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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

Did You Know? Incredible Chinese Hamster Facts

Chinese hamsters facts on the popular pet animals, also known as the Chinese dwarf hamster

A Chinese hamster’s body has a similar size and looks to that of a mouse. Their scientific name is Cricetus griseus. They share a resemblance to the extent that these hamsters are sometimes called rat hamsters. These small rodents would make adorable pets as they generally require minimal care. These Chinese hamsters are considered to be very intelligent as they don’t take that much time to recognize their owners. Having a scent gland sets them apart from other hamsters as they use it to navigate their ways. These hamsters are nocturnal. They usually like to stay awake at night and sleep during the day. However, they might wake up when they feel hungry and move around in search of food. These dwarf hamsters are very social and like to be around people. They don’t like to live alone and should be properly looked after.

Let’s dive in and read some interesting Chinese dwarf hamsters facts and get to know if they would make a perfect house pet option for you. After this, you may want to look at naked mole-rat and hamster facts too.

Chinese Hamsters Interesting Facts

What type of animals are Chinese hamsters?

Chinese hamsters, also known as dwarf hamsters, are found mainly in the deserts of Mongolia and China. They are small rodents who like to make their own homes in the deserts by digging holes and residing in them. They are called dwarf hamsters due to their similar characteristics and size. Their color variations come with a dark stripe and a soft belly. Compared to other hamsters, a Chinese hamster has a longer tail. A Chinese hamster is quite friendly to live with and can be easily tamed in a short time.

What class of animal do Chinese hamsters belong to?

A Chinese dwarf hamster belongs to the mammal class.

How many Chinese hamsters are there in the world?

The number of Chinese hamsters is currently unknown as there is no report about their total population. However, some of the dwarf hamsters are going extinct and come under a vulnerable category. Their numbers are predicted to decline in the coming years due to lack of breeding and their short life expectancy.

Where do Chinese hamsters live?

It is considered that a hamster was first found in Syria also living in Romania, Greece, and northern China. This Chinese dwarf hamster likes to live in warm deserts.

What is a Chinese hamster's habitat?

Chinese hamsters are most likely to be found in warm and dry areas like sand dunes, steppes, and deserts. If a hamster lives in the house, then it should be kept separated from another dwarf hamster as they might kill each other. Chinese hamsters like to live in solitude and in a big cage. A dwarf hamster is considered friendly and social as it likes to be around people. A dwarf hamster doesn’t like to live alone for a prolonged time as it may become aggressive and startled.

Who do Chinese hamsters live with?

Chinese hamsters are a popular option for many as pets, so they can often be found living with people. This Chinese hamster likes to run and move around, but if properly tamed, it can behave well. Chinese hamsters are known for their temperament and for being easy to handle. They behave like a harvest mouse as they love to cling around a finger with their four little fingers. In the wild, these Chinese hamsters make their own burrows with either a single or multiple holes which these hamsters excavate themselves. A Chinese hamster doesn’t sleep all the time in the wild as it wakes up in search of food.

How long do Chinese hamsters live?

Chinese dwarf hamsters' life span is around two to three years. There are various factors that affect their life span depending on how they live. If it is given proper care and diet, then it may live longer. Generally, a Chinese hamster likes to live in solitude in a big confinement where it may live peacefully.

How do they reproduce?

This Chinese hamster is well-known for its ability to reproduce. When a female Chinese hamster is put together in a cage with a male Chinese dwarf hamster, the hamsters quickly begin the process of reproduction. These dwarf hamsters’ period of gestation goes on for 15-20 days.

What is their conservation status?

According to International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, a Chinese hamster comes under the Least Concern category.

Chinese Hamsters Fun Facts

What do Chinese hamsters look like?

A Chinese hamster is an intelligent and charming species of a hamster. They are given the name 'dwarf hamster' due to their small size. A Chinese hamster is a striped hamster that is mostly brown with a black stripe flowing through its back and a soft belly. A hamster is a bit different than a Chinese hamster as it has stubby legs, a short tail, and a short ear. A wild hamster is of grayish-brown color with a black stripe and white belly. This wide range of color variations with their long tail and nimble build makes them appear similar to a mouse. In fact, a hamster is often called rat-like hamsters. Another Chinese hamster has a variation of white dots of a grayish-white coloring over its body.

Chinese hamsters are nocturnal creatures.

How cute are they?

Their appearance and behavior make them seem really cute and adorable. Once they get acquainted with their owners, they would play and feel comfortable around them. They like to run on a wheel as this makes them very proactive. Housing a hamster requires a cage, a wheel, a small animal water bottle, and so on.

How do they communicate?

They communicate using their scent glands as these help them navigate their ways and remember their paths. They usually rub a particular place with their glands to help find their way back.

How big are Chinese hamsters?

A Chinese hamster is comparatively larger than other hamsters. Its body proportions are long and thin in size and they have a long tail. The Chinese hamster (also Chinese dwarf hamster) is a little bit different from a dwarf hamster as dwarf hamsters are classified in the genus phodopus.

How fast can Chinese hamsters run?

