How to Take Care of a Chinese Hamster as a Pet

How to Take Care of a Chinese Hamster as a Pet

Here we can see, “How to Take Care of a Chinese Hamster as a Pet”

Chinese hamsters, also known as Chinese striped hamsters or dwarf hamsters, are small rodents found in China and Mongolia’s deserts. They aren’t truly dwarf hamsters, but they were given that moniker because of their diminutive size compared to other common pet hamsters like the Syrian hamster. They are usually dark, with a black stripe along their back and a lighter belly. They also have a longer tail than the majority of hamsters. These hamsters are relatively easy to care for as pets. They are normally calm and easy to train, while some are nervous and snappy. Furthermore, their habitat does not take up much space, and their diet is readily available in most pet stores.

Temperament and Behavior of Chinese Hamsters

Chinese hamsters are nocturnal, which means they sleep during the day and are up at night. However, they may occasionally wake up during the day to feed and move around for a short period. Still, it’s best not to disturb a sleeping hamster to deal with it. That will most likely make it grumpy, and it may try to bite you.

If you’ve been handling these hamsters since they were small, they’re generally friendly and comfortable being held. However, some can be frightened and snappy if they aren’t used to being handled. Furthermore, they might be difficult to control because they are little and fast. When holding your hamster, it’s better to sit on the floor, as dropping it from even a few feet up might result in catastrophic injury.

Chinese hamsters do not form attachments to humans in the same way that a dog or cat does. However, once they’re at ease with you, they may come to the edge of their enclosure if you’re nearby. Chinese hamsters can be housed alone, in same-sex pairs, or small groups. On the other hand, Hamsters maintained together may exhibit territorial hostility toward one another. Getting littermates that can grow up together and develop accustomed to each other’s company is your greatest hope for avoiding aggressiveness. Contact between your hamster and any other pets in the house should be avoided, as they could hurt this small, delicate rodent.

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They are generally low-maintenance, peaceful pets, though their movement may keep you awake at night if you keep their cage in your bedroom. Feedings and cleaning the enclosure will take a few hours each week. Next, handle your pet and let it play in a tiny hamster exercise ball or other secure location outside its enclosure for a couple of hours every day (preferably in the evenings when it is awake).

Size Specifications

Chinese hamsters are about 3 to 5 inches long and weigh 1 to 2 ounces. They mature at roughly 2 months of age.


Even though these hamsters are small, they require as large an enclosure as you can fit and afford. Because this is often their major area for play and exercise, the adequate room is critical for their health. The cage should be at least 2 feet long, 1 foot broad, and 1 foot high.

Cages with a plastic base and wire top are common in glass or plastic aquariums. The wire cage will improve airflow, but make sure the bar spacing is narrow enough that your hamster cannot squeeze through it.

Include a nest or tiny animal hideout in the enclosure, which can be found at most pet stores for exercise, including a hamster wheel with a solid surface. In addition, various tubes, burrowing tunnels, and bridges can be added to your hamster’s habitat to enrich it. Include some wooden chew sticks, or other hamster chew toys as well since this will assist to wear down their constantly expanding teeth.

At least once a week, clean the enclosure by replacing the bedding and scrubbing the surfaces with mild soap and water. Hamsters typically use a corner of their enclosure as a bathroom. So, to keep it sanitary, scoop out and change the bedding in that corner every day.

Specific Substrate Requirements

Fill the bottom of the enclosure with 1 to 2 inches of bedding, such as aspen shavings or paper-based items. Certain bedding materials, such as cedar chips may cause hypersensitivity in hamsters. Therefore, this substrate should be avoided since it might cause dry skin, alopecia, and secondary bacterial infections in susceptible animals.

What Food and Drink Do Chinese Hamsters Consume?

Hamsters eat a diverse diet of seeds, grains, nuts, plants, and insects in the wild. You can give your hamster vitamin and mineral-fortified commercial hamster food in captivity. Follow the feeding directions on the packaging to determine how much to feed each day. Most owners keep a day’s worth of food in a tiny ceramic dish in the enclosure. You can do this at any time because hamsters prefer to graze throughout the day and night rather than eat certain meals.

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Grain, fresh fruits and vegetables, and timothy hay can be added to the commercial hamster diet. Separate these foods from your hamster’s usual diet in a separate dish. Supplemental foods should account for 10% of the hamster’s total diet. Pieces of apple, carrot, and oats are among the alternatives. Feed fresh foods just when your hamster is awake (usually in the evening), so it can eat them before they spoil. Remove any fresh food from the enclosure within 24 hours, paying special attention to any food fragments your hamster may have hidden in the bedding.

Finally, hamsters want constant access to clean water. A little animal water bottle affixed to the side of the enclosure is preferable over a water dish because it is more sanitary. However, before removing your hamster’s water dish, check sure it is constantly drinking from the bottle.

Common Health Issues

Hamsters are typically tough animals, but they are susceptible to a few health issues.

