Scientific Name: Cricetus Griseus
Country of Origin: Mongolia and Northern China
Habitat – Steppes and rocky plains
Length: Females 8-12 cm Males 8-14cm
Weight: Females 25-40grams Males 30-60grams
Life span: 18-36 months
Description: Unlike other species of hamster, the Chinese hamster has a very long thin look to it very similar to the body shape of a mouse, They are sometimes referred to as ‘Rat like Hamsters’. The tail of a Chinese hamster is noticeably longer than that of the other species, measuring up to 2.5 cm’s in length. There are two common colours of Chinese hamster, Normal/Wild Type- A grey-brown colour with a black dorsal stripe from head to tail and a white underside. Dominant Spot- White coat with spots of the normal/wild type colour distributed along the dorsal stripe.
Behaviour: The Chinese Hamster is much better at climbing that its other dwarf cousins, it uses it prehensile tail to help grip to branches or in a domestic situation cage bars or fingers. Due to the design of the hamsters skeleton structure it is able to fit through gaps seemingly impossible for it to fit through., for this reason Chinese hamster should be kept in mouse bar cages or glass/plastic tanks.
The Chinese hamster is very different socially to the other dwarf hamsters, in fact its social status is more similar to that of the Syrian Hamster than to that of other Dwarfs. Chinese Hamsters are solitary animals occasionally living in pairs to breed. Female Chinese Hamsters are extremely aggressive towards other females and Males. It has been known for females to kill males, which enter their territory. It is possible to introduce animals at and early age and have a chance of a successful pairing but often the hamsters will begin to squabble when they reach sexual maturity.