Did you know this hamster is not technically a dwarf? Here is everything you need to know about the Chinese dwarf hamster!
Originating in North-Eastern China and Mongolia, the Chinese dwarf hamster was first domesticated in 1919 when they began to be used for laboratory testing. By the end of the 1900s, the Chinese dwarf hamster had moved out of its laboratory origins and was increasing in popularity as a show animal and pet.
Despite their name, Chinese dwarf hamster is not, in fact, a dwarf hamster. They acquired their name and characterization as a dwarf, due to their small size and similarity in appearance to other dwarf hamsters. They are most recognizable by the faint black stripe down their backs and their long tails.
Always on the move, the Chinese dwarf hamster spends its time running, burrowing and climbing anywhere it can. Due to this, it's important that they have large cages with plenty of structures and tunnels to play with. Regardless of the size of the cage, it is recommended that Chinese dwarf hamsters be housed alone as they can be highly territorial, especially same-sex pairs.
Make sure that you have an efficient habitat in your hamster cage that includes an exercise wheel, fresh food and fresh water, wood shavings, timothy hay, or another bedding material (avoid cedar). The cage should also be kept out of direct sunlight so they don't overheat. They like to burrow and hide; paper towel rolls are a great, easy toy for them.
If you're looking to purchase a Chinese dwarf hamster of your own, make sure you are familiar with the laws in your specific area. Some states, such as California and New Jersey, require prospective Chinese dwarf hamster owners to have a special permit to own, breed, or sell them.
The average lifespan of the Chinese dwarf hamster is between two and three years, but they are known to live up to four with proper care.
Hover over the image for more information.
Body image courtesy of Pet Info Club
WATCH NOW: Guinea Pigs 'Popcorn' When They're Happy