FAQ: Keeping Dwarf Hamsters

What are the differences between Dwarf and Syrian hamsters?
The adult dwarf hamsters reaches only about 8cm in length. The other main difference is that dwarf hamsters should be kept in pairs. Syrian hamsters must be kept singularly.

What types of Dwarf hamster are there?
There are 3 types which are kept as pets: Russian, Chinese and Roborowsky. There are 2 types of Russian hamster: the Winter White and Campbell. The Winter White turns from gray to pure white in the winter.

Do Dwarf hamsters make good pets?
Although this much depends on the individual, they generally make excellent pets. Apparently, the Winter White is the most friendly. However, Dwarf hamsters may be too small for the youngest children to handle.

What kind of housing do I need to buy?
Most normal wire cages are unsuitable, since the gaps are too large. The best housing for a pair of Dwarf hamsters is a glass or plastic aquarium with a mesh lid. This species likes a lot of space – the minimum should be about 40cm by 40cm. Other than this, your hamsters should be kept like Syrian hamsters.

Should I keep males or females?
You should keep Dwarf hamsters in pairs. The best combination is a male and female. If you do not want babies, then either male or female pairs work just as well. You must keep the pair together since a very young age – it is not possible to introduce two strange adults without serious injury.

Can they live with other species of hamster?
No. Nor is it possible for them to interbreed.

How long do Dwarf hamsters live?
2 years is a good age for a Dwarf hamster.

How do I breed them?
The only way is to pair a male and female when young, and then wait! Some pairs will breed twice a month, others only several times per year, it really depends on the individuals. They will have between 2 and 6 young, and they are looked after by both the male and female.

How do I stop them breeding?
The best way is to separate the breeding pair. So that they don’t feel lonely, keep a young female to stay with the mother and a young male to stay with the father.