Hamsters get their name
from the German word "hamstern" which means to hoard. This is a reference to
their food gathering habits.
The Roborovski dwarf
hamster or Desert hamster originates from Central Asia, Northern Russia,
Mongolia and Northern China where they will inhabit semi-arid areas with little
I’ve read lifespan for
Roborovski's hamsters is anywhere from 2 years to 3-1/2. 3 years is the
most documented lifespan I have found for the Robo hamsters.
Size: 4-5 cm (1.5-2 in) -
smallest breed of hamster kept as a pet.
The Roborovski’s upper
body is a grayish/tan and white underneath. It has very distinct white eyebrows
and no black/dark dorsal strip like the other dwarf hamsters.
Its extremely small size
make them very difficult to handle, and therefore is not an ideal first hamster
or for someone looking for a hamster to handle often. The Roborovski Dwarf
hamster is extremely fast and lively, they are also quite shy. Again this means
that they are totally unsuitable for young children, who will want to play with
them and pick them up. The Roborovski Dwarf hamster rarely nips or bites. They
really are very energetic and can be very entertaining to watch.
Dwarf hamsters, live in
small families or communities; this is why several Dwarf hamsters can be kept in
the same cage. I purchased 2 males, Pogo and Yahoo. The more hamsters the more
caging needed and more chances for fighting to break out. If the fighting is
bad enough you will have to separate them. Mine only squabble a bit trying to
decide which one gets to be first in line on the wheel. They like to be on the
wheel at the same time.
Being so small one should
be careful when selecting a home for this teeny tiny guys. A good sized
aquarium is acceptable. I considered a 20 Gallon Tank, 24" L x 12" W x 16" H.
and would have need to add a wire mesh top for ventilation and keep the cats
away. Instead I purchased a
Critter Trail brand cage since it was designed for mice and hamsters. It
has a 3/8” cage spacingwhich they can
not squeeze through. I like it because it offers a lot of ventilation, a
variety of tubing and additional components. The boys also have moments when
they climb the cage.
In the wild they live in
burrows with steep tunnels some 2-6 feet beneath the sand. For me this means
when the budget and space allow another cage and more tubing. Again I use the
Critter Trail brand tubing. It has a ribbed design which definitely helps
my small hammies when climbing. On the Critter Trail Two cage I purchased the
10” on center vertical for tubing was too much for the hammies so I inserted a
90 degree elbow. They turn quite easily between straight lengths and are no
longer uneasy about going up and down the tubing.
A must have for the
hammies is a wheel. The wheels today are very quiet and with the solid plastics
these little guys can’t slip through and hurt themselves. If you were given a
wire wheel weave cardboard through to protect their little legs. Pogo and Yahoo
both like to be on the wheel at the same time so I purchased an expansion pack
that had a wheel. They like both wheels but still prefer to be on the same
wheel at the same time together. Go figure.
As for bedding I chose
Aspen because it has a low amount of oils. NEVER use cedar or plywood
shavings. The oils and glues are dangerous.
I purchased Pogo and Yahoo
on July 2, 2006 I was told they are 1 ½ months old. In the first 2 weeks I have
spent quite a bit to make my hammies happy. Keep scrolling I’ve included
pictures and approximate prices of the items purchased so far.
CritterTrail Two, 16"L x 10.5"W
x 16"H = $35.99
Description: CritterTrail TWO
offers two spacious levels of living space for all hamsters, gerbils or mice.
