How many Types of Hamsters are there?

How Many Types of Hamsters are There in the World?

Although the term “hamster” refers to about 19 species of small rodents, there are only about five found in the pet market. Below is a list of the most common types found as pets:

ImageCommon nameClassificationBinomial nameAlso known as
Syrian hamstersSyrian hamsterGenus MesocricetusMesocricetus auratus- Golden hamster
- Fancy hamster
- Honey bear
- Black bear
- Teddy bear
- Dalmatian
- Polar bear
- European black bear
- Panda bear
Chinese hamsterChinese hamsterSpecies C. griseusCricetulus griseusRat hamster
Campbell's dwarf hamsterCampbell’s Dwarf hamsterSpecies P. sungorusPhodopus campbelliRussian dwarf
Winter white Russian dwarf hamsterWinter White Russian dwarf hamsterSpecies P. sungorusPhodopus sungorusDjungarian hamster
Siberian hamster
Roborovski hamsterRoborovski hamsterSpecies P. roborovskiiPhodopus roborovskiiDesert hamster
Mongolian hamsterMongolian hamsterSpecies A. curtatusAllocricetulus curtatus
Eversmann's hamsterEversmann's hamsterSpecies A. eversmanniAllocricetulus eversmanniKazakh hamster
Gansu hamsterGansu hamsterSpecies C. canusCansumys canus
Tibetan dwarf hamsterTibetan dwarf hamsterSpecies C. alticolaCricetulus alticolaLadak hamster
Chinese striped hamsterChinese striped hamsterSpecies C. barabensisCricetulus barabensisStriped dwarf hamster
Kam dwarf hamsterKam dwarf hamsterSpecies C. kamensisCricetulus kamensisTibetan hamster
Long-tailed dwarf hamsterSpecies C. longicaudatusCricetulus longicaudatusLesser long-tailed hamster
Long-tailed hamster
Grey dwarf hamsterSpecies C. migratoriusCricetulus migratoriusArmenian hamster
Gray hamster
Migratory hamster
Migratory grey hamster
Sokolov's dwarf hamsterSpecies C. sokoloviCricetulus sokolovi
European hamsterSpecies C. cricetusCricetus cricetusEurasian hamster
Black-bellied hamster
Common hamster
Turkish hamsterSpecies M. brandtiMesocricetus brandtiBrandt's hamster
Azerbaijani hamster
Romanian hamsterSpecies M. newtoniMesocricetus newtoniDobrudja hamster
Ciscaucasian hamsterSpecies M. raddeiMesocricetus raddeiGeorgian hamster
Greater long-tailed hamsterSpecies T. tritonTscherskia tritonKorean hamster

Syrian Hamster

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

Why 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

The 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.

Adults 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.

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.

It 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.