Wet tail is a common disease in rodents, particularly hamsters. A wet tail, also known as proliferative ileitis or regional enteritis, is a type of diarrhea caused by stress or filthy living conditions, which leads to a bacterial infection. Aside from diarrhea, your hamster may become lethargic and lose its appetite. Seek veterinary attention right away since a wet tail can be fatal if not handled. Furthermore, it is transferable to any other hamsters in the enclosure. So, if you have other hamsters, keep them in a separate cage and keep an eye on them for signs. Finally, clean the primary enclosure thoroughly, and don’t reintroduce the hamsters until you’re certain they’re all symptom-free.

Hamsters are also prone to lung and airway illnesses, which can swiftly become life-threatening. Wheezing, nasal discharge, sneezing, and fatigue are all symptoms. This condition, too, necessitates immediate veterinarian attention.

Furthermore, if hamsters do not have enough chew toys, they may have enlarged teeth, interfering with their capacity to eat. As a result, you may notice that your hamster’s teeth appear longer than usual or that it isn’t eating and is losing weight. A veterinarian can trim the teeth and then advise you on good dental care if necessary.

How to Train Your Chinese Hamster

Hand-taming is often the extent of hamster training. Begin touching your hamster gently from a young age, taking care not to pinch or jostle it. If it is growing stressed, place it somewhere safe and comfy. Any time it is in your hands should be a pleasant one. You may even feed it goodies while holding it to aid in the taming process.


Providing an exercise wheel and a spacious enough enclosure should be enough to keep your hamster physically fit and prevent obesity and other health problems. You may also place your hamster in an exercise ball to allow it to roam freely outside of its enclosure. But, of course, always keep an eye on it when it’s outside the enclosure.

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Hamsters are relatively clean creatures who groom themselves. Therefore, they don’t require baths. However, if your hamster gets dirt or debris lodged in its fur, you can gently wipe it with a moist towel.

Costs of Maintenance

The main monthly expenses for a Chinese hamster will be its food and bedding. Depending on your food and bedding options, you can expect to pay between $20 and $40. (plus how large the enclosure is). You will also need to regularly replenish chew sticks, nests, and other toys, which will cost roughly $10. Additionally, budget for an annual vet wellness checkup and emergency medical care.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Owning a Chinese Hamster as a Pet

Chinese hamsters are low-maintenance pets that don’t take up much space and don’t create much noise. They can also be entertaining and engaging to watch. They are, nevertheless, fairly fragile animals that must be handled with care. In addition, because they are nocturnal, they may not be active during your waking hours.

Similar Hamsters to the Chinese Hamster

If you’re looking for pet hamsters, go to:

Otherwise, look into other hamsters that could become your new pet.

Buying or Adopting a Chinese Hamster

These hamsters are available at many pet stores. However, getting them from a reputable breeder or rescue organization is preferable. Some tiny animal rescue groups and hamsters are occasionally found in public animal shelters. A good breeder or rescue organization should be able to provide you with more detailed information on the animal’s origin, health, temperament, and care requirements. Expect to pay approximately $20, though this will vary depending on factors such as the age and tameness of the animal.


A local exotic veterinarian may be able to refer you to a reputable breeder. Make sure the seller doesn’t keep male and female hamsters together, or you can find up with a pregnant female that you weren’t expecting. Examine the hamsters before choosing one. Also, take note of how clean the seller’s animal enclosures are. A filthy enclosure raises the likelihood of health problems.

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When the hamster is awake, it should be active and aware, investigating its surroundings. Even if the hamsters are sleeping during the day, you can still check for signs of a healthy animal. Its fur should be clean and free of bald or ruffled patches. There should be no snot on the face or moisture around the tail, as this could suggest infection. Its breathing should also be steady and unlabored. If feasible, ask the vendor if you may rouse the hamster with a treat to ensure that it moves normally. But be prepared to be groggy.

To avoid becoming an unintentional breeder, always house your hamsters singly or in groups of the same sex.

User Questions

Are Chinese hamsters difficult to care for?

Chinese hamsters are low-maintenance pets, with their major care requirements centered on frequent feedings and habitat cleanings.

Do Chinese hamsters enjoy being held?

Chinese hamsters can learn to be at ease when held calmly and gently.

What can Chinese hamsters consume?

The Chinese Hamster consumes grasses, shoots, and seeds in the wild, supplemented by a few insects. In captivity, this combination may be duplicated by offering a high-quality hamster mix, fresh veggies, and a small amount of cooked chicken, mealworms, or crickets.

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Is it necessary for Chinese hamsters to have a wheel?

Dwarf hamsters require a wheel to exercise and emulate their natural behavior. They have a large territory and are very energetic creatures who run a lot in the wild. Dwarf hamsters will sprint several miles when foraging in the wild and use their speed to avoid predators.

Are Chinese hamsters suitable as a pet for children?

Chinese hamsters make ideal pets for older children who can handle them gently and understand that these creatures are fast and easily spooked.


I hope you found this helpful guide. If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to use the form below.


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