Chinese Dwarf Hamster Information

chinese dwarf hamster The Chinese Dwarf Hamster (Cricetulus griseus) is native to Tuva. It belongs to the long-tailed dwarf hamsters and is a shy animal. The Chinese has a longer body compared to the other Dwarf hamster species and of course a longer tail. The tail helps the animal to balance when climbing, among other things.

The Chinese Dwarf Hamster was initially regarded as a subspecies of the Daurian Dwarf Hamster (Cricetulus Barabensis). They look very similar, but eventually the Chinese Dwarf Hamster got the addition "griseus" instead of "Barabensis".

Head-body length : Males 11 - 12.5 cm and 45 grams, females 9 - 11 cm. and 38 grams
Body weight : Men 45 grams, women 38 grams
Life expectancy : 2 - 3 years

Chinese Dwarf hamsters are twilight active, which means that they are most active in the evening and early morning. However, the animals sleep cyclically, that is, a few hours of sleep is alternated with a few hours of being awake, which means that these Dwarf hamsters are also regularly awake during the day.

Tame and familiarize yourself with the Chinese Dwarf Hamster

Always read carefully before you decide to get a Chinese Dwarf Hamster. They are very nice pets that are awake regularly, so they can also be seen during the day. The Chinese Dwarf Hamster doesn't always like to cuddle and he certainly finds being picked up very scary in the beginning. It seems that the Chinese Dwarf Hamster can see a little more depth than the other Dwarf Hamster species, but caution is still advised. The longer tail of this Dwarf Hamster ensures that they can better keep their balance on the hand, for example. Once they are used to the hands they also enjoy walking over the hand and between the fingers.

A new resident must be approached calmly, especially during the first few months. The animal must first become familiar with its own enclosure and feel safe in it before it dares to approach people. Of course there are also daredevils who immediately approach you and are social, but most Hamsters are a bit shy at first. Give the animal time and try to make contact calmly by talking to the Hamster. Handing out some treats often works well to gain the trust of the animals.

Housing the Chinese Dwarf Hamster

Chinese Dwarf hamsters need a spacious enclosure of at least 80 x 40 cm ( LICG ). A good enclosure gives the animals the opportunity to dig, but also a little climbing. In the wild, Chinese Dwarf hamsters build beautiful tunnel systems and they would like to continue to do so in captivity. A castle in the wild is at a depth of at least 1 to 2 meters and is about 1 meter long. The depth of the castle depends on the ambient temperature. When the temperature rises, the dwarf hamster digs deeper underground to reach the cool earth, a kind of natural air conditioning.

hamster scaping info Chinese Dwarf Hamster Hamsterscaping is therefore very nice for Chinese Dwarf Hamsters.

At our home this translates into a spacious stay with digging possibilities! A terrarium is the best choice here thanks to its closed character. It is important that a terrarium allows good ventilation, so preferably has two grids (top and bottom). This is especially important in summer when temperatures rise above 25°C.

Chinese Dwarf hamsters cannot withstand high temperatures in combination with high humidity, which is why a temperature between 20 - 24°C and a humidity below 70% are recommended. You can use a hygrometer to measure these values.

House for a Chinese Dwarf Hamster

Chinese Dwarf Hamsters are in luck! Because almost all houses that are made for hamsters are a good size for this Dwarf hamster species. Chinese Dwarf hamsters are prey animals and do not like to walk openly through the enclosure, if they occasionally encounter a shelter they feel a lot safer. Our advice is therefore to have at least two houses for the Hamster. A house for the Dwarf Hamster to sleep in and another one for him to hide in. At least one of the two houses must be larger so that the Dwarf Hamster can store its food supplies there as well. Not being able to put food supplies away can cause stress for the animals.

Running wheel for a Chinese Dwarf Hamster

The hamster wheel is a very important part of the design of the dwarf hamster enclosure. Chinese Dwarf hamsters are active animals that like to run, often at night. This is because they naturally run a lot during the night hours in the search for food. This is, as it were, in their DNA. In addition, scientific research has shown that running on a running wheel makes hamsters happy, digestion is promoted and the animals generally stay in good shape by running.

A running wheel for a Chinese Dwarf Hamster must have a diameter of at least 20 cm and consist of a closed running surface.

Ground cover for the Chinese Dwarf Hamster

It is important that the bedding for Dwarf Hamsters is diggable, that is to say that they can make corridors and holes in it, which preferably remain. This can be achieved by choosing ground cover that is already diggable in itself or by mixing ground cover crops together to make them diggable. Examples of excavable soil cover are, for example, the Humus and the Holenzand , but also Cotton & Cotton . A nice mix is, for example, the mix of Cotton & Hemp Fiber , Cotton & Wood Fiber or a mix of Wood Fiber , Hemp Fiber and Hay. Ground covers such as Back 2 Nature are not suitable because the animals cannot dig in them. An ideal height of the ground cover for digging in is around 20 cm.

hamster scaping for Russian Dwarf Hamsters

Sand bath for Chinese Dwarf Hamsters

Chinese Dwarf Hamsters like to take a sand bath now and then. Sand has a degreasing effect and therefore also cooling. Because sand is degreasing, it also has a drying effect. Animals with skin problems should therefore not be given a sand bath. If the skin dries out too much due to the sand, it can start to itch, causing the animals to bathe even more. It is therefore important to monitor the bathing behavior of the hamsters and to remove the sandbox if there are signs of skin problems (red spots, bald spots, scabs, wounds).

