Looking for information on the Chinese dwarf hamster? These animals have their origins in Mongolia and the Northern areas of China. They go by the scientific name of Cricetus Griseus and they are a popular pet but not as popular as the Russian dwarf hamsters. Chinese dwarf hamsters are not technically dwarf hamsters, but they are commonly thought as such due to having a similar appearance to the Russian dwarf hamster.
Chinese dwarf hamster basics
The Chinese dwarf hamster will live about 2-3 years which isn’t long but most hamsters have a short lifespan. They average in size about 10-12cm. These hamsters have a 3cm long tail and come in two colors: normal, and dominant spot. The normal ones have a grayish brown color to them. Down the spine of this animal, you’ll find a black stripe that’s quite prominent. The ones that are dominant spot are mainly white with patches of gray-brown. Female hamsters seem to bond well together and if you’re going to have more than one make sure you have females only or males only unless you’re trying to breed your hamsters.
Some people think that females are more aggressive than males and should not be kept together. However, this may arise from females play-fighting and squeaking more than males. Social grooming may also sometimes be confused with fighting. It is not true that only males can be kept together. Regardless of the gender, it’s important to separate your hamsters immediately if they start fighting.
Like Russian dwarves, Chinese hamsters are also prone to diabetes.
Chinese dwarf hamster personality
Chinese hamsters are lively and agile and they enjoy activities such as climbing, running, and jumping. Wash your hands before you pick up your hamster and use cupped hands to do it. This should be supervised by an adult if children are picking up a hamster. Make sure other animals such as a cat or dog are away from the hamster when you are playing with your pet. When you do pick up the Chinese dwarf hamster handle it carefully as it’s quite fragile. If you handle the hamster from an early age it will become tame but just be careful when doing so.
What do Chinese dwarf hamsters eat?
Water is essential for a Chinese dwarf hamster so make sure you always have a fresh supply. It’s ideal to change the water daily as it can become dirty with pellets and debris from the cage. As with other hamsters, your Chinese hamster should be given a food mix formulated specially for hamsters. Other than that, the hamster enjoys seeds, vegetables, fruit, bread and similar foods. They will also eat other creatures such as crickets on occasion.
These hamsters also need chew toys so make sure they have toys designed for hamsters and replace them when they are worn. Some hamsters will hoard food so allow them to keep it for a few days but then replace it for sanitary concerns. Make sure you remove uneaten food like fruit or vegetables before these spoil.
Your hamster’s cage
Hamsters like to have various places to roam around in so get them a half decent sized cage and the cage should have obstacles and places for them to hide out in. If there’s a more dominant hamster in the cage this allows the less dominant hamster to hide from the dominant one. Aquarium tanks work well as these are large enough. You don’t want to use regular hamster cages with wider bars because dwarf hamsters are quite small and they may escape on you or injure themselves trying to squeeze through the bars. They don’t like direct sunlight or too much heat so keep them in shady areas of a room. Wood shavings work well for bedding but avoid cedar or pine as this can impact their respiratory system. Get a wheel as this is essential for them to get exercise.
Other hamster care information
Caring for Chinese dwarf hamsters is similar to caring for other dwarf hamsters. You can visit our dwarf hamster care page to find out more about how to take care of your Chinese dwarf hamster.