What You Need to Know About Chinese Dwarf Hamsters
Chinese Dwarf Hamsters are rarely seen in pet shops and houses because they originated in the deserts of northern China and Mongolia and they are difficult to breed when they are kept in captivity. Many States in the US also restrict people from having Chinese Dwarf Hamsters as pets.
At a glance, you may think Chinese hamsters look like mice instead of hamsters. Even though they are small compared to Syrian hamsters, still they can’t be considered true “Dwarf” Hamsters. Chinese hamsters have a longer tail and body when set side by side with other hamsters, and they belong to the rat-like hamster family. A fully grown Chinese Hamster can be about 10 to 12 centimeters in length. Generally they have grayish brown fur with a black strip along their spine and white-colored fur on their undersides.
People think that hamsters live well when they are in pairs, on the contrary, this common misconception is not applicable to Chinese Hamsters. A pair of female Chinese Hamsters that have been brought up together can get along better than a male and a female pair of hamsters in the same cage. In their community, females are the ruling sex, therefore the males may possibly wind up badly injured or dead when they live with the females.
Accommodating two hamsters in a single cage requires extra rooms and multiple levels. The less dominant hamster can flee from the dominant one when it has more places to go to. Normally, they are housed in plastic or aquarium tanks because they can sometimes squeeze through a wire cage or they can get stuck in the cage bars because of their small size.
In terms of feeding, Chinese Dwarf Hamsters have similar eating preferences to other members of the hamster family. They thrive on diets that are mainly comprised of seeds and pellets. These little pets also take pleasure in eating fruits (not citrus fruits though) and vegetables as well as wheat bread and Cheerios, and some owners even feed their Chinese Hamsters Crickets or Mealworms. They also need to have an abundant supply of fresh water, preferably delivered via a water bottle, because water bowls can get dirty in just a few hours, and if they get spilt the little guy may dehydrate if he is left alone all day without water.
Chinese Hamsters can survive between two to three years, but they are difficult to tame and train. They can jump from very high places, can run fast and even break away from cages if they are not completely secured. With their aggressive, playful and very active characteristics, they are not suitable for children under the age of twelve. They are also not appropriate for beginners, and if you decide to have them as pets, it is better to keep your hands off of them unless you are very experienced.