Chinese Dwarf Hamsters are nest builders

Chinese Dwarf hamsters are real nest builders, they always need nesting material so they can line their hole with it. Making a nest is therefore part of the natural behavior of a Dwarf Hamster. Therefore always give him 15-25 grams of nesting material.

Nesting material must be nice and soft, absorb moisture and have fragile fibers so that the animals cannot become entangled in it. Materials such as cotton, hemp, toilet paper and hay are ideal.

Chinese Dwarf hamster food

Chinese Dwarf hamsters are true granivores (seed eaters). The diet of Chinese Dwarf Hamsters therefore mainly consists of seeds and an almost negligible portion of animal proteins . The animals mainly eat more animal proteins such as insects when few seeds are available.

Chinese Dwarf hamsters carry their hamster food in their cheek pouches. What you see is that the hamster stuffs its food into its cheek pouches and quickly takes it to its house or storage room. Transporting food in the cheek pouches is also known as 'Hoarding'. Thanks to the cheek pouch muscle, the food is held in the cheek pouch and the hamster can transport it safely and quickly.

Dental formula: 1013/1013 (Ratio top - bottom incisors = 1 : 2-3) Incisors continue to grow.
Molars do not keep growing: The large cheek pouches that extend to the shoulder blades are a flexible protrusion of the buccal mucosa.
Stomach: Consists of two chambers: the anterior and glandular stomach.
Small cecum: with limited ability to process crude fiber. Cecal droppings rich in protein are only eaten when there is a shortage of food.

The Chinese Dwarf Hamster does not actually eat plant parts, so the food may have a low fiber content and must certainly remain below 10%.

Gnawing material for Chinese Dwarf Hamsters

Chinese Dwarf Hamsters have a natural need to gnaw. This is because dwarf hamsters are rodents and have growing incisors. So it is necessary that they can gnaw on something to wear down the teeth. If Dwarf hamsters have too few opportunities to wear down the teeth, the teeth can become too long or grow crooked, with all the consequences that entails.

Rodent wood is used by rodents to wear down their teeth. Because the teeth of rodents are always growing, they must be gnawed regularly so that they do not grow too long and grow crooked.

Some Chinese Dwarf Hamsters gnaw very actively at rodents and others do not at all. On the one hand it is a matter of taste, but on the other hand it is a matter of need. If a Dwarf hamster has no need to gnaw because the teeth stay long due to the food, hay or other nibbles, it will gnaw less at rodents. It is good to always offer natural rodent wood so that the animals can always gnaw when they have a need to gnaw.

Dental problems in Chinese Dwarf hamsters

If you notice that your hamster is very excited to take the food, but then won't eat it, there may be something wrong with the teeth. Drooling can also indicate dental problems. If you suspect that there are dental problems, it is best to contact the vet.

Reproduction of the Chinese Dwarf Hamster

Chinese Dwarf hamsters are 100% solitary, they only come together during the mating season. Once young are born, the mother takes care of them until they are old enough to leave the nest.

The female is willing (in heat) and ready to mate every 4 days. This takes about 12 hours. If a successful mating has taken place on these days, the young are born after about 19 days.

The difference between males and females can be seen in the distance between the genital opening and the anus. This distance is greater in a male than in the female.

Sexual maturity : from 4 weeks
Breeding mature: females from 12 weeks
Number of litters : 3-4 per year
Litter size : on average 7 (max. 10) little ones per litter
Gestation period : 19-21 days
Birth weight : 1-2 g, nestlings
Weaning period : from week 3

Health of the Chinese Dwarf Hamster

Chinese Dwarf hamsters are generally quite healthy animals. The most common health problems are dental problems, diabetes and eye problems. In connection with dental problems, we recommend checking them regularly to detect any dental problems in time.

It is not necessary to treat the animals preventively with anti-parasite. It is not necessary to give extra vitamins with a complete hamster diet.

It is advisable to consult a veterinarian with the following symptoms:

Dental problems

Drooling, moist nose and eyes, protruding teeth, not eating, losing weight, eating foreign materials that are softer than food.


Bald spots, lots of scratching, scabs, wounds, bumps and lumps.


Wet and dirty ass, drinking a lot, falling over, lethargy, different shape and color of the droppings.

hamsters and Chinese Dwarf Hamster
your rodent and rabbit definitely deserves a real specialist

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