The Syrian hamsters are generally six to seven inches in length, with the female being the larger of the sexes and have an anticipated life span of about 3 years. They are considered to be good-natured and as a rule, very easy to tame and handle. Biting generally happens only when the hamster is startled, injured, frightened, awakened suddenly or handled during the daytime when it would rather be napping.
The Syrian is highly territorial and as a result is impossible to house in a cage, or other enclosure, with any other hamster, Syrian or another species. Conflicts usually end with the serious injury and potential death of one or both of the participants. Accommodations include a typical vertical wire cage commonly utilized by the largest hamster species. Sustenance includes high quality hamster food, hamster treats and fresh fruits and veggies. Hamster toys are optional, but the all-important hamster wheel is an absolute necessity for healthy physical activity.
Chinese hamsters are not typically bred and for that reason are quite rare and somewhat difficult to find. In fact, they’re even restricted in some states, which require a special permit to even keep them. Also known as the striped hamster or Chinese striped hamster, these little critters are neither dwarf nor standard in size. They measure in at a length of about four inches and have one unique feature that sets them apart from all other hamsters, a hairless tail stretching out nearly one and a quarter inches.
Chinese hamsters are a bit timid, but typically quite sociable to humans and rarely bite. Because of the smaller size and quickness of this little hamster species, they are particularly difficult to handle, especially for younger children. They’re kept with the same sex of their own species, unlike their Syrian and Chinese cousins. While they do make good pets, they have a tendency to bite when startled. Again, because of their size and quickness, they’re not recommended for younger children. The natural color of their coat is brownish gray with a dark stripe running along the spine, as they are social with same-sex cage pairings and do bite when nervous or frightened. Otherwise, their temperament is quite good. In their native habitat, the white color trait is triggered by the limited sunlight during the winter months.
Dwarf Roborovski hamsters are the smallest of the commonly available dwarf hamster pets, reaching a full-grown length of only two to three inches. An aquarium is definitely recommended for these little escape artists. Considered very docile, good-natured and rarely known to bite. Because of their tiny size, dwarf Robo hamsters should only be handled in an area where retrieval is easily facilitated because they will get away from you.