Roborovski Hamster – Facts & Care
Roborovski hamsters are lovely little animals with a fantastic personality. They have increasingly become famous in the pet world, with many more families bringing them home to keep.
In this guide, you’ll find all you need to know about keeping, breeding, and caring for Roborovski hamsters, as well as some major hamster facts.
Roborovski Hamster Appearance
Roborovski dwarf hamsters are the smallest hamster species, and they originate from Asian hot deserts. They are cute animals but are timid and shy in nature.
Roborovski hamsters don’t like being handled, but they enjoy the company of their kind. They’re also curious animals that enjoy playing with toys and exploring their surroundings.
Although they’re not as cuddly as Syrian hamsters, Roborovskis can be fun to keep and to watch.
Roborovski Hamster Behavior
Roborovskis are nocturnal animals, which implies they are awake during the night and day and sleep throughout the day. This is great for those who are not usually indoors during the day. They have enough time to bond in the evening when their pet is naturally active.
Roborovski hamsters (in the wild) usually dig deep into the ground in an attempt to avoid the heat in the desert. That’s also where they store food, interact, and sleep. The burrows can be complex with several openings and exits. That’s why Roborovski hamsters love having tunnels in cages.
Roborovskis are good-natured and friendly, which makes them so popular! However, you need to closely monitor the cage if you have multiple Roborovskis as hamsters are naturally territorial, and the males may fight a lot.
Roborovski hamsters can be kept in pairs or small groups, but they can also gladly live alone. If you’re looking to keep multiple Roborovski hamsters, it’s essential you follow these simple guidelines:
- Purchase Roborovski hamsters who grew together or from the same litter.
- Never house tour Roborovski hamster with any other hamster species.
- Ensure only keeping a group of the same sex unless during breeding (female hamsters have less tendency to fight).
- Remove any hamster that fights immediately.
- Roborovski hamsters can easily develop habits. Ensure not to suddenly introduce a new Roborovski after several months of living alone; it won’t go down well.
Roborovski hamsters can often play and fight, which shouldn’t be a reason to be worried. They sometimes use this to establish a hierarchy. However, if you notice any injury on a pet, ensure to re-home them as soon as possible.
There are a few steps to help prevent aggression among your hamsters, such as providing multiple water dispensers, food bowls, and hamster toys. This will help avoid any of these pets from becoming territorial over a particular space in the cage.
Roborovski Hamster Feeding and Diet
It’s important to give your Roborovski hamster a balanced and healthy diet. It provides the required energy for the pet’s expansion and immune system support, preventing illness.
These hamsters can eat grains, vegetables, insects, seeds, fruit, and nuts. You can also offer mealworms to your pets as a reward for behaving well as hamsters enjoy eating them. Other healthy additions for your pet’s mealtime are fresh fruits.
When purchasing hamster food mix, consider selecting a high-quality option as the feeding time backbone. The food mix should offer plenty of energy, protein, and low sugars/fat. Dwarf hamsters are vulnerable to diabetes, so they should consume less sugar.
Also, ensure not to feed multiple fruits at once as Roborovski hamsters can easily contract diarrhea due to their desert origins.
The most common option is seed-based hamster mixes, and they work perfectly for Roborovskis. The only issue is that some Roborovski hamsters can become fussy and make this their favorite foods, and it isn’t a healthy choice. Before refeeding, always ensure the bowl is empty.
Pelleted hamster food is another option that provides every nutrient your hamster requires. While it’s another great option, some hamsters don’t like this food compared to seed mixes, as it doesn’t make their mealtime as much fun.
Ensure to thoroughly wash vegetables or fruits before serving them to your hamster. Always remove any uneaten meat or food after 24 hours and observe the hamster’s poop.
Best Food for Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters
- Apple (no seeds)
- Pasta (small cooked or raw amounts)
- Blackberry (small quantities)
- Thoroughly cooked or scrambled eggs
- Well cooked lean chicken (little quantities)
- Plain dog biscuits
How Much to Feed Your Roborovski Hamster?
You can feed your Roborovski hamster a spoonful of hamster mix each day. This provides the hamster with the nutrients and energy it requires to remain healthy.
You can also provide regular treats and fresh fruit for your hamster. Insects are also great as your pet enjoys eating them.
Roborovski Dwarf Hamster Cage Size
Roborovski hamsters can either live in pairs or alone, which makes them better than Syrian hamsters. It’s more fun watching two or more Roborovski hamsters interact in a cage, so you should note this when it comes to their cage size.
The minimum recommended cage size for a single Robo is 24 inches by 12 inches. If you’re looking to keep at least two hamsters, multiply the measurement by 0.5 for any additional Roborovski hamster (for two Roborovski hamsters, the cage size would be about 36 inches by 18 inches).
It’s important to select a hamster cage with narrow bar spacing. Hamsters are great at escaping! A maximum of ¼ inch bar spacing is ideal, and a cage with a metal top and plastic bottom is great for your pets.
– Setting Up the Hamster Cage
After choosing your preferred hamster cage, you can proceed to set it up. After assembling the cage, double-check to ensure every tunnel is fixed together properly, and there are no gaps your Roborovski can squeeze out of.
It’s also great to decide on a particular space for the hamster to eat. That’s where a food bowl should be placed. You can buy several food bowls to avoid aggression between the hamsters while eating.
While food is good, your Roborovski hamster also needs water! Buy and fix a great water dispenser to the side of the hamster cage.
A good substrate/bedding material is essential. Don’t opt for sawdust because it’s a dusty material and can affect your hamster’s lungs. A much better alternative is the CareFresh bedding or quality aspen shavings. Layer it about an inch deep in the hamster cage.
