What Kind Of Hamster Do I Have? Know Your Furry Friend Better!

Did you just get a cute little fluffy hamster buddy from the pet shop but are not sure what breed they are? It’s common as pet shops these days do not label the hamster with their breeds. And pet owners end up getting any hamsters without knowledge. 

So you’re wondering now, ‘what kind of hamster do I have?’ It’s quite likely that you have one of the few different types of hamster breeds, such as Syrian hamsters, Winter Whites, Campbells, Roborovski, or Chinese fluff creatures. All of them have unique traits and behavioral patterns that set them apart and of course, give you endless joy. 

But to be sure about your pet hamster breed, you need a guide telling you all about the different breeds and their traits. So, without any more delay, let’s start getting to know your adorable furry friend!

What Are The Different Types of Hamster Breeds You Can Keep As Pets?

What Are The Different Types of Hamster Breeds You Can Keep As Pets

Undoubtedly, hamsters make the best kind of pets no matter what breed you have. However, to take care of furry friends in the best way possible, you should be aware of their breeds. Typically, you’ll find the following hamster breeds in a pet shop. 

Syrian hamsters

Out of all these adorable hamster breeds, Syrian hamsters are the most popular. They are also called ‘golden hamsters’ due to their golden-hued furs or even ‘teddy bear hamsters’, simply because they are the most adorable little furry creatures! 

Syrian hamsters

Moving on to their sizes, they typically grow larger than the other breeds, almost 6 to 7 inches in length. Female Syrian hamsters commonly grow larger than male ones. 

These precious creatures have tiny legs with bubbly bodies and a short yet thick fur coat, usually brown or gold. And their big rounded eyes are absolutely bewitching!

They have an average lifespan of almost 2 to 3 years. And one thing to note is that refrain from keeping them with other hamster breeds because, as mentioned, they are not the most social beings. 

Winter white hamsters

Yes, you guessed it right, the furry white hamsters with reddish eyes are none but the winter white hamsters. Their originating place is the snow-covered Siberian land; the white and windy atmosphere is what inspires their name! 

Besides, these pretty white hamsters are also found in Mongolia. They are typically small in size, only 3 to 4 inches, tagging along that is about an inch-long tail. One of the most interesting and fun facts about these adorable creatures is their fur. 

Winter white hamsters

Their fur color changes from season to season. In winter, they grow white furs camouflaging in the snowy ambiance; in summer or tropical climates, they grow brown fur coats.

The average lifespan of Winter whites ranges from about 1.5 to 2 years. However, if you offer them the right care, they’ll be your source of happiness for even longer!

Russian dwarf hamsters

Russian dwarf hamsters, also called Phodopus campbelli or Cambell dwarf hamsters, are comparatively minor hamster species. Originally found in Russia, Kazakhstan, etc. 

When you spot white-grayish small hamsters with stocky short bodies, tiny legs, and a sharp snout, it’s safe to identify them as Russian Campbells! You can find them in different fur colors, starting from white to gray to brown. 

Russian dwarf hamsters

Since they are a species of dwarf hamsters, they typically size from 3 to 4 inches in length and have a tiny tail at the end, adding one more inch. 

With short and thick fur coats, the purebred usually has whiter fur with pink eyes or even black eyes. Interestingly, they can sometimes have multi-colored furs with dorsal stripes of darker shades. Adorable and rare at the same time!

Their average lifespan also ranges from 1.5 years to 2 years. When in the wild, they usually make shelters in burrows in the ground. So, if you keep them as pets, make sure to offer them much space to play, run, and explore. 

Roborovski hamsters

If you’re looking for the most playful hamsters, Roborovskis are what you should get. Although they are the smallest in size, they are the fastest, and most difficult to handle, also a source of endless joy and laughs!

Roborovski hamsters

They have the shortest bodies with tiny legs, round heads, sharp snouts, large-round eyes, and really small ears. Roborovski hamsters usually have sandy brown fur coats with a patch of white on their tummy.

Chinese hamsters

And the final hamster breed on the list is the Chinese hamster. Although they are considered dwarf hamsters, some traits make them stand out and are easy to distinguish. One of these traits, apart from the physical ones, is their social behavioral pattern.

Chinese hamsters

Compared to Winter whites or Campbells, these hamsters have a long and slender body shape measuring almost 4 inches long. And their tails are typically half as long as their body. 

Besides, unlike other hamster breeds, they have visible neck regions, a rounder face, and big rounded eyes. Their fur color ranges from grayish tone to brownish with darker stripes at their back.

Which Hamster Breeds Are The Best Pets?

Which Hamster Breeds Are The Best Pets

Which of these hamster breeds make the best pets for you is all up to your preferences. With good food, cozy living conditions, and playful and explorable shelters, they can all be the best kind of pets you’ll ever have. However, here are a few heads up for the different hamster kinds. 

