Chinese Hamster

Chinese Hamsters

Cricetulus griseus

Chinese Hamster Behaviour

Chinese hamsters are unique within the pet hamster species for their climbing behaviour and ability. They are able to wrap round their owners fingers, much like a harvest mouse. They are also more agile and capable of climbing, needing a more challenging environment than other pet hamster species.

Chinese hamsters are typically rather shy, but can tame down well with regular and careful handling.

Most hamsters are not nocturnal, as is commonly thought, but actually crepuscular - meaning they are more likely to be awake and active at dawn or dusk. This is due to both them being prey species and having a high metabolism. As pets, this means that their sleeping patterns and activity can be rather variable - and they will still be active at night. Your hamster will learn to adapt to your routine, so it is helpful to feed at the same time.

Hamsters are keen burrowers and will benefit from a decent space for digging. If your cage does not have a deep enough base to allow this, you can add custom digging boxes to enable this. This can be good to add a different substrate than their normal one to give extra variety.

Hamsters can be surprisingly vocal, especially when younger. Vocalisations can be a sign of stress or pain, though occasional squeaking is not a concern. Hamsters can catch colds from their owners so it is important to take great care with hygiene and limit handling if you are ill.

An angry hamster may hiss or scream at you, especially if awoken from sleep or disturbed in their nest. It is important to let your hamster come to you when handling rather than disturbing their nest.