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Chinese Hamster


All about Chinese hamsters. All in one place.

Chinese Hamster Library

All about Chinese hamsters. All in one place.


Chinese hamsters have a slender profile and a curling tail. Females are generally smaller than the males. Males have very prominent bulges near their tails. Because of this telling the sex of an adult Chinese hamster is easy.

The Chinese hamster tail is a unique feature amongst the pet hamster species. The tail alone measures around 2cm in length! Their feet are either naked or sparsely furred, unlike the furry feet of Campbell, Winter White or Roborovski hamsters.

Chinese hamsters are more mouse-like in appearance than the other pet hamster species. Fans of the Chinese hamster may be small in number, but they are passionate about this delightful species.

The most enchanting quality of Chinese hamsters is how they cling. They will hold onto clothing or a finger with their paws (and often their tails as well). This talent makes them good climbers. Never underestimate a Chinese hamster! Despite their climbing prowess, they share the poor eyesight of their other hamster cousins. Because of this, protect them from high falls.

Vital Statistics

Weight: 25-50g

Length: 10-12cm

Lifespan: 2-3 years

Pregnancy duration: 18-21 days

The taxonomy of the Chinese hamster remains unsettled. What is agreed is that they are rodents, members of the hamster (Cricetidae) family and of the genus Cricetulus. Pallas first identified the Chinese hamster in 1773, calling it Mus barabensis. Milne Edwards described the Cricetulus genus in 1867 and classified the Chinese hamster as Cricetulus griseus. It was later merged as a sub-species (Cricetulus barabensis griseus). Now the Integrated Taxonomic Information System and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility consider Cricetulus griseus and Cricetulus barabensis to be the same.

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