Roborovski Dwarf Hamster Info: Pictures, Traits, Facts

Last Updated: October 10, 2020

Length: 1.8-2 inches
Weight: 0.7-0.9 ounces
Lifespan: 2.5-3.5 years
Colors: Light brown with beige or gray roots, also found in other uncommon colors such as white face, platinum, or albino
Temperament: Timid, harder to tame than other hamsters
Best Suited For: Experienced hamster owners

Hamsters are often a very simple jumping-off point for those starting out with smaller pets or rodents. However, the Roborovski Dwarf hamster is an exception. These particular hamsters require the care and gentle touch of an experienced hamster owner. They can be more difficult to handle, tame, and even provide stimulation.

But once you’ve broken down those barriers, you’ll have a great pet with an awesome personality. These rodents are also very sociable and love having a partner in crime — provided you’ve raised them together.

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Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters – Before You Buy…

Most hamsters are pretty solitary creatures — especially the larger Syrian hamster. As a matter of fact, many resources will tell you to keep other dwarf hamsters alone just to prevent any potential issues. But the Roborovski hamster is the exception to this rule. They’re extremely happy to have a cage mate. Roborovskis are normally much more active with a friend. And that’s saying something because they are among the most active breed of hamsters around.

Just be cautious when selecting a cage mate. You’ll probably want to stick with a same-sex companion. And it’s been shown that two females will normally have fewer issues than two males.

Roborovski Dwarf eating
Image Credit: Dalius Baranauskas, Wikimedia Commons
Energy
Trainability
Health
Lifespan
Sociability

When choosing your Roborovskis from a pet shop, you’re going to need to be on the lookout for signs of a healthy hamster. Your selected hamster should be lively and curious. Fearful or lackadaisical hamsters may be sick or battered. Also, the hamster should have clear shiny eyes, clean ears, and thick well-kept fur.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking in a sick or battered hamster. Just be aware that they may not ever recover or may suffer from behavioral issues. If you don’t have the time and dedication to nurse a sick hamster back to health, it’s best not to take the risk. Without the proper care and attention needed, things can only get worse for the hamster.

What’s the Price of Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters?

Roborovski dwarf hamsters are actually a bit more expensive when compared to other hamsters. Robo dwarves can go for $15-$30 for a single hamster. It is recommended to get this breed in a same-sex pair as well. This can set you back anywhere between $20-$60.

The biggest cost factor, though, will be to ensure that you get a proper size cage, correct bedding, toys, exercise equipment, and specialized nutrition.

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3 Little-Known Facts About Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters

1. Roborovski Hamsters Are the Fastest Hamster Species

Although they are among the smallest of hamsters, they are also the fastest — and can cover a decent amount of distance. Studies (such as Bernard Hill’s documentary “Wild China”) have shown that Robo dwarf hamsters can run up to 100 miles in a single night.

2. Robo Hamsters are Crepuscular

Many hamsters are nocturnal, meaning they’re up primarily after sunset. And while Roborovski hamsters do spend some time awake at night, they’re most active in the morning and evening times.

3. Robo Hamsters Need Less Water Thanks to Their Desert Origins

This isn’t to tell you not to give your Robo hamster water, however, too much of a good thing can be hurtful. These hamsters are originally found in the desert, meaning that their little bodies have adapted to low water situations. Too much water intake can lead to your little furry friends having diarrhea.

Roborovski Hamster Dwarf
Image Credit: cdrussorusso, Flickr

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters

These feisty little furballs have only two modes: stop and go. They are little bundles of energy that, once started, seem to last forever. You’ll definitely get your money’s worth with their exercise wheels in just a few short nights. They’re also among the most sociable of hamster breeds.

However, while they may be sociable with other hamsters, they are normally wary of humans, even after extended periods of time. And this makes perfect sense, considering that they’re naturally prey animals in the wild.

Are These Hamsters Good for Families? 👪

While these hamsters are great fun to watch and observe, they don’t make for the greatest family pets. They are just too small, fragile, fast, and nimble for smaller children. They can be a bit nippy as well, and if dropped can be hurt very badly.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

As prey animals, it’s best to have these Robo hamsters in a quiet environment free of other pets. They’ll get nervous and anxious even if they observe these animals from inside their own enclosure. However, they’ll do fine with other Robo hamsters provided that they are raised from a young age together.

