How Many Types of Hamsters are There in the World?

There are 19 types of hamsters in the world (this figure varies depending on the classification), but only 5 of them are used as pets:

  • Syrian hamster
  • Roborovski hamster
  • Chinese hamster
  • Campbell’s Dwarf hamster
  • Winter White Russian dwarf hamster

You can read more about them further down…

Here’s a complete list of all 19 hamster species, including all of their different names:

Common nameBinomial nameAlso known as
Syrian hamster
Syrian hamster
Mesocricetus auratusGolden hamster
Fancy hamster
Honey bear
Black bear
Teddy bear
Dalmatian
Polar bear
European black bear
Panda bear
Chinese hamster
Chinese hamster
Cricetulus griseusRat hamster
Campbell's dwarf hamster
Campbell's dwarf hamster
Phodopus campbelliRussian dwarf
Winter white Russian dwarf hamster
Winter White Russian Dwarf Hamster
Phodopus sungorusDjungarian hamster
Siberian hamster
Roborovski hamster
Roborovski hamster
Phodopus roborovskiiDesert hamster
Robo
Mongolian hamster
Mongolian hamster
Allocricetulus curtatus
Eversmann's hamster
Eversmann's hamster
Allocricetulus eversmanniKazakh hamster
Gansu hamster
Gansu hamster
Cansumys canus
Tibetan dwarf hamster
Tibetan dwarf hamster
Cricetulus alticolaLadak hamster
Chinese striped hamster
Chinese striped hamster
Cricetulus barabensisStriped dwarf hamster
Kam dwarf hamster
Kam dwarf hamster
Cricetulus kamensisTibetan hamster
Long-tailed dwarf hamster
Long-tailed dwarf hamster
Cricetulus longicaudatusLesser long-tailed hamster
Long-tailed hamster
Gray dwarf hamster
Gray dwarf hamster
Cricetulus migratoriusArmenian hamster
Gray hamster
Migratory hamster
Migratory grey hamster
Sokolov's dwarf hamster
Sokolov's dwarf hamster
Cricetulus sokolovi
European hamster
European hamster
Cricetus cricetusEurasian hamster
Black-bellied hamster
Common hamster
Turkish hamster
Turkish hamster
Mesocricetus brandtiBrandt's hamster
Azerbaijani hamster
Avurtlak
Romanian hamster
Romanian hamster
Mesocricetus newtoniDobrudja hamster
Ciscaucasian hamster
Ciscaucasian hamster
Mesocricetus raddeiGeorgian hamster
Greater long-tailed hamster
Korean hamster
Tscherskia tritonKorean hamster

Syrian Hamster

The Syrian hamster (often called Golden hamster) is the most common species of hamster used as pet.

Syrian hamsterWhy is it so popular? Well, it has a good size (not too small), it’s cute, and it’s more social and curious than the other types.

Normal adults are 5-7 inches long (13-18 cm) and weigh around 120-125 g. In the wild they live for 2-3 years, but as pets they can become up to 4 years old (when given a healthy and well-balanced diet).

The original color of Syrian hamsters was a mix of gold, brown and black, but nowadays they come in all sorts of patterns and color variations.

An adult Syrian hamster can’t share cage with another, because they are very territorial. They will fight furiously, sometimes even to the death. So make sure your little friend gets to live alone (in a cage suitable for Syrian hamsters).

Pups must be separated from mothers and siblings before they are sexually mature. Four weeks is a good rule of thumb. Litters normally consist of 8-10 pups.

Roborovski Hamster

roborovski-hamsterThe Roborovski hamster (Robo) is relatively small. Adults are only 1.8-2 inches (4.5-5 cm) in length and 20-25 g in weight.

The fur is sand-colored, and they have white spots just above the eyes and a white belly. However, there are ten variations of the Robo, all with slightly different characteristics.

Robos usually live for around three years, and their average litter size is six pups.

Chinese Hamster

The Chinese hamster has a longer and thinner body, and a longer tail, than the other four species that are used as pets.

chinese-hamsterAdults are around 3.2-5 inches (8.2-12.7 cm) long, and normally weigh 30-45 g. The average life expectancy is 1½ – 2 years.

Brown with a black stripe along the back is the most common color, although it also exists in two other variations.

Chinese hamsters are popular to keep as pets thanks to their calm and gentle behaviour (once tamed).

Campbell’s Dwarf Hamster

Campbell’s dwarf hamster is closely related to the Winter white Russian dwarf hamster.

An adult is usually around 3.9-4.7 inches (10-12 cm) long and weighs somewhere in the region of 30-45 g.campbells-dwarf-hamster

Their life expectancy is 1-2.5 years, depending on diet and the season they are born. Those born during summer seem to live longer.

When living as pets, they get four to six pups per litter. In the wild, the average is eight.

A good thing about Campbell’s dwarf hamster is that they are sociable enough to be able to live both by themselves and in groups.

Winter White Russian Dwarf Hamster

The Winter white Russian dwarf hamster (also known as the Djungarian hamster) is a short and almost ball-sized hamster that can withstand very low temperatures.

Winter White Russian Dwarf HamsterIt has a grey stripe along the spine, and a dark fur that turns white during winter. However, when living as pet the fur doesn’t always change in color.

Winter whites are normally 3-4 inches (8-10 cm) in length, and around 30-45 g in weight,

Normal life expectancy in captivity is 1-3 years, and only one year in the wild.

Comments (3)

  1. christi October 22, 2017
    • John October 23, 2017
  2. Victoria November 29, 2017

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