Chinese Hamster

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The Chinese Hamster “Cricetus griseus “ originates from Northern China and Mongolia and is not technically a Dwarf Hamster, but a member of the "mouse-like" hamster genus, and has a relatively long tail for a hamster.

The Chinese Hamster was first recorded in 1900 and they were later kept and used in laboratories and grew in the 1970s when the Russian Hamster was introduced to the pet market.

The Chinese Hamster has a slender mouse-like body, which is approximately 10-12cm in length with males being larger than females. The natural color is dark brown over the back with dark stripe along the spine and an off-white belly although there are other varieties. The average lifespan of the Chinese Hamster is 2½-3 years although they can live longer.

As with any hamster, food and water should always be available. Chinese hamsters should be fed a complete hamster mix that has a variety of grains, corn and vegetable flakes. Chinese hamsters prefer more fresh fruits and greens than other varieties of hamsters, so be sure to provide broccoli, apples, peas in the pod, melon and other fresh vegetables.

The Chinese hamster is the most difficult of the dwarf hamsters to breed and rise in captivity. If they are kept as pets they should be housed individually to avoid problems with fighting.

The Chinese hamster has timid nature, they are often not very active when handled which make then not as popular with children who want a pet they can hold and play with. However the Chinese Hamsters can be a fascinating pet to observe, particularly when given a large and interesting environment in which to live.

The best housing for a Chinese hamster is a glass or plastic aquarium, which should be cage should be cleaned out weekly. In captivity the Chinese Hamster is a sociable pet and will live with others of its own kind in the right environment in single sex or mixed sex pairs or groups if breeding is intended.

Before taking a Chinese hamster home check with the game and fish commission or department of agriculture of the state or province. Places that are agriculture based may have certain species banned due to the possibility of introducing a foreign “pest”


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