Siberian hamsters originally came from the cold steppes of Siberia, and when they are not asleep they are very sociable creatures, often downright exuberant! Let’s find out more about this cute little beastie and its needs.
The Siberian hamster is also known as Campbell’s hamster after the scientist, W.C. Campbell, who discovered it in Mongolia in 1902. It also goes by the name of Djungarian hamster.
It measures no more than 10 cm, has a short pom-pom style tail, a grey or brown upper body with a long dark stripe all along its back and one on either side. Its tummy is white, while its legs are furry and its feet silver.
Its native habitat is in very cold areas and so it has very warm and soft fur, ideal for survival even in the lowest temperatures. This does not mean, however, that it should not be left out of doors in winter!
It has a special gland on its abdomen used to mark its territory, so don’t worry if you see what looks like a little crusty spot on his tummy, it’s an integral part of him!
This type of hamster sleeps a lot during the day, and is then wide awake from sunset to sunrise, running on his little wheel and exploring the tunnels of his cage. That said, he does not mind at all if you wake him up during the day for a bit of cuddling and a change of scenery.
His cage should be spacious and have lots of little areas for him to hide and play in. Ferplast makes a variety of ample, two-storey cages with transparent connecting tubes and other toys that makes them really fun little houses for them to live in. The Laura and Duna cages are good examples and both can be attached to other living modules or rodent habitats with tubes. The cages are easy to clean thanks to the plastic bottoms that can be quickly and easily detached and washed.
The cages need to be cleaned every few days so that the hamster stays nice and healthy, while he himself doesn’t need your help as grooming is one of his favourite activities!