Roborovski Dwarf
Image Credit: Matthew Crosse, Wikimedia Commons

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Things to Know When Owning a Roborovski Dwarf Hamster:

Since these hamsters require a bit more work than others, it’s important to note a few critical areas of their lives. The more you understand about these little creatures, the more you’ll understand how to properly care for them and allow them to live their best life.

Food & Diet Requirements 🥕

Robo hamsters are omnivores. This means that they eat meat and plants. In the wild, they’ll occasionally nosh on insects — along with the standard thoroughfare of grains, nuts, and seeds. But finding the right balance for a creature so small can be very difficult. That’s why it’s recommended to feed them a pre-balanced mixture or pellet. This ensures they get their proper nutrition.

However, you should also give your hamster some fresh foods a couple of times a week. However, avoid giving them foods with high water content. As adorable as it may be watching your hamster chomp down on some strawberries or watermelon, it can be very harmful to your Robo hamsters. Their little bodies are not so well-equipped to handle massive intakes of water, and doing so may cause diarrhea.

Exercise 🐹

This breed is one of the most active breeds of all hamsters. And they need lots of exercise. Be sure that you select a proper exercise wheel for them. You want to get a wheel that is constructed out of solid pieces instead of rungs. This will prevent their little feet from slipping through when using it — which they will do a lot!

You’ll also want to ensure that they have plenty of room in their enclosure to move freely. A 40-gallon tank is an ideal solution. And while this may seem like a large enclosure for such a tiny creature, your hamster will absolutely love it.

Training 🎾

This is easily one of the most difficult hamster breeds to train and tame. Their small stature and prey nature make them instinctively wary of just about everything larger than they are. They are normally more comfortable watching you from inside their enclosure than outside.

That’s not to say there aren’t exceptions. Well-loved Robo hamsters can begin to show affection to their owners after developing a bond of trust. But when taming them, remember the golden rule. Be patient. They can be a little nippy at first. However, through gentle perseverance, you may be able to overcome nature through nurture.

Roborovski Dwarf close up
Image Credit: Andreas Fink, Wikimedia Commons

Grooming ✂️

Grooming is the easiest thing about Robo hamsters. That’s because they groom themselves! However, if they do find themselves in a bit of a mess, use unscented baby wipes or a damp cloth to clean them up. They also enjoy a weekly sand bath.

One other thing to look out for is their teeth. Hamsters have teeth that grow continuously. This can normally be controlled by giving your hamster chew sticks. But if they get too long, you may need to get them trimmed by your vet.

Health and Conditions 🏥

When compared to other hamsters, Roborovski hamsters are actually quite robust. However, that doesn’t mean they are impervious to illness.

Although not as common in Robo hamsters, wet tail still is a very serious condition your hamster can have. It’s a bacterial infection that’s usually brought on by stress and affects the gut. If your hamster has a messy wet bottom and is refusing water, you need to seek a vet’s attention immediately. Left untreated, wet tail will cause hamster death.

Though not quite as serious, Robo hamsters seem to be more susceptible to allergies than other hamsters. Most of the time the culprit is their bedding. A quick bedding changeout and cage cleaning could quickly solve the problem. You’ll know if your hamster is allergic if they have dry flaky skin, red rashes, greasy hair, or experience hair loss.

Mites are also a common and easily fixed issue hamsters suffer from. This can normally be remedied via a few special drops prescribed by your vet.

Lastly, since these animals are natural desert dwellers, they don’t need as much water as other hamsters. Overhydration can lead to diarrhea.

Minor Conditions
  • Allergies
  • Mites
  • Overhydration
Serious Conditions
  • Wet tail

Male vs Female

It can be difficult to determine the sex of a Robo hamster if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for. The biggest indicator is the yellow scent patch that males have on their bellies. Males are also smaller and more active than females.

Females, on the other hand, are larger and do not have the scent patch that males do. They are also much more dominant. After breeding, females have been known to bully and even kill the male. If you do intend on breeding them, you’ll need to separate the male after the female has become impregnated.

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Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a rewarding challenge when raising a small pet, look to Roborovski dwarf hamsters. They’re wonderful little creatures with unique personalities. And once tamed, they can make for nice companions. But remember, they are just as fragile and skittish as they are active.

Only experienced hamster owners should take on the responsibilities that being a Robo hamster parent entails.


Featured Image: Pantherius, Shutterstock