Adopt and Raise a Chinese Hamster

The Chinese hamster is a common rodent in pet stores. Smart and very active, it is a sociable and affectionate animal with people, but not with its relatives. Easy to raise and a pleasure to live with, he will make a very good pet for young and old. Discover its features and our tips for using it in this complete file.

Chinese hamster: who is it?

There are several types of hamsters. The Chinese hamster, or Chinese hamster, can be recognized by its short-haired brown-gray or tawny fur and a stripe of dark gray along its back. Less common are individuals with black and white hair. Its tail is relatively long, as it measures between 1.5 and 3 cm.

It is so called because it grows in the deserts of northeastern China and Mongolia. It is widely represented in pet stores and is sold at an average price of 4 to 10 euros. It was domesticated in the early 20th century, originally for use as a laboratory guinea pig. Gradually, it was replaced by other, more docile species and put up for sale. His rapid success allowed him to become a pet widely accepted by people very early.

The size of the Chinese hamster is about 12 cm and the average weight is 35 to 40 g for females and 45 to 50 g for males. This is not a dwarf hamster. Its silhouette is longer and slimmer than that of its cousins, the Russian hamster and Campbell’s hamster. It is somewhat reminiscent of an ordinary small rat, but more graceful. His dark and expressive eyes really seduce people who also appreciate his open and erect ears.

Like all species, the Chinese hamster has small cheek pouches that allow it to store food.

This hamster has a relatively short lifespan, ranging from 18 months to three years. However, an animal fed a quality, balanced diet tends to live longer.

Sociable with people, the Chinese hamster is easily tamed. When he is well tamed, he does not hesitate to cuddle up to the hands or to the body of his owners, longing for caresses and hugs. Very intelligent, playful and loves contact.

Reproduction of the Chinese hamster

The Chinese hamster can breed from two months of age. The female remains pregnant for 20 days and in most cases gives birth to 4–5 cubs. It is then necessary to wait 20 to 25 days for the litter to be weaned.

To distinguish a male from a female, it is enough to carefully take the animal at chest level. Hold it well in the palm of your hand without tightening it too much, because an accident can happen very quickly! Gently turn him over and observe his genitals. The male has conspicuous and very easily identifiable testicles. However, adult male and female side by side can be identified with the naked eye, with the former significantly larger than the latter.

How to raise a Chinese hamster?

If you are considering getting a Chinese Hamster, you will need to respect its needs and follow a few guidelines to properly raise it and ensure its well being.

Chinese hamster habitat

The Chinese hamster lives alone, it is a real loner, fiercely guarding its territory. Don’t expect to make your pet happy by giving him a little companion, as they will fight until one of them is seriously injured or dead. Males can tolerate each other, but this is not systematic and usually lasts for a while until a fight breaks out…

Provide a large and well lit cage. The Chinese hamster is active and loves to play sports, so bet on a cage at least 50 cm long and 30 to 35 cm wide and high. Provide a floor so that he can jump and have fun without danger, as well as a wheel, toys, and a course.

Take care to prepare it well in advance of your little companion’s arrival. Therefore, do not buy everything together and spend time carefully installing your future home. Thus, the animal will be less stressed and feel more comfortable, which will help him acclimatize faster in the new environment.

food for hamsters

The Chinese hamster has very specific nutritional requirements: 16% protein, 6% lipids, and 6 to 10% fiber.

You can find preparations for Chinese hamsters in pet stores. Prefer good quality food to cover his needs. You can supplement this meal with fresh fruits and vegetables, always in small amounts. The Chinese hamster loves cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, spinach leaves, lentils, bananas, pears and apples. Dried fruits are also valued, but in small quantities due to their sugar content.

chinese hamster health

The health of the Chinese hamster is relatively fragile, like that of many of its cousins. Here are the most common diseases:

  • Fleas and lice : Without gravity, these parasites often penetrate the hamster’s fur. However, a veterinarian should be consulted to prescribe the appropriate treatment to eliminate them before they cause irritation.
  • fractures : The Chinese hamster, being very active, can easily break bones when falling or jumping. Always consult your veterinarian as a precaution because paralysis is not uncommon. It usually takes 3 weeks for complete healing.
  • Diabetes : This pathology occurs very easily in malnourished hamsters, hence the importance of a high quality diet. Also, remember that it is hereditary.
  • pneumonia : The Chinese hamster is sensitive to cold. Avoid drafts and large temperature fluctuations. Leave it in a warm, soothing environment to avoid nosebleeds, signs of pneumonia.
  • Tumors : after reaching a certain age, the hamster is prone to the formation of tumors throughout the body.

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