CritterTrail TWO comes complete with two Comfort Shelves, a 10oz. water bottle,
food dish, exercise wheel and three Fun-nels climbing tubes. CritterTrail TWO
features Super Pet’s unique “Petting Zone.” The cool “Petting Zone” is a special
area of the home that you can open so you can pick up your pet or provide them
with a tasty treat. Even if your favorite critter isn't in the Petting Zone,
there are two "E-Z" access doorways on the CritterTrail TWO making access to
your pet easy and simple. CritterTrail TWO also has six locations where
accessories can be attached to the home so add as many fun accessories as you
My Opinion: I rarely use the “Petting Zone” as I don’t want Pogo or Yahoo to
escape. They really are fast. I do line it with bedding and they sleep there
on occasion. The tubing up to the “Petting Zone” is 10” on center too steep fro
these little hammies to go down so I added a 90 degree elbow in the middle. I
purchased the elbow with an addition tubing pack. The equipped water bottle is
pretty cheap and is on one of the shelves. At first the boys had a hard time
finding the water so I purchased an additional water bottle. This cage
definitely offers a lot of options for adding on and comes apart easy for
cleaning. Even the wheel comes apart.
Accessory Kits offer an easy way to expand any CritterTrail Home, at a great
value compared to purchasing accessories individually. Accessory Expansion Kit 2
offers enough accessories to remodel your pet's home! Great for adding extra
living space and fun for hamsters, gerbils, and mice! Includes a Loop-D-Loop,
Outhouse, Snap-on Comfort Wheel, and Fun-nel Tubes and Rings.
My Opinion: The boys enjoy the dark purple of the Loop to hide in. The Loop also
comes apart and I offset the dome. Like I said earlier I thought they would
each have a wheel but they insist on sharing. Bonus for them the wheel is wider
and they can run side by side. They now use both wheels. I am
considering getting them a third as they often like to nest in this one. The “Outhouse” believe it or not they make
“Potty Litter” I spent approximately $4.00 on a little litter tray and
the litter. Got rid of the litter tray, they didn’t use it and tried the
“Outhouse”. They didn’t use that either. So, the litter went in the garbage
and I added some bedding and some of their food for them to find. This works
great for them. The “Outhouse” top flips open for easy cleaning. I
actually broke the outhouse by dropping it on the tiled floor. They did
notice right away that it was missing. I don't want to buy the whole kit
just for the "Outhouse".
Super Pet® Fun-nels Large
Value Pack = $10.99
x 4 = $43.96
Super Pet® Fun-nels
Value Pack #2 = $9.99
x 1 = $9.99
Description: Make your
CritterTrail home even more incredible with the vibrantly colored Fun-nels you
receive in CritterTrail Fun-nels Value Packs! This Value Pack gives you three
Fun-nels Elbows, three sizes of Fun-nels Tubes, a Fun-nels Tee, Fun-nels Rings,
and a Fun-nels Bubble-Plug. Add on other Fun-nels Value Packs to increase the
fun in your pet's super cool home! With the Fun-nels Value Packs, you can give
your CritterTrail home all the twists and turns you need to turn your
CritterTrail home into a fantastically fun, Fun-nel city!
My Opinion: First they do offer a couple of smaller expansion sets and Tees can be
purchased separately. You’ll see in the set- up picture below what I have
created with the extra tubing. I currently have some additional lengths of
tubing not used but again when the budget allows I’m sure I’ll find a way to use
them. They do love the extra tubing and are small enough to turn all the way
around in it. The various lengths of tubing also come apart for easy cleaning.
I finally purchased some more tubing and Tees. This made for a large expansion
and I need more. Updated pictures below.
CritterTrail Lazy Look-out =$4.99
CritterTrail Lazy Look-out is a fun accessory that you can
add-on to any CritterTrail home giving your pet another cool area to look around
or hide-out. You will need to attach Lazy Look-out to a 10" Fun-nels Tube, Item
#60550, so your pet will be able to climb safely from their CritterTrail home
into its Lazy Look-out. The lid on your new “Lazy Look-out” can even be opened
so you can pick up your pet.
My Opinion: It was on clearance for
$4.99. I don't think I like it though. I won't be able to see the
boys if they are in it.
CritterTrail Fun-nels- Tee =
CritterTrail Fun-nel Tubes attach directly to each other and
to the inside and outside of your CritterTrail home. If you can imagine it, you
can build it with CritterTrail Fun-nels! The tubes are available in four colors
and in a variety of shapes and sizes so you can create a huge playground for
your pet. Our Fun-nels Tee provides a fun choice of direction into your Critters
Maze. Right or Left, Up or Down which way will they go! With CritterTrail
Accessories, your imagination is your only limit.
