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The 5 Species of Domestic Hamsters: Which One to Choose for Your Children?

The 5 Species of Domestic Hamsters Which One to Choose for Your Children 1

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If there are more than 500 species of hamsters in the world, only five of them are raised as pets: the golden hamster (or Syrian hamster), the Russian hamster, the Roborovski hamster, the Chinese hamster, and the Siberian hamster.

There is also the Campbell’s hamster, which is difficult to tame as it tends to bite and is shy. Each of these species has differences in appearance, size, as well as behavior in terms of docility and lifestyle. That’s why they may be more or less suitable for children, depending on their age and expectations.

The 5 Species of Domestic Hamsters Which One to Choose for Your Children

The Golden Hamster

The golden hamster, also known as the Syrian hamster, is the largest species, similar in size to a rat. Its size and docile temperament make it easier to handle compared to others, but it shows great aggression towards its fellow hamsters. Therefore, the golden hamster should live alone in its cage and should not be housed with other species of hamsters. Its tendency to be easily caressed makes it more suitable as a pet for children, and its lovely orange color is sure to appeal to them.

Low-maintenance, this large hamster is ideal for those who want to interact with their rodent, unlike other species that are more timid and faster, making it difficult to let them roam freely. However, it can be released in a room from time to time, although it should be under supervision. The common golden hamster has short fur, but it can also be of the angora type (long-haired), rex type (curly fur), or even hairless!

The Russian Hamster

This species is classified as a dwarf hamster due to its small size, roughly equivalent to that of a mouse. Its fur, in shades of gray, has stripes on its back, making it an adorable little animal. Highly active, it needs a large cage to feel comfortable and enjoys running, playing, and digging. Therefore, it is necessary to provide it with abundant bedding in which it also likes to hide.

Although relatively timid, it can be tamed with patience and gentleness, so children will need to learn to handle it with care. Sociable, the Russian hamster can be in contact with other animals if gradually accustomed to them. Its only drawback is being a nocturnal animal, which can make it noisy at night as it is very active, scratches its bedding, eats, etc. For this reason, it is not recommended to place the cage in your children’s bedroom.

The Roborovski Hamster

This dwarf hamster doesn’t enjoy being handled much, but it is an interesting decorative rodent to observe and watch. It is the smallest species of hamster (about 5 cm) and is extremely agile and fast, with a tendency to easily escape in the house if it slips out of its owner’s hands! Therefore, it is not the most recommended species for young children, as it may also bite if stressed or mishandled.

Due to its small size, it can even squeeze through bars, so it is better to place it in a cage with plastic walls. It is active and entertaining to watch, but very sensitive during interactions with humans, so children will need to be content with “touching it with their eyes” and often give up any hope of petting or holding it, although some individuals may be more approachable. In short, the Roborovski hamster is not ideal for those who want to establish a close relationship with it, but it is pleasant company and will delight curious children.

The Siberian Hamster

Less common than the Russian hamster, it resembles the latter with its adorable appearance and sociable yet timid nature. Its fur has gray to brown tones and a black stripe on its back, with a lighter-colored belly that leans towards beige. In winter, it can completely change color and become white. In terms of behavior, the Siberian hamster is very similar to the Russian hamster, with its lively temperament and nocturnal lifestyle. It is also relatively easy to tame. It needs space and a few toys, as it enjoys climbing and hiding. It adapts well to human company but doesn’t coexist well with its counterparts.

The 5 Species of Domestic Hamsters Which One to Choose for Your Children

The Chinese Hamster

More reserved than the other species, this unique companion also needs to live alone and requires time to allow humans to approach. However, it is docile and can be relatively tamed with patience and gentleness. The Chinese hamster is considered a dwarf as well but is slightly larger than the others. Its short fur is gray to brown, with a darker stripe on its back and small spots in certain areas.

Unlike other species, which have nearly absent tails, it has a two-centimeter tail and a narrower, elongated head. This hamster is quite delicate and sometimes difficult to hold in the hands, so it is advisable to handle it with care. Once accustomed, it can be petted, although it tends to maintain a wild nature, although generally peaceful. Its main advantage is not being prone to biting, making it a good companion for children if they don’t disturb it.

mahatma gandhi portrait

- Mahatma Gandhi

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

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