A Chinese hamster can run really fast as its shape and size of hind feet allow it to run even backward. Also, speed can vary in different hamsters depending on their size and breed. A Chinese hamster can usually run between 3-6 mph even for a dwarf hamster.

How much do Chinese hamsters weigh?

They usually weigh around 0.06-0.09 lb depending on their body proportions and size. The dwarf hamsters grow around 2-4 in long.

What are their male and female names of the species?

A male Chinese hamster is referred to as a buck. A female Chinese hamster is referred to as a doe. These two are known for their high involvement in the reproduction process if kept together in a cage. However, they might aggressive as well if kept for too long and should be separated.

What would you call baby Chinese hamsters?

A baby Chinese hamster is simply referred to as a pup. These baby pups love to cling around a finger with their four little paws. They should be given proper care as they are relatively small compared to the adult ones.

What do they eat?

A Chinese hamster in the wild prefers to eat seeds, grains, vegetation, nuts, and insects. If you decide to adopt this hamster, then it will do well on purchased hamster food that consists of all the vitamins and minerals it needs for proper health and diet. Hamster owners usually keep a small ceramic bowl worth of a day’s food in it. These hamsters don’t eat in excess owing to their small stomach and, hence, can be given a bowl full of food to chew.

Do they bite?

A Chinese hamster requires different treatment as its temperament is unlike a dog or a cat. These hamsters need to spend a little time with their owners to get comfortable around them. A Chinese hamster is best kept alone as if it lives with another hamster, then it may display aggressive behavior. These hamsters behave well and comfortably under professional care. However, if they are not handled properly, then they may become nippy and nervous and are prone to bite if startled. A hamster shouldn’t be in contact with other pets in the house as they might injure this small animal.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, they would make adorable pets if they are handled with love and professional care. Make sure you keep this hamster in a warm room and a large cage as it needs space to move around and play. Inside a small cage, it may show signs of aggression, and this type of captivity is not preferred for its growth. Remember, this hamster shouldn’t be kept at a low temperature as it doesn’t react very well under such a temperature. When you are deciding whether or not to become one of the Chinese hamster owners, you must first acquire complete knowledge regarding Chinese dwarf hamsters' care.

Did you know...

Many hamsters who live either as a pet or in deserts are prone to some health problems. Some of the illnesses include wet tails also known as regional enteritis. This type of illness may occur to a hamster if it is found living in unsanitary conditions and stress, which induces bacterial infection. A hamster may become lethargic and reduce its food intake. If a wet tail is not treated, then it may prove fatal for a hamster. Accordingly, it should be taken to veterinary care for its proper treatment. This illness is also contagious and may spread to other hamsters as well in the cage. Make your hamster resides in a separate cage and monitor its health. Keep its cage cleaned at all times.

Some respiratory illnesses also may arise in these hamsters. Some of them include nasal discharge, wheezing, and sneezing. A vet my help in diagnosing such illnesses.

A hamster should be given something to chew to avoid them having overgrown teeth. This will make them face difficulty while eating. If any abnormal tooth is spotted, then take it to a proper care center to get its tooth trimmed.

Getting your own Chinese hamsters

A Chinese hamster comes under the inexpensive category, but you have to make sure they have a proper setting where it is going to reside. Their settings might come around $150. The prices of such hamsters don’t vary that much, be it a Chinese hamster or a dwarf hamster. Expect to pay around $30-$50 for a single hamster depending on where you decide to purchase it from.

A Chinese hamster is legal to purchase in most areas. However, some places might require a permit to habituate such exotic animals. Before purchasing a hamster, go through the buying procedures and see if there are any regulations set by the law. These Chinese hamsters are commonly available at different pet stores, but the ideal choice to purchase is from a well-known breeder or any rescue organization. The reason why you should purchase from such dealers is that they have adequate knowledge of breeding such hamsters and they will be equipped with all the information about such hamsters.

A hamster requires minimal care but a protective one to form a good bond with it. This hamster demands a lesser amount of food and water making them remain clean most of the time. These hamsters should live in a clean cage and it is suggested that it is cleaned once every week. A dirty cage might get a hamster prone to illness. A hamster should be provided with enough vitamins and minerals for proper growth as per its diet requirements and should be properly hydrated. Supply a hamster with nuts, grains, seeds, and vegetation. A package of hamster food has a proper set of guidelines an owner needs to follow.

Personality and characteristics

These nocturnal hamsters like to stay awake at night and sleep by day. Their hunger instincts might cause them to wake up during the day to search for food and move around a bit. A hamster shouldn’t be disturbed during its sleep as it might get aggressive and may bite you.

These adorable hamsters are considered to be good-natured and loving if they are handled with care from a young age. As with any other pets, if they are not properly handled and given food, they might get difficult to handle. These hamsters have poor eyesight and they leverage their backs which produce a scent using a scent gland. They navigate around using their scent glands as it helps acquaint themselves with the surrounding and where it wants to reach. They also use their scent glands to identify their owners.

The nature of a hamster is quite distinguishable from that of dogs and cats as a hamster needs time to be comfortable around their owners. A Chinese hamster prefers to live alone as it might show frustration around a partner that can lead to a fight.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including rice rat, or ferret.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our ChineseHamster coloring pages.

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