My Opinion: Needed 2 for the 7/21/06 addition.
Kaytee Aspen Bedding - 1200
cubic inch =$4.29
Kaytee Aspen Bedding - 3200
cubic inch =$7.69
Description: This bedding has a
low amount of wood oils and may be preferred for animals with sensitive
respiratory systems. Manufactured with all natural Aspen shavings, it is
specially treated using a triple cleaning process to help eliminate dust and
My Opinion: For 3 complete cage cleanings I’ve used 1/3 of a package. I use the
bedding liberally. I will NOT use the Pine bedding because of the oils in the
Pine. Some say this is fine but for approximately a $1.00 more I’m sticking
with the Aspen. I have since purchased the 3200 cubic inch bag now that I
have more storage space. I've used just over 1/2 in 7 months
Description: This blend of
seeds, grains and added nutrients contains the ingredients that hamsters and
gerbils find most appealing, including corn, sunflowers seeds and alfalfa. The
high-quality proteins in Nutriphase support normal tissue growth and health.
Nutriphase foods offer excellent nutrition at a great value. Resealable ziplock
My Opinion: The first bag of food I purchased for $4.99 was mice/rat food
by mistake. Read the labels carefully. The Gold costs approximately $2.00 more
a bag and has a slightly higher percentage of crude protein. Again, only the
best for my boys.
Nutriphase® Small Pet Treat
x 4 = $7.96
Hamster & Gerbil variety contains peanuts, raisins, carrots,
bananas, applies, corn and other wholesome grains, vegetables, and fruit.
My Opinion: Pogo went to check this new treat out right away. I'm sure
they will both love it.
Super Pet® Branch Bites =$2.19
Description: Critters can't
resist these tasty bark covered twigs made from all-natural fruitwood. Branch
bites are the natural chew treats for hamsters, gerbils, mice and other
My Opinion: I’ve tossed a couple of these in the boys’ cage and they seem to
nibble on them from time to time. Plenty of sticks to last quite awhile.
HamsteroidsTM Cosmic Chew
popsicle chew toys are made with 100% ground calcium and wood sticks. Helps keep
teeth ground down. Perfect for hamsters, gerbils, mice, rats, and guinea pigs.
A fantastic chew and exercise toy designed provide hours of exercise and
enjoyment while providing the necessary filing for pet's teeth.
My Opinion: I’ve put one in there cage. They don’t seem too interested. This
package should last a very long time.
Roll-A-Nest, 4.25" diameter
Description: Small animals
require an area where they can peacefully hide out for comfort and security. The
Roll-A-Nest is unique because it's great for chewing, nesting and resting! Made
of all natural grasses. The regular size is for hamsters, gerbils, mice, and
dwarf hamsters. The Giant Roll-A-Nest and Bigger Giant Roll a Nest are for
ferrets, rats, and guinea pigs.
My Opinion: I picked up the small one and they love it. They don’t always share
it together. They also enjoy climbing over it. I will definitely get another
when I purchase an additional cage. I did purchase a second nest but now
that I supply them with small amounts of toilet paper on a roll they prefer to
nest under that or with just the 1 I originally purchased.
T-Rex Rave Wholesome
Description: Fun-Logs are the
real wood climb, hide, chew, and play toys for your small animals.
My Opinion: I tried putting this on one of the cage shelves and didn’t care
for it. I then tried the floor of their cage and they have both explored
it. Will purchase another. I have decided to not purchase another and
instead focused on adding more tubing for them to run through. they enjoy
more tubing than this log. May try one of those edible logs that are
shaped like a T.
also purchased a small wooden house for $1.99.
It was too big for their cage so since it came in 2 pieces I’ll use half. They
don’t seem too interested, a waste of money. I trashed it.
One of the best toys is
a toilet paper tube with a bunch of sheets left on it. The price is great too.
Do not use scented or aloe toilet paper.