If you want a small, low-maintenance pet, the hamster is a perfect choice. Very endearing, they are an adorable and exciting rodent to watch live and grow. For this species, there are 5 common breeds of domestic hamster that are classified into two groups: Syrian (or golden) hamsters and dwarf hamsters.
Each hamster has its own particularities as well as its character, even if they are of course similar concerning the care to be given or their food! To be sure to make the right choice, we present you the main things to know before adopting your hamster!
Dwarf hamsters: Roborovski, Russian, Chinese and Siberian
Among the different breeds of dwarf hamsters, the Russian hamster is the most common species. If you are interested in rodents, you must know the Russian hamster: small, gray/brown body with a long black line down the middle of the back and a light belly.
The Siberian hamster is also part of the dwarf hamster family due to its small size. It is quite similar to the Russian hamster both physically and in character, but it is much less common to buy.
The Roborovski hamster is the most timid and the least sensitive to human affection. If you want to interact with your small animal, this breed is not recommended. However, if you are more interested in observation than petting, the Roborovski hamster is the perfect species for you.
Extremely sociable, these dwarf hamsters love the company of their fellow creatures and can easily share their cage with them. It is best to choose a couple, male and female, as individuals of the same sex are much more quarrelsome in cohabitation. Also, the disadvantage if this is not your wish, is that a couple of hamsters necessarily means reproduction and therefore birth of baby hamsters.
Finally, you must get your rodents used to living in a couple at a very young age, otherwise an adult who has lived alone may be aggressive if he sees another hamster arrive in his territory.
The last domestic dwarf hamster: the Chinese hamster. Very shy, it is necessary to be patient in order to tame this hamster and get it used to your presence. Also, unlike its dwarf counterparts, this hamster must live alone because it is rather aggressive.
The golden hamster
This large hamster with a pretty orange coat is the most docile and easy to handle. If you want to observe but also interact with your rodent, this is the ideal breed. But beware of bites!
Bigger and slower than its fellow rodents, it is also the breed of hamster most likely to be allowed to roam your home.
However, because of its aggressiveness, the adult golden hamster must live alone. Indeed, this great loner can’t stand to live with one of his fellow creatures or to live with another species of hamster.
If you wish to breed your hamster, this is a delicate matter and should be reserved for wise people.
Also, if you wish to have several golden hamsters, you must absolutely provide a cage for each individual. Each one at home!