I have seen a lot of threads asking questions regarding hamsters whether it'd be taming, behaviour or cages so I thought I'd make a thread which the mods can add as a sticky so anyone can come and hopefully find the information they are after. Now, by all means I am not an expert. I am still learning about my hamster and probably will continue to. This will probably be a long post in many sections so please bare with me. If anyone has any extra information then feel free to add it in the comments below! Introduction Hamsters are small rodents that typically live 2-4 years. They are often a child's first pet even though they have complex needs. They are typically active during dawn and dusk and eat a mixture of seeds, fruits, vegetation and insects. In the wild hamsters live in warm, dry areas with relatively little vegetation on the edge of deserts so try and replicate their habitat in their cage. Types There are many species of hamster but only 5 types are kept as pets. They include: -Syrian hamster -Chinese hamster -Campbell's dwarf hamster -Winter white dwarf hamster -Roborovski hamster Syrian Hamster These are the biggest hamster commonly kept as pets. They are approximately 5-7 inches long and because of this they are easier to handle and tame. They come in many different colours although the most common colour is golden with white tummy. Syrians are solitary so do not place 2 in the same cage or they will fight. These guys need a large wheel minimum of 8 inches although adult Syrians often require an 11 inch wheel, but bigger is better. If your hamster is arching his back while on his wheel, its likely that it's too small. Chinese Hamster Probably the least common hamster kept as pets, the Chinese hamster is about the same size as a dwarf hamster at approximately 4 inches long. Unlike the rest of the hamsters these guys actually have a tail which makes them a lot better at climbing than hamsters with small stubby tails. Chinese hamsters are normally brown in colour with a black dorsal stripe. They are also solitary and will fight if sharing a cage with another. They are timid but generally tame so nipping is unlikely. They are easier to handle compared to dwarf hamsters as these guys will cling to your hands. An 8 inch wheel is probably best for these, but again, bigger is better. Dwarf hamsters This category typically consists of the Russian hamsters, Campbell's and winter white hamster as well as the Roborovski hamster. These guys can be kept in same sex pairs or groups although a spare cage is essential because they may need to be separated if they begin to fight. Typically an adult dwarf hamster will need a 8 inch wheel to ensure they have plenty of room. Remember, just because they are small doesn't mean they require the smallest wheel possible. Campbell's Russian hamster Campbell's are the most common of the dwarf hamsters and like the winter white, have the reputation to bite when handled therefore these are generally a bad choice for a child. Like the Syrian, they can come in many different colours but most commonly grey/brown with a white tummy. Despite their small size, like all dwarf hamsters, they are really active so again, just because they are small doesn't mean they require less space. Campbells' will grow to approximately 4 inches in length. Winter White Often confused with the campbell's hamster, the winter white is normally a grey colour with a dark dorsal stripe. Their fur may go more pale as winter approaches then they go darker again once winter has passed. As far as I am aware they don't come in any other colour just shades of grey. They can be friendly but have the tendency to nip when handled so again, not a good choice for children. They may get to 3.5-4 inches in length and a large cage is best. Roborovski Hamster The Roborovski, or robo for short, are the smallest, fastest and most agile out of all the pet hamsters. Robos only grow to 2 inches in length, this mixed with their speed make them very difficult to handle and its easy for them to escape. They are normally a sandy colour with white 'eyebrows'. They are the only dwarf that don't have a dorsal stripe. They are normally quite friendly but may nip if frightened. Because of their speed and small size, children shouldn't handle them.