Types of Dwarf Hamsters and the Differences between them

Perhaps more than once you have heard someone refer to a hamster as a dwarf hamster, but the truth is that this is not the specific name of a particular breed. There are several breeds of dwarf hamsters, find out what they are and how they differ! 

What is a dwarf hamster? How many types of dwarf Hamsters are there?

Actually, the dwarf hamster designation applies to four different breeds. These four, in turn, are classified into two different groups: the “true” dwarf hamsters and the so-called “rat-like hamsters”. Within the second category we find the Chinese dwarf hamster, which although it is known as a dwarf, it really is not such ; in fact, although their physical similarity is great, the Chinese are more genetically related to rats. In fact, it is characterized by having a long tail, which is not the case in “pure” hamsters.

On the other hand, the group of true dwarf hamsters comprises:

  • Campbell’s Russian dwarf hamster : It is also known simply as the Russian dwarf hamster, or also as “Siberian hamster”, although this nomenclature is not considered correct according to the official standard. The Russian hamster is the most common as a household pet and is really easy to find.
  • Winter White Russian Dwarf Hamster – This is the hamster correctly known as Siberian. It is a subspecies of Campbell’s hamster and is much more difficult to find to breed in captivity.
  • Roborowski Hamster : Of the true dwarf hamster varieties, the roborowski is the smallest. Although they are becoming more and more popular, the truth is that it is not a completely domesticated race, so they have a somewhat complicated character to live with humans.

How to tell a Campbell dwarf hamster from a winter white Russian?

The Campbell hamster and the winter white are practically impossible to tell apart unless you have one next to the other. Regardless they are almost identical.

Winter white has three stripes, one in the center of the spine and one on each side, in the shape of a half moon. These hamsters shed their hair in winter, but sometimes this doesn’t happen when they live in captivity. When they have normal hair, the rest of the year, it is very similar to that of the Campbell, although a little darker.

On the other hand, the winter white is somewhat larger than the Campbell and has thicker fur, larger eyes, and smaller ears. However, these characteristics are really subtle, so it will be difficult to detect them if you only have one of the two races in front of you . If you got your hamster from a pet store, it is most likely a Campbell, as Winter White Russian is not easy to find.

Did you know that the name “dwarf hamster” is not a breed, but a category that includes several?

Chinese Dwarf Hamster

The Chinese dwarf hamster lives surrounded by mysticism and mystery, we could even say that it is a strange animal . They are pretty and charming, as much or more than normal dwarf hamsters. However, they are not a common pet, as they are difficult to find.

The mysteries of China’s dwarf hamster

On the other hand, it is not known exactly whether the Chinese dwarf hamster is precisely a hamster! Some experts claim that this rodent is not related to hamsters, but to rats. In fact, it is in the rat family that it is officially classified, not in the hamster family! Even so, there are people who prefer to consider it among dwarf hamsters, hence it is known by this name. This is so because both in physical characteristics and in lifestyle and care, the Chinese dwarf hamster looks much more like the Russian hamster than a rat.

The Chinese dwarf is not a very well known hamster , but there are many rodent lovers who would love to have one at home. This aura of mystery that surrounds it makes it even more interesting! However, it is an unusual animal as a pet, since it is difficult to find. But it’s worth the effort to find one!

And you, would you like to have a Chinese dwarf hamster? Did you know that they actually have more in common with rats than hamsters?

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