The Russian hamster is an ideal pet: it does not require much time, does not take up space in the house, and its maintenance does not require large expenses. This is the most calm and patient of domestic hamsters. Its habitat, food, water, a minimum of attention from the owners – it is enough for a good life.
- Size: 6 to 12 cm
- Weight: 48 to 120 g
- Life expectancy: 3 years
- Pregnancy: 21 days
Origin and features of the Russian hamster
Contrary to what its name suggests, the Russian hamster (Fodop Sungor) does not come from Russia, but from the steppes of northern Kazakhstan, near Siberia. It became a pet in the 1970s in France. Like all hamsters, the Russian hamster is a mammal. It is a rodent that is part of the Muridae family and is one of the 5 domestic hamster species. Belongs to the category of dwarf hamsters. The most common Russian hamster is gray in color and is recognizable by a darker backline than the rest of its coat. But this species offered a wide variety of colors for several years.
As a pet, the Russian hamster has a docile and calm nature, while being fast and agile. It is easy to handle and caress. This is a dwarf hamster that is the easiest to tame and very rarely bites. The Russian hamster lives mostly at night and sleeps during the day.
How to care for a Russian hamster?
The Russian hamster is a solitary animal and cannot live with another relative. If you take several, it’s important to grow them in separate cages so they don’t fight until they kill each other. Also be careful if you have other animals such as a dog, cat or rabbit. They can really attack a Russian hamster and kill him.
In matters of hygiene of your Russian hamster and in order to avoid unpleasant odors, it is important to regularly wash his cage with plenty of water in the shower or in the bath, just Marseille soap. The Russian hamster spends a lot of time grooming himself and, like the chinchilla, he needs to regularly roll in a special, very fine pumice sand that helps to polish his coat.
What is the habitat for his Russian hamster?
Due to its small size and the fact that it gnaws everything it finds, the Russian hamster should not live in freedom, but in a cage. In order for it to thrive in the best conditions, it needs a living wage and its cage must be at least 60 x 40 cm. the curiosity of the hamster, and also so that he can study there. Choose a cage with horizontal bars no more than 1cm apart to allow him to climb. The tiered cage is also perfect for your Russian hamster to exercise and climb.
The Russian hamster needs to be isolated in his cage, and for this he builds a nest there from hay, paper handkerchiefs or scraps of cloth. His bedding should also be adapted to absorb odors well and allow the hamster to scratch and dig. The best filler is preferably organic and special for small rodents.
What to feed a Russian hamster?
Russian hamsters are omnivores. In nature, they feed on both seeds, leaves, fruits, vegetables, and insects, which provide them with proteins. They are necessary for its proper development. Two types of food are suitable for the Russian hamster: extruded food, balanced food rich in vitamins in the form of granules, and seed mixtures made up of cereals, dead insects, vegetables and fruits. It should be ensured that the composition of her food is not too fatty. The Russian hamster needs 3 to 8 grams of food per day. He does not need to drink much, 5 to 10 ml of water per day, which he will drink from a bottle that you will place in the cage.
Health of the Russian hamster: what you need to know
The Russian hamster is prone to nutritional diseases such as obesity or thinness. It is very important to regularly monitor your weight. Diarrhea is a serious disease for a hamster, so in this case, you should contact your veterinarian. If your hamster is bored, he will take care of himself by going to the toilet late and swallowing the hairballs that accumulate in his stomach and make him sick. The Russian hamster is also very susceptible to respiratory and eye diseases and, like most rodents, to parasites such as scabies or ringworm. Tumors are also quite common in Russian hamsters.
Reproduction of the Russian hamster
Stimulating the reproduction of hamsters can be very difficult: a female can actually have about forty cubs a year! The female is in heat every 4 days and the breeding season is from April to September. The gestation period is 21 days, after which the female gives birth to 6 to 8 cubs, which she then nurses for 21 days. She is ready to mate again 3 weeks after the birth of the cubs.