If you’re looking to buy a hamster, you’ve probably wondered which one to choose. Pet stores have a lot of different hamster species and they look roughly the same but they’re definitely not. Hamsters are all different and have different personalities and social skills just like us. If you want a pet hamster you’ll want to make sure that they’re friendly towards you and your children. And why not choose the friendliest there is?
Which hamster is the friendliest? The Syrian hamster is the friendliest hamster species towards humans. But if you’re looking for a hamster species that is friendly towards their owners and other hamsters the best choice is the Russian dwarf hamster.
There are more than 20 hamster species all over the world but only a few of them are kept as pets due to their friendly traits. There are certain hamster species that shouldn’t be kept as a pet and are better off in the wild. The Syrian hamster, on the contrary, can be a perfect pet. But there are also other hamster species that have a friendly attitude towards their owners. Let’s find out more about the friendliest hamster species!
You’ll get to know the most popular hamster species that are kept as a pet and their behavior towards humans and other hamsters.
Most Popular Hamster Species
There are 5 hamster species that are often kept as a pet:
- Syrian hamsters
- Russian dwarf hamsters
- Roborovski dwarf hamsters
- Campbell Russian dwarf hamsters
- Chinese dwarf hamsters
Let’s take a look at their behavior in nature in captivity towards humans and other hamsters and their bonding skills.
Social behavior of the Syrian hamster
Syrian hamsters or golden hamsters are probably one of the most popular pet hamsters. They’re solitary creatures in the wild and will live most of their lives alone. The only exception to this will be when they make babies and need to take care of their babies. When the babies are old enough they will again part their ways. The male hamster will even leave earlier, just after they bred.
You might think that those baby Syrian hamsters, that have spent their entire short lives with each other, might have bonded and will be heartbroken when they get separated. This is not true. In fact, at some point, these babies will start to get annoyed by their siblings and may start to fight. In the wild, this won’t happen if they search for their own territory.
Needless to say, the Syrian hamster is a real solitary creature that doesn’t want to be kept with other hamsters. If you do keep them with other hamsters they will at some point start to fight, which will lead to stress and injuries. But are Syrian hamsters friendly towards their human owners?
Bonding with a Syrian hamster
Syrian hamsters are the easiest to bond with. They can become very tame and will not bite you if you take good care of it. Syrian hamsters are very friendly and will also show social behavior towards you and your children. An exception to this rule can be older hamsters that aren’t accustomed to you. Probably the best way to tame a Syrian hamster is to hand-feed him.
The bonding process is made a little bit easier because they’re one of the largest hamster species and they do not move around quickly. They usually have a nice, but also maybe a bit lazy, character. Because of this “chill” nature and their larger size, they can be easily handled by you and your children.
Want to learn more about Syrian hamsters?
Find out everything about the Syrian hamster in this article.
Russian Dwarf Hamsters
Social behavior of the Russian dwarf hamster
Russian dwarf hamsters live in small groups in the wild. They absolutely love the company of their peers. For this reason, it’s best to keep a pair of Russian dwarf hamster or even better a small group of one female and several females. This way you recreate its natural structure in the wild.
If you’re afraid of getting too many babies – Russian dwarf hamsters can get between 4 to 6 babies each pregnancy – you may want to keep two males. If there aren’t any females in the neighborhood they won’t have any trouble with each other in most cases.
Bonding with a Russian dwarf hamster
Russian dwarf hamsters can also bond very well with humans. They are a tinier hamster but can be handled easily, also by children. The Russian dwarf hamster can be very afraid in the beginning. The best way to get rid of this fear is to hand-feed your little hamster and create a loving relationship with him or her.
Want to learn more about Russian dwarf hamsters?
Find out everything about the Russian dwarf hamster in this article.
Campbell Russian Dwarf Hamsters
Social behavior of the Campbell Rusian dwarf hamster
Campbell Russian dwarf hamsters are related to the Russian dwarf hamster and are often mistaken with each other. These hamsters, like most dwarf hamsters, aren’t solitary and can be kept with other hamsters.
In the wild, they don’t live in small groups but in pairs. In captivity, it’s possible to keep a small group together since they’re quite tolerant hamsters. I recommend getting a pair of Campbell Russian dwarf hamsters so you can give all your attention to them. If you get more than 2 the care may become a bit too much.
Just as with the Russian dwarf hamster, you might not want to get hamster babies. You might want to keep hamsters of the same sex and put them together at a young age.
