hamsters have bands around their bodies that make them look like they have stripes. In addition to these types, there are also Chinese hamsters with satin fur, long hair, and short hair.

Overall, Chinese hamsters come in a variety of colors and patterns, which makes them a popular choice for pet owners who want something different and colorful.

How Chinese Hamsters are Different from Other Hamsters

Chinese hamsters (Cricetulus griseus) are a type of hamster that is different in a number of ways from popular breeds like Syrian, dwarf, and Roborovski hamsters.

First, Chinese hamsters have longer, thinner bodies than other types of hamsters, which are more round. They are also more active and agile. They are known for being able to climb and loving exercise wheels.

Second, Chinese hamsters live longer than most other types of hamsters. On average, they live for 2 to 3 years. They are also less likely to have health problems like obesity and diabetes.

Lastly, Chinese hamsters look different from other types of hamsters because they have a stripe down their back and a white belly. Other types of hamsters have a wider range of coat colors and patterns.

Overall, Chinese hamsters are a unique and fun pet choice for people who want a breed of hamster that is more active, lives longer, and has interesting physical traits.


Why is my Chinese Hamsters Squeaking?

There are many reasons why your Chinese hamster might be squeaking, such as:

  • Communication: Hamsters talk to each other by making different noises. Your hamster might be squeaking because it is happy, scared, or even angry.
    Pain or discomfort: If your hamster is squeaking, it may also be in pain or discomfort. Check for signs of illness or injury, like a limp or not wanting to eat.
  • Environmental factors: Your hamster might get stressed out and start squeaking if there are loud sounds or sudden changes in its environment.
    Seeking attention: Some hamsters may squeak to get their owners’ attention. Make sure that your hamster has a lot of toys and that you play with them a lot.

If you don’t know why your hamster is squeaking, it’s best to pay close attention to how it acts and, if necessary, talk to a vet.


Chinese hamsters

How to Tame Chinese Hamsters?

To get Chinese hamsters to behave, you should first give them time to get used to their new home. Once they are used to their cage, you can start giving them treats and talking softly to them. Gradually get closer to the hamster, such as by gently petting or holding it, and keep giving it treats and positive feedback. It can take weeks or even months to fully tame a hamster, so it’s important to be patient and consistent with this process.

Why is my Chinese Hamsters Sleeping At Night?

Chinese hamsters are nocturnal, which means they are used to being active at night and sleeping during the day. This is because in their natural environment, they have to stay away from predators during the day when their burrows are more visible and hunt for food at night. So, it is perfectly normal for your Chinese hamster to sleep at night and be more active during the day. To make sure they get enough rest, they need a quiet, dark place to sleep.

Why is my Chinese Hamsters not Drinking Water?

Your Chinese hamster might not drink water for more than one reason. One possibility is that its food is giving it enough water. The water source might not be clean or fresh enough, or the container might be too small or hard to get to. A decrease in thirst can also be caused by some health problems or medicines. If you are worried about how much your hamster drinks, it might be best to talk to a vet who works with small animals.

Why do Chinese Hamsters Bite Their Cage?

Chinese hamsters may bite their cage for a number of reasons, such as boredom, stress, lack of space, or a desire to explore. It’s important to make sure the hamster’s cage is the right size, has toys and places to hide, and is cleaned often. Cage-biting behavior can also be stopped by giving the animal plenty of opportunities for exercise, social interaction, and mental stimulation.

Why is my Chinese Hamsters So Small?

Chinese hamsters are smaller than other types of hamsters because that is how they are made. Adults are usually between 3 and 5 inches long and weigh between 1 and 2 ounces. But if your Chinese hamster is much smaller than this, it could be because of a bad diet, genetics, or health problems. Making sure your hamster has a healthy, well-balanced diet, enough exercise, and good medical care can help them grow and be healthy overall.

Why is my Chinese Hamsters Losing Hair?

Chinese hamsters often lose their hair for many different reasons, such as stress, old age, skin infections, allergies, poor nutrition, and mites. It’s best to talk to a vet who has experience treating small animals or a qualified pet store employee to find out the exact cause and the best way to treat it.

It’s also important to give your hamster a clean, comfortable place to live, a healthy diet, and regular grooming to keep their hair from falling out and to keep their overall health in good shape.

Why is my Chinese Hamsters Turning Grey?

Chinese hamsters can go grey for a number of reasons, such as getting older, being stressed, having grey genes, or having health problems. As hamsters get older, their fur color may fade or change on its own. Hamsters can also turn gray if they live in or are handled in stressful situations. In some cases, a change in fur color may also be caused by genes.

Changes in fur color can also be caused by things like hormonal imbalances or skin infections. It is best to talk to a vet to make sure your hamster is healthy and rule out any underlying health problems.

Why are chinese hamsters illegal in california?

In California, Chinese hamsters are not necessarily illegal, but they are regulated and limited. This is because they are thought to be an invasive species that could hurt the ecosystem of the state. Native species and invasive species can compete for the same resources, which can throw off the balance of the local environment. Because of this, it is important to have strict rules about who can own and transport them.

Why are chinese hamster ovary cells used?

In the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells are often used to make recombinant proteins, vaccines, and other biological products. Most of the time, CHO cells are used because they can make a wide range of changes to proteins after they are made, such as glycosylation, which is important for the function and stability of many therapeutic proteins.

Also, CHO cells are easy to grow and can grow quickly to high densities. This makes them a good choice for making large quantities of complex biologics at a low cost.


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