Newest Review: ... up in their beds as their genetic make - up dictates, this little beauty was sitting at the front of her cage observing the activity ... more
my quick little furry balls
Member Name: Murphypig
Advantages: funny, entertaining, cute
Disadvantages: quick, delicate, hart to make you trust
A few months ago our family got bigger. We decided to get 2 Dwarf hamsters. Since then Tiny and Speedy already taught me a lot in this time, which I want to share with you:
I had a Syrien Hamster when I was younger and I thought Hamster is Hamster, Dwarf Hamsters are just a bit smaller that's all. It's not quite like that. You have different kinds of Dwarf Hamsters as well. Mine are Raborski Hamsters, but there are Chinese Dwarf Hamsters or Campbells Russians as well. I stick to the Raborski here, as the other might be different in some aspects.
First of all I wanted to buy them a normal, standard hamstercage, with "metal wires" around it (or however you want to call it). But I was told by the lady in the shop that they would escape out of this normal hamster cages. They can make themselves soooo flat, it's unbelievable. What I need is either an aquarium tank or a plastic cage which has only the top "wired" to get some air in. This are special cages for Dwarf Hamsters. So I got one of these. Being used to my syrien hamster, I thought they will love climbing like he did. They do to an extend, but because of their sice a lot of toys that are sold for hamsters are not suitable for Dwarf Hamsters. If you for example have a tube going straight up , they would never be able to climb up there, so it's a waste of money buying this. The most fun they have now is actually with toilet rolls. They love them and even sleep in there sometimes. But I bought them a pack of Crittertrail Puzzle as well. Crittertrail is a company who produces little walls and tubs that you can put together how you (your hamster) like it and change it whenever you want to. It is a good idea, but it's hell to build this thing and I'm definitely not going to change it very soon because my fingertips still hurt from the first time. If you use to much pressure, a part that you just put together will fall apart, if you don't use enough, you won't be able to put it together. It's not that easy...
The reason why I wanted Dwarf Hamsters and not a syrien Hamster again is (next to the fact that they are sooo much cuter) that you can keep more then one together. Syrien Hamsters would kill each other if you have more then one in a cage, but Dwarf Hamsters can live together if they are from one litter. You obviously want one sex as well, otherwise you would end up with loads of little furry balls running around the house. I've been told my 2 Hamsters are one sex, but I really can't see how anyone would have been able to tell the sex at the age when I bought them. Now they've grown a bit and it's still difficult to tell, and even if you know what to look for, catch one of these guys first and turn them around! Good luck with that! They are incredibly quick little things. So at the moment I'm waiting to see if one morning there will be 6 hamsters and not only 2 in the cage. I think I should know soon, because the pregnancy time for Dwarf hamsters is 30 days.
Another difference to Syrien Hamsters is, that they don't eat so much vegetables and fruit. Raborski Hamsters live in the desert, so fruit and vegetables have to much fluid for them. They can have it every so often as a treat, but shouldn't eat too much of it. Where as my syrien Hamster used to get fruit or vegetables every day. Of course their waterbottle still needs to be available all the time (even desert animals need to drink!)! The normal Hamsterfood seems to be too big for them as well. What they prefer is seeds, so I mix it with birdfood.
Next to there cage, I "built" them a play area to run around and play in. I used a plastic container, that is supposed to go under your bed for storage. They have a second wheel in there, more toilet rolls and their crittertrail toys. (Otherwise the cage would be to cluttered). They love their wheels, but it's very squeeky, and we can even hear it in the bedroom, when the hamsters are in the livingroom downstairs. I filled it with sand, not with bedding like the cage, as I thought they might like this better -coming from the desert... They really like the sand and they love digging in it. It is a bit cold for their little feed, but they have plenty of things they can go into or climb onto so they don't have to stay on it if it's not comfortable anymore. But I wouldn't use it in their cage. They like to tug themselves into the bedding when they go to sleep and cover themselves with paper (extra hamster paper is available from petshops) so they can't sleep on sand.
As a verdict, I'm very happy with my new little friends, but there are some things I need to mention. They are very, very delicate and they're not at all suitable for little children hands. Next to the fact that they sleep during the day, so you only see them in the evening when children would go to bed anyway, they are not cuddly pets that you can take out and play with. Hamsters and especially Dwarf hamsters are more something to look at, not to carry around with you. I had mine for a few months now and I'm still not able to pick them up really. They will eventually get used to people, but you need a lot of patience.
I hope this shows you a little bit of the Dwarf Hamster world.
Summary: great pets if you don't want anything on your lap to cuddle.
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