There are 25 species of wild hamsters, some of which are also kept as pts. Chinese and Russian hamsters are small, mouse-sized animals living in China, Northern Europe and Asia. Adults can be kept as single-sex pairs, either males or females.
Hamsters are active, inquisitive animals. Provide platforms and ladders to climb, and tubes and boxes to hide in. A branch of apple wood is good to chew and climb on. Clear, hollow balls are available to allow hamsters to run across the floor in relative safety.
Wild hamsters also eat animal food, such as earthworms. Give pets a few mealworms, scraps of lean meat or hard-boiled egg. Take care that small hamsters do not get large pieces of food stuck in their pouches, it can rot and cause serious health problems.
Hamsters pups can leave their mother when they are 4 weeks old. Choose one that has bright eyes, is inquisitive and is happy to be picked up. The fur should be smooth, and the eyes, ears, nose and rear end should be clean.