Bonding with a Campbell Rusian dwarf hamster
Campbell Russian dwarf hamsters aren’t that friendly in their interactions with humans. They can get quite aggressive and caution is required when handling them. They’re also known to bite in your fingers and “stick” to them. This happened to me once when I was just a child and it wasn’t a good experience. The Campbell Russian dwarf hamster is for this aggressive nature also known as the “Pitbull hamster”.
If you buy a Campbell Russian dwarf hamster it’s recommended to watch the reaction of the hamster when you try to handle it. There are more social hamsters but in general, the Campbell is a lot less social towards humans than the Russian dwarf hamster. There are Campbells that bond well with their owner and no one hamster is, of course, the same. They all got their own personalities.
While a Syrian hamster can be left unsupervised with children and be perfectly fine, this is not the case with the Campbell Russian dwarf hamster. Their tendency to bite, their small size and the fact that they’re very fast makes them not suitable for (younger) children.
Want to learn more about Campbell Russian dwarf hamsters?
Find out everything about the Campbell Russian dwarf hamster in this article.
Social behavior of the Chinese dwarf hamster
Chinese hamsters are also known as striped hamsters. They’re solitary creatures that live their lives mostly alone, just like the Syrian hamster. In some cases, it was proven possible to hold a pair of Chinese hamsters. In most cases, they will be aggressive towards each other so the hamster should be housed separately if you want to have more than one. This aggressive behavior is often seen when you get multiple females.
Bonding with a Chinese dwarf hamster
The Chinese hamster has a usually social nature towards their owners but can be a little shy. You can get them to bond better if you handle them regularly. Just as Russian dwarf hamsters, Chinese hamsters are small and very fast. The good news is that they only bite when they feel threatened. If you approach your Chinese dwarf hamster carefully it won’t bite. Even adult Chinese dwarf hamsters can be tamed in a short time.
Want to learn more about Chinese hamsters?
Find out everything about the Chinese hamster in this article.
Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters
Social behavior of the Roborovski dwarf hamster
The Roborovski dwarf hamster is the tiniest dwarf hamster and is also called the Robo hamster. The Robo hamster is best kept in pairs or small groups rather than as a solitary pet. In the wild, they live in pairs or groups of 8 to 10 hamsters but in captivity, it’s best to keep a pair of the same sex or, if you don’t mind hamster babies, different sex.
Bonding with a Roborovski dwarf hamster
Roborovski hamsters are lightning-fast and are really tiny. You will spend some time trying to catch this little hamster if you want to handle them. This makes them less suitable for (young) children since they will have a hard time catching the hamster and if the hamster manages to jump from the hand they may be injured severely.
The Roborovski dwarf hamster is not a cuddle hamster and can also make a lot of noises when it’s active. These hamsters are known to run the equivalent of four human marathons each night.
So although they won’t be aggressive they will not bond that will with humans since they’re very active and, most of the time, too fast to catch them.
Want to learn more about Roborovski dwarf hamsters?
Find out everything about the Roborovski dwarf hamster in this article.
What Is the Friendliest Hamster?
After looking at some of the most popular types of hamsters, it’s clear to see that not all hamsters are friendly towards humans. In order of friendliest to not friendly towards humans, also taking into account the ease of handling:
- Syrian hamster
- Russian dwarf hamster
- Chinese dwarf hamster
- Roborovski dwarf hamster
- Campbell Russian dwarf hamster
Which hamster makes the best pet?
The Syrian hamster makes the best pet for adults and children. This hamster rarely bites and can be kept as a solitary pet. It’s also large enough to be handled with ease and likes to be handled by people. Other hamsters like dwarf hamsters can be too little to be handled by children. If they happen to drop them they might not survive it or get at least injured.
Is it better to get a male or female hamster?
Male hamsters are generally less aggressive than female hamsters. If you’re looking for a first pet it’s best to choose a male hamster. Of course, males can also bite and show aggression. Just as with people hamsters have different social skills.
Are hamsters cuddly?
Most hamsters like to be cuddled and show affection towards their owners. The time it takes to bond with the owner may vary from hamster species and in general the Syrian hamster bonds quite fast. Some hamster species, like the Campbell Russian dwarf hamster and the Roborovski hamster, are no cuddle hamsters.
Do hamsters know their name?
When you first get your hamster they won’t know their name. But they can learn their name. A trick to get them to learn this is to say their name and then give them a treat. Keep repeating this for several days. if you notice that your hamster reacts to his name you can stop giving treats and do this only occasionally.
If you need some inspiration for a good hamster name you can search for inspiration on Reddit.