Also, you’ll need to provide an area for the hamster to sleep and hide. There are several kinds of hamster houses available on the market, and it can be difficult to choose!
Select one that fits the hamster cage perfectly and can be easily cleaned. After that, ensure to get a hamster wheel and toys for your hamster.
How to Take Care for Roborovski Hamster?
Caring for a Roborovski hamster is straightforward and follows similar steps as general hamster care. Your hamster will need a suitable cage with adequate space for exploration, safe bedding, toys, a good diet, and several other things.
Enrichment is an essential part of hamster care, and it is all about how the pet is entertained while in captivity. Ensure to provide opportunities for exercise and various toys for the hamster to avoid boredom. Climbing frames and chewing toys are both great examples of essential exercise.
Roborovski hamsters are very delicate, so you need to be careful when handling them. Remember that hamsters are very small, so don’t buy a cage with large spacing or big holes between metal bars. Your hamster can escape through the smallest spaces!
Ensure to get a safe substrate/bedding material for the hamster.
Your Roborovski hamster’s cage needs to be cleaned at least once every week. Get a pet-safe disinfectant spray for the hamster toys and cage surfaces. It will maintain a clean environment for the pet and eliminate any bacteria. Provide clean water and feed your hamster daily.
Roborovski Hamster Health Problems
Like any other animal, Roborovski hamsters can get sick, although they’re very healthy if well cared for. They are most vulnerable to skin problems, including stress itching, barbering, allergies, or mites.
Roborovski hamsters are less vulnerable to a severe condition known as the wet tail. This condition is caused by bad bacteria overgrowth in the gut, resulting from stress, poor diet, stomach problems, excess fiber, prolonged filthy conditions, and is most common under twelve weeks of age.
That doesn’t imply they’re immune. If the hamster begins to smell foul, drink less, lose appetite, has a dirty bottom, and a mussed coat, you should immediately contact the veterinarian as the early stages can only be treated with antibiotics. If untreated, it can result in severe dehydration and eventual death.
Fleas, ticks, mites, and the likes can be treated with certain medications you can drop on its skin. The medications can be gotten from pet stores or your vet. However, since these hamsters are very small, carefully weigh them before treating them with any medications, and clean their cage after that.
Roborovski hamsters are more vulnerable to general itching and allergies than other hamster species. Note that in groups or pairs, they may pull out one another’s fur or groom excessively, causing hair loss.
Bedding allergies, stress, and old age cause hair loss and red, flaky skin. Greasy fur implies that the hamster is allergic, or the bedding isn’t adequately changed.
They can also develop broken bones, overgrown claws and teeth, urinary tract infections, tumors, ear problems, uterine problems, dehydration, diarrhea, abscesses, brain injuries, birthing difficulties, cysts, worms, eye problems, and general injuries.
It’s essential to consult your veterinarian if you observe any signs of injury or illness so your hamster can receive treatment with effective results.
Breeding Roborovski Hamsters
Roborovski hamster breeding should be done by professionals or very experienced owners as you may have several unwanted baby hamsters that you might not be able to keep. Roborovski hamsters are not in high demand, so breeding them for sale might not be a great decision.
If your pets accidentally have babies, ensure to separate them immediately. The male hamsters usually help raise the newborns, but the females will be fertile immediately after delivery and might mate again.
That’s not good for the female’s health and may result in more unwanted litters. Ensure to sex the hamsters.
– Breeding Facts
- Roborovski hamster pregnancy lasts for about three weeks.
- They can have up to eight babies at once.
- Female and male hamsters can raise newborns together.
- They can raise their young ones in colonies with several other hamsters.
- Mating them can be more difficult than other hamsters as the female and male must compliment and like each other.
- Some hamsters may steal one another’s babies if they’re raised in colonies.
- Breeding should only be allowed when the hamsters are between four and seven months old and are unrelated and perfectly healthy.
- Most Roborovskis usually breed more in warmer months and less between December and March.
- Cannibalism occurs where mother hamsters eat their young ones due to human scent, overcrowding, inability to produce milk, insufficient food, threats to her nest, etc.
- Pregnant female hamsters don’t show any pregnancy signs until a few days to their due delivery date, and they gain very little or no weight.
- Baby hamsters without fur are known as pinkies.
- Once the young hamsters are 21 days old, they can live without their mother and need to be separated by sex and kept together for about two more weeks before any final separation.
What’s the Lifespan of Roborovski Hamsters?
The lifespan of Roborovski hamsters is relatively long compared to other types of hamsters, living up to three or four years in captivity.
While 3 years isn’t really a long period, it can be perfect for first-time pet owners looking to avoid longer commitments, including cats and dogs.
These hamsters’ lifespan can be influenced by several factors, including stress, diet, genetics, and environment. In the wild, Roborovskis usually live for about two years, mostly as a result of predators!
How Big Do Roborovski Hamsters Get?
Roborovski hamsters are the smallest hamsters you can find. An average adult Roborovski hamster can be up to 2-3 inches (5 cm) long. They don’t grow bigger than a thumb.
Are Roborovski Hamsters a Good Pet?
Roborovski hamsters are very safe, especially for children, but those less than eight years old shouldn’t handle these pets. You will need much patience while taming these hamsters as they are too fast.
That doesn’t mean they are not fun to interact with and watch! Roborovski hamsters can make lovely pets for everyone, including children if handling is not a primary concern.
Do Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters Bite?
Every hamster can bite, but the chances of a Roborovski hamster biting a human are very slim. It can only occur if the pet feels threatened. You need to be patient with the little pet and never try to handle it from above as it would see you for a predator.
That’s all you need to know about keeping Roborovski hamsters! Hopefully, you’re now more ready to get one of them and take care of them yourself.