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I bet you've seen a hamster before, either at a friends house or a pet shop. They're one of those creatures some people mistake for really fat mice while other people end up calling every small animal a hamster. Hamsters are rodents and relatives of animals like rats, gerbils, guinea pigs, chinchillas and mice. They're especially well accepted because they possess only a short tail and are cute, adorable and sometimes comical in appearance.

Syrian hamsters were found in the deserts of Syria and were popular lab animals before becoming popular pets. There are many different colours of Syrian hamsters. Check out the history, characterestics and care of this species. For even more information, check out the links and other resources.You may be surprised to know that, unlike the dog or the cat, Syrian hamsters were only discovered in the wild in the 1930s. So, hamsters overall are a relatively recent pet.

Dwarf hamsters seem to be a relatively new arrival on the Singapore pet scene and this would seem typical for the dwarf hamsters as they are relatively new as pets even in places like America and England. Some species may not even be available yet in some countries.

    Dwarf hamsters are much smaller than their Syrian cousins, sometimes only about half the size or more. They are especially adorable and their habits and their care are very similar to that of the Syrians. Unlike the different breeds of dogs, or the different breeds of rabbits, hamsters like the dwarfs are a different species from the Syrians. There are four, viz; Russian Campbells, Winter Whites, Chinese, and the Roborovskis . The Russians consist of two subspecies: the Campbells and the Winter White Russian hamsters. These can interbreed but it is not advisable to do so. For more information, do visit some of the links . 

Normal Russian campbells Bonnie and Candie having a tiff - "I'm not going to talk to you anymore!" These dwarfs are characterized by the "line" down the middle of their backs made by the darker fur. 


"hmm..Ireally must concentrate if I'm to go far...." the smallest of dwarf hamsters, they are really petit and extremely active. There is only one color  - sandy brown

Winter white pearl - "oh, I'm camera shy!" these are considered a different species from the campbells and the normals and pearls are the most common here.

See the polls at tusmc_hamsters:


Syrian hamsters are solitary animals and live alone in the wild. This may be to prevent overcrowding in any given area as food is scarce in an arid habitat like the one where they stay. They each have their own territory which they defend aggressively and usually only tolerate one anothers company during mating. If two hamsters are kept together in captivity, it is very likely that one will kill the other. This may not happen in the wild as the weaker individual may still be able to run away. They each dig underground dens where they stay and store all their food. They are safer from predators underground than on the surface.

Dwarf hamsters can usually stay in pairs or colonies. Pairing of amicably suited hamsters is usually done at a young age.

Unique characteristics
They are avid food collectors and will stuff their cheek pouches with a comparatively large amount of food relative to their body size. They will then bring this food to their designated "larder" area - a corner of their den. They have been known to collect up to 60 times their own weight in food! Such behavior endeared hamsters to many people who found it amusing to see them walk around with what seemed like an enormous jawbreaker in each cheek.

 More than a simple pet...
Picture on right: This should be Fang, Catherine's hamster. This hamster was teh champion hamster at the hamster show in Singapore. HJ took this some time ago at one of the hamstermeets. If I'm wrong, please correct me.

The hamster frenzy has grown so much that there are now many hammy clubs around the world which provide breeders (amateurs and professionals alike) with an opportunity to show their pets. These shows are always good places to get hammy advice and see beautiful hamsters. These are especially abundant in the US and in England. Maybe we'll have one or more such clubs in the future, eh?

Breeders have up to hundreds or thousands of hammies at one time and keep extensive records of their breeding lines. Usually, they try to breed for special colors, patterns or other physical traits. They have what are known as hamsteries.

I would like to include a note of caution though - just as there are thousands of abandoned dogs and cats, there are abandoned hamsters as well. As hamster lovers, we ought not to add to the numbers of hamsters that can not find good homes.

Syrians/ Campbells/ Winter Whites/ Roborovskis / Email me
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