Hamsters are rodents from the subfamily Cricetinae. There are 25 species of hamster and they come come in a wide range of sizes. The European breed can grow as large as 34 centimeters long and are some of the biggest varieties of hamsters. The dwarf hamster lives up to its name. These tiny hamsters grow to around 5.5 to 10.5 cm long. The most common pet hamster, the Syrian hamster, also known as the teddy bear hamster or golden hamster, usually grows to about 15.24 cm long.
The first hamsters were discovered in Syria, though they also live in Greece, Romania, Belgium and northern China. In the wild, they like to live in warm, dry areas, like steppes, sand dunes and the edges of deserts.
Hamsters are really funny little creatures - they are ideal house pets because they are gentle and are easy to take care of.
They are not as social as other rodents, but they are extremely curious and love to explore new things and places. If you fit bridges, runways and tunnels into their cage you can be sure the hamster will make use of it and delight the children watching.
Hamsters spend a lot of time cleaning their fur and pull a lot of funny faces whilst doing it, which amuses children and adults all the same.
Everyone knows the hamster’s special skill to build up big stashes of food. He will load up the bags in his cheeks and take his treasures to a quiet corner. In case his stock gets ‘raided’ (for example by his owner when cleaning the cage) he will simply start all over again.
This activity keeps the hamster busy and in shape. The hamster cage should be spacious so the little fellow can wander around freely. Since they are quite prim animals, they need a clean living space and fresh food on a daily basis to ensure their health and happiness. The feed should be varied and tailored to the hamster’s needs.
Hamsters have very poor eyesight. Their scent glands on their backs secrete an easily identifiable smell. To find their way around, they leave a trail of scent by rubbing their backs against objects. When a hamster needs to find their way back home, they will use this scent trail as a guide. Hamster's teeth grow continually.
Chewing on wood or twigs keeps their teeth short. Without something to chew on, their teeth would grow so long they would injure the roof of the mouth and lips