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The Different Types of Hamsters and Choosing the Right One

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Authored by Johnny Dunn in Pets
Published on 03-03-2009

Hamsters are cute, cuddly, and easy to take care of. They are often the choice pet for children because they are just so convenient. But there are so many different types of hamsters out there, and you definitely don’t want to choose the right one. So how do you know the right hamster to choose? I’ve compiled a list of the most common types of hamsters, their descriptions, and their habits.

There is the Syrian hamster, which lives alone in the wild and even thrives there. This is not the type of hamster you want as a pet. They are very aggressive and in groups some have been known to hurt each other. You can buy this if you’d like, but it’d be very hard to tame and you’d most likely be injured in the process. It is usually a golden color.

Then there is the Dwarf Winter White Russian hamster. What a mouthful, and the hamster itself is pretty tedious too. They must always be in a controlled, comfortable room-temperature environment and if you buy multiple ones, it should be at a young age so they learn to live with each other well, otherwise disastrous results may occur (like the ones you’d get if you bought the Syrian hamster in a group).

Next comes the Dwarf Campbell Russian hamster, closely related to the hamster above, almost cousins even. They have a very thick coat and can appear to be very large at first, but they do tend to grow quite round and fat in captivity. Their coat is of a yellow-brownish color, and they can live well with the Dwarf Winter White Russian hamsters. But as always, you have to buy them at a young age. Hamsters can be quite picky and very stubborn. The younger they are then the longer they’ll live together, and the more they’ll get along.

Then you can consider the Chinese hamster. They should only be housed one per cage. It has a long tail and has noticeably less wooly coat than the other hamsters. It is also a dwarf hamster so it is quite small. These are not exactly the friendliest hamsters, but noticeably more aggressive than the Syrian hamsters.

Finally comes the Roborovski hamster. It is also a dwarf hamster, but it has a short tail, and very distinct whiskers. It is of a yellow-brown color. They do not breed nearly as much as the other hamsters. These are the tiniest type of dwarf hamster. These are also the type of hamsters you may be thinking of when you think of a pet. I would most definitely recommend these hamsters; they are friendly and easy to take care of.

Hamsters make a great addition to any household or just a great overall companion. Some hamsters, however, are more troublesome than others, so you definitely need to pick the right one. There are many more types of hamsters than the ones listed above, but they are the most common.

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