Hamsters are one of the most popular pets that families have caring for decades, with their powerful bodies, furry ears, short tail, and plump cheek pouches. They are also considered to be low-maintenance pets and take up little space in the house.
The first thing you should know is how to properly care for your new hamster, from the supplies you’ll need to how to feed them. We have put the five most popular hamster breeds to help you choose which is the right fit for your family, along with the special characteristics that set them apart from the group.
1. Chinese Hamster
The Chinese hamster, considered the least popular and rare hamster breed, is also classified among the dwarf hamsters because of its miniature size, which reaches only about four inches and weighs 40-45 grams, and the lifespan of the Chinese Hamster is typically 2-3 years. It can be recognized as brown with a black stripe on its back and a white belly.
They originated in the deserts of northern China and Mongolia, they are also distinguished by longer tails than other hamster breeds who have stubby tails.
2. Roborovski Hamster
The Roborovski Hamster, also known as Robo or Russian Dwarf Hamster, is one of the smallest breeds with a length of 4–5 inches and a weight of 20–25 grams. The average lifespan of Roborovski is 2 to 3 years but can be more with good care up to 4 years. This breed is native to the desert areas of Northern China and Mongolia, and they are named for Lieutenant Vsevolod Roborovski, who popularized the breed in the 1890s.
These hamsters are so popular and cute, social, and easy to handle. Despite their small size, they are small bundles of energy and love to play with multiple toys, you will probably see first they start off a bit shy and nervous, but when they feel comfortable in their new home, then will start to shine through and play with their owners.
The Dwarf Roborovski Hamster is easily recognizable for its tiny size, sandy coloration of fur and white eyebrows, and lack of a dorsal stripe
3. Syrian hamster
The Syrian hamster considers one of the most popular hamsters and is also known as the Teddy Bear or Golden hamster. Syrian hamsters can be recognized by their golden brown and white coat. It is a great option that I would recommend for you if you want to own a hamster for the first time because of its large size, it is considered very friendly with its owners and easy to be trained, and also doesn’t bite as some other breeds.
Syrian hamsters are larger than other dwarf hamsters and can grow up to 5-6 inches, with a lifespan of 2–3 years and a weight of 100–150 grams. The golden hamsters are considered endangered, due to a loss of habitat from agriculture and negotiated elimination by humans.
Be careful, if you want to bring multiple hamsters, you should give each one its own place to avoid fighting because they are solitary.
4. Winter White hamster
The Winter White hamster is another breed of Russian Dwarf hamster and is also known as the Djungarian hamster, a striped dwarf hamster, and a Siberian dwarf hamster. They are a friendly, affectionate, and active breed, and also are common as pets in Europe and North America.
They originate from Southwest Siberia and Eastern Kazakhstan. These hamsters can reach 3.5-4 inches and weigh about 19 to 45 grams. The average lifespan of a Winter White Russian hamster is 1 to 3 years in captivity. Features of this breed include a typically thick, dark grey dorsal stripe from the head to the tail and furry feet.
5. Campbell’s hamster
The Campbell’s hamster is another kind of Russian Dwarf hamster. They got their name from the explorer Charles William Campbell, who collected the first specimen of the hamster in Mongolia in 1902.
These breeds are a little less popular as pets because they can startle quickly and start biting when they are scared. The Campbell’s hamster can reach 3 inches and weigh about 55 grams. The average lifespan of this hamster is about 2-2.5 years, the reason is due to their short life because they are susceptible to developing diabetes.
Recognizable by its gray-brown color with a white stomach, furred feet, and black dorsal stripe on their back.