A hamster refers to all 25 species of small rodents belonging to the subfamily Cricetinae. Hamsters are one of the most popular house pets because they are easy to take care of, they have a curious nature and they are quite cute! However, not all hamster breeds are ideal as pets. If you want to get hamsters as pet and you’d like to know which breeds make the best house pets, consider these tips:
1. Syrian Hamsters
Also known as Teddy Bear or Golden hamsters, Syrian hamsters are the most popular hamster breed kept as pets. They have an affectionate disposition, gentle temperament, and teddy bear like features that make them perfect for children’s pets. Syrian hamsters come in a wide range of colors and are quite large when fully grown. Female Syrian hamsters can grow about 6 inches long while a male Syrian grows about 4 to 7 inches long. They have a short tail, puffy cheeks, and small eyes.
The average life span of a Syrian hamster is about 2 to 2 ½ years but there are some that lived up to 4 years. Unlike other hamster breeds, Syrian hamsters are not very sociable so they are best kept alone until after 10 weeks of age.
2. Dwarf Campbell Russian Hamsters
Dwarf Campbell Russian hamsters make a great pet for older kids but not ideal for very young children. This hamster breed is very small. A fully grown Dwarf Campbell Russian hamster measures about 4 inches. Dwarf Campbell Russian hamsters have a grayish fur with a darker streak of color down its spine. The average life span of a Dwarf Campbell Russian hamster is about 2 years.
Dwarf Campbell Russian hamsters are more sociable than Syrian hamsters. Several Dwarf Campbell Russian hamsters of the same sex or groups can be kept in the same cage as long as they grew up together. This type of hamster breed has the tendency to nip when threatened or nervous.
3. Dwarf Winter White Russian Hamsters
Dwarf Winter White Russian hamsters are similar in size and disposition as Dwarf Campbell Russians. However, Dwarf Campbell Russians are nocturnal while Dwarf Winter White Russians are active during the day. This hamster breed usually comes in three colors: pearl, sapphire, and a combination of pearl and sapphire.
Dwarf Winter White Russians are very small, measuring about 3 ½ to 4 inches as fully grown adults. They are so tiny that you can keep Dwarf Winter White Russians in an aquarium or a wire cage. Dwarf Winter White Russians are generally very affectionate and personable. They do not bite when they are nervous so they make great pets for very young kids!
4. Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters
Roborovski dwarfs are a very friendly breed of hamster that can be kept in groups or pairs in containment at a very young age. This hamster breed is very sweet and affectionate. Roborovski dwarfs do not bite when nervous but they do love to scurry around and jump. Proper handling is important because this hamster breed is extremely agile!
Roborovski dwarfs have an average lifespan of 3 to 3 ½ years. They grow about 1 ½ to 2 inches as fully grown adults.