The original habitat of the Chinese Dwarf Hamster is Mongolia and Northern China.
These tiny creatures, similar to the Russian Dwarf Hamster, are 10-12 cm. and have a 3 cm. long tail. Their color is greyish brown with a black stripe along the spine and a white spot on the head. Females are larger and stronger than males. Lifespan is 2-3 years. Females get along well together and unless you want lots of babies, you should house only females together.
The Chinese Dwarf Hamster needs to be handled gently as they are delicate creatures. They will fit in the palm of your hand. You can sit on the floor or the sofa so that if the hamster jumps suddenly, it won’t suffer any accidental injuries from falling. Make sure no other pets are nearby when the hamster is out of the cage.
Diet is regular hamster mix which can be purchased at your pet supplier. You can include veggies, bread, seeds, an occasional cricket or piece of fruit. If you have organically grown produce so much the better, otherwise wash produce well. Alfalfa and bean sprouts, spinach, green beans, endive, seeds such as pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, squash, flax seed are all good choices. Remove any uneaten fresh food from the cage before it rots. There should always be fresh, clean water available at all times.
Wire cages could present a problem – escape and/or injury because bars are not close enough together. A better choice would be an aquarium with a cover. Choose dust-free wood shavings (no pine or cedar) for bedding. The cage should have a shelf to climb on, an exercise wheel, non-toxic hamster toys designed to wear down teeth and a little “house” to retreat to. Clean the cage weekly, changing bedding too and spot clean in-between times.
Hamsters are nocturnal animals and are mainly active early mornings or late evenings. When playing with your hamster, approach from the front, don’t make any sudden moves or loud noise which can frighten him/her. When outside the cage, prepare a small secure area so that your hamster won’t escape and get lost somewhere in the house.