Hamster Facts

No matter what you may think of hamsters they are adorable. Or perhaps a little cute or too mousey?!

Hamsters are very popular as pets because of their cuteness, size, and easy personality. However, the pure diversity of hamsters will make you realize that there is more than meets the eye for the hamster and its characteristics.

The history, biology, and characteristics of hamsters are fascinating. This will show a great overview of the various kinds of hamsters as well as the origin of the animal species as well.

Learn more about hamsters and all of the things that they do and are known for overall.

variety of hamsters

In general, the variety of hamsters is not as well known as many would realize considering the popularity of this pet. In particular, there are about 20 species of hamsters. However, there are only around five species of the hamster that are domesticated and pets.

The hamster types are linked or connected in some way to lemmings, voles, and even mice. However, one thing to note is that the hamsters are usually very similar, but different in nature and domesticity.

All in all, hamsters usually have a similar lifespan and require the same care and maintenance as a pet. However, one thing to remember is that different types of hamster species can not be kept side by side together.


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The word Hamster has a European word origin that may be surprising

hamster origin

The word “hamster” has a very unique sound, but it has an exact meaning and history. In fact, the word “Hamster,” comes from Germany.

Historically, this German word would originally be “hamstern.” In German, Hamstern, would literally translate to mean “hoard.”  All in all, this word animal is called a “hamster” in particular for a very specific reason overall. The name has a meaning that aptly suits the animal.

Hamsters are named as such because hamsters like the way in which they eat. Also, hamsters have pouches in the cheeks of their bodies, which they stuff with food.


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Syrian hamster

The variety of hamsters means that there may be more competition than ever for hamsters in domesticity. As hamsters are popular as pets then it means there will be a more popular hamster.

In particular,  the Syrian hamster is the world’s most popular pet hamster. This type of hamster is often  seen  as a teddy bear. This particular type of hamster has short hair, but most importantly these hamsters are calm.

The popularity of this hamster derives from the fact that they are very obedient and like being held. There are many different types of hamsters that may look similar but do not act similarly in any way.


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Hamsters are clean and tend to keep order and be organized

Hamsters are clean

Indeed it may be a surprise but hamsters are pets that like to keep clean. In general, the Hamsters are naturally more tidy than would be expected. However, the hamster likes to keep to clean and even groom itself.

If you own a hamster then you need to keep your hamster cage clean. The hamster may seem like it in burrowing or digging in dirt however there is a method to their behaviour and ways.

In summary, Hamsters tend to keep their habitats or cages if domesticated, clean. If a hamster needs to urinate or defecate then the hamster will do this in a few corners of a cage or habitat to keep the main space clean.


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Hamsters are banned and officially prohibited from the state of Hawaii in the USA

hamsters are banned

Yes, if it is possible to imagine hamsters are officially banned from somewhere in the world. Now, the reason may be surprising because it is not about hamsters being dangerous but for other reasons.

The state of Hawaii in the United States has put a ban on hamsters. The reasons behind this ban may be quite outrageous but necessary in some regard. Hamsters reproduce quickly and at a high rate in general. And, Hawaii has a similar climate to the original and native climate of the first hamster in general.

If left unchecked, Hamsters could grow and develop large and massive habitats and colonies if hamsters were in Hawaii. Agriculture would be overtaken and perhaps threatened if hamsters were left to breed wildly and uncontrolled in Hawaii. Therefore, hamsters are banned from Hawaii along with snakes, gerbils, salamanders, and other animals.


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hamsters are fast runners

Hamsters may not have a reputation as being fast, but they are faster than many realize. In reality, hamsters are fast because of their biology and genetics. The anatomical structure of the hamster is what makes them have an advantage overall in speed.

So, it is true that most hamsters are really fast runners. The anatomy of the hamster helps as the shape and size of the hind feet of the hamster increases speed. This anatomical feature means that hamsters are als to run or go backward. This is a great advantage for the hamster in general.

If you were to look at the speed of the hamsters in general, Hamsters are able to run around 3-6 miles per hour or about  5 to 9.6 kilometers per hour. In comparison with all the hamster breeds, the speed varies from hamster to hamster.  But, don’t try to outrun a hamster you may be in for a surprise!


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Hamsters can store and keep food in their faces

Hamsters keep food in their faces

The biology and anatomy of hamsters is something quite unique and interesting in the animal kingdom. It may come as a surprise but hamsters can store food in the cheeks of their face. This is an unbelievable and truly unique thing to do for any animal.

Anatomically, Hamsters do possess cheek pouches. This cheek that stores food is called displostomes, which are ideally made for storing food and keeping it for later. It may seem that hamsters are constantly eating but they may be keeping and preserving their food until the right time to eat.

In general, it may seem that a hamster may be eating constantly, but their cheeks are continual storage bins.  Also, the cheek storage is also used to transport and move around food in their habitat and surroundings.  The main aim is to keep the food in their habitat and eat at various times. As well, the large cheeks of the hamster make the cheeks look especially full, which is odd.


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Hamsters are creatures of the night and prefer to be active with less light

Hamsters are creatures of the night

Despite the cute and innocent reputation, hamsters are creatures of the night overall. The habits of the hamster may surprise many because hamsters tend to be more active when it is dark or nighttime in general. If you have a pet hamster then make sure to keep the hamsters away at night.

The tendency is that hamsters sleep all day, so they are naturally up at the opposite time. Also, another interesting thing is that hamsters are usually quite noisy at night more so than during the day. If you want peace and quiet as a hamster owner then don’t have hamsters in your bedroom!

Sometimes at night, domesticated hamsters have been known to run and go endlessly on wheels inside cages for hours! In general, hamsters at daytime prefer to be in a quiet, burrow and rest in their respective cages or habitat.


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Hamsters are active and not lazy as they like to move and exercise

Hamsters are active and not lazy

In general, it may not be known that Hamsters enjoy a good workout. Hamsters are biologically animals that have a high and active metabolism. Also, hamsters need a lot of exercise for their own well being and lifestyle. The hamster wheel is explicitly built for this purpose to keep the hamsters active.

All in all, for most hamster types and species then a hamster wheel is essential. The hamster alsol keeps hamsters busy. An important tip for any hamster owner is to put oil with minerals on the cage for the active hamster in a domesticated habitat.

Another activity that hamsters enjoy is simply rolling around and all on floors. For example, there are  clear plastic hamster balls that are designed for hamsters who get active by rolling around. Lastly, some hamsters get so active that they need to be watched in case some hamsters end up falling or getting injured.


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Hamsters do not have good eyesight and need to use other parts of their body

Hamsters eyesight

Hamsters are unique as well because instead of using their eyes for direction they may get around by other ways. Hamsters will move around in their habitat or cages by utilizing their backs.

Also, Hamsters possess scent glands on their backs. These scent glands are able to produce a special recognizable scent. Moreover, hamsters will rub their backs on things in order to smell or sniff back home. Essentially, hamsters get around by scent as well.

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