Why do I Love Chinese Hamsters?
Chinese hamsters are my favourite of all the pet hamster species. I love their slender profile and curling tail. Their most enchanting quality is how they cling. They will cling onto clothing or a finger with their paws (and often their tails as well).
Chinese hamsters are gentle animals. They don't tend to sit at their cage door and ask to come out like a Syrian would, but they are lovely to handle.
Males are usually more laid back than females, and my boys will
often hitch a lift on my shoulder while snuggling under my hair.
Of these, the normal and dominant spot are most widely available.
Angel aged 2 months
Angel aged 16 months
Angel aged 24 months
As with the normal colour, there is a dorsal stripe but this may be broken by white patches. Staining is a common fault in showing and is heavily penalised.
Like with the dominant spot, staining is heavily penalised at shows. A single spot on the ear seems to occur quite frequently at the moment in BEWs and is heavily penalised at shows.
For more information about the inheritance of the standard colours/patterns in Chinese hamsters, please see the genetics section.There are a few more colours which are more common on the continent, such as striped, collared and mottled.
Care of Chinese Hamsters
The care of a Chinese hamster is similar to that of any other hamster. They need a good sized cage with plenty to occupy themselves and free access to food and water. They are better housed in tank-style cages as small or young Chinese hamsters can squeeze through barred cages. They need lots of hidey holes in their cages as they are nervous in wide open spaces.
Fights between Chinese hamsters can become serious very quickly and lead to bad injuries or even death. Two of my 5 week old boys fought and one ended up needing surgery to repair the damage.
Males can be kept
together, but I would not recommend it for an inexperienced owner of
Chinese hamsters. I personally prefer to keep my Chinese hamsters
There's more information on keeping pairs here.
When they are used to you, Chinese hamsters love sitting on shoulders and hiding under hair. My hamsters' favourite spot is sitting underneath my top where they often will fall asleep.
There is information about handling Chinese hamsters here.