  • Syrian hamsters are bigger and easier to take care of as they don’t run around or engage in mischief that much. So, if you’re opting for gentle pets, this is the one for you. Also, they don’t like being in groups, so you need to fulfill their solitary living needs. 
  • The Chinese hamsters are almost the same, with gentleness and low maintenance. However, they are a bit more playful than the Syrian hamsters and can peacefully coexist with partners, although they might prefer living solitarily.
  • Next up, the dwarf hamsters like the Campbells, Roborovski, and Winter whites. With their cute and small size, they have lively personalities as well. Being pretty energetic and playful, you might find them exercising at 3 AM in the morning! 
  • Roborovskis are the most difficult to handle and they are so fast and small that they might just slip away through your finger gaps! They love doing tricks and are enough to make anyone laugh their hearts out. 

Which Hamster Breeds Can You Keep Together?

Some pet owners like having pets in pairs or small groups. So, if you’re planning to keep hamsters in pairs, there are a few things you should consider. 

Which Hamster Breeds Can You Keep Together
  • Firstly, keeping hamsters from different breeds together is not an ideal choice. They can easily engage in aggressive behavior towards each other, and may even cause harm to each other. 
  • Don’t lose hope, you can still keep the same breed hamster together under supervision and if introduced at an early stage of life. For instance, Winter Whites or Campbells can be sometimes kept together, but it’s not the wisest idea to keep the same sex together. 
  • Dwarf hamsters, in this case, are the easiest to keep together, while the Chinese hamsters might give you a little trouble at the beginning. 
  • On the other hand, Syrian hamsters do not even think about introducing a partner to them as they love solitude. They might even fight with each other if kept in pairs or small groups! 

How To Take Care Of Your Furry Friend?

How To Take Care Of Your Furry Friend

If you’re lucky enough to have these precious little furry creatures as your pets, take care of them wholeheartedly. Here are a few tips on that.

  • Hamsters must be given a balanced diet with proper protein, minerals, vitamins, supplementary fruits, veggies and access to fresh water. 
  • Besides, you should also ensure they have a cage spacious enough for them to run around and play along. 
  • Hiding spots, additional toys, passive lighting, and proper ventilation are crucial requirements for their ideal shelter.
  • Although hamsters sleep through the day, they are active at night and need a lot of exercises to boost their health and mood. So, don’t forget to add exercising wheels, tunnels, and other toys for them to have fun with. 
  • Hamsters can be shy and need plenty of time to adjust to their new living environment. Also, if you want some cuddling sessions with them, that’s fine but remember to handle them as gently as possible. 
  • And finally, regular checkups are very important for them. So, take them to the vet for regular check-ups and be up to date with all the required vaccinations. 

When To Avoid Getting Hamsters?

When To Avoid Getting Hamsters

So, when shouldn’t you opt for getting hamsters as pets? Of course, you’ll take the best care of them, but some situations are too risky for a hamster to live in.

  • For instance, if you have pet cats already or terrier dogs, it’s better not to get hamsters as the former can show unprecedented interest in the tiny furry creatures. 
  • Also, since hamsters are pretty delicate, if you have young children or a loud house, hamsters wouldn’t like that environment; it’ll be too stressful for them. 
  • Besides, since hamsters sleep during the day, you need to get them a dedicated sleeping spot away from the hustle at home in the daytime. 
  • Also, some hamster breeds like the tiny Roborovskis, are agile, fast, and mischievous. They might even try escaping through the cage bar gaps and hurt themselves. If you can keep a watch on them at all times, you can get them but not the other way around. 
If you’re a hamster owner, you might have wondered about some of your hamster’s behaviors and health issues. Our articles on why hamsters lie flat on their stomachs and sticky eye in hamsters can provide some helpful insights. If you notice your hamster lying flat on its stomach, it might be a sign of stress or illness, and our article on why hamsters lie flat on their stomachs can help you identify the cause and take the appropriate actions. Similarly, if your hamster has sticky eye, it can lead to serious health issues if left untreated, and our article on sticky eye in hamsters can guide you on how to deal with it. Be sure to read these articles to keep your hamster healthy and happy!


If you still have some further askings left, have your eyes here.

Q: How to identify your hamster breed?

Looking at the size, fur color, and physical traits like the shape of the face, body, length of tail, or eye color, you can easily identify your pet hamster breed. 

Q: Can you identify whether you have a purebred hamster or a hybrid one?

If you get your furry friend from a breeder, it’s quite impossible to find a purebred one, especially when it comes to dwarf hamsters. So, if you need a purebred hamster, make sure to get them from a trustworthy place or take help from an expert in this matter. 

Q: Which are the friendliest hamster breeds to get as pets?

Certainly, Syrian hamsters, with their timid nature and gentleness, are the easiest to keep as pets. Besides, they are docile and less likely to bite; however, you must not house them with partners.

Parting Words

It’s safe to say that now you know what kind of hamster you have. So, if you’ve identified your hamster breed by now, provide it with the proper care, food, love, affection, and cozy environment that they need to be happy and content.

No matter what breed of hamster you have, they are all equally adorable, cherishable, and worthy of your time, care, and unbounded love. Here’s a tip for Syrian hamster owners, make sure they have their own space because they can be very territorial about their shelters! 

Lisa G

Meet Lisa G, the founder and author of RodentsFact.com. With over 3 years of experience studying and observing various species of rodents. Lisa has established herself as a credible expert in the field. Her passion for these often-overlooked animals shines through in her in-depth articles and engaging writing style. Follow her blog to learn fascinating facts and gain a new appreciation for the furry creatures that share our world.

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